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Veterans affairs hospitals under investigation

By Rebecca Pepin, rpepin@wcyb.com
Published On: May 12 2014 07:35:12 PM CDT
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -

U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is scheduled to testify this week concerning care at VA Hospitals across the country.

This after information came out about workers concealing long wait times for patients.

Whistle blowers now claim dozens of veterans may have died because of those hidden delays.

Today, U.S. Congressman Phil Roe spoke out about the investigation.

He said it is unacceptable that someone may have manipulated numbers just to earn bonuses when the health of our veterans is at stake.

"If that's been the case, you kept one set of records to show that you met those quality metrics, but in actuality you were not and veterans were out there waiting, heads have gotta roll," said U.S. Representative Phil Roe.

Congressman Roe said there are no allegations of falsifying records at any of our local facilities, but he said all VA facilities will be investigated.

We spoke to the Chief Business Officer at the Mountain Home facility in Johnson City this afternoon.

He said they already do internal audits monthly and welcome the investigation.

"The overall quality of all the staff at all levels is very, very high here," said Steven W. Hillis. "The understanding of the relationship of the VA and it's importance to the veteran and what we do. Again, recognizing the mission, to care for those who have worn the uniform. They understand, they buy into the mission in a fashion that's very, very impressive. And the community support -- this is a very patriotic area."