St. Louis VA mental health records questioned by watchdog

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ST. LOUIS (AP) – A federal watchdog says it has confirmed a whistleblower’s claims that St. Louis’ Veterans Affairs sites wrongly marked appointments for mental health patients as completed even before the patients were seen, boosting the system’s performance showing.

A VA Inspector General’s report Wednesday involved records of the St. Louis VA Health Care System’s records from October 2013 and June of last year. Investigators found that of 20 consults reviewed, an employee inappropriately marked them “complete” 60 percent of the time.

The report says such inaccurate notations when a patient misses a consult appointment or the clinic cancels it “increases the risk that veterans may become lost in the system.”

The report questions the St. Louis system’s oversight of the matter.

A message was left Thursday with St. Louis VA spokespeople.

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