Murkowski to VA: Are There “Secret Waiting Lists” in Alaska?

Concerned Senator Wants Answers Whether Cover-Ups Are Happening in Alaska

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With national concerns about cover-ups of “secret waiting lists” being used by VA systems in Arizona, Colorado, Indiana and other states to manipulate internal data, Senator Lisa Murkowski today reached out to VA Secretary General Eric Shinseki.  In her letter seeking answers for Alaska, Murkowski asked the administration whether Alaska’s VA has fraudulent lists.

In a letter (attached) to General Shinseki, Senator Murkowski says the current scandal again raises the concern whether “local VA officials are being honest with Congress,” before asking:

I understand that you have called for an audit of whether VA facilities have maintained “secret waiting lists” or have otherwise misled stakeholders on waiting times to see VA practitioners. I respectfully ask that you advise me whether there are presently any “secret waiting lists” at any of the VA Alaska Health System facilities and whether such lists existed in Alaska at any time since the beginning of US involvement in Iraq.

Senator Murkowski also used the opportunity of this letter to discuss disruptions in the care being given to Alaska’s veterans in Wasilla and Juneau, adding:

This review also affords an opportunity for you to revisit the question of whether the Alaska VA Health System is sufficiently resourced. Recruitment and retention of practitioners willing to come to Alaska is always a challenge. In recent months I have been in conversations with the VA about its difficulties in staffing the Wasilla Community Based Outpatient Clinic. I understand that there may be issues with the operation of the Juneau Outreach Clinic as well.