Whistleblower Reveals VA Attempted to Cut Waiting Lists by Making Up Fake Appointments

The day prior to testifying at a House of Representatives committee hearing regarding misconduct at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Minu Aghevli was given a document. It amounted to a 170-pages long pink slip, with approximately 140 of those pages explaining why the VA planned to terminate her.

Ms. Aghevli, 42, is a native of Washington, DC who has worked at the VA for her entire 20-year career. She worked in Baltimore as a clinical psychologist with an opioid treatment program. However, her actions as a VA whistleblower are what gained attention, and she claims that her disclosures of wrongdoing by the VA are what led to her termination, despite a long history of excellent customer service.

Whistleblower allegations against the VA

The allegations made by Ms. Aghevli are serious and devastating. According to the Washington Post, she claims the department created fake wait-list assertions and also lied to Congress:

“In order to reduce the wait list, I was instructed to improperly remove veterans from the electronic wait list by scheduling fake appointments for them in an imaginary clinic. This clinic was not tied to any provider or location, nor did it actually correspond to any real visits…. The veterans scheduled for these fictitious appointments were not actually receiving VA care.”

According to Ms. Aghevli, the department, in an effort to reduce the number of veterans waiting for medical care, coded indigent patients as “care no longer needed” without verifying their condition. She also said that the VA purposely sent false numbers to Congress when it demanded information about the departments wait lists back in September 2015.

Other whistleblowers have revealed extensive misconduct

Ms. Aghevli is not the only person who has made recent assertions against the VA concerning misconduct. Chairman Chris Pappas (D-NH) of the House Veterans’ Affairs oversight and investigations subcommittee is looking into charges made by Jereme Whiteman, National Director, Clinic Practice Management, concerning secret waitlists. VA officials were not invited to that hearing – only whistleblowers and their supporters.

The VA did not provide a response to the charges made by whistleblowers or any others at the hearing.

At McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC, we believe that veterans deserve to be treated with respect. If officials have been lying, to Congress and the public, about how they are serving our veterans, then they need to be held accountable. How many veterans have suffered – how many have died – because of the negligence of the VA? How many men and women who served this country were denied life-saving treatments or care?

If you are a veteran and have suffered injury, or a loved one has suffered a death, due to wrongful or negligent practices at the VA, we may be able to help. To set up an appointment for free case review, call McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC today at 803-327-7800 or fill out our contact form.