KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

VA Secretary Shinseki Subpoenaed In VA Wait List Probe

The subpoena asks for all email and other correspondence to look into the alleged secret wait list that sought to make wait times at a Phoenix VA hospital seem shorter than they really were.

The New York Times: V.A. Officials Subpoenaed For Inquiry Into Wait List
A House committee voted Thursday to subpoena the head of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, and other top department officials, stepping up scrutiny of the agency amid allegations that secret waiting lists were used to cover up long delays for doctors’ appointments. The subpoena from the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs covers all emails and other correspondence related to the “destruction or disappearance of an alternate or interim wait list” at the department’s Phoenix medical center. It asked for all emails from April 9 to May 8 sent to or from Mr. Shinseki; Dr. Robert A. Petzel, the department’s under secretary for health; Will A. Gunn, the department’s general counsel; and five other senior officials (Oppel, 5/8).

The Wall Street Journal: House Committee Subpoenas Emails From Veterans Affairs Officials
The House Committee on Veterans Affairs voted Thursday to subpoena Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and other top officials in the department to turn over materials related to the panel's investigation of practices at a VA hospital in Phoenix. The panel voted unanimously to subpoena email and correspondence written over the past month by eight VA officials, including Mr. Shinseki and the VA's general counsel, that may relate to an alleged secret wait list intended to make official patient wait times at the Phoenix VA Health Care System seem shorter than they actually were (Kesling, 5/8).

Modern Healthcare:  House VA Panel Subpoenas Arizona Official In Vet Deaths
The House Veterans' Affairs Committee voted unanimously Thursday to subpoena VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and other senior VA officials to supply documents from the department as allegations continue to swirl over the VA's Phoenix health system and the department's response and possible cover-up of problems there. The subpoena will cover e-mails and other written correspondence exchanged since the morning of April 9 in which Shinseki and department leaders allegedly discussed the destruction of an alternate wait list for patients at its Phoenix facility (Landen, 5/8).

CNN: House Panel Subpoenas VA Secretary Shinseki For Phoenix Hospital Documents
A House committee voted Thursday to subpoena Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki for emails and documents tied to an alleged secret "waiting list" for sick veterans at a Phoenix VA hospital. The vote on the House Veterans Affairs Committee comes as Shinseki begins to face calls -- from Congress and beyond -- for his resignation. In an interview with CBS News, Shinseki brushed aside those calls, while acknowledging that the Phoenix controversy "makes me angry” (5/8).

PBS NewsHour: Under Scrutiny In The Past, VA Clinic Delay Allegations Strike A Chord
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is pushing back against calls for him to resign after allegations that dozens of patients have died because of delayed treatment at an agency hospital. Shinseki has ordered a nationwide review of access to care at all VA clinics. Jeffrey Brown learns more from Phillip Carter from Center for a New American Security and Brian Skoloff of the Associated Press (Brown, 5/8).

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