IG let Veterans Affairs officials alter report to absolve agency in Phoenix deaths

Crucial language that the Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general could not “conclusively” prove that delays in care caused patient deaths at a Phoenix hospital was added to its final report after a draft version was sent to agency administrators for comment, the Washington Examiner has learned.

The single most compelling sentence in the inspector general’s 143-page final report on fraudulent scheduling practices at the Phoenix veterans’ hospital did not appear in the draft version, according to a staff analysis by the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

It was inserted into the final version, the only one that was released to the public, after agency officials had a chance to comment and recommend revisions.

Even before the IG’s report on its Phoenix investigation was released Aug. 26, the agency issued a press release touting the bottom-line finding:

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