VA hid hospice wait times from vets' families

Veterans are waiting at least a year to receive hospice services from the Department of Veterans Affairs, but VA staff members aren't telling patients and their families that they will face such a long delay in receiving care.

"Omitting this information did not allow patients and family members to understand fully the situation and options," the VA's inspector general wrote in a report made public Monday.

The lengthy delays at the Washington, D.C., VA facility were uncovered after an unnamed veteran died while waiting for home healthcare services, even after he had been approved by a medical team.

Although funding for the Washington, D.C. facility's home health services jumped from $1.3 million in 2010 to $6.7 million in 2014, veterans in the area still faced more than a year of waiting, the inspector general found.

The number of patients looking to purchase home care also spiked over the same period, growing from 148 in 2010 to 573 last year.