Spokane VA Audited In Nationwide Survey - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane VA Audited In Nationwide Survey

Posted: Updated:
The Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane participated in a nationwide audit Tuesday The Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane participated in a nationwide audit Tuesday
SPOKANE, Wash. -

The Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane participated in a nationwide audit Tuesday, ordered by Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki after reports of falsified waitlists and delayed heath care surfaced at the VA in Phoenix.

KHQ learned the survey team that visited Spokane Tuesday was comprised of four people, including representatives from other VA medical centers and also representatives from the central VA office in Washington, D.C. Sources say the team selected 10 employees who schedule patients and asked them a list of 40 pre-scripted questions.

It’s not clear what those questions are, if they’re a standardized list being asked at every VA in the country, or when the results of the nationwide audit may be available. Some employees tell KHQ they are concerned that these pre-determined questions may not uncover potential issues – if they exist – especially if records are not independently examined.

The Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Coeur D’Alene will not have a separate audit since its parent facility is the main VAMC in Spokane.

KHQ reached out to the Spokane VA for comment on the audit and did not receive a response in time for our on-air deadline. However, late Tuesday we did receive an email from Melody Heppel, the Assistant to Director Linda Reynolds.

As we have previously reported, the former director at the Phoenix VA in question, Sharon Helman, spent two years leading the Spokane VA prior to her time in Phoenix. When asked if there are any concerns the allegations of impropriety and falsified records from Phoenix could have been happening here, Heppel replied:

“No. There are no concerns that the allegations made in Phoenix happened in Spokane, nor have the allegations made about Phoenix been substantiated to date.”

In regards to prior inquiries over concerns from two union presidents representing VA employees, Heppel wrote that union members have not been disciplined for speaking out, and that employees have not been instructed to not discuss wait times, as a press release from the union presidents suggests.

Heppel also clarified that managers are getting bonuses, but describes the financial condition of the VA as good.

“Yes [managers are getting bonuses],” Heppel wrote. “Based on annual performance and special contributions, all Federal employees, not just managers, are eligible and continue to receive bonuses; however, the process involves thorough justification and vetting through HR and multiple layers of management.”

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • One person dead after hit & run in Spokane Valley

    One person dead after hit & run in Spokane Valley

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:02 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:02:36 GMT
    KHQ.COM - One person is dead after a hit and run near I-90 Park Rd. in Spokane Valley. It happened around 1:30 am on Tuesday. At this point police do not have a suspect description but are asking for anyone who may have witnessed the incident to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.>>
    KHQ.COM - One person is dead after a hit and run near I-90 Park Rd. in Spokane Valley. It happened around 1:30 am on Tuesday. At this point police do not have a suspect description but are asking for anyone who may have witnessed the incident to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.>>
  • VIRAL VIDEO: Holy Moly! This girl is definitely NOT afraid of spiders!

    VIRAL VIDEO: Holy Moly! This girl is definitely NOT afraid of spiders!

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:00 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:00:12 GMT
    KHQ.COM - You don't even know what this girl is about to do to prove she is definitely NOT afraid of spiders! Is she crazy or just fearless? Would you do this for $500? $1,000? $20,000? >>>WATCH>>>>>
    KHQ.COM - You don't even know what this girl is about to do to prove she is definitely NOT afraid of spiders! Is she crazy or just fearless? Would you do this for $500? $1,000? $20,000? >>>WATCH>>>>>
  • PHOTOS: Share your back-to-school pics!

    PHOTOS: Share your back-to-school pics!

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:18 PM EDT2014-09-02 16:18:59 GMT
    KHQ.COM - School is starting! Everyone knows the drill right? Before you can run out the door and jump on the bus, mom always has to snag a picture to remember her little baby growing up through the years! We want to see those photos! Whether they are from this year, last year or 50 years ago, send us the photos of your first day of school!>>
    KHQ.COM - School is starting! Everyone knows the drill right? Before you can run out the door and jump on the bus, mom always has to snag a picture to remember her little baby growing up through the years! We want to see those photos! Whether they are from this year, last year or 50 years ago, send us the photos of your first day of school!>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Security breach had no impact on local Goodwill stores

    Security breach had no impact on local Goodwill stores

    Wednesday, September 3 2014 1:31 AM EDT2014-09-03 05:31:33 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Goodwill stores in Eastern Washington and North Idaho were not impacted by a data security beach last month, according to a company spokeswoman. In July, Goodwill Industries International announced some store locations may have been affected by a data security issue involving the company's party vendor for payment processing.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Goodwill stores in Eastern Washington and North Idaho were not impacted by a data security beach last month, according to a company spokeswoman. In July, Goodwill Industries International announced some store locations may have been affected by a data security issue involving the company's party vendor for payment processing.>>
  • New Coeur d'Alene Police Chief Sworn In

    New Coeur d'Alene Police Chief Sworn In

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:18 PM EDT2014-09-03 03:18:05 GMT
    The Coeur d'Alene Police Department swore in Lee White as the new chief of police Tuesday. White says his first priority is to go on what he calls a "listening tour." The goal is to hear from both police and the community to bridge the gap between officers and the public. "There needs to be a tangible sense of how we expect our department members to act," Chief White said. White's swearing in comes at a time when the gap between police and the public is wide. The department has been under ...>>
    The Coeur d'Alene Police Department swore in Lee White as the new chief of police Tuesday. White says his first priority is to go on what he calls a "listening tour." The goal is to hear from both police and the community to bridge the gap between officers and the public. "There needs to be a tangible sense of how we expect our department members to act," Chief White said. White's swearing in comes at a time when the gap between police and the public is wide. The department has been under ...>>