Inspector General: ‘Ineffective’ leadership led to oversight issues at Oklahoma City VA Health Care System

OKLAHOMA CITY – Officials say ineffective leadership significantly contributed to funding issues at a local Veteran’s Affairs health care system.

On Wednesday, the Veteran’s Affairs Office of Inspector General released a 40-page report regarding payments made to part-time physicians at the Oklahoma City Veteran’s Affairs Health Care System.

According to the report, the director of the Oklahoma City VA Health Care System contacted the Office of Inspector General about concerns with oversight regarding its disbursement agreement, time and attendance requirements for part-time physicians.

The report states that the system’s leadership “did not monitor resident participation in educational activities to ensure they were performing VA work as scheduled.”

Officials found that at least 12 residents had their salaries paid by the system for times when they were not working at VA hospitals.

The OIG found that safeguards to prevent this type of oversight were not in place at the system.

“In addition to the deficiencies related to resident participation, Health Care System managers did not effectively oversee time and attendance for part-time physicians to ensure they were on duty and meeting their VA employment obligations,” the report states.

The report states that 33 of 91 part-time physicians had ‘limited or no evidence’ of patient care workload in at least one pay period.

Since the health care system didn’t keep adequate records, the report states that it is difficult to determine exactly how much money was spent improperly.

“The OIG estimated that the Health Care System made approximately $507,000 in improper payments to part-time physicians on adjustable work scheduled because it did not reconcile salaries and benefits paid with work performed,” the report states.

As a result, the office is recommending that the Health Care System Director create policies and implement procedures to improve oversight.