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Federal authorities delve into Hines VA Hospital's 'secret waiting lists'

Published: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 3:21 p.m. CDT

HINES – After learning of possible "secret waiting lists" from a whistleblower, federal auditors are taking a hard look at Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Affairs Hospital, according to a CBS News exclusive.

The reports said the alleged secret lists result in better looking treatment numbers, which allows the hospital executives to obtain bonus money for providing fast treatment. Numbers at Hines VA Hospital, 5000 S. 5th Ave. in unincorporated Cook County, currently shows it provides care to more than 50,000 Chicago area veterans each year.

The alleged scheme places veterans who call for appointments on a special list even though they're not scheduled for an appointment until an opening appears in a 14-day window, according to media reports.

Reports stated veterans told CBS News it can take several months to schedule an appointment.

Along with the Hines VA Hospital, federal authorities are also investigating facilities in Colorado, Texas and Wyoming, reports said.

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