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State

Chicago-area veterans hospital under scrutiny

CHICAGO — Federal investigators have visited a veterans hospital in suburban Chicago to look into a claim that secret lists were used to conceal long patient wait times for appointments.

Auditors from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General visited the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital on Wednesday.

The visit was part of a nationwide review of VA facilities after similar claims began emerging elsewhere, including in Arizona. A former clinic director at a VA hospital in Phoenix says up to 40 veterans may have died while awaiting treatment.

The Hines hospital director says there was no separate patient waitlist at that facility. Joan Ricard says in a statement that a spreadsheet was used as a "performance improvement tool" but wasn't linked to patient appointment scheduling.

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