Whistleblower blasts VA mental health practices

(MILITARY TIMES)   Testimony from a former employee at a New Hampshire Veterans Affairs hospital confirmed what the VA’s inspector general noted in a scathing report released Monday — that VA embellishes its success rates of helping veterans with their mental health care needs.

Taking it further, Nicholas Tolentino, a former mental health administrator at the Manchester VA Medical Center, said VA culture encourages administrators to game performance metrics, lie on VA-wide surveys and emphasize quantity over quality.

For example, at Manchester, the hospital was able to say it was providing therapy to numerous veterans in a timely manner by placing those who needed intense individual psychotherapy into group sessions.

If veterans refused to attend group, they were labeled as “non-compliant” for treatment.

Worse, Tolentino added, this strategy spread to other regional VA hospitals, ensuring that administrations met their performance metrics by failing needy veterans


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