"GAO found that the… VA data on primary care panel sizes… the number of patients VA providers and support staff are assigned… are unreliable across VA’s 150 medical facilities and cannot be used to monitor facilities’ management of primary care," the report, issued on Thursday, stated.
The GAO found missing values and other inaccuracies in VA’s data, the report continued.
"Officials from VA’s Primary Care Operations Office confirmed that facilities sometimes record and self-report these data inaccurately or in a manner that does not follow VA’s policy and noted that this could result in the data reliability concerns GAO identified," the report added.
VA’s panel management policy is inconsistent with federal internal control standards and the organization therefore cannot assure that its facilities’ data are reliable, the report warned.
The US Government Accountability Office is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress and investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer money.