This May 19, 2014 photo shows a  a sign in front of the Veterans Affairs building in Washington, DC. The VA and Secretary Eric Shinseki are under fire amid reports by former and current VA employees that up to 40 patients may have died because of delayed treatment at an agency hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. AFP PHOTO / Karen BLEIER        (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
VA restructuring, firing after scandal
02:48 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

A new report says the Department of Veterans Affairs misled Congress and the public

The VA's Office of Inspector General highlights multiple errors in the department's previously reported findings

Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Florida, the committee chairman, said the mistakes are either intentionally deceitful or grossly incompetent

Washington CNN  — 

The Department of Veterans Affairs misled Congress and members of the media about how many veterans died or suffered serious harm as a result of extreme treatment delays, according to a new report by the department’s top watchdog.

The VA shared a fact sheet in April with Congress and the press that said 23 veterans died and a total of 76 suffered serious harm throughout the nation while waiting months or years for health care since 1999. But the report released Monday by the VA’s Office of Inspector General highlights multiple errors with these findings and a lack of evidence for statements the VA released about them.

Amongst the misleading facts highlighted in the report, the VA overstated the timeframe of its review by eight years, since the VA said it examined unresolved requests for health care since 1999, but in reality only examined requests dating back to 2007.

READ: Phoenix VA chief Sharon Helman fired

Moreover, the inspector general says there may have been “overstatements or understatements” about the number of deaths or illnesses resulting from delays at specific VA hospitals and that the fact sheet contained a number of other errors.