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Tim Walz

Audit: 2,300 VA patients in Iowa, SD were on 'ghost panels'

More than 2,300 VA patients in Iowa and South Dakota were assigned to primary care "ghost panels," or doctors who no longer worked at their hospitals, a federal audit found.

Critics say the practice is a way that some VA hospitals have made their doctors' caseloads appear artificially small and within federal guidelines. It can also be disruptive for patients, who have to see different doctors if they need care and may face longer wait times.

The report issued Thursday by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General found the practice was limited to two health care systems — in Iowa City, Iowa and Black Hills, South Dakota — out of...

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