An investigation released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says the San Diego VA hospital triggered one veteran’s suicide attempt in 2014 by repeatedly canceling his mental health appointments.

The investigation also found that at least two San Diego VA employees instructed appointment clerks to “zero out” wait times in the scheduling database, presenting an unrealistically positive picture of how long patients were waiting for mental health care.

The tactics may have affected hundreds of San Diego veterans seeking mental health treatment.

The VA’s inspector general found that employees in the San Diego mental health clinic scheduled more than 700 appointments with a 98 to 100 percent rate of zero-day wait times — described as virtually impossible without data manipulation.


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