“I was legitimately trying to do that, going to the meetings and trying to figure out (how to meet the performance measures) with such a limited staff of doctors,” said Wilkes, a social worker who was formerly assistant to the director of the Mental Health Division at Overton Brooks VA Medical Center.
The emphasis on performance goals was driven by a concern for patient care, but also by a bonus system that rewarded Wilkes’ superiors for the large numbers of patients who saw health-care providers.
Many managers seemed to meet their goals. But Wilkes couldn’t see how that was possible.
And then about 15 months ago, Wilkes says, he understood everything. He says he was making a photocopy near the hospital’s scheduling windows and overheard a conversation between a scheduler and a veteran.
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