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Audit: Rochester VA `felt pressure' to hide delays

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- An internal audit has found that staff at the Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic in Rochester ''felt pressure to manipulate'' appointment data to hide delays in medical care.

The audit by the VA's Veterans Health Administration was ordered earlier this year by former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. The report released this week follows up on an audit of 900 Veterans Affairs' facilities throughout the U.S.

U.S. Representative Tim Walz, a member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, represents Rochester. Walz says the audit information is ''troubling, but not shocking,'' given ''the pressure to hit unrealistic wait-time goals.''

Minneapolis VA officials say they'll have to wait until the VA Office of the Inspector General completes its review to find out what happened in the Rochester clinic.

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