Harlingen VA Records Undergoing Federal Inspection

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HARLINGEN – A Veterans Affairs clinic is under the microscope. Federal investigators have been seen in the facility for the last two days.

The feds are expected to stay in town until the end of the week. VA officials say the Office of Inspector General is in the Rio Grande Valley to inspect how they process and keep their patients’ records.

Veteran Affairs Chief of Quality Management Kathy Mezmar tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS the government looks at the Harlingen VA’s operations to the smallest details.

That’s exactly what this week’s visit entails. There wasn’t a complaint or problem.

She tells us the OIG wants to make sure employees keeping patient records are scanning documents appropriately in a timely manner and making sure they are legible to avoid any misinformation.

“If you have seen Doctor A and now you are seeing Doctor B, well, we want to know what happened with Doctor A,” explained Mezmar. “We get the patient’s consent to get the record or the patient just brings it to us and says it’s important you see these because I was seen by another physician or another community provider. Could be physical therapy, anything out in the community that will be pertinent to the patient, so we can provide a continuity of care, because if we don't know what happened out there, of course, you can tell me if you are the patient, but the record helps us see the whole picture.”

Mezmar says this visit will only focus on that. She says the OIG also oversees their entire operations every three years.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to the OIG for more on their investigation, but we have not heard back from their offices.

Mezmar says at the end of the review, OIG will publish a review. If they find any major wrongdoing, the VA will be asked to immediately correct those mistakes.

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