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May-23-2014 12:28printcomments

Wrongful Deaths at the VA: VA Pays $200 Million in Malpractice Claims

If the "troops" are so important, why does it take the US Gov't so long to act?

VA hospitals
Blue icons show wrongful death payments at that hospital or clinic. The data is presented as obtained by The Center for Investigative Reporting using the Freedom of Information Act. Click here to see interactive MAP.

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - When the wrongful death malpractice claims at the Phoenix V.A. Hospital hit the news it was all about Phoenix...Phoenix...Phoenix with 40 dead veterans waiting for a diagnosis, not even medical care, which would have prolonged or saved their lives.

The article I refer to is from the Seattle Times, VA pays $200M in wrongful death cases of nearly 1,000 vets (April 8th 2014), and they get their statistics from The Center for Investigative Reporting.

The actual claims total paid out was about $450 Million, and the report includes information from about 175 VA Hospitals and found that almost all of them had dozens of inadequate care and wrongful deaths. All of this should NOT be happening!

According to the more recent news, May 21st 2014, the President had a press conference today and that the investigations are expanding to 26 more centers. There will be more.

One of the worst wide spread factors of all of this is the autonomous or self governing of the Hospital and VA system in general. They do what they want to and that's it.

In December 2012 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported medical errors in hospitals in Ohio, Montana, California and Washington DC. Obviously there are more. That report concluded that the VA’s reporting on its medical-appointment wait times was “unreliable,” outdated, easily manipulated and in need of complete overhaul.

The V.A. has paid out a high amount for their medical malpractice claims but it seems to feel that it is someone else's money. None of the malpractice doctors have paid out a cent which seems to be a gross and bad disincentive!

On April 9th 2014, reports from the GAO indicates 2 million veterans' referrals took more than 90 days. Other reports are that 10 gastroenterology referrals took up to 140 days and physical therapy referrals took more than 108 days.

An article on CNS News, May 20th 2014, prints some important news that the GAO has been citing the V.A. for these scandals for 20 years. Actually its much longer than that.

I was in a V.A. Hospital myself in 1947 for several months with a broken neck. My observations at the time were "SNAFU" and "FUBAR" just like the screwed up Army.

In 1991 the government started 3 branches of the Veterans Administration: The VA Health Administration, the Veteran Benefit Administration, and the National Cemetery System. Though they were supposed to work together, each was autonomous. It was a miserable failure. JUST LIKE THE VA HOSPITAL SYSTEM NOW.

One of the most pernicious factors of all this is the V.A. doctors and executives get paid heavy Bonuses, up to $60,000 per year, even though they screw up.




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Anonymous May 24, 2014 9:06 am (Pacific time)

The House on a bi-partisan voted to allow for firing of VA personnel who mistreat our veterans. As many of you know it's nearly impossible to remove incompetent federal employees. Senate leader Reid has ignored this House bill, like he has nearly all House bills, so expect no change. Obama is still stalling asking for another investigation, which means this is still a political game while veterans die/suffer. You get what you vote for people, and those on the far left have a long history of just giving lip service to veteran' needs, especially during an election cycle. This is not a money issue, we need competent leadership and for that leadership to be able to immediately remove the incompetents. Obama has had 5 plus years and things are worse, so blaming past administrations does not do anything for our heroes. We need action, but we will not get it from the Whitehouse in any meaningful way. Just more cover-up as the msm and other Obama defenders provide distractions. Liberal SOP!

Bob O'Dowd May 23, 2014 5:36 pm (Pacific time)

This is a national disgrace that continues to go on and on without any meaningful action by Congress and the President. Oh, they give lip service for the need to care for veterans but nothing happens to change things. Veterans are mistreated at VA hospital or simply not treated at all. Why not give vouchers to veterans eligible for VA health care to go to the nearest civilian hospital, and close all VA hospitals and/or take them out of the VA system and place them under nongovernment leadership?

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