Thursday, September 18, 2014

Former VA Doc, Whistleblower Says OIG Report On Care Delays Is A Farce

September 18, 2014 | By 

Experts and doctors once involved in the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) healthcare system said they don't believe the agency's Inspector General's report captured the impact delays in care had on veteran deaths during a heated hearingin front of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs this week.

Sam Foote, M.D., the whistleblower who exposed the care delays within the VA system, wants an independent review of delays in care at the Phoenix VA, CNNreported. Foote, who retired from the VA after 25 years of service, said the inspector general's report downplayed data manipulation that he thinks contributed to the death of more than 40 veterans. "In my opinion, this was a conspiracy, possibly criminal, perpetrated by senior Phoenix leaders," Foote said duringtestimony Wednesday.
Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, was disappointed the report didn't bring more issues to light. "It's absolutely inexplicable and outrageous that the IG's Phoenix report failed to clearly make these distinctions," he said in a statement at the hearing.

The report, released in August, said there was no conclusive link to the death at the facility to long wait times. To date, the VA inspector general opened wait time manipulation investigations at 93 sites, only 12 of which have been completed,CNN reported.

However the media attention and reforms since the allegations made a huge impact on the current VA treatment system, Katherine L. Mitchell, M.D., medical director of the Iraq and Afghanistan post-deployment center within the Phoenix VA Health Care System, testified.

"It has been amazing to see the changes within our institution over the last several months which have enabled us to rapidly address many of the needs of veterans in our system to a degree that would not have been possible prior to April 2014," Mitchell said during the hearing. "Problems with care consult backlogs, scheduling difficulties, and the EWL [electronic waitlist] have been significantly reduced or resolved."

To learn more:
- here's the
 CNN article
- check out Miller's 
- read Foote's 
- here's Mitchell's 

Related Articles:
OIG report: No evidence delays in care caused VA deaths
House, Senate leaders deadlock on VA fix
Procter & Gamble's McDonald vows to reaffirm VA values
House approves bill that allows veterans to bypass VA for medical care
Anticipated bill would improve VA wait times
Secret VA wait list reveals 40 vets died while awaiting treatment
18 more vets dead as legislators pen VA reform bill
Investigation into VA wait lists expands to more hospitals
Shinseki resigns as VA secretary amid scandal
Preliminary report: Delay in care rampant through VA healthcare system
VA scandal: Healthcare execs may face criminal charges
VA scandal: Audit reveals 57,000 vets awaiting medical appointments

Thank You Ms Sullivan and Fierce Healthcare.

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