Government review uncovers major problems at VA medical centers

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WASHINGTON — The United States Government Accountability Office is calling for change after a recent review revealed major problems at several VA medical centers when it comes to handling complaints against healthcare providers.

The GAO report — which was released to the public Monday — reviewed practices at five selected VA medical centers and discovered there were complaints filed against 148 doctors collectively between October 2013 and March 2017.

At the time of the review, the staff at these locations were reportedly unable to provide documentation on the subsequent investigations into these claims in nearly half of the cases. Even more shocking was that in 16 of those cases, an inquiry into the concerns were not instigated until three months to multiple years after they were filed.

Furthermore, the hospital administration failed to report eight of nine doctors who resigned or had action taken against them to the National Practitioner Data Bank or state licensing boards.

In one specific case, this allowed one of those doctors to seek employment elsewhere. Two years later, he or she was the subject of yet another investigation for the same reason.

In a statement included with the report, the VA stated they plan to make changes to their policies to prevent issues in the future.

Read the GAO’s report

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