Monday, November 20, 2017

42 VA hospitals under scrutiny

RECOMMENDED READING


About 1,700 veterans in need of care were "at risk of being lost or forgotten" after being kept off the official wait list at the troubled Phoenix veterans hospital, the Veterans Affairs watchdog said Wednesday in a scathing report.

The investigation, initially focused on the Phoenix hospital, found systemic problems at the VA's sprawling system that provides medical care to about 6.5 million veterans each year.

The interim report confirmed allegations of excessive waiting time for care in Phoenix, with an average 115-day wait for a first appointment for those on the wait list.

"While our work is not complete, we have substantiated that significant delays in access to care negatively impacted the quality of care at this medical facility," Richard J. Griffin, the department's acting inspector general, wrote in the 35-page report. The report found that "inappropriate scheduling practices are systemic throughout" the nationwide VA health care system.

Colorado Sen. Mark Udall on Wednesday became the first Democratic senator to call for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to leave. "We need new leadership who will demand accountability to fix these problems," Udall said.

Griffin said his office is now investigating 42 VA health care facilities nationwide. Investigators will seek to determine whether names of veterans awaiting care were purposely omitted from electronic waiting lists and at whose direction.

He said investigators at some of the other 42 facilities "have identified instances of manipulation of VA data that distort the legitimacy of reported waiting times."

Dr. Samuel Foote, a former clinic director for the VA in Phoenix who was the first to bring the allegations to light, said the findings were no surprise.

"I knew about all of this all along," Foote told The Associated Press in an interview. "The only thing I can say is you can't celebrate the fact that vets were being denied care."

Foote took issue with the finding by the inspector general that patients had, on average, waited 115 days for their first medical appointment. "I don't think that number is correct. It was much longer," he said. "It seemed to us to be about six months."

Comments
Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh and why this man is smiling

Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh and why this man is smiling

The topic for the Times' set-up package  for Bucs-Dolphins in Sunday's editions was Gerald McCoy vs. Ndamukong Suh.Admittedly, it's not James Winston vs. Marcus Mariota, but the two defensive linemen were taken back to back in the 2010 NFL Draft...
Updated: 7 minutes ago

AP Top News at 8:58 a.m. EST

AP Top News at 8:58 a.m. EST
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Iran's supreme leader visits quake-hit area, urges more aid

Iran's supreme leader visits quake-hit area, urges more aid

Iran's supreme leader visits quake-hit region along border with Iraq, urges more aid for those affected by the tragedy
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Kenya top court upholds Kenyatta's win in repeat election

Kenya top court upholds Kenyatta's win in repeat election

Kenya top court upholds Kenyatta win in repeat election, bringing monthslong drama to a close
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Tips for first-time Thanksgiving hosts (or really, any of us)

Tips for first-time Thanksgiving hosts (or really, any of us)

Take small bites.This may be the most crucial advice for Thanksgiving hosts who donít have years of cooking and coordinating experience to provide the confidence that comes with leading the charge on the yearís biggest cooking day.Itís the first thin...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
3- 2-1, BAM! Georgia Dome imploded in downtown Atlanta

3- 2-1, BAM! Georgia Dome imploded in downtown Atlanta

3- 2-1, BAM! Georgia Dome - one of the nation's largest domed stadiums - imploded in downtown Atlanta
Updated: 12 minutes ago
3- 2-1, BAM! Georgia Dome imploded in downtown Atlanta

3- 2-1, BAM! Georgia Dome imploded in downtown Atlanta

3- 2-1, BAM! Georgia Dome - one of the nation's largest domed stadiums - imploded in downtown Atlanta
Updated: 12 minutes ago
The Latest: Moore accuser says she wasn't paid to tell story

The Latest: Moore accuser says she wasn't paid to tell story

Leigh Corfman says she was "absolutely not" paid to speak publicly about her sexual encounter with Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore as a 14-year-old
Updated: 19 minutes ago

Colorado ski season: Mountain coasters, Olympic fun and more

Colorado's ski resorts are getting ready for winter with mountain coasters, new lifts and celebrations themed on the Winter Olympic Games
Updated: 19 minutes ago

3 dead after medical helicopter crash in eastern Arkansas

Officials say a medical helicopter has crashed in eastern Arkansas, killing all three people on board.
Updated: 21 minutes ago