MIAMI — A top physician for the Miami Veterans Affairs health care system surrendered his medical license in New York and faced sanctions in Florida one year before he was tapped for his current position. The 2010 sanctions resulted from the case of a patient with a torn large intestine, who died under the care of Dr. Vincent A. DeGennaro, at a Fort Lauderdale hospital.
The Miami Herald reported Saturday that a 2008 complaint filed with the Florida Board of Medicine by Florida's Department of Health alleges that DeGennaro misinterpreted his patient's X-rays and failed to do proper follow up, resulting in the patient's 2003 death.
DeGennaro, 68, did not answer a phone listed for his home in Pompano Beach Saturday.=
It was not immediately clear why the complaint was filed so many years after the incident.
A spokesman for the Miami VA told the Herald in a statement that DeGennaro's selection in 2011 as the senior executive physician for the Miami VA health care system had been approved by the Veterans Affairs office in Washington, D.C. DeGennaro oversees dozens of doctors at one Miami hospital and several community clinics. He still performs surgeries and sees patients.
In 2010 DeGennaro surrendered his medical license in New York in an agreement stemming from the 2003 case. He agreed never to reapply for a physician's license or again practice medicine in the state. DeGennaro could have had his license also suspended in Florida, but instead the Board of Medicine censured him and fined him $5,000, as well as charging him legal costs and 50 hours of community service.
DeGennaro's case comes as the nation has increasingly scrutinized the Veterans Administration's health care system for extensive delays and other problems in Florida and nationwide.