WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Office of Special Counsel reported that the Department of Veterans Affairs often admits to serious deficiencies in patient care, while implausibly denying any impact on veterans’ health.
According to a letter sent by Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner to the White House and Congress, her office reached this conclusion after reviewing reports from cases at VA facilities throughout the country. The letter also finds unreasonable the VA’s response to the following issues at the facility in Jackson, Mississippi:
· Chronic understaffing in the Primary Care Unit resulted in physicians being unable to address critical medical alerts about patients for up to three weeks
· Improper physician supervision and licensing of nurse practitioners, which the whistleblower alleges has led to misdiagnoses of patients
· The use of “ghost clinics” – scheduling veterans for appointments without an assigned provider – that resulted in excessive wait times and veterans leaving without treatment;
· Nurse practitioners improperly prescribing narcotics to veterans in violation of federal law
· A radiologist’s failure to review patients’ CT and X-ray imagesClick here to read the letter sent by Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner.
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