» Probe Finds That Frequent Delays At VA Hospitals Resulted In Patient Deaths

Probe Finds That Frequent Delays At VA Hospitals Resulted In Patient Deaths

Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) December 6, 2013 - Delays at VA hospitals have resulted in late-stage diagnosis and sometimes death.

Legal Help for Veterans is a law firm helping veterans get the benefits they deserve.

According to the findings of an investigation that were made public on November 20, The Department of Veterans’ Affairs was aware of the long waits and delays in care that resulted in the deaths of at least six veterans at one VA hospital in South Carolina — and did little or nothing to prevent them.

The probe also suggests that the number of deaths linked to delays at the hospital may be as many as 20, and that delayed care is not limited to the Columbia, S.C., facility but can be found in other VA hospitals as well.

The William Jennings Bryan Dorn Veterans Medical Center in South Carolina’s state capital sits at the epicenter of a widespread culture of delays in diagnosis and treatment that, in the case of Dorn, has led to unnecessary death. And the problem of delayed care within the VA system of hospitals has often involved (but has by no means been limited to) routine diagnostic tests such as colonoscopies that can identify and permit the removal of pre-cancerous polyps.

The DVA has been monitoring the problems at Dorn and other VA hospitals — including facilities in Georgia, Mississippi and Texas — for quite some time, having issued a memorandum with the results of an investigation on March 25. The office of the inspector general of the DVA also issued a report on September 13, which affirmed details about the delays at Dorn and stated bluntly that 700 of the delays were “critical.”

Some of the more severe delays at Dorn include the following examples:

* One veteran had to wait nine months for a colonoscopy, which was termed “a significant delay” in VA records. Ultimately, he underwent surgery when the cancer was diagnosed at stage 3.

* Another veteran who was deemed a possible candidate for disease of the esophagus waited four months for an appointment and another 11 months for an endoscopy, which revealed that he had later-stage esophageal cancer.

With the rising number of delays in care at Dorn a poorly kept secret — by December 2011 there was a backlog of 3,800 patients — Congress got involved and threw the hospital a $1 million financial lifeline in September 2011 in order to resolve its problems. But only one-third of funds were used to relieve patient waiting lists.

The VA will say, “We redirected those dollars to go somewhere it was needed,” said Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “Where would it be more needed than to prevent the deaths of veterans?”

Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800

  • Memphis VA Broke Protocols Regarding Veteran Wait List
    Kristina L. Derro, Esq. After complaints from Congress and special counsel, a government audit found that 140 veterans who were seeking specialized service at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in Memphis were wrongly booted from wait lists. Some of these veterans had already been waiting months. The complaints asserted that the VA was attempting […]
  • VA discloses employee firings and disciplinary actions online to public
    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in July posted an online list of adverse actions taken against employees this year including demotions, suspensions and removals. It marked the first time such information was shared publicly. VA officials described the list as an effort to increase transparency in the department. The list shows that disciplinary actions […]
  • VA Resumes Caregiver Support Program
    Kristina L. Derro, Esq. There has been controversy swirling around the VA’s decision earlier this year to remove thousands of caregivers from the Caregiver Support Program, leaving many veterans helpless. This criticism led to a three month suspension, during which the VA says it has reviewed the issues and “have taken immediate steps to improve […]
  • Revolutionary prosthetic arm allows veterans to regain movement
    A new line of prosthetics developed by the Pentagon could soon change the lives of former service members who have lost their limbs on the battlefield. Two army veterans recently tested prosthetic arms at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital in New York. The prosthetics are called LUKE, which stands for Life Under Kinetic […]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required