The Department of Veteran Affairs Under much scrutiny

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Posted on May 21, 2014

Last month it was reported that the Department of Veteran Affairs was under fire after it was found out that there had been some controversy over 'cooked books' that lead to the cover up of deadly delays for veterans to receive care. 

This Wednesday, Obama met with the Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki about this issue and announced that, "I will not stand for it", reported CNN

Last month in Phoenix, it had been reported that the department used fraudulent record keeping---secret lists-- that covered up excessive waiting periods for veterans. Some of the veterans died in the process. Currently, Sharon Helman, the Phoenix VA Director, was put on administrative leave following the reports that she had received a bonus in April in addition to the bonus she received in 2013. 

The number of VA facilities under investigation has expanded to 26, reported CNN on Tuesday. That was up from the 10 VA facilities that were under investigation the previous week.

CNN has been reporting on this story for the last six months--reporting on the delays in medical appointments for veterans across the, some of them dying or suffering harm as they wait for appointments and care. The most disturbing happened last month when they reported that 40 veterans had died in Phoenix while they waited for care at the VA. Sources had been revealed to CNN concerning the details of a 'secret waiting list'.

CNN reported that an internal memo from the VA in 2010 showed that officials had warned of "inappropriate scheduling practices" to cover up excessive waits for veterans four years ago. Dr. Samuel Foote, a retired VA hospital physician, told CNN that, "VA managers are more worried about being able to report they were meeting deadlines, rather than getting accurate information on what was happening". As long as the numbers looked good, there was no need for the upper management to get accurate numbers.

This is unacceptable. These veterans deserve better health care, especially after risking their lives to fight for their country. Falsifying records and delaying care is just one of the many ways people are affected by medical malpractice. Many of these veterans come home with injuries sustained in combat--some physical and some mental. To think that we, regular American citizens, can go to my physician when we are not feeling well--and it may just be a cold--but these veterans have to wait excessive amounts of time to get the care they need and deserve--dying in the process.

At Donahoe Kearney, LLP we help clients harmed by medical malpractice and their families. We hold hospitals, HMOs and healthcare corporations accountable for the harms they cause to patients. If you work with us, you will get our experience as nationally board certified trial lawyers to help solve some of the problems you face-whether you have a child with cerebral palsy due to hospital malpractice, have lost a loved one because of HMO medical errors or are a patient injured due to medical malpractice

Contact us and let us help you. With us you get individual attention. You get a thorough investigation. And you get answers. 

It's a process. And you can't go it alone. 

Frank R. Kearney, Attorney-at-Law
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