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A small victory for veterans in the VA health care system.


Berta
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Question

Some here might recall that this bill grew out of an extensive VA Office of Accountability complaint I made. 

It is a small start , but could help reduce the malpractice statistics of the VA.

There is much more the VA needs to do however. The Senate has unanimously passed this bill.

My complaint to the VA Office of Accountability stemmed from what I learned after my wrongful death FTCA case was settled.

The references to the NPDB and the VHA Administrative , and from the GAO ,Handbook came from my input.

The multiple doctors who malpracticed on my husband were never reported to the NPDB or to any NY state licensing board. They continued to be employed by the VA and to diagnose and treat other veterans. One doctor had to get additional training- she had misdiagnosed my husband's stroke ,but I heard she got fired after she returned from the training.

The Sponsors did not change something very serious that I wrote to them about- but there is more legislation in Congress, that could change that issue.

This bill falls short of what I wanted for veterans.That means more work for me but at least something is being done and it bolsters the Bill I have at the H VAC, which hopefully will get somewhere.

 

 

 

 

https://www.disabledveterans.org/2019/12/23/senate-bill-negligent-va-doctors/

and from 

116th CONGRESS
1st Session
 
 
S. 221
 

AN ACT

"To amend title 38, United States Code, to require the Under Secretary of Health to report major adverse personnel actions involving certain health care employees to the National Practitioner Data Bank and to applicable State licensing boards, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Department of Veterans Affairs Provider Accountability Act”.

SEC. 2. Accountability within Veterans Health Administration.

 

(a) Reporting major adverse actions to National Practitioner Data Bank and State licensing boards.—Section 7461 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

“(f) (1) Whenever the Under Secretary for Health (or an official designated by the Under Secretary) brings charges based on conduct or performance against a section 7401(1) employee and as a result of those charges a covered major adverse action is taken against the employee, the Under Secretary shall, not later than 30 days after the date on which such covered major adverse action is carried out—

“(A) transmit to the National Practitioner Data Bank of the Department of Health and Human Services and the applicable State licensing board the name of the employee, a description of the covered major adverse action, and a description of the reason for the covered major adverse action; and

“(B) update the VetPro System, or successor system, with a record of the covered major adverse action taken and an indication that information was transmitted under subparagraph (A).

https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/221/all-info

 

Edited by Berta
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Berta, like you said, it's a small start. But, thankfully, it is a start. Not only is the VA responsible, but any VA employee should be held accountable for malpractice. Identifying those bad apples is a positive step. If you can get a national VSO  like the VFW to co-sponsor, it would be a big push. Thank you for all your hard work.

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Thanks,  yes it is all hard work, and the Chief Advocacy Officer from AMVETS is also pushing for a similar issue.We have been in contact.

Plus I  have a malpractice accountability bill with the H VAC that they may or may not  support.

He ,the AMVET man, raised an issue in email to me yesterday that I have been fighting over ( with Congress (H VAC for Years) and my next 'war plan' is to call the WH hot line again and make a complaint strong enough  that it would trigger them to contact the VA Office of Accountability again.

That is the only way this Bill  (S 221) was developed.

This article was written in 2015 - I have no idea how much the VA paid out since 2015.

The Fayetteville AR  devastating malpractice situation 2 years ago as well  as the recent potential serial killer incident:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/investigations/2019/11/15/va-hospital-surveillance-under-review-potential-serial-killer-case/4190200002/

( This is not the first serial killer employed by the VA.)

will probably cost them ( ad the tax payers)  millions.

 

"Taxpayers have shelled out $871 million in medical malpractice settlements over the last decade to make up for mistakes by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), while the employees who created the liability often also continued to collect checks.

Settlement payments have gone up sharply in recent years, totaling $230 million since 2014, with this year by far the most expensive on record even before it closes."

https://dailycaller.com/2015/12/17/va-has-paid-230m-in-medical-malpractice-settlements/

 

 

 

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