Senate passes reform legislation, FBI launches criminal probe into VA medical care scandal
The Department of Veterans Affair’s “scheduling crisis” continues to escalate, as both the Senate and the FBI have gotten involved in an attempt to reform the system and potentially prosecute those who were responsible for the wrongdoing, according to an article in the Washington Post.
The scandal originated with fraud allegations at a VA medical center in Phoenix, Arizona, where a former employed claimed that schedulers were pressured by supervisors to falsify records so that it appeared that veterans were receiving medical care within 14 days. The bonuses and promotions of hospital administrators were apparently contingent upon each facility’s ability to reach the 14-day goal. In reality, however, veterans – many with serious and life-threatening illnesses and injuries – were waiting months for an appointment.
FBI Director James B. Comey said that the agency has expanded its probe to 69 other facilities in addition to Phoenix, and will seek to determine whether VA hospital administrators knowingly lied about wait times. In cases where criminal activity is detected, the Justice Department will be alerted.
Additionally, Senate lawmakers sought reform by passing bills that would allow the VA to contract with private medical centers in order to meet demand, allocate more money within the budget to hire more staff, and give the VA secretary more leeway to demote or fire senior executives for poor performance. The House also approved a similar stand-alone bill.
If you are a veteran who has been injured or negatively impacted by medical malpractice, medical negligence, or the recent VA scheduling scandal, the law firm of Hodes Milman Liebeck can help. Call today at 866-730-1976 or go online at hmlm.com to learn more about your options.