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Delay for 4,500 appointments results in harm at Augusta VA, memo shows

Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013 9:25 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013 2:58 PM
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Delays in getting 4,500 appointments at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta resulted in some patients being harmed, according to an internal VA memo last year uncovered by the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.

The committee wrote Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki on Thursday seeking more information about what happened to Augusta VA management as a result and specifically seeking more information on former Augusta VA Director Rebecca Wiley. The committee wants to see her performance reviews as far back as 2007 as well as any bonuses or disciplinary action she received. The committee is also asking for performance reviews, bonuses and disciplinary actions for other Augusta VA management and a current list of appointment backlogs.

A VA spokesman did not return a call or e-mail late Thursday afternoon seeking comment.

According to the October 2012 VA internal memo, the VA regional office in Atlanta began a review of colonoscopies at the Augusta VA after discovering a similar problem in getting appointments at another of its facilities. The review turned up a backlog of 4,503 consults, including 340 where it was needed to make a diagnosis and 1,304 that were needed for surveillance. That prompted the VA to look back through two years of its cancer registries to look at cases where a gastrointestinal cancer occurred.

It found 53 that got an additional review and of those five resulted in an “institutional disclosure.”

In a note on a letter to Shinseki, the House Committee quotes a VA handbook that says institutional disclosures to a patient or family are done when “an adverse event has occurred during the patient’s care that resulted in or is reasonably expected to result in death or serious injury.”

The internal memo does not say what happened to those five patients. In its letter, the House Committee said it has confirmed that six veterans died due to delayed colorectal screening at the VA in Columbia. Wiley was director of that VA for a time as well.

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griff6035 09/26/13 - 11:21 pm

I am schedule for one soon but after seeing this article I will be asking questions, tomorrow.

bigj706 09/27/13 - 06:05 am
The VA has been doing that

The VA has been doing that way before Obama care

JimS 09/27/13 - 06:36 am
Free Wars, Pass on Care by Those Served!!

When writing about the VA care system, or any of the many issues the VA is charged to do as the countries responsibility, don't stop at attacking the VA as the republicans do, while obstructing full funding for decades, compare to the private sector in same that they don't do as they seek to privatize for corporate profits, like our wars they rubber stamp costs of, the peoples responsibility!!!!

America's Free War's and No Sacrifice, of the present generations and passing costs onto the next while ignoring or giving lip service on the issues of the veterans' from, for Those Who've Served In, DeJa-Vu!!

"If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too" "not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

"12 years also is a long time. We now have a lifetime responsibility to a generation of service members, veterans and their families." Dr. Jonathan Woodson 11 Sep. 2013: With 9/11 Came Lifetime Responsibility

RM: "We got a huge round of tax cuts in this country a few weeks before 9/11. Once 9/11 happened and we invaded Afghanistan, we kept the tax cuts anyway. How did we think we were going to pay for that war? Did we think it was free? Then, when we started a second simultaneous war in another country, we gave ourselves a second huge round of tax cuts. After that second war started. The wars, I guess, we thought would be free, don`t worry about it, civilians. Go about your business." 23 May 2013

"US wars in Afghanistan, Iraq to cost $6 trillion"
Which gave rapid rise and far reaching spread of the al Qaeda ideology practices, not far removed from the modern day so called christian and jewish ideologies spoken and practiced!

"Why in 2009 were we still using paper?" VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers "When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we've been operating on a six month wait for over a decade." 27 March 2013


"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today." - Abraham Lincoln

Something never mentioned by those that did and those that fully supported the doing, The rubber stamping rapidly rising deficits started Before 9/11 and these wars and continued with right up to the collapsed economy!!

Deficits, especially huge, means the costs of wars and long term results from are passed on to later generations, present is all borrowed, DeJa-Vu all over again!!

USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71

carcraft 09/27/13 - 09:16 am
Well yes, but this is a

Well yes, but this is a GOVERNMENT RUN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM. What makes you think that an insurance system ran and organized by the government, administrated by the IRS ( remember the TEA party and IRS scandal) will work better than the VA system? You will have bureaucrats trying to cut cost and contain spending while padding thier own nests and claiming responsiblity for nothing as patients suffer..there you have it!!!

GnipGnop 09/27/13 - 09:24 am
Preview to Obamacare

I have said it before anything the giverment gets involved in gets worse not better. Redtape, dealing with people that get paid no matter how incompetent they are...the government is no longer by the people for the people. If it was there would be no laws passed that did not incluse those passing them. We have become what we fled England for....

daphne3520 09/27/13 - 11:51 am
AMEN to "JIMS'" Post....NO TEXT

NO text!

pgapeach2 09/27/13 - 09:24 pm
@Griff6035 at least

@Griff6035 qt least you have an appointment I'm still trying to get mine. I guess that will be rectified soon.

pgapeach2 09/27/13 - 09:25 pm
@Griff6035 at least

@Griff6035 at least you have an appointment I'm still trying to get mine. I guess that will be rectified soon.

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