At least 40 U.S. veterans died while waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system; many of them were placed on a secret waiting list.
The secret list was part of an elaborate scheme designed by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix who were trying to hide that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor, according to a recently retired top VA doctor and several high-level sources.
A fatal wait: Veterans languish and die on a VA hospital's secret list
For six months, CNN has been reporting on extended delays in health care appointments suffered by veterans across the country and who died while waiting for appointments and care. But the new revelations about the Phoenix VA are perhaps the most disturbing and striking to come to light thus far.
Internal e-mails obtained by CNN show that top management at the VA hospital in Arizona knew about the practice and even defended it.
Dr. Sam Foote just retired after spending 24 years with the VA system in Phoenix. The veteran doctor told CNN in an exclusive interview that the Phoenix VA works off two lists for patient appointments:
There's an "official" list that's shared with officials in Washington and shows the VA has been providing timely appointments, which Foote calls a sham list. And then there's the real list that's hidden from outsiders, where wait times can last more than a year.
More - CNN - Fatal Wait
Deaths at Phoenix VA hospital may be tied to delayed careThe chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs said Wednesday that dozens of VA hospital patients in Phoenix may have died while awaiting medical care.
Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., said staff investigators also have evidence that the Phoenix VA Health Care System keeps two sets of records to conceal prolonged waits that patients must endure for doctor appointments and treatment.
"It appears as though there could be as many as 40 veterans whose deaths could be related to delays in care," Miller announced to a stunned audience during a committee hearing Wednesday.
Thomas Lynch, assistant deputy undersecretary for health and clinical operations for the Department of Veterans Affairs, testified that he was not aware of the Arizona record-keeping practice, and asked for more detailed information from congressional staffers.
Miller's response: "So, your people (in Arizona) had two lists, and they even kept it from your knowledge?"
The congressman issued a protective order to preserve relevant records in the Phoenix VA system.
More - VA Care Delayed
But no one at the Veterans Administration is aware that this is happening! Also VA executives say that these are isolated incidents.
Isolated to VA Healthcare system. Here is a list of Veterans Hospitals that have secret lists or where Veterans have died waiting on healthcare. Others on the list are medical malpractice issues that involved multiple veterans
- Arizona - McCain, Flake call for Senate probe of Phoenix VA
- South Carolina -Veterans dying because of health care delays at Dorn VA
- Georgia - VA hospital in Georgia apologizes for deaths after delayed care
- Florida - VA colonoscopies put Miami vets at risk
- Tennessee - VA Faces Questions Over Tainted Colonoscopies
- Texas - MORE THAN 80 VETERANS’ DEATHS CAUSED, OR BEING CAUSED, BY DELAYS
A simple Google search will turn up numerous cases of medical malpractice at VA health care centers, some that resulted in death. Some of the most egregious incidents include:And Obama just said he was his brothers keeper? If so, where is the outrage from the White House? Why isn't the commander in chief going on network television and telling the American people he will save the lives of those who served under him?
There are thousands more individual stories of malpractice, far more than one article can contain, and they keep stacking up. In February, it was found that employees at the VA Greater Los Angeles Medical Center admitted to destroying thousands of patient records because requests for tests and treatment was damaging the hospitals efficiency numbers.
- In South Carolina, 19 veterans died because of delayed diagnoses.
- In New York, only half of 29 facilities had nurses adequate enough to perform their duties.
- In Georgia, more than 5,000 beneficiaries went without consultations for gastrointestinal procedures.
- In 2011, a veteran in Biloxi, Miss., died of lung cancer because he was not told that an X-ray 3 years earlier revealed two masses in his lungs. He was not referred for further evaluation or treatment.
- In 2010, a veteran went into the VA facility in Dallas for a minor operation, but the procedure was botched when doctors mistakenly clamped off his carotid artery, robbing his brain of oxygen for 15 minutes. The result was a massive stroke that left the man paralyzed. He died a year later.
- In Memphis, 3 patients died as a result of medication errors. One was given a drug when there was a well documented allergy to that drug, another was overdosed, and the third wasn’t given vital medication at all.
Veterans dying waiting on healthcare, secret lists, destroyed records, poorly cleaned equipment, unqualified providers.. Really U.S. Government, Really? As you do to the least of these....
Read More - Politisite