The Topeka Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Public domain)

The Kansas City VA Medical Center is still dealing with the fallout of a violent confrontation last year between one of its police officers and a patient, with the Kansas City Police Department launching a homicide investigation.

And now Topeka's VA hospital is dealing with an internal dispute between leaders of its Veterans Affairs police force that raises new questions about how the agency nationwide treats patients — and the officers who report misconduct by colleagues.

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Robert Morris Levy (Associated Press/Washington County Sheriff's Department)

A former doctor at an Arkansas Veteran Affairs hospital was charged Tuesday with involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of three veterans to whom he allegedly provided false diagnoses.

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(DoD photo)

Editor's Note: This article by Richard Sisk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Veterans may have wrongly been billed by the Department of Veterans Affairs for emergency room medical treatment at non-VA facilities totaling at least $53.3 million, according to the office of the VA Inspector General.

Following an audit, the IG estimated that "about 17,400 veterans, with bills totaling at least $53.3 million, were negatively affected" by either initial denial or ultimate rejection of their claims for reimbursement.

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Marine veteran Brian Tally has been fighting for the last three years.

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Photo courtesy of Brian Tally

It's been three years since doctors misdiagnosed an infection that was devouring the spine of Marine Corps veteran Brian Tally.

It's been two years since his hopes for damages from the Department of Veterans Affairs were dashed when he was informed that the doctor who made the mistake was a contractor — and the statute of limitations for legal action against the care provider had passed just weeks before he got the news.

And it's been a little under a year since he drafted the first "Tally Bill," a piece of legislation that he and a handful of vets and advocates stitched together — before that first bill died quietly in Congress in Sept. 2018.

Now, Tally might finally have a chance for closure.

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(U.S. Navy/Petty Officer 1st Class RJ Stratchko)

Editor's Note: This article by Amy Bushatz originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

All Department of Veterans Affairs health care facilities will be completely smoke-free by October, with all forms of tobacco use, including e-cigarettes and vaping, banned from facility grounds, officials announced in a news release Monday.

The policy change, first published by the Veterans Health Administration in early March, ends the use of designated smoking areas or shelters at VA hospitals.

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