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VA Failed To Report 90% Of Poor-Performing Doctors, Watchdog Says
The Department of Veterans Affairs fails to report 90 percent of poor-performing doctors to national and state databases intended to alert other hospitals of misconduct, according to findings released Monday by the Government Accountability Office.
The government watchdog found VA officials were slow to investigate when concerns were raised about the performance of certain doctors. Further, in eight out of nine cases, the VA failed to report doctors who didn’t meet health care standards.
“Until [the Veterans Health Administration] strengthens its oversight of these processes, veterans may be at increased risk of receiving unsafe care through the VA health care system,” the GAO concluded.
The findings were based on reviews of 148 instances of complaints against VA medical providers at five hospitals from 2013 to 2017. The concerns ranged from unsafe or inconsistent practices to doctors incorrectly recording patient visits.
The VA failed to document about half of those cases, the GAO found. For 16 doctors, the VA waited multiple months or years to initiate reviews of complaints.
During that time, nine doctors were disciplined by the VA for possible professional incompetence or misconduct, or they resigned to avoid disciplinary action. But the VA didn’t report any of them to state licensing boards, and only one was reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank. Those databases are designed to inform other health care facilities about doctors’ past performance.
In one instance, a doctor who resigned from the VA while under investigation was not reported, and later hired to another, non-VA hospital in the same city. Two years later, that hospital disciplined the doctor for the same conduct that prompted the VA investigation, the GAO reported.
The GAO is recommending the VA improve oversight of how concerns raised about doctors are reviewed and documented. In response to the watchdog report, VA Deputy Chief of Staff Gina Farrisee wrote the agency agreed with the recommendations and would comply with them by October 2018.
“Without documentation and timely reviews of providers’ clinical care, [VA] officials may lack information needed to reasonably ensure that providers are competent to provide safe, high quality care to veterans,” the GAO report reads.
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has recently received complaints from whistleblowers that seem to back up the GAO findings of VA leadership failing to address concerns about doctors, inspectors wrote.
A subcommittee of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is planning to meet Wednesday morning to discuss the report publicly.
Read the full report here.
©2017 the Stars and Stripes. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
The former Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs thinks that the VA needs to start researching medical marijuana. Not in a bit. Not soon. Right goddamn now.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's withholding of $391 million in military aid to Ukraine was linked to his request that the Ukrainians look into a claim — debunked as a conspiracy theory — about the 2016 U.S. election, a senior presidential aide said on Thursday, the first time the White House acknowledged such a connection.
Trump and administration officials had denied for weeks that they had demanded a "quid pro quo" - a Latin phrase meaning a favor for a favor - for delivering the U.S. aid, a key part of a controversy that has triggered an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives against the Republican president.
But Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, acknowledged in a briefing with reporters that the U.S. aid — already approved by Congress — was held up partly over Trump's concerns about a Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer server alleged to be in Ukraine.
"I have news for everybody: Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy," Mulvaney said.
CEYLANPINAR, Turkey (Reuters) - Shelling could be heard at the Syrian-Turkish border on Friday morning despite a five-day ceasefire agreed between Turkey and the United States, and Washington said the deal covered only a small part of the territory Ankara aims to seize.
Reuters journalists at the border heard machine-gun fire and shelling and saw smoke rising from the Syrian border battlefield city of Ras al Ain, although the sounds of fighting had subsided by mid-morning.
The truce, announced on Thursday by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence after talks in Ankara with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, sets out a five-day pause to let the Kurdish-led SDF militia withdraw from an area controlled by Turkish forces.
The SDF said air and artillery attacks continued to target its positions and civilian targets in Ral al Ain.
"Turkey is violating the ceasefire agreement by continuing to attack the town since last night," SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted.
The Kurdish-led administration in the area said Turkish truce violations in Ras al Ain had caused casualties, without giving details.
Boyfriends can sometimes do some really weird shit. Much of it is well-meaning: A boy I liked in high school once sang me a screamo song that he wrote over the phone. He thought it would be sweet, and while I appreciated that he wanted to share it with me, I also had no idea what he was saying. Ah, young love.
Sure, this sounds cringeworthy. But then there's 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker, who appears to be, dare I say, the best boyfriend?
The Colt Model 1911 .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol that John Browning dreamed up more than a century ago remains on of the most beloved sidearms in U.S. military history. Hell, there's a reason why Army Gen. Scott Miller, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, still rocks an M1911A1 on his hip despite the fact that the Army no longer issues them to soldiers.
But if scoring one of the Army's remaining M1911s through the Civilian Marksmanship Program isn't enough to satisfy your adoration for the classic sidearm, then Colt has something right up your alley: the Colt Model 1911 'Black Army' pistol.