Three years, and hundreds of millions of dollars later, the VA Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona seems to have gotten WORSE, according to a recent internal VA administration evaluation.
The money has been pouring in, to the tune of an extra $100 million a year, and nothing is getting better. Veterans are still dying unnecessarily. Wait times are getting worse!
“This is ground zero here in Phoenix, Ariz. It is a cesspool. It’s the worst example of VA health care in the United States — period,” said Brandon Coleman who was one of the original whistle-blowers in the scandal.
“After the scandal hit in 2014, money poured into this place like there was no tomorrow. The annual budget was increased more than $100 million per year and yet wait times continue to get worse. Veterans continue to die,” he said.
The hospital was found to have paid out more than $12 million just in “unauthorized” and “improper” payments over several years to an Arizona eye-care provider, according to the review.
In January, The U.S. Office of Special Counsel sent its own investigative findings to the White House and Congress, saying the Phoenix VA continues to struggle with significant patient wait times.
“In one case, the VA found that a veteran who died of cardiovascular disease did not receive a cardiology exam his VA physician ordered. The VA determined that had he received the exam in a timely fashion, further testing and interventions could have prevented his death,” the report said.
The report also found that during a week in October 2015, 3,900 appointments were canceled, and 12 patients “may have experienced harm that could have been prevented without the delay in care.”
Other concerns: On average, the Phoenix VA has 1,100 patients waiting longer than 30 days for appointments; the most overwhelmed is the psychotherapy division, with patients waiting an average of 75 days.
We found out in 2014 that officials had falsified records at the medical center in Phoenix, hiding the amount of time that veterans had to wait for medical appointments.1,700 veterans were kept on such waiting lists and veterans waited an average of 115 days for an initial primary care appointment.
89,000 veterans seek medical care through the Phoenix VA, but the government facility still has the lowest rating, just 1 of 5 points.
Our Veterans deserve much better. They have been getting a raw deal all around for decades and those in DC seem to keep them on the back burner and it’s obnoxious!
Waste, fraud and abuse still proliferates in the VA system, especially in Pheonix and there is ABSOLUTELY no reason for it beyond sheer incompetence.
There is a new sheriff in town, however. I would imagine after this latest report, some heads will roll. I have a sneaking suspicion that President Donald Trump will, unlike Obama, give this catastrophe a high personal priority.
It took Obama a month before he even mentioned the issue after the scandal broke in 2014, I believe we will hear from President Trump on this by the end of the day.
Can we all get a “You’re Fired!”
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