Government

Trump Just Uncovered SCANDAL OF CENTURY – Here’s Why Vets Are Dying at the VA

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The Department of Veterans Affairs has allowed its hospitals across the country to hire health care providers with revoked medical licenses for at least 15 years in violation of federal law, a USA TODAY investigation found.

The VA issued national guidelines in 2002 giving local hospitals discretion to hire clinicians after “prior consideration of all relevant facts surrounding” any revocations and as long as they still had a license in one state.

But a federal law passed in 1999 bars the VA from employing any health care worker whose license has been yanked by any state.

Hospital officials at the VA in Iowa City relied on the illegal guidance earlier this year to hire neurosurgeon John Henry Schneider, who had revealed in his application that he had numerous malpractice claims and settlements and Wyoming had revoked his license after a patient death. He still had a license in Montana.

The VA moved to fire Schneider Nov. 29 after inquiries about his case from USA TODAY. He resigned instead. The VA said at the time that Iowa City hospital officials had received “incorrect guidance” green-lighting his hiring in April. The agency conceded this week that it was national policy.

VA Secretary David Shulkin said in an interview that he has ordered the rewriting of the guidelines and launched a nationwide review to identify and remove any other health care workers with revoked licenses.

“It’s very clear to me that our job is to have the best quality doctors that we can provide to take care of veterans, and that’s going to be our policy,” he said.

Shulkin said health care providers with prior sanctions against their medical licenses short of revocation — suspensions or reprimands, for example — also will be reviewed to ensure they are providing quality care to veterans at the VA.

The USA TODAY investigation published earlier this month found that in addition to hiring Schneider, VA hospitals have knowingly hired other health care providers with past license discipline. In some cases, they have gone on to harm veterans.

A VA hospital in Oklahoma hired a psychiatrist previously sanctioned for sexual misconduct who went on to sleep with a VA patient. The VA in Tomah, Wis., hired a psychiatrist previously disciplined for medication violations who went on to overprescribe narcotics to veterans. A Louisiana VA clinic hired a psychologist with felony convictions. The VA ended up firing him after determining he was a “direct threat to others” and the VA’s mission.

USA TODAY reported that the malpractice claims against Schneider included cases alleging he made surgical mistakes that left patients maimed, paralyzed or dead, and that his veteran patients in Iowa already have suffered complications. One of those patients, 65-year-old Richard Joseph Hopkins, died from an infection in August after four brain surgeries by Schneider in a span of four weeks.

Nearly 50 members of Congress have called on the VA for answers since USA TODAY’s story ran.

On Monday, 31 members of the U.S. House of Representatives fired off letters to the VA secretary expressing “extreme concern.”

This is INSANE and Needs to change QUICKLY! Our Troops deserve way better than this!

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