The Department of Veterans Affairs has come under intense scrutiny this year for alleged falsification of medical records as well as medical negligence. The VA was recently brought into the public eye again by California Congressman Adam Schiff, who alleges that the money the VA uses to pay its medical malpractice payouts "does not appear" to be coming from the VA itself.
"The money for each payout comes from the federal treasury, not the VA’s own budget, according to California Congressman Adam Schiff. The congressman says he believes this may indicate an accountability issue with the department," according to CBS Los Angeles.
This news comes after damaging reports earlier this year which revealed a number of problems at the VA, which led to the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. One of the biggest problems was that the facility was falsifying the medical records of patients to make it appear that new patients were being seen within 14 days. However, less than half of new patients were actually seen within 14 days in 2013.
In addition, the VA faced allegations of wrongful death, after findings by the Center for Investigative Reporting alleged that nearly 1,000 veterans were victims of wrongful death in the decade after 9/11 at the hands of the VA. Among the cases were 40 deaths because of treatment delays at a VA hospital in Phoenix, and 23 deaths that were linked to cancer screenings that had been delayed for 4 years.
Fortunately, improvements are in the works at the VA. Congressman Schiff noted that "a website will soon be created for veterans to check if their doctors have ever been sued for malpractice and found to be at fault," according to CBS LA.