Veterans Administration Medical Malpractice Information

 

VAmalpractice.info-Information about medical malpractice by VA doctors, & VA nurses & how the VA handles medical malpractice tort claims, section 151 benefits, lawyers who represent veterans with malpractice claims and other things that adversely affect the quality of medical care that veterans receive from  the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Information on medical malpractice by VA, or Veterans Administration hospitals, physicians, and clinics run by the Department of Veterans Affairs. While many veterans receive satisfactory medical care from the VA, others do not. This site is designed to provide information to those veterans, who have received negligent medical care, from a Veterans Administration hospital, doctor, physician’s assistant, surgeon or other VA medical provider and to encourage discussion about this problem. The VA is responsible for the US paying  out millions of dollars a week for medical malpractice claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act. It would be better for our veterans, and for the taxpayers, if the VA chose to provide better medical care instead.

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Vet who pleaded for care at VA town hall has cancer

NASHVILLE — The same gut instinct that helped Robert Morgan survive war in the jungles of Vietnam spurred him to stand up and plead for quicker medical care at a public meeting.

“I’ll die, and the reason I’ll die is because I don’t receive timely care,” he said to the director of the VA hospital in Nashville on Sept. 22.

The Goodlettsville, Tenn., man said he probably had cancer that had metastasized.

He was right.

On Oct. 7, he learned he had pancreatic cancer that had spread to his liver. He spent last weekend in that hospital on an IV after days of vomiting. He has his first appointment with an oncologist Tuesday.

Morgan said the cancer should have been diagnosed earlier because he had several risk factors — diabetes, exposure to Agent Orange and a flare-up of pancreatitis two years ago.

The Nashville hospital is the flagship of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Tennessee Valley Healthcare System. The average time to see a primary care physician there is double the national average, according to a recent report released by the U.S. Office of Inspector General. Satellite clinics in Dover, Clarksville, Murfreesboro and Hopkinsville have the same lags. And all of its clinics, including the ones that Morgan relied upon, lacked training on patient aligned care teams.

That’s a team that is supposed to provide “proactive” and “disease prevention” care, according to the VA’s own definition. Juan Morales, director of Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, agreed with the report’s findings and submitted a plan to complete corrective action by March 1.

Morgan spoke at a town hall meeting that was called after another government audit revealed that the hospital had some of the longest wait times in the nation for patients to see specialists.

According to a government audit, established patients needing to see a specialist didn’t get in the door for 71 days on average.

Morgan said he never missed a doctor’s appointment, yet the cancer went undetected for too long.

“I don’t mean to point fingers at the doctors,” Morgan said. “I’m sure they are overworked and are just doing as good as they can. I am trying not to be bitter.”

‘Deny til they die’

One doctor wrote him a letter on the day of his diagnosis. It was a letter to try to get another Veterans Affairs division to expedite an appeal Morgan made in 2009 of a decision to deny him full disability for post-traumatic stress disorder.

The letter states Morgan’s “prognosis for survival with this condition will depend upon tissue type, but it is likely to be poor. Please help expedite any pending VA claims on Mr. Morgan’s behalf.”

He walked into a VA service office in Nashville with the letter that day and also filed an Agent Orange claim.

“I still haven’t heard anything about my appeals claim, but within 24 hours I had a printed denial in my hand delivered by mail declining my claim for Agent Orange contamination,” Morgan said.

He’d like to get the appeals claim approved retroactively because an extra $1,000 a month would add up to something he could leave to his wife. Currently, he’s deemed 30% disabled because of PTSD.

Morgan was on a reconnaissance platoon with the U.S. Army, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry.

“I received two Bronze Stars within three days of each other, both of them for heroism under fire,” he said. “I received an air medal. You have to make 25 combat insertions into hostile territory to be awarded that medal. I received an Army commendation medal. I received the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. I was just a grunt. A foot soldier. Cannon fodder.”

Morgan said he’s asked a member of the staff of U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., for help because he does not think the VA will make a decision on his appeal before he dies.

“That’s the way they do veterans,” he said. “Veterans talk about it. We got an expression for it. It’s ‘deny til they die.’ ”

David Cowgill VISN 4 PAO receives “I don’t care award” for declaring victory of VISN 4′s quality of care issues during the height of the Pittsburgh VA’s Legionella debacle!

"I don't care" award given to those VA employees who set new standards for spindoctoring the VA" medical malpractice and other things that adversely affect the medical care that veterans recieve from the VA.

David Cowgill VISN 4 PAO receives “I don’t care award”

VISN 4 PAO helps to spread the word about medical malpracte and legionnairres disease

Its time for VAmalpractice.info to recognize those who have contributed the most to covering up what has been going on at the VA. Few people realize that the VA spends millions of dollars each year on its publicity machine. In fact the VA employs a group of spin doctors who make big tobbaco’s publicity efforts seem honorable. The VA probably does have some legitimate need to have a staff who can respond to mediai inquires and compose informational public service announcements, but do the taxpayers really benefit when the VA advertises that its” better than the best?”

Our first winner is David Cowgill whose efforts incuded producing a series of TV ads advertising that VISN 4 was “Better than the best.”Let’s face it takes guts to claim that your “better than the best” when your the subject of a Congressional investigation into an outbreak of Legionairres’ disease, but then again this is the way the VA publicity machine deals with the VA’s problems: declarere victory and go home!

During the height of the Legionalla outbreak these ads featured Michael Moreland claiming that the VA had taken on the leading hospitals in the country and had beaten them in various measurements.

When VISN 4 compared its ability to provide quality health care with the best hospitals in the United States, we equaled or exceeded our competition in every category. This is proof that our nation’s heroes are being provided the quality of health care that they richly deserve.

The measurement of things like “patient satisfation” is subjective and comparison with surveys conducted at nonVA hospitals is difficult and gave the VISN 4 free reign to use fuzzy math at its finest! Intrestingly the spots never mentioned that VISN 4 has the worst ventilator acquired pneumonia rate in the VA system. In fact it was far worse than the 22 other VISNS in the VA, but when your ads are not accountable to any agency for false advertising you can get away with things like this!

If this wasn’t enough his department made liberal use of the VA’s police department to keep Anderson Cooper’s colleagues out of the Pittsburgh VA and prevented members of the media from using recorders when they interviewed Michael E. Moreland, to record the interview. This is a standard reporting practice, which allows reporters to double check to make sure that they are actually quoting someone correctly, was prohibited by Mr. Cowgill and enforced by the VA’s armed police officers! So much for freedon of the opress in VISN 4.

Stoughton at sstoughton@bloomberg.net

VA OIG confirms medical malpractice at the Erie, PA VA & Pittsburgh VAMC in treatment of cancer patient. More about this and other medical malpractice lawsuits involving the Pennsylvani Department of Veterans Affairs Hospitals including Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Wilkes Barre, Erie, Butler, Coatesville & Lebanon & lawyers who represent veterans with these cases at VAmalpractice.info
VA OIG confirms medical malpractice at the Erie, PA VA & Pittsburgh VAMC in treatment of cancer patient.

VA declares victory over quality of care issues, despite the facts: or

“Maybe they’re drinking too much of their own Kool-Aid”

The September 25, 2013, VA OIG’s report “Quality of Care Issues: Erie VAMC & VA Pittsburgh Health System” is yet another in a series which should be called “More news from Michael Moreland and VISN 4.” The OIG’s 11 page report tells a sorry story about the medical treatment that a veteran received from August 15, 2102 through October 1, 2012 for his liver cancer, it tells an even sorrier tale about the “treatment” that this veteran and his family received from an institution that has the audacity to spend the taxpayer’s money to advertise that “it is better than the best.” These six weeks turned out to be the only medical care that the veteran would ever receive from the VA, as he died on October 6, 2012. The OIG found: We substantiated the allegation that VA providers did not diagnose the patient’s cancer.. We found VA providers missed opportunities to identify the patient’s cancer and determined several factors that may have contributed to providers not making the cancer diagnosis… We substantiated the allegation that the patient’s pain was not fully addressed… We substantiated the allegation that there were scheduling delays in the patient’s referrals and follow-up care… We substantiated the allegation that this patient did not receive comprehensive oversight through the continuum of his care… During interviews, many referring providers from the CBOC, Erie VAMC, and Pittsburgh HSC told us it was difficult to communicate with the gastroenterology and Hepatology Clinic specialists. They told us their phones calls occasionally go unanswered and the specialists did not always return phone messages. Unfortunately none of these finding are surprising; but what is amazing is the indifference to reality that allows the VISN 4 leadership to continue their tireless campaign of self-promotion and disinformation at the expense of the taxpayers. Let’s look at the dates of this veteran’s treatment and a few other things that were happening in VISN 4:

  • 8/15/2012 Veteran’s first contact with VA system
  • 9/30/2012 End of VA’s fiscal 2012 year (This is the year that Michael Moreland received the $63,000 presidential award for)
  • 9/30/2012 VISN 4 is rated the worst in the country using the VA’s own ASPIRE quality measurement system for Ventilator Acquired Pneumonia
  • 10/01/2012 Veteran’s last of 13 contacts with VA system since 8/15
  • 10/06/2012 Veteran Dies
  • Fall 2012 VISN 4 “Vision for Excellence” features stories proclaiming that healthcare provided to veterans in VISN 4 is better than the health care provided by the top 5 hospitals in the nation.
Page 12 of the Fall 2012 VISN 4 "Vision for Excellence"

Page 12 of the Fall 2012 VISN 4 “Vision for Excellence”

Despite the tragic care that this veteran received, the fall 2012 “Vision for Excellence” had no trouble extolling the quality of the medical that VISN 4 delivered to veterans and pointed out that its ad campaign “Better than the Best,” informed Veterans that the quality of VISN 4’s care is equal to, or better than, the top five hospitals in the Nation. I’ve seen this ad and it unilaterally declares that VISN 4 “beat” the competition in vague areas like “patient satisfaction” by statistically insignificant percentages. With no explanation if these figures were gathered in the same manner at VA and nonVA institutions, Mr. Moreland enthusiastically claims that VISN 4 took on the likes of Johns Hopkins and won! The odds are pretty good that the veteran in this OIG report, along with a few who died from Legionnaires’ disease probably didn’t return their patient satisfaction surveys, but if they did they might disagree with Mr. Moreland’s evaluation. No matter what you’ve got to give Mr. Moreland credit, not everyone can get up and say that we are better than the best when you’re in the midst of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak, a congressional investigation and you have the worst record in the entire VA ventilator‐associated pneumonias.

The Va's own data should have told them that here were big problems at the Pittsburgh VA More about medical malpractice at the Department of Veterans Affairs Lawyer for Philadelphia Veterans Affairs medical malpractice, W. Robb Graham, Esq. Lawyer for New Jersey Veterans Administration tort claim, Lawyer for New Jersey Veterans Administration medical malpractice claim, W. Robb Graham, Esq., VAmalpractice.com Lawyer for New Jersey VA malpractice claim, Lawyer for New Jersey VA medical malpractice tort claim, Lawyer for New Jersey Veterans Affairs medical malpractice lawsuit Lawyer for New Jersey Veterans Administration Federal tort claim, Lawyer for New Jersey Veterans Administration medical malpractice claim, W. Robb Graham, Esq.  Lawyer for New Jersey VA malpractice claim, Lawyer for New Jersey VA medical malpractice tort claim, Lawyer for New Jersey Veterans Affairs medical malpractice claim, Attorney for New Jersey Veterans Affairs medical malpractice, W. Robb Graham, Esq. VAmalpractice.com Attorney for New Jersey Veterans Administration tort claim, Attorney for New Jersey Veterans Administration medical malpractice claim, Attorney for New Jersey VA malpractice claim, Attorney for New Jersey VA medical malpractice tort claim, Attorney for New Jersey Veterans Affairs medical malpractice lawsuit Attorney for New Jersey Veterans Administration Federal tort claim W. Robb Graham, Esq. Attorney for Veterans Administration medical malpractice claim, Attorney for New Jersey VA malpractice claim, Attorney for New Jersey VA medical malpractice tort claim, Attorney for New Jersey Veterans Affairs medical malpractice claim, W. Robb Graham, Esq., more on VAmalpractice.info

While VISN 4 ran an ad called “Better than the best” that claimed that “it took on the competition and won.” This chart, from the VA’s own Aspire rankings shows that VISN 4 was dead last in the VA’s own rankings for a measurement that the VA considers important, but somehow Mr. Moreland didn’t mention it in the ad..

Ironically, nowhere in this “public service announcement” does Mr. Moreland mention that VISN 4 had the worst ventilator acquired pneumonia rate in the entire VA system. Out of the VA’s 23 VISNs, VISN 4’s record was twice as bad as the second worst VISN. This sort of head to head meaningful comparison would have provided veterans with meaningful information and would have been a “public service” because it would have warned veterans that they would have been better off going to any VISN besides VISN 4 if they were concerned about possibly getting ventilator‐associated pneumonia. Instead Michael Moreland just uses a lot of fuzzy math and unilaterally declares victory over all quality of care issues in VISN 4 and led veterans to believe that all is well. This superior level of chicanery did not go unnoticed in Washington, where this sort of thing is considered career enhancing and resulted in appropriated recognition:

…“Better than the Best,” informed Veterans that the quality of VISN 4’s care is equal to, or better than, the top five hospitals in the Nation. This campaign won first prize in VHA’s annual communications awards program in 2012.

  • 9/6/2013 Michael E. Moreland endorses the OIG report for the veteran who was treated so poorly at the Erie, VA, prior to his testimony at the 9/9/2013 HVAC hearing to examine preventable deaths and accountability at the VA. That must have put him in the right mood for the hearing. Maybe that’s why he looked so green?
Michael Moreland endorses OIG report finding medical malpractice at the Erie VA and Pittsburgh VA 3 days before he testifies at the HVAC hearing on Preventable Deaths and Lack of Accountability at the VA more about this and other medical malpractice cases at NJ and PA medical facilities and how to file claims against the VA or locate a lawyer who can represent a vetren with a medical malpractice case against the VA at VAmalpractice.info

Michael Moreland endorses OIG report finding medical malpractice at the Erie VA and Pittsburgh VA 3 days before he testifies at the HVAC hearing on Preventable Deaths and Lack of Accountability at the VA

Despite the overwhelming evidence contained numerous VA OIG reports and congressional investigations confirming patient safety lapses in VISN 4, during the last five years, VISN 4 continues to spend money explaining how it has done such a wonderful job dealing with patient safety.The VISN 4 web site continues to boldly state:

When VISN 4 compared its ability to provide quality health care with the best hospitals in the United States, we equaled or exceeded our competition in every category. This is proof that our nation’s heroes are being provided the quality of health care that they richly deserve.

Its most recent issue of “Vision for Excellence” it again extols how much VISN 4 has done in this area. This will be the subject of a future post called “VISN 4’s medical care “quality” publicity blitz, twisting the facts: Delusional fantasy, or indictable fraud?

Malpractice isn’t new at the VA. The reason why malpractice at the VA is now getting attention is that the public is more concerned about veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan than they were with Viet Nam era veterans.

Why has the quality of care at the VA received so much attention lately? While some will argue that it is as a result of things that have gone wrong over the last decade, I doubt that is the cause. The quality of of medical care at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and its predecessor the Veterans Administration has always been variable. The VA has always had many good health care providers who have provided outstanding medical care; unfortunately, the ability of the VA’s heath care providers has always been adversely affected by the VA’s administrators who manage to mismanage veterans ability to actually access the healthcare providers.

The VA’s insular bureaucracy is controlled by a group  of entrenched self-serving bureaucrats, who have placed their needs ahead of the need of the citizens for years. What other branch of the government so routinely ignores requests for information from Congress with impunity?

The reason why the VA’s failures appear so glaring now have nothing to do with any change in the quality of medical care at the VA. What has changed is now the status of veterans in our country has improved. During the 1970s and 1980s the VA primarily took care of Viet Nam veterans.  A large part of our society did not care for the Viet Nam war and many individuals were openly hostile to those who served in that war. Caring for a Viet Nam veteran was something that few individuals wanted to do as it was likely invoke criticism; therefore, the care that veterans received at the VA was just not something that most people, the press and politicians were concerned about. Individuals like Michael E. Moreland, were able to go to work at the VA knowing that they ran they show at the VA and were really accountable to no one but other VA bureaucrats. Now after another decade of war, there are many post Viet Nam veterans who receive their care at the VA. These individuals served their country at a time when members of the service were generally held in high esteem by their fellow citizens. When these veterans don’t get good care, it is something that the public, press and politicians are finally concerned with.

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We will also be posting other information about crime, fraud and other things that adversely affect the quality of medical care that veterans receive from the VA, so if  you have any information about medical malpractice at the Veterans Administration, or by a VA doctor, nurse or other health care provider please let us know about it.

The information on this web site is designed to encourage a discussion about Veterans Administration medical malpractice, malpractice claims and procedures. It is not intended to be legal advice. Legal advice can only be obtained from an attorney. If you have a medical malpractice claim against the Veterans Administration, you should consult with an attorney who is familiar with handling medical malpractice claims against the Veterans Administration and the Federal Tort Claims Act.

In the event that you have a Veterans Administration medical malpractice claim, you should immediately seek representation from an attorney who is experienced with litigating medical malpractice cases against the Veterans Administration or the VA.

Lawyer for Philadelphia Veterans Affairs medical malpractice, W. Robb Graham, Esq. Lawyer for New Jersey Veterans Administration tort claim, Lawyer for New Jersey Veterans Administration medical malpractice claim, W. Robb Graham, Esq., VAmalpractice.com Lawyer for New Jersey VA malpractice claim, Lawyer for New Jersey VA medical malpractice tort claim, Lawyer for New Jersey Veterans Affairs medical malpractice lawsuit Lawyer for New Jersey Veterans Administration Federal tort claim, Lawyer for New Jersey Veterans Administration medical malpractice claim, W. Robb Graham, Esq.  Lawyer for New Jersey VA malpractice claim, Lawyer for New Jersey VA medical malpractice tort claim, Lawyer for New Jersey Veterans Affairs medical malpractice claim, Attorney for New Jersey Veterans Affairs medical malpractice, W. Robb Graham, Esq. VAmalpractice.com Attorney for New Jersey Veterans Administration tort claim, Attorney for New Jersey Veterans Administration medical malpractice claim, Attorney for New Jersey VA malpractice claim, Attorney for New Jersey VA medical malpractice tort claim, Attorney for New Jersey Veterans Affairs medical malpractice lawsuit Attorney for New Jersey Veterans Administration Federal tort claim W. Robb Graham, Esq. Attorney for Veterans Administration medical malpractice claim, Attorney for New Jersey VA malpractice claim, Attorney for New Jersey VA medical malpractice tort claim, Attorney for New Jersey Veterans Affairs medical malpractice claim, W. Robb Graham, Esq., more on VAmalpractice.info

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