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VA scandal continues to grow

The Veterans Health Administration scandal has dragged on since 2014, when various media outlets began reporting that VA hospitals were failing to make appointments for vets needing health care -- and worse, some vets were dying while waiting to see doctors.

The news out of the Department of Veterans Affairs continues to be bad: USA Today recently reported that doctors are being hired to work at VA hospitals even when they have histories of medical malpractice claims against them and have been disciplined for administering substandard care to their patients.

A bipartisan group of 14 U.S. senators recently demanded an investigation into why the VA hired doctors with known professional conduct and performance complaints -- even when some of those complaints resulted in criminal charges and sanctions.

"We request information about the VA’s oversight of provider hiring guidelines to ensure that the pressure to fill (doctor) shortages has not led to insufficient health care quality controls," the senators wrote in their letter. Note: the letter was not signed by either of West Virginia’s senators.

The letter dated Dec. 8, 2017 asks whether the VA has steps for additional scrutiny of a provider when it intends to hire a doctor with "known medical malpractice claims." The senators also want to have VA policies spelled out when it comes to considering health care providers who have been disciplined for performance or conduct issues or had charges filed against them.

Let's hope that the senators get the answers they want and that the VA will make clear that it will no longer hire providers with documented records of providing substandard care to their patients. Our nation's veterans deserve better.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by doctor negligence, you can contact an attorney experienced in medical malpractice litigation.

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