House Hearing to Put VA Care Under Microscope

The Sept. 9 hearing by the U.S. House Committee on Veterans' Affairs will examine the department's approach to stopping preventable deaths, according to the chairman.

A Sept. 9 field hearing in Pittsburgh by the U.S. House Committee on Veterans' Affairs will put a spotlight on the federal Department of Veterans Affairs, which committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., has in his crosshairs.

He's called on President Obama to intervene personally to correct what Miller regards as systemic problems, including preventable patient deaths and lapses in care at VA medical centers nationwide.

About 8 million veterans receive care from these centers. One of the committee’s majority news releases says “a rash of preventable suicides, veteran deaths and infectious disease outbreaks at several VHA facilities throughout the country has put the organization under intense scrutiny. Despite the fact that multiple VA Inspector General reports have linked a number of veteran deaths to widespread mismanagement at VHA facilities, the department has consistently given executives who presided over these events glowing performance reviews and cash bonuses of up to $63,000. The purpose of this hearing is to examine whether VA has the proper management and accountability structures in place to stop the emerging pattern of preventable veteran deaths and serious patient-safety issues at VA medical centers across the country. In doing so, the committee will specifically look at VA's handling of recent events in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Buffalo, N.Y., and Jackson, Miss."

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