VA Conceals Medical Errors
In the United States, medical errors account for the third leading cause of death. According to USA TODAY, the Veteran’s Affairs hospital system is the nation’s largest employer of healthcare workers. A recent ongoing federal lawsuit and investigation into the VA has revealed that Thomas Franchini, a podiatrist, along with other physicians have made dangerous medical errors in multiple cases, but were allowed to resign without any disciplinary action. Furthermore, the VA failed to inform state licensing regulators and patients about their conduct and past performance. This allowed doctors like Thomas Franchini to resign and go into private practice, putting not only veterans but the public at large in danger.
USA TODAY reported that the VA has concealed healthcare professional errors and misconduct for years. Furthermore, VA policy recommends that officials notify a state licensing board within 100 days of initiating an investigation. However, instead, the VA engaged in 230 secret settlement deals that allowed dangerous healthcare professionals to quietly resign without any disciplinary action and a promise to conceal their mistakes, which allowed them to go into private practice with a clean record. These confidential settlement records given to USA TODAY by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs involved workers at more than 100 facilities in 42 states.
For instance, Thomas Franchini made significant medical errors in 88 separate cases and the VA did not report this information to the National Practitioner Databank (NPD) that tracks problem healthcare professionals. Another VA doctor, Jorge Salcedo misread numerous CT scans but was allowed to resign with $42,000 of unused sick time. After USA TODAY’s findings were reported, David Shulkin, the VA Secretary responded by demanding that VA officials in Washington approve all employee settlement deals of more than $5,000. Prior to this, local and regional officials were responsible for settlement decisions. According to top VA officials, the agency will begin to review its current policies and procedures as well as patient safety practices.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a medical professional’s negligence, it is important to contact an experienced New York medical malpractice attorney who can fight for the compensation you deserve. Goldberg Sager & Associates is experienced in dealing with all aspects of personal injury and is dedicated to helping clients achieve the best possible outcome for their case. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our Brooklyn medical malpractice lawyers at 718-645-6677.