The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has paid out $940,000 in the deaths of eight patients at the Dayton VA Medical Center between 2005 and 2008, a timespan when VA medical malpractice claims surged, according to records obtained by the Dayton Daily News.
Medical malpractice claims are pending in two more deaths allegedly linked to substandard care at the Dayton VA. Those deaths occurred in 2009 and 2010. Those cases are among 72 medical malpractice claims filed against the hospital since January 2007.
The GAO review found 16 percent of paid tort claims – 386 – were not reported to the medical-legal affairs office. That meant the substandard care of an estimated 140 practitioners was not reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank, the GAO said.
Through the accreditation process, the VA must undergo quality assurance processes that may have identified those 140 practitioners through other means. But if the caregivers weren't reported to the national data bank, Williamson said it's possible no corrective action was taken against those doctors.
"It comes back to letting people practice who may not be qualified," he said.