The VA Medical Center in Tomah, Wisconsin recently had a review of their patient care procedures by the Veterans Affairs Department and “unsafe clinical practices” were discovered. This facility has been nicknamed “Candy Land” due to allegations that pain medicine has been over-prescribed to patients.
The issues from the Tomah Medical Center came into focus when a probe by a Center for Investigative Reporting found that prescriptions and opiate use increased dramatically despite a decreasing number of patients.
VA Acting Under Secretary for Health, Carolyn Clancy, released information from the report and said that some of the cases of patient harm and negligence at the Tomah clinic are “at least partially attributable to prescribing practices.”
In regards to the prescription controversy, the investigative team uncovered that the “Tomah patients were 2.5 times more likely than the national average to be prescribed opioids.” Reports show that there is a fear culture at the facility which has greatly impacted staff morale and patient care.
Coincidentally, this report was released when the VA Deputy Secretary, Sloan Gibson, visited the medical center to address the rumors and issues.
In order to work towards fixing the problem of over-prescribing medication, the VA released a new administrative tool on Monday, March 9th, 2015 that will hopefully help decrease the cases of prescription misuse.
The recent report did not advise officials to take disciplinary action, but investigators insist that “a more in-depth evaluation of the clinical and administrative practices” take place. Carolyn Clancy stated that further assessment is already in progress. Another department that is taking a look at the Tomah Medical Center is the VA’s Office of Accountability, which is addressing the accusations of retaliation against whistleblowers. Also, cases have been opened by the Office of the Inspector General and the Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration for the possible misconduct and veteran’s medical malpractice.
The Archuleta Law Firm handles injury, death, and veteran’s medical malpractice claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act. We handle claims in all 50 States and Worldwide. Our focus is helping Veterans, and the families of Veterans and Military Service Members in their claims involving Veterans (VA) Hospitals, Doctors and Clinics and Military Hospitals, Doctors and Clinics. We handle claims involving the Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Air Force.
Source: Military Times