A Veterans Affairs (VA) clinic in Roseburg, Oregon has been caught in a very disturbing scam. Administrators there are being accused of selecting which patients to treat and which to deny based on how ill they are. By treating the less sick patients and denying the seriously ill, the clinic was able to look like they were performing better.
While the administrators have denied all these allegations, five doctors have stepped forward to blow the whistle on the disgusting practice. In a letter to the New York Times they wrote;
“Over the course of time, worsening over the past 2-3 years, we have seen a very concerning trend of patient care being seriously compromised by the decision making of senior administrative personnel at the RVAMC (Roseburg VA Medical Clinic). The limitations imposed on us and our ability to care for patients is very concerning.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs uses a rating system internally to help them judge the quality of care and other important aspects. The idea certainly has merit but the administrators seem to have found a way to cheat. Since bonuses are given to the clinics that rate the highest, they have big incentives to rig the system.
By refusing certain treatments to very sick veterans or even denying them admittance, they are able to keep ratings higher. Then they focus on less critical patients, boosting their success rate artificially. It is a deadly game and the ones suffering have few avenues to seek help.
As a result of their sick game, the facility went from a one-star rating to a two-star rating in 2016. Director Doug Paxton earned a bonus of $8,120 as a reward for potentially killing veterans.
One of the worst cases was exposed in the New York Times piece;
An 81-year-old veteran enters the emergency room malnourished and dehydrated with skin ulcers and broken ribs from a fall. Walter Savage was an Air Force mechanic for 20 years. Two doctors agree he can’t care for himself and should be admitted. There were plenty of empty beds but hospital administration said the man was not ill enough. He waited nine hours in the ER and was then sent home.
The letter from the five doctors is a heartbreaking account of what has been occurring under Doug Paxton’s direction. It is sad that it took an article in the New York Times to spur an investigation into such deplorable actions.
Source: The Gateway Pundit