An investigation requested by U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton and other Colorado lawmakers into the death of a Grand Junction veteran treated at the VA hospital there shows the medical care the victim was received was “inadequate.” The report also determined the veteran was admitted to the hospital in a timely fashion, and did not blame the hospital for the treatment that did the opposite of saving his life.
“We substantiated the allegation that followup care was inadequate and led to further hospitalization,” says the inspector general’s report released this week. “The hepatitis C care provider often did not provide the care or assess the patient thoroughly when seen. The circumstances of discontinuity of care and the lack of a thorough analysis of the patient’s condition may have contributed to his progressive decline and slower recovery.”
Just to reiterate, the veteran did not slowly recover, he died.
The Denver Post reports that a social worker who quit the hospital to protest the veteran’s lack of treatment said the hospital just winged the veteran’s care for hepatitis, because that specialist’s hours had been cut back.
Medical center spokesman Paul Sweeney said the hospital has hired a cardiologist and neurologist and is contracting with other specialty care doctors. Hepatitis patients are treated through a telehealth program, he said, but the Western Slope still lacks a liver specialist.
We’re troubled that the inspector general seemed satisfied there was no fault because the veteran wasn’t kept waiting months just to be admitted to the hospital — a reaction to the scandal where veterans did die while waiting for hospital treatment.
We’re not exactly reassured that while the Grand Junction veteran was admitted in a timely manner, he did not get the actual medical treatment he required to live.
The report was issued late last week, so we’re still waiting to hear the reaction from our lawmakers on these findings.