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VA policy to disclose errors in medical care not always followed

By William R. Levesque, Tampa Bay Times: Department of Veterans Affairs leaders often talk proudly about how the agency polices itself when medical mistakes occur, saying they inform veterans who are seriously harmed, apologize and even tell them how to file a financial claim for damages.

But a VA report to Congress in April showing the agency made 76 “institutional disclosures” involving veterans who were hurt by delays in treatment of gastrointestinal cancers might reveal that this confession policy is often not followed, according to interviews and congressional records obtained by the Tampa Bay Times.

Those disclosures, which included 24 veterans who died, were made only after an extraordinary, one-time investigation of consultation delays by the VA and not in the ordinary course of business, records show. That raises the question of whether any disclosures would have been reported without the VA’s unprecedented inquiry.  To read entire article, click here:  http://www.tampabay.com/news/military/veterans/va-policy-to-disclose-errors-in-medical-care-not-always-followed/2210125