Hearing Requested By Rep. Poliquin to Take Place Tomorrow, Right on the Heels of Scathing Watchdog Report of Major Failures at the VA to Report Potentially Dangerous Medical Practitioners
WASHINGTON – Tomorrow, Congressman Bruce Poliquin (ME-02) will participate in a hearing he requested as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee after the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a nonpartisan watchdog, produced a scathing report detailing the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) failure to report potentially dangerous medical practitioners to their national database, which is intended to prevent such bad actors from crossing state lines and putting patients at risk elsewhere. The GAO report has made national headlines:
- USA Today – VA failed to report 90% of potentially dangerous medical providers, GAO confirms
- CNN – VA failed to report potentially dangerous doctors, GAO finds
- The Hill – Watchdog: VA centers failed to report potentially dangerous doctors
In October, reports surfaced of the VA’s failure to disclose bad medical practitioners to their Veteran patients, state licensing boards, and the public, including one of the most notorious offenders, Thomas Franchini, a surgeon at Togus who the VA has concluded committed malpractice in 88 separate cases at Togus, leaving Maine Veterans with permanent suffering and pain. Congressman Poliquin immediately introduced legislation that would help prevent this from ever happening again by requiring VA medical professionals to report directly to state licensing boards if they witness unacceptable or unethical behavior from other medical professionals at the VA.
“This latest report from the GAO is extremely troubling and absolutely unacceptable,” said Congressman Poliquin. “There is absolutely no excuse for our Veterans to have any doubt about the quality of care they receive and the personnel who administer it. The VA should be held to the highest standard and direct accountability for all those who fail to do their jobs and who could put our Veterans at risk. We must see some changes made. I look forward to this week’s hearing to get to the bottom of these troubling findings.”
Congressman Poliquin will be participating in a House Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing tomorrow at 10 a.m. hosted by the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, of which he is a member. Witnesses at the hearing will include the Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Health at the VA, Gerard R. Cox, and other officials from the VA, the Federation of State Medical Boards, and the GAO.
Read the full GAO report HERE.