VA Scandal Continues: Sweetheart Auditor Assigned to Investigate Hospitals

Amid all the other horrible news, we can’t afford to forget about the VA scandal.

veterans affairs

The same government that punished whisteblowers for exposing how Veterans Affairs was failing our military is now displaying a new tactic—employing an investigator with a vested interest in making the VA look good.

It turns out that these hospitals, with their secret waiting lists and suffering ex-soldiers who never received a timely appointment, had in some cases been inspected. Somehow they passed these inspections.

So who do you think the VA has contracted to investigate the allegations against these VA hospitals?

Can you guess?

According to the Washington Free Beacon: “Auditor that Accredited VA Hospitals Where Patients Died to Review Same Hospitals.”

The same independent auditor who accredited Veterans Affairs hospitals where multiple patients died from delays in care—and in some cases named them as “top performers”—has been chosen by the VA to complete a new review of those same hospitals.

Earlier this month, new VA Secretary Robert McDonald announced that the Joint Commission, a hospital accreditor, would review scheduling practices across the VA system.

“VA is committed to instilling integrity into our scheduling practices to deliver the timely care that veterans deserve,” McDonald said in a statement. “It is important that our scheduling practices be reviewed by a respected, independent source to help restore trust in our system, and I’m grateful to the Joint Commission for taking on this critical task.”

So they chose the one auditor whose reputation is now under a cloud of suspicion because of the VA scandal? If they find fault with the scheduling practices of the hospitals, then the obvious question arises: Why did you accredit them in the first place? Why did you say some of them were “top performers”?

[T]he Joint Commission is the same auditor that accredited VA hospitals before the national scandal broke, and while hospitals were using secret waiting lists.

[…]

In a speech Tuesday at the 96th annual American Legion conference, McDonald continued to cite the Dorn Center’s “top performer” award.

It’s clear that somewhere along the line, some people’s behavior was at odds with VA’s mission and core values,” McDonald said. “The result was seen in the stark difference between receiving care at, say, one of our highest performing locations, like the medical center not far from here in Columbia, S.C.—and until recently, at Phoenix.”

“I just mentioned Columbia a moment ago,” McDonald continued. “I think it’s important to note that last year, The Joint Commission—which accredits and certifies health care organizations—named the William Jennings Bryan Dorn Medical Center there … and 31 other VA hospitals … as ‘Top Performers’ in its annual review of patient care.”

So the VA Secretary virtually admits that his inspector has been useless, at best, but does not seem to understand the import of his own words.

Even weirder, the Joint Commission sent a statement to the Daily Caller saying that the “top performer” award “does not indicate the level of service individual patients will receive.”

“The Top Performer on Key Quality Measures program is designed to inspire better performance on accountability measures, it is not a reflection of the overall care at an organization,” a commission spokeswoman said.

What an insane, Kafkaesque prison! A Federal agency with a mandate to help veterans pays money to auditors to produce measurements and tests that have nothing to do with helping veterans.