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Pedestrians walk in front of the Department of Veterans Affairs building in Washington, Friday, June 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Documents: Obama administration VA oversaw preventable veteran deaths

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Patrick Howley
Political Reporter

This was not the first time that the Memphis emergency room came under scrutiny.

“We previously inspected the facility’s ED in 2012, after a confidential complainant alleged that delays and conditions in the ED were putting patients at risk. … The facility is still in the process of taking follow-up actions,” according to the report.

The Memphis hospital’s problems have been considered severe for quite some time.

“August [2011]: Phone call from ED physician — Patients allegedly left on stretchers in hallway waiting to be admitted. Referred to VISN 9 for response,” according to an OIG document obtained by The Daily Caller.

“November [2011]: VISN response considered inadequate, review initiated,” according to the document.

“Facility’s sustained performance for ED [Emergency Department] length of stay far below the VHA standard. Many factors contributed to ED delays,” the inspector general’s office found in August 2012.

“We substantiated that management was aware of these issues but had not taken adequate action for resolution. … The potential for harm exists, however, if the ED flow problems continue. Boarding patients awaiting  admission for lengthy periods ‘… enhances the potential for errors, delays in treatment, and diminished quality of care,’” according to an August 15, 2012 OIG report.

James L. Robinson, a longtime VA veteran who headed the Memphis VA hospital from 2009 until taking another hospital job in August 2012, received a $10,782 taxpayer-funded bonus from VA in fiscal year 2011, according to documents obtained by TheDC.

The Department of Veterans Affairs did not return a request for comment. Memphis VA Medical Center did not return a request for comment.

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