By Frank Lewis
U.S. Representative Brad Wenstrup (R-OH-2) says he is trying to get at the bottom of why the Cincinnati VA Hospital has been flagged for addition review and investigation in light of a report of widespread scheduling manipulations in VA medical centers across the country.
As an internal audit released by the Department of Veterans Affairs revealed over 100,000 veterans nationwide were affected by wait list manipulations, the VA medical facility in Cincinnati was also “flagged for further review and investigation.”
Wenstrup (OH-2), who represents a portion of Scioto County on the House VA Committee, asked point blank at a Monday hearing why the facility in Corryville was flagged.
“At this time, can you tell me what’s happening at the Cincinnati VA medical center that got them flagged,” Wenstrup asked at the late night oversight hearing. “Should veterans in my district be apprehensive about the care that they are receiving or the timely fashion in which they receive it?”
“They should not be concerned about the quality of the care they are receiving,” Philip Matkovsky, Assistant Deputy for Veterans Affairs, Under Secretary for Health for Administrative Operations, said. “There are specifics behind each one that got listed. In some cases, I’m not saying it was Cincinnati, but it was in some cases, just a single concern that came in as an anonymous whistleblower concern at the time we were there. We felt, in those cases, we needed to make sure that we listed that.
Wenstrup asked if Matkovsky had a time frame for revealing the reason the Cincinnati facility was flagged.
“I do not know yet but I will accelerate it,” Matkovsky said. “We have to move that quicker so that we reduce the level of angst. So I will double down and make sure that we get that done quickly.”
Wenstrup indicated his office is in communication with the leadership at local VA medical facilities in an effort to assess their situations. Additionally, the Congressman will be visiting multiple VA facilities in the Second District over the next couple weeks to speak directly with doctors, administrators, and veterans to gather their experiences first hand.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.