VA to Look into Overmedication Reports at Tomah, Wisconsin Center

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is launching an investigation into reports of overmedication and retaliatory management practices at the VA Medical Center in Tomah, the agency said last week. Veterans Health Administration specialists plan to visit the western Wisconsin facility within two weeks to review medication prescription practices, the federal agency said in a statement. They also plan to send representatives from the Office of Accountability Review to look into allegations of retaliatory behavior. “My sense is that this isn’t just unique to Tomah,” said U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, a Democrat whose district includes Tomah. “We have a system-wide issue that needs to be addressed when it comes to pain management with our veterans.” Kind and other Wisconsin lawmakers had sent requests to Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald this week seeking an investigation. A recent story from The Center for Investigative Reporting noted the number of opiates prescribed at the Tomah VA had more than quintupled between 2004 and 2012, even as the number of veterans seeking treatment there has declined. Health care professionals have complained about the medical center’s practices for several years. Kind said he had previously referred a complaint sent to his office in 2011 to the VA inspector general, which conducted an investigation that finished last March. He did not find out about the results until this past week, according to his office.

Source/more: Charlotte Observer

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