Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is asking for a full accounting of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general’s investigation into the emerging allegations of excessive delays in medical care at veterans facilities in at least three states. The allegations are that some veterans died while awaiting treatment.
Grassley asked the Acting Inspector General Richard Griffin to provide him and his staff with information about the scope of his current investigation, how he intends to review the processes at VA medical facilities nationwide, and the timeline of his review. Grassley also asked to be kept informed as the investigation progresses.
The Veterans Affairs allegations began with the Phoenix, Arizona, Veterans Affairs medical center. Allegations of similar problems then emerged about Veterans Affairs facilities in Colorado and Texas.
Grassley is not aware of any current problems involving medical care delays at Iowa Veterans Affairs facilities, though he said he hopes the inspector general’s review will be national since at least three states are alleged to have medical care delays.
In 2012, the Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general released a “Review of Quality of Care, Management, and Operations” of the Iowa City VA Health Care System.
Grassley requested the report after employees and patients contacted his office with concerns about the direction of the facility and its potential impact on patient care. The inspector general found management shortcomings and low employee morale but did not find immediate quality of care problems.
The text of Grassley’s letter this week to the acting inspector general about the new allegations in other states is attached.