Veterans' Medical Malpractice Becoming Bigger Issue in U.S.
Posted on Oct 07, 2013
A recent article in the Insurance Journal has called attention to the rising costs associated with veterans' medical malpractice. The Department of Veterans Affairs has been dealing with cases that include missed diagnoses, delayed treatment and procedures performed on wrong body parts, revealing the major flaws in the agency's health-care system.
Up to 1.2 million soldiers are expected to become veterans in the next four years and many of them will take advantage of the VA medical care. The Department of Veterans Affairs has 152 hospitals and about 19,000 doctors that tended to 5.6 million veterans last year; this is a 32 percent increase from 2002. In the past, the median age for veterans was a bit older, but for those who served after 9/11, the median age range is estimated to be 25 to 34 years old. This age difference is playing a role in the size of medical malpractice awards because someone with a longer life expectancy is general going to receive a higher payout.
The number of malpractice claims filed with the VA has remained at 1,544 for the past two years. This came after a spike in cases between 2005 and 2010. Unfortunately, it appears that they aren't holding employees accountable for preventable deaths. According to a recent Government Accountability office report, department officials even gave bonuses to doctors who practiced without a license or left residents unsupervised during surgery.
Whether you're a veteran or a civilian, medical malpractice should not be tolerated. Contact an attorney immediately to determine if you have a viable case at 888.333.9709.