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New Mexico VA hospital faces scheduling manipulation charge

When a resident of New Mexico is admitted to a hospital or nursing home for treatment, the patient expects professional care. Doctors and nursing home staff must take their responsibilities seriously, as their efforts can have a grave impact on the life and health of another person. A patient seeking damages and filing a lawsuit for nursing home neglect can lead to serious legal repercussions for negligent doctors and staff members.

The Veterans Affair Hospital in New Mexico has recently come under severe scrutiny for its failure to provide an efficient patient scheduling system. A nationwide audit revealed this problem to be common among several other VA hospitals throughout the United States. As a result of the delays, patients awaiting either urgent or regular care from these hospitals are not only inconvenienced, but may have their health and lives at risk while waiting for care.

The audit has also revealed efforts by hospital authorities and schedulers tampering with the records, thereby trying to make waiting periods appear shorter than they actually are. The director of the New Mexico hospital, however, has opined that it is unlikely any intentional manipulation of data actually took place; any discrepancy could, on the contrary, stem from conflicting directions between the VA and hospital policies. It has been reported that other VA hospitals also have a shortage of doctors.

Meanwhile, the American Medical Association received a proposal following the audit allowing for the arrangement of veterans to receive treatment outside of the VA system. However, if a patient has any reason to believe that his medical problems have worsened due to delays in diagnosis or follow-up treatment that occurred from an intentional delay, the patient may be able to file a lawsuit to claim compensation.

Source: OAOA.com,"Diagnosis pending: Big Spring VA up for further review," Jon Vanderlaan, June 10, 2014

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