U.S. Office of Special Counsel finds VA did not address CABG, echocardiogram issues

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel sent a letter to the White House last week noting that a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital in Illinois substantiated claims that a cardiologist made six years ago, CNN reports.

Lisa Nee, a cardiologist at Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital outside of Chicago, raised the issues in 2011. At the time, she said some veterans were receiving unnecessary CABG procedures. She added that some patients died or suffered complications before their echocardiograms were reviewed because the echocardiogram laboratory had a one-year backlog.

When Nee’s concerns were ignored, she took the case to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which found that the VA did not satisfactorily address the issues, according to CNN.

In February, a VA Inspector General report found that more than 1,200 cardiology tests were delayed at the Hines VA in 2014, but it said there were no adverse effects. Another VA Inspector General report in 2014 found that heart procedures may have been inappropriate for nine patients at the facility, but it did not find evidence of harm to the patients.

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