VA ignores Congress requests for information

Congress demands answers on VA

MINNEAPOLIS -- Congress demanded answers from the Department of Veterans Affairs after a KARE 11 investigation documented how VA medical centers in Minnesota and Wisconsin were providing false and misleading information about the qualifications of some of their doctors.

Records show some doctors never had – or had lost – medical certifications the VA claimed they had.

Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) says he is "extremely concerned" about issues raised by the KARE 11 report.

In a letter to the Acting Director of the Tomah VA Medical Center, Rep. Duffy wrote:

"While I could understand one or two mistakes like this, the fact that there are numerous known examples demonstrates a systemic failure at the VA to ensure that its records are updated at a minimum, or at worst an effort to conceal basic yet essential information from our veterans which could compromise their care."

In early November, KARE 11 reported that VA hospitals in Minneapolis and St. Cloud, Minnesota and in Tomah, Wisconsin have been providing misleading information about medical professionals listed on the VA's "Our Doctors" website.

KARE 11's investigation found doctors listed as board-certified specialists who have either never been certified, their certifications have expired, or they are not keeping up with the ongoing learning requirements.

Since KARE 11's original report, our partner TEGNA television stations in Denver and Buffalo have documented similar false board certification claims at VA medical facilities in Colorado and New York.

In addition to Duffy's request for information, Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), the Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, also began demanding answers.

Miller sent a letter to VA Secretary Robert McDonald on November 10. Referencing KARE 11's investigation he wrote, "please provide a comprehensive plan detailing how VA is addressing this utter failure, both regarding to Tomah and VA facilities nationwide." The request was for the information to be provided "no later than close of business … November 27, 2015."

2015 has now come and gone and the ball in Times Square is not the only one to be dropped.

Congressional sources tell KARE 11 that the Department of Veterans Affairs has to date failed to respond to Congress's multiple requests for information.

KARE 11's calls to the Department of Veterans Affairs media line seeking comment for this report have so far not been returned.


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