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Quality of care at Fayetteville VA questioned; probe requested

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(The Center Square) – Overall quality of care at a southeastern North Carolina medical center serving veterans is being questioned by two congressmen.

The Fayetteville VA Medical Center and its Prosthetics Services Department were cited in a letter addressed to Denis McDonough, secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and authored by U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Rep. David Rouzer, R-N.C. The center is utilized by constituents in Rouzer’s district.

Tillis and Rouzer say quality of life for veterans has been diminished due to the poor care, poor communication and “overburdensome bureaucratic processes.”

The letter reads in part, “Care coordination and vendor relations should be a top priority for the VA. Veterans should not have to put their lives on hold for multiple months or years waiting for the VA to deliver them a well-functioning prosthetic. We hope to work with you to ensure that the Fayetteville VAMC is a facility where all veterans in the North Carolina coastal region can proudly seek healthcare.”

The letter was dated Friday and made public Tuesday. Eight specific concerns were noted in the investigation request.

The congressmen wrote, “There has been an apparent lack of attention to timely and empathetic care delivery for amputee veterans, overburdensome bureaucratic processes, and poor communication among staff and leadership that have created an environment where veterans’ quality of life has been diminished, taking a toll on their personal relationships and mental health.

“In addition to reports of a poor standard of quality care overall, there have also been reports that care coordination across clinical lines of operation is lacking to the point where prosthetic vendors who are trying to provide the best care they can are hamstrung by the VA because of poor communication and responsiveness, especially when it comes to timely payments for services rendered.”

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