Dec. 21, 2017
A USA TODAY investigation finds the Department of Veterans Affairs has repeatedly hired healthcare workers with problem pasts, like neurosurgeon John Henry Schneider, whose license had been revoked after a patient death.The Department of Veterans Affairs has allowed its hospitals across the country to hire health care providers with revoked medical licenses for at least 15 years in violation of federal law, a USA TODAY investigation found.
The VA issued national guidelines in 2002 giving local hospitals discretion to hire clinicians after “prior consideration of all relevant facts surrounding” any revocations and as long as they still had a license in one state.
But a federal law passed in 1999 bars the VA from employing any health care worker whose license has been yanked by any state.
Hospital officials at the VA in Iowa City relied on the illegal guidance earlier this year to hire neurosurgeon John Henry Schneider, who had revealed in his application that he had numerous malpractice claims and settlements and Wyoming had revoked his license after a patient death. He still had a license in Montana.
“The hiring of doctors who have had their medical licenses revoked in any state is already prohibited," 30 of the lawmakers wrote, including Democratic and Republican members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. "However, it appears the laws and regulations establishing that prohibition are not being followed by VA.”
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