2 North Carolina veterans doctors hired despite medical licensing issues, feds say
SALISBURY, N.C. (Tribune News Service) – At least two doctors at the Salisbury Veterans Medical Center had their medical licenses suspended or placed on probation before the center hired them, according to a new report from the Bureau of Veterans Affairs. Inspector General of Veterans Affairs.
And the Salisbury facility may have hired the doctors “inappropriately” without proper review and investigation, the report said.
The Office of the Inspector General of Veterans Affairs released a comprehensive health care inspection report on Tuesday, a report assessing the regional health care network, including North Carolina and Virginia.
According to the Veterans Health Administration, physicians whose license has already been suspended or placed on probation must undergo a “thorough and documented review” before being appointed to the VA. This review should include approval from the North Carolina and Virginia Veterans Health Care Network Surgeon General.
But at least three doctors from the North Carolina and Virginia network were hired without proof of approval from the network’s CMO, according to the report.
At least two of these doctors were supervised by the Salisbury facility:
A doctor, hired in August 2019, had his North Carolina license suspended in 2012 and an Illinois license suspended in 2013. Information regarding “adverse actions” was not provided to the facility until after that the doctor had been on duty for about six weeks, according to the report.
A second doctor, also hired in August 2019, was licensed on probation in June 2014.
In both cases, Salisbury staff failed to report the cases to the network’s chief medical officer, according to the report.
The report did not identify the doctors or state what led to the licensure actions.
A third doctor was hired in November 2020 and his license was revoked in 1985. The report does not specify where this doctor is based.
The report recommended that the chief medical officer assess the credentialing records of any physicians who have previously had licensure issues.
The Salisbury VA facility did not immediately comment on the report Tuesday.
In 2020, Salisbury Medical Center served more than 90,000 veterans, according to the facility.
The North Carolina and Virginia Veterans Health Care Network treated more than 415,000 people in fiscal year 2020, according to the report.
Other issues at Salisbury VA
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General has previously released reports highlighting dozens of problems at the Salisbury facility.
In 2017, the bureau released a report detailing more than two dozen issues discovered during an inspection of the medical center.
And in 2016, the Inspector General released a report that found that supervisors at Salisbury VA Medical Center manipulated wait time data in order to increase their performance reviews and, in turn, receive higher premiums.
For more details, read the full report of the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
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