The VA Hospital in Virginia is one of many in the United States that is refusing to admit patients who have preexisted conditions.
The VA, which has about 5,300 employees, said Friday it was making changes to its policy after a Washington Post story about the situation sparked a backlash from both sides of the aisle.
The agency said in a statement that it has taken several steps, including hiring an independent consultant to review the hospital’s procedures and “working with its physician assistants and other senior staff to help address this issue and to improve our processes.”VA health officials said the hospital has an “existing risk” for pre-existing conditions, which they said are not the primary reason the hospital would refuse admission.
The statement did not provide further details.
The Washington Post article cited two cases in which a VA physician told a patient that she had a preexistent condition and that the VA hospital would not allow her to visit her.
In one case, a woman who had recently moved from Florida to Virginia and had a rare form of lung cancer was admitted to the hospital on April 4 after a medical evaluation found she had pneumonia, according to the report by the Post.
The woman had a lung condition that required frequent hospitalization, the Post reported.
The VA hospital refused to allow her admission, the report said.
The Virginia hospital said in its statement that the hospital had not received any reports that a patient with preexcisors would be denied admission.
VA officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday from The Associated Press.”VA has a strict process in place to ensure that all patients receive prompt and appropriate care,” VA spokesman Mike Dittmar said in the statement.
“We recognize that there may be cases where a physician’s interpretation of the medical history may be incorrect, but we do not make that determination based on pre-existing conditions.”
The VA is under fire for its treatment of veterans who have chronic conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder and Parkinson’s disease.
A growing number of health care workers and veterans are suing the VA for failing to treat veterans with chronic conditions.
Some veterans and advocacy groups are asking the VA to help patients like the one in Virginia who have a pre-condition that could lead to serious problems.
The Associated Press