Veterans Administration malpractice data reveals millions in payouts

Failure to obtain informed consent and delays in diagnosis and treatment are among the causes of more than a dozen million-dollar malpractice payouts by the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to a spreadsheet of VA data published by the Project On Government Oversight. 

The data, obtained through the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and published April 29 as part of the watchdog group's "FOIA Fridays" series, details more than 12,000 claims against the VA from 1989 - 2008, with several thousand related to medical malpractice. The spreadsheet includes 16 cases that had payouts of $1 million or more.

Clinical negligence isn't the only complaint against the agency. Veterans have long complained about its many bureaucratic hoops. But the VA isn't hiding its failures -- rather, it's publicizing them. The agency recently hired one of its most vocal critics to blog about his frustrations with the department. Alex Horton, a 25-year-old soldier, is now airing his grievances on Vantage Point, the Washington Post reports. 

For more:
- read the Project On Government Oversight article
- download a spreadsheet of VA malpractice data 
- check out the the Washington Post article