DIGEST

VA fined over radiation doses; another Paterson aide quits in New York

Mark Segovia, left, and Michael Vandevoort move sandbags near Oak Grove Lutheran School in Fargo, N.D., as the Red River rises. The city faces the threat of a severe flood when the river crests.
Mark Segovia, left, and Michael Vandevoort move sandbags near Oak Grove Lutheran School in Fargo, N.D., as the Red River rises. The city faces the threat of a severe flood when the river crests. (Jay Pickthorn/associated Press)

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

VETERANS AFFAIRS

Agency fined over radiation mistakes

The Department of Veterans Affairs was fined $227,500 after incorrect radiation doses were given to 97 veterans with prostate cancer at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, a federal agency announced Wednesday.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the fine is the second-largest it has levied for medical errors. VA was cited for lacking procedures to ensure and verify treatments were done correctly, failing to properly train staff and neglecting to immediately report mistakes.

Most of the men received far less than the prescribed radiation dose to kill cancer cells.

-- Associated Press

Compensation exams need to be expedited

VA medical centers need to speed up compensation and pension medical exams to veterans so that it can expedite disability claims, the department's inspector general reported Wednesday.

At a facility in Roseburg, Ore., hundreds of requests for an exam were tucked in file cabinets so a timeliness quota could be met. And claims at an outpatient clinic in Winston-Salem, N.C., were processed out of order also to help with the quota, the IG said.

The chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Daniel K. Akaka, says VA needs to devote more resources to fixing the problem. VA has told the inspector general it will do that.

-- Associated Press


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