08/05/13 Senator Joe Donnelly and Congressman Marlin Stutzman (IN-03) issued the following statements after Friday’s release of a report by the Veterans’ Administration (VA) Office of Inspector General (OIG), Office of Healthcare Inspections on the suspension of inpatient care at the Fort Wayne campus of the VA Northern Indiana Healthcare System. Last November Donnelly, and Stutzman requested that the VA OIG review the decision made to pause all inpatient care at the Fort Wayne facility. Specifically, they asked for a review of the overall quality of care and management at the facility, issues leading to the suspension of inpatient care, and what measures are needed to reopen the facility to normal operations.
Donnelly said, “What we learned from the VA Office of Inspector General today regarding the Fort Wayne VA hospital is completely unacceptable. The most troubling finding is that conditions last year, resulting in the suspension of inpatient services, stemmed from a years-long pattern of poor hospital leadership and a lack of quality care that placed its patients at risk. Those who have served our nation have earned access to quality healthcare, and VA facilities in Indiana and across the country must be capable of providing the highest level of care.
Donnelly continued, “As the report indicates, the Fort Wayne facility needs better management, additional high-skill medical professionals with the competencies needed to provide care, and overall, a method for holding its care providers accountable. I expect the Veterans Health Administration and Fort Wayne VA hospital to begin working immediately to implement the recommendations of the Inspector General to ensure that this never happens again. I remain dedicated to continuing my work with Rep. Stutzman and others both on the federal level and in the Fort Wayne community to make sure that our veterans are receiving the quality of care they have earned.”
Stutzman said, “The VA’s failures, as outlined by the Inspector General’s report, are upsetting and inexcusable. The Veterans Health Administration must implement the Inspector General’s recommendations without delay. Veterans who defended our freedoms now depend on the VA and deserve nothing less than the highest quality care right here in Fort Wayne. I will continue to work closely with Senator Donnelly to ensure that the VA is held accountable and that veterans in our community receive the care they deserve.”