Congress Agrees To Pay For Construction Cost Overruns At Denver VA Hospital
The sticker price for the hospital is now $1.6 billion. Also in veterans news, a federal inspector general confirms a whistleblower's claims that Veterans Affairs facilities in St. Louis mishandled records for mental health patients.
The Washington Post:
Congress To VA: $1.6 Billion Denver Hospital Will Be Funded … This Time
Despite a last minute fight over funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs vastly over budget hospital in Denver, Congress agreed to fund the rising sticker price of the $1.6 billion medical facility, thought to be one of the most expensive hospitals in the world. Throughout the week, tensions increased over whether Congress would fund the last $625 million needed to finish the complex, whose price tag has ballooned to nearly three times the $604 million the VA originally budgeted for. The project is widely known as “the biggest construction failure in VA history.” (Wax-Thibodeaux, 10/1)
The Associated Press:
St. Louis VA Mental Health Records Questioned By Watchdog
A federal watchdog says it has confirmed a whistleblower's claims that Veterans Affairs sites in St. Louis marked appointments for mental health patients as completed before they were seen, effectively boosting the appearance of the sites' productivity. St. Louis VA Health Care System's records from October 2013 and June of last year showed an employee inappropriately marked 60 percent of the 20 consults reviewed as "complete" before those treatments were finished, a VA inspector general's report released Wednesday said. Such misrepresentation "increases the risk that veterans may become lost in the system" if a patient misses a consult appointment or the clinic cancels it, according to the report. (Suhr, 10/1)