Medical mistake could cost the Philly VA


    The Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center faces nearly $230-thousand dollars in fines because of the poor care the hospital provided to men with prostate cancer.

    The Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center faces nearly $230,000 in fines because of the poor care the hospital provided to men with prostate cancer.

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    The Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center faces nearly $230,000 in fines because of the poor care the hospital provided to men with prostate cancer.

    Before the center’s prostate program was shut down, the VA offered a cancer treatment that delivers a high dose of radiation directly to the prostate while limiting exposure to the rest of the body. Federal regulators say the VA provided that treatment 116 times over six years and made medical mistakes in 97 of those cases.

    Viktoria Mitlyng is a spokeswoman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Mitlyng: So the prostate did not receive the amount of radiation it needed to be treated effectively and other tissues in the body were exposed to radiation unnecessarily.

    A VA hospital spokesman say the mistakes made in the prostate cancer program do not reflect the overall high level of care provided by the medical center.

    The proposed $227,000 fine is the second-largest penalty the commission has ever issued to a medical center.

    The VA has 30 days to either pay – or contest – the fine.

    Federal regulators announced the penalty this week after a long investigation of the program.

    Hospital spokesman Dale Warman says the findings are no surprise.

    Warman: Philadelphia and the VA acknowledge that there were problems with the program over a six year period especially with regard to oversight. So it’s a terrible situation, the people at Philadelphia VA are not happy at all. And what the staff are trying to do here is focus on moving ahead and focus on patient care and taking care of our veterans.

    The VA shutdown the program in 2008.

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