VA Hospital Care & The Neurosurgery Expert Witness

Neurosurgeons specialize in the surgical treatment of diseases of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), peripheral nervous system, and spine. Litigation necessitating a neurosurgery expert witness may allege a delay in diagnosis, surgical technique, infection, or other complication. In the news, another Veterans Administration hospital is charged with malpractice. In 2017, Iowa City, Iowa’s VA hospital hired neurosurgeon John Henry Schneider, who had previously lost his license in Wyoming. Hiring a surgeon with a revoked medical license violates federal law. Schneider is charged with numerous malpractice claims including the case of a man who died of complications after four brain surgeries were performed by the neurosurgeon. The patient died of complications. Schneider is also accused of placing spinal screws incorrectly which caused another patient the loss of bladder and bowel control.

On November 29, 2017, the U.S. Government Accountability Office published GAO-18-260T, VA HEALTH CARE: Improved Oversight Needed for Reviewing and Reporting Providers for Quality and Safety Concerns.

The Department of Veterans Affairs requires its medical centers to review a doctor’s care if quality or safety concerns arise. If the concerns are substantiated, medical center officials are required to inform hospitals and other health care entities by reporting the doctors to a national database and to the states where the doctor is licensed.

However, we visited 5 VA medical centers and found that their reviews were not always timely and that VA officials did not report 8 of the 9 doctors who should have been reported…The selected VAMCs were unable to provide documentation of these reviews for almost half of the 148 provider.

The GAO concluded that the “VHA’s ability to provide safe, high quality care to veterans is hindered because other VAMCs, as well as non-VA health care entities, will be unaware of serious concerns raised about a provider’s care. For example, GAO found that after one VAMC failed to report to the NPDB or SLBs a provider who resigned to avoid an adverse privileging action, a non-VA hospital in the same city took an adverse privileging action against that same provider for the same reason 2 years later.”

Neurosurgeons deal with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of disorders that affect the spine, brain, nervous system and peripheral nerves. Nearly all neurosurgery procedures are incredibly complex and carry high levels of associated risk which may include a catastrophic and/or permanent brain injury. When allegations of malpractice arise, neurosurgery expert witnesses provide unbiased reports and testimony which is critical in malpractice lawsuits. Contact ELITE Medical Experts to be connected with a university professor in full-time clinical practice who has been specifically selected for the fact pattern in your case.

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