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CALL 6: VA hospital manager fears money error will impact critical services

Hospital says it's reviewing processes
Posted at 1:43 AM, May 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-19 01:52:28-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- Veterans who depend on health care at the Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis may run into delays involving key implant procedures.

"If you need a heart valve or a stent, it's life or death," said Shaun O'Brien, Chief of Prosthetics and Sensory Aids at Roudebush.

O'Brien made a choice to work with the men and women who served in uniform.

"What better way to do it than to help heroes?" said O'Brien.

He oversees a $34 million budget at Roudebush.

O'Brien says he believes accounting errors that have not been corrected will impact patient services.

He says $17 million has been spent over the past two years on necessary implants, but the medical center is only reporting $14 million.

O'Brien fears he will only get $14 million in the next budget cycle instead of 17 million, and that may force him to turn away veterans in need of implants ranging from skin grafts, new knees, or heart stents.

He says efforts to correct the accounting error have not been addressed.

“So as far as Congress is concerned and central office is concerned we never spent that money so next year that three-and-a-half million dollars will be missing. It was missing this year and will be missing next year," said O'Brien.

He adds, "I want to provide the treatment for the patients who need it next year. Power politics aside, we didn't do as many surgeries as we had planned on doing---but next year I don't want to take that gamble."

O'Brien believes a total of 7 million needs to be accounted for over the past two years.

A spokesperson for the Roudebush VA Medical Center says that until they received an email from Call 6 Investigates they were not aware of his concern.

We received a statement which in part reads:

“Upon receipt of your query we initiated a review of the funding and funding process in areas indicated. We appreciate and will act on any concern that veteran health Indiana can better use funding to provide care for veterans."

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