More disturbing mismanagement in Kansas City
March 28, 2002 8:03 AM   Subscribe

More disturbing mismanagement in Kansas City This time at the VA hospital: A recent report in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine said that the hospital in Kansas City was overrun with flies and mice in mid-1998. Nurses even found maggots growing in the noses of two comatose patients. Both patients, astoundingly, were in the intensive-care unit.
posted by milkman (6 comments total)
Loverly. Ain't the HMO system just givin' the best patient care in the world!

This is another one of those cases where it would seem that cost-benefit analysis should take second seat to, say, compassion.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:42 AM on March 28, 2002

maggots -- that's cutting edge medicine there. They're a useful treatment for eliminating necrotic tissue and preventing its spread. Maggots will not "grow" on living tissue.

seriously, though, this is fucked up.

f-f-fish - its a VA hospital, which has nothing to do with HMO's. All government benefit work there, no HMO.
posted by yesster at 9:25 AM on March 28, 2002

The hospital I work for is both a very good outfit (having seen just about all parts of it from behind the scenes, I'd have no hesitation about coming here for medical treatment) and also the local hospital of choice for indigent and no-insurance patients. And yet, good as it is, the occasion of an upcoming Joint Commission inspection is an occasion for intense agony and anxiety attacks. So where was the Joint Commission where Kansas City Veteran's Hospital was concerned? How did they manage to pass the inspections and keep their accreditation? Or did they somehow manage to avoid being inspected?

posted by jfuller at 10:16 AM on March 28, 2002

It's a government-run Veterans hospital? My god. If there's anyone deserving of a little extra respect and care, it's veterans.

How shameful.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:24 AM on March 28, 2002

All Veterans Hospitals are run by the federal government. The VA is a federal agency the provides free health care to veterans. It's part of the deal when you sign up to go to war. Because it's federal, it also probably has little to do with some specific local Kansas city issues. All the VA hospitals are ultimately run by the same people.

Quality in these hospitals can be a real problem because the Feds pay pretty much all of the cost, and the budget people in Washington put tremendous pressure on the hospitals to cut costs.

In Maine, where I used to live, there was a big hubub a few years ago because the VA was going to sack a sizable chunk of the staff at the VA hospital in Togus, ME because of budgetary constraints. Luckily, our senators got the VA to change their mind. The one thing veterans have going for them is that they have a lot more political clout than, say, Medicaid recipients.
posted by boltman at 11:23 AM on March 28, 2002

There was a movie called Article 99 about poor conditions at a VA hospital in KC. No idea if there's any real connection, though. I saw it and vaguely remember that Keifer Southerland was in it, and that it wasn't very good.
posted by bingo at 12:07 PM on March 28, 2002

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