Accounting errors could harm patient care, Indiana VA hospital manager says

Patients at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis may face delays of crucial implant procedures because of accounting errors in the facility's budget, WRTV reports.

"If you need a heart valve or a stent, it's life or death," Shaun O'Brien, chief of prosthetics and sensory Aids at Roudebush, told WRTV. Mr. O'Brien oversees a $34 million budget at Roudebush.

Mr. O'Brien said he believes accounting errors will affect patient services.

Although $17 million has been spent over the last two years on patient implants, the medical center is only reporting $14 million, Mr. O'Brien said.

Mr. O'Brien fears he will only get $14 million during the next budget cycle as opposed to $17 million, which may force veterans who need implants, including skin grafts, new knees or heart stents, to be turned away. The accounting error have yet to be addressed, according to Mr. O'Brien.

"So as far as Congress is concerned and central office is concerned we never spent that money, so next year that $3.5 million will be missing. It was missing this year, and will be missing next year," said Mr. O'Brien.

"I want to provide the treatment for the patients who need it next year," he added. "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."

Mr. O'Brien said a total of $7 million must be accounted for over the last two years.

Before WRTV asked about the issue via email, a Roudebush VA Medical Center spokesperson said the hospital was unaware of Mr. O'Brien's concern.

"Upon receipt of your query, we initiated a review of the funding and finding processes in areas indicated," according to a statement from the VA center. "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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