On April 1, the Miami Herald editorial, “Nominee to head VA can’t be slam dunk,” stated that the Miami VA Healthcare System has failed veterans by “putting those lives in danger” regarding HIV tests and cafeteria food inspections.
This was presented out of context, and it is important to note that the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) did not conduct an independent investigation in February as was stated.
A review of Miami VA HIV testing procedures was conducted in October 2016, revealing that our testing protocols were compliant with CDC requirements. In fact, the discrepancies mentioned are typical of an approved multi-step testing procedure to rule out “false-positive” test results.
This review was done at the request of the Office of Special Counsel by the VA’s Office of Medical Inspector and included the physician director of Veterans Health Administration’s HIV, Hepatitis and Public Health program. Their final report is available for anyone to read on the OSC’s website.
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The Miami VAHS did not provide incorrect test results to any patients and there were no delays in treatment.
As for the cafeteria inspection, yes, the inspection identified issues as this is our internal quality control review done to ensure compliance.
Corrective action was immediately taken. No unacceptable food was served and no reports of food-borne illness have been made.
The Miami VA Healthcare System is proud to be a four-star rated quality facility serving more than 58,000 veterans a year in South Florida.
Currently, 92 percent of veterans have appointments completed under 14 days.
We encourage all veterans to seek out the benefits they’ve earned and we stand ready to treat them with the respect, dignity and quality they deserve.
Paul M. Russo,
Miami VA Healthcare System