Isakson To Host Field Hearing In Atlanta On VA Medical Center Mismanagement

We’ve just received word that Senator Johnny Isakson will host a field hearing next week here in Atlanta to address problems and mismanagement at Atlanta’s VA Medical Center.  The hearing will take place Wednesday August 7th at 10am on the campus of Georgia State University.  From the Senator’s press release:

ATLANTA – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., will chair a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee field hearing in Atlanta, Ga., on Wednesday, August 7, at 10 a.m. to examine the April 2013 reports from the Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General detailing mismanagement of inpatient and contracted outpatient mental health programs at the Atlanta VA Medical Center in the wake of three veteran suicides and to address the steps the VA has taken to improve the mental health care provided in all of their facilities.

The hearing is titled: “Ensuring Veterans Receive the Care They Deserve: Addressing VA Mental Health Program Management.”

Isakson, who serves on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, will hear testimony from the VA Central Office, the Office of the Inspector General, the Southeast Network, the Atlanta VAMC, the Georgia National Guard, a veteran with the Wounded Warrior Project, as well as private-sector and community mental health care providers.

Veterans are encouraged to attend the hearing to learn about the steps being taken to improve the care provided by the Atlanta VAMC.



  1. Jackster says:

    In case you were wanting some light reading, here are the reports Isakson will be addressing:

    Healthcare Inspection – Patient Care Issues and Contract Mental Health Program Mismanagement, Atlanta VA Medical Center, Decatur, Georgia
    4/17/2013 | 12-02955-178 | Summary: | Report:

    Healthcare Inspection – Mismanagement of Inpatient Mental Health Care, Atlanta VA Medical Center, Decatur, Georgia
    4/17/2013 | 12-03869-179 | Summary: | Report:

  2. Jackster says:

    I’ve been looking at this for 20 min. HEre’s what I find odd:

    The main beef was with the VA. The OIG found VA leadership was referring vets to their contracted MH (Mental Health) provider “Dekalb County Service Board”

    The OIG found that the care administered, billed for, and relied upon was not up to snuff on many levels. So I decided to look into accreditation.

    Normally, Hospitals must get accredited with an organization called the “Joint Commission”. They have very low standards for Mental Health, but they also look for CMS compliance, and other patient care/safetey issues. It’s a good thing.

    But it doesn’t matter here, because we’re looking at a Contracted (outsourced) MH Provider – This “DeKalb County Services Board”.

    After looking at their website, it says they get accredited by CARF ( – I think this is more like picking a certification – there is no requirement, just get one that soudns legit.

    So, if you go to CARF and look up providers in Decatur (30030), you find the DeKalb CSB:

    They are not accredited for Behavioral Health. They are accrdited for something called “Community Integration”… Descriptions:

    “An activity center, a day program, a clubhouse, and a drop-in center are examples of community integration services.”

    So you tell me – how is it that we have a VA who has contracted out capacity to a vendor who doesn’t even have a behavioral health accreditation?

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