VA apologizes for error in patient-death report

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Veterans Affairs is apologizing for what it called an “inadvertent” mistake that underreported the number of deaths linked to delays in cancer treatment at VA medical facilities.

The VA says there was no intent to mislead anyone.

But a lawmaker who has been leading oversight of the beleaguered agency is unsatisfied.

Florida Republican congressman Jeff Miller says the incorrect report was similar to deceptions that sparked a scandal over long patient wait times and falsified reports by VA employees trying to cover up the delays.

A VA “fact sheet” distributed to Congress in April said 23 veterans with gastrointestinal cancers had died under questionable circumstances since 1999.

In fact, the review conducted by VA was for only two years, 2009 and 2010, during which 24 veterans died.

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