Ga. rep calls for investigation into VA radiology department

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Amid continuing scrutiny of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers, Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.) has called for an investigation into potential misconduct at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, Ga., according to a report from the Augusta Chronicle.

NBC affiliate WAGT first raised the allegations after it received an anonymous letter claiming Katherine Mathews, MD, a radiologist at Charlie Norwood, had misread scans and ordered unnecessary follow-up procedures.

In an interview with WAGT, Mathews defended herself against the investigation by her employer, saying the workplace was one where employees were scared to speak out. The investigation into her work began after she brought attention to potential mismanagement of funds in the form of a new PET-CT scanner that sat idle for one year. Mathews also says the department recently had a backlog of 500 to 700 ultrasound studies.

While not directly connected to the highly publicized investigation into backlogs at other VA facilities that led to the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, Charlie Norwood has been involved in ongoing investigations connected to the deaths of three veterans in 2012 caused by excessive delays in the gastrointestinal program, according to the Augusta Chronicle.