The lead federal investigator into alleged over prescribing of painkillers at Tomah’s Veterans Administration Medical Center will be in Tomah on Friday afternoon. Dr. Carolyn Clancy’s review is expected to take 30 days. It comes after the former Tomah VA chief of staff, Doctor David Houlihan, was suspended. Houlihan had previously been reassigned. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald issued on order on Monday for a full review of opiate pain medication practices at the Tomah Center.
The Center for Investigative Reporting said the numbers of opiate prescriptions at Tomah grew by over 500 percent from 2004 to 2012, even as the numbers of veterans seeking care declined. According to the report, workers who raised questions about patients being “doped-up” were punished. A Marine died last August from an overdose.