A Wisconsin Congressman is calling for a comprehensive review of how prescription opiates are used across the Veterans Affairs medical system.
U.S. Representative Ron Kind (D-WI) says allegations that veterans were overs-prescribed pain killers at the Tomah VA Medical Center should be a warning to examine the entire system. “I think what we’re seeing at Tomah is probably not unique at Tomah,” Kind said, adding that pain management is not an “exact science” and a comprehensive review may be warranted.
The Wisconsin Democrat says there needs to be greater use of pain management teams, testing to make sure veterans are taking the right medications, and peer review systems that will prevent a single doctor from having too much control.
Kind and other members of Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation recently called for a hearing in Tomah. The chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee granted that request on Wednesday. Kind said the move will allow them to “delve in a little bit deeper, and do a little fact-finding on our own, for our own sake in Congress. Not only (for) what’s happening in Tomah, but how this might apply the lessons learned to the entire VA system.”
A date for the hearing has not been set.
Affiliates WSAU and WAYY contributed to this report.