VA improperly tracking hip, shoulder implants, report alleges


A new report from the Government Accountability Office, a watchdog group, alleges that the Veterans Affairs Health Administration has not been properly tracking artificial hip and shoulder devices in patients. 

If a device gets recalled due to manufacturing problems, the VA may not be able to properly notify veterans, according to a March 29 report from the Military Times.

"Some VA medical center officials said that if they needed to identify patients affected by a safety issue with an orthopedic implantable device, it would require a time-consuming search of the medical records," the report reads. 

The report noted that for other specialties, including cardiology, devices are "meticulously" monitored and tracked by the VA. 

While the VA tracks the total number of implants used, the equipment used is not tied to the veteran using it in the VA's database. 

Between 2019 and 2023, the VA implanted more than 1 million hip and shoulder devices in patients. In that time, there were four major recalls to implantable orthopedic medical equipment. 

VA officials have pledged to address the issue and add needed changes by 2025. 

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