1. Fraud and negligence in acquisition and procurement of high dollar value equipment.
At the VAPHS and VISN 4, during my tenure as Program Leader in Radiology, the composition of the High Dollar and High tech Committee was chaired by an Internist (Dr. Glenn Snyder COS at Clarksburg VA), who had neither knowledge of the need for nor the elements that defined the purchases in Radiology in the VISN. This accounts for the unnecessary purchases of a third linear accelerator, the fifth Gamma Camera or the low field strength Orthopedic Scanner.
2. Oversight by the VACO.
This was not evident in any judgment exercised in the equipment purchased.
a) when the 1.0 T Orthopedic Unit was acquired and upgrade to the 1.5 T unit was available and could have been purchased. Currently with the 1.0T scanner, few if any scans are performed. Patients who have been scanned in the 1.0T unit are then rescanned in the higher strength units. This translates to a wasted sum of ≈ $600,000 for the purchase of the unit and an expenditure of 10% of the purchase price for maintenance.
b) A second example is the acquisition of a fifth SPECT scanner when the need is for a SPECT-CT unit was clearly obvious. This has resulted in a number of cases being “fee-based” to UPMC or elsewhere for SPECT-CT scanning.
This goes on and on. The site's proprietor, Dr. Vijay Mehta, says that I am in an internet war against the good doctor. I would challenge that assertion.
Dr. Chacko again attacks the Pittsburgh VA and Dr. Mona Melhem specifically. This has been her mantra since before I was even introduced to her. This is the largest detail to her charges, at least publicly.
I can't speak to the whole piece, but I can speak to the part about me.
On September 2nd, a blogger (Michael Volpe) called me at my office and told me that he would be writing up slanderous and very injurious articles about me on the Internet. Since I did not know Mr. Volpe personally, I asked him what his sources of information would be. He claimed and subsequently has stated on his blog that his sources of information would be the VA.
The conversation Dr. Chacko speaks of was entirely off the record however I never used the term "slanderous". I also never said my sources were the VA itself but folks within the Pittsburgh VA. Now, I also have sources outside the hospital as well. Once again Dr. Chacko claims that I am being investigated by the FBI. If this is happening, it's happening without my knowledge. No one from the FBI has ever contacted me about this matter.
After a conversation with a little birdy, the thread appears to have been taken down.