VA vows more drug tests, inspections amid rising cases of opioid theft

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs said Monday it would boost employee drug testing and inspections amid rising cases of opioid theft and missing prescriptions, acknowledging gaps that had allowed thousands of doctors, nurses and other staff to go unchecked for signs of illicit drug use.

Testifying at a House hearing, Carolyn Clancy, a deputy VA undersecretary for health, said the department was moving aggressively to stem VA drug crimes. She said the VA was adding some inspectors to help check drug inventories across a network of 160 medical centers and 1,000 clinics. Computer systems also were being fine-tuned to ensure that all employees subject to drug testing were flagged for monitoring. 

In the last week, she said, the VA held a conference call with hundreds of health clinics to develop action plans of improvement. The department was also considering more internal…

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