UPDATE: Whistleblowers, families ask for accountability at Tomah - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

UPDATE: Whistleblowers, families ask for accountability at Tomah VA

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Tomah, WI (WXOW) -

Whistleblowers and family members of veterans who died at a Tomah Department of Veterans Affairs medical center say they want lawmakers to enforce accountability and reform the hospital.

A pair of U.S. House and Senate committees heard testimony Monday on allegations of narcotic overprescribing practices and retaliatory behavior at the Tomah VA hospital.

The facility in west-central Wisconsin came under scrutiny in January following reports that physicians were prescribing more painkillers than most VA hospitals, and employees who spoke out were subjected to intimidation. The hospital is the subject of multiple investigations.

The deaths of 74-year-old Thomas Baer, of Marshfield, last month; 35-year-old Jason Simcakoski, of Stevens Point in 2014; and 27-year-old Jacob Ward, of Milwaukee in 2013, prompted state representatives to call for a federal probe.

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A pair of U.S. House and Senate committees will hold a joint field hearing on allegations of narcotic overprescribing practices and retaliatory behavior at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Tomah.

The hearing is scheduled Monday in Tomah.

The facility in west-central Wisconsin came under scrutiny in January following reports that physicians were prescribing more painkillers than most VA hospitals and employees who spoke out were subjected to intimidation. The hospital is under investigation by the VA, the VA Office of the Inspector General and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The deaths of 74-year-old Thomas Baer, of Marshfield, last month; 35-year-old Jason Simcakoski, of Stevens Point in 2014; and 27-year-old Jacob Ward, of Milwaukee in 2013, prompted state representatives to call for a federal probe.

Watch the live stream feed courtesy of Chippewa Valley Community Television and Radio.

WXOW's Caroline Hecker will have coverage of the hearing here on wxow.com and on Live at Five, as well as the 6pm and 10pm Reports.

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