A recent analysis has revealed that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has paid out about $845 million for medical malpractice cases since 2003. The high point in payouts came in 2012, when the VA settled 454 cases, adding up to a total of $98.3 million in settlements. 2008 saw the largest number of payouts – a total of 462 for that year.

How does this compare to the civilian sector? A New England Journal of Medicine study found that private health systems pay out on about 20% of medical malpractice claims. The VA’s percentage of claims paid is about 25%.

During this same 10-year period, the VA has faced increasing scrutiny for paying bonuses and raises to healthcare practitioners who were providing substandard care. A government accountability study from July revealed that in 2011, the VA gave $160 million in bonuses and performance awards to providers without equating better performance with the extra pay.

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VA officials, however, have pointed out that they manage one of the country’s largest medical networks, and that they only receive a relatively low number of claims. For example, in 2012, the year with the highest payout, 6.3 million veterans were treated by the VA, and only 1,544 claims were filed.