VHA Disruptive Veteran

More veterans than ever are forced to check in with VA police prior to getting their health care, but few understand what happened and why.

I have been getting reports from across the country that more and more veterans are running afoul with VA medical health care professionals. A big portion of the conflicts center around perceived changes in VA prescriptive policies or refusals to treat.

Sadly, what can be a one hit wonder regarding an argument can result in your file getting flagged. Getting flagged can then force you into an embarrassing compromise where you must be escorted by VA police wherever you go.

I looked into this last night in light of all the problems affecting veterans getting health care in Phoenix. More then ever, it seems like VA has growing secret lists and secret databases where VA can know things about you but you do not get to be part of that club.

So last night, while digging, I found some explanations of what is going on.

38 CFR § 17 is all about patient issues at VHA. § 17.107 is all about conflicts titled VA RESPONSE TO DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR OF PATIENTS.

This regulation in particular is questionable because it does not allow for the veteran to have some form of a hearing prior to being admonished for alleged behavior. It instead allows the veteran a chance to appeal only after a decision to restrict access has been made by the Chief of Staff or a designee.

VHA Directive 2010-053 really drills down into how VHA will now treat disruptive patients. VHA Handbook 1907.01 sets out how a veteran can request a change to their medical file, including removal of any flags.

VA OIG also issued a report last year called Management of Disruptive Patient Behavior at VA Medical Facilities. VA grew the mandate of § 17.107 into a program called the Behavior Threat and Management Program. VA also created Disruptive Behavior Committees (DBC) across the country at VHA facilities.

VA OIG identified some significant problems with the program. The primary issue is that VHA does not have a single definition of what “disruptive behavior” actually means. Therefore, the program is being administered more subjectively that what is appropriate.

“We found significant differences in how VHA facilities define disruptive behavior, document incidents and interventions, and employ interventions to prevent and/or minimize risk of further incidents. VHA does not have a comprehensive definition of what constitutes disruptive behavior. As a result, facilities have applied their own definitions, which are generally not consistent from facility to facility. The lack of a common definition and terminology diminishes VHA’s capacity to collect and analyze national data on disruptive behavior and identify system problems and training needs that could prevent or minimize disruptive behavior. VHA also has not established guidelines for what information facilities should document regarding disruptive incidents and how or where this information should be documented, and it is unclear what should be documented in a patient’s electronic health record so that providers have information needed for safe, quality health care. Lastly, facilities used a broad range of interventions to address disruptive behavior, all of which appeared to comply with the Federal regulation.”

VA now divides veterans who are deemed “disruptive” into Patient Record Flags split between Category I and Category II.

“Category I PRFs are used to identify patients who are high-risk for violent or disruptive behavior and are shared across all known VHA treating facilities. Category II PRFs are used to identify patients who are at risk for other reasons, such as drug seeking behavior, history of wandering, or spinal cord injuries. Category II PRFs are not shared across facilities; they are local flags.”

So what do you think – since VA is mandated to provide health care for veterans, should it also have such loose ability to restrict that care?




Mick J Smith

The place to start is determining the cause of the behavior that resulted in the flag. I think you’ll find that most of these people who got their records flagged did not have a history of disruptive behavior outside the VA. Was this simply a result of frustration?

Ron Nesler

Another example of VA arrogance and disregard for basic human dignity. These high flying parasites are so far above the law, that it makes them giddy..

Glenn Proper

The abhorrent behaviors from VA employees are not above the law. The individual veteran needs to take such violations to heart and prosecute the assaults thru all legal means.

Stephen J MGeady

The VA is Gov;t,Big and Bloated.I have been appealing MY C&P since 84 and just recently got Legal help. Just waiting to see what happens. Hope they Don’t take it out on My Chap 31. The reason I say this is because they can be very Vindictive.Just a thought,I hope these people get there act together, Supposed to be working for us,not against.


Patients do not realize that in some cases C&P is completely separate from the VA Medical clinic and hospitals. Some of the C&P doctors are contracted doctors hired by a completely different company.. It make as difference if they are VA employed or Contracted..

Rhonda is totally correct. Many facilities have outside contracotrs performing C+P exams, and nowadays, sadly, almost ALL C+P exams will be done by QTC/VES/MES, and other organizations, which will throw more bad gas on the fire and further lengthen the claims process. If you are denied a C+P rating by a regional office, it ends there. It is NOT transmitted anywhere else, and it cant be ‘vindictive’… why? No one would know, other than the RO who denied it. And… Read more »
I had a situation with my PC at my local VAHC clinic in which I had MRI’s, Xray’s, and EMG’s done. Also, 20 years of injections in my spine etc. Anyways, Im at a point with my service connected injuries where im totally disabled. I can barely walk or lift and twist without being in massive pain for days and can’t get a good nights sleep except when my body is so tired I just crash. I asked my VA… Read more »
bruce wallace

Oswaldo, you said it right; as soon as you ask the VA to do something that has to do with documenting your actual condition, they fall to pieces on you. They are afraid you might get some additional care or benefit that they actually want for themselves.

bruce wallace
I am not saying there is any actual memo floating around the VA, but if there was, it might look like this: “In an effort to cut costs in delivering medical and other services to disabled veterans, you are required to follow this new procedure. If possible, when a service-connected disabled veteran seeks service, make attempts to provoke the veteran. Do so in a manner that will make it appear you and other involved staff are justified in calling the… Read more »

The above is nonsense and fraudulent, and an embarrassment to anyone who is willing to believe that hogwash.

bruce wallace
I was not having any trouble with VA police until I made the mistake of asking the VA for Regular Aid and Attendance years ago. Since then, the VA has outright stalked me and my wife, trying to provoke a situation to get me arrested or shot. My case is common in the sense that the VA misuses their police all the time with all sorts of veterans. But, mine is worse because of the new way they are now… Read more »
Sadly, the folks who tell you that you may need A+A have no input whatsoever into you getting it. You need to see your VSO, or apply online at VBA. A C+P exam will likely be set up, if you meet the guidelines. If you are SC, and your SC medical issues require A+A, then you might get that additional benefit. Otherwise, it’s quite common when your providers (who know NOTHING about C+P benefits) will give u bad info, then… Read more »
Dan F

VA providers have available to them on line training in dealing with veterans who have PTSD. Of course, we do not know the numbers who participate.

Mike Ainsworth Combat Medic 1st Bde 101st Abn Div A Co 1/327 Abn Inf '66-'67
Mike Ainsworth Combat Medic 1st Bde 101st Abn Div A Co 1/327 Abn Inf '66-'67
Your all correct about the VA Medical! Anyone telling you the VA is improving is either VA management, a NSO or VSO (at least here in Northern California) or just a bigot, bully prejudiced mikeoscartangohotelechoromeofox uniformcharliekeloechcoromeo! I have complained to Congressman George Miller and other people (several times) that could do something about the way this VA Medical and Vet Center in Concord, California Team Leader treat’s certain people that were not in his branch of service and the chicken… Read more »
Stephen J MGeady
I hear you brother. I am a ret Master chief(GMCM 69-95) also PBR 69-71,and for the life Of meI could never understand How people that are supposed to be there for you,turn on you like you are a criminal. Years ago when I had to go down to the VA at 23rd St in NYC,one of the people there Said His main job was to get 3 out of 10 Veterans so frustrated they would never come back.I asked Him… Read more »
Doug m.

I have no comment about most of the stories told so far. All I can really is say wow!

Then there are only 2 attorneys with the balls enough to take it to the DVA in the country, as far as I know it is Benjamin and Chris. I’ve been saying for years that the only way to even the playing field for Veterans is by making it legal to take these asshole to court and file lawsuits against their asses. Congress also needs to make this federal department accountable for the positive and negative aspects of their decisions.

I was wondering why my doctor tried to provoke me. Holy Veterans Crap Vatman we’ve been defecated on.

James Brown

can some one give me the name of an attorney that will file suit [email protected]

E. Knight
I was in a car accident two winters ago and required my files to be transferred from the VA to my lawyer. I had been getting sandbagged for treatment already for a nerve injury in my back recieved during a large fall. This was the cause of my medical separation from the USMC. The VA “couldn’t prove” there was an injury despite the fact my shoulder blades no longer sit correctly and they would not pay for a Nerve Conduction… Read more »

I have resisted, for financial reason, getting a lawyer involved. NOW I’m seeing, or it appears, that you have to legal threats to get attention. I know that McSally got NO traction when contact the Tucson VA on my behalf, and after seeking care on my dime, McSally’s office won’t even give lip service…and forget about McCain or Flake’ offices.

Any one have suggestions on VA attorneys that understand our plight and need for affordability?

I have had this done to me flagged for disruptive behavior, this was done by an employee, whom I used to work with at the va. This employee did so in retaliation for something, I said about the way she was running a certain committee. The employee told the va I would come into the clinic at least twice a month and become disruptive. The va took her word about what happened and punished me. This was done with the… Read more »
I have commented before on this subject and at the VA Clinic I try not to go to in Martinez, California they know me very well, decades worth of FUBAR treatment and I do complain right then and there especially when I see the Patient Advocate Ruben Soto and other lack luster failures that come up to me or suddenly walk by me. I have been in an ambush and what I see is the head shrink’s with their died… Read more »
I have recently had the pleasure of being placed on the Dayton VAMC Disruptive Behavior list – I like many others have tried to reason with the “management”, however, they forgot to inform me early on that as a “Volunteer” and a “Veteran” you lose the basic United States freedoms of Speech and Press! I, among other allegations, am accused of “using social media” (Facebook) to try and get some insight on how to deal with a concern I had… Read more »
Sue, did they provide you with any evidence of you being disruptive, did anyone reply to your letters, Bob McDonald, anyone! ,what did they do to you. This illegal activities are getting way out of hand! , Ben do you have any suggestions on how we can stop this outrageous tactic. VA did the same thing to me and even told senators office there was no type of evidence, that confirms that anything ever happened to justify their actions! Sue… Read more »
using DBC for retaliation needs to stop! lying PT Advocates, Head RN claimed stalking SES when they are 3-hrs from me! local VA refuses to do their damn jobs! sent a to a Choice/ fee-base Dr got a prescription next day go to the VA to have it filled. Life threatening if not handled Urgently! Wound Care not able to no openings etc 🙁 they originally no help anyways! go to Urgent care Dr there says oh specialty drug your… Read more »

Yes this has to stop, they are handing out disruptive complaints to veterans like candy!

In other words any AND ALL veterans, must be aware that if they talk about something that is amiss and the employee does not like what they said “YOU will be reported to the disruptive committee and you have no defence against it! At any time!

now I have recently discovered 85% of my radiology images have been deleted! There is a VA over 20+year Employee willing to testify they were there Feb 2015 as I have them! they were there this past summer to when I had to get more xrays 🙁 he and others there checked int he archives etc everywhere! I have called 1 of my US Senators etc on this matter n the Dir too; the current flagging I have not been… Read more »
Rey Rivera
I was recently told that I had a red flag on my record. Not knowing about the flags, I asked what it meant. One person told me it indicated VIP. VIP for what ? No answer, then I met with a claims rep. She inadvertently said something the red flag. She looked nervous and asked if I ever had an encounter with an employee. Not that I could remember. I’ve asked questions on behalf of other veterans in order to… Read more »
You make sure it’s in written evidence and only verbally leaves no paper trail. You should care about it. They can cause you a lot of problems in the future.even have you arrested federal charges and banishment from all VA care. They used hearsay when they flagged me.changed their stories three times and had no proof of it ever happening. If you speak with them record it and or have someone with you. They may use a scare tatic to… Read more »
james brown
first thing first, find out how long the flag has been on your record, because you can request removal after one year & good luck with that , somebody somewhere felt threaten and they placed the flag on your record, plus you have to put in the request at the place of ownership, meaning if you visit different V.A”s you have to find out who own the flag, & when the next DBC meeting is ………..funny there’s no Behavior committee… Read more »
james brown
if you ever wonder why you are being treated the way you are , is a good time to check your record, all you have to do is go to the next waste of Govt. funds Patient Rep !!! they will tell you if you have a flag on record , I’ve had a Cat#1 Flag on my record since 2011, that will be removed in 2017 , I don’t give a shit about a Flag after while they gone… Read more »
Johnny Ortiz
AF Ret….(2010)Wow! I got home today and there was a certified letter waiting for me from the VA..I thought ok some news from the VA certified, better open it. Well to my surprise as I read and understood what i ws reading, a great big WTF!!!?@%#^ !!!!! Came up in one of those comic bubbles. How i. The world did me requesting a new doctor in anyway form shape or fashion make me out to be a “Disruptive Bully? And… Read more »
Glenn Proper

Record each and every outburst from any VA employee.
It is perfectly within your right to do so

I am a Marine Corps infantry vet that served in OEF and OIF. I’m service connected for PTSD and TBI. In 2009, I called and complained to the Long Beach VAMC patients’ rights’ advocate about poor service I had received. I said, “Stuff like this is why so many veterans are killing themselves.” They initiated a health and welfare check for suicidality that caused the Orange County Sheriff to send out a SWAT team because I’m an infantry marine and… Read more »

*wasn’t a danger

James Gallegos
I live in Colorado. Any veteran in Colorado that has been accused of disruptive behavior by the VA Please contact ken buck’s office and please tell them your experence. I called today and told his rep about how the VA is acussing veterans of disruptive behavior and punishing veterans at will. ! Also told how the disruptive committee does not require proof of any disruptive behavior (period) His office in Greeley Colorado would like to hear from you. Rhw rep… Read more »
I personally, have bee verbally assaulted ad threated numerous times by health care “providers” at VAMC Martinsburg West Virginia. After the last assault, my health record was flagged for disruptive behavior. I am now afraid for my security. I have asked for the VA police to escort me to the appointments to ensure that I am not abused again, The police have declined to escort me to my appointments. Due to my injuries, which the assigned physicians have virtually refused… Read more »
Additionally Due to the rogue nature of the VHA In regards to the negligent care and malfeasance of certain individuals within the employ of the Veterans Administration, it is highly advisable for ALL veteran patients to record AND document, officially thru the constructed system, ALL encounters. USE the TOOLS that have bee legislated. It is the OLY way to expose the corruption ad abuse. If ANYONE has ANY questions about the best way to proceed with such safeguard conduct, please… Read more »

Can you elaborate on what you mean “USE the TOOLS that have bee legislated. It is the OLY way to expose the corruption ad abuse.
If ANYONE has ANY questions about the best way to proceed with such safeguard conduct, please contact me for cosult”

Not sure what you your talking about. I ask because I too need help to record and document the abuse I have and continue to receive.


For each incident, make a formal, written complaint. If the complaint is not acted upon. Take it to the next level in their chain of command. Have your complaint signed and dated by whoever receives it. Keep a copy for your records.

Be honest and forthcoming with your complaint.
The VA employees are hired to serve your needs. Do not tolerate abuse or assaults.

Glenn, thanks for the quick response. I get it, thought perhaps you knew of a VA WEB base complaint system, which is not a bad ideal, kind of like a “How’s my driving” sticker. I’m tired of their fake signs; Were here for you, We want to or We do provide you with the best possible care/support. If worker would just do their job, we would be fine. We do not need them to care, just be professional and do… Read more »
The mandate for VHA health services is to provide Compassionate, Quality, Respectful services. It is their duty to provide competent care. It should be expected. If they received a written complaint each time an employee failed to deliver on those promises the VA would have to shift focus from the things they are used to trying to cover up. Don’t take the poor services personally. The individuals need to be brought to responsibility for their actions. Only you can make… Read more »
Im a veteran, never been in any real trouble, at least not for anything I’ve actually done. I was trying to get help from the VA at one point, and the guy helping me was telling me they could help. Then out of nowhere he said they couldn’t do anything. The guy was about a couple months from retiring from the VA. He ended up taking a point I was trying to make and twisted it, then had the cops… Read more »

I had pcp’s nurse call me at home and get belligerent with me. I told her the same thing multiple times and she would interrupt and tell I was wrong. I called the nurse manager about her and the nurse manager had her write a letter for the disruptive behavior committee. The phone call was recorded, but the VA management refused to listen to it as apparently the employee is always right even if they are wrong.