VA Flag

While you were out fighting wars for the Flag defending our rights, many of you were unaware VA stood ready to give you a flag of its own – this time to take your rights away.

Yesterday, I came across the most current Patient Record Flags Manual (PRF) used by VA staff to deny veterans their right of access to health care without due process.

After reviewing its pages, the Patient Records Flags Manual should be renamed – something like the “Unconstitutional Veteran Targeting Guide,” since that is what it does in function.

It is used to “warn” VA employees about disgruntled veterans and thought some of you would like to see it. Here is what VA says it does:

Patient Record Flags (PRFs) are used to alert Veterans Health Administration (VHA) medical staff and employees of patients whose behavior and characteristics may pose a threat either to their safety, the safety of other patients, or compromise the delivery of quality health care.

The last part of this explanation is what really concerns me. What does “compromise the delivery of quality health care” mean? That is a very ambiguous definition if I have ever seen one.

Now, last week I wrote about VA Disruptive Behavior Committees. These are the secret bureaucratic committees that decide whether or not to flag veterans without providing due process first. The veteran then has his or her right of access to care restricted without prior notice.

The good news this week is that I found their manual last night. This is important for two reasons. First, you can now read up on how VA employees flag you. Second, and even better, you get to know what the keywords are when you request your file under the Privacy Act. Since VA is required by law to provide you with a copy of any records they have about you, knowing the terms is a good start.

If you skip to page 27, the PDF explains what an authorized user must include when assigning a flag to a veteran:

Patient Record Flags (PRF) are advisories that authorized users place on a patient’s chart to improve employee safety and the efficient delivery of health care. Each advisory or flag includes a narrative that describes the reason for the flag and may include some suggested actions for users to take when they encounter the patient. Other information displayed to the user includes the Flag Type, Flag Category, Assignment Status, Initial Assignment Date, Approved by, Next Review Date, Owner Site, and Originating Site. When assigning a flag, authorized users must write a progress note that clinically justifies each flag assignment action.

That is the information and record you want to get. If there is an error, you may be able to remove the flag. If the problem is defamatory in nature, you may be able to sue the VA for damages.

For me, the next step is to figure out the right fact set to reverse this trend of harming veterans. While I am sure some veterans need some form of a flag, I am also aware of numerous veterans who were unfairly targeted for a variety of unreasonable reasons. I guess they must have interfered with that “quality health care.” [sic]

This discussion of Patient Record Flags has me fired up because of the clear unconstitutional nature of the program. It reminds me of the old Communist techniques used to keep Soviet citizens in check, since I am aware of more than a few veterans who are flagged merely because of their threat to sue VA.

What do you think the manual should be called and what should we do about it?

Download the PRF Manual here:

Over 30 years ago someone mentioned something to me about these PRF’s that the VA uses. How long has the VA been using these? How can I tell if I’ve been given a PRF? Is there some way I can look at progress notes or any other VA info. and tell if I’ve been given one? Over the years I have confronted a couple of people at the VA about bogus information they wrote about me on progress notes that… Read more »
Dennis, I am wanting to know the same info so I can check on me. I had a huge disagreement recently with the VA health care and as a result, they have been putting off trying to help me. I have an internal blood loss and they say I am fine. All of my numbers are so low that I can barely breath. I am receiving 6% of the oxygen with every breath so as result, I am pale can’t… Read more »



I can scarcely believe they do this but it certainly explains the treatment I have been getting. I was the victim of medical malpractice by an incompetent dr. shenyi peng at the Northport VA and he almost killed me and left me totally disabled and they are claiming he did nothing wrong eventhough 4 other hospitals claim otherwise.

Dan F
A document which should be read is VHA Directive 2010-053 Corrected copy which spells out a guideline on how they rate a veteran for flagging. Having had a head injury with loss of consciousness, a drinking problem, recent arrest or just telling you were in a fight are all factors leading to flagging and if you are a male you get bonus points. What needs to be done is full disclosure to the Veteran if he/she is flagged for any… Read more »
the BBB does not recommend going to the VHA Hospitals. I recently had an appointment with a pain clinic. They knowingly lied to me about my back healing when they had no MRI’s on that area to gather information from. Then the Dr in Murfeesboro went to get her Head Doctor which I think was just a colleague and he started telling me all the medications I’ve been taking for 5 years were wrong and I shouldn’t be taking them… Read more »
Dennis, I found out you don’t confront the doctor in question every hospital has a Privacy Officer, you need to have them send you a special form and for every inaccurate note you have to fill out one of these forms. They are given so many days to correct it unless they feel it’s important information. At any rate you can only contact a privacy officer and correct your records through that. It’s part of FOICA and HIPPA acts. I’m… Read more »
Nicholas Burkhead
I’ll have to ask about this myself, I have service connection for depression among other things, and the V.A. emergency room in Muskogee turned me away on June 26th while I was asking to see a psychology Dr. no amount of calls to their directors office, nor visits to the office of Senator Inhoffe helped… And the reply back from V.A.’s website was that the V.A. was unaware of any problems. But I had recently requested a change of provider,… Read more »
B casler
They now flag your records if they feel you are suicidal. Did you know that flag gives out you total social security number? Yup it does and my identity has been stolen. This flag comes up to anyone with access to a VA medical record. This includes clerks. It is unethical to make a veterans medical issue known to non medical staff. I stopped therapy because I did not want people opening my record. I have gone to the director… Read more »
Brian James
the VA is ran by a bunch of greedy little rats that they themselves have never served in the military or have done anything for this but put veterans through a hard time and the most of all things that piss me off is that they get bonuses for keep the numbers low. yesterday in the USA news paper on the front page was a top story the VA admitted again they have be lying about the wait times for… Read more »
Dramon K.Hayes
On January 16th my right arm became infiltrated while being treated in ICU for a pulse of less than 20BPM. Shortly after my arm began swelling and several blisters manifested. At first the nurses and attending doctor were forthcoming in what occurred. Then I overheard the doctor telling my family member that the cause of my blisters was not from infiltration but rather the over enthusiastic insertion of my IV by a paniced nurse. I knew then the VA was… Read more »
I am so happy to have found this article!!!! I need serious help with a situation regarding this flagging crap and being denied medicine for a service connected disability. I once had a doctor that was tearing my mental health issues who removed diazepam, flagged me and left the VA. Three years later after 8 months of me being back on it for muscle spasms my doctor gets a call from the VA pharmacy stating he can’t provide it and… Read more »
Mike Saye

i’m the poster child for red flagged vets ! i have been flagged for 4 yrs now as a combat vet the red flag was our enemy flag i have been hurt stop calling us names i fought for my country and freedom you are not worth it just do your job

Keven Cabra
I have been flagged since 2005, I refused to take any statin drugs and found out all of my tests were normal, I just turned 65 and my new doctors Have advised me to retain a lawyer to go after the VA with, she is going to sue VA for pútting me in a wheelchair for life. Even tho the malpractice is over ten years, it seems like if you didnt know what they were doing makes it ok to… Read more »
John Williams

Yes…just got my flag..secret board assigns your flag..a secret panel..with no representation to the veteran..this isStalinist..Communist..and just plain lame..the care is so bogus at VA..I was ..warned..and the employees are..garbage at best..they do the bare minimum to get rid of you..i swore and got..fagged..Lame!!