My HealtheVet

Benjamin KrauseThe My HealtheVet VA Blue Button is BS. You do not get all your medical records despite VA’s claims on its website. You get whatever VA thinks you need to know and sometimes none of what you are looking for when it comes to C&P examination notes.

Veterans are being seriously misled by Veterans Affairs about how much of their own health care information they can access from the web portal My HealtheVet and VA Blue Button. While veterans are given the impression you can access all your records this way, it is not true.

You are probably not getting all your medical records if you rely on the My HealtheVet VA Blue Button option. Instead, you need to file a Release of Information records request or Privacy Act request for “any and all medical records.”

I personally compared the exact same entry comparing a VistA Progress Note to a My HealtheVet VA Blue Button VA Note. The VistA version was 1,739 words compared to 583 using VA Blue Button option. And, lots of adversarial information was excluded from the VA Blue Button option.

If you have relied on VA Blue Button for a full and accurate medical record, you are being fooled and given only a partial picture of your medical history. Read on to learn more.

Many, many veterans write in about what their VA Blue Button medical records include. They presume everything VA has on them is accessible through the VA Blue Button option if you have a “premium” account. They believe it because that’s basically what VA says in person and on the website, MyHealth.VA.gov. But when we get additional records using other methods, like a Privacy Act request, they get pretty pissed pretty fast.

RELATED: Sample Privacy Act / FOIA Request

Should we be surprised? Do you think VA ever wants you to know exactly what information they have gathered on us?

Due to this prolonged deception, I decide to do something to help dispel the myth. I used a real world example to figure out just how different my real records are from my VA Blue Button records using my own VistA records as an example.

VistA is the database VA uses to contain your full VA medical records. What I have learned is My HealtheVet gives us a very truncated version of those records and even contains inaccuracies never mentioned in VistA Progress Notes.

Here is how my audit went using my own records.

In particular, I selected a note where the medical records I received directly from the Minneapolis VA Medical Center contain numerous false, unscientific or misleading statements about a denial for health care services I received almost one year ago.

Here is some background on the issue in those notes.

VA wanted me to submit to yet another neuropsychological evaluation. My civilian psychiatrist believed it would be a waste of time and told me not to do it. VA demanded I submit but refused to explain what tests they would perform. As an attorney, I know this is bizarre, and I refused. VA then refused to help me even though the test results were only remotely related to the services I was seeking given the copious amounts of data VA already possesses about me.

During the audit, I conducted a side-by-side comparison of my medical records. The first were Progress Notes from VistA that I received following a Release of Information request in person. I then downloaded VA Notes from My HealtheVet VA Blue Button using my supposed “premium” account.

RELATED: How to use FOIA to get a copy of your records

When compared, the note I received using the Blue Button option contained 583 words. The same Progress Note from my Release of Information request contained 1,739 words.

Does something seem fishy about that to you?

When I looked at the specific differences, the note from My HealtheVet did not contain the derogatory comments from VA health care providers that were contained in the Progress Notes from my VistA records. The VA Blue Button also included comments about a “patient advocate” and “pain management.” These terms were no where to be found in the VistA Progress Note.

If I did not know about the derogatory and false statements, I would not know to appeal the errors using the Privacy Act. I further would not know to file a clinical appeal about the decision to not provide the services I requested.

According to MyHealth.va.gov., a veteran with a “premium” account is led to believe he or she will have access to “key portions of your VA health record” including VA Notes, VA Medical History, etc. The problem here is we let VA decide what the key portions are.

Making matters worse, VA is constantly working to erode our ability to access our own records. Back in October, VA decided to restrict our own access to Compensation & Pension evaluations after an exam. Only until sometime after VA decides your case will you have access to your own medical records.

Let’s keep in mind that medical records are your property and HIPAA law may weigh against VA’s current position to withhold those records. Only time will tell, but I hope someone challenges VA’s current position soon.

RELATED: Paranoid VA Officials Paint Veterans As Crazed Psychos

The key takeaway here is when you let VA decide what portions are “key portions,” VA will probably give you less information then you think. For that reason, you need to file a “Release of Information” with the facility where you get health care.

Have you ever been confused about your My HealtheVet medical records? What did you do to get a full copy of your file?

120 COMMENTS

  1. I went in person to the VAMC where I go to and got my medical record on a disc and they mailed it to me within five days, I brought it to my new civilian primary care doctor. When I returned for my follow up appt. my doctor said that with all of the pages printed out my medical records looked almost as big as the Encyclopedia Brittanica, all 32 volumes!:) Anyway I was referred to four clinics and have had my blood and urine drawn as the doctor said there were things that needed to checked that were NOT done and things that needed to be followed up on that weren’t done by the VA. I also have had an ultrasound and 3 MRI’s, inclusive of one for lung cancer which I believe EVERY veteran should get, considering that I smoked like a chimney when I was in the Navy and have quit. Medicare NOW pays for that. Thank God I am negative lung cancer but positive asthma. My new civilian doctor is quite good and thorough and the BEST way to get your records is to GO IN PERSON, and have it put it on a disc and mailed. Copy the disc to your computer. It’s nice to read some of the negative comments about yourself. Don’t go to MyHealtheVet as a some stuff will be missing as I discovered as well.

    • When going for any medical appt, get the printout of your medical records & go over them with who ever is typing them & then tell them to correct all of the errors at that point in real time.
      It may seem tedious at the time, but then you are the REAL KEEPERS of ALL of your medical records. The truth is always the hardest to tell.when someone else is writing out your medical data.
      When writing up patients complaints, we were told what to write way back when in the early 90’s , hiding the medical facts of a patient’s illness, injury… when working for kaiser, which is the main deception of the real truth.
      Upon looking back I know now one of the reasons, WHY I wasn’t well treated.as an employee and one of those who was geared to injure at work… I would not alter any medical info from a patient. that would go into their permanent medical file, the hard copy.
      I want to join via proxy ( for my brother who was in Nam & got treated like he was a scourge after coming back & that goes for being in the VA too ) to get any injured or ill disabled private or vet group who wants the truth our there, about the mistreatment of any American vet or worker. Any of us who made some trillions of dollars, via comp or wars,, all the while setting us up to be hurt, ill or dead all for profit.
      Yep, it is sabotage, treason &, genocide, (via the internet with no regulations & surveillance,), all for profit.& certainly all for profit.
      It’s all rather putrid, vile & sinister as it gets, all by the betrayal of the top of our very own..

      • When my husband came home from that ever popular WAR {Vietnam), was home a week when his dad took hm to the VA hospital. He would do guard duty at night, with gun and all. The family was terrified if he got upset over something in the news or someone said at work, etc. He could not keep a job, or a relationship, and most of his family wanted nothing to do with him. He would not talk with anyone about what he saw or heard. 26 yrs later we met, and were married. Many nights he would pull me off the bed and whisper, don’t make a sound. After a short time I could talk him back to bed and he remembered none of this. I finally talked him to go to the VA and he saw 5 psych doctors that found he had severe PTSD. We were told he was 5 days short of being in country to qualify for PTSD. It is a fight for most of his refills and to see the Dr of his choice is unheard of!!!!!!. He just keeps saying oh hon its just the VA and I want to hit someone until I finally get a sparkle in their eyes to tell me they are listening to me…I would like to have him change to a non VA Dr, but if he does we cannot afford his medications.

  2. 04/06/2015

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    I am sure “neuropsychological evaluation” would provide the evidence the VA [the Congress/the Senators/the President/ HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell/VA Secretary Bob McDonald (put a name on the face), and the ever changing DOD Secretary] needs to explain away their sabotage of the Manage Structure at the Hospitals and Clinics during this “5 Alarm Fire.” And to add the “patient advocate” and “pain management” into the mix is part of their Master Plan to give everyone a “3 part Tomah, Wisconsin Cocktail,” just wait when the VA picks up on psychedelic trips [LSD] is a cure for PTSD from the Swiss [Davos Special].
    The VA is constantly working to erode the veterans’ ability to access their own records and that is just scrapping the surface of the problem, it goes much deeper (Genocide)! Arson, burning VA records/Destroying records, has been a habitual crime for the VA Management over the Decades; this also includes the re-arranging of DATA, and the “misplacement of files.”

    But by not telling anyone about the cancer and auto-immune diseases associated with chromium 6 [hexavalent chromium] from “…Chronic inhalation of this substance increases the risk of cancer, usually in the lungs which are the most vulnerable,” is criminal. “After the lungs, capillaries in kidneys and intestines are can also become cancerous.” Chromium VI is found on Tanks and Jet Fighters [see Dutch Contract aired 04/04/15, and http://www.dw.de/dutch-military-staff-awaits-compensation-in-toxic-paint-case/a-18250624%5D; other signs of exposure to Chromium VI–porous fingernails and teeth, breathing problems and high blood pressure.

    “‘It is a hellhole and a hellhole that shames the world,’ said Chris Gunness, spokesman for a spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees” over where they [Isis] are destroying historical artifacts.
    So, what has the VA done over the course of 60 years?
    About the time General Patton wanted to tell the Americans something, but that came to a “crashing” end.

    It is Treason, using acts of Sabotage to wear down the Veterans, as stated before. [It is all about who is in control.]

    Call a spade a spade!

    This is no Hellhole—this is a “Hole in the Future.”

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

  3. Every one of us should be getting your medical records in a hard copy form. NEVER trust the “blue button”. Why do you think that there is a hold on the information you can receive. As Ben is saying, you may not get all of your information and I will say that you will not get all of your information. If you trust the VA enough to only get the online version then you will never find out what the VA actually is putting in their record about you.
    Since I have moved to the Indy VAMC my medical records are nothing but lies and things that makes the disability that I was discharged for in 1985 disappear. My disability is clearly stated and being actively treated at the Seattle VAMC and after my move, the Dr’s here have stated that I have no disability (not actual wording but the statement is they see no reason for me to be treated for a condition that I do not have) as a result, I now have to worry that this can cause a problem that we all know could take the VA many yrs. to correct. What makes this even weirder is this VAMC has prescribed me a narcotic med for a condition that they have determined I don’t have. Why would they do that? I have some other conditions that are in my other VA medical records that this VA refuses to look at and I am now having problems with and I am trying to get this VAMC to take care of.
    I typed note to be put into my medical records after a so called Dr. that I couldn’t understand and was the worst Dr. I have ever had in my life, put in my record things that make me look as if I am a monster. She wrote this all in capital letters and most of it is misspelled, not the truth, was not talked about or done. I asked for my records via the FOIA and the note was not in there. I asked about it and was told that it was in there but I could not see it. It went downhill from there as I was informed that if I continued to argue and act in this manner (I was not rude, yelling, cursing, threatening, ETC…) that the VA police would be called. I asked about it to the Hospital director and was told that it would be looked into. I guess I should have asked if it would have been reported back to me as the whole thing has been treated as if it never happened and now no one will look into it. I have tried to have the note put back in but the ROI states that it is in there and therefore it cannot be put in twice. I can’t get a straight answer. I have put in notes at the Seattle VAMC and all of them were visible.
    What will happen when the VA goes paperless? This will allow the VA to put in what they want and we will have no way to state that something is incorrect. We will have to start recording out visits so we can have the true copy of what happened at out appointments. Remember, look out for number one.

    • Hi my fellow VA heaters and Government distrusters we ( please for give my spelling ) have done their work they sent us to do and they return in to us the VA which makes us find paper work that don’t have to be added to our records again because they are part of our mil.records we had give hte government the ok to send them to make their ok on our problem from our service for them. Oh by they way can you say light speed the working of computers is just that they transfer money a lot of money in just mill a seconds why do they think we don’t know they can do it with records. Well my story is like the most of you I have been in the system from 1980 in Boston and have been up and down the east coast and in az. and never had a good time with them. The doctors some of them where from India and spoke a form of what ever they said and asked me what kind of drugs I wanted and that was all and I really have a PHD to be a Doctor NOT !!!!! So it went from a doctor who spent more time on phone talking to outside pat. and wife and sleeping that talking to me for what he was getting paid for and it only got worst from there. Now the VA says we get the best MED treatment in the USA well if so why don’t the SENT. and HOUSE and PRES. use the VA for their treatment why because they want to live and get better treatment than the people that come to our country unlawfully because we as VETS have it the worst of all not the best of all. I told the man I Call JEFF who is the money man for the VA BEFORE PHIX broke how in SC we had over 40 KILLED conformed dead because of VA lack of caring for VETS and doing test which if done could of saved those who died because of money they where getting to fix the books. I gave them a plan to give the VETS full med like OB gets for his family the best and for all VETS and still save the people over $ 56,000,000,000.00 USD over that year VA MED budget a lone not all of the VA money but just med. Now that was savings not more money. I got 4 call backs 3 sent. and a flunky and a letter from JEFF all saying ” we don’t like VETS talking about having their own insurance it just not done and well leave it at that OK mr.” I sent it to to FOX news Bill O Really and never got a return from him or anyone but when AZ broke in a few weeks later they acted as if my news never was told to them ever. So lets talk VA I almost got shout by a SC state policeman who was told the asst VA director had a mad man in his office and was going to kill him so they came in with hands on guns and ready to shoot but found me sitting on chair across from him talking and was asked if all ok he said yes but why not I was talking to a VET. After it was done I told the vic. that happen because you didn’t the phone when it rang to see if you ok and because I have been trying to get to the DIRCTOR to tell him of my problems with his staff and how long it was going on, but met a brick wall from his own people out side his offices and was getting mad from it you see it was over 150 miles from my home to his office one way and on my dime so this was 5 trip to do so and I got mad in vics. office and loud after he ask me to go over my story two times because he was not lessening the first time. Now I can write a book on this but I need to say bye for now but too let you why are you asking why ask how come you are treated like a 4 class people who in a 3 class country? OH to let you know they talk about the money as if it is theirs but it is ours and we know the right way to use it!!!!! Thank to all who served and to those gave the most a true thanks from us. And God Bless all of our men and women doing it still in just living the dream of the FREE USA.not what we have now but when we have it all will know BYE from Jim H. 100% disable VET who loves his country and BY THE WAY WE ARE ALL PEOPLE OF THE USA NOT FROM Another country and the from USA BUT USA ONLY they made the division not US. OK

    • The same thing is happening to me in Texas after a move from Wisconsin. (My records here only state chronic pain and nothing about the liteny of physical and mental detriments that are on record from the doctors in Wisconsin and NJ WRIISC.) The system has since taken away my caregiver and “graduted” me from the program. I could really use a lawyer.

  4. I’m really tired of all the bullshit, am sitting here in chronic pain still from being completely cold turkeyed off my pain meds that had been prescribed to me for many years, ended a really good patient/doctor relationship I had with my doc of 18+ years because her hands are tied due to shit policy’s, and growing more tired and pissed by the day.

    Why don’t we all just form up, call ourselves back into service, a public service force if you will, then tirelessly target and go to war with this organization until they are beaten down so god damned hard they lose 80+% of all their employees due to walk outs by their employees?

    I will be the first to volunteer in helping to write the tactical plan, a planned strategy that would entail making every group, person and policy within the VA as completely miserable as possible. A tactical plan that would ensure the complete and total surgical destruction of the current system and culture. Let’s assemble to make the entire VA the most miserable organization on the planet.

    Let’s look at the numbers:

    There are anywhere between 19.6 and 22.5 MILLION veterans alive and ready to re-serve today.

    There are a total of 312,841 full time employees at the VA, of which a little more than 100,000 are veterans themselves. So 1/3 of the VA’s total employee’s would more than likely jump ship by going AWOL from their jobs to join the enemy and one time comrades in arms being us.

    Launching an all out war (albeit peaceful) by the veterans against the VA would culminate in a force population of 20 million against 200,000. That equates to a force against force ratio of 100 to 1.

    I believe during the cold war where we in US NATO were clearly outnumbered against the Russians we regularly trained to kick the Russian’s asses at a combat soldier ratio of 7 to 1…. 7 Russians to each one of us Americans. And quite honestly we were completely confident that we could meet such a ratio on the battlefield and win. That same force is just a bit older today, and a hell of a lot wiser!

    So what about a 100 to 1 ratio of us against the total and utterly incompetent VA troops, groups and policies?

    It’s time to report back for the cause of retaining that which was always promised to us which few if any have ever received and of which if rightfully ours. We kept true on our promise, now its time to hold them accountable for keeping true on their promise. I say its time to FALL in solder!

    Where’s the leadership of and for us veterans? And I’m not talking about a large useless organization that takes in massive donations and states they are for the veterans yet get things done like the VA itself. We need new, real and true representation and then we need to assemble and get busy. If we came together for such an initiative I will bet my balls that rapid results would come sweeping down at a rate we’ve never even dreamt possible. Ya it would happen and you all KNOW IT.

    What do you say? You in? Thoughts? Projections? Ideas? Counter arguments? Additions to this thought? Ideas on How we can make such a surge on the home front happen? And over night?

    I think our, “public force” motto should be something to the effect of Nova’s old Delta motto that would read like this…….. “You can run, but you’ll just die tired”.

    Ya, I’m in. Just tell me when and where to report.

    13

    • caliwebman, I agree with you 100%, lets do it…
      Good Evening my fellow Veterans, My name is Danny Toliver, I am a 100% Disabled-Veteran Marine. I have been following Ben’s blog for approx. 4 years now and his blog is very informative. I am deeply sadden that many of my fellow Veterans including my a father a Veteran whom have paved the way for many of us to become Veterans and we have the Department of Veterans Affairs treating us like “Shit”…. As Veterans we continued to be disrespected will allowing the United States of America to remain a “Free World”. Many countries force their young men into serving their Armed Forces, and besides Vietnam Draft, that I am aware of because my age many Veterans have sacrificed their lives, spouses and family in order to continue to allow the USA to be a free world and to have rights.

      I am appalled that we as Veterans have allowed the Department of Veterans Affairs to “Disrespect” us. Imagine being in the United Truckers Union or a Tractor Trailer Driver and they stop delivering the products we need, it would cripple the economy, so the hell can’t we band together and start a peaceful movement????

      I promised my father on his deathbed awaiting a bed at VAMC Philadelphia Nursing Home, I will fight the VA no matter what…Many of us for whatever reasons have given up and let the VA and its employees treat us like shit. We have so called VA Attorneys who are scared to fight for us whether they have a large or small practice and many of our legislators that are Veterans have forgotten that they too where Veterans…Whether we as veterans are attorneys, advocates or voice we need to Make sure our fellow veterans are taken care of. Just because I have my 100% does not allow me to forget my fellow veterans who are trying obtaining just 10% working up to that magical 100%. It took me 27 years to obtain my 100% and I am still and will continue to fight for the rights of all veterans.

      I was so pissed about this subject that I had to go against my attorney wishes not to post this but I had to remember he works for me. Not that I discount his representation of my VA Appeals, my fellow veterans are very important to me because they are dying and committing suicide at 22 per day and we have approx. 21,000,000 Veterans. Sometimes it’s embarrassing to call myself a veteran when the country we serve have turned a blind eye on veterans. Yes we may have some veterans saying that the VA are doing things for them, WTF the same VA and Employees would not have a job if it was not for the Sweat, Honor, Bloodshed and The Sacrifice of Their Family…We talk the Bullshit of the VA reprisals against Veterans but we must Take A Stand or Do We Let, Sec McDonald, Allison Hickey, and other VA Leadership keep feeding us Bullshit and the same lame line “We are sorry for what you are going through” but still disrespecting Veterans”? No disrespect to Ben who is doing a good job with reporting and meeting with various VA and US Government Officials and he cannot fight the VA Battle by himself. So, the bullshit should stop with us and we need to fight back, not physically but with emails, letters, news media and social media…We have to stop being scared and fight back, we are in this war against the VA and they are winning it…Think back when you as a veteran where fighting for your lives and you wanted to get back home to your love ones, so why can’t we feel that way against the Department of Veterans Affairs. See, I fight back at them because I have nothing to loose but all to gain and that is to help my fellow veterans. My business plan model is “Am I My Veterans Keeper, Yes I Am” I will fight until I am Taps End…

      It’s amazing how we as veterans place our trust with the traditional veterans groups who claim to work on our behalf but as soon as we step outside the box and attempt to fight for what we feel is right, the go south on us eventhough some veterans are members.

      If any veteran would like to talk or email me their thoughts you may contact me my information is below. I understand some veterans may not share my views but remember it’s nothing wrong with disagreeing because eventually we will come to a compromise and meet in the middle and the common goal is the what “Am I My Veterans Keeper, Yes I am”…..

      Danny Toliver, USMC Retired 100% Disabled Veteran 2014
      (215) 264-8192
      [email protected]

    • I’ve been wondering about this for some time. How do vets fix the VA. Each VA should have meeting facilities. Can vets reserve using a VA conference or meeting room? What if vets did so, and met once a month to hear from other vets about problems within that hospital, then took those problems to the Chief of Staff. Everything in writing, with action required within 30 days. How fast do you think local VA’s would get cleaned up if 5-10 vets met monthly, with detailed reports to the Chief of Staff on problems in their facility? Would a local VA refuse to allow meeting? Would a local VA Chief of Staff refuse to listen? Only if they don’t mind bad publicity. If everything were completely voluntary, I believe these veteran ombudsmen could fix a lot of problems. The VA would have no choice. I thought of this when I met with the local Chief of Staff. An incompetent primary care provider had a stack of vets asking to be reassigned. I wonder how many vets are still waiting for an answer because they are unaware of how many other vets also requested reassignment. Voluntary vets ombudsmen would hear from other vets about this, and could force action by the VA. Any thoughts?

    • I think it is time that we the veterans file a class action lawsuit and forced our rep talking about our congressman and senators to back us up or face federal charges for failing to rep us . this is a sad day when the v.a can tell our congressman and senators what to do when to do it and how to do it.

  5. I have been saying that the VA puts what they want into the records Miss
    statements, Out of context, repeating other notes that are not true or right out lies. If you do get your whole file and find the errors, they will not remove them and state those were the “FACTS” reported at the time and if you think they are wrong then you can write what you think it should say and they will place it into your records.

    You may write the correction but it will be placed into your hard copy and never see the light of day, Just as if you never wrote it in the first place. Doctors, nurses, staff and all administrative persons need to be held accountable for the errors and the VA needs to quit stating those were the “FACTS” at the time. The fact that they lied the first time, will never change and they keep telling the same lie over and over. I guess they figure if you write down a lie a hundred times it will be “FACT” insane.

    I have been trying to get someone to listen to me for 10 years and everyone I ask for help, Keeps sending my request “RIGHT” back to the very same people I am complaining about and “KEEP” letting them answer the inquiry themselves, NOW that sounds fishy and wreaks of spoiled fish.

    I have been writing to Mr. McDonald via e-mail begging for help with this very same problem, where the VA is letting employees hurt veterans by telling lies and them covering it up, When they know it was wrong and illegal. I do not know if Mr. McDonald is having someone screen the requests he is getting from veterans or if he is looking at them himself. I do know that I have not been contacted by his office at ALL.

    As others say if we do not stand up for ourselves and get the news to tell our stories and or stand in front of the White House with signs demanding change there will be none. Some Managers do not know what their role is concerning their position, Those Managers ask the lower ranked officials what should I do and when told follow and state what they have been told. In other words they can not think for themselves and rely on others to lead them. Its Backwards. Shame they can not make a decision by themselves.

    Every Veteran MUST get a complete copy of their records !.

    • Staff personel screen all of McDonalds email now because he gets tons. I’ll bet a lot of money he isn’t being told 70% of the problems these people screen. Most of the incoming emails are very unclear and poorly written, and these screeners don’t give a crap anyway. I’ll bet he never figured how bad the VA really is when he first took the job. He’s also mostly busy trying to find young doctors graduating from med schools around the country to consider the VA a a viable choice besides private practice. I don’t think his program is doing very good; he gets a lot of tire kickers but not many opt to join. You would read about the success he is having if he was having success.
      So…nobody to replace the old crumbs there now. As far as demonstrations in DC, veterans are very split in the way they view everything going on with the VA. In order for any demonstation to produce results, it has to be on message and to the point, not splintered into 1000 fragments. You can’t possibly explain the many thousands of ways the VA is screwed up or it will be like that stupid thing in every city 2 years ago, which I have even forgotten the name of.

  6. Ben:
    I have been “preaching” this since the inception of the eBenefits program (I used to be a Veterans Advocate for a national Veterans Service Organization and was told that I was being a, shall we politely say, pain). Not only was I preaching that you don’t get all of your medical records but that those of us who have records predating the beginnings of VistA (Veterans Health Information System and Technology Architecture) Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS)/ the Compensation and Pension Record Interchange (CAPRI) system will never see our “old outdated hard copy records” (remember the VAF 10-10M Medical Certificate, VAF 10-10M Progress Note, VAF 10-0114-Q-I-23 and the VAF 10-0096 just to identify a few of the old forms) scanned into the computerized medical records system. Oh, and try to get copies of those old “hard copy records”; not going to happen in your life time.

  7. How much is a life worth? There are at least several million private citizens that were hurt on the job. that do not get medial or disability payments. They end up on SSA & Medicare. Their medical records are altered form the start BUT they will get SSA benefits & medicare for the work injuries that the employer denies. Wo are these doctors that write up or alter reports, they’re military doctors. I ask, what is a life worth because it ocurred to me that even with SSA/Medicare it was a rigged set up to give ONLY a certain amount of money & medical care, just as the same is being done to the vets. Whether its workers comp, SSA/Medicare. VA.medical care/benefits, IT’S All INSURANCE MONEY.
    There are what is called bean counters, they crunch the numbers. They’re actuaries, who decide how to mete out EX AMOUNT of money per person OR VET.
    iT’S all called RISK MANAGEMENT. Where we’re insurance claims & ARE worth lots of money, .
    WE as civilians in comp & SSA are valuated by military or ex-military doctors. From the ones I’ve encountered, they couldn’t make it as a real doctor on the “outside”. They are hired to write false reports, omit pertinent data, & render injuries or illnesses non existant, although there are many medicines prescribed for these non existent injuries or illnesses. AND we cannot forget as citizens, that we all have a mental illness!!!.
    Sound familiar? Well, that because it is.
    When the war was going on in both Afghanistan & Irag, there was a story in the Sacramento Bee,(about 2005) about mercenaries collecting over 1000, dollars a week even if they just broke their leg plus medical care. This one particular mercenary dude bragged about it how easy it all was.
    The reason I bring this up, is because it appears as if only certain groups will get coverage & others won’t. That these certain federal govt departments decie as insurance companies who will get what & that as an injured worker or injured VET, you are only worth so much regardless, of your injury or illness.
    IT’S ALL RATED OUT prior to you injury or illness. so if you’re partially injured or ill, or totally injured or ill, you going to get the same depending, THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFETIME, DEPENDING ON HOW LONG YOU LIVEI. This is the way of insurance companies & the VA/DOD IS NO DIFFERENT.
    iT’S ALL PREMEDITATED TO DENY, DENY & DENY, WHILE COVERING IT ALL UP.
    WHAT’S A FEW MILLION HERE & THERE(IW’S OR VETS) WHEN there are over 300 million of us.
    How much is each claim worth, how much does a vet get out of it? and how much is saved by the insurer, THE DO, for other future projects like another war?
    YES, it’s sinister all right. and the betrayal is much worse for vets by the DOD/VA BT EVERYTHING IS A BUSINESS, GIVING US THE BUSINESS…

    • You said a bunch and very little is true. Nothing is predetermined in matters of individual ratings. That is one of the most ridicuous assertions I have ever seen or heard. Why do people comment her as if they were speaking factually instead of just, or primarily, to hear themselves talk or get agreement from other like-minded vets. I won’t begin to dismantle your ramblings.

      Please, everyone, talk about what you know and ask questions, then listen to what you don’t know. It is no wonder the public has such an inconsistent and disorted opinion about the VA. tHE va HAS PROBLEMS AND THE WAY TO FIX THEM IS TO SUPPORT TRUTH TELLING, NOT LIES.

      • Irene needs to SHUT UP.
        I realize that the us healthcare is controversial to some, but getting healthcare to A VETERAN is usually more crucial than getting healthcare to someone who works at wendy’s or pizza hut and got hot fries spilled on themselves.
        This is a site for veterans, or people close to them, so go find some other website to bitch on. Once you’ve been in the military, maybe your opinion may count. But you don’t know what we are going through. Not at all.
        Ps-Learn how to spell if you wanna write a novel online about things you don’t even know what you’re talking about.

      • Stanman47…
        Sorry to have to disagree, but Irene ‘hit it on the head’ with her post. The bottom line is, that the DVA is indeed constantly attempting different ways to falsely mislead the Veteran (including YOU).
        Not only am I a disabled Veteran, but I did work at the DVA.

        Sabrina…
        The last time I looked, we are STILL in America! What gives you the right to chastise Irene in the way you did? Doesn’t she have a right to her 1st Amendment Right to FREE SPEECH? Did we wake up in Russia?
        Right or Wrong, EVERYONE has a right to voice their opinion. You have a right to voice your rebuttal if she is wrong, but NOT to resort to childish antics via demeaning comments or childish name calling because you don’t agree.

  8. When I look at my Blue Button VA Notes, my VA therapist’s notes are pretty skimpy and most times they are word for word from my last visit. I typically go to the Request of Information office and the printout that they give me is word for word.

    The thing is, I tell my VA therapist all kinds of new stuff at every visit and he is constantly writing, but none of it ever winds up in my VA Notes.

    Could it be that he stores his notes of my visits in another VA system or maybe he stuffs them in a filing cabinet?

    • THERE ARE NO REGULATIONS ON the internet. Any one can write anything, (just like ISIS) get away with anything.& there are no protections whatsoever. AND yet we’re all encouraged to use only the internet even TO PAY OUR BILLS, WHAT A FRAUD THAT IS… A complete & ONGOING breeding ground for fraud & corruption & certainly no accountability or responsibility.
      Case in point, Hillary’s emails on a private PC for govt work.
      One can write up anything & there is no law that says you can’t say or do anything unless you carry it out, such as “bombing”. Even then you are just surveilled, CAUSE probable cause doesn’t work either. but if you are an innocent victim, being surveilled on the internet opens up other doors to more hell holes, being surveilled in other ways too.
      One can follow anyone in e very way.

  9. You all may want to know why I comment on this blog. It is because what happens to vets happens to injured or ill workers. In Downey CA. a movie studio was finally leveled. The owner, Stuart Lichter, a former GSA employee, was able to build on a brownfield site , then called a superfund site. A brownfield, is a toxic site & this particular site had over 250 deadly toxins -, some of which was, chromium hexolate, depleted uranium, radiation, two types of agent orange, mold, which lives off of dead compounds like toxins many others. One movie that was made their was Limony snicket. where the little lake built for the movie glowed green. In this movie, they needed children. Also built on this NASA, military site is a medical complex, called Kaiser, (;official home location Langley/fairfax area). Stuart decided to sue us because we found out that the ground had NOT been cleaned up at all. WE won the SLAPP suit because Stuart would not answer his own depo, like how much of this TOXIC property he actually cleaned up. I wrote to the late Senator Edward Kennedy & asked if he knew that his neices & nephews were on that lot with their father, the then Governor Arnold.
    Slapp SUITS are a way to silence anyone who dares tells the truth about anything anymore, especially what anyone in business or government is up to (no good).
    Now mind you, that there were many kids exposed to these toxins, who will not know why they get sick & then they can go to kaiser to get more poison for any so called “cure”. How many military families have been exposed to moldy base housing?.
    AND when the military wives were pregnant & exposed to the mold with their unborn babies.
    So, if the DOD can leave toxic sites all over the country ( AND THEY DO), sell them as cleaned up(toxic free), making people sick.our kids too?, THEN can you actually expect any more for all of you???????.

    Anything that is got to do with the unhealthyness of us all IS because of the top of DOD..AND WHY? It’s all about money, not about our country’s welfare, not about your welfare, for those who fought for democracy & freedom , for our children, our families. It’s all BS,. It’S ALL JUST FOR MONEY.for those so called elite in the military just as for some of those few so called private citizen elite, those that get together who decide our real fate/destiny. We’re money cogs of the wheel that keeps it all rolling in, as money rolling in.
    I’m 68 yrs old, Hurt at work in 1986. A lfe time of pain but wanting to know why this happened & now I know why. It’s just all about a few getting loads of cash, while making us, those that were intended to get injured or were the every day workers, the soldiers who did the fighting.
    As injured or ill ex=high paying workers, we don’t have representation either. Not for over 30 years. No attorneys to fight for how we were intentionally hurt & then ripped off, by employers or the SSA/Medicare. How Interesting is that we can’t get attorneys to fight for us, whether we’re injured or ill workers or vets? There is no such attorney. AND the civil rights division of the USDOJ, All that has been done so far is just how the DOJ figured out each way to obstruct every way via the internet for us to get out our complaints.

    THE INTERNET HAS BECOME the way TO FINALLY put us injured or ill into a permanent limbo. where we’ll just end up talking to ourselves.Kaiser IT is in Langley or is it fairfax with the CIA. IN any case, via the net, we’re not getting very far. via the net, if any where at all.
    Yes, I want to sue the SSA.MEDICARE because these two federal agencies hooked up with labor(AFLCIO) & employers for the employers, & IT APPEARS THAT THE SSA/Medicare IS DOING IT TO VETS TOO & THAT IS TO prorate what benefits ANY of us will get, whether private or miitary. which means as little as possible & for that, it is to undermine injuries or illnesses. cover them up, hide it all, via the internet, just like they do to obstruct vital medical info for our vets. Just as new communities are planned decades earlier so are OUR BENEFITS. It is so rigged & has been for decades.
    Who benefits, but those on top only. Those who create these pro-ratings, those who collect the top dollars no matter the agency..& then there are the other federal agencies who will back this all up by conducting illegal criminal surveillance via the net too.
    It’s all about money , who will get it & who won’t & whatever means necessary to keep the the money rolling in.
    Looks like as vets & civilians, we need a huge attorney firm to go up against the big & mighty DOD. But I won’t hold my breathe as the dod has plenty of U.S.tax dollars to fight for decades. just as they did with those exposed to radiation in LA. & Nevada, back in the 40’s & 50’s.
    ANY TAKERS, ANY ATTORNEYS OUT THERE WITH BIG CAHONES for the American VETS & civilians (with & FOR our kids too)?.

    In 2001, just before 9/11, the DOD lost almost 3 trillion according to Rummy, rumsfeld..
    Ordinary citizens are arrested for selling cigarettes on the streets or outright killed & rummy don’t know where almost 3 trillion went?

    In 2003, the DOD/pentagon had 30,000 acct’ing offices, WHY?.

    So, I guess I have to ask as a U,S. tax paying citizen, how & where does ll of that DOD money go, including money for our soldiers VA benefits as well as benefits for injured or ill civilians!

    Our vets fight for other countries, so who fights for them?

    God bless us.(we need it)
    Dina Padilla

  10. Thank you! For everyone’s comments. And thank you Ben! I will be going to file a release of information, records request for any and all medical records…in person. I’ve been seen at 3 different facilities. One facility on one region, the other 2 in the same region. I did request and receice on disc, from one facility in the one zone. The other zone mailed all records as hard copy, so I will resubmit for it on disc. And I will need to request more, since it’s been a couple months since my last receipt of records from this Facility Zone. They are my property and clearly, my healthevet is misleading and in violation of HIPPA. Just printed this article out. I, of course will not know if anything is left out. This disturbs me, but I do have marked on my calendar, all treatment dates, appointments etc. so, must match up with notes corresponding from those dates.

    • Victoria, I try to get an update of my records every other month if I have had appointments within that timeframe. This keeps my records fresh and in my opinion, helps to keep the VA from getting into my records and removing whatever they want. Some people think this is too often but I don’t trust the VA at all so I will continue to get them until I quit using the VA. Good luck in getting your records as well.

      • I was a medic in the AF, so, before I discharged, I had copies made of my AD records. I have those in hand. The ones I’m probably screwed on are the ones from the one facility I really need them from. Who knows if they included everything? I did request everything, but they can and sounds like they do leave some things out. I did request and receive them on disc. But only dated 3/2012-1/2013. But, who knows what’s been removed or altered since I was treated at that facility. I should have obtained them each month after the appointments. I am in a new region now, not far from the old one, and did request my records from all treatment facilities within my current region. I requested everything. The ones for the region I’m in now, are hard copy. I will go in this week and request the dates from up until the last request. Also, I will need to request more medical documents from prior facility, since I only requested from March 2012- January 2013. I think I need to request from 2007 to March 2012 on disc as well. Thank you. Hoping. Nd praying that I get all I’m entitled to under HIPPA.

      • Victoria, little off topic but if you have a service connected disability and do not have your C-file, get that as well. That file can have things in it that may not appear in your medical records or have been removed from your medical records. You will also most likely find things in your C-file that are wrong as well.

  11. When I left the Mens Trauma (ptsd) program in Menlo Park, CA in 2013, I made a point to go to ROI and get an inch and a half thick stack of my medical notes.
    And now, now annually I do the same.
    I’m accustomed to having medical evidence deleted. Back in 1991 when my recon unit (A Co. 3rd Recon 3rd Mar, if there are any brothers on this blog) were coming back from the gulf, I very Specifically remember one of our company Corpsmen having a disturbing look on his face, and saying that the Regimental Aid Station was removing a page out of all of our medical records, I don’t know the significance of “page 11”, but I recall him specifically saying that page 11 was being removed post deployment.
    Truth be told not much was said about it by the chain of command, and I think mom s t were just looking forward to moving on and many just getting out, so I never heard anymore about it.
    But…I always remembered…and now get copies. Only wish I had made a physical copy of my SRB and Med file back then, I had the opportunity! And missed the boat.

    • When I was in the Gulf, one of my additional duties was overseeing all of my units medical requirements…getting them to sick call, doling out over-the-counter meds, knowing hospitalization or medevac status, etc. From the very first soldier I took on sick call, we took our own carbon paper and blank paper. I was told the hospital unit clerk we maintained our own records, and if we couldn’t get originals, we wanted copies. Every single one was happy to either use the carbon paper and give us those copies, or give us the originals. Unfortunately, I was told to turn in all the med records I had to be shipped back with unit records, and supposedly that crate was lost. Those records also contained the redeployment physicals we had before coming home, and the BS shot record showing what vaccinations we were given when we deployed.

  12. Check this out, since no leadership within the U.S. has the balls to come right out and state the truth of the matter we must look to leaders outside our nation who are bringing on the truth. In this particular case I turn our attention to former Canadian Acting PM and Minister of Defense Paul Hellyer. Albeit he goes a bit far and too deep for me in some of his comments a good 70% of his comments are SPOT ON! But more important than ever is his calling, he calls upon local American’s to stand up and make things happen in 2016 and that if we the 99% of Americans do not do something, that a major devastation of our entire species is fast approaching. Have a read or listen to Mr. Hellyer and spread the word please….. we are the still the best damn nation on this planet even though it’s all appearing to fall apart at the same time….. but Paul nails the perpetrators spot on, reminds us of the urgency at hand, and shares with us exactly how this can be done correctly, once, and for ALL. Bottom line is that this VA problem is just a small part of a much greater problem and if the 99% of us do not begin to take this problem head on that not only will this VA issue NEVER BE FIXED, but the very continuity of our human species will become threatened by total annihilation. We all feel it coming, and if you don’t than you are too numb already or in a space of comfortable denial. We need to start preparing NOW for 2016 or history will repeat itself with the destruction of our civilization and massive worldwide loss of life. To fix the VA and everything else, we MUST START FROM THE TOP DOWN, the rest will fall into place as such. Read on…..

    https://foreverunlimited.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/former-canadian-acting-pm-paul-hellyer-usa-in-grave-danger-exposes-cabal-calls-for-new-energy-et-disclosure-cabal-ouster-in-2016-election/

  13. I tried three times to get my records from the VA. I got different ones each time I tried. Finally, I purchased Ben’s ‘VA Voc Rehab Survival Guide for Veterans’ and, because of the info in it, I sent a FOIA (Freedom of Information) request. It took two months but they finally sent me a CD containing 1396 pages.

    It became abundantly clear that the VA had access to all my records when I put in my previous three requests but only sent me a few pages each time. It was also clear that despite having all my records, they made several requests from me during the time they were reviewing my claim – they possessed the information at the same time they requested it from me. An easy way to ‘put off until tomorrow what you could have done today.’

    My “Fully Developed” claim took 20 months to work. It is clear to me they could have and should have handled it in only a month or two but kept putting off making a decision by making me continually jump through hoops asking me for information they already had.

    If I hadn’t sent the FOIA letter I would still be trying to get my entire record. Now I have it. Thanks, Ben, for the advice.

    • I don’t know what you are doing, but every time I have requested my records from the VA they all came back the same, and complete at that. Identical.
      Vietnam Vet

  14. I noticed this previously when I was filed a claim last year. I thought I was crazy…because I knew I had a doctor’s appt within a month’s time and did not see it at all in the records from MyHealthEVet. Someone definitely needs to bring this to the attention of our legislatures to update the system so you can have access to all your records. It has been a pain asking the VA for my medical records and waiting….or even having my request suddenly disappeared from their files at the FOIA office.

    • I received my records from Tuscaloosa VA and found so many lies and half truths, I actually hard a panic attack. Most of what was given to me seemed to be aimed at making sure my claim would fail. After my first heart attack in 1999, and consequent chest pains on a daily basis, there wasn’t one mention of me having chest pains. Somehow all reference was omitted. I was informed by one Doctor that if I made waves, I would be banned from Tuscaloosa VA. Where does a Vet get help?

  15. @ Richard Donegan. THAT is exactly how I got all of my medical records from the NRPC. It took 20 years. I still don’t think I have them all because some staffers only copied “A” sides of double sided paper. If i had just accepted the first batch I’d be screwed.

  16. You strike a sore chord, Ben. I requisitioned my VistA records after my one-year staycacation at the Seattle VAMC and they made for very interesting reading. I doubt any of it would surface in MHVet-ever. The Heparin OD @ 2230 hrs followed by two pints of whole blood in October 2009 was news to me. I guess the dilaudid blunted my senses. The EEG showing the myocardial/septal infarct in July 2009? Again, news to me. VA said the T-wave abnormality was a fluke or a loose lead and nothing more. No explanation for why that same loose lead follows me around like a bad penny to this day. The crowning achievement was to characterize all my misfortunes as just part of the process with no flies on the doctors or nurses. Recalled Alloderm? The use of a wound vacuum on same? Hey, dude. We were trying to save your life and you want to get shitty with us? You, of all people, and especially as an attorney, should not be astounded at their perfidy. They are “truth-challenged” for lack of a better verb such as lying. See you next Friday, hoss.
    Alex sends

  17. I got my med records on hard copy multiple times…but the ones I got yesterday, not only don’t match the “Blue Button” copies, but out of the 1732 pages supposedly generated over 2 1/2 years, all but 355 pages are the same C&P exam copied five times, and one pulmonology report 3 times. I’ve only been able to get 5 appointments in three years, each has about 4 pages…the rest, filler to make the file thick.
    And, in the C&P exam, neither the pshrink nor the MD were taking notes, but there are two very long monologues regarding what I said to them…which appear accurate –word for word –like a tape transcript. They didn’t mention they were doing that…but it appear they did.
    As to my C-file, I got hard copies in 2008, 2010, 2013 — which were mostly there, but had parts of documents (such as indexes to medical record) removed. The latest, from St. Louis, two weeks ago, off of my now electronically stored files, was 1750 pages (hmmmm). It was similar to the medical records, my hearing loss claim, which I lost and gave up on, is repeated 5 times, the papers my now fired lawyer submitted to make sure he got paid were repeated 7 times, and two motions filed prior to my PTSD claim were recopied 5 times…but without the medical evidence. It is supposed to be my entire file…but almost none of the 2200 pages of hard-copy records I have already received were on the disc — just 10 or 12 pages.
    OH, and in the latest C-file copy, there was a letter denying relief on a VA loan, claiming “bad faith” (lying) on the part of the veteran….but it was not my loan, not my letter. I have the whole letter in there, close on the C number, but another veteran, not me. However, the back page of the letter was separated and put in with my latest appeal — it does not identify who the veteran is, just says he committed “bad faith.” A mistake? Were it not for the letter being split up and that 1/2 page being stuck where it was, I would think so. More like an attack on my credibility…because I no longer use 21-4138s, but instead use sworn affidavits for everything. They choose to attack me. So much for non-adversarial process.
    Adversarial? Yes, like when I filed an NOD in 2011, I received a call from the VARO-St. Pete — and unnamed person raised his voice argued and attempted to intimidate me to withdrawing the NOD. When I didn’t, he just pulled it from my file.
    I feel cheated and am tired of it.
    There seems to be a pattern here.
    Delay, deny, wait for the veteran’s to die.
    If they push us far enough, even though we love this country and will never go against her, we may have to rise up and march on DC, in wheel chairs or whatever we have left. Hopefully they won’t send someone to attack us like was done the “bonus vets” from WWI. (Historically, beating and killing veterans on Capital hill).
    Keep the faith — please don’t become one of the 22 veterans a day who are giving up completely. We need all of us to stay alive and out last the bastards.

    • When us civilians are evaluated by so called medical examiners, they charge to recopy previous records and also delete with every subsequent report your injuries and illnesses, a little here and there but in the end, it’s your word against theirs and as with all insurance benefits, any one who makes a claim is viewed by indoctrinated insurance cults, that we’re all liars, malingerers and frauds. ALL INSURANCE Accutarie’s/Bean counters, for the dod and all other gov’t/corporations, GET PAID TO to save the employer’s day by denials and delays. The current medical community IS doing the same thing, saving the insurance cartel money, all the while charging you to write more false reports yet again..First you had injuries/illnesses, then after many altered reports, you no longer are disabled or sick, you are jut nuts and sluts. The causation’s disappear too, like there wasn’t a war THAT YOU FOUGHT OR WERE IN/!?!?!. but then they create and give you other medical problems through needles or toxic exposures or B.S. diagnosis’s.
      IT’S CALLED, follow the money because it is all about denying your injury/illness thus your disability and no more benefits to be paid out. BUT, the SSA/Medicare will pay out only after a while, PERHAPS CLOSER TO YOUR DEMISE.. Delay, deny and then die. BUT somebody is getting the claim money, comp, ssa/medicare and but for certain it isn’t the sick or injured. It is those who are in charge of your claims/benefits like your employer.insurance carrier. and their ilk. There’s nothing like many billions if not more of free federal and state tax dollars too all to be made and collected on our behalf for their behalf. All of it pretense to make it look like a stab at it as if anyone really cares, albeit, with fraud and corruption at the highest and largest level of and by your employer, the dod/va/unions/ssa/medicare. It’s much cheaper to get you on ssa/medicare for less benefit payouts, than it is to give your dod/va benefits, just as it is cheaper for private corporations to deny us wc/medical benefits and then after years of more figure manipulations, we get the least of ssa/medicare even though it’s all done again under more under fraud and corruption.by some of those in our very own in government. Only in America, does the fachists flourish on our behalfs.

      • It’s not just claims a doctor put in my official medical record veteran was stabbed while in the military, i was not stabbed in the military and wrote to the patient advocate and told them these types of errors could cause a veteran to go to jail for false reporting, they did not reply, they all ready made a false statement about me being disruptive on numerous occasions, they did reply to that stating those were the facts at the time, they are full of it and they know it, They refuse to provide anyone with the evidence that shows i have ever been disruptive at Any time in my life and stated if you disagree you can write what was wrong in the chart and what it should read and it would be placed in the chart. I sent them a big packet stating what was wrong and what is correct, what else do they want. I know the file they are talking about file 13. They don’t care that they threaten me with federal charges, jail time and banishment from all va care if they ever heard of me being disruptive again. That’s a laugh accusing me of being disruptive on numerous occasions and can’t even provide one instance of me ever being disruptive and then letting a doctor put in the chart more lies about me being stabbed in the military, i was shot point blank in the head, my reward for joining the army and not dying. Thanks department of veterans affairs Denver Colorado and thanks Bob McDonald for not getting to the bottom of their deception. And I would do it all over again, stupid me. Maybe one day Washington will wake up to their deception.

    • I have read the comments and can say that I don’t feel alone anymore. It is a sad day when people are not treated fairly in any capacity. However, to serve your country and have legitimate claims once you have completed your obligation only to be mistreated when you seek assistance from those who are set in place to help; well, it’s a huge slap in the face. I am a female vet who served in 82nd Airborne Division (combat medic). I sustained a fractured ankle, injuries to both knees, lower back issues, etc from not only the constant impact during PLFs, but also having to carry heavy equipment will performing airborne ops. Years later I was diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis due to trauma. I underwent spinal surgery 3 months ago and have a permanent plate and screws in my neck. Unfortunately, I have also been diagnosed with PTSD due to MST. It took me over 10 years to finally get 10% rating for my ankle and a big fat, “thank you for your service, but your other claims are denied.” It makes you wonder because I was very polite when dealing with va reps/docs/nurses. I was also honest and truthful and submitted stage supporting documentation requested. I guess, while some do get what they deserve; all vets are not treated fairly. I have been told personally by 2 nurse practitioners that they do not agree with service connected benefits. So, who can you turn to? You can be nice or (as I’ve seen) be mean. It seems as though it just depends on the mood the va rep is in that becomes the deciding factor on whether or not your claim is approved or denied!!!

  18. Now, I am one that believed that you better make sure you’re charting exactly right because laws on medical records is extremely serious business, so I know always how to get what I want, and I do it with pure kindness. Understand those who work in that department really do have a big job, but what I do not understand that there is no reviews what so ever like other facilities have to abide by? If you decide to quote a patient, you better do it right, like “EXACTLY STATED.” Notice quotation marks? A big deal! Also in the Navy we had to know this stuff so why is the VA an exception to the rules? I don’t watch the news, nerd me, rather read. I saw the article regarding L.A., CA and the Veteran who died, I remember a cousin quoting numbers several months ago. I stated, “imagine, that is what the known factor is, how many go unreported?”
    CA BUSHNELL made a very good point, there is no shame for our game as women to serve. Now, facts-read on your own time, women often disguised themselves and did serve. Heck, look at the way camps were set up and how they fought!
    Not to be a person who is bragging, but there are three things I enjoy, history, ( all thank you) Political Science, then MEDICINE ( WHICH GRADUATING EARLY I WANTED TO DO SOMETHING WITH SERVING MY COUNTRY, ALSO TO DECIDE MY DIRECTION OF WHAT I WANTED TO DO, PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT). Women can and do serve in fighting positions check out Israel, they serve darlins! Now why the Navy? Well, my grandfather served, I do have those heavy wool cracker jacks. Well, science now I get, “Robert the philosopher” considered the first of alchemy, but damn the family was huge! 15 children? But a friend I have in the U.K., and a school I would so love to go to ( which they do not always except your American College Credits) I did ask Ben how could I go for it, I think Ben must think nut job. Nope, I was serious. But she brought up Badger, I thought “no way!” Well here is just one, many more like him. GEORGE EDMUND BADGER (1795-1866) Of North Carolina Lawyer, jurist, state legislator, SECRETARY OF THE NAVY AND SENATOR OF NORTH CAROLINA. THERE IS A WHOLE LOT OF THAT IN MY ANCESTRY! They even give a common recurrent characteristics, “DETERMINATION, LOVE OF ADVENTURE AND IN CERTAIN LINES LONGEVITY.”
    WOW? So I always wondered is it nature, nurture or a trait within the DNA strand? I think it’s all three! He isn’t the only one, just an example and hey, my great aunt whom I loved dearly did a bunch of research and I remember before going to Hawaii her saying we were related to Lady Diana, ( big deal?) but truly we do have blood lines that can if they are desperate for more Royals-not my thing, thanks!
    You know, I actually read some idiots remark regarding a females sexual history and saying that sometimes they “deserve to be raped?” No one does. It is sad to think we have a mentality that focuses on actions of another as “they had it coming or deserved it.”
    You know what is really disturbing? If you had high performance evaluations then you must be lying. Does it ever occur to anyone that we are all in and learning, doing our best while we serve? I know I was trying to get a no cost swap, I was asked if I wanted out, nope, but after I was raped? I wanted a change and finally put in to terminate my shore duty. ( which I think my commanding officer of HM’S and yes I did take care of her mom from Ireland, wanted to wait and observe). I was so lucky to move off base and have those male gay friends who stated, “Dee, you need to go out, you cannot live in fear it’s not healthy!” They truly got me through that time, and that was when “witch hunts” we’re a big thing, me? No bodies business!
    One thing-PLEASE STOP USING THE TWO TERMS CONSTANTLY FED INTO YOUR MINDS BY TELEVISION! LIBERAL AND CONSERVATIVE THE SPECTRUM IS NOT EXTREMES! GOOGLE TEST YOU CAN TAKE PLEASE!
    I think Ben has done so much to help us speak up, to have eyes, ears and mouth used when needed, to me? “A BIG THANK YOU AND DEFINITELY A BLESSING!” We should do all we can to assist others because remember, “we function as one team.” I do not want to drag anyone down, I knew this would be a future problem, but damn my bad luck and my back! I will forever remain positive, and in some small way or big, I hope I do get the chance to assist veterans because it matters not what service nor when you served, it matters you are a brother or sister as I view you and others as well. THANK YOU BEN AND TO ONE AND ALL WHO HAS SHARED INFORMATION! “GROUP HUG ANYONE?” BLESSINGS AND MAY WE RUN THE VA! AS IT SO SHOULD BE!

  19. ASKNOD? How in the heck did someone do a Heparin O.D.? Now that one drug I just will say the “D ONE,” oh bad memories! Puking my guts out! ( just in time for my spine doctor who happens to not like projectile human stomach contents? Six drugs and out I went, I am sensitive to many drugs!) were you actually in a hospital or were these nurses aides giving out drugs? If your heart rhythm is off, replace the leads fecal matter for brains! You know, that reminds me, I call this “entertainment purposes only” going to “pain management.” Here is this young girl being taught to do vitals. My heart rate? 122. Okay, this isn’t news, this is old news and facts, “women often do not have the same symptoms one expects for a heart attack.” Now, pain in the areas common she mentions, nope! Ready? Take it again, 122 still. ( after five minutes) ready? We wait, it’s now 118. She states that is fine but actually wrote 116 in the chart, NASA WE HAVE A PROBLEM! The heart rhythm that high is indicative of V-Tach, a Code should have been called and put on the leads to see the rhythm. Since I know my own is Sinus Brady and usually lower blood pressure this is extremely poor training and bad skills makes me wonder, “DO THESE PEOPLE KEEP UP WITH THEIR CEU’S?” ( NOPE!) Yeah, I know the one doctor from UT Southwestern had it right, NEUROLOGY. But, dr. Pete, not impressed states I am a drug addict. Gee, I wonder, when my doctor wrote my concerns about addictive nature of drugs who do you think will look stupid? Oh, yes, also taking courses on chemical dependency, fool! Man, I sure hope you sued the hell out of them, that is crazy! ( sinus Brady is 60 or below, usually I have to be watched in the recovery area-cool to see it drop to 22! It was weird, I thought “well look at that, and I don’t feel any different?” )
    Obviously I do happen to know a few things, just a “few.” ( swamp land anyone? Gator Hunting?) I hadn’t been walking nor doing a treadmill stress test by my own legs or chemically induced?) that is truly scary! Save you? Are they sure about that? YIKES!!!
    As stated, “NO OVER SIGHT REVIEWS WHAT SO EVER NOR KNOWING THE LAWS OF THE MEDICAL FROM A TO Z MEANS VETERANS SHOULD STAY CLEAR OF ANY VA!!! ( which me? When I said VA? They stated, “oh you’re not stable for transport!” And laughed because they know the VA!)
    Glad you’re a survivor on the war on killing those who served! CHANGE NEEDED???

  20. I think the bottom line is all us vets just want to be a part of society and make a living. Do we have our particular issues? Yes! But the VA must keep an eye out for the “Sick Call Riders”. (Who, btw, made me disgusted when I was in service)

    Regardless of all the medical records see and unseen, the only thing the VA will be good at is compensation. I will handle the problems on the outside.

    • You would fit in perfect working for the va, always looking at veterans as scammers always trying to make the veteran a conartist faking their injuries, what makes you qualified to determine that a veteran is faking. Their are employees that think this way and play God, this type of thinking just hurts the veteran. I can just see you behind a desk at the va saying oh another faker file 13 his records, that will teach him from faking his disability.

      • I agree that malingering (“Sick Call Riders”) were not appreciated in the military, and was not tolerated…HOWEVER, this is not the military. I wrote in a different forum, and I’ll share it here, and that is we are being subjected to ‘military medicine’ by the VA. In the Navy the corpsman nicknamed it ‘Treat’m and Steet’m).

        I’d venture to say that most of those seen at the VA are not faking, how the hell would want to risk their life? For me, I have to lifelong issues, and from the start, as I’ve found out via civilian providers, have not received the proper care.

        Jim, I think, whether it’s posted or not, there are many offended by your remarks and your blanket call as a non-medical person. Hell, we can’t get a load of carp off any under-trained, overpaid doctors at the VA.

        Talk about malingers, see how much your doctors are earning to ‘care’ for you.

        http://www.fedsdatacenter.com/federal-pay-rates/

        Heck, look to see what feds work in your area and how much they earn…be ready to toss your cookies in disbelief.

  21. One more comment, I do think it is totally weird that the government has been taking from me all my life and then turns around and compensates me when they can’t take anymore. The whole thought about disability is a strange concept. It should be used to supplement you while you try to get back on your feet, but what it does end up doing is compensates you to STAY disabled.

    • Some of are disabled and will be for the rest of our lives permanent disability such as ptsd and traumatic brain injury. The problem is the va does everything they can not to give you disability in a timely manner, so veterans can get the needed treatment as soon as possible. Not hide their records for fourty years, when they do this they make the veteran suffer and many can’t cope with the stress and end their lives and for what, higher management bonuses, just sickening. We don’t like being disabled but we are as a result of us joining the military to protect the people of these United states, we did our job and the va should be doing theirs and stop hurting veterans.

  22. One thing I’ve not seen discussed anywhere is how the VA establishes its reference ranges for laboratory results. Just to give you an example: I’m a 33 year old male exhibiting several symptoms of hypogonadism (low testosterone). When I was able to finally convince my VA doctor to take labs, my total testosterone came in at 243 ng/dL. The NIH cites 250 – 1100 ng/dL as the normal range (most others appear to set the lower limit around 300). But the VA’s reference range (for Atlanta, at least) is 168 – 746 ng/dL, well below any accepted standards I could find.
    Perhaps it’s unrelated, but the VA recently stated they were trying to cut back on the number of veterans receiving testosterone therapy. If that’s the case, lowering threshold values is a terrible way of reaching that goal, because it obscures.
    Anyway, I felt the need to point that out. I imagine there are vets who have problematic labs, like mine, but their general practitioners or nurses see that the results are within the “normal” reference range and neglect to look into it.

    • Casey, I have gone round with the VA on this VERY topic, and they stand by a study of 68,000 people that is ‘flawed’ as stated in a peer review writeup.

      If you search ‘testosterone by age’ you’ll find plenty of information, however getting the VA to recognize science is another matter. My record was flagged, in part, because my testosterone was at 234, when 550 should be where I’m at. Saw a private endocrinologist who without hesitation put me on testosterone to ‘resolve’ many of the issues the VA quack sited as being reason not to go on it. Same is true with the VA’ use of levothyroxine as opposed to armor thyroid, screwed my bones, teeth and muscle, and was CONTRAINDICATED from the outset.

      Take care brother

      • James, sorry, I just noticed I didn’t answer your question about my record being flagged.

        My medical record was flagged because I was found to be a ‘disruptive’ patient. Or in reality, was asking for quality care from a trained medical professional.

        Read the report on Disruptive Patients handling by Office of Inspector General: http://www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-11-02585-129.pdf

        Then, if you haven’t read the directive: http://www1.va.gov/vhapublications/ViewPublication.asp?pub_ID=2341

        According to the directive here is the definition of a ‘disruptive patient’, and it doesn’t have to be proven, there is no criteria, and the vet is not notified until the damage is done. Oh yea, you have 90 days to respond, however the review will be done by head of the board, another person you’ve never known or talked to.

        ** A PRF alert, VHA employees to patients whose behavior, medical status, or characteristics may pose an immediate threat either to that patient’s safety, the safety of other patients or employees, or may otherwise compromise the delivery of safe health care in the initial moments of the patient encounter. **

        Hope you find this useful despite the delay.

      • I just hope someone does something to stop them from hurting veterans, IT does NO good to punish veterans just because they can!

        Instead of listening to the veterans, They let their ego get in the way and go to the extreme!

        They seem not to realize what this does to the veterans and their families!

        This is not a game and they are not only hurting the veterans, They are giving the department a black eye!

        How many veterans have to kill themselves, because they have been falsely accused!

        Just a dirty shame!

  23. Some of our many patients were military, where many of them had illnesses like others outside of the military and or just as their family members had. I worked in both the hospital and clinic prior to Kaiser as well. My reason for writing on this blog is to let you all know, that the care you are getting is based on the kaiser model. where making money at any cost is the goal, Kaiser is run by military or ex-military. The rules/policies and violations ARE the very same as to what is going on in the VA, Word for word. The whole health care business model of Kaiser’s is now in every concept of doing any business in this country both private and in government, it’s all about profit. The DOD is selfinsured as is the VA. Even the churches are selfinsured, which makes these entities only goal is saving money at all costs. This goes for the SSA/Medicare too and why you all get your own benefits, FICA, rather than your vet benefits. Robbing the taxpayers instead of paying out their financial responsibilities is a part of that money goal. The state of our healthcare is the latest in making some very rich via the stock market
    Once people realize that they are just a number for certain folks to make money off of, then we can know and understand what or why we’re not getting the care or benefits we paid for one way or another. This started in the private sector healthcare in the 70’s with kaiser/Nixon/ and finished through the federal government via David Lawrence, which is why we have foreign doctors and and untrained medical staff, it’s all about saving money, it’s an HMO and now its business model which is running the DOD/VA as well as all other federal and state agencies. I was one of many many employees who were deliberately hurt on the job many years ago, with no medical care or benefits. We were subjects, on how much a body could endure both physically,( many of the same type of illnesses like being exposed to toxins and bio germs and injuries) AND psychologically, and it was done by doctors who were in the military or hired by the military. Some of my co-workers are dead through suicide, murdered and or by not getting the care they needed. Till this day, we don’t get the care we need. Our working lives were snubbed at a relatively early age. We were cheated out of all of our benefits, all of them on purpose. We were the precursor for those who would also be mistreated, like you because the hmo kaiser is the kingpin for bad health care while raking in the dough by the billions and trillions at all of our expense.
    This is not about trying to writing a book, this is about letting you all know that this is a nationwide scourge and since they can do it you, our vets, then it can and has been done to the rest of us and is more horrifically bigger than you think.
    All I wanted to do was let you all know the how and why of what is going on here in our corporate run country including the DOD/VA That the public will cry for vets, that the public will want far better for our vets AND it is through you that the public will listen to about better is to be expected from our own government and yes, the way we as civilians were hurt, the government has totally let us down with no enforcement of rules, policies or laws AND TO which there are many of as you are all aware of too, that are not being enforced..
    Since I offended even just one of you, I apologize for that. What I will not apologize for is alerting people to the ugly truth of it all to hopefully help like I’ve been doing for us civilians as well as some federal employees and other vets too. Yes vets too, because all of their injuries and illnesses do come under workers compensation such as us.
    Speaking out against injustice if you cannot do anything else but speak out against injustice

    You will not see any more typos from me.
    I SALUTE my brother Stan Reed, 1968-70 a Viet Nam vet who first alerted me and others of the maltreatment of our vets
    RIP Matt Bumpus
    God bless us all.

    • What u r saying is true. The ssa rushed my claim through their system. They were going to pay me but I never knew amount. I am fortunate because my family has the means to help me. When it finally occurred to me what was really going on; I called them. Told them no way I am taking money that belongs to the elderly. They worked for it. I am 100% disabled and did file a claim for compensation in 2007. They destroyed evidence in my case. They have committed malfeasance. This is a felony. They have taken money from me in violation of the “due process clause” of the 5th Amendment. On and on. They would rather have ssa pay me $500. This instead of what they owe me; and what I am entitled to if I was 100% disabled. Still doesn’t come close to what I would make if I could work. I do have ptsd. It keeps me from suing them in federal court. But as long as they continue to ignore my rights i have until the day i die to sue them. I have evidence against the VA that cannot be disputed. Cut & dry. I have it all together. Just trying to get to a point when I can upload to a Web site. Just want to say again ur statement has given me so many more ideas it has motivated me. Thank you so much.

      • Leona. btw, I always liked the name Leona. We as injured workers are offsetted by at least half of what we should get from employers and then again for having dependents which left me receiving 585.00 per month rather than about 1400.00 that I was supposed to get from the employer plus medical care and voc rehab. Myself and many others did not get anything from the employer. From what the SSA started out with was 1541,00 per month according to 32 years of working. Again it was 585.00. The SSA has stated to me the amount I received was from MY contributions into FICA, not from the employer. So it really does come down to the fact that the employer pays no worker comp benefits according to the laws but the employer doesn’t pay their share of FICA to us either. Quite the savings plan for the employer who is a giant federal contractor who receives BILLIONS every year from medicare alone. That is not counting all of the premium and copay money paid by state, federal (military too )and private employers and all of the employees.that work for all of the above. Since kaiser is with the VA/DOD, it would astonishing to find out how much the DOD/VA does pay kaiser for its supposed medical care and how much of it goes INTO Kaisers off shore accounts.
        You and your fellow vets should not have to just receive only SSA but the congress decides who will get what judging on who’s the newest victims of injuries/illnesses or disabilities while figurin out schemes to deduct from others as they are doing now because SSDI is running out of money. Someone in Congress has been cooking the books and giving employers a huge break that they do not have pay out benefits because Congress will not increase taxes on corporations, the same who receive many tax breaks or like the DOD.VA and Kaiser receive hundreds of billions every year. From where I’ve been sitting, I figure there are many millionf of disabled vets and injured workers who have been getting the shaft while employers/corporations/DOD/VA are laughing all the way to the bank(offshore banks that is). That’ we figured it out back in 2000 , who and what KPMG was what it had been doing and we gave that info to a D.C whistleblowing law firm where it’s all it is nicely hidden by the USAG in Manhatten. N.Y, U.S.A and kpmg was fined 456 million dollars and us two whistleblowers got ZERO and judigng from how big the whistleblowing law firm is now, I believe that they got the award instead. Again we can thank the illustrious and industrious Congress with others with what they’ve have been up to with our many pockets of money. Some may think I don’t know what I’m talking about but remember that data cost kpmg 456 million.and it involved many who we trusted in.
        Everything that most of worked for, just as in past generations was taken away by our very own.
        God Bless us all..

    • I am a disabled Vet, US Army, drafted in 68-70 and served in South Vietnam, with the 9th Inf. at Dong Tam, at the southern end of Nam. We were sprayed with Agent Orange and were told it was a bug killer, it smelled like diesel fuel. It wasn’t until around 1978 that I joined a class action suit for Agent Orange, I was sent to Winston Salem and Durham NC for several years. Back then the VA said that there was no such thing as Agent Orange, but when we went to the VA facilities there was two lines. One said, regular Vets, the other line was for Agent Orange cases. All they did for several years was, they gave us Meds, all of which made us sick and vomit when we took them. I stopped going in 1982. I kept telling my Doctors in Hickory and Salisbury about my exposure to Agent Orange and nothing was done for me until about 2010. A Ex Army Doctor by the name of Dr Kuch (pronounced Cook, the best Dr. that I have ever meet, he really cares about his Vets) when I saw him I had my Daughter with me, who was very upset because the VA was not doing anything to help me. She was present when Dr. Kuch gave me a through check out. He discovered that I had Peripheral Neuropathy in both feet. He ask me if I was a diabetic, I told him ,No, that I never had it. He then ask me if I was ever exposed to Agent Orange. I told him that I was sprayed with it a lot in Vietnam. He then told me that it was a side affect of Agent Orange at that time he said, I’m putting you in for 100% disability. So I waited and about 4 months later I received a letter from the VA that said, they had stopped paying for it about 2 1/2 years ago. They still tell me that I do not have anything that shows that I was exposed Agent Orange. Number one ,I have been diagnosed with neuropathy and number two is, my youngest daughter was born with Spina Bifida, a side affect of Agent Orange. She draws a disability check every month from the VA every month for the rest of her life, she also receives free diapers and bed pads and a new wheel chair every several years, but no insurance. She gets all that because they call it Service Connected. BUT THEY STILL TURN ME DOWN FOR MY DISABILITES. Well I have had trouble with my feet and knees since Vietnam. I fell a lot and August 16th 2013 I fell in my home down some stairs and tore my quadriceps tendon. I could not get up. I finally got my daughter on the phone and ask if her and her and her husband would come to my house and help me get up. When she saw me in pain she called an ambulance that took me to a hospital ER. They did x-rays and told me that I pulled a muscle. One week later she called them again. The same thing, I had pulled a muscle. She stayed with me for 3 months or more while I was in bed. In a few weeks after my 2nd visit to the hospital ER, my daughter and her husband and some neighbors helped me in my car and she drove me to Salisbury VA. They did x-rays and said I had a bad knee and gave pain shots for over a year. At that time Salisbury Orthopedics had tried to get me into numerous facilities for a knee replacement. Each time I went to one and I was scheduled for surgery, Fee Basis in Salisbury would cancel it saying that they were going to do my surgery in Salisbury. Salisbury was not equipped to do that kind of surgery. Just before I finally had my surgery I was going to Salisbury ever Friday for about 6 weeks and having the fluid drawn out of my knee and injecting me with more pain meds and steriods. One Friday my Doctor was not there and I saw his PA, Matt looked at my X-rays and told me that I not only needed both knees replaced, that I had a torn tendon that needed to be repaired first. He put in for a consult at a Major Hospital in Winston Salem at the Baptist Hospital and he requested Doctor David Martin. Which was turned down. This whole thing went on for 14 months. I finally called my Senator at that time was Kay Hagen. I talked to one of her staff and told him all the problems that I was having with Salisbury and I wanted my leg repaired and a transfer to Asheville VA. He told me that he would call me back within 30 minutes. In about 15 minutes he called me back and gave me a phone number to call and told me if I needed his assistance to call him. Well I called that number and guess what, it was Fee Basis in Salisbury. the same woman that has caused me all the problems. As soon as I told her my name, she said, Oh yes Mr. Braswell I have you and appointment at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital, the Hospital of your choice with Dr. David Martin the Dr. of your choice in 2 weeks. My reply was, Well ain’t that special and hung up on her! I should have done that a long time ago. Three months after my phone call to my Senator, I got a call around 7:30 PM, Dr. Kuch at the Hickory Clinic. He said that he had just received a phone call from his supervisor in Salisbury and that I did not like my Doctor that he assigned to me and I wanted a transfer to the Asheville VA. I told him that I could not stand Dr, MacAlexander, all he did at each visit was bitching about his job and how many hours he had to work. He said that he had to work from 7 to 7, 7 days a week, that when he went home at night, his dog did not know him and that when decided to become a Doctor we didn’t have these THINGS, referring to his computer. He typed with 2 fingers. About 4 months before I got my transfer to Ashville, he was fussing as usual and typing with 2 fingers, I ask him, why don’t you get a TALK AND TEXT like the doctors in Salisbury use if they can not type fast, no reply. At my last visit with him, guess what he was wearing on his head, Oh yes. He had a TALK AND TEXT, I looked at him and said, Your Welcome, no reply! He was a pill pusher, I was taking around 16 to 18 different pills per day. When I finally got my transfer to Asheville, April 1st or this year, it was awesome, nothing like Salisbury. I found out several months later that they were rated #1 in the Nation. I’m only taking 7 prescriptions drugs and the daily dose on several has been reduced. I’m taking several other pills, but they are all over the counter pills. They are vitamins and the Asheville VA sent them to me, Free! I LOVE ASHEVILLE!

      • It’s good to hear things went well. We all know that there Are employees that do care about us veterans, it’s the bad apples that need to be thrown out! And it would go a long way, if VA employees stand up for the veterans and denounce the wrongs committed by upper management middle management against veterans, bet many employees fear retaliation or fear of loosening their jobs, some have no choice! Still I think many would if they are protected from retaliation in writing! From the power’s to be, legal system works they say.

    • Dina Padilla, your post was a good read, and yes, EVERYONE needs to wake up before we all have lost all our rights.

      Those who would give up Essential Liberty
      to purchase a little Temporary Safety,
      deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

      • Vic, thank you for that.The truth is the hardest to believe, especially when we live in a country called America and that the medical arena is not what it once was but a profit making business and we’re the products to buy and sell.. It gives me no pleasure to tell it. It’s just more painful than anything else having to realize and tell it to help our brothers and sisters.
        Thank you again and hopefully soon more people wake up rather than realize their liberty is just about gone but they can bring it back by fighting those who think they’re more worthy because they’re able to make money by being parasites, earning a living off others miser like they did in WW11.
        .
        God bless us.

  24. I was discharged 4/15/85 from the USN. with 14 years service. I was diagnosed with Post traumatic Degenerative arthritis. The VA in New Orleans, after taking X rays found no sign of same and labeled me service connected disabled O% disabled. This went on for the next 14 years. Every year I would apply for c/p , sometimes twice a year, until I probably became a thorn in there side. Which is exactly how I was treated. I constantly complained of pain in the effected leg which they blew off as me being a ” Cry Baby” or it all in my head. In 1999 as a last ditch attempt to prove there was nothing wrong with my leg an EMG test was ordered to be done. Well, it kind of back fired on them. The results were I had partial paralysis and Chronic Nerve damage. I was awarded 30%. They kept 10 and I received 20. I had to pay back the severance pay which was all I qualified for when I was tossed out. The VA said it was not compensation for my lost years of service but comp for my injury and would have to be recouped. As of now I am 80% but paid at the 100% rate for unemployable. I get 90 they still keep 10 so far they put their hands in my pocket for almost $35,000 dollars. In 2006 a VA doctor placed me on 120 mg of Morphine Sulfate and 10 mg of oxycodon for the nerve pain. Now they want me off of it, I guess so they can cut my pension. Normally I’m a peaceable man, but I can only take so much. I served with honor for 14 years. There is no honor in the way this bunch of crooks in DC is treating us. Nuff Said !!

  25. I am.so glad I found this site,you are so right in veterans hospital tucson az where many times in all my. Appointments what my visits and complaints were.I had an open wound drain for three years draining blood,puss and some.sticky substance and in all the appointments I made for open wound drain from primary care physicians ,nurse practitioners not one mention open.wound drain and that is why I made appointment.today is 10/25/2015 And still have not receive my :-|file from.1967 to 1970,told they were destroyed in fire,in all my medical records not one time is there any mention of visits.to tucson veterans hospital ,on.stomach,ear problemsI have been told by veterans phoenix that they regional office has my C&file records and they won’t release them.look during second.tour in nam .I caught a bad.virus,I was not sent to infirmary,didn’t see anyone with medical schoolIng,was given aspirin,since.discharged in 1070 I always get really sick with ,cough and bronchitis and I.tell them at the.clinic look.at my files.And it doesn’t.show .knock , out during rocket attack,not one it e m in any records ,not.even LT. Made.entry in his notes.I am fighting for.disability and will and won’t.give up.my body tells me.something went.wrong in 2002 f2f poo m puncture to lower intestine,from ventral hernia laparoscopic that went wrong and had to do open.surgery.mesh problems. Also no.description ,or , lot number,no model number,no.stock number,just prolene mesh.in medical records absolutely no.description of mesh.

    • Since you were in country and if you can’t find an attorney! Contact Kenneth carpenter out of topeka Kansas, under carpenter charter, if anyone can help you he will tell you straight out if he’s willing to take your case!

      The VA told me the same story and it was found out the VA was lying and they had my records all along and kept hundreds of thousands of dollars!

      When asked the person at the VA regional office, when asked why I didn’t get all my back pay!

      He just laughed at me and said because you didn’t keep fighting your claim, therefore you get what you get!

      This seems like a normal tactic they use to make sure you don’t get everything you deserve.

      By lying to the veterans until he, she gets tired of being denied and I guess the insurance companies get to keep that money and grow interest!

      They don’t care if the veterans are not able to seek care, because they wanted to lye and hide your records, so you need a lawyer or they will continue to abuse you and wait until you die and hollered bingo!

      Yea, I get a big fat bonus! Thanks you dumb as veteran! NEXT!

  26. I am amazed at the comments here! VA Compensation and the VA Hospital are two DIFFERENT entities, not the same organization. They don’t conspire together to strip anyone of their ‘rights’. VA compensation is not a right, nor is there anything that says just because you served on active duty, the federal government should pay you for it for the rest of your life! It is not to ensure that you have money to live off of because of poor planning on your part. VA Compensation is to restore a veteran HURT while on active duty with a chronic condition (meaning that it is something that they sought treatment for while on active duty, more than once and that it continues to be a problem after service) so that when he/she leaves ACTIVE duty, they do not suffer the lost of any income. There is nothing that ENTITLES you to compensation unless you are hurt with a CHRONIC condition WHILE on active duty. If you have a motor vehicle accident because you were drunk, that is your fault, not the military. If you had a condition from childhood, just like any other medical determination, it is preexisting. If you choose not to go to a troop clinic for treatment and you suffered in silence while on active duty, there is nothing the Benefit’s office can do for you. You MUST have received treatment while on active duty AND you must continue to seek treatment after leaving service. Nobody is hiding files, nobody is deliberately not paying you or hiding money and getting bonuses. You only want to hear that you are getting 100% and that’s it, but the law does not allow that! And the laws are not written by anyone in the VA, it is written by Congress. Do YOUR due diligence! If you discharged in the 70’s and you KNOW there was a fire, why get mad at the VA because they can’t magically produce documents to support YOUR claim?! The ultimate responsibility for obtaining supporting documents are on the veteran, not the VA. Also, you got out 30 years ago, you are now old, you can’t hear, hey, it just might be old age and nothing to do with the military! Guest what, when you get old, things with your body happens! If you are a Vietnam Vet, some of the rules are different. If your DD Form 214 or personnel records show that you served in Vietnam, most of the laws, regardless of proof and timeliness have been waived. If you served in a job that has a high exposure to noise, then you can get an exam for hearing loss, but if your MOS had a low exposure to noise, guess what, you’re not getting an exam! If you haven’t bothered to go to the doctor in over 20 years, guess what, obviously that condition is not chronic! By law, the VA has to process claims within 125 days and for the most part, they meet that except in cases where they are looking for documents to support your claim or you just keep submitting the same claim over and over again hoping that you can aggravate them into giving you a different answer! It’s because of those multiple claims that they can’t get to the new claims for the guys who have no claim! The VA is not the welfare office, there is no right of entitlement, stop getting mad at the VA because you don’t have enough money to live off of because of poor fiscal planning on your part. The percentages paid is not one to one, it is based on a formula. If your total percentage is 90%, that might only qualify for about 60% in an actual payment, not 90%. Once you reach 100%, you don’t get paid more unless you are receiving some type of special compensation for loss of a limb, blindness or are in need of Aid and Attendance. So if your total is 280%, you’re still only going to get 100%. Once you reach 100%,if you keep submitting applications trying to get more money, they are required to review ALL conditions and yes, that can result in a reduction in benefits. That is entirely up to what the doctor puts on the exam forms. If you get to 100%, be grateful and stop submitting repeated claims hoping to get more money! Everything the VA does can be found on the internet, just google it, even the calculator to figure out your percentage to be paid.

    • I hope some justice department see this post and find you and place charges against you, want you are saying is so way out of line!

      You my friend are the very people have been speaking about!

      You and people like you would like to see this country destroyed!

      You show no compassion, no respect for yourself or others. What’s the matter The military turn you down!

      Again I hope they find you and hope you’re a VA employee and they get you for high treason!

      Veterans will see who gets the last laugh and God will see what you really are and have mercy on your soul!

      Think you will need it! Americans should be outraged with your statements! And the justice department file federal charges against you and justice served!

      GOD bless this country and our veterans that help protect this country from people like this!

      • Mr. James, your response is the very reason why I posted in the first place. You are complaining because you are not getting your way! That does not make for treason! And yes, I DID serve, and yes, I am a disabled vet and yes, I did my due diligence and it proved fine. The VA has been good to me because I did what I was supposed to do. You have to be willing to meet them half way and not just expect them to do everything and give you everything you want. Sabotage, treason and genocide, a bit extreme don’t you think!

      • Figured you were attacking me! You have just proved my point! The VA has taught their employees to attack veterans who deserves their disability and denigh claims because it’s to much work and your saying only you deserve to be service connected!

        But your special! How many veterans have to bashed at, you have your disability and now your calling other’s greedy, for setting the record straight and when my grandchildren grow up they will see that it’s worth fighting for and people like you really don’t matter, your just taking up space and do not deserve to work for veterans, you attack one, you attack all!

        In the end, you will be found out for what you really are!

        You have no clue what I have accomplished in my life time, you could not even come close!

        Hope you’re fired and placed in jail for telling veterans to stop defending themselves from people like you!

        What position do You hold! And where? Think someone wants to speak with you!

        Come on spill the beans don’t be shy, the other veterans will understand and back you UP! (Not)

        Have any great day!

      • Mr. James, sit down, know your role, and shut your mouth. High treason…
        Give me a break. May the angels that fly around in your mind “lift you up to his kingdom”. Veterans, real, combat veterans stick together. Going off on a tangent like that at the 1st sign of someone with a different opinion. Lay off the meth, get some help and for your god’s sake…calm the hell down. Your probably scaring people when you go to buy a gallon of milk, all that nonsense spilling out of your filthy mouth.

      • Again you don’t know what you’re talking about the truth hurts and you can’t handle the truth!
        One day it will be proven people like you just like to antagonize people by putting them down!

        Your just a simple minded person, who could care less if veterans are being hurt And you are right there with a bat beating veterans to death!

        Have a wonderful day!

    • Atlhutch, you said,

      “VA Compensation is to restore a veteran HURT while on active duty with a chronic condition (meaning that it is something that they sought treatment for while on active duty, more than once and that it continues to be a problem after service) so that when he/she leaves ACTIVE duty, they do not suffer the lost of any income. There is nothing that ENTITLES you to compensation unless you are hurt with a CHRONIC condition WHILE on active duty.”

      Well, you are correct to some degree and really, really wrong to a larger degree. I was sexually assaulted by my direct supervisor while on active duty in the 70’s. I reported it and nothing was done. In fact, I was basically told to STFU. It was the 70’s and I was treated like I was asking for it!!!!! I did not seek psychological help because I was advised that I would lose my TS clearance if I was deemed unstable. I buried the attack and my terror for almost 40 years. I could go into how one can do that, but it doesn’t matter. If you’ve never been sexually assaulted, you wouldn’t understand. The bottom line is that I did not seek treatment for it, because there really wasn’t any acknowledgement back in the 70’s that sexual assault was a bad thing and there certainly wasn’t any treatment for it.

      So in your world, I should go wander off and take my nightmares, insomnia, anti-social behavior and a myriad of other symptoms and just die, as I’m not “ENTITLED” to anything since I didn’t seek treatment and was able to block out my CHRONIC condition for almost 40 years, eh?

      • Military Sexual Assault is different and the requirements are different. But they do look for certain behavior changes. There is no requirement to have treatment while in service, but have you ever sought therapeutic treatment since leaving the service? At any time? Was there an MP, police or morning report done when you attempted to talk about it? Fortunately with the military and any type of legal transaction there is always a paper trail. You might want to check this web site:
        http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/types/violence/military-sexual-trauma-general.asp

    • Do you have any specific comments you care to cite? Or will you let your ranting smear of every veteran commenting here stand?

      Nice to know your attitude is so like many VA employees who can leap to false conclusions on minimal information.

      By the way, is a debilitating infectious disease incurred in service considered an injury? Someone “HURT”?

      • Althutch, was attacking me personally in his comments!

        But every veteran knows he is also taking about them also!

        I don’t want Ben to take this down, I want to copy his statements to show the veterans affairs committee and I’m waiting a letter to the president!

        Atlhutch, comments are dangerous to veterans and explains why so many claims are being denied, people like Atlhutch, want to play God and judge you!

        Employees with this mentally are the very ones, as he put it a disease and needs to be taken out before it spreads even more!

        Can you see him as a rater, he’s probably the one, they have to shred our records!

        You can bet he’s one that would falsely report a veteran for disruptive behavior and spew out false allegations to everyone that would listen to his lying!

        Atlhutch, if you’re reading this, why don’t you tell all these veterans that you work in claims and how exactly and how many veterans you have! Denied benefits, because they didn’t meet the VA half way!

        It’s not veterans fault they had to wait fourty years, because the VA was lying about their records destroyed!

        Just to find out an employee like you, decided to tell the veteran a lye and letting him suffer because you wanted to play God!

        Who is your boss? Or are you going to hide, the truth again?

    • You are so right in everything you say. I’m a disabled vet and also a former VA employee (VSR). The VA does everything to try to provide the benefits DESERVED. The system is bogged down due to frivilous claims and bogus claims or by veterans contionously filing claims while they have an open claim or appeal.

  27. I have been tracking a medical issue using Blue Button information. I have found it intriguing that over the last 2 decades, radiologists have described spinal problems followed by the mysterious terminology: NORMAL, MINOR and MAJOR, followed by ATTN REQUIRED
    The NORMAL stuff is fine. Oddly, with some of the MINOR ABNORMALITY stuff I required, and received, surgery, such as gallbladder (VA) and acetabular tears in the hip (Medicare where I paid).

    Everything that says MAJOR ABNORMALITY, ATTN REQUIRED has had NO follow up!
    I have charted my spine problems from a narrowing at L5 in 1992 to Severe Degenerative Disc Disease in the entire Lumbosacral area in this last month. My NP is hesitant to give me Tylenol 3, but did give me Tramadol, which interacted extremely with my other medication within 3 days. Thank goodness I have a 20 year old TENS unit.

    I’m thinking of filing another disability claim (currently at 60%), but there wasn’t ONE particular instance where I specifically injured my back. Just the every day stuff like running, lifting, etc.

    I don’t expect the Blue Button to contain anything beyond “official” doctor notes, there isn’t time or room for everything there. We’re fortunate to be able to request more info using FOIA. Even so, it may not work for everyone. My military medical records were stolen by officers and passed around as light reading while I was being sexually harassed. Not every page got returned.

  28. first i was assulted many times from 1975 to 1976 because some of the guys thought i was a rat because i did not use drugs,i went to the va to get hearing aids which i received,they said i should see a primary dr so i did ,after talking to me he told me i had ptsd and depression,i told him i had never been in combat but he insisted that i see i psychologist,i went right from my offfice to hers,she agree with the drshe then sent me to a psychrist who put me on medication i have been in treatment once a week for ten months we go over the event that happen to me while i was in service,but the va deied my claim saying i had no eveidence even tho 5 difernt dr have treaed me i told them that i did not rpeort the assault because i was afaird ti would be killed can you give me some pointers

  29. I requested a copy of my Medical records from the VA. They sent me my package. What I am not seeing is all of the notes from my sessions with psychologists, the results of blood tests, scans, etc.

    Is there a different request I have to fill out? I made sure an put Any and All Records int he description field.

    • Have them print it there in front of you. You get one free copy of all medical records annual. If they say they don’t have enough paper, go buy some and get it printed, before it gets deleted. You can also get it on c.d.

  30. I got a copy of all the original files before they started deleting everything. Now so many pages are missing. Information is incorrect, and some things are false. They really messed things up to the point I cannot understand most of it. It use to be 780 something pages…now it’s down to 520 pages.

    • I recently reviewed my blue button records and found a beach of patient confidentiality. Seems my oncology PA and my Psychiatrist had a little gossip session about me and didn’t think about the fact that I could find it. I was livid…having been accused of saying and doing things that were outright lies!! This stuff would have been more appropriately set in a high school environment. It’s so maddening and disgraceful!!!

    • Whether you go to civilianbor VA it is based on Need to Know. And you don’t need to Know read the rights and responsibilities. Your screwed regardless. I trust the VA because they are stupid and big government. The civilian care is flat put it cruel

  31. How long should it take for a claim to be processed after submitting one to the federal building? Also, is it normal for them to mail your claim results to the wrong address?

    • I too have been mislead by this blue button. I can not access my own records or my own blood work results even though it tells you that you can. I have asked in base many times for assistance and no results so far.

  32. i started going to tucson az veterans hospital in 1971 right after discharged.i have asked for medical records to prove that the years in the 70’s i had appointments for eae and stomach,yet when i did receive my medical files only item were time of enlisting and being discharged.now in era 2000 because i have learned to ask questions.when ever i see a medical staff and after appointment is over what i ever i complained is never ever documented or posted.i was denied appointment to neurology primary care could not give me an answer as to why.i had an open wound drain for four years in those four years many appointments as to ask why do i have this open wound drain.open wound drain from ventral hernia surgery laparoscopic ending inlower puncture to intestine.this open wound drain seeping blood,puss and sticky substance was never discussed as possible mesh imfection,well it happen prolene mesh infection and to this day 2002 surgery from 2016 still no answers as to why open wound drain.so now after any appointments i go straight to release of information and what questions i asked are never entered in medical records.so i asl if anyone should read this and they have an answer as to why i as the veteran was left open with open wound drain for four years please email me .

  33. Sorry that I haven’t seen this article sooner!

    It was necessary that I respond to it though, being that I’ve been playing “Tiddley-Winks” with this inept gov’t agency, since 1976!

    I am trying even to have laws enacted, by means of; writing to elected officials, appearing in front of Congressional/Senate Committees and my personal case law.
    Writing to the president of the United States, via the White House.gov website is quite successful in getting a response from upper management. It doesn’t matter on party affiliation. Chances are, the President in office won’t read it anyway.
    However, the staff will and will forward it down to Mgrs/Directors within the DVA. Most of the time, they WILL respond and other times, they’ll expedite the claim, medical appointment, etc..

    I made an attempt to express my concerns to my elected officials, regarding what “I BELIEVE” needs to be done, for the DVA, for it to function more efficiently, only to find out, that the “Committee” has to “INVITE” you to appear. How disappointing that our elected officials boast and brag during campaigning about how they want to help Vets, fix the DVA, (yadi-yadi-yada)…YET, when meetings are held, they don’t want to hear about it from those witnessing it happening?

    My personal case…
    Is a PERFECT EXAMPLE of DVA abuse! It ranges from my discovery of FALSE & MISLEADING info in my medical file, dating back to 1977…Medical Malpractice, destruction of the Operative Records and falsely claiming that I had “Full ROM/NO PAIN” after the surgery (when the items in question still remained in my body!)…examiners are rendering medical opinions during C&P exams, (w/o the educational specialty) that have NO BUSINESS doing so, filing out a DBQ w/o asking the patient questions requiring an accurate assessment and failing at using the DVA required ‘Goniometer’ to render a more accurate ROM!

    That’s just a SMALL example of how the DVA conducts business.

    So, when I see and hear people at the DVA state: “Thank You for your Service”, I cringe, knowing that they’ll smile in my face and document some bullshit in my file!
    When people out in public “Thank” me, I politely interrupt and ask them to contact their elected official instead and DEMAND to fix the DVA.
    I would guarantee that most DON’T, until they themselves are personally effected!

  34. Hello, I have been told that nobody sees my blue button records but me. I’ve often wondered about that. YOU asked:What did you do to get a full copy of your file?
    I went to the records dept at the VA medical center and asked one of the clerks for them. It took about 10 minutes to locate and print out my huge medical file. It is completely different than the blue button, but did NOT require a FOIA. I think each VA Hosp must be different depending on…..serendipity?
    I feel fortunate to have been a NAVY Hospital Corpsman and to understand what a top notch hospital should look like…and sorry to say that it is so far below active duty military hospitals (at least the one I worked). They don’t know basic procedures in nursing and lie to get away with……well, I’ll stop for now, it’s just way too many things wrong that I won’t go to the VA for and I’m glad they have the ‘beyond 30 days’ because that has been where I am going all the time since May of 2016. Best Regards folks…..LT

  35. EDIT OF ABOVE SENTENCE. It reads:”been a NAVY Hospital Corpsman and to understand what a top notch hospital should look like…and sorry to say that ***the VA*** is so far below active duty….

    I made the change above between the asteriks.

  36. What I personally DO NOT CARE FOR is that a NON-MEDCIAL individual SCREENS and CAN read all ‘supposed secure’ messages between patients and their PACT Team/Provider! Yes, Its true. I found this out first hand. Some GS-5 Admin type HealtheVet clerk was looking at my messages between me and my doctor! That means someone not involved in my direct care was looking at my communication regarding my health/treatment. Isn’t this a HIPPA or Patient Information issue?

  37. The DVA’s “Duty to Assist” you with your claim, is total HOGWASH! The DVA is only out to DENY your claim and they’ll go to the extremes to do so.
    Case in Point…
    That C&P exam and everything that follows, is an joke AND the process used becomes a WHISTLEBLOWER claim.
    The establishing of a Whistleblower claim is quite simple and requires 3 ‘prongs’…
    Gross waste of funds.
    Gross mismanagement.
    Abuse of authority.

    When you are required to report to a C&P and you have (as my case shows) Orthopedic/Neurological problems and are examined by someone who attended schooling for Internal Medicine, there’s going to be a problem with the dx!
    This exam is unheard of in the outside world. A primary care doctor will NOT refer you to a dr. specializing in Internal Medicine, if you have orthopedic/neurological problems.
    Why does the DVA do this? It’s simple…
    Attending a C&P for your claims, being diagnosed by someone that has no business opining on your ailments, will render the info that the DVA requires, to (either) DELAY or DENY your claim, being that, the dx will be WRONG. This wrong prognosis is legally known as LIBEL! It is so, because it’s FALSE and MISLEADING info about YOU, and is considered as TRUTHFUL AND ACCURATE by those deciding on your claim.
    What has helped in my claim (somewhat), is that DVA Orthopedic drs., have opined with an OPPOSITE prognosis, thereby making the C&P exam MOOT!
    Isn’t considered a Waste of Funds, especially when I constantly appeal AND I attend multiple hearings, along with the many people reviewing this ridiculous file?
    Isn’t this also Gross Mismanagement, when people insist on scheduling appt’s. w/examiners that do NOT possess sufficient amount of knowledge to render an accurate and truthful opinion?
    Isn’t it also Abuse of Authority, when those responsible for truthful and honest medical opinions, only perform the OPPOSITE, knowing good and well, that the more CRAP that’s in your file, makes it easier for the important issues to be overlooked, because people who view your file are pressured to perform?
    A Navy Vet (below) had stated that his file is 32 volumes aka: Encyclopedia Brittanica!
    People at the DVA cringe when they see files this big! They will NOT take the time to review it, based on it’s size, EVEN IF you draw them a PRECISE map on where to go!

    After fighting this defunct agency, I’ve been contacting lawyers all over to see if I could just receive a huge payout and not have to deal with this bureaucratic bullshet…to NO AVAIL!
    I’m stuck with this crap until I drop dead!
    “DELAY, DENY and Hope that I DIE!” Couldn’t be more true!!!

  38. I don’t agree with your assessment of the blue button, at least not totally. In the past I was denied and C/P exams from the medical centers, the excuse was that C/P exams are not the property of the Medical Centers, and are paid for by the regional office, and I was told I had to get the exam from the Regional Office. More recently I did find that when using the Blue Button, I was able to download a C/P exam, even before I had a rating , in fact, I was dumbfounded to have been able to download this exam, because while I did have a claim for a heart condition secondary to my lung condition pending, I was never informed of any exam, and never attended any exam. You can bet I was pissed about this, and it just so happened a few days later I received a denial of my claim. I ended up getting an actual exam, and was able to download the results of the exam just a few months ago. Lately however, blue button will not download any of my medical records after 17 Nov 2016. I informed the va of this problem and they generated a “work order” that was in late Dec, and the problem still exist. I was however able to request my medical records by snail mail, and I did receive my a copy of my recent TBI exam … I do think the va puts too much garbage in the record, like how many times do they have to ask me when was my last fall, or am I safe at home… or how many times do they need to say I need to lose weight, or veteran was informed not to smoke with oxygen on. Just how many times are they filling in the space to all these so called heath review questions and not even telling the veteran or asking the veteran for the answers… all the time ! What a waste of time and money.. so there you have it….

  39. The V.A. is a joke. My husband has cancer. They only want to see him every 6 months….AFTER he had 30 plus radiation treatments that did not work. His cancer is spreading every day. They want to do a bone scan. 6 months after the treatments did not work. What does cancer do? It spreads. The patient advocates are a joke too. I called every day 3 times per day to 2 different advocates for a 3 week period. Leaving phone number and last 4 every time. I threatened to go over their heads. I told them that they could care less if my husband died. I accused her of only working there for a paycheck. After this voicemail…low and behold..I got a call back. Two weeks ago. Nothing since. We have no clue what is going on. Blue button my ass. You can’t find test results, appointments…nothing. I am fixing to lose it. Not only do they not care…but, if you are a Nam or Korea Vet you are really screwed. The only thing My Healthy Vet is good for, is ordering meds.

  40. As we ALL get older in life, things “seem” to be more difficult! I owe my LIFE to the doctor, nurses & support personnel @ the V.A. AUDIE MURPHY HOSPITAL & BALCONES HEIGHTS CLINIC ! If you DO NOT care for the site, then, get the hell off it and quit bitching! The site is here to improve your health and WILL NOT improve your “lack of education” . I mean, let’s face it, some veterans, although honored for their service, are not even close to being the “sharpest tool in the shed” and were nothing more than a “paid target” being ordered around by COLLEGE EDUCATED persons! I have had my fill of those who say they do not need an education, EVERY DAY OF LIVING is an education, if you think not, you need to talk to that person you see in the mirror in the morning!

    • Good Morning Thomas!
      I found out that C&P exams are a load of hogwash. It is found that MOST examiners who conduct these are NOT QUALIFIED to render an accurate medical opinion! I know for a fact that this is the case. I have Ortho/Neuro problems and everybody from Physician Assistants, General Practitioners to Internal Medicine Drs are opining on conditions that they have no business doing!
      My advice, is to gather medical opinions from doctors that SPECIALIZE in your conditions, to prevail in your claim, otherwise you’ll end up like me with a 15 yr old claim!

  41. Good morning all,

    I have been on this site since about 3:30 am this morning, reading posts from other veterans about their experiences with the VA. It is now 6:29 am. I’m pretty sure I read through all of the posts here and now would like to leave my own comments. I really have nothing nice to say about them so if you’re a poster on this site who cheers for the VA, you should just stop reading right here.

    I joined the Marine Corps in November of 1989. I signed up for a 4 year enlistment sometime during that summer and shipped off to boot camp on November 13, 1989. I loved the Marine Corps and it just suited me very well. I was an excellent Marine, who was motivated to do my very best. I had even decided that I could make a career out of it. Until I got injured that is. I never saw combat. I sure thought I would after the Gulf war began. I had just finished some “leave time” at home when it began. I reported to JRC and had my original orders taken from me (as did every other Marine there) and waited on pins and needles to find out where I would be going. I got my original orders back and went on to Okinawa, JP. Many others ended up in Kuwait or Iraq. While on the Rock, I participated in some exercises (any chance I got) and during one of them I injured my back. On the onset, it seemed as though I had only pulled a muscle. I went to sick call and told them all about it and got light duty for several days. That didn’t help though and it just got worse and worse. So I continue to go to sick call because my problem is starting to hurt very badly (with sharp shootings pains from my lower back down my left leg) and is affecting all of the things I’m suppose to be doing. PT is becoming impossible to say the least. I can’t bend, squat, reach for something with my right arm, etc., etc.. So I have to keep going to sick call so I can find out what’s going on with me but…no one seems very interested in founding that out except for me! I was frowned upon, just given light duty over and over, called names like “goldbricker” and “lazy” and that I just wanted to get out of the service. I couldn’t sleep comfortably anymore in my bunk. I had to start sleeping on the floor because my mattress was too soft for my back (more like just worn out). The only medication that I was ever prescribed at sick call was Motrin! The Marine Corps wonder drug at the time I guess. They were big ass 800 mg goat pills I could hardly swallow! It did nothing to touch the pain I was having. I was taking them like Pez and it just did nothing for it. I believe I got some muscle relaxers ONE time, and they helped but was never given a refill for them when I ran out. It was Motrin again! After months of frustration growing inside me, one particular visit to sick call I was able to get my point across when I threw the bottle of goats pills at my so called “doctor” and just went off like a Roman Candle on him! Well, I could go on with specifics but this posting is already lengthy. To make a long story short, the entire experience opened my eyes to a simple fact. As long as your healthy, service is great. However, as soon as something happens to you that will definitely qualify you for things you were promised such as the best health care in the world and all of the other benefits that your recruiter talked up while he was recruiting your ass, you realize that you’ve been had! It didn’t sour my opinion about the Marine Corps, just the Federal government and the VA there afterwards. YES, it gave me a thorough case of the red ass! I had done EVERYTHING I was asked to do or expected to do, and was never in any kind of trouble whatsoever. I spent the majority of my time in Okinawa, ON LIGHT DUTY! Treated like my character was anything other than honorable and was just ignored to a large extent. When I rotated back state side, I landed in Cherry Point, NC and was treated much the same while there. It’s just no fun to join a new unit when the first thing you need to mention is your medical status and your laminated light duty chit! You are made to fill as if you are just dead weight, worthless and pathetic. I kept fighting though, and eventually I had back surgery at Camp Lejuene Naval Hospital in January of 1992. I chose to get out afterwards as my opinion of the powers that be was pretty much solidified by then. I did 3 out of 4 years and got out. I was lucky in that I believe I had a good doctor who did fix my back problem(s) because I didn’t have any issues in my work life after getting out into the civilian world. It was a slow start and didn’t work for a while because I was very guarded with my back. No way did I want to mess my back up again. It stays in the back of your mind when it comes to what you’ll allow yourself to do. I never played football with my friends again like I use to do before. I never played baseball, softball, go water skiing or boogey boarding again like I did growing up. I never took chances and had the philosophy of I had better save my back so that I could work. And that I did all the way up to 2012. I re-injured that service connected injury at work in 2008 and had to continue to work for the next 4 years, each year of that suffering my back going out multiple times. I had to keep working because my wife earlier that year had to leave her job and file for Social Security Disability because of Bi-polar disorder. It was complete chaos and everything we had been working so hard for was just crashing to the ground right before us? What to do? I don’t know what Bi-polar disorder is. I’ve heard of it but I’ve no idea how to deal with it. I’m caring for my father who has cancer after moving mom and him from Louisiana to South Carolina, right up the street from us. That was in 2007. He passed on September 19, 2007 on my daughter’s birthday. His only option was the VA. My dad was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne and the VA did little to help him as well. Anyway, after dad passed my mother’s health started declining. She had heart issues along with COPD. She was in and out of hospitals from January of 2008 until she passed this past July, 2016. Ten plus years of caring for sick parents, a sick wife, my own health needs, trying to raise our children. There’s so much I could add that happened in that time span and before even, just too much to list, it’s a real wonder to me that I haven’t gone mad! But maybe I have and just don’t realize it as such?

    Man this post is long so I’ll go but I’ll end with this. This government and the system that they have crafted for us to live under, is a game of charades. It is not the best that there has ever been but rather the best those who pull the strings WANT it to be! And, they persistently want it to be less and less. Our government is jam-packed with the lying-est motherfuckers who have ever walked the face of the earth! They have consistently lied and deceived the voting public for decades upon decades. They have turned their backs on us in favor of their deep pocketed buddies from Corporate America and the business round table who pay for their re-election campaigns and lavish, posh lifestyles. We’re not their constituents any longer. Instead, they’ve chosen different constituents (Business) and they don’t give a pinch of dog poo about who they’re really elected to represent, THE PEOPLE! I love my country and everything it’s suppose to stand for. What it is now is nothing close to what has been sold to us as over many decades. No comparison at all! It’s still being sold the same way but more and more people are starting to see that it’s just lip service! Don’t join the military if you’re thinking of doing so. If you have children who are thinking about joining, please talk them out of it. You had better stay here to do your fighting as in fighting for your families. Fighting all over this globe in their military is never going to produce the FREEDOM you always here politicians mouthing off about on television. We had better focus on securing our own freedom and liberty back from our own government whom is taking it daily, weekly, and yearly. Very methodically and deceptively and…with a smile! No one wants to admit it but the only way it is going to happen, I’m afraid, is through another civil war. How much longer will it take before that fuse is truly lit? I don’t know but I hope it’s coming soon. It is a bonafide constitutional right of the people to put down a tyrannical government is it not? How much worse will it need to get before that threshold is breached? I can see it coming and it’ll be just if done in the correct manner!

  42. As to the original article about the Blue Button, it is a total joke! Mine never pulled up anything relative to what I was looking for. It pretty much only gives a vet the self-entered medical information that you don’t even need the blue button for? What a pant load! Want to know something about your file, well you had better enter it yourself right after your appointment(s) or you may never see it again, lol! The Blue button should be replaced with a toilet flush handle. It would provide the veteran with a more vivid image of the septic tank that he/she is wading in for information

  43. C&P Exams? Another total joke! I had to do two of them on one claim for the same issue? Wtf I said when I received another appt letter for another C&P exam that I had just done a few months earlier. Going to both was a complete waste of time. The so called doctor seemed like a mere hospital vendor or something of that sort. I knew right away this guy can’t be the kind of Dr. I really need to be seen by? Nonetheless, I went to both and during neither exam did this person do an exam! He never even used any instruments to measure my true range of motion (or the loss thereof). It took only several minutes and he spent more time writing God knows what (cause I still haven’t seen it) than he did examining me? C & P should stand for confusing and pathetic!

  44. The Blue Button has never allowed a complete VA medical record dump, but the VA has progressively been adding more more record types. I really like the Blue Button options since it was started in 2013 and find it quite valuable.

    Progress Notes are the most common records entered and are available 3 days after the appointment; actually after midnight EST on the second day, because MHV considers this the third day. The main group of records not included right now are Consults.

    Ever since I found out VA will dump my entire medical history from 1998 to a CD, I pay my $23 bucks once a year for that option, and copy the disc to my PC. Now I have a searchable medical record just like the VA staff, which has made requesting record correction much easier. I’ve discovered tons of shitty lies, etc after getting a CD verses just getting my free paper copy.

    • A reply to Gretchen! Were you referencing Amending the medical records if so tell me how that went. I had just found out after years that i could amend records and right now, no word on if and when it will be done. I was so upset to see my medical record reflect contrary to opinion and some data entered is like the Doctor or specialist has to fill out a multiple choice bubble in before the record is entered.. a lot of incorrect stuff.. let me know your outcome.

      • My comment was aimed at the original article: that the Blue button is wrongly advertised as a whole record dump.

        I have successfully asked for and received corrections to my VA medical records. Those requests can be made thru the Privacy Officer. The form can be downloaded from online and mailed in.

        Your comments about: ” fill out a multiple choice bubble in before the record is entered.. a lot of incorrect stuff” is very common. Many of the doc’s answers are selected by checking boxes. I read my records after 9:00 pm PST 2 days after all my appointments. The VA computer counts midnight of the second day (apt Mon, check late Wed) EST as the third day, for three day delay in records available to veterans (Progress Notes).

        I’m a retired computer geek and do everything possible with VA electronic VA records, to include getting a 100% historical dump of all my records going back to 1998 once a year on CD so I can do electronic searches. This is a valuable research tool, and allows you to track things in your records, not trackable in any other way.

      • Thank you for replying.. nice to know another Geek is out there.. i helped with the y2k bug anti Disks in the Marines and went on to having many tech jobs , last one being a Double Agent for Geeksquad ironically, however have not worked for over 3 years due a bad tbi and more which has impacted everything. I have been to nice to my VA Doctors of keeping quiet.. i just found the blue button like 2 years ago and would read the fake things Doctors would put in to record. I just found out recently from the VEO that i could amend records , i never new this was even possible. I did send in the amended forms with rationale a couple of days ago to the privacy officer, i also called but have not heard back, but its only been 2 days from me getting this to the PO.

        Again thanks for your response, VA being difficult with me even though i am not seeking compensation from them.

      • Most of the wrong stuff isn’t worth fighting. If they say you are a binge drinker and you aren’t; that’s worth fighting, but VA is well known for crappy records to those of us who have been around over a decade. I strongly suggest you spend the $23 to get a CD, which contains a 100% complete dump of all your records. You will likely be amazed and shocked (I sure was) about what is lurking in your records.

      • Aha, when i asked the privacy office in the VA for my records they sent me paper indicating that they could not send the large file via email.. they did try to send 12 months and it came through however never suggested a CD/DVD.. was this overlooked or is the privacy office or Veterans experience office not the route i go for request.

        Well about the amended if its work it.. well ill use a scenario.. i have uploaded a headache log of 3 years to the VA , i am basically TDIU because of Migraines and a couple others.. now my migraines range 3-5x a week backed by the headaches logs, i never really took a deep dive into my records until when i applied for SSDI the examiner stated Doctor xyz says you have Migraine 3-5 a month.. and yes examiners wont entertain a self kept record vs. Dr. Now after sifting through my records i noticed the truth and irony.. the Dr. Was putting in that either i had not headache or it appears the Dr. Did a cut and paste for over a year, putting in the 3-5 Migraines a Month.. i said now wonder why…. then i started seeing other mis information by specialist like.. “patient expects treatment failure” or a non head doctor checking off the box’s one to include..
        Headache x=none
        bladder x= none
        Never asking me if i did have this …. this is why i hope amending is not going to be like a VA Claim.. i already been through that War…… Blah!

      • Paper requests are free. CDs are not normal requests and cost about $23. Only under rare circumstances would the records person mention the CD option. The VA can NOT send you files via email; that information is correct. That is why we have MHV Blue Button options.

        I only recommend this if you are serious about truly discovering 100% of what is in your records. I have over 4,000 records and I found having a CD a real eye opener. It allows you to computer searches on words like paranoia, a particular doc’s name, etc. It sounds like it may be helpful for you to be able to search for headache terms. That’s so much easier on CD than on paper.

        If you can’t get what you need done at the lowest level, I know WA DC VA Top Dog email IDs that get results. My VA hates me for my ability to find any direct dial VA staff phone number and almost any VA staff email ID.

      • Very nice.. that beats scanning in the data then opening it up in Adobe to use its search.. can go straight from CD … wow.. all those papers and filing are done.. bam!

        I’ll let you know about the speed dial option.. right now i got congressional attention telling me they might have Inspector Gen roll through my home VA due to neglect.

        Cheers.

  45. After my initial Disability Claim was denied, I submitted an NOD. One of the claims was for hearing loss/tinnitus….. DAV (my current VSO) sent me for a new C and P hearing exam with a state licensed PhD of audiology. The DBQ they performed was in my favor, but my RO says they left out one thing. My entrance record shows hearing loss prior at enlistment physical in 1978. Being the first time I have heard about this, and that not being included in MY copies of SMRs I have requested, why didn’t I have this evidence? Anyway, the level of hearing loss didn’t even rise to the level of an H2 profile…it still had me as a H1…not enough for comp for va purposes. My exit exam in 1985 showed clear bilateral HL which moved t an H2 profile status. To make a long story short, the DRO took it upon himself to discredit the DBQ I just had done, because they didn’t address the pre-enlistment hearing loss (how could they, they weren’t privy to the records they even refused to supply even me with)….So, he asked for a “different” medical opinion from one of their VA C and P examiners…Problematically, the wording the DRO used to ask the examiner was as follows:
    Please review the audiograms upon entry into service in 1978 (found in
    military personnel record received 03-16-2015), 1984 and 1985 (in STRs
    received 03-16-2015). Address hearing acuity status at entrance to
    military service. If pre-existing hearing loss is shown, was the
    Veteran’s hearing loss (which clearly and unmistakably existed prior to
    service) aggravated beyond its natural progression by noise exposure
    during service?

    Rationale must be provided in the appropriate section.

    Notice the part that states “which clearly and unmistakably existed prior to service” sounds extremely loaded and obviously prodding the examiner to render an opinion against the veteran.

  46. I am an Army Veteran of 8 years, I have been staying away from the VA for these very reasons, at least until recently. I moved from one state where I have been under the care of specialist in their prospective fields getting care under private health insurance (which I lost last year due to wife being disabled in Auto accident and being put on medicare, it was her policy). I continued paying for cobra with I lost 9/16, we moved from KY to FL in 12/16, I am chronic pain patient and had my pain mgmt Dr for last 12 years, as soon as I walked into VA in FL they labeled me addict (while telling me they didn’t), they ignore my medical records and quote CDC studies, my VA Gen practitioner kept quoting “studies” saying pain is all due to “chronic long term heavy opiate use”, my Migrains-due to opiate use, low testosterone – opiate use, knee pain- opiate use. Forget the fact that as soon as I got to FL they tapered me off 90% of my meds (with ZERO withdrawal)! When I got here, still under the supervision of my KY Private specialist my pain was (and has been for 12 years) under control, I could do things, walk, work around the house etc… my private Dr’s were very proud of me for pushing myself and not just sitting around, NOW, my pain is out of control, i can’t wear shoes without causing extreme pain, can’t wear collared shirts, can’t wear a belt (without causing extreme pain), they say I’m an addict, my pain isn’t caused from service connected injuries of knees, legs, back or my 90% fused neck (also the cause of migraines), they have totally ignored my private medical records, the VA has denied my request for service connected injuries saying they see where I got injured, see my hospital records but because I didn’t keep going to sick call to get Motrin and be told it was all in my head that it wasn’t persistent so they gave me 10% for ringing in ears and hearing aids but hearing damage isn’t real. After my current new FL VA Dr covertly called me an addict several times I told him he wasn’t going to sit there and call me an junkie, he told me to leave, then he proceeded to put in my file that I ended the visit because I wanted more pain meds when I told him I didn’t care about the meds as much as I cared about being told I was an addict and it was in my head due to opiate use all based on CDC Studies.
    It is appalling how they treat us, they spin our words and write their lies.. only thing is, joke is on him, I have my visits recorded so I have proof of their lies and spinning, only thing is I have no idea who to take this to because I know they won’t focus on the lying, they will focus on the fact I recorded the visit.
    The way I see it is, if they can record patients without their knowledge (of course for their safety), I can record my visits…FOR MY SAFETY.
    These lying sacks of shit are going to make me lose my private disability with their lying BS, they don’t care about my medical records, fusions, proof of damaged nerves… they only seem to care about the current “national opiate crisis” and “CDC studies”, I have read the studies and they were all done by those in the field of addiction, they locked out professionals in the pain management field and I told my doc that if you base your studies on addicts the only results you will get are results based on addicts, NOT rule following, law abiding pain patients therefore the results will be that everyone is an addict and its just not right.
    they can ruin lives by writing the lies they put in our files, lies based on opinions and data that is skewed to make an honest patient in real pain look like an addict. ITS TOTAL BS, they even wanted to put me in the psyc ward for rehab, I told them no and tapered down from 290mg to 60mg in 30 days on my own with zero issues, BECAUSE I’M NOT ADDICTED, I’M IN PAIN! and they still write more lies in my file while I am now in more pain than I have been in for last 15 years. But they could give a shit (forgive me if words misspelled or out of context, sever migraine and pain making it tough to think and type) or in their words I am addicted and can’t type…(that’s a joke)

  47. I have had issues with the VA since day 1. I was in apart of OEF, I compressed the bottom 3 vertebrae of my spine and caused nerve damage to the point where I can’t walk some days. I fought for years telling them I was in pain, then blew my knee out (this seems to be my luck) during a PT test (yes, I even had to continue to take PT tests with a damaged back because the VA would not actually do anything to help or even admit there was an issue). I had 12 injections into my spine in the course of 3 months, had a knee surgery, heck now I am at the point that some days I wake up and due to the 2 injuries that I’ve mentioned I can’t even move my leg and I have sever pain even in my hips. They finally told me a few years ago that they would go ahead and put me in for pain management, I just wanted the pain to stop. They scheduled this appointment out 3 and a half months, I wasn’t happy about it, but I would rather wait 3 and a half months and be out of pain then have nothing done at all. I called a few days before my appointment to ask if I needed to bring anything specific or if there was something extra I needed to do, they told me the doctor had retired a month before hand, I wasn’t even given a phone call to tell me that, I asked why they would even schedule me if he was going to retire, they got rude with me and used the words “deal with it.” Nothing was done. I am at a loss with the VA in my area. I was a medic, I would never have treated my brothers and sisters this way.

  48. I take issue with this article, in that the MHV site has never claimed it supplied ALL medical records via the blue button. When it first started in January 2013, only progress notes were available. Then over time, more and more categories of our records have been made available. Right now, the main electronic record not included are Consults. I doubt scanned records will ever be included in the blue button.

    • Well i got this letter acknowledgement to my requested amendment, says we anticipate completing request on or before july 6th 🙁

    • Gretchen……One would assume that if you pick on the information you want to download you would get it ALL. I know for a fact that the doctors can pass on information on you that you won’t get with the Blue Button. They have enjoyed stabbing me in the back.

      • Yes, there is information that is passed between VA staff via phone and email only, that avoids the vet’s medical record. My comments pertained to the VA medical records and the download button only. As a flagged non-person in VA, I have learned a lot about the other secret VA channels of information exchanges.

  49. Very interesting topic: VA not providing full records to veterans.

    VA providers intentionally falsifying medical records, management staff refusing to correct falsified records or punish the provider as required by 18 U.S.C. § 1001.

    VA FOIA officers refusing to provide Veteran records, forcing many vets to Federal court.

    We need an answer. We need a solution. We need focus and unity among veterans. We need Federal enforcement against the VA and rogue staff members.

    Mr. Benjamin Krause, attorney at law, will you please write a new article detailing solutions for us?

    We earned better treatment through our service, we remain dedicated to being a part of something greater then our own needs. Falsifying and refusing to provide full accurate medical records is a travesty.

    Thank you,

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