Scope Of VA TBI Scandal Exposed In TV Special

36

Benjamin KrauseThe scope of the VA TBI scandal was exposed recently in a TV special that highlights to outrageous nature of the scandal and its impact on veterans.

KARE 11, an NBC affiliate, put together the special at the end of December. Investigative journalist AJ Lagoe later compiled the video onto YouTube for viewers like you to watch without commercial interruptions. Thanks AJ!

The first 21 minutes covers the entire TBI scandal. The remainder of the videos includes all news clips from the 2015 year that focus on VA including the Veterans Choice Program and its silly “Crow Flies” distance measurement rules.

TBI SCANDAL BACKGROUND

For a little background, I have been investigating the TBI policies of VA for many years in part because I survived a TBI while in the military but was lowballed by VA. Once I became a journalist, this gave me a great deal more access to government reports. Now that I am an attorney and a journalist, I tend to collate the data I gather and pass it on to journalists like AJ for massive broadcast appeal.

In this instance, I collected an enormous database including the list of doctors who were qualified to conduct TBI examinations. I also had the internal TBI DQB and training materials that VA doctors were supposed to follow.

I passed this information and the names of clients wanting to go public on to AJ Lagoe, who then turned on the heat and revealed the TBI misdiagnosis scheme was truly a VA scandal of national proportions.

AJ found that over 300 veterans were affected by Minneapolis VA’s refusal to follow clear guidelines about using qualified doctors.

Nationally, VA responded by starting a national audit but failed to disclose the results of the audit to veterans affected. That is where the scandal is now, and AJ is after the VA in Washington DC for answers.

WHAT I DO AT DISABLEDVETERANS.ORG

I am always on the lookout for good stories to pass on to great reporters like AJ Lagoe, Mark Brunswick at Star Tribune, and Ruben Rosario at Pioneer Press here in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

These reporters are doing a fantastic job getting the word out to their audience in an effort to keep VA honest and I wanted to give a call out to them.

And here on DisabledVeterans.org, I publish my original investigations that are focused on building resources for veterans to help them access their benefits more quickly than normal. Collation of data is never as sexy as a great front-page headline or great TV sound byte, but the information is nonetheless valuable for you, my faithful readers. Sometimes, when individual topics are not considered newsworthy for major publications, I am able to then publish them here, instead. It really gives a great platform to hit VA from numerous positions at once.

Thanks for tuning in.

Source: https://youtu.be/rLi0111Ywj0

Robin Mitchell

Check out the related denying SMC T aid and attendance scandal. Diverted money meant for TBI service connected veterans

91Veteran
91Veteran
Thanks for what you do here Ben. It is valuable and helps many veterans, even those without TBI. How does it do that? It forces the VA to think twice before sticking some veteran with an unqualified hack. Another scandal heating up in Cincinnati and reported by Mark Greenblatt, Daniel Monk and Aaron Kessler was just posted on the WCPO web site. It is a part of their investigation there, and I believe they are finding a problem that is… Read more »
don
don

Each and every time a rock is turned over at the VA there is a scandal or a fix is needed. This is a national disgrace! Give Vets the chance to get reasonable medical and dental care outside of the VA!

Reuben Castro Acosta

va deathcare is federal rico crime racket run by @ for AFGE UNION CONTRACTS @ VA KILLS VETS FOR THE BONOUS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

namnibor
Good reporting, Ben! Yes, that Cincinnati VAMC scandal is proving to be a larger bag of sticky worms than first imagined. The VA is doing some strange stuff with the Choice Program. I have a buddy that lives in a metro city where his VAMC is walking/biking distance from where he lives and he received a bewildering notice in mail from Choice stating he had been referred out for his Psych Dr. Counseling Appointments and was required to respond in… Read more »
namnibor
As far as the further down rabbit hole on the VA’s no clue on TBI, this really angers me because just why is it that the very injuries, whether they physical, mental, or mixed-bag of both, the very medical conditions afflicting Veterans from our very service to the USA, the promise of the VA comes with an almost near-certainty that something can and will eventually go very wrong because it’s the very MISSION OF VA that they have totally forgot,… Read more »
Bishop Small
it is not just tbi related issues as one commenter already said the va is choosing to outsource whatever they can to choice and then choice cant find a provider to see you because well choice isnt paying their bills so providers are refusing to treat veterans because they cant get paid in a timely manner so why go through the hassle. my doctor put in a referral for choice 01/06/16. choice tried sending me to a provider who could… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran

The cool thing about smart phones is multi tasking. I am typing this while on hold with Choice. It has been 50 days for my referral. Their notes claim I only called twice before. Their notes also say I spoke with a supervisor. I left him a voice mail. Shockingly I am now on hold after speaking with a supervisor. He is calling the provider.

Sandy Hale, Disabled Combat Veteran
Sandy Hale, Disabled Combat Veteran
I got referred out thru the choice program and got to see a real doctor that had real life experience actually knew what she was doing and a real chiropractor who had real life experience and wasn’t a rookie. It beats the hell out of those pimple faced students, residents and interns who treat you like a laboratory RAT.. I’m getting REAL medical care now and not from inexperienced personell. I’m treated better by the non- VA staff there because… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran

I had a lengthy comment typed up and once again managed to hit one of the damn buttons that is so close to the comment box on a phone, so the whole thing was lost.
It was a lot of information on HealthNet and Choice, which is a contractor, not gvovernment employees, and their $4.8 billion given for Choice and how the VA screwed up the consult. Now I start the process over after 50 days of waiting.

namnibor
91Veteran saved me some typing. HealthNet and the maybe -1- other Choice Administers (I think one is primarily Eastern USA and other overlaps into West bu I can easily stand corrected), but *neither* of these VA Contractors are Federal Agencies at all, they are as they VA likes to title them, “The Administering Agency for Choice”, and maintain a class poor rating if you look-up the companies in reference. There’s a huge disconnect with the VA utilizing a “mediator” and… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran

I will have a much longer response to this later when I can get access to a normal keyboard and not have to worry about losing everything I typed by accidently hitting one of the buttons that shows on the page.

crazy elf
crazy elf
Hell, Beginning in Nov. or Dec. of 2014- then continuing into 2015, I’ve been approved, then disapproved, then approved, then disapproved a number of times. Still haven’t been able to use the Choice Program! I guess the VA is just waiting for me to die! Only, I’m going to be a thorn in their side for as long as I can! The Choice Program is a waste of taxpayers monies. I wonder where, and into WHO’s pocket, the monies go?… Read more »
Robin Mitchell
CHOICE was designed to fail. By contrast CHAMPVA has served dependents of 100% SC disabled veterans for years very successfully. I have never had a doctor refuse it. No pre-approval is necessary. Billed same as Medicare. The logical thing to do is kill CHOICE and give ALL vets CHAMPVA. Adjust the Co-pays for SC and income. Put it on autopilot and out of the VA decision making process. Rep Miller’s statement on the upcoming budget request. I suggest everyone call… Read more »
firefly
firefly
I am going thru a TBI case right now thru the Durham NC VA hospital whom referred me to Duke University Hospital because they did not have a Neurosurgeon. I had a brain tumor which was the result of a some head injuries while in the military. Surgery at Duke University Hospital was outstanding. But now once I was released I can’t get the follow-up care or exams or treatment needed for the right side of my body that is… Read more »
firefly
firefly

So a scandal does not surprise me.

Kirk R
Kirk R

firefly,

Contact the surgeon who did the surgery immediately. Let him know that you are not receiving aftercare. You are his patient and are under his care.

That care did not stop after the surgery.

Speak to the surgeon directly.

firefly
firefly
That surgeon for Duke is controlled by the Durham VA hospital who is footing the bill. His hands are tied. He can’t do anything with out prior approval from the VA hospital. One person will call saying it is approved and before the end of the day another will call saying it is not approved….Back and forth…I had a confirmed appointment one day. But the day before for Duke appointment and another VA appointment for something else the next day… Read more »
crazy elf
crazy elf

Has anyone gone onto the website, which Dennis Parker has put up over the “many criminal acts” have transpired up in Oregon? If not, here it is:

“http//:pancakesspoons.com”

I might have the “semicolon” in the wrong place. Just try it though. He said he would “scan in” many documents.

namnibor

Thanks, yes I was finally able to go onto it and read some blog posts, let us know when he posts that info there. Has my curiosity piqued.

namnibor

@crazyelf- in other words, it’s not posted there as yet.

crazy elf
crazy elf

@namnibor
Brother, all I get is how to make or how to eat pancakes.
How do I get to his website?
“I’m so confused!” lol

namnibor
Unless I was missing something, there was absolutely no story about a VA scandal…yet…only long blog posts starting Fall/Winter 2015 back…not anything current. I also get pancake, pancake ads on my computer, and made me hungry for Bob Evans or a good greasy spoon truck stop’s -6- stack of pancakes….it’s hit or miss. I only was able to get on that exact web address -2- times out of 11 times trying and getting only pancakes and even maple syrup ads… Read more »
crazy elf
crazy elf

@namnibor
Yes I finally got to his site. Look for
“VA report on drug crimes”
It’s his 12 page report! It starts out slow. Then gets better on the 3rd or 4th page. When the VA employee, who’s being interrogated under “Miranda Rights”, starts to “cry” and begins ‘implicating’ more individuals!
I’ve emailed this “report” off to Ben. Maybe he might be interested. Or maybe he might know someone out there who can help Dennis get this out into the open!

namnibor

@crazyelf-

Thanks. Holy Smoke!! Am betting Ben will find this amazing. This is a Lifetime Movie Event Series just waiting to be made…!

Maybe the VA has been selectively releasing scams as smoke screens for these type of things, if verifiable, and of curse, true, could break the camel’s back.

crazy elf
crazy elf

@namnibor, 91Veteran and all.
Here’s Dennis Parker’s webpage to google. It should take you right to it. Remove the “quotation marks”.

“http://pancakespoons.com/2016/02/24/va-report-showing-drug-crimes/”

Like I said. It starts off slow. Then picks up on page 3 or 4!

crazy elf
crazy elf

@namnibor
“Smoke Screen”, VERY possible! Maybe this is the “Why” VA is so determined to keep this “secret”!
I sure hope Ben can do something for Dennis. We need to keep this going! Bring more “light on the subject!”

91Veteran
91Veteran
Veterans Choice, Choice, or Choice First are all the same, administered by a private company called HealthNet. HealthNet grew out of California, and are now nation-wide. Their SEC filings show a huge number of subsidiary companies involved in hospitals and pharmaceuticals, with other entities located in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. From comments I see on the internet, it looks as if they are heavily involved in ObamaCare, or at least screwing customers out of their premiums. I believe their… Read more »
Kirk R
Kirk R

91Veteran,

You need to read the post below by Firefly he just had neurosurgery on the choice program. He cannot get follow up care or physical therapy from the VA or from the Choice Program.

91Veteran
91Veteran
I read his comment and can believe it because of how screwed up the program is. After requesting my Senator do an inquiry, I have gotten two voice mails at home from the VA, my Congressman is meeting with the director on Choice problems, and another Senate aide is emailing me from Colorado Springs. On top of that, I tweeted to HealthNet about their pathetic problems and suggested Nancy Pelosi ask her good friend George Miller,who sits on HealthNets board… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran
The second comment I had was about my Choice/VA experience today. I know this is long, but it was the very first time I ever had not one, but two separate VA employees tell me I should contact my Congressman. The first one even offered me his local phone number, and the second told me they are being flooded with complaints from his office about Choice. My VA is a small VA, so I can’t imagine how hard congressmen near… Read more »
Robin Mitchell
Sloan Gibson is asking Rep Lee Zeldin to support his 178 BILLION dollar fix. So in return Zeldin asked Gibson about my husband’s claim for SMC T A/A. Infamous Mikey Stephens and crew have had it. Well, tonight Stephens turned it down again. After congressional lawyers looked at the case and said my husband clearly qualifies for it and warned Stephens his SOC had better follow the law he felt so insulated from a lowly freshman congressman and Sloan Gibson… Read more »
James Hall
James Hall

Just lift the whole system, no more playing there games.

Ray foster
Ray foster

Please call me at 719 510 3401 I was diagnosed with tbi then when they gave me my individual unemployment they had me come in for what they called a pre unemployment disability examination and they took away my tbi

W2 Team Leader
W2 Team Leader
The X VA medical center did this to me too. My c&p exam for my TBI they had me walk in to a conference room with probably 8-10 people sitting around this table (so right away this seems strange to me) they each took turns going around their table grilling me with questions about my head trauma from when I was in Iraq and the trauma prior. After feeling like I’d been verbally attached abused what ever you want to… Read more »
W2 Team Leader
W2 Team Leader
Continued.. I left out something very important. So when I was explaining the incident over in the sand box my head injury I “did” tell them I feel I what they referrred to as “blacking out” for maybe a second till my buddies were able to get me to med. they responded with “you have to had blacked out for 3 or more seconds to be considered as having a TBI”. Again, unbelievable pathetic just wow. And to this day… Read more »
wpDiscuz