Veterans Affairs Yelp App

The Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced they spent taxpayer dollars developing a Yelp app for veterans that should help fix VA.

On the one hand, this sounds like a good idea and is being sold as providing veterans the opportunity to review the quality of care they receive at various facilities. On the other hand, the app will apparently limit review to only the facility and not the service provider.

This is what I have been calling for forever. Not surprisingly, VA has persistently resisted micro level critiques of employees by veterans.

But this is about to change.

I plan to start a fundraising campaign to cover development of a new database tool that will allow veterans to review facilities, employees and the overall trend of salary increases against ratings.

Sound like a more comprehensive solution VA could create but will not?

The House Committee on Veterans Affairs asked VA about this today during the suicide prevention hearing. I guarantee any solution VA provides that combines transparancey with data on VA employees will not cover the bases needed because of the AFGE union and its strangle hold on VA poliicy.

While not cheap, this is a kind of solution needed to really shed a light into every corner of VA moving forward. And, it will allow veterans an opportunity to track VA executives regardless of where VA shuffles them to after a scandal.

All it will take is a little money, and a heck of a lot less than VA wastes each day in frivolous contracts and bogus bonuses.

Why doesn’t President Donald Trump just pay for it along with the White House super-phone he has yet to implement?

I could probably get it done well for less than $15,000, which is likely a whole lot less than what they will spend on the less comprehensive Yelp review app.

VA Comments On Yelp Review App Idea

According to Task & Purpose:

The VA is expected to roll out a more novel change in the next few weeks, according to multiple sources: a public-facing, searchable database that rates and ranks every VA medical center and outpatient facility, along with nearby private care facilities. “It’s a real effort to have VA compete with private sector providers,” Gillums said.

“I love this,” Chenelly of AMVETS said. “It’s like Yelp for VA facilities.”

The site will provide data about safety, wait times, and appointment availability at each center. The grading system is expected to work hand-in-glove with an automated, online appointment process that could make it easier for vets to access their care — and harder for VA workers to doctor their appointment books.

Augustine of DAV says the ratings site is part of Shulkin’s push for efficiency through transparency at VA: “He thinks that this will not only help veterans get their care, but it also helps employees understand where they’re falling short.”

Ready For Your Feedback

So if you had an opportunity to give feedback directly to VA, what would you ask them to include in their Yelp App? Would you want to review union employees and VA executives?

Or, do you believe federal employees should be reviewed only in secret?

I cannot help but wonder who VA is talking to about creating these fixes.

We here at DisabledVeterans.org tend to hear about these projects after they are released and well on their way to flopping.

Will this Yelp app be any different?

Source: http://taskandpurpose.com/trump-veterans-affairs-new-policies/

CorpsmanUp!
The review information should go directly to the union as well as “evidence and notice” so they won’t have a leg to stand on when they are fired. I would ask the VA to just close its doors, it is a lost cause. Veterans can work on their own model of a VA. They just have to organize with a willing hospital or clinic and have veterans that will help other vets process claims in a space within the hospital… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran
Hang a Big ROGER on that, Doc. I have actually had VA employees tell me that “their service is equivalent to military service”. I just laugh in their face and tell them they are fucking clueless. They are naught but corrupt, greedy, stupid, and work less than banker’s hours. One of the fat 400 lb. Tuna Beast miss their lunch once a month, in order to properly finish processing a veteran’s claim? Yeah, that’s a REAL hardship. They don’t know… Read more »
VA IS LYINF INC.

VA DEATHCARE KILLS VETS FOR THE BONOUS $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ VETS GET OVER IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Big Biz
“”Malum In Se””…nothing solely prepared by the V.A. Will solve this major issue of “transparency ,trust and past vicissitudes…continuously applying Band-Aids to a ”Cancer”is what the V.A. Prides it’s self on intentionally!! Benjamin please know that you are “more” than what the. V.A. thinks you represent!!! The platform you’ve created via your accomplishments foster the “flames” of ‘promise’. It’s time you “”test the waters”” upon which you so ‘boldly’ navigate!!! Brother what are you waiting on??? It’s truly time for… Read more »
VA IS LYINF INC.

BROTHER VET I WAS AT FT ORD CALIF 1961 / 63

? ex va
The limit of review is only to the facility and no one else? Well that is the problem. The va medical centers do not clean their own houses. I see this as a way to continue to retaliate against Veterans who complain of poor treatment. This is what the va facilities want to be able to see who is complaining about whom. The managers and doctors would love to have this yelp information because they are incompetent and do not… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran
@ex va – – – Agreed. I think Ben’s Idea for database development is a very good one. Probably the first of its’ kind to be VetCentric, rather than VACentric. I would like to be able to input some micro-level critiques of any employee who works for the VA here in Honolulu. @Ben – – – Agree with you that VAYelp! will not work due AFGE Choke Hold. Reverse will be true. Weapon to assist in retaliation against trusting veterans.… Read more »
namnibor
‘[So if you had an opportunity to give feedback directly to VA, what would you ask them to include in their Yelp App? Would you want to review union employees and VA executives?]” Firstly, as long as the VA is limiting review data to *only* the facility, then we Vets may as well be considered as outside interior decorators or something rather than the ability to review individual medical providers at the point of contact and service. The VA’s new… Read more »
cj

@namnibor: Introducing the new “namnibor VA ARG A-1.0.K’
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namnibor

LMAO!

Jane
The VA policy for travel to another location in the community for over night has got to change! Now as of Oct 1 2016 reimbursement is now 25% of the Govt allowance for food in what ever the city is!!! It was 50% further when mandatory to stay in a hotel Veterans only get 50% of the govt rate paid back !! Try going in season to many locations in the US and find a place for $50 per day… Read more »
OLDMARINE
Make sure we all get the word as to how to contribute to the fund-raiser. I’ll be glad to kick in what I can afford……I’M in on that BEN …….I am still sending out the article on the doc in Missouri sitting in the penalty box………….. Issue: VET Subject: why is this going on…I am a MARINE VETERAN 1972-1976 Message Text: Why Is This VA Doctor Paid $250k To Literally Do Nothing? By Benjamin Krause, JD – April 3, 2017… Read more »
cj

@OLDMARINE; Same here, still sending out, and zero replies. Not a damn thing on the toob either. They can instantly put out unsubstantiatied bs, on G.W Bush. But not on an easily confirmed article having to do with Veteerans health care.

OLDMARINE

@cj at least we tried…….. Omerta is the Code of silence when dealing with the government……they must be the new and improved gangsters the roles have reversed

rick B
I doubt that this will help make things any better… and why would it… hell we are still hearing about waiting list etc… does anyone really expect things to get better with an app? Just more money out the window while the veterans wait for real care. Factually, rating the va medical centers compared to the Private sector is like comparing apples and oranges….. plus you will always have the priority 8 veteran who actually thinks the va is doing… Read more »
Jane
In regards to the story on Dr Klien, Pain Dr with no job another location for pressing the information would be the VHA Acting National Pain Director Friedhelm Sandbrink, MD (as of Nov 1, 2016) Detail provider information for Friedhelm Sandbrink, MD Field: Neurology Board Certifications: Pain Management (Anesthesiology) Neurology Clinical Neurophysiology Education: MD, MEDICAL SCHOOL HANNOVER (MEDIZINISCHE HOCHSCHULE H Licensed In: District of Columbia Provider Type: Physician Gender: Male Location: Washington DC VA Medical Center 50 Irving Street, NW… Read more »
OLDMARINE

JANE thanks for the link, i will send it to him also if i get no response from anyone then i will know its one big crime family being paid off by the VA’S P.R. firm….your tax dollars at work..LOL

Jane
No Problem OLDMARINE! I have had to write/email the foromer VHA Pain Management Director Rollin Gallagher and to Dr Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier MD, Col USA-MC Ret Director of DVCIPM to get the special treatment for my pain of CRPS! That is being done at only 7 VAs in the USA yet those VAs refuse to treat veterans outside their VA which by VA regulations is ILLEGAL 🙁 BTW info for Dr Chester ‘Trip’ Buckenmaier III, MD COL (ret), MC, USA… Read more »
Crazy elf
I wonder which VA upper management relative is receiving the contract for this B/S!? Are the VSO’s receiving anything? Where’s the transparency and accountability within this bullshit! Because, I also agree it’s just another way for VA employees to find out who they can FUCK OVER when a vet tells the truth about a specific facility!! Ben, I’ve not been able to send anything for awhile. Hopefully, that will change. I do agree you should start something. I think a… Read more »
OLDMARINE

I agree CRAZY ELF thats why i am sending out that article to see if i get a stir out of anybody since it is one of there own. if it was one of us they would just toss it in the round file……. ………this is off topic but i need this guy as my neighbor ………The Most Armed Man in America , Weapons Tour …….its on u tube

Jane
@CRazy Elf & @OLDMARINE there is a group currently just for this! web page can be found here: It is a start!! pass the word www DOT vetsmarchonamerica DOT com/ VICTORY FOR VETERANS Veterans March on: America WE will be heard MAY 20, 2017 in CAPITols and other CITIES ALL ACROSS AMERICA WHAT WE’RE DOING It’s time that We as Veterans, including our Veteran’s families, Communities & Civilians all came together as One to be the Voice of Awareness and… Read more »
namnibor

Thanks for that info.

namnibor

Those of us that are not as mobile as others could peacefully ride in a Sherman Tank or two. 🙂

VeteransCannabisRanch
VeteransCannabisRanch

some of us will prefer to ride in Tiger tanks.

/s/ Michael Wittman

Disgruntled Veteran

Appreciate the info.

Cantigny

!Ditto! can’t add much to the conversation that hasnn’t already been written.

count me in, i’ll donate to @Ben’s new project.

Big Biz
“Malum In Se”…I told you Benjamin us vet’s won’t let you down!!! Just test the waters brother. ..we got your back and I think you’ll see where im going with this!!! It’s time to pull some “teeth”!! I use to be a Union Organizer and we’d do “‘assessments”” before a campaign. Benjamin ask!!! Vet’s will we support you!!! It’s time for the. “” Million Veterans March””. If any vet’s would “”March”””let’s say so now!! Here right this moment…are we sick… Read more »
cj

@Big Biz: I am all in, just say the word and I am there.

Disgruntled Veteran

I noticed that Honolulu was NOT one of the cities listed on that website. Filled out the volunteer form, awaiting contact. I personally know several of our local, state, and Federal Politicos having gone on “Neighborhood Citizens Patrol” with them.

We spend about three hours weekly scrubbing off spray-painted graffiti in our neighborhood.

Crazy elf

From; “military.com/Daily News”
dated: 4 April 2017
Titled:

“VA Defending Work to Fix Troubled Veteran Suicide Hotline!”

Associated Press | by Hope Yen

More bullshit from VA in a Committee meeting yesterday! Are they lying under Oath? I think the answer is – “YES!”

Big Biz

“”Malum In Se”” ill put my $$$ on the table only if “”Benjamin” ” kicks it off!!! Hell ill do anything accept more dam talking!!! Im ready to “”March”” and keep on “”marching” ” until something gets “”Done””. Im sick of all tthis’b.s.’ and current Legislatures need to know that we vets ain’t playing these games any longer!!! Time to start pulling “teeth”. No help/action..no more political jobs!!??

Katterkat Cooper
You have to be very careful on Yelp. If you curse, name names or rude to anyone in any way you will have your comments removed and won’t be able to commit on any discussion of any kind good or bad. You have to delete your account totally and get a new account under a different email address and name. The rules of Yelp tells you no specific names or cursing. Yelp is a way to make sure you don’t… Read more »
namnibor
Good to know. It would surely make more sense for a Google+ App, or some other affiliation without any censorship…we are Veterans, so flowery words just do not usually fit when describing the VA and if Yelp censors comments effectively, then the VA will always look spanking clean 5 stars…kind of way the Better Business Bureau had become in last 8 years, where a given company like a bank that just ripped-off customers by opening fake accounts in their names…BBB… Read more »
Katterkat

BBB collects money to give a 5 ? rating. So in order to get a rating you have to pay the piper. The more you pay the more ? rating is.

cj

It doen’t need to be a “yelp” app. It can be it’s own stand alone app, with it’s own rules etc. Kinda like the Democratic party.

Disgruntled Veteran

@KatterKat Cooper – – – Everything you said is correct. Additionally, if you do not frequently post (at least once every 90 Days in Honolulu) they flag and delete your reviews – – – no matter the star rating. Experienced that with several of my 4 and 5 star reviews.

Big Biz
“Malum In Se”…if you’ve never participated in a “Massive. March” please don’t down play it!! The news media loves massive veterans coming together for a “cause”….Each year the’stand-down’works for veterans. 3/4 months planning yeah the 4th of July. 2017 “”Million Veterans March””. If they even truly thought that the 4th was going to produce such an event it gets real serious very fast!! If nothing else we learn which legislators are serious and which are “”fake”” like some of the… Read more »
VeteransCannabisRanch
VeteransCannabisRanch

comments are closed.

??? is this why only a few people post here? are other commenters not commenting because they believe comments are closed?

Disgruntled Veteran

@VeteransCannabisRanch – – – Comments are NOT closed. Some wonky thing with the software tat still needs to be run down.

Dennis
I used to program deteministic real operating systems in my duties as a control systems engineer. I have written countless thousands of lines of mostly C code, in essence creating the operating systems for the robotic machines my employer built and sold into them sawmill industry. I am also a registered Apple developer. Creating the app is not the challenge. Defining precisely what you hope to accomplish is the problem to solve. Unless the app can grow a set of… Read more »
91Veteran
Good point on flooding the site with fake reviews…and you can bet your ass it will happen. Perhaps a prominent notice that IP addresses will be captured might slow them down, but that is doubtful. Capturing valid email addresses with a link to click emailed to you to continue the review might also help…or might not. What would the AFGE thugs care if there is no accountability? I am noticing this happen more and more on news articles about how… Read more »
Kcorbin

There is a website for reviews of va facilities and anything you want to say about your care or providers. It’s ” vareview.net ” it was developed by a disgruntled vet that was fed up with terrible care at his va hospital.

91Veteran

That is the site I mention below.

I think it’s a great site and could be very useful for veterans, but I think the guy putting it together is struggling without much help.

I think some of the shifting map issues should be worked out as well with just a search feature, but I don’t fault the guy since clearly he has done a lot of work on his own to put the site together.

Windguy
Yelp won’t matter one whit. Sorry – this site won’t matter one whit, other than to illuminate the scores in the Win column that Ben (and others) have made against the evil empire. Look at any of these sites – we’re preaching to the choir. Absent a coordinated and cohesive national campaign, the VA will remain what it is. Congress will get teary eyed during election cycles. we’ll start another war and throw chump change at the chumps who served… Read more »
Ron Nesler

I am in for $100 minimum, and I have experience doing GO FUND ME, if you decide to go that route, I volunteer some time.

Dan F
Many veterans don’t realize there is a site called healthgrades dot com where you can grade your provider. And, boy do I. Like my PCP who I gave 1 star and wrote a review where she gave me two medications which were contraindicated which could have caused convulsions and death. Fortunately for me, before I take any medication, I do an internet search to see if they have interactions. I urge vets to review their providors – even if you… Read more »
91Veteran
I have done the same, including going to state licensing web sites to see if they have been sued or had any actions against their license. It seems many more states are requiring any adverse action be available to the public, which is certainly much better than that lame web site the VA directs people to. Docinfo dot org or some such nonsense. They claim it is in association with state licensing boards, but curiously the Docinfo site leaves out… Read more »
OLDMARINE
@DAN F i just checked out that site this is someone else’s review of my va doc…..Asheville, NC | Dec 22, 2016 I’d give him zero stars if I could. Absolutely the worst doctor ever. You have to be bleeding out of your eyes for him to care, and even then, I doubt he would. He actually prescribed laxatives and antacid for diarrhea!! And even though my husband has had serious gastrointestinal issues for years, he refuses to refer him… Read more »
Dennis
The app I want to see is the one that details ALL of the VA FOIA offices phone and fax numbers, along with a FOIA “wizard” to fill out a perfected FOIA request, as well as ALL appeal paperwork and numbers and contact info when the agency refuses to comply with FOIA requests. The app ideally would also provide a “wizard” to fill out a form to send to hhs dot gov to formalize a FOIA or privacy Act violation… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran

The “Nuclear Option”. As I am ignorant of software development (as a profitable industry), how much money (very roughly) would it cost to develop something that would achieve those goals? How much time (man hours) would be required?

Dennis
With an Apple Developer license most of this stuff is pretty much off the shelf code already developed. The front end (how the user interacts) is a few days. It is creating the database that the programming would need to be hired out. Just like growing tomatoes, in theory nothing could be easier, but…my tomato plants have a survival rate only the VA would claim is a victory. I can create an app within minutes, as can all Apple Developers.… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran
@Dennis – – – Thank You Very Much for the explanation. A very long time ago, I used to code in C and Assembly language. However, all the code that I wrote belongs to the military – – – so have not kept up with the “software as a living” trend over the past few decades. Last time I wrote any code was 1986. I certainly agree with your last paragraph. My guess is that if you developed a package… Read more »
namnibor

@Dennis- You’ve just invented the “Turd Wizard App”. (TWA)

I would only naturally assume that the TWA has a facial/fecal recognition software ability to take a selfie of my morning dump and the TWA will instantly match the provider’s info to the facial/fecal database?

Such a wonderful technological time to be alive!

91Veteran

I prefer Dennis’ app be called the Cyber Poo Cannon, or the Stairmaster Six Shooter, or the Flying Monkey Flinger.

But then, if the VA gets wind of this, they will let a contract to at least 3 contractors for $36 million each to develope an app that won’t talk to anything else and will be down for maintenance daily from 12 noon until 11:58 am.

91Veteran
That would be an awesome app that would get a lot of use…particularly the CR complaint and forwarding function to state licensing boards. It would be even better if their were tracking capability to see exactly where your complaint is in the process of being ignored. As for the FOIA listing. You can already find that on the VA web site. I found it last year when I submitted a FOIA to McDonald’s office for a copy of any record… Read more »
Dennis
as far as tracking e complaint, the app would track the time since submission and compare that to the known laws regarding VA’s legal time limit to answer. Once the timeer reaches T+1 second the app could generate the appeal of the decision not to comply with federal law and at the same time generate the FOIA/Privacy Act violation complaint to hhs dot gov. Both would be ready to FAX or print/send/email at exactly one second past the deadline to… Read more »
91Veteran
So I have read the column and now my comment, before reading others comments so this may have been mentioned. Ben, before you spend money, perhaps you want to look at vareview dot net, and see if you can partner with him. That site appears to have everything we are looking for. If I had any additions to that site, it would be the ability to subscribe to a specific hospital using email, and receive email updates whenever a new… Read more »
Jo3n

@Cj, about that art; Not on Yelp, although, you are getting better. @ Dennis, you are correct in that, yelp app for information on Veterans, and the VA’s got enough information on most of us already……………………….. @Ben, after reading 91Veteran, you appear to have options. I will give what I can, just let me know. About comments by newbies, I don’t know how to trust…. I don’t want to, just can’t.

91Veteran

Jo3n, you should check out that vareview site and see what you think.

I think it could be a lot better if veterans knew about it, and posted reviews.

namnibor
That website indeed could be improved upon but to already have a basic site set-up it either could be merged as a template or something else entirely. There lies our plight as Veterans. We could very-well locate 9 different websites set-up locally by some disgruntled vet(s), and the VA has several different “report card sites” and various State-specific VA sites, and a slurry of other websites…nothing is really centralized, it’s as scattered brained as the VA is…a direct reflection, if… Read more »
Brandon S.
If they want unbiased and honest reviews, why not just PARTNER WITH YELP instead of creating something new? It’s because VA wants to filter the message. You know there’s going to be a VA employee managing the collateral damage and reducing/deleting the number of complaint reviews. Then, VA will use this filtered review site to tell everyone “see, we’re awesome! this is what vets say about VA health care!” They will use this data to reduce the number of changes… Read more »
Jo3n

@91Veteran, thanks, and I will. I think what bothers me most, regarding VA/yelp, is, like everything the VA does, the plan is anti Veterans/pro AFGE. That’s the recipe the VA has been using way too long now. It’s not working.

91Veteran
I agree it’s pro AFGE, and agree with the other commenter about it being little more than a marketing tool. If you only have a vague rating tool, and those ratings are averaged over the entire hospital, we will be right back where we are now with either a couple good employees or clinics carrying the dead weight of the whole hospital. For example, if I can only rate the hospital, will I rate it good based on the physical… Read more »
Lem

Use the comment section and rate the departments. That will single out department heads that don’t get the best out of their personnel.

Lem

It is a step in the right direction but more is needed by far. Accountable care is just around the corner if you count in decades of centuries. (outcome based health care)

js

When an organization hides behind anonymity, one must wonder what they are really hiding.

cj

@ANutterVet,@Ex va: Evening guys.

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