Former VA Surgeon Says Agency Refuses Care For High-Risk Patients

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Surgeon Michael Mann

A former VA surgeon in cardiology says hospital administrators manipulate mortality rates by denying high-risk patients access to lifesaving surgical procedures.

Dr. Michael Mann, a professor of surgery and director of cardiothoracic research at the University of California San Francisco, is calling out VA for manipulating its mortality rates.

The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) is the system VA invented to measure rates. Those measurements are tied to… wait for it… wait for it… to justify bonuses and promotions for local level administrators.

The better the rating, the better the bonus.

To get a better rating, health administrators deny high-risk patients access to certain procedures where the veteran has a lower likelihood of surviving.

Now, Dr. Mann is no second-rate surgeon.

As noted, he is a cardiothoracic surgeon and professor of medicine. He was trained at Stanford and went on to work within VA for many years only to ultimately be fired in 2011 for blowing the whistle about poor administrative decisions within the agency.

This year, Dr. Mann wrote the book “Mission Betrayed” addressing manipulations in the VA system.

For some context, Dr. Mann is not the only physician or surgeon working on the heart to be blasted by VA after questioning authority. You may recall Dr. Lisa Nee, an interventional cardiologist turned VA whistleblower who was forced out of the agency in 2011 at Hines VA Hospital.

RELATED: Deadly Hines VA Cover-up Exposed

Dr. Mann tracked the move to quantify VA using NSQIP back to 1985. At the time, poor conditions and outcomes at VA nationwide forced Congress to pass Public Law 99-166 where the agency would compare its surgical mortality statistics to the “prevailing national standard.”

RELATED: OSC Says VA Inadequately Addresses Deficiencies In Cardiovascular Care

The fly in the ointment is that no other health care system is like VA, and no national standard comparable to allow such a comparison other than for VA to compare its own hospitals to themselves.

By that measure, I am both the fastest and strongest man on the planet, so long as I only compare me to the other men in my house right this second.

According to Dr. Mann’s TheDCF interview:

“The VA did an amazing job of measuring its own surgical outcomes, something that had never been done before in such an immense system, but there was no prevailing national standard to be compared to,” he said. “We still don’t really have it for all of surgery, and so the VA instead just compared its own individual institutions within its system and developed something called NSQIP, the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, and all it really did was rank the hospitals in the VA based on surgical mortality, so one hospital had the lowest mortality and the other end of the spectrum there were hospitals with the highest.”

As Mann notes, mortality rates at VA facilities suddenly began dropping through the floor by close to 50 percent from the mid-to-late 1990s to the mid-to-late 2000s.

“The only way you could’ve rationalized that drop was by saying, “Well, the worst institutions were somehow learning from the best institutions,” Mann said. “But that’s not what happened. Numbers dropped everywhere across the board. There were unprecedented drops of mortality and morbidity. That’s never been seen in any system designed to improve outcomes. There’s no scientific explanation for that.”

Dr. Mann believes the manipulation was less of a conspiracy and more a matter of smart bean counters knowing how to make the numbers look good for VA Central Office.

As a result, veterans are forced to go without needed health care services, and practitioners trained within the agency’s health care system come away with a confirmation that the VA is second-rate:

“[T]he idea that the VA is a second-rate system for second-class patients is the very first impression medical students get in their training in the United States. And I don’t think that impression ever changes.”

In response to TheDCF interview, VA Press Secretary Curt Cashour said, “These are serious allegations. If the doctor can provide evidence, we will look into them.”

This is a bit of doublespeak since VA has access to all the data necessary to initiate an investigation through IG to substantiate the allegations – – which are quite serious indeed.

Source: http://dailycaller.com/2017/09/17/former-va-surgeon-heres-how-the-va-manipulates-stats-to-make-hospitals-look-good/

Ranger11bv
Ranger11bv

And what is going to be done about it…. NOTHING!!!!!

APC/duck
APC/duck

I echo your word “NOTHING”. Prisoners get better health care, education and job security (once out) than veterans.

cj
cj

Triply, thoroughly, echo your word “NOTHING”.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

Yep, that’s right!

namnibor
namnibor

“[The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) is the system VA invented to measure rates. Those measurements are tied to… wait for it… wait for it… to justify bonuses and promotions for local level administrators.
The better the rating, the better the bonus.]”

This is not to be confused with “National Surgical Quagmire Improvement Program” (NSQIP), also invented by the VA, where fresh from grass and mud hut VA surgeons can practice on nonhuman test subjects with no repercussions for “bad outcomes”.

WyldeChylde
WyldeChylde

The next time this country needs me, this second class citizen is staying home.

Oldmarine
Oldmarine

World class health care…..VA making great strides in the art of BULLSHIT …..We don’t give a shit = I care…..Just as always just reverse their whirled/words…Just another spin job.
And don’t forget they are there just for U, Aren’t you feeling special yet, If not you need a antidepressant YUM YUM

namnibor
namnibor

The VA only gave me Flintstones Antidepressants Tablets (FAT). I learned quickly to stay clear of taking a Wilma or Betty, as they made me antsy and the Bam Bam’s made me violent. I much prefer Scooby Snacks.

Peter Kreutzfeldt
Peter Kreutzfeldt

I like you’re take on VA Rx

windguy
windguy

And thank you for your service to your country ee eehheee ehaaaaahaahahaha

Old DevilDoc
Old DevilDoc

Copy that! The VA may justifiably be the bottom feeders of the medical field, but they have Orwellian ‘Newspeak’ honed to a fine science!

Peter Kreutzfeldt
Peter Kreutzfeldt
so answer me this. If what is being said about the VA and I am not doubting any of the stories her, why is the VA not pursuit in a criminal fashion. Any civilian hospital would be shut down in short order. I would like to think that the testimony of a medical man such as the VA surgeon would warrant an investigation. I have my own stories, but have given up dealing with it. I use my own medical… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf
Peter, Our “neutered” DOJ has become “politicized”, just like the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, to such a degree they are ‘refusing’ to do their jobs! Look at what has transpired for decades. Only those in lesser job titles are prosecuted for breaking the law! Or, only those who are willing to “take the fall” are prosecuted: example; Martha Stewart! The “blindfolded lady justice” IS no longer able to hold people accountable! Because “her” blindfold was stripped off years… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis
President Reagan created the VA as a cabinet level agency against ALL advice and wisdom. He himself was largely elected because of his opposition to all of the cabinet level positions that Carter created. He blasted growth in government as a bad thing and vowed to correct it – then he grew the government by creating an entire cabinet level agency. Against the advice of veterans who served in congress this agency level post did something that ONLY the charisma… Read more »
Edward Blassingame
Edward Blassingame

The Congress and everybody else does not care about veterans or what happens to them after they’re used up. It’s sad that a lot of the abuse of Veterans are committed by other veterans

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Peter Kreutzfeldt – – – This article may help to explain why hardly suits against the VA.

“https://www.cbsnews.com/news/medical-malpractice-lawsuits-fewer-claims-succeed-payouts-rise/” – – – Nutter’s Library

Dina Padilla
Dina Padilla
kaiser permanente has been doing the same thing for decades. Giving supervisors & management (doctors & nurses) bonuses to not give care. The VA took lessons from kaiser and its partner in crime SEIU of denial of medicine. Anyone that was a skilled and trained employee was fired via its other partner in crimes, the CA state WC system.. Being a federal contractor, we pay for these horrors to the tune of billions every year while they use the money… Read more »
NiteWish
NiteWish
More manipulated data: VA Releases Suicide Data by State for 2014: “https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/suicide_prevention/Suicide-Prevention-Data.asp” And rather than attempt to manipulate the ‘data’ on Veterans who want a more peaceful death & live in a Veterans Home in California they must leave it as giving the drugs under California’s End of Life Option Act that aids the dying has been Forbidden. “Allowing doctors at Veterans Homes to help end patients’ lives would endanger about $68 million in annual federal funding, according to CalVet… Read more »
Oldmarine
Oldmarine

NiteWish check this out
“https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQ8eBA2kBoQ”

Dennis
Dennis
“Dr. Michael Mann, a professor of surgery and director of cardiothoracic research at the University of California San Francisco, is calling out VA for manipulating its mortality rates.” Just exactly what do you think the Disruptive Behavior Committee is used for lolz! When you need a “customer” to go away you tag him as disruptive then he is not treated. Then he goes away. Want proof that VA knowingly does this? Ben, I can tell you how but wont do… Read more »
James Clement
James Clement

Why is the name Lori Daniels running through my head?

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

VA Health Care has evolved into nothing more than an extension of DOD research and is solely concerned with managing us Guinea Pigs.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Biological Warfare: Experiments on the American People
Dr. Garth Nicolson, Institute for Molecular Medicine

“http://www.immed.org/illness/gulfwar_illness_research.html”

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
Biological Warfare – Experiments on the American People “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QJo3XuYp-M” Mycoplasma Experiments were conducted in Texas prisons without consent, by C. Brown The evidence came out because the guards and their families were getting sick, too, and the problems were similar to Gulf War Illness. Huntsville, TX (three prisons) had a huge incidence of diseases, and the only thing in common with the illnesses were that someone in the family of the sick person worked in the prison. “Walls Unit”, death… Read more »
Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Dr. Garth Nicolson – Weaponized Mycoplasmas
“https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sT25HhAVhhU”

Cancer, AIDS, Weaponized Mycoplasmas & Gulf War Illness. Prof. Garth Nicolson’s hypothesis is straightforward: “The emergence of new illnesses and an increase in the incidence rate of previously described signs & symptoms are due to our toxic environment & the purposeful development & testing of Weapons of Mass Destruction.” Dr. Nicolson heads the Institute for Molecular Medicine. He spoke at the 9th Common Cause Medical Research Foundation Conference, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

James Clement
James Clement

From personal experience, I know the Nicolson’s (Garth and Nancy) are dedicated, passionate professionals who may be trusted. They were discredited by the US Government in the 90’s for being on the leading edge of Gulf War Illness.

Turns out they were right all along. Particularly with regards to Mycoplasmas.

Their research has helped thousands of veterans who served in the Gulf in ’91, and has saved more than a few lives. Including mine.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf
I agree with “Ranger11bv”! “And what is going to be done about it… NOTHING!” Until our “neutered” DOJ grows some balls, will we see accountability within the Veterans Administration! So far, the DOJ has stated they “…aren’t pursuing [any] charges…” against anyone in government for breaking the laws! What does that tell y’all about HOW useless our top law enforcement agency is!!!!!!! Yea, right. The “blindfolded lady justice” IS really living up to her reputation – NOT!!!!!! That “blindfold” slipped… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis
Let me fill in between the lines of Va response; “If the doctor (who has decades of experience investigating and validating empirical medical data from medical research and in fact earned a Phd from a preemminent ivy league school demonstrating mastery of this AND was hired by VA because he is so very good at collating factual evidence in an impartial manner that he is now called “doctor”) can provide evidence, we will look into them.” Just an added little… Read more »
james gallegos
Crime after crime when are they going to be arrested and put in federal prison. This is disgusting and once again veterans are paying the price , so higher management could receive a Bonus. Hell I did not do anything and the VA punished me. The VA could let veterans DIE by the hundreds and no one is doing anything. The Investigating bodies that are to protect the veterans have let us down, for a Buck ! Dirty, Dirty shame.… Read more »
windguy
windguy

Suggestion for Ben. Why not submit this article to the New Richmond, WI newspaper – letters – asking where Trump Appointee Jacob Leinenkugel is on this issue. Stick him in the ribs in front of his homies.

namnibor
namnibor

THAT is a great idea. Jacob Leinenkugel name was all but forgotten, just like those that turned-down taking the helm of V.A. Titanic Secretary of Poop Decks.
I’m thinking the piggy VSO’s received a fat beer donation to their lodges/bars, tax deductible, of course….otherwise, have not heard Jacob helping with any of these daily issues at the VA.

cj
cj
4th of July, 2007, Major heart attack (widow maker), taken to local hospital, revived 3 times, transported to area heart center, by ambulance, no airlift available. Two stents paced in main artery to the heart, 90% and 99% blockages. Waiting overnight for my heart to stabilize, and then another stent was to be placed in the main artery going away from the heart, 89% blockage. While waiting overnight, the hospital called the VA, the VA told the hospital to stabilize,… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis
From: VA service quality pilot program team lead To: Sec. VA Subject: Success of quality assurance pilot project Mr. Sec., I am pleased to report the new quality assurance program implemented at VISN-20 as a pilot program has improved quality patient outcomes by 87% during the course of this study. This is fully validated board data input into the system by the patients themselves. As you know under the new bonus program our employees are now rated on a daily… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf

This is “off topic”, yet needs to be seen by veterans. Especially those living up in the Oregon area!

From: “The Liberty Hound”
Dated; September 17, 2017 (6:30 min.)
Titled;

“What Kind of Animal Attacks a Disabled Veteran”

Jesse Waters interviews Tim Pool about violence in Portland! Antifa attacks a “wheelchair bound disabled veteran!”

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

Veteran Legal Check-Up – Employment, Housing, Domestic Legal Issues – – – Ultra light website, answer simple questions, no asking of name or any other information about you. Get simple indicators if you may have a legal matter, and the website lists contacts to help you with your possible legal matter.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

Here’s the URL for the website mentioned above;

“http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/aba_unveils_free_online_tool_to_help_veterans_identify_legal_needs”

namnibor
namnibor

Direct Link to website: “https://veteranslegalcheckup.com/”

ANuttterVet
ANuttterVet
Thank you for your professional service of tightening up the time to receive pertinent information about segments of the Court of Law. Nam, there is so much information online, in the cloud, on backs of large capacity hard drives, cabinets, and ever where else who only knows. The VA system is too damn hard to understand for the average Veteran, and the factor of information overload. Here is the other issue. There are no really good Spousal Programs. My wife… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

That’s why I try to take one day at a time on this planet, otherwise, if I think too much about it, all at once, I will become even more batshit crazy.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
As we have all learned that AFGE Union Members collect their Veterans Administration Salaries while doing Union work. It is important to note all the publicity stunt rallies that VA employees are performing across the country right now, at each and every VA Health Care Facility, while being paid by the VA. Their rallies calling for hiring 49,000 additional employees. This of course this raises the question of what good would it do to hire 49,000 new union members when… Read more »
Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

“VA only filling half of its medical appointments while veterans wait for weeks”
by Eric Hannel, Washington Times, Sep 17, 2017
“http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/va-only-filling-half-of-its-medical-appointments-while-veterans-wait-for-weeks/article/2634652”

“Rally to support VA on Wednesday”, September 18, 2017, “https://www.workdayminnesota.org/articles/rally-support-va-wednesday”

Of Course the pay is coming out of the VA Health Care Budget and not the Public relations budget.

91Veteran
91Veteran
Doublespeak is a nice way to put it Ben. Being a disinterested ass-covering, lying weasel is another. Would an IG investigation find anything? Or would they report they couldn’t find enough evidence to substantiate the charges? I’ve said it before…if we had Congressional oversight committees worth a shit, there would be little need for Whistle Blowers to go to the press or write books. There would be far fewer scandals to cover up, and far fewer payouts to both veterans… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

Remember: Stairmasters can be weaponized catapults when presented with bad outcome morning news. 🙂

Close It
Close It

Voting out everyone. Too sick for my taste. All this info is insane and yes xemployee for jails told me as she works at VA now was disgusted they treat vets worse than prisoners. Someone needs to gather all information give to prime time and have them question all politicians. This is gross.

ANuttterVet
ANuttterVet

OFF TOPIC – – – Keep up with the VA’s Current Press Releases and Propaganda, visit . . .

“https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/”

DEATHBED
DEATHBED

VA is committed to serving Veterans and providing them with the best possible health care.[IMPOSSIBLE] You are getting very very sleepy

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