CONFIRMED: Florida VA Facilities Falsified Records And More

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Florida VA Facilities

Benjamin KrauseImproper scheduling practices, including records falsification, were confirmed at six Florida VA facilities following an investigation.

The investigation was in connection with the wait list scandal that rocked Veterans Affairs months ago. It confirmed that Florida VA facilities used improper scheduling and falsified records related to wait list times.

Pensacola News Journal covered the revelation yesterday based on documents released on Monday. According to the Journal:

  • Veterans Affairs clinic at Elgin Air Force Base were told to modify wait times by changing medical appointment dates to fit the 14 day appointment goal
  • Employees at Bay Pines VA Medical Center in St. Petersburg were told to align appointment dates with the actual date of the appointment
  • Pensacola Joint Ambulatory Care Center kept a shadow list of appointments due to confusion about the electronic wait list computer program
  • VA employees in Lake City used an inappropriate log to track its wait list
  • VA staff in Gainesville also used an inappropriate log to track outstanding appointments
  • VA employees in Sarasota were encouraged to falsify dates to make the wait times appear shorter

One advocate, Charles Husbands, called the falsification, “downright cheating.” As vice president of the Florida Department of the Korean War Veterans Association, Husbands noted, “If there’s a delay, there’s a delay. You don’t cook the books.”

In response to the scandal, lawmakers opted to start allowing veterans to have a choice in seeking health care outside the VA system. Senator Marco Rubio commented, “By providing our veterans with more doctor choices outside the VA system, this takes significant steps to make sure that those who have served our country aren’t condemned to endless waiting times just to get an appointment.”

In most situations, cooking the books for the purpose of defrauding an American of property for your own benefit is a crime – some prosecutors might call it fraud.

Let’s hope enough facts come out that allow lawmakers to hold individual VA employees accountable where instances of fraud did occur. I for one am anxious to see if Governor Rick Scott will be successful in his goal of investigating VA health care facilities in Florida in light of the confirmed reports.

Read More: http://www.pnj.com/story/news/2014/07/28/veterans-affairs-florida/13296655/

 

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15 COMMENTS

  1. What a bunch of losers! Im glad this is happening to the VA and sure every state in the union will have the same VA story. But this is just the surface being rubbed out and a quick fix and major cover up of a system that is and has been rampant with fraud, waste, and abuse against VETERANS and taxpayers of this country. What blows is instead of handing out VETERANS INSURANCE CARDS to all the VETERANS in this country for medical care the government will put the country in more debt and use 17 billion more dollars to feed the corruption which tells me that if government employees Buck the system and fraud it the government will reward that system with a truck load more money to corrupt the system even more. Fucking Washington, DC. Bunch of assholes! I can’t wait to cast my votes against every incumbent politician in the election within my area of voting and I hope all VETERANS in this country do the same.

  2. And just to know that the Gainesville VAMC chief of staff, Dr. Bradley Bender, just told some whopping LIES to the Gainesville Sun newspaper in a June 21, 2014 article. He asserted the wrongful death and medical malpractice total dollar award for his VAMC had to be qualified or diminished since that VAMC was “the largest in the state of Florida.” That’s a big fat lie.

    The Gainesville VAMC is nowhere near the size of the Tampa VA Medical Center. The Gainesville VAMC covers the largest “geographical” area, but that does not equate to the largest by total patient load, which is what he was trying to LIE about to minimize the level of patient deaths and medical malpractice at Gainesville’s VAMC.

    These VA executive and management staff are without shame in their attempts to cover-up their crimes and malpractice and abuse. This is what mental health professionals label as “sociopathic, pathological Lying.” At most VAMCs and other facilities today, its all a matter of trying to choose which liar you should trust the most, over all the others. What veterans needing care can put up with such revolting conduct and not themselves develop mental health issues??

    And BTW, it is an undeniable ethics violation and criminal offense for any federal employee to make knowingly false statements to the public.

    Only time will tell if Dr. Bender gets his pink slip when the new VA Secretary, Robert MacDonald, get sworn in to run the VA. He promised decisive action and now its time to walk the walk after talking the talk.

  3. My Senator’s office told me that there are reports to Congress, that Florida VA has VA employees posting on social media to defend VA while on the VA payroll and that stories about that are soon to break.

    • I recently had an experience with the Massachusetts VA system and my VASH Caseworker making statements to me via email that were responses to posts I had made on some of the social internet websites I occasionally comment on. I remember telling my friends that the only way she could’ve known to comment in such a manner to me via email was if she had gone online and read a post about this particular comment. So now we have confirmation, I don’t mind as long as its not used to deny or lessen the benefits we’ve earned and are eligible for as honorable VETERANS. Personally, I say what I’ve experienced especially the negative experiences when I know im being hung out to die with the medical treatment for my service connected injuries and the years of being screwed out of monetary benefits that should’ve been caught by the VA and DAV years and years ago. Im pissed and I hate the fact that I’ve been screwed out of benefits and medical treatment that would’ve made the difference between where I am today and where me and my family should’ve been!

    • The fact that VACO and the VISN offices run a spy-shop operation on veterans social media posts is 100% true. We’ve informed the House VA Committee staff and committee members as well. Its nothing but corrupt to think that they do such things on the taxpayers dime. But getting emails from VASH staff about social media posts is really creepy. And shows that VA does such things to intimidate and harass us veterans for the very free speech freedoms we defend when we put on the uniform and served.

      The VA is imploding on itself and just like desperate rats on a sinking ship, they lash out in this manner since VA employees know it is only a matter of time before their own misconduct is uncovered and they get fired, and join the ranks of the unemployed — with little likelihood of getting hired after being fired by VA.

      I get to spend a lot of time on various social media, just as Ben does, and we see these VA trolls all over the place. They have to be posting their junk defenses on the clock while getting taxpayer funded paychecks.

      I know in my heart that it will be several years, at least, before this entrenched bureaucracy gets reformed and the corruption and filth is flushed down into the sewers. In the meantime, all we can do is push back and demand that the laggards and criminals get the boot and hope that better people will fill their vacancies.

      I think that VA should be required to hire any and every veteran who wants a job and cannot get one elsewhere due to the things VA has done to cheat them out of disability compensation or other benefits like Voc. Rehab. The best part of pushing back is having facts and figures that prove VA is corrupt.

      Its really quite pathetic that VA employees think they can sway the opinions of veterans and the public by defending something so indefensible. But that is the shamelessness that comes from arrogance and unhealthy pride.

      • Right on brother! We VETERANS must continue to be voicing the negatives and praising and sharing the positive so that the taxpayers, including us veteran taxpayers, can know their VETERANS are getting quality customer service for the benefits afforded to VETERANS by the people.

      • Lawrence, “I agree 100%!” You know we have so many veterans that just got “pinked slips” gee, in a war zone no less-that is damn creepy as well! And there so called “transition?” EXPLAIN IT! Because I am hearing that IT IS NOT WORKING! Oh, pay a company like “Wal-Mart to offer a low paying wage that isn’t even a livable wage.” BULL SHIT! That damn family should be giving great amounts of money away to Veterans who need economic support for housing, food, bills-wait, why not are they not doing that with regular employees as well? I GUESS THE RIGHT RELIGION MAY HELP?
        Hey, if this Veteran can get her damn metal fixed, I would have no problem playing “I SPY,” on these “NOT REALLY PROFESSIONALS” as so many are! And yes, if I can sit and travel my way, ( which means drive it, needs her tunes and misses her wheels for long trips!) I would do it in a HEART BEAT! But, they are imploding, however now they are trying to state if you did not serve long enough is a new one? I call that BULL SHIT status too! I am sick and tired of being sick and tired, and what will it take? A damn year to get fixed? Uh huh! I really wish to go back to a civilian doctor who can kick ass when knowing his job! ( and knows keep his distance if I begin puking! He hates that! Know? Yup, I worked for him and he is very much like me, perfectionist in his job!)
        I want to see “WHO GETS FIRED?” BECAUSE IT NEEDS TO BE MORE THAN DIRECTORS! “MAYBE THEY SHOULD HIRE DONALD DUMP, HE IS SO INTO THE “YOUR FIRED” GAME!

  4. if the new deal from congresso is to only give the new secretary power to fire high level executives and not also fire any va employee who is incompetent then the whole thing is pointless. it will not do any good to just fire top level execs if the rats are still running the ship below deck. unfortunately, that is the grand plan and it is a monumental waste of time.

    • Hopefully the responsibilities of hire and FIRE can be delegated to subordinate managers after incompetent managers are replaced with competent managers.

  5. The VA does have some pretty awesome employees at least at the clinical level. What the. VA lacks is adequate leadership that can empathized with a war ravaged veteran.They fail to recognize that the Veterans are a unique population with issues far beyond many non Veteran population. Often VA leadership are restrained from a big political machine the Union to get rid of dangerous incompetent deadwood employees collecting a paycheck. Just what if the VA control was given to Senior, Non Commissioned Officers. The NCO spends his/her entire career taking care of soldiers. Why not let them lead the charge of taking care of Veterans. The last time I had great quality of care, I was a soldier taken of by fellow soldiers with a few good civilians in the mix. I wonder why the VA does not have an effort to recruit in the prospect rich environment at the military transition points. Maybe Veteran unemployment would not be higher than the national average. maybe a Veteran with a job would be less likely to take his or her own life if they felt they had purpose or reason to wake up to each day

  6. FRlorida, huh? Pensacola , huh? That’s right in Rep Jeff Miller’s congressional district – the most outspoken senior man on the House Committee of Veterans Affairs.
    Don’t think the VA is going to change very fast in our favor. Mc Donald will be voted in soon and plans to spend the first 3 months traveling to all the big VA hospitals around the U.S. to get a bering on what’s what; to talk to us all, including veterans. Got to hear all that.

  7. “SCREW THEM IF THEY CAN’T TAKE A JOKE RIGHT?” BUT WHO ARE WE KIDDING, THE JOKE IS ON THE PROFESSIONALS THEY HIRE, THEY LIE-FRAUD BIG TIME! WASTE -GEE, EASY, THATS THE TAX DOLLARS EACH HARD WORKING AMERICAN INCLUDING THOSE IN THE MILITARY. AND THEN WE HAVE ABUSE-THINK ON THIS, ISN’T ABUSE OF A SO CALLED “PROFESSIONAL” WHO MAKES DECISIONS REGARDING QUESTIONS ASKED AND DECIDE, WELL GEE, “I NEED TO CHANGE THAT BECAUSE THEN IT MEANS THE CLIENT/PERSON/VETERAN/PATIENT “WAS CORRECTLY DIAGNOSED!”
    I AM USING A C&P I JUST HAD AND WENT THROUGH IT AND WAS SHOCKED AT FIRST, THEN PISSED, OH GEE, SHE JUST HAD TO DRAG OUT “DRAGON QUEEN” WHO MAY HAVE TO SCORTCH HER BIG TIME! HELL, SUE THE VA? SCREW THAT, SUE HER! IN HER PROFESSION SHE BROKE EVERY SINGLE ETHICAL BEHAVIOR THAT IS EXPECTED FOR A PROFESSIONAL AND HOW THEY ARE TO UPHOLD THE “CORRECT WAY” TO DO THE JOB. YOU SEE, YOU CAN’T LOOK AT A PERSON FOR 20 MINUTES AND INSTANTLY HAS A NEW DIAGNOSIS, WELL, SCHIZOPHRENIA IS ONE THAT YOU CAN DO EASILY ENOUGH BECAUSE BEHAVIORS AND MIND SET GIVE IT AWAY. MY FRIEND WAS CALLED, SHE WROTE THEM, ALL THOSE INTIALS AFTER HER NAME, UNFORTUNATELY SHE WAS SICK, JUST AS I HAVE BEEN SINCE FRIDAY. BECAUSE SHE DID NOT DISCUSS WHY I STATED A FEW THINGS, AND STATED “THAT IS A TOPIC CLOSED FOR DISCUSSION.” THIS IDIOT SHOULD HAVE ASKED THE “AGE DIFFERENCE” BETWEEN MY SISTERS AND I, THE MANIPULATOR ALMOST 8 YEARS, YEAH, NOT INTO THAT LYING AND MANIPULATING THE YOUNGEST SISTER, 12 YEARS YOUNGER, BORN WITH A HOLE IN HER HEART, BUT ALSO HAS A MENTAL ILLNESS. THEY ARE “HALF SISTERS,” EVEN THOUGH I WAS ADOPTED BY THEIR FATHER. NOR DID SHE ASKS THE IMPORTANT QUESTION REGARDING MY MOM. MY MOM, I USE TO ANNOY HER AND CALL HER “BETTY,” BUT WE BECAME CLOSER AS WE AGED, THAT IS CALLED BASICALLY NORMAL. NOW, BRING IN MY FIBROMYALGIA WITH THE ARTHRITIS, WHICH YUP, IT REALLY AFFECTS ME IN WAYS THAT ARE TRULY UPSETTING. I WONT GO INTO THE DETAILS, BUT MY FRIEND THAT THEY DID NOT CONTACT AND SHE IS READY TO HAVE A BIG TIME DISCUSSION ESPECIALLY SINCE WHAT EVER THE HECK I GOT? DAMN IT KICKS OFF MY FIBRO AND DAMN IT TO HELL A CONTROL FREAK I CAN’T CONTROL! I TRULY HOPE THEY READ THIS, BECAUSE I AM QUITE TIRED OF WRITING AND CORRECTING THE DAMN “PROFESSIONAL LIARS THEY THINK SOME OF US HAVE NO CLUE! GUESS WHAT?” YOU NEVER KNOW WHO KNOWS OTHERS, AND AS STATED, “SCREW ( another word comes to mind, I shall behave) THEM IF THEY CAN’T A JOKE, BECAUSE THE JOKE WILL BE ON THEM WHEN ALL STATED AND DONE!” ( good thing too that I heard a man was a Veteran, taken to the VA Dallas Emergency Department, smooth move ER, a patient brought in by Ambulance should have been put on a stretcher, you know, take it a tad serious, gee, like most do? Instead they let him sit out.in the waiting area, ( I don’t give a shit if you have trauma patients line the walls, you don’t let a “confused patient” to sit and wait. Don’t worry though, the DALLAS VA HOSPITAL HAD EXCUSES THAT THEY CANNOT KEEP A PATIENT-WRONG ANSWERS IDIOTS! SEE? WHEN YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW TRUTHS! HE WAS FOUND, DEAD NOT FAR AWAY IN A GRASSY AREA. GOOD JOB VA, ONE MORE TIME AS I HAVE REFUSED TO GO NEAR THAT DAMN ER, AND IT SCARES ME BIG TIME THAT THEY “REFUSE” TO UNDERSTAND BETWEEN WHAT IS CORRECT PROCEDURES AND TOTALLY SCREWED UP AS HELL LIKE SO MANY OTHERS!”)

  8. I keep saying this over and over. Fire them. Train some others to take their place and then have a surprise inspection of phone call from a John Smith that is seen by a certain Dr. or need to be seen by a certain Dr. of person and if that person can’t do their job then it is bye, we have someone ready to take your place. Take your personal things and go. Oh, and your SSN# will be in a file that if you ever try to get a jog with the government, it will flag you and you will not ever work for the government again. No severance pay, no retirement (so they can collect their retirement pay), nothing but bye you will receive this weeks check and you will not be eligible for unemployment.
    “But what about paying my bills and putting food on the table?” You should have thought about that when you decided you no longer care to help the veterans’ that are in need and were counting on you to help them. You may have caused one of them to go over the edge because you didn’t want to take the time to actually listen and try to help. See ya!
    I know that sounds mean but that is what we would get if we did half of what they are getting away with. Time to do a little “rough Justice” and clean house. There are so many people out there who would love to have some of these jobs and go home at night and think to themselves “I actually made a difference today and helped someone who needed it and they are better off. I can’t wait until tomorrow so I can help some others in need” That is what we need not people who spend so much time trying to manipulate the system to their advantage just to make them look better.
    Somewhere in that was meant for the person that I talked to who looked at my chart and knew everything about me in less than 5 minutes. And then didn’t care to help me at all. She finally said that someone would call to set up an appointment. I got the call and the person wanted to know if I lived in Seattle or Tacoma. I said neither and she said that she had no idea why the woman put this in with her as she only helps people in Seattle or Tacoma. I live around Mount Vernon WA so she gave me 2 numbers to call and now I have to do their work while they get to try and screw someone else. They are all so worthless. I left the first woman a voicemail and let her know how displeased I was with her and her not caring attitude and she should be fired. I am also going to see who I need to talk to about her so something can be done.

  9. cant say much… came back from Iraq, said I think I have a weird spot on my forehead,, Doc said and noted its “nothing”… year later, went to a private dermatologist,, cancer… removed… went back to VA to get a reconsideration with diagnosis, surgery reports, etc. Denied…. signed by the SAME doctor who originally “diagnosed” me. Thank God I had a job and insurance or I’d probably be dead now. Hate to complain about these folks cause I know they’re busy.. but you know what.. if that was my kid and not me, I’d have kicked that guy’s ass between his stethoscope any and every time I could drive up there and find him.

  10. Just how many people working for VA heaalthcore get bonusses? Why does it appear that these bonusses are given out for skrewing the Veteran? I am part of the Alabama system, and because usually I don’t seem to have the right question, I never walk away satisfied. One thing I know is a person calling in for whatever reason, is more than likely to be treated with rudeness and indignation. Their patient advocates are scared, and ineffective. I am most often passed from one rep to another until I start over with the original rep. More than not, I am so angry I can’t talk anymore. I am a DAV client in Montgomery, and have been unable to establish any communication with whomever my case handler is. Who am I supposed to ask questions to? I am scheduled for hearing in about a year, and haven’t been able to talk to ? since my appeal went in 2years ago. I have no expectations, but do have questions.

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