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VA OIG Says No Evidence Linking Wait List To Deaths

VA OIG

Benjamin KrauseYesterday’s release of the VA OIG investigation report shows at least 30 Phoenix VA employees were engaged in active fraud against veterans. Yet, the VA OIG claims the evidence of wait list deaths comes up short. But regardless of how VA spins it, the harm caused by VA are clearly crimes against humanity.

Sharon Helman and other Phoenix VA executives and senior clinical staff were aware of the manipulative tactics to falsely show the facility was performing better than it was. These manipulative tactics resulted in improved earnings by these same managers through performance bonuses in some instances.

Where is the justice?

Helman herself mandated her “Wildly Important Goal” (WIG) to improve access to health care, which invariably led to the manipulations since VA did not have adequate resources to meet the metrics. Leave it up to higher VA executives to come up with something so hair brained while knowingly harming veterans.

The VA OIG report indicates the former Deputy Under Secretary for Health waived the requirement for VHA facilities to certify the data integrity affecting wait times. The waiver served as a pass since certifications could lead to criminal convictions should a problem like the wait list scandal surface with enough momentum encourage the FBI and White House to ensure accountability through prosecution.

The cases depicted in the OIG report were outrageous and it troubles me how VA OIG is still reluctant to admit Phoenix VA killed veterans. The 45 cases VA OIG highlighted are shaming and it seems plausible that deaths could easily result from the problems.

The report recommended the following:

  1. We recommended the VA Secretary direct the Veterans Health Administration to review the cases identified in this report to determine the appropriate response to possible patient injury and allegations of poor quality of care. For patients who suffered adverse outcomes, the Phoenix VA Health Care System should confer with Regional Counsel regarding the appropriateness of disclosures to patients and families.
  1. We recommended the VA Secretary require the Phoenix VA Health Care System to ensure the continuity of mental health care, improve delays in assignments to a dedicated provider, and expand access to psychotherapy services.
  1. We recommended the VA Secretary require the Phoenix VA Health Care System to reevaluate and make the appropriate changes to its method of providing veterans primary care to ensure they provide veterans timely and quality access to care.
  1. We recommended the VA Secretary direct the Veterans Health Administration to establish a process that requires facility directors to notify, through their chain of command, the Under Secretary of Health when their facility cannot meet access or quality of care standards.

Read It: https://www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-14-02603-267.pdf

 

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10 thoughts on “VA OIG Says No Evidence Linking Wait List To Deaths”

  1. It goes deep into politics and BS Senator Carper and Coons stepped away from my complaint when I contacted their offices and the IG plays a big part of the malfeasance due to the immunity of the US Government being immune from a lawsuit with the exception of a Bivens Action , which has only been instituted twice. The VA immunity Act is on a Tort Action (less a jury) , so as it goes, these actors at the VA do what they want a cover it up my governent attorneys using legal manuevers to obstruct prosecution. Even the boards where the attorneys hold their license, will not hear a complaint by a veteran, nor will the professional boards in each respective State will hear your complaint. They use the “That does not fall under our rules excuse” or” they have limited authority over licenses of individuals” Slowly, America is dying and will be a communist, Socialist state before long

  2. Guys, and Gals, The 16 billion was awarded to the agency that already had more money than they needed. They had money left every year in the last 7 years. Not much will change. The IG obviously rolled over. The FBi will not find anything. We will see a few sacrificial lambs and everything else will be forgotten. The VA needs to be privatized for all non combat injuries. The VA is too large to operate. The leadership is corrupt. Does anyone really believe that because the VA got a new director, that those thousands of upper management employees suddenly got integrity. They are still in place. I have been on a waiting list since October 2013. Thank goodness I have private insurance. I hope and pray that all the families and veterans harmed will find good lawyers and get their just reward. We cannot replace beloved veterans, but the VA needs to compensate for mistakes and delayed and disrespectful care.

  3. We can only hope that the Justice Department probe will be more objective and will follow all the evidence and testimony to its logical conclusion. Then, it won’t matter what this report says.

  4. Charles W. Allman III.Georgia Veterans Group, iNC.

    C.W.Allman III What the Hell is wrong with veterans? We will go 10,000 miles to kill anyone who doesn’t agree with America and our policies, or our way of life, yet we sit back in our own country and allow ourselves to be disrespected and abused, and don’t do anything about it. Where are all the Service Agencies that are suppose to represent us. I haven’t heard a word from any of them about the scandal. And we elect the idiots that totally disregard us, after the fact. We have been used and then abused, in the name of MONEY. The American people should be in an uproar over this….but their not! No one really cares about veterans, especially if you served and now need your countries help to with your war injuries, both mental and physical.
    Some people think we should just “suck it up”. I think we should all show up in Washington DC on veterans day, and flood the offices of our elected officials, and
    VA officials to let them know we won’t sit quietly while the country we served, jerks us around.

  5. Unfortunately, this was not unexpected. Anyone who reads the VAOIG reports will see a pattern of coverup and excuses. I have read several of them where there is an anonymous tip (whistle blower) who will outline outrageous behavior at a VAMC or CBOC. Time and again, you will read the investigative VAOIG report that the allegations are unsubstantiated. Does anyone really believe some VA employee will wake up some morning and say out of the blue, “I think I will call the IG even though nothing is wrong?”

    Employees are afraid to step forward because they know these investigations go nowhere. While I was in business, I always recognized what is called the 5% rule. Meaning that only 5 in 100 customers or employees who are dissatisfied would ever make even the slightest complaint. In other words, for everyone who has a complaint, there are 19 others who don’t do or say anything. I am sure the number who would call the IG represent even a smaller percentage of VA employees who see and experience violations of policies and procedures which lead to poor care.

    In the few IG Hotline complaints I have seen where the IG substantiated the claim, no one is held accountable. The Director of whatever facility is involved writes a BS letter thanking the IG and writes a report as to what date the corrections will be made. I have even seen where upon a second visit of the IG the recommendations were not made, and still nothing happens to the people in charge.

    If you were to read the IG reports, according to them, there are only minor problems. Does anyone even know, or care that Obama has never appointed an IG for the VA? There is only an acting IG. So, if in 6 years, there is no appointment – what does that say about anyone wanting to really take charge and find the truth? If you remember, the State Department also had no IG for 5 years and a few months after one was appointed there were scathing reports of waste and fraud.

  6. P.s

    The only way we are going to see change with the VA is us Veterans staying on these Politicians and demand CHANGE. If not the request for change from the VA will just fade away into the next story on the News

  7. Sorry to say, but i am not surprised;

    Lesson 1 of big bureaucracy = Never admit to any wrong doings.
    Lesson 2 = Lie about everything
    Lesson 3 = Give yourself a bigger bonus

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