VA OIG Withholds 20% Of Health Care Investigations Per Year

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VA OIG

Benjamin KrauseVA OIG withholds 20% of health care investigation reports per year on average (14 investigations per year average) according to a recent investigation by USA Today reporter Donovan Slack.

At this rate, do you wonder what else VA OIG does not tell us?

Since 2006, the supposed worst watchdog on the planet refused to disclose to the American public 140 health care centric investigations. Since January 2014, VA OIG withheld 26 reports indicating the average has increased over the past 10 years.

Does this effectively remove any “watchdog” claim VA OIG used to hold?

In my opinion, VA OIG is a “watchdog,” it is safe to say that the watchdog has no teeth when it comes to holding VA leadership accountable. Instead, the supposed watchdog holds the little guy accountable with no problem so long as that person is not politically connected.

Here, to provide context, VA OIG did release 400 health care centric reports since 2006. That means the non-watchdog watchdog withheld around 20% of its investigations.

When VA OIG does withhold such investigations, those reports evade oversight from Congress and the public.

This revelation confirms suspicions that VA OIG functions less as a watchdog for the public and more of a clean up crew for unscrupulous VA senior leaders who would be the focus of such reports.

I will be following up on this story with revelations coming out of Hines VA Medical Center where VA OIG ignored reports of a cardiologist killing veterans and providing unneeded open heart surgery.

VA OIG rerouted the investigation back to the Hines VA to essentially allow them to investigation themselves. When the Office of Special Counsel was contacted, they buckled under pressure from Secretary Robert McDonald to not include language in their investigation indicating VA OIG was part of the investigation.

It is pathetic to read and I am ready to hold these jokers accountable. I hope you join me on this upcoming full court press from me and other advocates VA is yet unaware of working behind the scenes.

So, are you ready to take action? If you are, what are you willing to do? Help investigate? Help fund those who will? When you take up your cross for this cause, what will it be?

VA thinks veterans are mostly all talk and that those who do more are underfunded to truly make a difference and change the tide. So what will you do in this revolution?

Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/03/08/probes-of-veterans-health-care-often-not-released-to-public/24525109/

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31 Comments

  1. I’ve presumed all along that the VAOIG is just another part of the good ‘ol boys club at the VA. Investigating the VA and then telling the VA Exec’s about the results of the investigation then the whole matter is simply forgotten. Unbelievable! It’s sort of like the Mafia investigating itself. The only solution that I can see or think of right now is for veterans to start organizing much the same way that the Bonus Marchers did but instead of marching on Washington, veterans should be petitioning for Federal judicial oversight of the VA.

    • dennis, big red caution flag on the bonus marchers. look on the internet, youtube and elsewhere, for how the bonus marchers were mowed down by the hundreds, even thousands, on the White House lawn, by the US Army that was brainwashed to believe they were attacking the President. America is history. Only God can safe the valiant vet now! vets are a huge part of the Total Force Defense Policy set forth by law on file at the Pentagon. take out the vets and America will fall, it is falling now, as we speak, what is left of it. we just got a weird loud warning alarm over our phone that said Emergency Alert, and that phone is completely shut down, does not even have a connection chip in it! it came in a couple minutes ago when I was writing, speaking out against the corruption. surely it is not them trying tag us as terrorists because we are posting here about the mafia/Hitler style corruption by the VA, and our congressman’s convenient apathy, etc.

  2. ARE YOU KIDDING ME, THIS SHOULD COME AS NO SURPRISE. THE “GOVT.” IS THE GOVT. THEY ARE SELECTED TO “SERVE” ONE ANOTHER. EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE “CREATED” TO “SERVE THE PUBLIC”, IT IS JUST ANOTHER EXCLUSIVE “CLUB” IN OUR SOCIETY.

    • Vernon, this is why the media is reporting last week that “armor piercing rounds are flying off the shelves”. they all drive armored limos, they live in hardened bunker style homes with safe rooms, and the gun nut vets are not going to take it lying down much longer. i am anti-gun because of my messed up reasons and trauma i went through in the service, but i understand why vets and other so called gun nuts are armed to the teeth. civil war is here, cops murder innocent citizens, and the VA has a very effective murder by orchestrated VA suicide program, not to mention ship the vet and his family off to prison program to steal their benefits.

  3. I agree that the VA OIG need something done. It was evident that they were not going to do anything after the Phoenix scandal. The evidence was there and I think everyone knew what happened and was expecting something to come out of this. We all know the result and that the VA OIG can be trusted as much as the VA itself.
    It will be a tough fight and a long one; however, if we all are the squeaky wheel and keep refusing to be greased then some good may come. I am willing to do what I can to help this as it is long overdue and we need to be treated fairly. We are not asking for any kind of special treatment, we want quality HealthCare and accountability in all of the aspects of the VA. We want the VA to uphold the promise it make to us to help us after we have helped our country. We need to be loud, not let up, and be persistent. If we get this then we need to make sure it will continue to be what we want and not more of the VA’s whitewashing.
    I don’t think it is too much to ask. We want our fair share. It is simple, the VA could be the model in many facets of the govt. and yet we get treated as fifth world citizens (if there is such a thing) on our best day. We deserve better!

  4. Wouldn’t it be novel if federal prosecutors could walk in and arrest senior executives, Deputies and Under Secretaries, Secretaries and even higher for their corruption and violations of the laws and constitution? My wouldn’t it be a new day!

    • Would it not be nicer if we citizens arrested them ourselves, it is called citizen’s arrest. i had to do one on home invasion robbers who were very violent against me, my wife, her girl friend, my son, and me. interesting note on that: the SWAT team and the local police and local sheriff have opposing factions, some on our family’s side, others who are misinformed, others who are corrupt, others who have attention deficit disorder and don’t care, but it is like what is here with the military scenario, the big question: social armageddon and social collapse is here in the US, and the military is taking over as we speak. they are flying Osprey tilt rotor battle platforms along the freeways and across country all across California, especially the big cities. which side will the active duty Marines be on? the side of the police that beat old ladies nearly to death on the freeway caught on cellphones and posted to youtube, solid citizens who a year ago were part of the middle class then three days ago shot to death by corrupt cops who are afraid of their own shadows and think deadly force is used for jaywalkers, literally. the guy was in cuffs behind his back, laying face down, not moving, and they unloaded on him, caught on a cellphone and sent straight to youtube. much of this is social unrest caused by the Russians who have floated around the US on transfers getting new assignments at different police stations, all hell has broke loose, and fox news calls you a conspiracy theorist if you say anything against it! so does all the media. propaganda that rivals the worst that the Nazi government did under hitler. ultimate nice touch, i find out a couple days ago that I have agent orange specific tumors with more that need to come out, while the VA has played this game for decades that i was not in Nam, no longer classified my presence there for the Fall of Saigon evacuation, had to knock the leaves out of the jungle trees a week or so before our arrival up the mekong to a certain extraction point for embedded long term covert ops Marines and SEALs and others. so, the VA has been hiding positive test results for agent orange on me for years, and its all just financially motivated, after all, they might have to pay me something for it, or provide real health care instead of saying they want to keep an eye on these rapidly growing rapidly spreading tumors so they can kill me off. they have cleverly taken my wife and son hostage with bogus charges, what a total nightmare. i am so glad i joined the marines before the end of the Nam war when most people in their right mind had the sense not to. so happy to have served this totally screwed up country. America is no longer a nation. It is a branch of the UN ran by private corporations, and the fricking Russians are here running the show behind the scenes! they are here.

  5. First of all, we all err when we are referring to the head of the VAOIG office as the IG. He is the ACTiNG IG. Since Obama has taken office we have never had an IG. It was the same situation at the State Department until after Clinton left. Once she left, the Acting IG was replaced by a Presidential appointment, who was confirmed and within six months discovered billions of waste in that department. Yet, I seem to be the only one who thinks that the agency should have an IG nominated by the President and confirmed. Without a permanent IG, this is just another cog in the accountability circus of the Federal Government. I can hear it now – Senator, I want to point out I was only the ACTING IG at the time…….

    Then there is the matter of the reports themselves. I am sure there is a lot of copying and pasting because they all read about the same. Although I am sure some of the unreleased reports are reported to be unverified accusations, it matters little as the ones which are published are obviously white washes.

    Just last week, I was told by a 20 year VA (GS 11) employee, that if you blow the whistle, you won’t have a job for long. He also told me that whistle blowers are looked upon as disgruntled, poor performing employees.

    Finally, no matter what conditions they find, no one ever gets fired.

    When I was employed, if we got a visit from the home office and there were major issues, you better believe heads would roll. When the IG can make recommendations for termination, and they are acted upon, then maybe these reports will have meaning.

  6. Outrageous!
    The VA IG was not interested in my investigation of VA malpractice and wrongful death 1151 and FTCA awards, like mine, that have been withheld from the public in their FTCA stats.

    1151 awards , awarded at either the BVA or the RO,without appeal need are not public knowledge and therefore the public (to include Congress) has no idea of many vets VA harms or kills.

    Chairman Miller has not responded, nor had the IG to my letters on this.

    The GAO had documented evidence of this as well,which I sent to IG and the H VAC.

    At least the GC is still farting around with my multiple FOIA requests on this.I will not allow this issue to die because too many vets have died due to VA malprtactice already……..and that figure is more than we know.

    At some point the VA will have to reveal the TRUE malpractice stats.That is what I live for.

    .

    • Thank you for doing this Berta. It would be interesting to see those stats, but I doubt Congress will be. Far too many VA “doctors” are in the VA because they were sued in private practice for malpractice.

    • Filed a complaint when my husband was given drugs that were not to be given to elderly patients with dementia. The VAMC gave him 3 and they overlapped. Requested OIG investigation. Was told an investigation was done in 2010. But learned in December 2013 husband had a stroke when drugs were being administered. Warning from the FDA: DO NOT GIVE TO ELDERLY PATIENTS WITH DEMENTIA: MAY CAUSE HEART ATTACK, STROKE OR EVEN DEATH.

      So yes the OIG hides reports. If they even investigate. So if you have complaints and go to the OIG, you will have to stand in line and wait to see if your complaint will be investigated. Maybe that is why they have so many negative things happening to the Veterans.

      • The O.I.G. hotline pick and chooses what complaints they will review, the easy one’s. The ones that could get headlines are dismissed and the veteran sent a letter. The O.I.G. office gets many complaints and we reviewed yours and was not selected for further review and this is the end of the matter and we do not want to hear from you again on this matter and they did not even sign their name.

        Dirty shame a very valid complaint was sent to them where an employee was able to lie to her superiors and then they punish the veteran and any inquiry from the D.A.V. and the Senators office, the V.A. let the employee who made the allegation answer the inquiries herself. What does anyone think that that person is going to tell the D.A.V. and the senators office the Truth, No way. She told more lies. How can a person answer their own inquiry, when the complaint is about her and the lies she told about the veteran and the higher management letting her do it.

  7. This old system has got to go & rebump real soon, real fast. These jobs needs to be given to us disabled Vets with but only for those with 70% or greater. See how fast & accurate this freaking process goes into high gear. Remove all them bureaucrats and let us Vets take care of our own. We report to our own co-Vets, not to them kizz-azz in DC. What do you think comrades? Yeah or nay? 1SG. How do we do this swift change? Any inputs.

    • Jimmy, I knew an AF vet working at the VA in OKC who openly bragged about having a 70% rating for having a hysterectomy and other minor issues. She referred to vets who wanted to improve the VA as trouble makers.

  8. This does not surprise me one bit. After all, I filed a complaint against the director at Hines and nothing at all was done to him or those responsible. I used to think that their was a rule against those that were guilty of violating a public trust in the federal government. Perhaps that was a fanatic dream I had.

  9. Ben I will be willing to help. How, when and where do you need me. what can we I do to assist. Is there going to be Legal Assistance and if so whom will that be. If an attorney is needed how do we find one.

  10. This isn’t surprising in the least. Every veteran commenting here could easily call the VA office of the IG and get the same excuse that I did. That the IG only investigates instances of fraud or financial waste. I was floored by such a blatant lie, and she knew she would get away with it.

    • 91Veteran, I called the VA office of the IG about my dd214 that I requested from the archives. I received it in the mail and the envelope was not sealed. All of my information was there for the taking to anyone who wanted to do some identity theft. I called and was told that nothing could be done as they only handled waste, fraud, and abuse. I asked why I got this number when I called to report this from the archives site. “I don’t know” was the answer and nothing was done. I finally got in touch with someone at the archives and was told the same thing. I asked “why do you state on your paper that privacy is important to us. Let us know if we have failed.” I was told that because nothing has happened (my identity being stolen) nothing could be done. So I have to wait until my identity get stolen and have to go through all to that mess to try and get something done? If seems that you could at the least, provide some type of credit monitoring to try and prevent something bad from happening. No dice, I was told that they would look into why this happened and try to make sure it didn’t happen again. Really? Another part of the system that is useless.
      Sorry, off the subject but I wanted to put my experience with a call I placed.

      • Interesting that you got the exact same response. It was not always like that. As one who had personal information lost twice by the VA, I know what you mean. Who knows if your DD214 wasn’t copied to be used by someone else?
        Depending on what state you live in, you should look at what your state does to private companies who lose your personal information. I had mine leaked by the department of revenue when they sent tax forms with SSNs clearly visible. The revenue department did not want to pay for credit monitoring. When I called and pointed out how they treated private companies who lost private info with huge fines and other things, they demanded to know my full name and address so they could look into it. I refused and told her I didn’t want to be audited for the next 5 years.
        The IGs office could do so much better if Congress actually demanded they do their job…or withheld funding. Congress doesn’t want to know.

      • why did you call the VA IG for a letter you got from the archives? The archives has its own IG. The VA and the archives are two completely different entities. The guy at the VA IG was right, they have nothing to do with what archives does.

      • Jack, I called the archives IG and was told because no crime was committed they could do nothing and that I should contact the VA IG. In my “reading between the lines mode” I understood this:
        We are going to do nothing to help you so why are you calling us? Now we are going to pass you off to someone else who will not help you either. Don’t bother us again with your petty little possible identity theft problem. Why do these veterans’ keep bothering us? Back to doing nothing.

  11. I am wide open as to performing what works best. Educating oneself, it’s basic fundamentals, Medical, Legal, Organize.
    Unions made a huge difference in working environments- benefits, compensation, procedures established as to terminations.
    Veterans have a patchwork of Advocacy Groups but no one central entity where information can be pooled.
    When Congress is faced with a few million veterans ( I do not know the exact number of veterans out there but if each carries a single Veterans Union Card that will vote en masse for one supportive politician and even more important ” boot out ” the anti- veterans Congress Rep./Senator we will get firm ongoing representation, not Superficial waffles.
    Request Financial Documents of Veterans Hospitals, groups that are provided grants for Veterans.
    In New York, One group got $2,000,000 for housing only for Veterans but they claim they got only a million and that was divided into allocations for huge salaries, over staffed, rest was placed in a GENERAL FUND that was used for non-veterans. This was money provided for veterans only
    No oversight. We have to do our own through FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT,
    Power in numbers. Use their own tactics against them. They try to create questions constructed to elicit answers ( leading questions ) We should do the same.
    Medical Examinations/EVALUATIONS, feel more like INTERROGATIONS.
    Request copies of medical reports. CHECK for truthfulness.
    Have rights to file amendments to medical charts.
    One neurologist simply lied as to origin of my Seizure Disorder, Congenital, whereas it was due to TBI in ARMY
    ASKED IF I HAD IT AS A CHILD.I SPECIFICALLY ANSWERED NO.

  12. Yes, I am definitely convinced that the DVA merciless mercenaries are still getting incentive pay, bonuses, and / or promotions for delaying / denying claims to get such monies year to year for many years to come into the future. Those of offices therein of the DVA do not follow the strict requirements the DVA’s documented records: The DVA January 2010 Compensation & Pension Bulletin Policy (211) Information on Vietnam Naval Operations… provides presumption of exposure to herbicides (etc.) to the crew of ships that operated on “rivers” and “deltas”…without further development: The history of the USS Newport News CA-148 includes operations of / and in the Vinh Binh Province in the Mekong “DELTA” December 1968. And, the June 2010 DVA Compensation & Pension Bulletin Policy(211) ADDITIONAL Information on Vietnam Naval Operations – Received by The Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs- ships list, lists the USS Newport News for Operations: Cua Viet “RIVER April 1969. Yet as late as The Buffalo DVA Decision of December 2013, The Buffalo DVA denied my claims because the Buffalo DVA claimed that of connected government records, including their own INtraNet, The Buffalo DVA could not find my service of/in Vietnam exposed to agent orange. To reinforce my claim, I sent the information to DVA-Compensation & Pension Service (211A) – Attn: Nehmer Working Group- 810 Vermont Ave NW- Washington, DC 20420. While my claim has made significant progress, I found it necessary to address issues of loose ends. So, I wrote 3 times to the Nehmer Working Group. The loose ends are of to include Retro Compensation. The Buffalo DVA June 05, 2014 Decision includes The Buffalo DVA Examiner diagnosed my ischemic heart disease to as early as 2000. APPLICATION: The Nehmer Court Order has strict guidelines to have to pay compensation within 21 days following the (BUFFALO) DVA diagnosis… without any action of the claimant’s ( I the Veteran ) part. See Congressional Research Services / Statutory Presumptions ( claimant / Veteran). The loose ends also includes the rating of two aneurysms: one upper large artery and one lower large artery. Secondary to Ischemic heart disease (low blood flow), the things that must be considered is: anxiety, depression, shortness of breath, weak legs, and impotence / erectile dysfunction (See Nehmer Traing Class March 2010). Yet, The Buffalo DVA has my erectile dysfunction secondary to Diabetes. Type II, only; Prescription records reveal that Viagra and Androgel (for lack of feeling well) was prescribed as early as 1994. The Buffalo DVA lists my Diabetes Type II as controlled by use of metformin; my medical records of faxed to Bath VA Hospital Bath NY , April 2014,should have read Uncontrolled. Of the 3 letters that I sent via certified mail to the Nehmer Working Group, I have not receive a direct reply. MY claim was sent to the Board of Veterans Appeals (board); backlogged to 2012. Of addressing Nehmer claims have priority, I was told that my claim was not docketed Nehmer. Yet, while my appeal on BVA Form 9 Appeal is to have my claim processed to The Nehmer Court Order, The Nehmer Training Guide (211A) Feb. 2011, already laid down and laid out, to have my claim docketed as Nehmer, I was told that I have to write a letter. However, The Nehmer Court Order clearly states: The claimant need not file a new claim or a claim for an earlier effective date when a new presumptive is added. VA must search it[‘s records to find eligible claimants and award benefits, WITHOUT action on THE CLAIMANTS PART. Medical records noting the existence of a condition later made presumptively service- connected can in some instances result in an award without a formal claim ever being made. The Buffalo DVA Examiner is the ONE that diagnosed my ischemic heart disease… as early as 2000, qualifies retro compensation. . The June 2010 Compensation & Pension Bulletin clearly includes itself as part of The Jan. 2010 C&P Bulletin Policy (211): There is no reason for the VA to hold the claims of any Veteran who served aboard any of the above vessels … The Nehmer Court Order States: VA compensates class counsel for all of it’s work on Nehmer claims. I seek sanctions against the VA ( and connective government services) of $3500 a month compensation retro to July 3, 1969 when I was released from active duty… for all The VA (and connective services) “TORTS”.

  13. Today was the VA’s latest attempt to set me and my wife both up on a 5150, the mental health code to declare someone a danger to theirself or others. They are doing this in an attempt to divert the $1.2 million in retro pay that goes all the way back to 1976, per records that Senator McCain got me through his position as member of the Armed Services Committee. They are so sneaky! First they documented that I am a danger to myself due to cooking fires, now they have removed (tampered) that because it proved I am in immediate need of Aid and Attendance benefits! Twice in two weeks they have set us up with ptsd therapy with my wife either in the building or, in the session like today. She has been my caregiver since the start of our 8 years of marriage, but unpaid as they have only finally as of Dec. 8 approved me for being in need of Regular Aid and Attendance due to extreme ptsd, plus head injury, plus hearing and vision loss/injuries, and other service-connected physical injuries. Sure, what else is the OIG hiding, and now let’s talk about WHAT ELSE SECRETARY MCDONALD IS LYING ABOUT! Be aware of the VA’s latest scam where they have you travel a long distance for medical care, like ptsd and service connected surgery, etc., then when it is time for travel pay they put on a show to make you walk out without getting travel pay or even asking for it. they are very clever and provoking, and they will actually have you shot right there with the VA police in on it, just to avoid travel pay. they are planning on being my conservator, stealing the $1.2 million they owe me in back ptsd pay plus Aid and Attendance back pay. our congressman is pure evil like the one he replaced. prove you are not, Congressman Doug LaMalfa! Your staff in Washington D.C., told me and my wife last week they were writing a special letter to the VA about the stalling and tricks on my claim and asking that my approved Aid and Attendance claim be expedited, but instead his offices got together and have figured out how to steal my entire claim and send my wife and I off to prison and/or mental hospitals. Congressman LaMalfa struts around in his cowboy hat and talks a big talk but only takes care of himself and does endless investigations on the VA while relatives of his staffers get mysteriously huge awards from the VA, and some mysterious fellow cowboy constituent of his cowboy hat dude ranch billionaire style rice farmer lifestyle gets $1.2 million in retro pay that I was supposed to get instead! Show us how this is not the case, Congressman LaMalfa! The Lord God most high rebuke you and your corrupt staff that exploits veterans while doing endless investigations of the VA regional office in Oakland, then you allow them, more like tell them, to help the VA set me and my wife up, arrest her, now threaten her with prison and deportation, arrest my son, … LaMalfa is terrorist unless we are really missing something here. Say it ain’t so, Joe! P.S. the nightly home invasion attacks we are having, stalkers everywhere we go, just so the VA can divert funds to corrupt Congressmen who make the Hitler gestapo look like nice people!

  14. This was just on the new today. It is from the Indy VA and it is another kick in the teeth to us vets. I would say I am shocked at this but it is just another day in the VA. This woman is still employed after this. I am sure that nothing will come out of this but it is more proof that the VA is so broken that it cannot be fixed and this woman should be fired as of yesterday! Watch and see what you think. It is disgusting!

    http://fox59.com/2015/03/09/va-manager-sends-email-mocking-suicide-prevention-vets-outraged/
    I am fed up with this VA. Something need to be done. Most of the people in here think they are so much better than any vet that come here for treatment.

    • I think each and every veteran that reads this should send it to the Secretary and Ms. Hickey and along with the link ask for an immediate termination of this woman. I did and so should you. They will never take us seriously unless we show we are monitoring and we are not going to continue to be “cash cows” for people to get paid off our lives, blood, sweat and tears. If they can mock us we can request their termination.

  15. Do you think if we were to start getting together through conference calls. I can look into setting it up and we can start planning and see if Ben will be willing to assist.

    We can start by determining who to get the email addresses to. Then start meeting each week. Or if you can think of other ideas we can do this. We all have stories to tell. Maybe we can combine them and it will show this is still something that needs to be addressed.

    Also, we have medical records that will state our claims.

    Thoughts, anyone??

  16. The Amarillo VA is no different from those others. The Police Cheif George Loomis won’t even file a report when senior leadership i.e.: Micheal Keifer (director) violates federal law and VA protocol. The nurse doesn’t pass along messenger posts to providers and some providers are under state investigation for falsifying patients medical records.
    It’s terrible there!! You have to walk through smokers just to get in the front door. Having had cancer, this is not something entertaining. 🙁

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