Lapdog VA OIG Denies Agency Wrongdoing In Tomah Death

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Lapdog VA OIG

Benjamin KrauseYesterday, lapdog VA OIG released its whimsical dismissal of agency wrongdoing in the death of veteran Thomas Baer, who suffered two stroke events while waiting for health care and later died.

DOWNLOAD: VA OIG Lapdog Tomah VA Stroke Denial

On January 12, 2015, Thomas Baer’s family drove him to Tomah VA after a nurse on the telephone care line told them to drive there, 90 minutes from Marshfield. Baer was exhibiting unusual behavior (neurological) that could be deemed stroke like.

He later died after being denied adequate access to timely health care due to VA’s failure to refer him to Tomah Memorial across town after realizing VA’s CT scan machine was down. At Tomah Memorial, he would have received a CT scan and the clot busting drug tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) in a timely and immediate manner.

Instead, his family is dead and VA is now rubbing salt in the wound with a propagation of a lie merely to grab at news titles absolving Veterans Health Administration of wrongdoing.

VA OIG claims it was unable to substantiate the key elements I just wrote about above. They claim Tomah Memorial was not adequate for Tomah VA’s current transfer policy and that changes to existing Tomah VA policies would not have changed what happened to Baer. This is where the claims break down into little more than CYA, lapdog whitewash we have grown accustomed to.

Of course, who defines what “substantiate” means? When called out by Senator Ron Johnson, Richard Griffin’s silver tongued spokeswoman stated, “While Senator Johnson is entitled to his personal opinion, he is not a medical expert and has not identified any facts or medical literature to refute our findings and conclusions.”

The apparent problem with this deceitful rebuttal is that it implicitly asserts VA OIG got the facts right. However, they did not. Both small and big facts were missed or diminished using semantic ploys to grab headlines that the agency was absolved by its lapdog.

I will not cover all of them but the biggest in my mind. Here is what VA OIG deceptively floated in its summary:

We substantiated that the patient was not transferred to Tomah Memorial Hospital, located 2 miles from the Tomah VAMC; however, we determined that transferring the patient to Gundersen Health System was the appropriate action because it was the closest Joint Commission-certified Primary Stroke Center and was in accordance with the Tomah VAMC’s local transfer policy.

Here’s the real deal. Tomah VA has a transfer policy about its CT scan machine. If the machine is down, they will immediately transfer the patient to Tomah Memorial for the scan. In order for Baer to get tPA, he needed a CT scan. Not only can Tomah Memorial provide CT scans, but they can also administer tPA within their stroke team since they have stroke protocol. Tomah VA did not, at the time, have a stroke protocol.

VA OIG’s deception focuses on a sly shift of acronyms to confuse and avoid straight on criticism for Tomah VA’s common sense failure to immediately transfer Baer across town instead of having him wait for hours before transfer. VA OIG claims transfer to Tomah Memorial is not appropriate since the facility is not a Joint Commission (JC)-certified Primary Stroke Center (PSC). Since it is not a PSC, they claim, the failure to transfer to Tomah Memorial was correct under their policy.

Two problems here. Tomah VA created the policy after the holy hell that was raised on account of Baer’s death. But more importantly, Tomah Memorial can and does treat stroke victims in a lawful and safe manner. The patient may be later transferred to a PSC if the issue is unresolved. However, VA OIG’s deceptive claim that it was not suitable to refer Baer across town while he sat waiting for over 4 hours for health care is a complete fabrication of the context at that time.

If the CT scan machine was working, he would have received the tPA at the facility and possibly lived. Sadly, we will never know.

I think it is time we start to expose veterans’ Zero Faith in VA OIG to conduct itself in a manner other than that of a lapdog. Do you have any ideas on how to shame these incredulous deceivers? Let’s keep the dialogue going.

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77 Comments

  1. 06/19/2015

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    Tomah is ready to explode in a massive use of street heroin since the doctors have been cut out. Johnson and Johnson’s drug [fentanyl] will be found near the new overdosed victims in the very near future.

    There is more going on at and around that Hospital–every death matters—we have over 33 deaths and more on the way. Who cares what the excuses are from the criminal minds of the VA OIG they will never come clean after what has happened.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/28/business/drug-maker-gave-large-payments-to-doctors-with-troubled-track-records.html
    Using Doctors With Troubled Pasts to Market a Painkiller
    By KATIE THOMASNOV. 27, 2014

    https://news.yahoo.com/mexican-opium-farmers-expand-plots-supply-us-heroin-145711238.html
    Mexican opium farmers expand plots to supply US heroin boom

    “Sadly, we will never know.”—and Dead Men don’t talk nor do accountants that get slammed into on 7th Street in Phoenix—what does that have to do with the price of rice in China or the price of Heroin from our good Neighbor?

    Fire and Police will be Maxed, Assets will be lost to crime, Family and Friends will be devastated—–we will never know—-hell we can see it coming down the road a million miles away!

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

  2. If you want to shame them, I have direct evidence that the OIG lied in a prosecution attempt . The request was made by the VA Police. An article written by the Washington Examiner stated Mrs Joanne Moffett said the request was made by a 3rd party . The evidence I have is on hearsay evidence and direct evidence that that “3rd party refused” to make a statement. The OIG made this request based on a false statement. prior to this my evidence show the OIG accessed the accused veteran record and communicated with the accused veterans social worker. If you want to shame them as well as the 3 Delaware delegates who conspired including Senator Carper who conveniently left out the problems at his Wilmington VA during a recent whistleblower hearing. I will give you all the information you need. Specifically information on how Bob McDonald directly recieved e-mail and acknowledge the complaint of the VA improperly retaliating against veterans and not following the appeals rights regarding flags. The General Counsel and FOIA for VA and OIG is using the Privacy Act to block discoverable information. You can get my contact information through VA Truth Tellers I have a person who can direct you from there since these untrustworthy individuals have software to spoof you e-mail.

    • To make another point to OIG findings Federal Law applies State Tort Law for medical negligence and is not the role of the OIG to determine medical negligence. See OIG press release title Q&A on Phoenix report.

      • CORPSMAN UPI —you are certainly correct!

        I have lived through the BS that VA will pull to cover up malpractice.

        I not only proved the malpractice occurred at the local VAMC, when my husband died, I also proved how Syracuse VAMC tried to cover that all up, hoping no one would ever find out And then they continued to commit malpractice too.

        What many vets don’t realize is that VA malpractice has a paper trail.
        In their VA medical records to include all EKGs, Blood chem reports,
        MRI narratives, etc etc etc…..

        I studied cardiology, neurology, and endocrinology in order to win my FTCA case.
        These days it is easy to find a real doctor, specializing in th field of potentil malpractice to do, for a fee, all of that type of work needed for a successful FTCA case.

        Since then I also proved the VA malpractice on 2 direct SCs my husband had …..DMII from AO and AO IHD and they had to refund my FTCA offset to my 1151 DIC, from 1998 because he died directly from 2 AO disabilities as well as suffering death by VA..

        I won my Section 1151 HBP accrued claim a few weeks ago and still waiting for them to read my evidence for an additional 1151 issue.

        VACO said they already paid me 22 months at 100 & P & T plus SMC and 2 dependents for this posthunous award.

        I only got 6 months of accured in 2012 and filed a CUE on it.

        I also contacted the IG immediately since some Chief at C & P VACO said they already paid me the full 22 months.of accrued and this was on the PC screen he was reading a dew weeks ago.

        The director, by phone call to me, however said they wont pay me at all.
        No Reasons and Bases in the decision and what she said as a R & B defies all VA case law.I Lolled at some of the stuff she was trying to get me to believe but unfortunately here in NY I would need her permission to tape the calls I got from them.

        I cant figure out if I am a victim of VA monetary fraud or of VA illiteracy.

        There is No time limit for 1151 claims.

        FTCA has a 2 year SOL however.

        .

  3. I ‘visited’ “VA Truth Tellers”. I hope these doctors, nurses and other professionals get the point across to Washington next month. That nothing is going to change if something isn’t done quickly. Secretary McDonald needs to step up and start firing the VA employees who caused the problems. To hell with the ‘union’. Worry about that at a later date. Don’t put people on ‘paid leave’. In my opinion, that’s what they want. The VA employees are like unruly children, they don’t want detention, they want expulsion. So they can reap the benefits of not having to complete their studies.
    If we’re really interested in shaming the VA, let’s start calling the “Talk Shows”, like Bill O’Reilly and Hannity. Bombard them with facts about what’s happening in “our neck of the woods”! If THOUSANDS of us were to make our voices heard, the “powers that be” would have to listen. They enjoy threatening us, so turn around is fair play! We could use the news media to let our elected and appointed officials know that we mean business. That their jobs ARE on the line, if something is not done soon. We veterans and taxpayers are tired of veterans paying the supreme price (DEATH and TAXATION) due to the incompetence of VA employees.

    • Also, IF McDonald is truly wanting to change the culture of the VA, then he needs to be sitting next to the “Whistleblowers”. He can then explain who side he’s on (the Veterans or the VA). It’s that simple Mac. Do the right thing. Anyone got anything else????

    • The CT was down?

      I definitely wonder if that was true.

      After my husband laid in a VA bed unable to move, swallow, or hardly talk, with his eyes diverted to one side , and diagnosed with labyrhinthitis, I was quite alarmed, after his doc caught me getting of the VA elevator, saying Oh Rod looks so good today, he is improving!

      The minute I went into his room I could tell he was dying.

      I confronted her and asked her what the CT scan revealed (thinking they had definitely done one right after his admission) but she said their Ct scan was broke,so he never got a CT scan.
      I began to dig in my purse to get some change and I angrily repeated a phone number to myself out loud , as I recovered change….

      She said that sounds like a phone number ..I said “.It is the phone number for my Congressman as I am going into the lobby to use the pay phone to call him and tell him the CT scan has been broke here for 3 weeks.”

      Her demeanor drastically changed and she asked me to please sit in a small room for a few minutes.I could hear commotion out side of the room and she suddenly came in and said a miracle occurred and that the CT scan had just been “fixed”.

      I wanted to punch her out.The CT scan revealed my husband had suffered a major stroke, and was immediately sent to Syracuse from the Bath VAMC for treatment.
      Her diagnosis was completely wrong on the inner ear labyrhithitis.

      My point here is this was part of my successful wrongful death case ((FTCA./1151)

      IG investigations on potential negligence and malpractice mean diddly squat.

      I sure hope these families of Tomah VA or any other VA ,who believe their veteran was malpracticed on to the point that it caused their death, do not depend in any way at all for some IG report to support that.

      Their 2 years SOL( Statute of Limits ) for the FTCA can be easily pissed away, if VA ‘investigates’ what might well be a wrongful death.

      My husband’s malpractice over multiple conditions was not even reported to the VISN Director nor was the settlement reported properly to the NPDB, and nothing reported to IG at all..

      The Tomah survivors need to get an Independent Medical Review and opinion of the veteran,s entire medical record, then get a lawyer if the opinion supports malpractice, and then sue the shit out of them.

      Many state now control the amount of settlements. I have no idea what their state’s cap on settlements is.,if they have one.

      I have actually met survivors of vets as well as living vets , who seemed to be thinking an “Incident report” the VA ostensibly wrote up was the beginning of a FTCA case.

      An Incident report means nothing. Only by filing under Section 1151 or a formal FTCA SF 95, does any potential for possible monetary compensation over malpractice even begin occur.

      Some VAMCs will inform a vet or their family of the options of these types of claims..when there has been an obvious and serious medical error made…..but I sure bet most VAMCs sure dont.

      A nurse pulled me to the side in the VA hallway, as they were prepping my husband for transport to Syracuse. she said ‘can you get him out of here before they kill him?’
      She said she could be fired for saying that but had put entries into the rec to that affect (which I never could find in the med recs) and was relieved when I told her he had just got a CT scan and was being sent to Syracuse for treatment of a stroke..

      Tell your spouse to get you autopsied when you die, because those autopsy results might well prove they buggered you up more then you know.

      It wont hurt one bit.

      My husband was an organ donor and that was why he was autopsied but the autopsy
      (as within my H VAC testimony) shows they had 12 copies of it and never gave the autopsy to either the posthumous C & P doc nor to the OGC until I found out and again sent it directly to them, this time by by-passing my RO’s MF….

      I never realized when the organ bank called me, how critical this autopsy would be.

      MF ..the mysterious force,employed by my VARO, who removed the good stuff from my C file ,during my FTCA/1151 cases, but after I won they put some of the records back into it.

      I have put everything I know into our forums for FTCA/1151 at http://www.hadit.com.

      I got his best friend 100& P & T under 1151 a short time after Rod died.They almost killed him too.

      The going scuttlebutt at the section of this VAMC they both had worked in ,for a while, was that VA was trying to kill all the crazy Vietnam vets employed there..

      • I’ve noticed over the years that various scanning machines the VA has are supposedly broken, CT, PET, MRI. I had one Neuro doc flat-out state he would not order a PET scan due to cost…as if it were coming out of his own pocket, and he claimed it was for “research only”.

  4. Ben I realize that you are getting married and soon or are and so there is not much you can do presently however having said that….why post this and say keep the dialogue going. There is nothing but talk on here. What needs to be done and you hit on this already and perhaps will see to it when you are once married is for all of this to make the news papers and other media. The VA needs to be exposed on a grand scale. We need to contact your congressmen and put heat on them to hold the VA accountable or they will find themselves out of office.
    Just us flapping our gums on here DOES NOTHING….it gets us all upset and we feel we can do nothing but complain on it and so far that is all that I have seen. If I saw some of this making Headlines in the media then I would say we are getting somewhere.
    Frankly when I see this shit it just upsets me because I have many health problems and the VA is doing nothing but jerking me around and I am a lawyer. I am likely going to try to find some outside health care and I have told my family that if something happens to me they get me to a local hospital and not the VA.
    I HAVE HAD ENOUGH FLAPPING OF THE GUMS. I will read what is posted to try to stay informed but this is bad for my blood pressure and serves little or no purpose presently. When you return from your honeymoon and you arrange to get these things into the NATIONAL MEDIA….then we are gettting some where.
    This is not a criticism of you and so please do not take it as such. I am just tired of the talk and I think all of the veterans are tired of the talk. Many of us could suffer a stroke just from reading the shit the VA does.
    Thanks for trying to help us all.
    John

    • John, I’m glad your going to continue reading Ben’s Blogs to stay informed. You do have reasonable concerns. Only it’s going to take time. All on here know this to be fact.
      My hopes are Secretary McDonald and ALL our elected and appointed officials have been made aware of our sincerity of letting them know we, (veterans and taxpayers) are quite fed up with them. I, and many others, have left comments stating their jobs are at risk. If something doesn’t happen soon.
      America, as a whole, has a propensity to wait to the last minute to correct a wrong. How many veterans have to die? How much OVER-TAXATION does it take for the public to become so outraged, where something has to give? These are only two questions our “Fearless Leaders” will have to answer in the coming weeks or months.
      I hope you will continue to voice your opinion on here. It does two vital things, it keeps your mind operational. And keeps you alive. By this I mean, it will allow you to say FU and I TOLD YOU SO! to the VA.
      I, and others, including my wife will pray for you!!!!!

      • Now this is an idea I can get behind. Can you get the phone numbers for Hannity etc and post them and then we can get all the VETs calling in and reporting all the screwups etc…..hell Hannity may want to have some of you on his show…which would be very cool…that is major exposure….also might hit the radio talk shows…great idea…better than us just complaining on here…..this is a GREAT SUGGESTION.

      • I, and my wife, will get those ASAP and post them. Glad to ‘hear’ from you.
        Y’all out there, get the phone numbers of your local and national talk shows and post them on here so we can start calling!!!!!!!

    • John, I don’t want to sound overly negative, but suggesting Ben can arrange any issue be covered by the national media is wishful thinking. Granted, Ben may have good contacts in the media, but it comes down to a reporter wanting to cover it, and an editor willing to let the reporter cover it, then actually running the story in print, on TV or on the radio. I contacted several in the media last year when the VA took my personal information, gave it to a 3rd party to find my private health insurance, then bill them for surgery on a service connected condition. I had ample documentation and the VA admitted they were wrong. Out of the many I contacted, I got a few email responses, but only one actually did an article, on his blog. The problems in the VA have been going on for many years, but nothing got headlines until a Whistleblower went to the media and alleged 40 vets were killed due to negligence. It took dead vets at Tomah before the media showed any interest. It took pictures before a reporter from the Indy Star covered that clinic supervisor mocking suicidal vets. It is frustrating as hell to find out nobody cares for too long. The only suggestion I have is to find any news story about veterans, then contact that reporter via email, phone, Twitter, etc., and see if they are interested. Many will not be unless you are local to their area. Many may not be able to convince their editor to run a veterans story over the latest Kardashian news. Others are just too lazy to listen to the details necessary to write a good, factual article. Far too many want the quick sound bite so they can move on. The VA and Congress both know this, and both use it to their advantage.

      • Time wasted on me…contribute something useful to help the others. I guess you miss where it said I am an attorney with over 40 years experience and that should have been enough. I have dealth with the media for most of those 40 years. A good lawyer knows how to work them but thanks for your time spent.

      • I guess I was trying to help by warning others what a frustrating process it is and in how to contact reporters that might be writing about vets. Its not as easy as it sounds, but you know that. I didn’t miss that you said you were an attorney, but thought you may have health issues since you were asking Ben to publicize these issues in the national media rather than doing it yourself.

      • This is for John, since you are an attorney can you advice us how to protect ourselves against the va, when they accuse the veteran of disruptive behavior and never have to provide the veterans or their representatives, va letting the very same employee answer any and all inquiries her self and the va not doing any fact finding period. Only punishing the veteran only using hearsay and not offer the veteran any of his constitutional or civil rights to defend themselves. As an attorney you should know that it is wrong, it’s called slander, how do veterans go about finding an attorney willing to take on the va, why does it seems attorneys will only take a case if they can make money off the veteran and seem not to care about the injustice and harm they are doing to the veteran. The va admits they have no evidence of any wrongdoing. A lot of people I have spoken to tell me, the va can’t punish you without having evidence that you actually did something wrong. My reply well they did and I have the proof, that the va has zero evidence that i have ever been disruptive in my life. The va employee making the allegations was a former employee that I had dealing with and only reported me to the disruptive committee as retaliation for a comment I made about how I felt she was handed a certain va committee, she didn’t provide one shread of written evidence and flat out lied. We veterans need to have expert advice on how to defend our selves or how to find help, when the va keep covering up the injustice. If someone with half a brain would be able to see right through this deception and right out lie.

      • James, every veteran who goes into the VA without someone with them who can testify on their behalf is subjected to this. It comes down to a he said she said situation and I doubt they would allow us to have recorders with us however if they are in plain sight it may be allowed and if I was going to see someone anticipating a problem I would have witnesses or a recorder. Since it appears that you had neither then you will be dealing with the person who is making the false claims. This is a major evidence problem for any lawyer and so most lawyers would not even want to get involved. Also you have to keep in mind that going to law school is very very expensive and time consuming and some get washed out and it is a business. Lawyers are suppose to do so many pro bono (free) things at least in califorinia….hours that is..free advice or taking something on for free etc but if it is going to take a lot of time then most lawyers do not have the time.
        Back to the question of evidence. You will have to prove to the lawyer that what you are saying is true and I am not suggesting that the lawyer does not believe you but they know what it will take in a court of law to sue the VA etc….NEXT….there is the question of damages….no real damages then nothing to sue for….you can get injunctions, or you can get money….that is all the law offers….equity or money damages….and you will need expert witnesses who are very expensive to testify that you suffered emotionally and how bad it is….this is all very very expensive…SO YOU ARE RIGHT…LAWYERS WILL NOT TOUCH THIS…..but you can protect yourself if you know you are going to be seeing someone you do not trust…then take a witness or witnesses….also when something happens…send a letter right away to the VA confirming the incident and do it each time…build up a paper trial…..try to find if this person has caused others problems and you all hit the VA with complaints agains the person….etc…
        You can check with your local bar assoication to see if anyone will handle or help you….but again….the chances are remote….if you have witnesses and doctors to testify that you have emotional issues from the event….well that is something…..it sure helps…..as it stands it sounds like it would be your word against this individual……that is not going anywhere with the VA or any court that I know off…
        I know this is not the news you wanted to hear but try to protect yourself….

      • Her word against mine that is not evidence that is hearsay, what that means to me is that I can say anything about anyone and that person should be Arrested or punished and no one can do anything about it. First come first served, that means any one can hurt someone else and not worry about it. No wonder so many veterans take their own lives, no one gives a shit, as long as it’s not effecting them. So the va has authority to punish veterans at will and the veterans have no recourse to defend themselves, that’s criminal in its self. Just proves my point the va can even kill veterans and nothing will be done. Dirty dirty shame.

  5. Yes this blog is for information and information is power. For too long vets have been left in the dark. There are positive developments to bring that blood pressure down 🙂 the oig took a big swipe at the senate govt affairs cmte. That was a tactical mistake. More and more politicians are getting behind the idea of downsizing VHA. The VA has no interest in making the choice program work. Outsourcing bureaucratic functions is not in the VA’s interest but vets and others are increasingly waking up to it. Not only should we be writing congress but we should also press out VSOs to get on board. I am the Tomah whistleblower who exposed them. I was taken to the woodshed in their other report released yesterday. I wear it as a badge of honor. Means I have gotten to them.

    • As a veteran who uses the VA, I can’t thank you enough for what you have sacrificed for us to try improve the VA. It is whistleblowers like you who will finally make a difference in getting it changed, simply because the VA cannot easily dispute what an insider reports, unlike veterans where they can make up any lying excuse they want. As for the OIG, many of them in many agencies have been turned into willing lapdogs by Obama, or harassed and fiired. Do a little searching on the net, and you will find a few that have been fired or harassed, with many others getting the message that they will find nothing that embarrasses the White House. I believe there are a number of laws governing OIG’s, but they can keep ignoring them as long as Congress refuses to get serious about fixing how they investigate and comply with the law. As a start, Congress needs to make clear that no agency OIG will be funded unless they start doing their jobs. Since they refuse to hold anyone within their agency accountable, why have them? Remove them and their funding, and have any agency investigation conducted by the Government Accountability Office. They already do a number of investigations at the request of Congress, so why not have them perform these OIG functions.
      As for the IG report taking you to the woodshed, I would suggest responding in detail and in writing. Provide a copy to the IG, and a copy to the House and Senate VA committees. Why am I not surprised these IG hacks would go after you and not the ones killing vets.

  6. Ben you have access to the media, is there anyway you can get in touch with those media and see if they are willing to meet with as many veterans whom are willing to tell their stories of abuse etc. I know we live in different states and would be hard for all to travel, maybe we can have them call each veteran or the news contact their affiliate in the states where veterans are willing to share their concerns with out va interference,the veteran can call and give their contact number so it’s not out there for all to see, just a thought. But something has to be done. There are going to be many, many more in the coming years, as the USA in my opinion will have to send thousands of troops to Europe if Putin keeps threatening to attract our allies and the United states. They send troops and they will need help, if they come home and they should not have to go through all the va deception, we veterans need to protect are young veterans who have not had to deal with the va wrong doing.

    • James, this is a great idea. Maybe if Ben can organize it we can also have webcam statements from our homes, to prevent long distance travel for those of us too sick to travel. I think Ben is getting ready for his wedding right now and that affects the timing on something like this. But, it is a great idea.

      • Thanks Bruce I think it’s better than a town hall Meeting with the va, they won’t be able to stop us short and letting us tell our whole story. American’s need to see veterans telling their stories so they can see that we are real people and not just a name.

  7. HERE IS ANOTHER THOUGHT….BEING A LAWYER WHO USE TO HANDLE MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASES I KNOW THAT THEY CAN BE TOUGH AND EXPENSIVE. IT TAKES MONEY TO PAY EXPERT WITNESS DOCTORS TO TESTIFY ETC…LOTS OF MONEY…THEN THE ATTORNEYS FOR THE VA TYPICALLY FILE MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND THAT IS ALOT OF WORK AND THEN THE DEPOSITIONS ETC……….HOWEVER…..SINCE SOME OF THESE CASES ARE BALATANT ACTS OF MAL PRACTICE LAWYERS MAY BE INTERESTED IN TAKING THEM ON….IF THERE WAS SOME WAY TO BEN’S SI…..TE HERE ON TO LAWYER MALPRACTICE WEBSITES……THERE MAY BE ALOT OF LAWYERS SIGNIG UP PEOPLE TO HANDLE THEIR CASES……NOW AS WAS POINTED OUT…..THERE IS THE 1151 CLAIM….NOT AS MUCH MONEY….BUT IT IS AN ALTERNATIVE

    • .”THERE IS THE 1151 CLAIM….NOT AS MUCH MONEY….BUT IT IS AN ALTERNATIVE”
      Yes but Section 1151 claims need the same evidence as FTCA cases do for the same disability or death.

      My 1151 DIC award stated exactly what the final FTCA medical report stated.

      When I FTCAed them there were no malpractice lawyers advertising on the net…actually there was no internet, just Prodigy BBS forums and Vet Link.
      I called 20 NY lawyers to see if any could help with my FTCA and not one of them believed I had a case.

      Then some local lawyer said he would try to find a doctor with military and medical expertise to help by reviewing the med recs…he never followed up on that….

      So I did it all myself.

      But the time it took and research, travel to medical libraries, law libraries, etc etc
      really took a toll on me.

      In the 1151 vet’s case , I mentioned here this AM ,the friend of ours who also worked for VA, I prepared his claim by referring them to his recent surgical medical records as evidence of malpractice.

      The local VA had been treating him for hemorrhoids for years..
      In Buffalo VA they found he had advanced colon cancer and not hemorrhoids.

      He didnt even understand the claim I typed as he sat here having a cup of coffee, not long after the surgery and of course he had a colostomy bag, after that

      I didnt even have to see his med recs.Blatant malpractice, prime facie…

      It was one of the fastest 1151 awards I have seen in almost 20 years of vet advocacy.

      I advised him of FTCA but he feared he would spend a lump sum settlement amount too fast, whereby 1151 would come every month for the rest of his life.

      He is 100% P & T 1151, 50% PTSD, 40 % GSW, and something else I forget, so he gets SMC as well

      My husband was posthumously 100 % P & T SC PTSD,
      100% Stroke under 1151,
      SMC Housebound
      30 % IHD due to AO contributing to death and DMII death awarded due to DMII but since this was also malpracticed on,plus the AO IHD , they had nothing in the med recs to even rate him on for the DMII.

      I was refunded the 1151 offset to my DIC that I agreed on with General Counsel. when I proved direct SC death.

      Has anyone here ever seen a similar case like that?Even lawyers at NVLSP haven’t.

      In many respects my FTCA was the easiest claim I ever had.

      I had the evidence I needed, and went round and round with OGC but these are the smartest people the VA has, in my opinion…..a great adversary….

      I LOVE Lawyers, They can READ.

      Unlike many RO employees who handle our claims.

      I

      • Ms. Simmons, you have a lot to be proud of and accomplished much…however when you speak of a VA paper trail….well there is a problem there because if they VA learns of their screw up…..attempts will be made to fix and correct the paper trail….how do I know this….well they tried to do it on me where I go….or the doctor did….but I was lucky and had already some previous records that was proof……..a second set I ordered to send to an expert witness doctor who was going to do a report for me and testify if necessary at a very expensive rate I might ad the record had been changed and the expert said he could not find in there what I claimed and I recalled I had a prior set from years ago and looked there and wow…..there it was and so I sent my copy to him and he said…wow…..looks like someone was messing with the records………Let me make a suggestion to everyone…periodically get copies of your medical records from the VA if you suspect that they are screwing up…DO NOT SAY ANYTHING TO THEM ABOUT THE SCREW UP…just get the records…..so you have proof down the road and you can cut their legs off if they try to doctor your records….no pun intended

  8. I am curious as to how long to wait for medical records. I have requested them from Bremmerton Washington VA Hospital,and that request was filed in June 2014. I realize 1968 was a few years back but that was where I was discharged from and I have had no response. How do I know that they are still searching for them or should I expect to get them Posthumously???

    • Did you send the request under the freedom of information act? I got a set within a couple months but it was not complete to go back to my service records….1968….that took them 7 months and it was huge…..YOU NEED TO KEEP ON THEM

  9. Here’s the info I promised John. It’s for everyone though,
    1.) The Sean Hannity Show
    Call 1-800-941-7326
    3-6 pm ET , mon-fri.
    2.) The Herman Cain Show
    877-310-2100
    He’s on mon. through fri. From 10-12 noon.
    3.) The Bill O’Reilly Show-“the o’reilly factor”
    Sorry, I couldn’t find a phone number. But I got his e-mail address, it’s
    BillO’[email protected]

    Let’s start bombarding these “conservative talk show hosts” and give them as many websites as possible. To put the heat on the VA and all of our elected and appointed officials, from Washington D.C. to our local State, County and City residencies…,,,,
    How bout it brothers and sisters, are y’all ready to raise some hell????

    • HERE WE GO…..GREAT JOB …THANKS….I WILL CONTACT EACH OF THEM……PLEASE EVERYONE DO THE SAME AND GET OTHERS TO DO IT ALSO AN SUBSCRIBE TO BEN’S SITE HERE…..THIS COULD REALLY SNOW BALL…..SOME OF YOU MAY MAKE IT ON TV OR THE RADIO WITH YOUR STORIES…….THIS IS EXCITING……THIS WILL LEAD TO OTHER INTERVIEWS BY OTHERS……..FANTASTIC

      • John, I didn’t do this for publicity. I did it because I truly want our elected and appointed officials AND the VA to understand the severity of their actions; ie, all the egregious, humiliations, outrageous, etc, etc, acts the VA has perpetrated against VETERANS. I will, and have, contacted each talk show host. My wife has already done so. My hopes are that something will be done.
        I’m getting tired, John. In my lifetime I have stood in front of committees and seen the end results. I want this one to be different. This IS A FIGHT WORTH FIGHTING!!!!!!!!

      • I am not being critical but the politicians respond to publicity and if it is adverse even more so and so it is important to seek the publicity as much as you can. A good trial lawyer in big case tries to get as much as he or she can out ….sure…tainting the Jury Pool…we all know that but it goes on and on both sides…..so do not be ashamed of getting publicity for publicity sake….it is how you get to the powers that be….work all the angles that you can….and get the others on here to do the same…..that is what is going to work and also getting more members on here…..I have told the Vets at the Long Beach VA about this blog and I think from what I have heard it has gotten the attention of staff there at the hospital…..which is good also…..this all works for the veterans benefit….nothing adverse about any of this….work every angle that you can….we all should….I would caution though to those that have cases pending etc of rising to the bait because some nucklehead on here puts up something…you should not be discussing facts or defending them on a public forum…this would be between you and your attorney……..I am sure the powers that be read the posts on here and it may give them an advantage in a trial…….as for 1151 claims….well you got the proof and they know it and from what I have seen at least here in Long Beach or the LA area….our man there running the benefits department seems to be a straight shooter……..I was denied and when he saw what I had it was all reversed…….As in every organization there are good and bad….I have found some good Doctors at the Long Beach VA, however….I am sorry to say that several of them have left….the one guy that blew my diagnosis and treatment…he was just reassigned to another VA from what I heard and I hope I am wrong about that….You have done a great job here…..keep up the good work….don’t rise to the bait of some of the people on here as a suggestion from an old war horse…..

  10. I read your blog and the OIG report. You should apologize to your readers for misrepresenting the facts. You state in your blog that the Baer family drove Mr. Baer to the Tomah VA after a nurse told them to drive there, 90 minutes from Marshfield and that he was exhibiting unusual behavior that seemed stroke like. The OIG report references medical records from the Marshfield clinic that show your clients took Mr. Baer to the clinic that morning for a mental health evaluation and left mad because they had to wait and did not want to pay the bill if he had to be admitted. If your clients thought he was having a stroke, why didn’t they take Mr. Baer to the Marshfield emergency room? Why would anyone drive a loved one 90 miles to an urgent care clinic if they suspected the person was having a stroke, especially when there is a large tertiary medical center near their home and they were actually there at the time? Your story makes no sense.
    You also state that Mr. Baer waited over 4 hours to be seen at the Tomah clinic. The report says that your clients made an allegation that he waited 3 hours, not four. The timeline in the OIG report shows that he was seen by staff just over an hour after he got there, was fine, and was waiting to be seen in the mental health clinic. The timeline and medical records in the report show that he fainted about an hour later and was seen immediately by doctors and nurses who did an examination and ran tests. Where is the 4 hours you claim he waited? DO THE MATH.

    • First of all Nate, we didn’t suspect he was having a stroke. We suspected a mental health issue. Which is what we explained to the nurse when I called. Since he had a history of service connected mental health issues in the past, we thought those were the symptoms he was having, but since we are not medical professionals – the people at the VA are supposed to be – we gave the nurse his symptoms and she told us to drive down, so we did. We waited in the waiting room for nearly 3 hours – the timeline of the OIG is incorrect in their report, but since you don’t have the medical records – like I do – you wouldn’t know that. They expect fools like you to take everything at face value and not do any investigating of your own. Secondly, the only reason he was seen when he was – was because he slumped over in his wheelchair – with a stroke. But since his vitals were fine, they ruled it was not a stroke and did nothing. The doctors at Gundersen later ruled it was in fact a stroke, but the OIG did not speak to them because they said it was “beyond the scope of their investigation”. Again, you don’t have the medical records, and you were not there – I do and I was. The OIG timeline states he was seen an hour after he got there – yes – they took his blood pressure and put him back in the waiting room. That was all. After he was finally seen, he waited in the UC room to have tests done. One of which was an EKG where the technician was not intelligent enough to know how to unjam the paper – which I did for her. They never talked about doing a CT scan until the second stroke. Even though I BEGGED them to look for any indication of a stroke since the first time he slumped over in his wheelchair. Then when they did try to order a CT, the doctor was told by the nurse that the CT machine was “down”, she asked “what about Tomah Memorial” and his response was “we can’t send there”. The timeline is also incorrect about the time that he was transferred – neither the records from the Tomah VA, the ambulance company or Gundersen Lutheran coincide with that timeline AT ALL. But again, you don’t have any of that information, and you wouldn’t be intelligent enough to ask any source other than the OIG for information – because they have been SO TRANSPARENT!!! One last thing – watch the congressional hearing – Dr. Clancy states under oath that the care my father received was “completely unacceptable”, but yet they found no wrong doing. YOU ARE THE ONE WHO SHOULD BE DOING THE MATH. I certainly hope you are not a veteran or know anyone who is….because one day this could be you……and there will be no one there to help you.

      • I am glad you clarified that to Nate. He did sound like a VA collaborator talking out his ###. I pray Nate does not need any emergency assistance,so he is able to find out he has no idea what he’s talking. Sorry Nate it’s better to be an idiot and no one know,than open ones mouth and prove it !!!

      • I am a Vet. The OIG note said he was see at 1:35 by a doctor. What times do your medical records differ from those in the IG report as you state?
        Btw: why would you leave the Marshfield clinic in the first place?

      • Mrs. Delis, my prayers are with you and your family. You do not have to explain yourself to no one.Your father was an honorable man and served his country and that’s all that matters. The VA is to give the veteran the benefit of doubt regardless of how a veteran presents themselves. The VA OIG is not statuatorily responsible for making medical negligence determinations. Fathers of your dad’s stature usually will not complain, so they won’t feel that they are troublesome to you. They do not make men like that anymore. The medical professional involved in his care should have the skills, knowledge and ability to assess an emergent situation by ruling out any life threatening circumstances. For those who do not listen to patients or their family members, no matter what kind of information is being presented, needs to find another field. The basics of a physical assessment (minus check boxes) should have been done. Regardless, on behalf of all of your supporters we embrace everything you do and may GOD lay the divine law down on this direct attack on common compassion of a fellow human being. (hand salute)

    • @Nate – I only decided to write about one of the many falsehoods contained within the OIG report. “I will not write about all of them but the biggest in my mind.” I think Candace covered the issue well in her statement above. It is obvious he was experiencing some kind of neurological event based on the Baers description of his condition prior to brining him to Tomah VA. We know now that he was experienced pre-stroke symptoms.

  11. The practice of VAMC, making a medical referral during an emergency need, is dereliction of duty. Emergency need means urgent care now required.

    The PHX VAMC, kept an ER doctor as the gate-keeper, who would actually run out of the ER, into the parking lot, and refuse /deny care without even checking a pulse.

    It was only after a PHX fire department medic, confronted, this gate-keeper / doc, did the situation change.

    Anyway this doc went on to become a shiny, star in the media, and received a nice promotion and pay-off.

  12. What is becoming of our country right before eyes, our eyes are wide open and see a level of governmental bullying as we see them do to Veterans.

    But we can get ahead of this evil being forced on us, first we need to understand that is a spiritual evil.

    For example, what has just taken place in the Philadelphia Regional Office, where they were providing palm reading for money, yes it a spiritual evil.

    So when it is like that, you must call upon the One who is able to defeat evil forces as He has done forever, His name is Jesus Christ. He knows what is going on, so invite into this spiritual warfare. And patiently watch Him do His thing for us. He is able, I know because He is with me.

    • Let’s see if I remember this quote from the Bible correctly, “HE helps those who helps themselves!” I believe that was a saying from God to humanity.

      • You got it James. If you didn’t catch it, I was being facetious toward Chauncey. Not disrespectful though! He’s entitled his opinion…..

      • crazyelf… The Bible does not say “God helps those who helps themselves”. If you wish to be a theologian… then maybe you should read the Bible. LOL

  13. Last week, Head of VA Benefits Administration Allison Hickey took a swipe at Congress. Now I wonder what does she have to say about this occurring in Wisconsin?

    Does she still want to say that because Congress did not fund the hiring the additional 1,700 bodies is the problem?

    There needs to be criminal negligence charges brought up on those individuals responsible for this tragedy.

    • It’s not about more money, employees and whatever. It’s about criminal misconduct and criminal acts against Veterans by Veterans Affairs employees.

      So Allison Hickey needs to be honest with us for once. Why are not Veterans Affairs employees being prosecuted and sentenced for the crimes committed against Mr. Baer and many other Veterans?

  14. The VA OIG is an employee of the VA and and part of the “corrosive culture” that has under served Veterans for quite some. To believe the VA OIG will perform objectively would be akin to believing ISIS will provide compassionate relief to cities and towns it colonizes. THE VA OIG is there to “DEFEND” the VA!!

  15. A bi-partisan Presidential quote explanation for the definition of ‘substantiate’.

    “It depends on the what the definition of ‘is’ is.” — Pres. Bill Clinton

    “I am not a crook.” — Pres. Richard Nixon

  16. THE VA OIG is the HR team for the VA. We think they are there for Veterans but they are really there to CYA for the VA. That’s it! I have no experience with my Veteran and the OIG but let me tell you about emergency care and the VA.

    I came home from work to find my Veteran confused, sweating, barely able to wake up and when he did he screamed from the pain he was in. His blood sugars could not be read with his meter, which meant they were over 600. I begged the VA to cover him going to the local ER, a 5 minute drive. They refused, they told me to put him into our vehicle and drive him to the VA in White River Junction, VT. For us that is a 2 hour drive. I asked if I could take him to the Albany, NY facility only 45 mins away. They refused because it was out of state. I was pushing insulin into him while on the phone.

    Finally the hospital administrator told me since I was unwilling to drive him to WRJ they would have an ambulance bring him up. I thought this meant a local ambulance would be called so he could get care right away. NO these #@$#@@$^& sent an ambulance from New Hampshire to pick up in Bennington, VT then transport him to WRJ, VT. His blood sugars were 585 when we put him in the ambulance. I thought I was going to lose my husband that night.

    I assumed with how sick he was he would be admitted. I was up all night arranging for child care so I could go up and be with him. Six hours after putting him in the ambulance he was dropped back off by the same ambulance. They got his numbers to just below 500, gave him a shot for pain, and told him to see his VA doctor to find out what was wrong. They did a stick and flip after making him wait 2 hours for an ambulance to get here and 2 more hours of travel. His blood sugar was back up to 550.

    I was pissed! I took him straight to the er. At this point I no longer cared about the bill, I would be a hooker on Main St if I had to, he needed quality care. He had an infection that started in his mouth but had spread through his blood, he was dehydrated, his blood sugars had shot back up during the ride home, he was very sick. The doctor here got snotty that I had waited so long to bring him in until I showed him the paperwork from VA WRJ. He was admitted and spent 6 days getting well enough to come home. Then it took 3 weeks to get him into an appointment to see his VA physician.

    His regular physician is a doll,we love her! But the whole system needs an overhaul.

    • Elizabeth, this is criminal please write down every thing and copies of all treatment and send it to your congressman and the justice department. This is a prime example of the injustice the va is doing to most of us, please give your self a pat on the back for taking control and tell your husband that we veterans will keep writing on this site in hopes someone will listen and make the employee’s pay for their unlawful actions and credulity to another human being. God bless your husband is lucky to have you stand by his side.

  17. It hurts me when individuals want to take Bible scriptures out of context,however,if that is how they have to be reached on their level of understanding,then it so states an eye for an eye,which is out of context too!

  18. Elizabeth, please do as James suggested. Also, contact the talk show hosts I posted on here. You have a great story to tell.
    Get it out so ALL will hear and possibly stand up to the corrosive culture we know as the VETERANS ADMINISTRATION!!!!!!!

  19. Everone on here has a story. I still think by contacting the radio talk shows something might give. I gave the info on this Blog. It wouldn’t hurt to give it a try.
    Just think, to give up is not in our being. We, or the majority on here, were military. We never gave up. Only the gutless politicians gave up. Therefore, they were the ones who deserve our contempt and disrespect.
    Come on, let us continue the good fight! We owe it to not only ourselves, but to all America!

    • Hey Carazyelf, here is the link to the article I was referring to about veteran marches in every town on veterans day (yesterday’s blog):

      “Americans have no faith in socialized medicine, a system in which the federal government owns the hospitals, employs the doctors and nurses and pays the bills. Yet the United States has a vast system of socialized medicine. Its name is the VA! ”

      Read more here: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article23032377.html#storylink=cpy

      I t is worth reading. I said I heard about it on radio, but it was actually this piece in the news paper. (couldn’t remember correctly). But your idea is good with the talk stations. How about both? Newspapers and talkstations? I think many of these columnists and hosts are quite aware of the ‘evil VA’ I think we should ‘work them’ to pump out more. I think we should turn out too on Veterans Day where ever we live.

  20. Okay, so I go to Tomah. This is an interesting situation. A month or so I received a letter from Tomah that basically said, “we have urgent care here but if you have an emergency go to your local hospital. If you must come here, we’ll look at you for a cold, flu, bronchitis, that type of thing, but we don’t have a real emergency department. ”

    About 5 years ago, Tomah VA contracted this mega high dollar Emergency Room ambulance entrance. ..all enclosed, brick to match all the other buildings, and all the bells and whistles (knew the contract head running the project.) These guys don’t work for less than $50 an hour union for general laborers. ..needless to say a gadzoodle number of dollars were spent on the project. The entrance sits there 5 years later and I’ve never, once, seen an ambulance in it. Let alone I haven’t seen the door open once.

    Me, 100 percent disabled and I went to their urgent care about 5 years ago with bronchitis after triage nurse told me to go there. Got my rear end chewed by the staff for coming in. Was told I’d have to pay a copay, and before I left they basically told me not to come back.

    Got it, 5 x 5, never going to try my luck with urgent care there again.

    Crumpled the Urgent care letter that came in the mail with their new “official” policy and sent it to the circular file.

    Love the new sign at the entrance with urgent care hours. I’m half blind and can see it. Wonder what that cost them?

    • Has anyone here been on ‘va truth finders’? I’ve been on it. It has a great many “stories”. I would suggest everyone take a look. It tells it like it is, when it comes to the VA. These “Whistleblowers’ deserve our praise and support for what their doing for us. Let’s not let them down!!!

  21. All I have to say is, if I were C.E.O. of the V.A. organization I would let all employees responsible for these problems, go for incompetence, I am sure no civilian corporation would allow any one of that caliber work for it, it would be its demise.

    Yours for God and Country
    Frank P Calderon

    • I believe that one of the most important questions, we need to know is why hasn’t any Veterans Affairs employees been arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to prison.

      Is there prosecutorial authority over the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs via each and every State of the United States. What have just experienced is systemic murders and suicides of Veterans, yet no one has been arrested and put into prison. Only one Veterans Affairs executive has been fired due to the Merit System Protection Board (MSPB), well the best plan we have to offer Congress is prison because then we feel the playing field is equally balanced and Veterans are then really protected.

      And you do not have to worry about firing these incompetent crooks because they will experience what every other American has to experience, if you do the crime, you must do the time.

  22. I believe the following statement has been made quite often on here; “follow the money!” Which brings up another question, “Where has all those BILLIONS of dollars gone?”
    The Congress allocated BILLIONS just last year to the VA. Where has it gone?
    We know, or we think we know, some has gone to finish the hospital in Colorado ($1.7+billion total) But they, the VA, received a whole lot more. So, VA Officials, where is/has it gone?

  23. An addendum to my previous message; yes an I would definitely let them go because this is literally playing with the lives of our servicemen and women it is a
    a matter of life and death in my book that is murder, because they very well know the consequences of their actions.

    Yours for God and Country
    Frank P. Calderon

    • Frank, go to “vatruthtellers”. It’s amazing what these two dozen individuals are doing. You will also read some of the ‘statements’ given by the VA. Which is, in my opinion, pure unadulterated Bull S#it. Check it out.

    • There are also videos on vatruthtellers. Which speaks volumes of the egregious acts committed by the VA.

  24. There go the gun grabbers again I suspected they would after the incident in Charleston, they always crawl our of the woodwork, don’t they have enough sense to know and see that gun confiscation is nothing more workable than to disarm the law-abiding citizen? can’t they see that, I myself am a veteran of the Korean War, and I don’t own any kind of weapon, but anyone with any common sense understands that those who want a weapon they can obtain it through the underground.

    Disarming the law abiding citizen will only help to increase crime because then the bad guys will have a loose rein to do what they want without any fear at all, besides from what I have seen from some surveys there are more people killed in automobile accidents each year then by guns, that survey appeared sometime ago, I don’t know what it would be now it wouldd be intersting to take another survey, traffic accidents are due mostly by people texting, driving under the influence, or due to fatigue especially when it deals with long distance drivers who don’t seem to get a respite to rest on those ling hauls due to a cut in drivers, the ones that are working have a double schedule to make deliveries particularly cross country drivers.

  25. [email protected] 6pm on Ch 9 news WFTV out of Orlando, Fl. It was stated, the VA has a “50% [longer] higher wait”[time]! A “$3 BILLION overage”. There was a third thing. Only the “story” was so quick I didn’t get a chance to copy it down.
    If anyone saw the story, please put it on here.
    In my opinion, the VA is not getting better, it’s getting worse.
    Again, WHERE IS/HAS ALL THE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS GONE BOB? WHY HAVEN’T MORE “BRAIN DEAD” EMPLOYEES FIRED? LASTLY, WHY HAVEN’T SOME OF THOSE “BRAIN DEAD” EMPLOYEES HAD CRIMINAL CHARGES BROUGHT AGAINST THEM, BOB?
    Do something right for a change. Do what is “written in stone” at West Point. You remember that “oath” you took to go there? Also, the “oath” you took, when you joined the U.S. Army back in 1975. You do remember those “oaths” you took, right BOB?

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