New Mexico VA Caught In ‘Herculean’ Waitlist Manipulation

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151201 New Mexico VA Waitlist

Benjamin KrauseLeaked emails indicate some employees at New Mexico VA are likely cooking the books at the facility by manipulating old appointments to make them look new – similar to the Phoenix VA waitlist.

The Daily Caller reported the new scandal based on the leaked emails and revealed some disappointing communications. I am sure the trio of Bobby McDonald, Office of General Counsel head Leah Bradley and VA Health Care head David Shulkin will have fun with this one.

On November 20, 2015, Dr. Lana K. Wagner sent an email to other doctors and the chief of staff that appointments called consults were suddenly disappearing, “It is distressing to find out that many of the studies that we ordered have not been performed.  It is horrifying to think that these patients are going to fall through the cracks because these consults are being cancelled.”

Wagner continued, “Surely we are not cancelling these >1yr old consults in order to make is seem that care is not being delayed.”

Dr. Aaron Pierce wrote back complaining about the consult notification and completion problem, but seemed confused about the greater-than-one-year timeline, “Is there something particularly important/relevant about a consult still being open after one year?”

The chief of staff chastised the two doctors in a response that indicates New Mexico VA may be actively cooking the books while invoking the might of the Greek gods and their children.

Chief of staff James Goff later acknowledged the problems saying they are the result of the agency performing a “herculean” effort to “resolve” old consults, “We have a major issue with open consults greater than [one year] and we are going through a facility wide herculean effort to resolve many old consults.”

Goff concluded the note saying, “Do not shoot the messenger – get smart about the process.”

Apparently Golf intended for the whistleblower, Dr. Wagner, to get with the manipulation scheme of closing out consults to only have them show up as new consults after deleting them.

Does this resemble anything Hercules might do?

Is this “getting smart” process wise or an attempt to defraud veterans from timely access to health care while not appearing to have a waitlist? Who is pushing the apparent manipulation?

Source: http://dailycaller.com/2015/11/30/emails-reveal-new-mexico-va-doctors-suspicious-as-appointments-rescheduled-to-appear-new-told-do-not-shoot-the-messenger/

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26 Comments

  1. “Oh shit!!!! LOL!!! (Artwork joy) Why am I hearing ” With the strength of 10, ordinary men, Hercules, winner of ancient glory, Hercules” then the music abruptly stops to the Nutty Professor version when Mrs.Klumps chants “Hercules,Hercules when Bob steps up to the podium to explain this one. As for Mrs.Bradley, she needs to chastise her attorneys at OGC for concealing discoverable evidence and misrepresentation at her office. Tracy needs to be called out on this. I am drafting a long letter to the DC Bar about the practices there! Artwork, superb!!!!

  2. The numbers that we know about are themselves lies. Here is why; according to VHA’s own data, veterans who are flagged for any reason return to VHA for care only 50% of the time. The VA OIG politely, but definately stated in their own 2013 report that there are so many veterans flagged with these behavioral flags that most facilities have no idea how many there are.

    Furthermore, that 2013 study said that at least “some” of the Disruptive Behavior Committee practices are “illegal”, but that the facilities operating manuals have yet to be updated.

    If it is in a manual, that means it’s a policy. Illegal or not, as long as the DBC can point to a “policy” written in a VHA manual (even if they write it and it’s illegal!) then the Federal Government assumes all responsibility for any wrongdoing.

    As soon as they established my bogus PRF, they terminated all care and moved it 120 miles round trip, rather than the 5 minute walk on crutches, and then proceeded to record missed doc visit after missed doc visit because I cannot travel that distance. When they got caught, as reported in the Register Guard, they sent me yet another PRF letter rescinding the first one issued (they issued it because I obtained a restraining order on their employee), and reissued the PRF stating that the Clinic (whose manager was Restrained from further abuse of this patient) I was banned from suffered from PTSD from another vet, that I triggered, and therefor, “…currently there is not any staff that feels comfortable with you o property owing to their feelings (PTSD).”

    Signed, Sealed, and delivered by certified mail, reported on in the newspaper, so they changed the CAT ONE PRF that the DBC issued, and entered into my record a brand new category of Disruptive Behavior Flag. This flag, A CAT 2 PRF was placed in my record by the Disruptive Behavior Committee after the newspaper articles published showing the scam.

    It simply says, “The DBC has met and placed a Cat 2 PRF record on this patient. All non face-to-face contact is to be reported to Dr. ###(Chairman of the DBC).” This is the same doctor that by name was called out in the paper as the man whom I recorded on my phone trying to negotiate terms for releasing the bogus CAT One PRF the paper reported on. This is a Class C felony in Oregon.

    The point is this, they can show that this veteran was offered the full range of services, and declined, but no place in that statistic is the fact that I declined to be escorted around in my wheelchair or crutches by an armed federal agent because a Circuit Court judge issued a restraining order against a VHA employee!

    The numbers about why referrals and appointments are not being kept or are being shuffled do not take into account a staggering number of veterans, uncountable by even the OIG investigating the matter and illegal according to the OIG, that have been so tagged as “violent”. VHA Directive 2010-53 spells out “The use of PRF for administrative reasons is strictly prohibited.” This brand new cat 2 behavioral flag requires ALL contact that is not face to face be reported??? They list no reason for the flag, or why the report to the DBC is necessary. Just report it. Administratively.

    “Strictly Prohibited.” is kind of hard to redefine isn’t it? VHA did, just for me, right after two consequtive Sunday Editions of the Register Guard about me personally and my battle for justice with a corrupt DBC.

    There is no 100 point plan that can change this kind of vicious attitude. There is a simple device that can solve the horrific money expeditures for no return at VHA. It can solve the problems the VHA states that they have with so many violent veterans flagged that they have lost count. It is a device that would stop the lies, and stop the maimed veterans getting sub standard or no care.

    It’s called a key. You take it and lock the front door to each VHA building. You tell the staff, that the new policy is they may return to work when the doors are unlocked.

    Then you melt the key.

    • Redturtle.would you be able to take them back to court.so the judge can see what they are doing to you.

      Yes the VA is using the disruptive committee as a weapon against veterans for any reason they wish to use and don’t need proof.

      Like I said on here before.if you haven’t been flagged yet.don’t worry you will be sooner or later.

      If a veteran is not feeling good for what ever reason and gets upset that’s good enough for employees to place them or reported as being a threat and boom their cooked.

      There should be a full investigation into this matter.before they mess with the wrong person and someone really gets hurt and you known they will blame the veteran.not the employee Whom falsely accused the veterans.

  3. I think that there are some doctors and nurses that care but because of policy they wont fight it so they keep their jobs ,everyone is better off trying to seek private care . I have been fighting the va for 40 years,from day one I have been told I lying about about even being in the service or Vietnam so I have had all the BS I can take ,by the way even with a DD 214 they still refuse to rate me on most of my disabilities so it is off to a civilian doctor and see if it requires a lawyer and suing the va to get them to do the right thing , do not want to hear see you in three to six months anymore.

    • @Norman,
      I too was informed, after 23 years, I had never been in Vietnam. The VA Even went so far as to say I hadn’t even served in the Army.
      When I found this out, (mid 2005), I went ballistic. But in a nice way, lol.
      The VA made a “clear and unmistakable error” on me. You see, the VA has had my Army DD 214’s and my Army Medical Records since the early 1970’s.
      I’m still waiting for ALL the backpay they owe me from 1982 – 2005! Of course, I’m not going to hold my breath!

  4. It’s amazing that today’s ‘blog’ has something to do with what the wife and I watched on “Fox 35 news” (Orlando, Fl.), last night, 30 Nov. 2015 at 11:pm.
    This “story” first appeared on Fox 13 (Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida) on
    11 Nov. 2015.

    The ‘title’ to google is;

    “Confessions of a VA scheduler”
    by: Craig Patrick, Fox 13 News Reporter.
    Nov. 11, 2015

    The young man was definitely and clearly upset over the mistreatment veterans were receiving at the VHA in Tampa. At one point, in the video, he breaks down crying.
    He explained, in great detail, how VA employees (schedulers) were told, and shown, how to manipulate the wait times. He also, along with the veterans interviewed, explains how if a vet is not liked by someone, they have to wait longer to get in to see someone.
    He also explains in detail how calls are (not) answered. How vets are “put on hold” multiple times.

    It’s really a great article and video. So, please google it…

    On a side note: on yesterday’s blog, a VA physician, or healthcare professional, attacked me because I said 90%+ VA physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals graduated at the bottom of their class. He was upset at my “comment”!
    He/she worked at the Denver VHA. He also retired from VA after many years of service.
    Well, I do believe the Denver VHA has had it’s fair share of malpractice suits, wait time manipulations, patient/veterans false diagnosis, “flagging” veterans illegally on the disruptive list, assaults on veterans/patients, prescribing meds to veterans/patients which are not being used anymore, over prescribing of opioid pain meds and more horror stories from veterans/patients!
    I do believe Ben has had veterans leave scathing comments about Denver’s VHA’s poor quality of care to veterans/patients on here, MANY TIMES!

    It’s come out recently (within the past year) where VA is “behind on current healthcare procedures by 20 years”! Maybe this is why veterans/patients don’t receive great care?!

    All I have to say is this. That alleged professional should answer some pertinent questions.
    During his/her tenure at the Denver VHA, Did you witness any wrongdoing by any VA employee? If you did, did you report it? If yes, what happened? If NO, why the hell didn’t you report it? Are, or were, you afraid to lose your “high paying job”?
    As people from my father’s generation would say, “If you used an ‘excuse’ to say why you did something, that’s not a very good reason!”

    There’s more that I, and/or my wife (a healthcare professional herself in the civilian world) could add. But, I believe y’all got the point…..

  5. Great “Bad VA Art” today, Ben!! This will be my month of December Calendar Photo on fridge.
    Regardless of political party crap, I am sending this to Donald Trump because if anything, he has stirred-up the sediment and brought forth topics, and forced other candidates and media to talk about things they usually never do nor wish to. Perhaps we need a financial guru madman for 4 yrs to clean out the filth and waste and path to a balanced budget and build our Obama-weakened military back up and kick some ass and clean up the corruption at VA and elsewhere.
    I invite others to so the same to ALL the candidates of all sides of aisle and in between because with this today’s topic JUST on the National News last night, and Ben getting on here, the dissemination of our plight and mission to clean this crap up and hold them accountable is getting media and Tax Payers and Veteran’s Families ALL PISSED OFF.
    After Thanksgiving meal, my family gathering spent almost an hour and half just talking about these things and the wives and civilians were pretty well-aware of all the VA crap.
    A Congressional State of Emergency needs to be declared about the VHA, esp. when it’s been given the poorest rating re: healthcare in the nation, don’t you think?
    Obozo needs to wake-up and start packing for whomever is elected to move in…or how about an Impeachment, and let the Biden’s move-in?

    The various Vets amongst our Thanksgiving discussions after dinner all came to the conclusion that President Obama has some kind of disdain or outright hate with the military and Veterans because nothing else makes sense to try to explain why he has not utilized his DOJ to properly prosecute people at the VA.

    Sorry so long, but fact this article was out in the wild in the news just last night shows we need to maintain and increase momentum.

  6. I.used to.get pretty good health care for many years & yes i.was.on many meds including opiods.&Valium.and like a light switch it turned off with no explanation at all had an annual almost a year ago and was told not to come back till next year WTF I used to come in every month .I was told no more colonoscapy why his words studies show it.doesnt matter.if your going to get nothing we can do your going to get it .I tried go for civilian Dr and was told to go back to the VA .All I have to say is this Asshole running country has made a Royal F…ing.mess and all these thieving Assholes at the VA who thinks the money for Veterans is thiers.Guess What his time is almost up.And thenYours

  7. CNN is broadcasting right now that we are sending special forces to SYRIA and IRAQ,…………I’ll bet they’ve started their way to congress begging for more money, any bets?????????

  8. I thought the comment by the PR hack in the article was interesting. She claimed the old consults might not still be clinically indicated.
    Well hell, if you wait a year, how did you find out the vet no longer needed the consult? Assmosis? Or a notice from the widow saying the vet was dead?

  9. I think starting yesterday there’s been a Troll-Tag-Team on this blog to try to polish the turd called the VA. It’s been raining a lot here so their scent had been degraded but the unmistakable scent of a bathroom full of unflushed toilets has been in air after reading through yesterday’s barrage of Troll.
    The tactic has been to try to “connect and associate” then immediately defend the VA, then there’s the telltale signs when any given VA Troll makes repeated comments such as: “If such and such VA employee really did abuse a Veteran then they will be afforded their day in court and IF guilty be properly punished…” (paraphrasing)…when we all know quite well this just is not true.

    Keep your guards up. The VA obviously does not like what’s being posted as daily subject matters and comments on same. We must be hitting a nerve…so hit them even harder.

    Remember, Trolls do not like Truth or Light. Especially when Light uncovers Truth of matters.

    Also remember to never feed the Trolls. They will never eat their own, so they will always be even more persistent in trying to gain your trust.

    • Be warned yesterdays comment section is covered in troll excrement and they are still there. Seems like it is a pack of Hungry Hungry Hippo’s from Tomah VAMC that have gotten loose in the comment section.

      Apparently they do not know that their IP addresses are recorded each time they upload a comment to this site.

      • LOL!
        Maybe it should be “Trolling, Trolling, Trolls” as the next “VA Game” instead of insulting those poor endangered Hippos?

        They DO leave such a mess of troll excrement and here I thought trolls policed up after themselves and ate all their own excrement…I guess the secret ingredient is any Veteran basted for days in Troll Excrement for it to be tempting for them to keep things tidy.

        Fortunately, they are fairly obvious to spot and smell.

  10. This was on the news last night and again today.

    DEA investigating Marion VA hospital’s prescription drug purchases

    It appears is if “the VA in Marion purchased more powerful and addictive prescription pills than any other facility in the northern district”. This is in Marion Indiana. The story is reporting that the DEA is questioning why the Marion IN VAMC has bought over a million hydrocodone tablets this year and bought 832,310 tablets of hydrocodone in 2014.

    Link
    “w”ww.indystar.com/story/news/fox59/2015/12/01/dea-investigating-marion-va-hospitals-prescription-drug-purchases/76598554/

    “h”ttp://fox59.com/2015/11/30/large-purchases-of-prescription-pills-at-marion-va-trigger-dea-inspection/

    remove the ” ”

    Another “tool” for the VAMC’s for brain washing us to stop these and another problem for those of us that have tried the “less conservative” treatments and the narcotics are the things that have worked for us.
    I am being weaned off of my pain med and I am now in my second month. I have not received any type of instructions on how I am to wean off of these. I have asked since I received my script last month with less tablets in it. I have been ignored by my PCP Dr. Atlrui, the Patient Advocate Tina Hewitt-White, the chief of the primary care Dr. Rao, and The chief of staff Dr. Chowdry-Mujahid Bashir .
    I have done most of this via secure e-mail so I have the proof of the dates, to whom it was sent, that it was read, and the non-replies and non-answers to this problem. I also am not getting any other type of help with the increase in pain I am receiving. The Indy VAMC is so paranoid about prescribing these, and I was told that even if I did not get any help with non-narcotic pain relief, I would still be weaned off of these. This was from the Chief of Staff, Dr. Bashir. The Patient Advocate informed me today that she will no longer help me and has passed me off to my Psychiatrist. The person who is to advocate for me, has ignored my e-mails, dragged this out, and finally informed me that she does not want to do her job. If you ever have the chance to be treated at the Indy VAMC, run as fast as you can.
    I have sent new letters and information to my senators and congressman. I am hoping that I can get some help as I have no quality of life now. When I was taking the amount of tablets prescribed, I was starting to do better. I was a lot more active, I had weaned off of my depression med, lost weight, and was looking forward to getting out of being homeless. now I just have unbearable pain, weight gain, no activity, and my Psychologist (not my Psychiatrist) will not prescribe the anti depressant without being seen and I can not get an appointment for a month. Yeah!!
    f8f

    • Hang in there Figure8Fan!

      A possible alternative is that you could apply for Medicaid through your counties social services. You would not have to wait until you are approved for Medicaid because in most case it will pay bills retroactively up to two months when you are accepted. You would then be eligible to see a professional outside of the VA.

      A very strong word of caution about the drug Tramadol also known as Ultram or Fuk-It-All. It is synthetic morphine that is more than twice as physically addictive as regular narcotics, more than twice the mental addictiveness as regular narcotics, is less then half as effective in the treatment of pain and the VA is currently using falsified research to justify prescribing it to Veterans with chronic pain, PTSD and as aid to treat narcotic addiction.

      If you are interested in links to the prove the VA is falsifying the research let me know and I will post the links here.

      • @Kirk,
        Please put the links on here. You never know, you might save a life or two or three.
        Plus, you’ll be showing VA what they are— Lying Assholes!!!

      • Crazy Elf — I will post the proof latter today right now I have to go deal with a good bit of snow just to get mobile again.

      • Kirk,
        Thanks for the suggestions. I have tried tramadol and it caused my muscles to become so rigid that I could not hardly move. To make this even better, this was what the Indy VAMC repeatedly tried to push me to try for my pain. This is in my notes that I have a reaction to this but it did not matter to them. Stupid place.
        I finally got a response from Sen. Donnelly’s office about my complaint. They informed me that I have an appointment with a new Primary Care Provider and case closed. Not so fast. I replied to them that this is the fifth provider in 15 months. I said that I was trying to get a new provider, the Indy VAMC in more than happy to pass you around, I am trying to get my previous VAMC medical history included into my current treatment.
        I should be so grateful that they took time out of their busy schedule to answer my petty complaint (kidding). No one else seems to want to help of at least answer my complaint. I will keep bothering them.
        f8f

  11. I was taking 5 hydrocodone a day they’ve cut me back to three a day my pain has gotten a lot worse I have to stay connected to a compression machine almost all day now my quality of life has really gone down my leg was so mangled and needs to be amputated but can’t go through the process right now this is all Service-connected and they won’t give me aid and attendance there’s no way I could trust them to work on me I mean you imagine going into a VA facility in having your leg amputated with peace of mind I couldn’t I know any day now there trying to cut me back to two a day o well just hang around to see what happens next I know years ago, coming off morphine was as bad as the operations their self I wouldn’t wish that on anybody except bobby and his cronies

    • If it has to be done at the VA.make sure it a real surgeon and not a student insist on it.

      A VA surgeon saved my life.your health comes first and their are doctors that do care.

  12. Letting the VA get away with screwing the veterans and getting away with unethical behavior is no one fault but the Veterans themselves. We as veterans have enormous power and that power needs to be displayed right away. All veterans need to organize in the millions and march mainly on Washington, DC and for those who cannot travel march onto their local VA Medical Centers and VA Affair Departments. In the millions, we can close down DC for weeks. March in front of the White House, Congress, and the Veterans Department. Tell the President, Congress and Secretary McDonald (the green berate who served in Nam and O’Bama’s yes man) to immediately fix the VA to perform its functions in favor of veterans. Fire unethical bureaucrats immediately, fire leave with pay bureaucrats who have been on paid leave for an unexplained extended time, fire bureaucrats who have retaliated against whistleblowers, make good on whistleblowers, no pensions for bureaucrats who have resigned but had unethical issues, fire those bureaucrats who have plead the fifth in front of Congress or at the minimum put them on leave without pay and reduction in benefits and many other actions against the VA to numerous to mention. If the President, Congress and the VA Secretary do not enforce the changes, we should give them 16 hours to get out of town or million of veterans will physically throw them out. If the police or federal agents get in our way, they will also be thrown out. Enough of this B***S***.

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