Philadelphia VA Outs Attempted Appointment Fraud

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Philadelphia VA

Benjamin KrauseOne leaked email from a Philadelphia VA manager outs one VA hospital for trying to encourage Philly VA employees to commit appointment fraud by canceling consult requests put in during the week of Thanksgiving.

Apparently the appointments were not scheduled properly and the glitch is causing a backlog. Rather than do the right thing, numerous employees at the offending hospital, Coatesville VAMC, are encouraging Philly VA employees to help cover-up the failure.

The email from assistant manager Ameen Khabir said, “It has been reported that a number of our employees are getting request[s]” to cancel appointment “due to a glitch” in the scheduling system. The scheduling hickup went unnoticed until February 4, 2016.

Coatesville VAMC employees apparently asked a number of VA employees at Philly to cancel appointments and reschedule them due to another tech glitch. Such cancelation would effectively be the same as what Phoenix VA and other locations perpetrated during the nationwide wait list scandal.

Khabir told his employees to hold their ground and not cancel the appointments due to the scheduling malfunction. “NO ONE SHOULD CANCEL THESE EXAMS AND RESUBMIT THEM,” said Khabir. “We cannot bear the burden of their system failure.”

Coatesville VA Medical Center is located in Pennsylvania about 40 miles outside Philadelphia. My best guess is that someone was off that week for vacation and failed to toggle a switch to ensure the appointments were scheduled within the 30-day recommending window. Now, they are evading accountability by pressuring Philly VA employees to cover their tracks.

How is that for doing the right thing at the Philly VA? Despite the softshoe language that evades finger pointing, I am glad Khabir refused to go along for the ride.

PHILADELPHIA VA CANCELATION EMAIL

From: Khabir, Ameen, VBAPHIL
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2016 3:00 PM
To: VBAPHI_VSC
Subject: Request to cancel & resubmit exam request
Importance: High

Good Afternoon All,

It has been reported that a number of our employees are getting request from staff members at Coatesville VAMC to cancel exam request submitted for the time periods of 11/24/2015 to 11/30/2015.  It appears due to a glitch in their systems, exam request submitted during this time period somehow got backed up or stuck somewhere in their systems and was not transmitted to them until today.  Consequently, they are requesting we cancel our exams and resubmit them.  That is an unfortunate circumstance but NO ONE SHOULD CANCEL THESE EXAMS AND RESUBMIT THEM.  We cannot bear the burden of their system failure.

Thank you.

Ameen A. Khabir
Asst. Veterans Service Center Mgr.
Philadelphia VA Regional Office
(215) 842-2000 ext. 4138

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57 Comments

  1. Good for Ameen A. Khabir It’s nice to say thank you for a change. I’m sure he must be aware of the consequences of his actions and wish him the best…………..

    • Completely concur. Nice to see an employee stepping-up and saying ‘NO’ to the corruption. I just hope the VA does not seriously screw with him now as they do with other Whistleblowers.
      Nice to hear there’s some employees with integrity. A good Friday Article for a week rather steeped in significant corruption.

      • @crazyelf

        I agree entirely!! However, I am thinking he must have weighed the potential ramifications of doing what he courageously did and hope he has kept a paper trail and is preparing for the VA’s spin machine that will inevitably try to make him look like he was not following official’s orders or something. Who knows what the spin will be, but there will certainly be ‘spin’.

      • And your evidence of his “integrity” is what, exactly? How about “Oh S$%t- HVAC Chairman Miller will be on us again for manipulating data- let’s put out a CYA email and pass the buck, as usual.”

      • If we take it as you are staying it, that Khabir sent a CYA email, then that would be found out of anyone bothered to investigate this thoroughly.
        If employees are being told to cancel consults, it’s got to be someone with enough horse power that several employees would listen and do what they were told.

        Given Ben’s blog post yesterday about consults being canceled automatically because of a software glitch, I had the impression this email was a way of pointing fingers at software regardless of whether that was the cause.

    • Coatesville VA still has hidden wait lists now on paper to avoid being caight by computer tracking. This was leaked by one of the people ordered to arrange a filing system using index cards, currently in a filing drawer. Anyone caught trying to whistle blow inappropriate conduct has been fired or run out. One unit has so much corruption about 60% of their staff have left in just 12 months and they’re continuing. They fail to realize even the staff replacements arrive to notice much is amiss, also leaving and being driven out. Administration recently voted themselves a 6%raise while locality pay lags behind for those who directly care for us veterans. DiBullying, targeting, harassment is very alive and well. HR has been caught manipulating official personnel file opf records to demean the many exceptional employees that are determined to do the right thing. Last year the directors polled all staff for new.manager choice all but one said the chosen manager would be the worst choice, having been demoted for targeting before. Why did they bother asking if they refuse to heed the warnings? Why did they choose the ONE retread manager if nearly all said it would be the worst choice of any? Why poll staff if they didn’t intend to losten? I’ll tell you why, this was nothing more than a target lost of who to drive out, the directors said so themselves, “we’re choosing this mgr and if you don’t like it, don’t let the door hit you on your way out””As a matter of fact, it would be best for both sides if you left, you can and should be replaced, there’s a line going out to the parking lot.”

      • Do you know anyone who can get to those card’s and copy them

        Ben. Could use that list or advise you what to do with them.

        You. Need to keep s log of everything you know and hear. Who when where and how

        Remember. VA is lieing is filing a Law suit. Go to their site and sign the petition

        They have a comment section. Tell them everything you know. The more information the better.

        Please Keep in touch with us. !

        If. We continue to bring out their misdeeds one day. The VA manager’s will get their just dues !

        Bar’s and no booze !

  2. A big Thank You to
    “Mr. Ameen A. Khabir!”
    Finally someone with “Gonads” to stand up FOR Veterans and has now “bucked the system”!

    Only, I wonder IF he will still be employed by V.A. next week or next month?!
    Will he be treated as a “Whistleblower”?
    Will he be demoted and put in a room with no computer and no windows?
    Will the room have mold? Will it have been used as a storage closet?

    I know I’m being facetious. Yet, when anyone doesn’t “go along” with VA corruption. They usually wind up being treated VERY badly!

    @Ben Krause, you may want to follow this man’s career. It could be over!?

  3. Mr. Khabir is emblematic of the long-standing issues in the Philly VA Regional Office to the hiring of his two daughters within the facility to the targeting of whistleblowers and other empkiyees. The “we” in his email most likely refers to management and the RO itself and NOT to Veterans. He’s concerned his production numbers will take a hit.

    • krc,

      Without knowing who you are or where your information comes from there’s no way to accept your comments as factual. If what you say is true hopefully steps are being taken to hold him accountable for those actions.

      I think the letter is positive and for what ever reason he chose to write it should be considered in the best interest of the veterans it will hopefully help……….

      If you have provable information of any wrong doing by this individual this is a very good site to vent it on……

      • @Hondo.
        Well said. I was trying to figure out “What” to say to “krc” about his “comment”! Thanks for the rebuttal.

      • I’m a twice illegally terminated Philly RO employed who won twice in Court and have reported for years the corruption at this facility. I’m also a Veteran who was appalled by the management shenanigans and a Temple Law School grad. Best of luck.

    • @krc

      If you are indeed a Temple Law School Grad AND a Veteran, I certainly hope you are actively helping to make the VA a better VA by utilizing your education and such rather than simply acting like an ex-disgruntled VA employee.
      I said that because you closed a statement by stating, “Good Luck”…as if you are leaving to someone else and have given-up or something?!
      Also, we are used to VA Employees coming on here and ‘Trolling’, trying to debunk any given article, so your attitude does nothing to convince your intentions are coming from a positive place, as you sound more ‘disgruntled’…if you have as much dirt on so many individuals at the Philly and other VA localities, why not go full-blown ‘Whistleblower’ with that knowledge?
      I guess am trying to state you are not giving very positive vibes that match your declared Temple Law School degree and perhaps you could share with Benjamin (if you have not already) via email what you know?
      We can use all the help we can get, especially of the Veteran variety.

      Can you convince us that you are more than just a disgruntled ex-VA employee and put your words into actions?

      • Whistleblowers (a group to which I belong) have done much to change the VA. I jeopardized my job and was fired illegally twice. If many others had come forward a very long time even before my tenure, the VA wouldn’t be so exposed as it is today as to corruption. Best of luck and I hope you have effectuated positive change in your lifetime.

      • @krc

        Surely you still know fellow ex-employees that could perhaps be from the outside influence of yourself and legal attaché, can clandestinely and collectively, organized in part by your rather unique piece to this puzzle at Philly, appear before congress or OSC and utilize Obama’s Whistleblower Protection as a ‘full metal jacket’ and very publically via social media, bring this house of corrupt cards to it’s knees and pull a Pres. Reagan on them like the Air Traffic Controller’s Union, and fire the lot of them and replace with Veterans and PUSH for Vets being hired as a transition from Active Duty, utilizing that training already invested, and as a transitioning to civilian life?

        I ask and state the above because you sound like you have thrown in the towel but perhaps am reading in wrong context?
        If I may ask, what area or areas of Law do you specialize, as it’s very diversified, and then there’s the huge syndicated corporate law firms…talk about god syndromes; I know, as I worked as a docket clerk for one for 6 1/2 years and it sucked my creativity out like a bowling ball to quicksand?!

        Are you doing Veteran Advocacy Work of sorts? Are you a Disabled Veteran?

  4. I wonder how long Ameen will still be employed.

    What does it say that so many within a single hospital are so knowledgeable about and quick to take steps to cover up a mistake like this?

    Did this manager issue this email because he had a few people resist? Or did he have multiple people tell him they were going to do the right thing and refuse to cancel appointments?

    • @James and all,
      Have y’all noticed there are more and more individuals, who are being brought in front of the many “Congressional and Senate Committees”, “Pleading the 5th Amendment”?!
      Thereby, (thinking their) NOT incriminating themselves on major felonies!
      Then the Committee Members wonder WHY the American public is pissed off at the government!
      It’s shameful what these criminals are getting away with.

      • I think people are pissed off because these people plead the 5th, then Congress throws up their hands and decides there is nothing they can do.
        Congress doesn’t have the guts to do the right thing and prove to their constituents that there is one law for everybody, and nobody is above it.
        They keep it up and it will be a fast ride to anarchy when those same constituents decide which laws they can just ignore.

      • Its happening way too often and others will pick up on it pretty quick.

        Veterans can’t plead the fifth.their guilty no if ands or butts. These people should be deported to China or Russia and plead the fifth there.won’t see them again.

      • I really think there should be some exceptions to “Pleading The Fifth” when it’s a Federal Employee because as we were under the UCMJ, just try to say to the JAG “I Plead The Fifth”…they would give you a path of Article 15’s to walk all the way to Leavenworth!!!!
        Make no mistake, I believe in our Constitutional Rights but they have been nefariously taken advantage of in ways our Forefathers did NOT intend.

        My other favorite when ‘The Fifth” is not used is the ‘Ollie North, I Do Not Recall’ statement, over and over, with a well-rehearsed blank flattened expression face.

  5. Mr. Khabir’s language in the email indicates to those who know the inner workings of the Philly Veterans Service Center (not the VA Medical Center but a $4.1 billion a year compensation disbursement center separate from the VAMV) that his intent was not to better the processing of Veterans’ claims but a continuation of corrupt management practices.

    Management does not care about helping Veterans but making their numbers look better so they can receive bonuses and promotions. This has been the philosophy for decades within this compensation center. We have witnessed and as outlined in the conclusions of the OIG repeated examples of which I write. Mr. Khabir has been employed as a manager in this center for many, many years.

    • Do you trust him.got any stories you would like to share. You can be our eyes and ears.

      Veterans need people in the right places keep notes of everything you see and hear.it could help you In the future.

  6. Seems Ameen Khabir is something of an enigmatic boat rocker. He’s not listed in the Coatsville VA listing as a provider. Doesn’t mean much though since he’s a vet service center manager.
    He is listed on a Daily Caller article from 2014 after sending out an email saying their in-house doctors are out of work and have nothing to do.
    Keep rockin that boat Ameen!

    • Well, we know how the VA may list any particular Dr. or provider at several different locations regardless if they are certified to practice in that State, so can only imagine the tangled mess the VA’s HR Dept. keeps their records.

      With that said, there’s really strange combative and contrary statements on here and am wondering if Trolls are trying to discredit this whistleblower and Benjamin, all in one; Trolls bearing gifts???!!

    • Mr. Khabir is part of the long-standing mis-management at the Philly RO VSC. Contact the AFGE 940 in the Philly RO. You’ll learn he’s no whistleblower.

    • He’s a senior mgr at the Philly VARO, not Coatesville.

      This email proves data manipulation goes on at the Philly VARO. Before we put him up for a Silver Star for alleged integrity, is it possible he did this as a “CYA” move, to then insist, “Chairman Miller, we have nothing to hide…see, it’s the lower level employees that are really at fault- us saints in the front office told them not to do it.”

  7. The whistleblowers at the Philly VA Regional Office have risked much to expose nepotism, cronysm, and corruption. These individuals whether still employees, former employees or retired, continue behind the scenes and publicly whistleblowing. Much has been accomplished but the system is inherently morally bankkrupt.

    It has been a battle of incredible proportions requiring wit, intelligence and fortitude by many, many people. It is a management issue because they only seek to protect their salaries and perogatives and could care less about Veterans. The reality is that most of management are NOT Veterans.

    • Morally bankrupted.good one.welcome to the veterans lives.have you ever seen anyone deny veterans benefits just because.

      What excuses have you heard or seen employees tell veterans why their claim was denighed.

      Are they like social security and denigh initial claim.hoping they will not reapply?

    • Your exactly right about everything at that RO, which should not be a VAHQ. The tri State region is effected by the lack of leadership there. The inability of the Philadelphia VARO to make it’s mission is directly correlated to the scandals there that are not being handled properly. It seems that it is true that this is the weakest Congress ever to allow this to happen to Veterans and VA employees!

      • Agree management is out of control all But in many facilities and higher management is covering up a lot of problems seems like they don’t know what their doing.

        Once you tell a lie all it does is get bigger and bigger. It never gets to be the truth to most people.

        Management seem to believe if you tell it enough.it’s the truth.

        What a stupid way to think.they have no idea what lieing does to the person their lieing about.

        How many veterans must kill themselves because of gross mismanagement

  8. I am experiencing similar unexplainable acheduling issues in phx since nov2015!! They tell me” oh, things fall through the cracks”….in computers???????
    There has to be something up as i see it and they are trying very hard to discredit the use and implimentation by vets of the Federal Veterans Choice Act!!
    I just went to a congressional assistance on these matters…we will see . Things are not improved at all since 2013 when the stuff hit the fan in phx…imho

    • Amazing how as usual at the Phila VARO, it’s always someone else’s fault…this time it’s Coatesviles’ fault.

      Still waiting for Diana “$300,000 Relocation Bonus” Rubens to work a Confederate flag into her “defense.” Maybe blame all the corruption on Bo and Luke Duke??

  9. All are presuming he did this with Veterans’ best interest at heart- how do you know it wasn’t a “CYA” move?

    • You asked me who I am, just an old disabled vet. You asked me about my credentials, fighting the VA since 1971. You say KRC can say the same about me, yes he can that’s why I wore the uniform and sleep well at night.

      Thank you for asking your questions, on this site we watch each others 6………..

  10. I am waiting for an honest local prosecutor to nail some of these employees with long jail terms when they cause a veterans death. It has been done before. Google Michael Swango from the Northport NY VA.

    Dr. Swango will be in jail for a long time for killing 50 veterans. Now, once you read his wiki page you will wonder will whoever hired him didn’t go to jail too. They need to start.

    Dr. Swango, VA doc actually used the name Jack Kevorkian as an alias…one among many. Was arrested at a previous job for poisoning co-workers. Still, he was good enough for the VA.

    • @Robin Mitchell
      I googled Swango. He’s one sick puppy and should have been put to death.
      I couldn’t read everything. When I got to the part about a “diary”, and what he wrote. I literally almost got sick to my stomach.
      This reminds me of the “pain management physician” which was hired at the Illiana, Illinois VA last April, 2015. Then was arrested in July, on charges of murder in Indiana. Remember that one?
      How is it possible the VA doesn’t catch these criminals BEFORE they hire them? Evidently VA doesn’t do a backround check! How many more are still employed at VA we don’t know about? Are there more “serial killers” employed at VA? Only AFTER a number of veterans die will the truth be told, or not!

  11. I sure would like to know the “WHY” this guy did this?! Because there’s so many on here divided as to the “WHY”!
    Did he do it to “CHA” (Cover His A$$), OR did he do it to protect his VA employees, OR did he do it to help veterans, OR did he do it to keep the “bonuses” flowing his way?
    These are just a few questions needing answers!

    • Colorado springs VA clinic caught falsifying veterans appointment time.congressmen call for heads to roll!

      How long before they say we plead the fifth

      • All south east Colorado VA clinics and the Denver vamc have manager’s who are conducting gross mismanagement and higher management are covering up for them.

        They may go after someone in Colorado springs.but the director on down are responsible.they knows whats going on.

        They will act as if they didn’t know.the chief of staff tells the director what to do.he’s the real director and in charge of the disruptive committee and will threaten veterans with federal charges and banishment from all VA care for disruptive behavior.

        Yet when the veteran never had been disruptive ever and the chief of staff.punished that veteran and when asked for the proof.they admitted they have no proof.but it had been colorbrated?

        Would not say who colorbrated it.I know who the employee who reported it and stated I would come into the clinic At least twice a month.

        If a person really went anywhere and become disruptive.there would be a paper trail or vidio.

        The chief of staff called the FBI and the inspector general office.when they had no evidence of disruptive behavior.

        The chief of staff let the employee who reported me.answer any and all inquires. Does anyone think the report would be transparent.if you do.I have some ocean front property in Arizona.

        The director told the senators office.that do to the disruptive behavior That was reported !

        James was never coded for disruptive behavior.nor where his official medical records were Red Flagged and there was never an investigation.

        Can anyone see this happening. Why or how can some people punish another person without having evidence of the disruptive behavior.

        This behavior is unacceptable and is a slap in the face of all veterans.they hurt one of us.they will have no problem hurting some other veteran.

        Yes heads need to roll.start with the head and the body will follow. Don’t just cut off the toes.

        They will limp off.in pain but with a snicker. Jails are full of people who made misjudgments.employees are not imune to the law or above it.some think they are the law.

        Americans all across American are Fed up with the way veterans and themselves are being ignored by their elected officials.

        Its pretty bad when people laugh at them and don’t take them serious. Our elected officials better listen or this country will be ripe for something to happen and we may sorry.

  12. 02/06/2016

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    Is this a Milgram Experiment?

    According to the January Testimony from the Experts–“the N.E.A.R. Lists” or the wait lists have not been fix correctly—they have just been moved around. Even Congress wants to see the 80.000 Files that were stacked up [suppose to have been scanned in].

    http://www.c-span.org/video/?403112-1/hearing-veterans-disability-claims-backlog

    JANUARY 12, 2016
    Veterans Affairs Department Disability Claims Backlog
    Officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs testified at a hearing on the department’s implementation of the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS) and its efforts to reduce the backlog in claims. The witnesses said the electronic system had improved their process and reduced the backlog by 90 percent. Committee Chair Jeff Miller (R-FL) expressed concern that the system has cost $1 billion thus far and a date for full implementation had not been set

    “Coatesville VAMC employees apparently asked a number of VA employees at Philly to cancel appointments and reschedule them due to another tech glitch. Such cancelation would effectively be the same as what Phoenix VA and other locations perpetrated during the nationwide wait list scandal.”

    Maybe the VA should smash out their windows and blame it on a Hoax [Wendy’s in Phoenix and Tucson–02/03/16]. It is real sad to see Humanity reach this level. Remember they have not caught the I-10 Highway Shooters yet down in “Mexico.”

    History Repeats

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

  13. My background is varied: 1) Vietnam in-country vet; 2) Army E8 (Ret.) with 22 years active component service; 3) Federal retiree with 12 years service as a VA Vet Center employee counselor and therapist; and 4) Member of many veteran service organizations. Thus, I know Veterans, I know the military, I know the VA. // MY OBSERVATION is: most veterans “ask” whether they should file a claim. Most VA benefit reps “tell” the Veteran something to the effect of “no, it won’t be approved” or something to the effect of “no, you can’t do that.” // THE RESULT: The Veteran probably says, “OK” and then walks away. And this is the end of their potential benefits. // WHAT I ALWAYS TOLD AND TELL VETERANS: Apply in writing whether they tell you “no” or not. When you apply in writing you WILL have “due process under the law” and you will get a reply IN WRITING. The VA rep will not make a written record of the Veteran’s questions, and will not make a written record of what they told the Veteran. You see, later on, the VA benefit rep will have no memory of the conversation. And therefore the VA workload does not get “overburdened” with more claims. // They tell you ANYTHING, but they will not put it in writing. When you ask in writing, you will get an answer in writing. Then, I tell the Veteran, bring ME your VA denial letter, and we will see if you have been given the benefit of the doubt. Then I use my resource list (i.e. names of Veteran-Friendly claims reps that DO NOT get paid by the VA.) // My motto is: Using the VA to represent you in a claim against the VA is like you and your spouse using the same divorce lawyer.

  14. Maybe — just maybe — Mr Trump can solve the VA problems by replacing all non-veteran employees with veteran employees, if this would apply to all employees from the Secretary all the way down.

    If you agree, please write letters to Mr Trump.

    • Most employees at the VA are veterans. Hiring more won’t solve the problem. A good start would be to eliminate bonuses and unions. The bonus system promotes fraud (cancelling out consult or fee-based requests) and makes it difficult get get rid of bad employees. At least once a day I have an angry Vet screaming at me in the waiting room because he/she had to wait 15 minutes. This is a medical facility, not Burger King. If I am running late, it is because I am trying to do right by a person with several serious medical issues. Before becoming a Doctor I was prior enlisted, from a Military family. I don’t mind the low pay, unpaid overtime or the endless, unnecessary time spent in useless “quality of care” paperwork. I would never treat anyone the way I get treated on a daily basis by angry patients. The irony is, the people with the greatest service connected issues–multiple Purple Hearts–are always the most pleasant. That is what I try to keep in mind whenever I think about quitting. Which is quite often.

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