Texas VA OIG Investigation Blown Into Wait List Manipulations

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VA OIG

Benjamin KrauseAn independent investigation organization told Congress and the White House that a VA OIG investigation into data manipulation was deficient and unreasonable.

At VA facilities in San Antonio and Austin, records were manipulated to show “zero out” patient wait times for appointments. VA OIG did confirm that manipulations occurred but it failed to address whether the fraud harmed anyone.

At the Tempe VA, the supposed watchdog totally blew the entire investigation without addressing the allegations of the whistleblower.

Sound like a familiar tune? Confirmation that wait list fraud occurred but a deficient investigation into whether the fraud caused injury to any veterans?According to GovExec.com:

ABOUT VA OIG INVESTIGATION IN TEXAS

According to GovExec.com:

In response to OSC’s concerns, the department said it will examine and improve its processes for investigating OSC whistleblower disclosure referrals and in pending cases, will consult with the OIG and ensure that investigations address all allegations referred by OSC. “The VA also restated its intent to facilitate greater communication between its investigative teams and OSC,” the release said.

“These employees raised important concerns about access to care issues within their hospitals, and I applaud their efforts to improve care for veterans,” said Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner. “While these investigations failed to fully address the serious disclosures concerning the health and safety of our veterans, I am encouraged by the VA’s commitment to improve its investigative processes moving forward.”

Should we ever expect anything else from VA OIG? Why does this pattern continue and why can’t the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) ever do anything about it?

As these cases continue, OSC looks like more of a toothless tiger than anything else. If these past two years have taught America anything, it is that these supposed watchdog organizations are all show with no substantive impact.

Source: https://www.govexec.com/management/2016/04/veterans-affairs-ig-failed-fully-investigate-allegations-data-manipulation/127915/

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25 Comments

  1. I sent the new Inspector General a copy of the summons against the VA. Of course, the Judge sealed the docket out of public view. But I have direct evidence that the OIG sides with VA and is not independent. The judge of course was interview by Senator Carper in the past, for whose office I made disclosures to at the Wilmington VA. Sounds like he is working his way to a recusal if he tries anything fishy with jurisdiction. I got his number down. https://www.pacermonitor.com/public/case/10967343/Peterson_v_McDonald

  2. At last weeks VA Brain Trust a top VA official told a participant that Rep Lee Zeldin and I were basically lying when he called Shulkin out over my husband.

    The VA refuses to call his office back over my husband’s case. Even gets caught hiding evidence and misrepresenting facts. omitting facts. etc. I am under the impression that they VA is in spiral down mode heading for the big implosion. Top VA docs admit that McDonald. Gibson and Shulkin are making what little respect the public has left of the VA moot. They aren’t learning from the past mistakes and feel insulated from any consequences. But, this is a tough election year for a lot of congress and 1/3 of the senate. If they are going to do anything to really clean up the VA it will be between now and November and I expect fireworks at some of the VA hearings before the election.

    • Robin Mitchell
      In my opinion, the only way to make VA realize the errors of their ways. Is to start arresting employees, from top to bottom, who commit egregious acts against veterans.
      Or, like in the case of Alfonso Capone, how about arresting the many miscreants for screwing the taxpayer’s out of BILLIONS of hard earned wages!
      Just a thought!

      • I agree. If Miller had sent the Sargent at Arms over to Shulkin when he caught him lying he could have written that op-ed from a jail cell. We wouldn’t have to wait for Trump to be elected to see 25% of FEDGOV employees run to put in their “I am out of here” papers.

    • Know the feeling. VA’s General Counsel wrote my senator that my “case” was meritless, “proved” it with — to put it as nicely as possible — a “counterfactual.” “Counterfactual,” based on what? A 5-minute reading of my c-file. Did the General Counsel set the record straight upon my referring him to what my c-file undeniably states? Not on your life!

    • @Robin Mitchell
      Could it be, the ‘reason’ behind the sargent-at-arms NOT being called upon to do his job – is that the VA upper echelon(s) are using taxpayers monies, meant for veterans, to pay off those who sit on the committees!????

  3. The “source” Ben gives has a few comments. Their voices haven’t been heard. They feel like we do. Something legal needs to happen before the upper echelons of VA will listen to the grumblings of the people.

    • P.S.
      As we’ve all come to the conclusion on:
      ie: These “government watchdog groups” go in, investigate, come to a conclusion (of a wait-time abuse for example), then they say to the entity – “Straighten (whatever) it is out!”
      Even after also finding criminal activity, which should be turned over to law enforcement, and those involved arrested – tried – convicted – then housed in the nearest jail!

      As all of us have asked. When will this happen to protect the veteran?

  4. Would it not be easier for thee Jack wads to just do their jobs? Seems to me it would be easier than trying to cover up their incompetence.

    A simple solution is to ussue all of us private medical insurance instead of the non sense we hsve now

  5. Both the OSC and VA OIG are simply in collusion with the VA…am totally convinced it is nothing but a dog and pony show because *no one* screws-up* repeatedly, time and time again, ALWAYS is the VA’s favor!!!!!

    I have said this before but warrants repeating in that the VA OIG and OSC are **part of the very problem at the VA**….we have the fox guarding the henhouse without any thought for the Veterans trapped in same henhouse receiving shitty care!!!!

    Anyone else get the feeling that the VA HAS to “hit the wall” at some point and realize their ‘end game’ is entirely not acceptable to Veterans, Survivors, and Tax Payers or even God Himself? The VA has gone totally rogue. This MUST change and soon.

    The comments on that article are indeed telling in that the VA Whistleblowers are STILL not being respected, protected, nor even listened properly to.

    On a different concerned topic: Anyone yet hear if Dr. Houlihan, aka Candyman at Tomah VAMC has been reinstated with all charges stricken from his record yet? (I ask and state that because I am unfortunately expecting that mad man to be reinstated, reason have not heard anything, but I certainly hope am wrong. Thanks.

  6. @namnibor, Robin Mitchell, 91Veteran and all others here!
    I’m giving two articles, w/voice recording and video, for y’all. Please read and listen or watch.
    Although these articles concern Mr. Trump. The “messages” they give are for all American Taxpayers and Veterans. ie; The “plight” veterans have over getting our voices heard! And, the “incompetence” of our elected and appointed officials!
    The first one I received 1 May. It’s from “The Daily Caller News Foundation”!
    titled;

    “Donald Trump Has the Chance to Complete the Unfinished Work of JFK”

    This article, w/JFK’s “voice recording”, ~ IS ~ exactly what we have been bitching about for some time. Especially when it comes to the news medias!

    The second one concerns our economy and the “incompetence” or “the deliberate manipulation toward a massive meltdown of our national debt and stock market!” ie; “Possible False Flag!” or “Psy-op against America!”
    Y’all have probably read, or heard, yesterday, at the beginning of “60 Minutes”; G.M., a few banks and/or a few corporations are heading toward bankruptcy. And they are begging for a “government bailout” – AGAIN! This next article, w/video, I believe, explains it in detail. By a man who ALL corporations listen to when he calls!
    I received it this morning, 2 May, from “WND Money”
    titled;

    “Carl Icahn: Republicans Are ‘Pathological’, Killing Country”

    (“Trump supporter says GOP has massive misunderstanding of economy”)

    The voice recording and video aren’t long. Yet, they are very informative. Please google them.

  7. The VA OIG has no problem putting a bunch of third party punks on a 24hr/7 day a week harassment and intimidation exercise against a to be 68 yr old senior citizen and 90% life member of the DAV. This is my sixth (6) year of being subjected to this criminal behavior. Their representatives have played dangerous games with my life and i will not quit until everyone becomes aware of just what the VA system is capable of. The only thing i have done is avoided spending my life on a couch doing nothing. If that is a crime, so be it! I can live with that.

  8. Nothing will change since Reagan’s pen and ink changes to reduce entitlements so he could give the top 1% tax breaks. It will not change with either HRC or Cruz, both belong to Goldman Sachs. And it looks like one or the other will be in.

    Since the Revolutionary war, look nice but never intended to be fully implemented except for possibly the officer class laws and regulations have been passed for the benefit of the enlisted grade. Nothing has changed or will change unless the military industrial complex’s control of the law makers it broken. And that can come only with the election of independents instead of the rigged party systems.

  9. This is what anybody can expect out of VAOIG and OSC. Nothing will ever get changed at the VA on account of them. This is an election year and none of the political candidates want to show any interest about any issues concerning veterans. Veterans need to have access to the courts in order to get any of this type of nonsense changed or done away with. The public at large are apathetic about it As a disabled veteran, I am frightened of VA care after hearing and reading so much about these waiting lists……Nothing ever changes. Nothing gets better.

  10. Is this situation simiuar? I am an honorable disabled veteran and received treatment at a VA, for years. My assigned doctor PA Loretta Turbeville continuously mistreated me by refusing to address my *real* medical concerns, such as GERD, Acid Reflux Disease chronic pain, to make me upset, wrote untruthful comments in my medical records, (including recording Illegal Drug Screen results) while sending me to the lab with orders for “Blood Tests” to check on the progress of my illness, only!! On Wednesday April, 20, 2016, I was informed that the VA is tested me for Illegal Drugs without my Knowledge, or Consent. PA Loretta Tuberville’s ordered a Drug Screen for Illegal Drugs without this disable veteran’s knowledge or consent.

    On Saturday April 16, 2016, during a schedule medical appointment at the Ray Mears Veterans Administration Clinic, in Knoxville, TN, with PA Loretta Turbeville. I informed this professional health care provided that the prescription Sucralfate (Prtonix) was and is causing “False Positive” for Marijuana on my Drug Screen. During this appointment I informed this provider that all my Acid Reflux Disease medicine was down to “one-day” supply. PA Turbeville wrote prescriptions to provide me with necessary medicines to treat my chronic Acid Reflux Disease.

    On Monday April 18, 2016, I was supposedly to be “urine tested” for Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and Prostate Cancer. PA Turberville without my written and/or oral consent ordered a Drug Screen on this disable veteran, on Monday April 18, 2016.

    During the week of April 18th, 2016 through April 27th, 2016, I Anthony M. Cheeks did not have medical prescriptions within my system. According to the VA the Monday April 18, 2016, came back “Positive” for marijuana.

    PA Turberville stated that the Drug Test was also done to separate the medicine (Protonix (pantoprazole sodium), causes “false positives” for cannabis. After being informed on Wednesday April, 20, 2016 that my (Illegal) Drug Screen completed on Monday, April 18, 2016, came back “Positive” for marijuana. PA Turbeville stated the test was also done to dictate if my medication is causing “False Positives”.

    This disable veteran stated he does not use any Illegal Drugs and requested a completely “new” Drug Screen be done.

    A new Drug Screen is within this Honor Discharge Disable Veteran’s Civil Rights. Thursday April, 21, 2016, the Veterans Administration Ray Mears Clinic’s scheduled me for another Drug Screen, to be done on Friday April 22, 2016, at 9:45 AM.

    On Friday April 22, 2016, this disable veteran came to the Veterans Administration Ray Mears Clinic’s, checked in through the veterans’ electronic appointment and travel system, for another Drug Screen. Random drug testing is expensive to perform and Veterans Administration Ray Mears Clinic’s usually takes a stand against such a waste of medical resources.

    This disable veteran provided a urine sample to the lab for processing. On Saturday April 23, 2016, PA Loretta Turbeville had the Outpatient Laboratory, throw my Drug Screen Urine Sample” away without even testing it!!

    • Put that in a letter to the Chief of Staff and to the Privacy Officer. Tell them your prescriptions are causing false positives. Tell them you want another drug screen, and to have any false positive results removed from your record. Ask them for an explanation why she would suspect you are using cannabis. Tell them you want a different primary care provider. Finally, tell them you are seeking a private drug screen to prove the false positive, and filing a complaint with the OIG and your state medical board.

      Copy your Congressman.

      Then do it.

  11. Anyone who reads the reports the VAOIG issuess knows this is nothing new in their “findings.” One blatant act of malfeasance, after another is documented. The reports invariably end with the IG made (fill in a number from 1 – 15) recommendations and the Director concurred. No one is singled out for disciplinary action or criminal complaint.

    I was once told when I first entered management by my boss, “anyone can identify a problem, you have been hired to fix them.” He went on to say, it was also my job to make sure he didn’t get involved in the issues I could solve. That is pretty simple to follow, and what is wrong with the VA, and will it always be its problem. No one takes ownership of an issue and no one is responsible if something goes wrong. Finally, no one is ever disciplined (read: fired) for being incompetent.

  12. Ben waiting for something like this study to come out blaming Veterans for the problems of receiving care at a VA Medical Facility.

    “Study: Veterans waiting to seek care may be slowing VA system”

    “https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2016/05/02/Study-Veterans-waiting-to-seek-care-may-be-slowing-VA-system/3321462207990/”

    Notice it is the University of Texas that is claiming it is the Veterans fault.

    • That’s right up there with what wither Sloan Gibson or McDonald or Shulkin said recently, when they blamed the Vietnam Veterans …for getting old…and reason the costs are so high, for some Congress begging for more $$ shuffle and dance last year.
      Blaming Veterans for not getting the care for asking for it…un-fVcking-believable!

    • From reading the article, I came to the conclusion, the study says we older vets “waited” until we were older to get healthcare.
      Which, by all standards, is true. In the majority of cases.
      The article doesn’t say one important aspect, as to why we waited until we were older!
      Most vets I’ve known went to VA when we were younger. Got treated poorly. So, we never went back. Which is exactly what VA wanted!
      Also, during that study. I bet that question never popped up. If it had, bet the report would have been “…quite different in it’s findings!”

    • The federal government is running out of cemetery space because veterans are dying too fast.

      I guess that’s our fault, too.

  13. PENDEJO VETS VA DEATHCARE IS FEDERAL RICO CRIME RACKET RUN BUY @ FOR AFGE UNION CONTRACTS VA DEATHCARE WANTS DEAD VETS FOR THE BONOUS $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ PENDEJO VETS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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