PBS Story Shows Longer VA Wait Times After 2 Years

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VA Wait TimesAfter $10 billion and two years, VA wait times are causing veterans to wait even longer for health care appointments despite claims from AFGE that VA is fixed.

In their report, PBS found that wait times are worse than this time last year. Presently, there are 70,000 more appointments taking at least one week.

BAD SET-UP CAUSES LONGER VA WAIT TIMES

VA claims the increased delays in health care administration are due to greater usage of VA resources, but data analyzed in the report contradict the claim. Instead, PBS says, “the problem has more to do with the way Veterans Choice was set up.”

It is as if the entire Veterans Choice program was set up to fail, no?

RELATED: AFGE Says VA Health Care Fixed

VA has failed to administer the program within modern standards. Non-VA doctors are not being paid in a timely manner. As a result, many of those doctors originally willing to work with the new program have stopped since VA cannot honor its agreements.

That seems to be the most convenient foible of the Veterans Choice debacle. Now, the entire country knows how dysfunctional and incompetent VA is at administering new bureaucratic programs.

PBS did a great job highlighting some very human examples of how the program is still not working. They even covered problems with the lead contractor responsible for administering the program, Health Net.

PBS HIGHLIGHTS HEALTH NET INCOMPETENCE

According to PBS:

In Gastonia, N.C., Kelly Coward, a surgery scheduler at Carolina Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine, dials yet another veteran with bad news.

“I’m just calling to let you know that I still have not received your authorization for Health Net federal. As soon as I get it, I will give you a call and let you know that we have it and we can go over some surgery dates,” she tells a veteran.

The practice sees about 200 veterans. Dealing with Health Net has become a time-consuming part of her job.

“I have to fax and re-fax, and call and re-call. And they tell us that they don’t receive the notes. And that’s just every day. And I’m not the only one here that deals with it,” she says.

Carolina Orthopaedic’s business operations manager, Toscha Willis, is used to administrative headaches. They’re part of the deal with health care, she says, but she’s never seen something like this.

It takes “multiple phone calls, multiple re-faxing of documentation, being on hold one to two hours at a time to be told, ‘We don’t have anything on file,’ ” she says. “But the last time we called about it, they had it, but it was in review. You know, that’s the frustration.”

It can take three to four months just to line up an office visit.

Sounds like a big problem with the Veterans Choice system lies within the government contractor VA hired to administer the program. What if we eliminated the Veterans Choice program, per se, and just allowed veterans to use

What if we eliminated the Veterans Choice program, per se, and just allowed veterans to use their VA ID Card to get normal health care like elderly Americans on Medicare? Wouldn’t that eliminate the middle man, so to speak?

If we are going to allow veterans to use non-VA health care, perhaps the agency should take some tips from our nation’s elder care system since that one at least seems to work.

When you are old, you get health care.

Why can it not be that simple for veterans?

No doubt, Veterans Choice has many problems, and if VA was truly committed to getting it done right the first time, they would have done so. But like many other programs administered by VA, getting it right the first time, or the second time or even the third time never seems to be a realistic expectation.

As for the union, if you asked AFGE president J. David Cox, we should scrap the program and force veterans back into VA.

And like Pandora’s Box, let’s hope that now that the horses are out of the barn, they cannot be put back in.

Source: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/05/16/477814218/attempted-fix-for-va-health-delays-creates-new-bureaucracy

 

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43 Comments

  1. They will never get Veterans Choice Right Period. Personally I believe anyone who uses any Veterans Health Care is placing not only their own health and lives at great risk but also the lives of the people around them.

    ***************
    Also just wanted to mention the Candyman is back.

    “http://www.davidhoulihanmd.com/”

    He also has a Bio listed that states, “He also received board certification in psychosomatic medicine in 2005”. He doesn’t bother to state that he lost that certification this last January and it has not been reinstated.

    But on a brighter note about the Candyman.

    “Senate field hearing to shine more light on Tomah VA scandal”

    “http://watchdog.org/265715/tomah-va-senate-hearing/”

    The hearings are scheduled for May 31st. Who know we might find out what happened at the closed door meeting after all.

    It is the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that will be holding the Hearing. In Tomah away from the VAMC so that the public can attend.

    It doesn’t sound like it will be very CandyMan friendly either.

    Senator Ron Johnson made the following comments about the upcoming hearing.

    “Johnson said the only way to reform a broken bureaucracy is to “shine the light of day on it, and to have a transparent, independent inspector general.” That’s why he has invited Michael Missal, appointed last year as the Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general, to testify.”

    ““We’re going to be publishing about a 300-page report, I’m going through it now, that is going to lay out even more information in terms of the abuses at Tomah and really the problems within our VA health care system,” Johnson, chairman of the committee, said in an interview”

    The article also includes the statement: “Tomah was the site of a rare and highly emotional congressional field hearing in March 2015 in which it was learned that dozens of veterans had died under suspicious circumstances under the leadership of the hospital’s chief of staff, Dr. David Houlihan.”

    • @Seymore Klearly

      Looks like “Candyman” ain’t out of the woods yet! Good, maybe this new director of the OIG will do his job and recommend criminal charges be brought against him by the DOJ !
      Wouldn’t that be something?!

      • Funny you mention the new OIG. Yesterday I got an email from him with a case number attached and the date I submitted the case. I never did. I asked everyone I deal with including Rep Zeldin’s office and no one knows what it is about.
        But, now Zeldin has a number to track to see what the VA is doing about the travesty he questioned Shulkin on in congress and the two LSCW’s from the Northport VA that someone at VACO sent to the house Monday did a great report saying he needs aid and attendance and even saying the original claim in 1992 said that it was asked for then. Along with he has PTSD that the VA never service connected because he refused to tell his stresser…it’s CLASSIFIED under 75 year rules. The even say the police showed up the night before and almost torpedo’d the visit and it was not Northport that called them. Someone at VACO wanted it killed. The truth hurts and they know it.
        Get ready for the House VA hearing Tuesday on the broken claims process. I am buying popcorn. Zeldin knows exactly what the VACO requested LCSW says. He doesn’t know who at VACO ordered it…yet.

      • @namnibor
        Brother, don’t count the chicks yet!
        I also hope something comes out of that meeting on the 31st.
        We’ll just have to wait and see!

      • @crazyelf- Yeah, I know. On another note, “Troll” is trolling around and just look a few days ago to this morning’s callous comments I called the troll out on in making fun of a Vet with PTSD…Troll Alert. 🙂
        They come out every time bright light is shown on hidden away VA Corruption, every time it poses a threat to their gravy train.

      • elf, the taking life into your hands part, I hope was a joke. CHAMPVA which is what CHOICE should have been, not a new program is the only VA program to have never let me down.

        I can pick my own doctors and make my own appointments thank you.

      • Hey Elf,

        It was the Senate Field hearings in March of 2015 instituted by Senator Ron Johnson that forced the VA to act on the CandyMan aka. David Houlihan. It was at the March 2015 field hearings that he learned that dozens of veterans had died under suspicious circumstances under the leadership of the hospital’s chief of staff, Dr. David Houlihan.

        So after Tomah has pulled this behind closed doors bull with the CandyMan’s possible reinstatement. I think that the Senator is pissed and going to do what he says. “Johnson said the only way to reform a broken bureaucracy is to “shine the light of day on it, and to have a transparent, independent inspector general.” That’s why he has invited Michael Missal, appointed last year as the Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general, to testify.”

        and also ““We’re going to be publishing about a 300-page report, I’m going through it now, that is going to lay out even more information in terms of the abuses at Tomah and really the problems within our VA health care system,” Johnson, chairman of the committee, said in an interview”

        Their are alot of people who are upset in Wisconsin about what has happened in the past and is still happening now at the Tomah VAMC. It has become a major election year issue and the former Senator who is running again has still got his head buried in the sand saying the problems at Tomah can be fixed by providing the VA with more money and that isn’t going over very well.

        Heres to hoping Michael Missal is more than just the VA’s White Wash artist working with the black background of the VA.

        Robin,

        Really glad to hear that there is an investigation in your husbands case.

      • @Robin Mitchell
        I’ve looked at every one of my comments. At no time did I say anything about the “CHAMPVA” program. I’ve always praised that program!
        I did say how the “(NO)Choice plan” didn’t work.
        As far as the comment on “…taking your life into your own hands…”, when did I say that? I’ve also read every comment on here today, and don’t see where anyone made a statement like that. Except Seymour Klearly made a negative comment on the VA healthcare system.

        I have only wished you, and your husband, well, Robin.
        Today, I said it looks like the shit was going to hit those responsible for what’s been happening to you both!
        Why are you attacking me?

      • @namnibor
        Was a “Troll” on here today?
        I saw the one from Wednesday. A person going by “krc” I believe.
        Yep, he/she was really something! We all called him out! It was kind fun.

  2. RE: What if we eliminated the Veterans Choice program, per se, and just allowed veterans to use their VA ID Card to get normal health care like elderly Americans on Medicare? Wouldn’t that eliminate the middle man, so to speak?

    Two problems with this…First, it makes to much sense. Most of what the VA does makes no sense at all.
    Second, this way HealthNet wouldn’t be able to skim millions off the top and there would be no money for bribes…

    • If they allowed us to be treated like Medicare, the VA as a primary provider for veterans would cease within 5 years.
      What I cannot fathom is why McCain is so in favor of making Choice permanent. It’s almost as if Nancy Pelosi isn’t the only one with crony friends on HealthNets board of directors.

  3. Maybe we ahouls setup the Dept Of Eldery Affairs. Make the elderly drive hundreds of miles to appointments, have providers who do not speak english, clerks who have the power to denyservices, secrect list for sppointment schedulers, secrect union courts deemed to be disruptive, nurses who cant seem to insert on IV if the patients life depended on it.

    This will not be hard ro setup, just use the Dept of Veteran Affairs as a blue print.

  4. DAMN, I HATE THE VAMC’S!

    I was told last month I “…was not eligible…” for the Choice Program. The “reason(s)” given were the same as they were two years ago.
    When I informed this (alleged stupid fake-assed) physician she was incorrect. She changed the subject.

    Of course, because I knew of how poorly ‘Choice’ really worked, I really was only trying to feel her out, there was no way I would do Choice! Especially with all the troubles I had last year.

    There’s also the issue(s) of being;
    a.) Saddled with the ‘bill’, because the (outside) physicians are NOT being paid!
    b.) Trying to find a physician here in Central Florida willing to accept Choice!
    c.) IF accepted, getting into a physicians’ office for an appointment. Within a reasonable time frame!

    As far as “Choice” goes, I wonder where all those BILLIONS of taxpayer’s monies are really going?

    ____________________________

    Since the head of the AFGE’s union likes the VA so much. Let’s let his fat ass use it.
    Plus, why don’t those “rank and file VA employees” say something? Put those of GS-13 and above on notice, ie; Their time of ripping off the taxpayers is coming to an end!

    ____________________________

    Tell the “Lawmakers” to put the ‘teeth’ back in that VA bill. Basically, tell the union to “F–K OFF”!
    If their really true American’s they would tell Cox, if your people from top to bottom, don’t start following the laws, NO MORE MONEY!
    If you threaten Congress again, WE WILL SHUT THE VAMC’s ACROSS THE COUNTRY DOWN. Then we’ll let all the veterans use Medicare!
    Basically, ALL your employees, at all VAMC’s will be unemployed until further notice.
    “Congress holds the Purse Strings!” Since when did MEN start carrying Purses?

    ____________________________

    Start holding all VA employees accountable. Start firing them. Congress has the authority. Start having some gonades! Damn, did we vote a bunch of COWARDS in office or what? As I’ve said, “Congress controls the “Purse Strings!” (“Since when did MEN start carrying PURSES!”)
    When VA employees, from top to bottom, come in front of the committees, under oath, and LIE, ~put their sorry asses in jail right then.
    Don’t wait on anything!

    !!!!RANT OUT FOR NOW!!!!!!

    • Will someone explain why military personnel who knew how the system worked,why now is a civilian in charge,it’s like putting children in charge of the cookie bowl,no one is ever at fault,but why arent VA HOSPITALS RUN BY AND STAFFED BY MILITARY PERSONNEL AND MEDICAL VOLUNTEERS,IM SURE WE KNOW HOW TO TRIAGE AND W WOULD FREE UP OTHER STAFFERS,SOME NURSES I SEE ACT AS THOUGH THEY ARE DOING A FAVOR JUST SPEAKING.
      I WAS MEDICAL DURING VIETNAM,THE ATTITUDES SUCK! Always a chip on their shoulders.

  5. @Robin Mitchell

    Sounds like the Sh-ts getting ready to hit Shulkin, McDonald and Gibson right in the face.
    Good!
    They need to be put “under oath” and told at the onset of that meeting – IF YOU LIE, YOU WILL BE TAKEN DIRECTLY TO JAIL FOR PERJURY!
    I’m tired of our “law makers” pussy footing around with those asswipes!

    I wish you luck!

    • I would prefer that where they are standing while they testify there’s simply a trapdoor that once a lie is told, down the slide to DOJ and FBI. Effective and no mess. 🙂 It would make a great ‘reality show’.

      • Thanks namnibor, I got a good laugh this morning.

        BTW, I just sent the last three of Bens blog’s off to my Congressman (Mica R-Fl).
        I gotta feeling he’s not going to like what I had to say. Oh well, too f–kin bad!

      • VA DEATHCARE KILLS VETS FOR THE BONOUS $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ THATS LEGAL FACT WAKE UP YO SLEEEPY VETS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. I use the choice card and here is what I have found out. The VA in my area is a training hospital. Basically vets are used for student doctors to practice on. The VA is intentionally blocking the choice card. If the request is not worded exactly as the va wants it it gets kicked back. But they don’t explain this. It took 35 weeks for an MRI of my lower back. It will be15 weeks by the time I have an MRI of my upper back for the doctors outside the VA to look at. If this hits the 52 week mark before they schedule it for surgery then I will go public with all of the information I have gathered on this. The VA is loosing so much money because of this program that it is cutting into their bonus monies. Plus with all the vets going this route, the student doctors have no one to practice on. I have been in constant contact with my congresswoman over this issue.

    • What does your congressman say?

      Senators Bennett’s office told me all they can do is make inquires and that’s it.

      Even if the manager or directors lies to them in their reply confirming they did wrong !

      They said that due to me being reported as being disruptive. Noting was ever done to me !

      My official medical records indicate otherwise and I was forced to drive120 miles round trip.

      This went on for 5 year’s and the employee that reported me. Was not required to provide proof of the disruptive behavior.

      The Chief of staff.head of the disruptive committee admitted they had no proof. He let over and over let the very same employee accusing me to answer any and all correspondence.

      The Chief of staff.state’s he never met with the employee. Where record’s indicate she was sitting on the committee !

      Veterans need to contact their officials. Just so the officials can claim they did not know want was going on.

      Even when a veteran has all the proof needed to clear his/her good name. The VA will not do the right thing and clear their name.

      They would rather let the veterans be falsely accused and keep covering up the lie.

      Way to go BOB McDonald letting your employees.harm veterans by not demanding the Denver VA.provide the proof used or correct the problem and help the veterans.

      • My congresswoman is up for reelection this year and she and the va don’t like negative press coverage. On my even records state every time I called and the concerns are posted in my medical file.

      • @James
        My (worthless) Congressman says he “…can’t do anything outside his district!”
        I informed him that was really not fully correct!
        He’s a “UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN”! Which means he can help all citizens of the U.S.!
        He took an oath to do just that. If he’s unhappy with the job, then quit! No one really listens to him anyway.
        The last time he went to one of the small VA clinics, in his district, they “laughed at him!”
        How’s that for respecting his “elected office”?!!!

        The ‘boy’ just doesn’t get it. Or, he’s just too stupid to realize people don’t care one bit for him or his official title!

  7. I recently called the VA Choice Card program to replace the original card that i had lost. The first request went unanswered, so i called back. I was told there was no record of my first request to replace the lost card. I was issued a new card within a few days (SURPRISE). When i looked at the replacement card it says in bold letters,” Veterans Choice Card Temporary Program”. Am i to take this as meaning this program was never meant to be a permanent program according to the VA. Was it all make believe so we would all feel better. We are not feeling better!

    • vVA IS A FEDERAL RICO CRIME RACKET RUN BY AFGE UNION CONTRACTS VETS YO ARE SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SCREWED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • You called it all along. Just need to see if anyone will stop it.

        Ben. Has done so much and I can’t wait until his fruit comes to bare. Results !

    • It was, and still is a temporary program. I was told when I was sent my Choice card to just ignore the temporary wording on the card.

      I would like to see the ID card, go anywhere choice like Medicare. Choice is too screwed up by HealthNet. In fact, I can’t see any reason why veterans can’t be folded in to the Medicare system for paying medical care bills.

      Make the worthless union slugs compete.

  8. I think everyone needs to go back and read my comments and they will see I already told them what would happen if we threw money at the VA. I rest my case.

    I am glad veterans are waking up but not enough of us are awake. We need to spread the word, I did my share, the rest is up you.

    • Sandy Hale I have been calling how to improve Veterans Healthcare to Legislation that make the Veterans Healthcare if I could I wish I was editor that when Legislation Meeting ABOUT IMPROVING Veterans Healthcare insurance i would be like a Prosecutor what is Logic behind Veterans Profesionals can’t get fired unless they make Personal Injury …..would you mind can you give the Name of Your Congressman…..Semper Fi stay Healthy.

  9. The one thing that I’ve learned in my 40 plus years of dealing with the VA, is that you can’t trust their word on anything. I’ve learned that documentation is the only thing that counts against those people. They will lie, lie, lie to your face. You have to get documentation on every interaction you have with those people!

    • When they put false stuff In your records and you catch it and ask for it to be corrected in writing.

      The VA sends a return letter from the chief of staff. IF you think something was entered wrongly.

      Send us a letter of what’s wrong and how it should read.

      And we will file it. I sent them all this in my first letter. ? arround !

      The file they are speaking about is called the patient’s administrative paperwork and that means the letter will never see the day of light.

      A medical doctor. Wrote into my official medical records That I was stabbed while stationed in Germany.

      Don’t know where she got that from. If she would have looked at my old medical records.

      She would have seen that I had been stabbed and the VA surgical team saved my life.

      They could try and use this against me. Trying to call me the lier !

      Thing’s like these could the veterans a lot of unjust trouble. I do have copies .

    • Dennis,you are so on the money,8months ago I injured my r,my pc knew,sent me to OrthopedIc surgeon who used a past chf diagnosis WITHOUT REASSESSING IF THIS WAS SO. After7mo,I was walking on a non weight bearing injury doing more damage.What really gets m,my contract medication were consistently being reduced,however,wrong narcotics were given,I saw fentanyl patches 75 a long acting morphine capsules-had I not known my medication,due to train,I’d be overdosed NOT JUST ONCE BUT 2Months in a row. ANY RESIDENT WOULD KNOW BETTER HOWEVER,MY PC WROTE FOR IT.
      ITS NOT JUST WAIT TIMES,I THINK THE VA WANTS TO ERADICATE ALL PRE-911VETERANS

  10. Hi from Australia,….. I think you guys are being treated like “*SH*T”
    .
    According to PBS: in part….

    “What if we eliminated the Veterans Choice program, per se, and just allowed veterans to use their VA ID Card to get normal health care like elderly Americans on Medicare? Wouldn’t that eliminate the middle man, so to speak?”

    In Australia, we can choose which GP (MD) we see, who in turn refers us to specialists if deemed necessary, if for some reason we prefer a different specialist we just tell the GP (MD) and it happens. We then deal directly with the specialist to make a consultation appointment and immediately schedule a procedure date.

    The specialist or hospital arrange for free transport to and from the procedure

    We just show our veterans card and all payments are taken care of by our DVA.

    Lobby your congressman to adopt the Australian style of Veterans Health Care.

    Take care,
    George Perrin
    Vietnam Veterans Association (St Matys Outpost)
    http://www.vvaastmarys.org.au

    • I believe.it’s all about greed and our system has been high jacked by employees whom hired their friend’s And family members.

      They get promoted into higher positions and they find employees they can control and willing to do their bidding.

      Our VA system is run by people who only care about their status and how much they can make off veterans.

      Do you guys have what we have. It’s called the disruptive committee?

      This committee is used to punish veterans. Who the VA considers a threat to the employees or visitors or (could) become disruptive.

      Our inspector general did an investigation into the disruptive committee and found that the VA can not even define what constitutes disruptive behavior.

      Yet. Employees can claim a veteran was disruptive and those veterans are being punished.

      And employees do not have to produce any evidence or proof that it actually happened.

      Veterans have no venue to defend themselves against false allegations.

      Even when the disruptive committee chief admits they had no evidence. They don’t care and proceed to punish the veterans.

      Does that sound like America the land of the Free.

  11. To everyone on here.

    Sometimes we see a few, very few, of our elected officials stand tall for the American Citizens. This video, and more videos, is that time! Congressman Trey Gowdy IS that one individual who refuses to buckle under to the corruption which IS Washington D.C.!
    His “voice” is heard above all others. Especially when it comes to that corruption!
    I take my hat off to him. I salute him for trying to get to the “TRUTH!”
    There are others who could care less about what happens to our country. He, along with a few others, wants the truth to get out to the American Public.
    In this video titled;

    “Trey Gowdy Get You Some”

    He shows how tenacious he can be. Yet, he needs help from every American Citizen to praise him. To stand by him. To show him he does not stand alone!

    I don’t know how much longer he can be this way!? Show him your support by watching this video. Then send it on to all your friends and put it out there so everyone, including the “left wing radicalized liberal (censorship Obama administration backed) medias” are withholding valuable information from America!

    I can’t begin to show how disgusted I am over what’s occuring within our country, government agencies and our elected officials!

    The other video I’m sharing, again, is what a majority of our elected officials are doing to “pass the time of day”!
    They are “Dialing for Dollars” in Washington. This was brought out “into the light” a few weeks ago, by a relatively new Congressman. His name is Congressman Jolly of Florida.
    Please research and google these two videos!
    You’ll be glad you did!

    Peace to all Brothers and Sisters!

    • P.S.
      I forgot to state, Ben Krause is also as tenacious as Mr. Trey Gowdy. He is also “Fighting the Good Fight against VA’s corruption!”
      Support him. Back him in any way you can!

  12. has anyone received survey form from the VA I have and I fielded out I think the last question was would I Trust them With my medical what a joke I swear to god that is what they asked me

    • I just received a VA letter today. Informing me of a “survey” I would be receiving in about “…3 weeks!”
      I never fill out anything from them. I don’t care what it is. They say our info isn’t within anything. How can anyone trust one of the most corrupt government agencies around?

      • @Arnold Cabral
        I’m not sure what you mean? The “Congress” is made up of the “House” and “Senate”!
        When the people, ie; VA reps, Veterans Groups, Union Officials or just plain people etc., go in front of any “Veterans Committee” to “request anything”, then a “bill(s)” is “drafted” and brought up before both houses. Then the bill must be voted on. Then the President can either “pass it into law”, or “veto”!

        That’s basically a short version. At least that’s how I believe it’s done!
        I hope that’s what your asking!?

  13. May I share some of my story. I rec’d an appt card Sept 2015 when I called to make the appt was told I have no doctor, [she quit & went active duty] & that I was put on a 3 mos. wait list till vacancy is filled & that I would receive another appt card when a doctor became available or to use the Choice Program. Now aware I have no PC & aware of the red tape involved in Choice I limit my intake of pain med Tylonal#3 from 4 per day to 1 sometimes 2 so meds would last me the wait. Jan 2016 find out I have a doctor now(5 mos.) only because I rec’d a phone call from the Women Veterans Program Manager informing me about the results of 2 abnormal mammograms I had in 2014/2015, (3mos wait for those results from VA & now test is normal) & she told me the name of my Dr. So I email the Dr twice in Jan 2016 through the MyHealthy Vet requesting an appt card notification & refill my med. Finally get an appt for April 2016. So 8 mos later (Sept 2015 – April 2016) I go to my appt only to be told my drug test was pos for marijuana, I am a medical marijuana patient, had an active Opioid Agreement in place for long term therapy & previous PC & I whether she was authorized to or not we had discussions & agreements about my Medical use. The herb was ok’d to use (PTSD) but I would no longer receive Temazepam for sleep & Flexeril, for muscle spasm & will continue to take Tylenol #3 as needed for pain. Dr N my new PC transferred to Calif from Texas which has basically no Medical Cannabis Program & first thing she says after an introduction is that SHE has a problem with that pos test & Will Not re-new medication for pain because of it. Since I still had some codeine’s in the VA pill bottle as she did one refill in Feb 2016 after I threatened to go to the Patient Advocate in the second email I sent as my emails were ignored by her, she said I was getting them from somewhere else not the VA. From injury’s to neck/shoulders my pain without meds is #8 Awful, hard to do anything according to the Defense & Veterans Pain Rating Scale. She then tells me my pain is too high. I felt disrespected, abused & stressed with this Dr. who in order to cover her ass then wrote in my record: “vet appeared aggressive/defensive throughout the visit. I almost called in security & I felt intimidated”. I brought my son, also a veteran to appt as I just knew a Dr from Texas was going to disrespect me over positive urine test & I wanted a witness. He spoke up 3x during the visit. I’m an old lady with a weight under 110lbs but I guess being a Navy Vet I’m still a dangerous person. Anyway I read this site from time to time. My Patient Record may now be Flagged & I printed her notes & wrote my own notes outlining all her many lies as you advise. She also told me as we were leaving with a sneer “If you don’t like your treatment you could go elsewhere”. And I did. I have TMJ also so I went to my dentist on Monday got a referral to see a TMJ specialist for Friday & I paid him cash to have the report & documentation & treatment plan written up & sent to her/VA. It was ‘crazy’ making trying to contacting Choice/VA for both me & the 2 DDS’s just to get the referral to them, whom say they never received it. I also emailed Dr N before the DDS appt to inform her of my referral & the appt info. Validating this pain to this Dr was important to me. How dare she say my pain is too high! Now we play the waiting game for the Choice Program to approve TMJ follow up treatment with DDS. On the bright side cancelling that last pain med left me no choice but to finally treat my jaw & being sent/forced to a Pain Clinic/Pharmacy whatever that is I don’t know yet, is not going to help. Choice did phoned me May 18 about this pain pharmacy appt to see outside the VA because next available appt was set in March for July 2016. Said they’d call back by 1 week, so far no call back & I don’t care, don’t want to go there. The House removed restrictions May 19 allowing discussion of the use of medical marijuana with patients & I have an out of state Dr with no clue & personal bias. I strongly disapprove of gov’t hiring Dr’s & not requiring them to license in the state of practice. No one understands a Veteran except another Veteran. Thank you. And here is a helpful link: Veterans Choice Doctor Locator http://www.va.gov/opa/apps/locator/index.html

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