VA Now Withholds Healthcare Quality Data In Violation Of Law

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VA Healthcare Quality
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VA Healthcare Quality

VA is required by law to share healthcare quality of its facilities, but it stopped doing so very quietly as of July 1, just before bragging about how great it is.

VA is required to provide data on its health care quality and has done so for years. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) publishes the site called Hospital Compare. The side includes death data and readmission data to help users compare facilities.

Ever since the wait list scandal was exposed by CNN, Congress pushed VA to be transparent. It accomplished this by required VA to submit data to HHS. However, VA claims HHS attorneys told it to stop submitting information until the agencies could reach an agreement about the data.

This seems really convenient given VA is now touting healthcare failures were more the result of trumped up allegations from the press rather than real numbers. Now, the numbers have totally gone away.

Curiously, VA’s own compare website, hospitalcompare.va.gov, is no longer an active website. So, on the one hand, VA says HHS has told them not to publish data through HHS, but VA has also stopped publishing altogether.

Make sense?

The only think such a blackout might explain is a cover up. And I do not care who calls me a conspiracy theorist on this one. When VA blocks transparency, the only reason is to cover up a massive cockup.

What is the real deal here?

HEALTHCARE QUALITY QUOTE

According to USA Today:

Joe Francis, director of clinical analytics and reporting at the Veterans Health Administration, said lawyers at HHS advised the VA to pull the plug until the two agencies could work out a new deal governing the sharing of information.

“It’s deeply frustrating to us, and it’s our commitment to get back online as soon as we can,” he said.

HHS declined to provide answers to a list of questions from USA TODAY but issued a statement from CMS spokesman Aaron Albright saying the agency is committed to providing additional health care information to consumers.

“We are working closely with the VA to finalize an inter-agency agreement and expect to sign the final agreement very shortly,” Albright said.

In a separate move, the VA also took down its own site in February that provided side-by-side quality comparisons of its hospitals. That pagehospitalcompare.va.gov, is now simply blank.

Francis said the VA took it down because it didn’t meet accessibility requirements — using colors, for example, such as red, green and yellow to indicate how well a VA medical center was performing was not accessible to visually impaired people.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/09/12/va-quit-performance-data-hospital-compare/90123440/

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29 Comments

  1. VA not only robs taxpayers and kills veterans, but this flagrant “in your face” defiance of federal law is destructive of our whole system of government. When, I ask Bob McDonald to help desperate vets and widows of vets, he often uses the excuse, that he can’t help them, because he must obey the law. But, when obeying the law, would embarrass VA over the fourth rate health care they dish out, Bob no longer has much of an urge to be so law abiding.

    • Robbie is on his way out the door at the VA and he knows it. He is just stepping up his looting no matter how many Veterans lives he ends or lays waste to in the process.

      • Seymore, we really haven’t heard if VA received any taxpayers monies lately.
        I wonder if that’s being kept under wraps as well!?!?

    • The VA has a funny way of complying with appropriations law then when they spend money however they want without notifying congress.

      Wasn’t there a VA employee in Puerto Rico recently offered a payoff of $305,000 to keep quiet about a scandal?

      I highly doubt Congress included a line item in their budget for hush money.

      Bob is full of shit when he claims to be abiding by the law. He ignores it when his own managers violate whistle blower protection laws.

      Bob is like a little girl hiding behind mommy’s skirt.

      • I was at the new clinic in charlotte nc the other day. It just opened in April and is the most expensive clinic ever built by the VA. It looks like a hospital rather than a clinic. Of course, much publicity in the local news in April of how wonderful this is to veterans. Problem is, it is half staffed and unusable to all of us. VA doesn’t know when it will be fully staffed for efficient use. On the wall, when you first enter the facility, there is the portraits of Obama and Bobby side by side. I could swear their eyes were following me as I walked around and past the portraits. Actually moving latched onto me. I think the portraits should be in every post office instead, under FBI most wanted.

  2. Personally I believe it is due to a cover-up and are working on a white wash to hide what is happing.

    Something on the measure of the new Hep-C pill is killing 100% disabled Veterans by the thousands.

    I commented the other day on the current on going cover up in Oklahoma. The VA will state that there is an investigation but not say what they are investigating.

    The VA’s new transparency showing a brick wall is certainly going on.

    • Brick walls can be torn down. VA is cruising to be laid to rest if Mr. Trump is elected!
      ____________________________

      On a side note, because I know you like “current events”!
      Here’s an interesting Utube video out this afternoon.

      “Rep. Jim Jordan Grills Clinton IT Officials on Email Setup – September 13, 2016”

      (05:10 minutes)

      It’s not a “Grilling” per se, it’s the lengthy “timeline” where these IT idiots, though emails to each other, realize their about to be “thrown under that Mac Truck!”

      They might be smart when it comes to computers. Only, they have absolutely no common sense!
      And, They definitely have no common sense when it comes to the “Criminal Clintons” and their co-conspirators; ie: Human Abidin, Cheryl Mills and many others!

    • Some information about what is likely related to the current cover up at the Oklahoma VAMC.

      Published January 3, 2016 ““Federal inquiry opens amid care complaints at Oklahoma City VA Medical Center””, by Randy Ellis from NewsOk.com: “https://newsok.com/article/5470319”

      The article states that Preliminary findings of that investigation appear to confirm VA shortcomings in three of the five cases relating to Veterans receiving care at that VAMC.

      USA Today cited one case in which George Purifoy, a 65-year-old Oklahoma Vietnam veteran, went to the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center complaining of severe pain after radiation therapy damaged the bone under his nose.

      “VA clinicians in Muskogee and Tulsa … thought it was a dental problem and sent him for root canals and other procedures,” USA Today reported. “Now, he has no nose, no front teeth, and he’s still in debilitating pain.”

      Also cited was the case of Oklahoma World War II veteran Charles Hand, 90, who visited the Oklahoma City VA’s emergency room in September 2014 following a fall.

      “A mass in his jaw was clearly visible on a CT scan taken at the time,” the newspaper reported. “But he was told everything was fine — there were no fractures. It was actually cancer. It has now spread to his liver and lungs.”

      Purifoy and his attorney declined comment to The Oklahoman and the other veterans cited could not be reached.

      Following are brief summaries of the other three cases of alleged poor patient care reported by USA Today:

      •Kevin Davis, a 51-year-old Gulf War veteran, had all his teeth extracted and developed a persistent infection. The infection “went undiagnosed for three years, despite being visible on an X-ray taken at the Oklahoma City VA four months after the extractions.” By the time the infection was diagnosed, it had progressed so far that a large portion of his right lower jaw had to be removed and replaced with a plate.

      •Stanley Christian Jr., a 70-year-old Vietnam veteran helicopter gunship pilot, went to the VA in 2010 complaining that something was wrong with his upper right jaw. He was told he had chronic gum disease and should brush and floss better. Four years later, the VA discovered the likely cause of the problem following a private sector scan — an aggressive cyst that had grown to encompass large areas of bone by that time. “Surgeries to remove it created a hole between his sinus and mouth that he is still suffering from. Every time he drinks, the liquid comes out of his nose, and he is in danger of contracting an infection that could spread to his brain.”

      •William Benthin, a 76-year-old Vietnam veteran, went to the VA complaining that he had been experiencing excruciating pain in his left jaw for months, a side effect from medication. For months the Oklahoma City VA denied him surgery that could ease his pain and told him that if he wanted a second opinion, he could go to a facility six hours away in Shreveport, La. It was only after USA Today inquired about his case that he was told he could see someone else, at a non-VA hospital across the street, the newspaper reported.
      _______________

      An important factor is that this is in the land of reverse justice when it comes to investigation and prosecuting induvial connect to the Veteran’s Administration.

      This spring the former head of the American Legion for the state of Oklahoma David Austin Kellerman was arrested for stealing more than 200 rifles loaned to the American Legion by the U.S. Army then selling them. He was also arrested for possession of Crystal meth, embezzlement of more than $1,000,000 from the American Legion, the theft and sale of property owned by the American Legion from multiple posts throughout the state of Oklahoma.

      Also this spring a physician’s assistant Kenneth Adams who worked at the Veterans Nursing home in Claremont Oklahoma was arrested for several murders of Veterans at that facility. One was boiled alive while he was in a whirlpool until his skin separated for his legs. He was then treated at the facility and prevented from transferring his care a hospital which would have save his life was denied by Kenneth Adams. The other murder involved a patient who at a stroke at the facility and needed to be transferred to receive proper care but again a transfer was denied. At the time Adams was the husband of the facilities manager and to prevent lawsuits they let the veterans suffer and die.

      As a result, for investigating and charging David Austin Kellerman and Kenneth Adams the Oklahoma Attorney General for Oklahoma investigated the investigator in both cases and ultimately charged the investigator with lying on his job application and he was sentenced to a 5-year prison sentence in May of this year.

      The charges against David Austin Kellerman were dropped and he received compensation for his attorney’s fees. The charges against Kenneth Adams were reduced to misdemeanors Battery charges and he was given 60 days’ home confinement with work release privileges.

      Also worth noting is that David Austin Kellerman reportedly had taken pictures of underage Mexican teenagers having sex with animals. How sick is that.

      “https://newsok.com/article/5483451”

      • For Kellerman, with all of his looting going on while the head of the American Legion in Oklahoma.

        I guess he didn’t have any time to make sure Veterans were being taken care of. The bullshit care of Veterans at the nursing home and at the VAMC somebody else’s problem to Kellerman.

        His dealer was caught and provided a statement that Kellerman buying meth twice a day in quantity. Also that Kellerman showed the dealer pictures of underage Mexican teenagers having sex with animals on his phone.

        I guess he had more self important priorities while he was playing sky rockets in flight on meth.

        The investigator gets 5 years in prison and the criminals get to go home scot free and laugh about it.

      • I remember reading this story back when it came out. If this is what the investigation is about, it sure as hell took them long enough.

        OKC VAMC was a shithole when I was going there from 1991 through 1996. I don’t recall a single clinic there that was worth anything.

        I recall specific medicine type appointments were all scheduled on the same day at 8am. If you had a chest med appointment, you were scheduled along with about 50 other vets for like Thursday at 8am. Supposedly you got your appointment according to the time you checked in, but I was always there before 8am and never waited less than 3 hours. Sometimes it took much longer. If you asked either of the nasty cow clerks, they would scream at you about check-in time, or threaten you with rescheduling.
        If a veteran went to the bathroom or to find something to eat after waiting all morning and you missed your name being called, you were automatically rescheduled.

        We Gulf War vets had so many problems getting care there, we started having monthly meetings with the Chief of Staff and the clerk who scheduled Gulf War vet appointments. The Chief of Staff was incompetent and the Gulf War scheduler was a nasty hag that just knew she couldn’t get fired.

        I hated that damn place, and that was over 20 years ago.

  3. A complete “Criminal Enterprise” run by the “Criminally Insane”! Nurse Ratchet is loose again!

    If it’s illegal, who will be thrown under the bus?
    Some lowly branch manager?
    You know, Like those IT Techs who were in front of the Oversight Committee today!
    Surely not anyone in Washington DC!

  4. I JUST watched an hearing on H.R.5620: oops my light just blew. out PS. does anybody else OUT there have any thoughts about the house’s remarks on HR5620 the bill on firing or demoting the V.A. management .The bill is about PROTECTING WHISTLE BLOWERS AND GOOD EMPLOYEES. that speak for us vets. back shortly gotta go get a bulb

    • James A. Smith,

      Congress passed, and the POTUS signed into law, similar passage awhile back. 2014 or 15 I believe!

      If VA upper echelon would follow the laws of the land, we would see reform at all VA agencies! This “blog” of Ben’s today, shows just how little VA employees think about following any law!

      At least that’s what I believe!

      Of course, the firing of incompetent employees would only work IF the union, AFGE, would back off! But, don’t count on that happening anytime soon! Especially, when the union is run by a “Little Napoleon” type of dictator, who can get away with threatening physical harm on the Secretary of VA, (punkass) “Bobbie McDuck”!

      (Yes, I spelled his name as if he was female. Maybe he’s one of those newly designated “transgender” types?! Oops, sorry bout that, that’s not politically correct!)

    • Have not read the Bill but isn’t this also the bill they will be trying to amend the code of federal regulations to allow nurses and physician assistants to play make believe doctors at all VAs with no physician oversight?

  5. I would worry as well when the petulant child called the VA becomes blackout quiet, while ALL these years the VA has LOVED to tout with much hyperbole of the “World Class Healthcare”, First at_____”, “Award-Winning in our own rat-brained minds for quality service to Vets awards”…blah, bla, da.. bl, blah…blah..

    Now when ORDERED to give progress reports, because it was ordered, the petulant child goes opposite direction. NOTHING maladjusted nor psychopathic nor sociopathic about this AT ALL.

    I also find it surprising that the VA has not had their rat hat’s out for more $$$ for a while, at least openly.

    Yes, my word of the day is ‘Rat’. Oh hell, let’s just go with ‘Rat Bastards’. 🙂

  6. Let me ask this: What now makes one think the VA is going to feel obligated to follow the FOIA Laws in-place from hereon based on today’s findings? Isn’t this rather cavalier of the VA to redefine Laws?
    Could this ‘radio silence of the VA’s ordered performance’ be Psyops to blind us with deafening silence while sacrifices on the sly take place to the VA Black Hole?
    An Agency like in that show called “The X-Files” would be perfectly hidden within the VHA in plain sight because they are truly out there.

  7. With the Media’s total black out on the Clinton foundation, Hillary’s wrongdoing and her health. Because her stance is there is nothing wrong at the VA the media seems to be blacking out any VA wrong doing at this time to support Hillary.

    Guess the VA is taking full advantage of the Blackout.

    Not a good time to rely on any VA health care.

    • Seymore,
      “Great Caesar’s Ghost”, and I have an “Eye Appointment” tomorrow morning at the VHA in Orlando, Florida.
      Where the ‘optometrist’ still hasn’t figured out my “deteriorating eye conditions” are related to the eye damage I received while in Vietnam during an enemy rocket (122) explosion!

      • Elf,

        You and I both know that if you saw a qualified professional not connected to the VA your problem would not only be figured out but you would get the proper care available. In a timely manor.

        With the VA you know that they will never attribute the problem to your service so they will never give you a proper diagnosis or proper care.

      • But from the VA you will get a chapped ass from all the smoke they will be blowing up your butt.

        Also did you happen to notice the article:

        “Hillary Clinton may not recover from her pneumonia until late October”, By Chris Cillizza, The Washington Post, 9/13/2016

        So I guess maybe she can do phone in debates? And Phone in Fund raisers.

        With her on Coumadin, her age and the other meds she is on now adding antibiotics and the complications from their interaction she might not be ready until after the election.

        With the Voter fraud sure to take place she might be ready to take the oath of office sometime next year after she is appointed president.

      • I am sure Bill will not mind standing in for her until she recovers. After all he is making it to all of the fund raisers she would have missed out in California, Nevada.

        Since all the pesky reports are stationed watching for signs of Hillary. I wonder if he has the Energizer traveling with him on his jet.

      • Maybe I was wrong about the energizer possibly traveling with him. After all what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas right Bill.

        Also Elf while there he is speaking at the campus of CSN. I am sure their foundation really appreciates it since they are a mid level non profit organization that is only there to support the for Profit college.

        Got to hand it to Bill the wife gets sick and he gets a free trip to Vegas to collect some dirty money from a crooked foundation.

        Wonder who he had the meeting with at the airport this time?

  8. It’s awfully convenient for Shulkin to be able to claim that Phoenix is improving when the VA has refused to report any measurable metrics.

    Congress should remember this if the VA decides they need another bailout.

    But then, I might just be a jerk and full of crap by thinking I can’t trust the VA.

    Whether there is a problem between agencies or not, that’s no reason for the VA to not report their own data on their own web site.

  9. More in the effort to privatize. Make Vets dissatisfied with their health care so they can take it away and give it to the insurance companies like Health Net and so Health Net can deny Vets care. More insulation for the Congress for not getting it right. For taking away Veterans’ entitlements.

  10. the va is nothing more then a government ran hospital,,,, They have as said literally destroyed my life along with PTSD,,, I look at them as my future death sentence,,,, hope I die at home,,, can’t get new medicine that could actually work,,,, they have no doctor to physiologist relation its in the VA they are competing against one another,,,, I’m 65 I’ve had this crap since 1970 have seen enough to understand ,,, for a PTSD disabled vet don’t worry,,, you will have a very hard time ,,,,, I’m almost 66 years old,,,, my life ,,,did go to college finished with A’s ,,, but I could only push my PTSD for another 19 years in the work field,,, and during that time had a very hard time dealing in society,, as a manager,,,to moving myself into being employed myself,,, which finally broke down to my ability to work again was ended,,,, then real hell broke loose fighting for my disability began,,,,20 years later got approved totally beaten down more,,,Today I just hope for minutes of doing something then just think about doing something,,,, The VA has never and will never be able to work in the PTSD area,,, my strength only comes from GOD and were I am living at today,,,, that it,,,,

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