VA OIG Gives VA Pharmacy High Marks On Mail Drug Program

45
1421
VA Pharmacy
Advertisement
Get the Voc Rehab Guide

VA Pharmacy

That’s nice; VA OIG gave VA high marks on its mail drug program for making its goal to deliver drugs to veterans within 10-calendar days post request.

They must be so proud.

Congress asked IG to test whether the agency is meeting its almost two week delivery goal for pharmaceutical deliveries. And, IG gave VA high marks for making sure veterans received their drugs within the timeframe VA originally set.

For the rest of America, waiting 10 days would be completely unreasonable. Could you imagine suburban moms waiting 10 days for needed medications while same day CSV and Walgreens services are right down the street?

But for veterans needing drugs, 10 days is apparently “mission accomplished” Iraq War style.

VA Pharmacy Mail Drug Program Review

The VA OIG summary on the Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy Program:

“In September 2015, the Office of Inspector General received a congressional request to conduct an audit of the prescription processing and delivery timeliness for the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy (CMOP) Program. VHA CMOPs had automated controls and pharmacists in place to ensure pharmaceuticals were secure and safely processed. However, at one of seven CMOPs, the Logistics Officer and Director or Associate Director did not review and approve inventory adjustments from the individual pill dispensing system as required by national policy. This occurred because the Director believed there was a minimal risk for theft and thus did not follow the policy. This CMOP had implemented these controls to minimize the risk for potential loss, theft, and diversion of pharmaceuticals. We determined that more than 99 percent of veterans received their prescription packages within this CMOP’s 10 day timeliness goal. This is calculated from the time the CMOP receives the prescription order to delivery of the package to the veteran. We also found that prescription-tracking information on VA’s My HealtheVet allowed veterans who are VA patients to access their prescription information and track prescriptions filled by CMOPs. Finally, the CMOP Program had quality metrics in place to monitor and address its performance. The Program met the core quality metrics during the period of July 1 through December 31, 2015. However, there were discrepancies with the accuracy of the data reported by the CMOPs to the National Office. We recommended the Under Secretary for Health ensure the CMOP Logistics Officer and Director or Associate Director review and sign all inventory adjustment documentation monthly and the CMOP National Office implement a mechanism to validate self reported data to help ensure the reliability of its core quality metrics. The Under Secretary for Health concurred with our findings and requested closure of the recommendations, based upon the actions taken as a result of our audit. The documentation provided was sufficient to close the recommendations.”

The report reminded me of the fox watching the hen house.

I know lots of veterans who’ve waited weeks for drugs they needed desperately. The knowledge of possible wait times for painkiller medications resulted in many veteran hording pills to avoid side effects of withdrawal while waiting.

I would like to see that addressed head on.

Sources:

https://www.startribune.com/va-drug-program-gets-good-report/400338721/

https://www.va.gov/oig/publications/report-summary.asp?id=3812

Stay informed on VA news, scandals and benefits. Get our daily newsletter via email.

17343

DisabledVeterans.org

Get our free daily newsletter.

45 Comments

  1. What is the VA goal on getting dead bodies out of the hospital? Ten days sounds overly optimistic given employee incentives like work from home, paid sick days, paid well days, federal holidays, United Nation Peace day, incontinence days, Hungry Hippo days, and family leave.

    Maybe what VA needs is some sort of mascot to rally around? The crow is out of the question because he flew away. No telling how far the crow flies. Hungry Hippos are cute and represent the VHA commitment to serving vets but the toy company does not need the bad press.

    I am thinking something STRONG! Something with MUSCLE that can get the job done. I wanted an image of the front of a proud bull standing high on a rock. Bulls stand on rocks a lot. It turns out that Merril Lynch has that image trademarked, so the best option really now is the same image from the back.

    Mr. President, as your last act as Commander In Chief, I beg you to give VA a new crest! Replace the tired and worn out shield on all VA letterhead, sir, with the appropriate image cited above, and let the sun shine in.

    • VA can never meet the performance a private sector operation can. Simple reason; profit motivation.

      A VA Pharmacy gets funded at precisely the same level day in and day out irregardless of patient load.
      A private pharmacy earns more money the more prescriptions are filled. More prescriptions filled = more profit.

      A VA doctor gets funded at precisely the same level irregardless of patient workload. Great service and healthy patients reward the doctor with the same profit as poor service and dead patients. Dead patients produce no,legal expenses for VA doctors however they do ease the workload… Profit remains constant irregardless of performance.

      A private doctor earns more miney the more patients they service. Moreover, the repeat customers are earned through good service. Poor service is generally rewarded with little business and huge legal bills = greatly reduced profit.

      This is the ONLY equation that must be balanced to solve the VA healthcare problem. If we truly want VA healthcare to equal private healthcare then the equation MUST balance out the same way. The AFGE has the sole purpose of ensuring that it does not.

  2. In Central Florida, there’s a small VHA clinic, in the same building as a pharmacy. The VA rents the back half of the building.
    The pharmacy WILL NOT fill a prescription, period. Unless the vet has outside health insurance. He’s still owed monies from a few years ago.

    As far as 10 days, I also know vets who have had to wait longer. I’ve also known vets who’ve held back some meds, to keep from having the “D-T’s!”
    I’ve also known vets who didn’t receive the correct amount of pills. Was it the pharmacist’s mistake? Who knows!

    I believe this “study” by VA may have been a way for VA to make themselves look better than what they are!

    • Im in Central Florida. There are 2 pharmacies in the local Orlando area that I know of, Raymond Dr. and the one at the new Lake Nona Hospital. When I use these 2, everything works out fine for me. Could it be that the PCP who gave you the script was slow in getting his/her job done? Thats what happened to me.

  3. Here’s two articles from “military.com” today.
    1.)
    “New Study Ranks Best, Worst Cities for Vets”
    8 Nov 2016 | by Amy Bushatz

    Is your city mentioned?

    #2.)
    “Volunteers Wanted for PTSD Study of Treatment Some Call a Miracle”
    8 Nov 2016
    From; Stars & Stripes
    by Jennifer H. Svan

    It started in Germany. Now at Ft. Bragg & at “Tripled Army Medical Hospital” in Hawaii. Tripler’s “Knick name” is “CRIPPLER!” I know, I’ve been there!

    Now, the Army wants to ‘inject’ drugs into veterans neck. Not only to ease pain, to ease the effects of PTSD.

    • I replaced nearly all my pharmacutecals with legal marijuanna extracts here in Oregon. Nearly pure thc difuses PTSD almost immediately and makes pain livable. Houseowrk gets done! See if that happens on morphine lolz…

      Those who use it know it works. The government will take years to get this med to vets. Here in
      Oregon we just waived 90% of the application fee for medical marijuanna for PTSD patients. This means that PTSD patients pay no tax on legal marijuanna extracts for their treatment. Oregon treats vets like humans that need help instead of numbers that stink bad. In essence we told the Federal Gov to get stuffed 10 years ago and started treating our own with this medicine.

      Maybe some Veterans Affairs Phd in a few years will determine that Oregon might have the right idea. Probably sell it for a billion or so…

      • Dennis, I’m glad Oregon treats vets like humans.
        Here in Florida, as in other states, if a vet tests positive for ‘pot’, they are removed from any pharma pain meds.
        I believe “medical pot” should be available to all vets, if applicable, for pain and PTSD.

      • In MA if you get a Medical Marijuanna Card the local Police Chief has the option of revoking a Vet’s right to own or carry a firearm.

      • @Edward Trost
        In Texas possession of weed is still treated feloniously, (unless you get busted in Austin). You can get snot slinging drunk on alcohol, get charged with disturbing the peace and you can still keep you CW permit ….. get stung for possession of a joint in Texas and your permit could be revoked…… something wrong that picture!!

  4. So here we have yet again the VA reporting on studies on the VA BY the VA…yeah, going to bite and believe this without question….r-r-r-ight!
    If I were to go on the physical posturing and facial expressions in Ben’s “Bad VA Art” of Sec. McDonald and entourage, I would give the diagnosis of GOOFY for McDuck and Friends in that photo.
    I am betting they have that same expression while waiting in the long lines at Disney for a theme park ride and the study probably compared Veterans waiting 10 days for prescriptions to Disney Patrons not minding if a ride breaks down for 10 days while the people just wait in same line until ride is repaired as well as those patrons stuck ON the ride for 10 days—they do not mind because everyone is GOOFY here, as goes services at the VA.
    How does this 10 days mailing work when a Veteran has to take a life-saving medicine for an Infectious Disease Infection in which given Vets MUST take that medicine EVERY DAY or they will literally DIE? Even missing -1- dose is not an option with such meds and the 10 day thing as acceptable is just ridiculous.

    Lastly, just HOW did this study take the entire Tomah debacle into the equation or was all that ugly data conveniently omitted and discarded as ‘wild conspiracy theories’ by the OIG?
    Fox guarding the henhouse 101.

  5. A couple months ago I was waiting for my meds to be mailed. I waited 3 weeks. Nothing. So I drove to the clinic, asked where my meds were. The girl at the window checked her computer, looked around the shelves, came back and said she didn’t know. Her boss happened to walk in the same time, looked on the shelf 3 ft. behind her and said “here they are”! They both gave me a stupid looking oops smile. I just walked away.

      • @Nexdeceptus- The OIG would have determined that it was recommended that the VA “as the crow flies” crow had it’s wings clipped by the VA Candyman so all the “good stuff” can be hoarded by the murder of crows.
        The VA OIG concurs that more crows are needed to delivery your medicine within 10 day flying time. However, just wait until your meds get stolen by someone in your apartment building or even the mailman since said meds are just left for the crows to take.
        I apologize to legitimate crows. They are highly intelligent birds and perhaps the VA should instead utilize “As The Dodo Bird Flies” instead? The Dodo Bird could be sitting on the South end of the Wall St. Bull for the VA’s new Seal Mascot.

      • Correction: Seems the Rand Corporation recommends the VA’s new Seal and printed mascot be a rat sitting on the south end of the Merrill Lynch Bull because the VA could give a rat’s ass.

  6. From “Fox News”, (on Utube), last night.
    “Hannity 11/7/16 Amazing: Trump Hits 8 States in Final Hours of Campaign”

    It’s kinda long, 40:16 minutes. He hits almost every point on who should be our next POTUS.
    I would like everyone to watch this, especially any liberal Democrat.

    It’s now or never for our “Constitutional Republic”! If this slips through our fingers, it will be generations before our country will once again be a world leader.
    Yesterday, I said, Newt Gingrich said; It doesn’t matter who wins, because both candidates will be treated unfairly by both ‘houses’! Why?
    Because Hillary will be presented with ongoing investigations concerning the “Clinton Foundation” and “Emailgate”!
    Whereas, Mr. Trump will be attacked by every Democrat on the hill, over anything and everything he wants to accomplish.
    There’s never been a time like this in our political history. Will there be a “Constitutional Crisis”? I think no matter which one wins, our country is heading in that direction.

  7. This comment is for Dennis and others who make comments for changes within the VA. I read you comments regularly. Concerning comments of truthfulness, keep it up we all have valid points. When I started commenting on truthfulness, the Government hack my computer destroyed one, and I had to buy another, and now they are working on my new computer in destroying this one. The Government now invade your privacy, and tries hard to keep you from telling the truth. I just wanted people to know that the Government constantly spies upon a lot of people on the internet, today to suppress there points of view.

  8. Well Lies never stop,,, I’m a 100% Dav,,, I am going on 10 days of N O NO Medicene Medicene that helps me it also has bad side effects which I am having,,, They have just said its at the Pharamcy it will be put in the MAIL lets see now,,, that another TWO DAYS,,, my therapeutic help is going to have to start all over again,,, I Quit,,,,, NO MORE I’m to old for this continuation of help,,,, GO TO HELL VA<<<<

  9. My day has involved VBA a lot. Why is this crap so adversarial. You would think we vets were taking THEIR money. VA needs to be busted apart for scrap

  10. I have asthma. I’m on two separate inhalers to treat it…

    With one inhaler I have no problems…Need, renew, order comes in 5 or 6 days…No problem, easy peasy..

    The other, on the other hand, is a pain in the butt. As a cost cutting measure (as patiently explained to me by a VA Pharmacist ) this script is monitored by the computer. If the COMPUTER (not a pharmacist or Dr. or even any human at all ) decides that I shouldn’t have this script filled yet, it doesn’t get filled until the computer says it’s OK…

    Several times I could see that I was going to use up my last inhaler before the new one would arrive, leaving me without the ability to breath (OK I’m exaggerating, but not by much..) for up to ten days…

    To remedy the situation, I was required to beg and plead to the pharmacist and was issued an emergency partial script fill on two occasions….

    I’ve talked to the pharmacist, the Patients Advocate ( which accomplished not even a call-back ), the Hospital Administrator’s office ( which resulted in a referral to the PA, with the same result as before ), In other words, the VA hamster wheel…

    That’s at least ONE THING the VA is good at… diverting us into an endless circle to avoid having to actually do something to solve a problem. If they spent as much energy solving the problem as they do diverting us from the problem, a lot of shit might actually get done…

  11. Here’s a Utube video from “Fox News”, 8 Nov. 2016. (05:42 minutes)
    titled:
    “Newt Gingrich breaks down Trump’s path to 270”

    Listen to what he says to the American people on WHY they should vote. No matter who one votes for. His “reasoning” behind it is well worth the view. It starts at the 04:40 mark.

  12. What many never talk about much is the VA’s exclusive Pharmacy Drug Formulary. If you are a Vet with conditions such as just one of mine, peripheral neuropathy, where there’s only gabapentin or Lyrica available on planet Earth for helping *some* with intense pain, but the VA only has or had gabapentin on their formulary list, in order to acquire Lyrica, a close analog cousin of gabapentin, matter in fact only one molecule difference, you have to get a VA Dr. willing to even start the larger pharmacy hamster wheel paperwork to get this approved.
    Never mind intense swelling of legs and feet, even FDA warnings about what a toxic reaction is to gabapentin and why the FDA then recommends Lyrica…would VA listen? Nah…just buy much larger socks and shoes and wear shorts in Winter…much cheaper than Lyrica to the VA Witch Dr.’s and their very select formulary.
    Why is it a political refugee or anyone on State Medicaid has much better pharmacy options and medical than Veterans and those on Medicare? Why? With all the bedfellows of the VA and Big Pharma you would think the VA Formulary would be a candyland…well, I guess it can be in the hands of malign VA Witch Dr.’s such as Tomah’s Candyman…which I highly suspect he is doing the same thing all over again…been too quite on topic and don’t recall any yet in-depth report on that “hearing” in Tomah Houlihan was at earlier this year?
    Anyone else have VA Pharmacy Drug Formulary horror stories?

    • namnibor, I have “peripheral polyneurapathy” of ALL four extremities. I receive absolutely NO meds for pain.
      The PCP says I am “borderline diabetic”, which is the reason for the pain. I have shown her my ‘disabilities’. Yet, she refuses to help.
      A long time ago, we talked about different pain meds. I’ve tried to not take any at all, mainly because of the side effects.
      Like I’ve said, the wife checks for all the negative side effects before I take any.
      Some times, I go to sleep, and wake up crying (silently)! I grew up where “MEN DON’T CRY!”
      I do would like to have “pot”, it does, as Dennis has said, relieves the pain. Plus dulles the senses of PTSD.
      Of course, the VA will kick out patients who use the “Devil Weed”!

    • Horror stories? Yep, and one I doubt if anyone has ever heard before, which will come later.

      Indiana makes anything illegal that a ‘private citizen’ might use for chronic issues or pain. Ie, Kratom, weed, to acupuncture needs tops the list as examples. A doctor from Japan taught me how to use 4 simple small needles in places easily reached, for relaxation, pain, and for use when putting troubled areas back in to place where they belong to stop the nerve pinching, with constriction wear and rigid supports/traction. So third worlders and others have much more freedom and rights to treat themselves than we so-called, brave and free in America. What a joke. Then to be told by some professional idiot at the VA the ancients and others had nothing for pain until LAUDANUM. More total BS.

      Acupuncture for one 4 needle treatment, if they know how, cost $600.00. No discounts for the VA or for us who have left the VA.

      Next summer I will resort back to using Apitherapy since the smallest amount of pain meds and muscle relaxers can’t be had. We have to be special or in some clique to get that stuff now. Oh, that is using Bee stings for pain and joint placement and traction. Learned that from a guy with MS with knee problems. Works good enough, not allergic, smarts, since it takes 4 to 6 Bee stings around each knee.

      Have I ever mentioned my best Chiropractor left the state as well? Even he got tired of the state’s BS and the local corrupt machine that he didn’t want to discuss much after letting me know how he felt on certain things. The revolving door of decent and good health care people here is as bad as at the CBOC or nasty Roudebush Hosp in Nap town.

      Some stuff, compound lotions, etc., the local MDs never heard of or knew nothing about. So much for that crap too. Told by a young “primary” to see the list of doctors I am told to see. Clinic/state laws – rules forbid them from giving out pain meds, or to do the most simple of treatments or quick fixes. Nope, they have to spread the money around now, and put us on those Hamster wheels.

      Gabapentin, is one thing I can’t tolerate, and know of those who committed suicide on, while claiming IT alone was the cause of their side-effects and their doctors refused to listen to them. Yet the VA and now civilian doctors want to push that stuff on everyone. Then another will say it’s a drug that is being over-used and should not be used because of the contradictions and being part of massive over-doping. So more lies, contradictions, over-dosing, and seemingly intentional harm being done.

      Presently back on crutches and fairly immobile being treated as the VA threatened would happen if we quit them. Not a decent doctor here to be found. But more game playing, told to see doctor after doctor, take more xrays, specialist, sit in waiting rooms for SIX hours and etc., just to play their games which I will not do with such a predatory, pathetic, intentionally abusive network of doctors, VA, medical boards, etc., here in Indiana.

      Those who were doing Kratom ( I never got the chance to try it) said it was non addictive and perfect for pain. Depending on which kind they used and how.

      The kicker. Remember years back (8 – 10 ?) when senior citizens were getting into trouble for ordering meds over-seas or from Canada? Being much cheaper. IF they can still be found, reports came out claiming our government agencies, VA, military, was purchasing drugs from Canada because it was cheaper than purchasing some kinds here in the states? Oh yeah, it’s true. There was a long delay in getting some of my stuff while they claimed it was due to a shortage in manufacturing and supply. I got a box originally shipped from Canada some place, then on to either Michigan or Minnesota I think, and then on to me. Not re-packed, just shipped along. All hell broke loose and emails concerning that was one of the total of them all, that simply disappeared from my Healthy E Vet secure messaging crap that we are told is highly secure and private. Nope, more BS and lies since all of it was deleted by VA tech staff never to be seen again, or copied, when I started having a bunch of trouble at the local joke of a CBOC, and my last primary being a retired prison doctor that treated me just like a prisoner, much lesser, or as a stupid dog that didn’t know my own body and what has worked for years. Until Obama came along with new dope laws and fascist.

      I’ve seen plenty of people having melt-downs merely because of the VA playing games with their head dope and vets trying to get something from the local pharma or local MDs with no help. As bad as some were they either ended up dead by some means, or put into the industrial prison systems or local expensive psych wards or jail to left die there like other people have here.

      Who in their right minds expect us to believe anything from a lying media, and the same “Foxes watching over the hen house?” Not me, and that is all we get full circle from the machine or that Hamster wheel of life in our old age when we need it (good decent care) the most.

    • Shoot, down here in Ga. Gabapentin is what they want to give all with any sort of Neuropathy or Polyneuropathy . It is the cure all. No prob. handing it out, But real pain meds. Shit that takes jumping through the proverbial hoop. I tried Lyrica and Gaba. Within 3days my feet and ankles swelled to 3 times normal. Took me off and some reduction. Yet now they say it due to Congestive Heart Failure. No treatment. Just my heart isn’t strong enough to pump fluids up out of lower extremities. Sit with feet UP as much as possible. Sounds great Heart is bad so just sit on your ass with feet up. That should really strengthen my heart. WTF

  13. 11/08/2016

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    Has the VA been reliable?

    Has the VA been telling the truth?

    Has the VA corrected anything they have come in contact with?

    How can this be true?

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

    • Its all lies I am very knowledgeable about the VA,,, since 1972,,, it is in worst medical help then ever period,,, its fine as long as your a BROWN NOSE PATIENT,,, all you should catch what that is,,,, it being will kill you and your health

  14. RISE and SHINE VETERANS and SPREAD THE WORD TO OTHERS VETERANS CALLED YOUR REPRESENTATIVES and SENATORS EVEN YOU HAVE A TELEPHONE SHARE YOUR BELIEFS HOW TO IMPROVE VETERANS HEALTH CARE TODAY IS ELECTION DAY. ….SEMPER FI.

  15. I needed meds for a shingles outbreak I was suffering. The soonest the Phoenix VA said they could see me was twenty days down the road. Add to that the 10 days or so to get any meds, and my outbreak would have resolved its self …
    I asked about going to the emergency room and the VA rep said the VA emergency room would just refer me to my PCM.
    I ended up going to the local ER and paying $250 out of pocket for anti-viral meds so I could work.
    Admittedly, this all happened back in 2014 … but nothing has changed as far as I can see.

  16. True, I had that happen to me I went to the VA Hospital Emergency Care during the day the attendant referred me to my PCP. The PCP will only take you at the end of the day when all other patients with appointments have been seen. They will also encourage you to go home and come back another day.

  17. I call BS on this one, LOL ROFLMBO. I had to go to the clinic three times for them to update my prescription list. After having a heart attack it kind of important to get my meds on time. Well, I would never had received them had I not gone to the clinic the third time because they were still “not in the system”. Really, three different people put them in the system and they just mysteriously went poof later on and weren’t there.

  18. So far, Indiana and Kentucky have voted for Trump.
    Trump – 19
    Clinton – 3
    I hope and pray Trump takes it in a landslide!

  19. If Mr. Trump were to win this election, am thinking the VA AFGE Union President Michael Cox would react quite like the wicked witch of the west did when Dorothy threw the water on her…”I’m melting….I’m ….melting”!! 🙂 (that would be ‘drained swamp water’, by the way)

    If Hillary were to win this election am thinking the VA will get endless supply of more flying monkeys at the VA with options for more, while the witch would obviously survive the dousing of water if Hillary wins.

    This election has been like a wizard of oz adventure with Timothy Leary supplying the poppies. 🙂

    • Namnibor,
      Unlike in “The Wizard of Oz”, there’s no ‘Toto’ to pull back the curtain. The Wizard is still in charge and pulling the strings!

      • In the grisly VA version, Toto is the first thing the Lion eats but rest assured, those yellow brinks are imported Brazilian bricks…spared no expense. 🙂

  20. I want to believe my vote for Trump was essentially giving the middle finger to the political dinosaur establishment. I still have no political party. We in Ohio did our part. 🙂

  21. What a nice photo op of what’s his name intently overlooking pharm operations with the guys. Throw all of them out of office now.

  22. AS I said here I seen this coming over 3 years ago,,, today going on 14 days of no Med,,, WHY you know why,,,, I’ need my meds but have readjusted my life to work with this stupid VA,, filled with Brown NOses and check collectors,,, yes I have turned in them ,,,, funny

Comments are closed.