UPDATE: Veterans Affairs Gets Partial Hiring Freeze Exemption After Outcry

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Hiring Freeze Update

In response to widespread outcry, Veterans Affairs will be partially exempt from hiring freeze for health care professionals and others.

“The Department of Veterans Affairs intends to exempt anyone it deems necessary for public health and safety, including frontline caregivers,” acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Snyder said in a signed memorandum. “The president and VA remain committed to seeing that our veterans receive the quality care and benefits they’ve earned. This is the right thing to do for our veterans.”

In that signed memorandum from the Department of Veterans Affairs, released earlier today, Secretary Snyder approved numerous positions for exemption from the hiring freeze. Mainly positions “necessary to meet Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) public safety responsibilities” will still be eligible for continued hiring.

The memorandum identifies health care clinician positions, operational staffing positions at new VA facilities, and national cemetery positions directly involved in burying eligible veterans and family members.

Background Of Present Hiring Freeze

This effort is in response to President Trump’s hiring freeze that he enacted earlier in the week that affects all branches of the federal government except the military. However, that decision did allow room for agency leaders to exempt hiring of positions based on public safety needs.

VA then created a satisfactory list of employment positions it needs filled to continue its mission, which I provide below.

Relevant Hiring Exemption Documents

I am attaching various documents related to the hiring freeze for you all to review. I just received these and wanted to pass them on:

Below is a listing of all exempted employment types included as attachments in the memorandum linked above:

VA Hiring Exemption List Of Occupations

Veterans Health Administration

Series and Occupation

0601 General Health Science/Chiropractor

0601 General Health Science/Expanded Dental Function

0602 Medical Officer

0603 Physician’s Assistant

0605 Nurse Anesthetist

0610 Nurse

0662 Optometrist

0668 Podiatrist

0680 Dental Officer

0101 Social Science / Licensed Prof Mental Health Counselor (includes Suicide Prevention positions)

0101 Social Service/Marriage Family Therapist

0180 Psychology

0185 Social Work

0601 General Health Science/Blind Rehab

0601 General Health Science/Nuclear Medicine Technologist

0601 General Health Science/Registered Respiratory Therapist

0601 General Health Science/Therapeutic Medical Physicist

0620 Practical Nurse

0621 Nursing Assistant

0630 Dietitian and Nutritionist

0631 Occupational Therapist

0633 Physical Therapist

0635 Corrective Therapist

0636 Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant/Occupational Therapy Assistant

0636 Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant/Physical Therapy Assistant

0640 Health Aid and Technician/Certified Respiratory Therapist

0644 Medical Technologist

0647 Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist

0648 Therapeutic Radiologic Technologist

0649 Medical Instrument Technician

0660 Pharmacist

0661 Pharmacy Technician

0665 Speech Pathology and Audiology

0667 Orthotist and Prosthetist

0669 Medical Records Administration

0672 Prosthetic Representative

0675 Medical Records Technician

0679 Medical Support Assistance

0681 Dental Assistant

0682 Dental Hygiene

08S8 Biomedical Engineering

0018 Safety and Occupational Health Management

0060 Chaplain

0081 Fire Protection and Prevention

0083 Police

008S Security Guard

0089 Emergency Management

0181 Psychology Aid and Technician

0186 Social Services Aid and Assistant

0187 Social Services

0188 Recreation Specialist

0189 Recreation Aid and Assistant

040S Pharmacology

0413 Physiology

0601 Health Science Specialist – Veterans Crisis Line

0622 Medical Supply Aide and Technician

0636 Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant (Title S}

0638 Recreation/Creative Arts Therapist

0640 Health Aid and Technician (Title S)

0642 Nuclear Medicine Technician

0645 Medical Technician

0646 Pathology Technician

0651 Respiratory Therapist

0670 Health System Administration – Medical Center Director

0673 Hospital Housekeeping Management

0690 Industrial Hygiene

0683 Dental Laboratory Aid and Technician

0698 Environmental Health Technician

0962 Contact Representative

3566 Housekeeping Aid

5026 Pest Controller

7304 Laundry Worker

7408 Food Service Worker

 

Major Construction

Series and Occupation

0340- Project Manager

0800 – Professional Engineer

1102 – Contracting Officer

1170 – Realty Specialist

 

National Cemetery Administration

Series and Occupation

0303- Cemetery Representative

0303- Program Support Assistant (AO) (Scheduling Office Only)

1630 – Cemetery Administrator

3502 – Laborer

4701- Operations Supervisor

4749 – Maintenance Mechanic

4754 – Cemetery Caretaker/ Foreman

5026 – Pest Control

53S2 – Industrial Equip Mechanic

5703 – Motor Vehicle Operator

5705 – Tractor Operator

5716 – Engineering Eqpt Operator

5803 – Heavy Mobile Equip Mech

5806 – Mobile Equipment Service

5823 – Automotive Mechanic

6904 – Tools And Parts Attendant

6907 – Materials Handler

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James
James

” Bet ” ! The Veterans
Administration will abuse this matter, like many of the other issues within the V.A.

james gallegos
james gallegos

The way the list reads Everyone is Exempt. They should have just listed the one that are not Exempt. New Secretary to VA Employee’s ” Don’t Worry Be Happy ” we have this under control. Trump is just blowing off steam and nothing is going to change. Business as Usual !

Don’t worry about the Whistle Blowers, we will take care of them for you. Now get back to hurting as many Veterans as you can before things change, we will teach those veterans to complain.

22 Veterans taking their lives a Day, that’s not good enough, If you want your Yearly Bonus you have to do better than that. It should be at least 50 A Day. Bad employees have nothing to worry about, Go ahead Whistle Blowers Make Our Day.

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

This was on the net. Town hall meeting Bay Pines Florida vamc by target 8 news. Many complaints and many apologies from management.

IF anyone has been to one of these your not surprised about hearing management saying their are sorry to the veterans.

At the end of these town forums and after management state’s their sorry.

They think of the song by Kenny chestney. IT’S 5 Ocock SOME WHERE !

And off they go to keep doing what they were doing. It’s the VA way to. Let the veterans bitch. Make sure you get their names. We will claim they were disruptive or could become disruptive. These veteran’s are dangerous and must be delt with.

They won’t change anything I’m. Other employees will tell them to blow it out their ass. Were not going to do anything you say or we will act like we are for a week. If you expect us to work past a week. You better promise us a bonus.

This news reporter posted this message if you have problems with the VA. That needs to be brough to light call Target 8 helpline 1 800 338 0808

Dan F
Dan F

I thought this was just an oversight in the rush to get things done by the Trump administration.

Also, I am hoping that the transfer to a private care option will make this need to find additional help moot. Let’s face it the VA can never fill all the positions they need. Before the “crisis” coming to light after the Phoenix scandal, the VA needed some 1300 doctors and nurses nationwide.

Hopefully, we can move to real veterans choice sooner rather than later. In my case, I mean before I die.

91Veteran
91Veteran

I agree. I can’t see how the VA suddenly found 41000-45000 job openings.

If there are that many open, then many are open because of poor VA leadership deciding not to fill those in a timely manner.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

91Veteran,
I gotta feeling a lot, and I do mean a lot, of these “job openings” came about around November 8, 2016 until this past week.

91Veteran
91Veteran

I don’t know why, but my reply to you crazy elf just disappeared.

It looked like it was being posted properly, but it didn’t appear here.

Anyway, in part of my reply, I said the list above should be compared to those considered non essential and sent home during a government shutdown.

If congress doesn’t pass a budget and government shuts down, non essential employees are sent home, but usually paid anyway once a budget is passed.

If any listed above are non essential, why hire them?

Angela
Angela

James, no, I do not want to “Bet” with you because I know exactly what you are saying. Actually, earlier when this message came out I was aware before Benjamin reported on it and I communicated a plea to a state government veterans service official for the VA to please take this exemption to heart with doing the right ethical and accountable actions. My statements included hiring quality medical professionals. I also pointed out some areas to this official to communicate to VA leadership please let’s put saving the lives of the veterans before the dollar bill and eliminate the worry whether the VA will get the money back the next year. Focus on what needs to be done to medically save the lives with also focusing on preserving the of quality lives. When making decisions, please consider both ends of the spectrum.
I really pleaded to this state government veterans’ official to for once VA please do right by the veterans. Please VA consult with other medical professionals if in question in order to diagnose and treat veterans appropriately. Yep, it will really be a surprise to me if the exemption is taken to heart.

Ex va
Ex va

@ James, they have abused this hiring system for years. Let me give you one example: The mental health service line did not have a suicide prevention coordinator for the new suicide prevention team that was to be started at this medical center.
The chief of the mental health service line knew that this position was soon to be available. She began to seek out social workers and other mental health professionals for this position. She became friends with a social worker and put her as the “acting suicide coordinator for the suicide prevention team”. (This program was new to this va medical center).

This social worker had no previous experience or specialized education for this position. She was picked based on a friendship. The va claims there is no pre selection for positions. FALSE! This job was posted on USA JOBS only after she had been in an “acting” position for approximately 2 years. In the 2 years the va paid for numerous educational credits for the position this social worker was in and of course she was selected even if you could call this a selection. So, i see where they could hire people for positions within the hiring parameters and have them work as “acting” in other positions. It goes on all the time in the hiring process at the va. That’s the problem the va administrators are genius enough to get around any system or process. In my opinion more diabolical in achieving their outcomes that they want.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Seems to me the VA has had much trouble finding and filling these positions.
I know here in Florida, many “High Quality Healthcare Professionals” have refused to even consider working at VHA’s.
I don’t believe that ‘opinion’ has changed. Mainly due to the “past and current corruption” still plaguing the Veterans Administration.
Of course, the VHA’s could hire more “sexual predators”, “pedophiles” and other “criminals”! To meet their demands of pretending to be healthcare providers!
Google: “Sexual Predators working at Veterans Affairs”
You’ll be amazed at what pops up!
So, in essence, and I guess, we veterans will be stuck with more third world ‘pretend’ physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers!
____________________

I also wonder why VA needs to hire funeral directors. Oh, wait, it was reported “7 veterans were not buried correctly” a few days ago.
Seems their “grave sites” were one or two “spots” off. It wouldn’t have come to the director’s attention, until the family members spoke up.
Then, there’s employees who like to take ‘veterans ‘grave’ plaques” home with them. To use as “driveway pavers”! Remember that!
________________________

I agree 100% with James,
The VA will “abuse this matter” at every turn.
If there’s a way for someone, in higher VA management, to put taxpayers monies in their pockets and not report it, they’ll figure out how!

91Veteran
91Veteran

Thanks for the update Ben. Its as I thought…, exemptions requested under the public safety category.

I disagree with some listed here that are not related to providing some kind of medical care for veterans…so I wonder if this is Snyder throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks.

I also strongly suspect this is only a proposed list that will have to be approved. If that’s the case, I doubt all will be approved.

Given the length of the list, I can see why it may have taken a few days to put together.

Finally, I wonder if Snyder put this out to try squash some of the irresponsible public comments made by VA officials claiming they won’t be able to staff new facilities.

Lem
Lem

Thanks for mentioning Shulkin is not the “Acting Secretary” of the VA. Some miss understand that a selection for Secretary is not a Secretary until confirmed by the Senate and sworn in as Secretary. This is a period to blame the “Acting Secretary” not the “nominated Secretary”.

Lem
Lem

I didn’t notice the OIG position that is open at the Denver VARO being among the hiring positions. Ben if you know any attorneys with experience and interested in helping in that way please put them on to that opening.

Military Priority
Military Priority

This will be an interesting step in a new direction to make the Government smaller and perhaps much needed help for Veterans all around the country by possibly creating an Expanded Veterans Choice Program sooner than later. Veterans need a choice to CHOOSE to which doctor they should go and if they are not doing adequate job, FIRE THEM!

Lem
Lem

Be careful what you wish for. The Choice program isn’t up yet. I’m lucky I got a referral from a family member to a good primary care. But not every Choice eligible has been so lucky. And the system for getting your prescriptions filled still has problems. A VA physician has to sign off on the Rx and they can tally too long.

91Veteran
91Veteran

That’s part of the problem with Choice Lem, and why fixes need to be implemented.

There is no reason whatsoever for some VA quack to sign off on any prescription written by a doctor participating in Choice. Choice is not a jobs protection program for VA doctors.

Each Choice authorization is given an authorization number. If that Choice doctor writes a prescription and includes that authorization number on the prescription, then there is no need to delay treatment further by waiting to get a VA quack to sign off on it.

This bureaucratic BS is part of the reason why the VA is in such a mess.

Lem
Lem

Local resistance trying to protect the “tele medicine truck”. I told the quack when she and her crew could write a correct history and use the forms provided properly I might think about going back to tele medicine. A physician that can’t take an accurate history can’t make an accurate diagnosis. Making a diagnosis and then writing a history to fit doesn’t cut it.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

I wonder what other “weekend crap” will come out tonight or tomorrow concerning the VA?
Hope Seymore and others are being vigilant!

namnibor
namnibor

I am betting the VA’s Industrial Shredders have been working overtime since about Nov. 8th. But even more so last 7 days. These bastards will certainly screw this exemption up and you wait, the VA will then use the excuse to beg for more $$ soon *because* they were required to do so much hiring…and a year from now learn they overspent a few hundred million on color-changing lawn turf and an army of interior decorators to arrange the color-changing lawn turf…just wait for it…but happy to be proven wrong. 🙂

J.Klapper
J.Klapper

Nothing new or special. Public Health was IE VA Medical was one of 3 categories that were not included in the original freeze. No favors, or listening to the 79% that didn’t support his traitorship to begin with. What I want to know is how all of these presumably still Reagan worshipers are going along with this fiasco. I served under Reagan, and ran with a certain portion of his military entourage, if THAT Intel Report that McConnell et al covered up, and Obama LET THEM!!! had crossed Reagan’s desk, 1) the traitor (PUBLIC actions on 17 and 18 Jul fit within Art 3 Sec 3 US Constitution) would be UNDER Ft Leavenworth, and the Kremlin would be smoldering rubble WITH-IN an HOUR of Reagan seeing it… How the HELL are the “Reagan Types” going to justify THIS to HIM when they meet “above”

namnibor
namnibor

Good to see they kept “Pest Control” on that exemption list…I wonder if that’s inclusive of Disruptive Behavior Committee since we Veterans seem to be the only “pests” they seem to efficiently kill. Just saying…what an exemption list!
The VA will completely fuck this up just like Choice Program. Wait for it…

91Veteran
91Veteran

Pest control is now considered public safety….not so much when a VA cafeteria had to be shut down because of roaches.

News articles show that problem at both Tampa and Hines VAs.

namnibor
namnibor

Roaches add that extra *crunch* to the jello while the meat loaf at the VA.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Ben, I meant to include this in an earlier comment, but forgot to.

I don’t believe for a minute that this exemption was given as a result of an outcry from anyone. I believe it’s standard instructions sent out to clarify what is meant by public health/safety, and any agency believing they have jobs that meet that criteria, they likely will be able to fill them.

There may be further delays as those jobs are identified and approved.

It doesn’t help when only a very few agency heads have been confirmed by the Senate.

I suspect many federal agencies may have gotten the same thing, but who knows how fast it is becoming public.

I imagine FBI, federal safety inspectors, maybe some FAA jobs etc., are likely considered public safety, and will also be exempted.

Lem
Lem

The exempt jobs are listed by their code number.

Jennifer
Jennifer

I am a 100% disabled vet that can’t even get prescriptions filled through the va written by choice authorized doctor that is bs. Bring to pharmacy they send you to a choice rep in va they then sent me to urgent care clinic which sent me to another clinic which sent me back to pharmacy and the. To patient advocate. Of which no one in 3 hours could fill my script that I have been on for 10 years filled by the va that my choice approve doctor just wanted to change the dose. I ended up walking out of the va very upset and without my script. WOW

Another issue I have been getting travel reimbursement for over 6 years by simply sending in travel vouchers. I got back piles of vouchers all stating they were out of the 30 day range which was incorrect. They were wanting me to get a doctors excuse from every visit and resubmit the vouchers. Well by the time I figured out what they wanted the paperwork showing I was at the appointment, even though they paid for it and had my records from visits, I had over 40 vouchers not paid for and had dicarded most of the original vouchers. I went to 12 specialty doctors due to cancer and other service connectioned ailments and got documentation for every last apt. And resubmitted all of them only to get them back again this time saying now they were over 30 days. When i called and spoke to travel I was told that the original vouchers i sent in were nowhere to be found in the system. I can’t wrap my head around we’re all my paperwork went and why travel can’t looks up all the denial letters they sent me and pay me. This is the va simply being lazy. I’m not being paid over 700$ in travel from 4 months. Travel told me that it’s always been that way. That no one has ever gotten paid for vouchers without submitting a doc note with each voucher. So why have I been getting paid so nice 2010 until aug 2016 with only the voucher???????? This is only one of many new things being done to vets wow thanks for our service.

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

simply being lazy. I don’t think so I think someone put it in there pocket instead of yours maybe one of my comments will get through

Lem
Lem

Jennifer:
Went through that problem about a year ago. Wrote a letter to the editor of the Cheyenne Tribune about how “Choice” was working. Got a call from the Choice clinic asking me to deal directly with them. Only recently found out the Rx was being faxed to the “tele medicine tuck” AKA Mobile Clinic and being then re written and faxed by the Mobile Clinic Nurse.

Wasn’t getting my diapers and found out in tracking down the Rx. Apparently the nurse wasn’t forwarding that Rx. Always get my Keppra the next day.

So the resistance is from the local VA that is trying to promote the use of the mobile tele medicine clinic which allows mom, the doctor, to work from home. Never see her in person so if you don’t have a good intake person you can’t get proper treatment. Telemedicine should only be for those who have been physically seen by, and is known by, the physician doing the tele medicine.

Jennifer
Jennifer

Thank you I do only deal w. Choice now I’m sick of the va run around. They acted like I had to see someone at the va when scrips written by choice approved doctors with authorization simply need to be faxed to local va clinic or facility directly. Spending hours on the phone with choice there getting better with information. It depends on who you speak to at choice if the person I speak to has poor known I hang up and call back for different person lol.

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

You must have redial is your finger sore trying to find someone who knows what they are doing.

Jennifer
Jennifer

I hit the $)($ you button and redial lol. It’s my 70 hr a week job as a 100% disabled veteran to deal w va and choice and doctors lol I’d rather be a healthy and at work. My daughter will not be going in the military.

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

I think every employee needs to be seen in mental health and see how they like people twisting their words.

I don’t want any of my grandchildren going into the military, my son went in and now can’t hardly do anything and he was really good at sports and I have to watch him deal with the VA.

He was 100. Percent disabled and shortly after that they started taking it away. Stating stuff like this veteran is fighting this tester and won’t move his legs like I told him to.

If something does not work, it does not work. Plain and simple. Nope the VA will do what ever is called for to hurt a veteran and take away their disability.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Interesting way to increase the number of veterans seen and treated.

Route the RX through that truck, then claim you were another veteran treated successfully and given an RX…when they had nothing to do with your treatment other than routing an RX.

james gallegos
james gallegos

You are right about the Choice program and medications requests. I had written on here how I needed Emergent medication for a lung Infection and was handed a Flyer that stated if you are a Choice Veteran and have a prescription from a Private provider.

You can be seen in our clinic and We may or May not rewrite it, We may send you back to the Private Physician and bring back the Progress note and then we may not fill it then. You must contact the nearest VA hospital to get it filled.

In my case that was 200 miles away, I called the Denver VA Choice program and was told to drive to Denver and pick them up or go to a local Pharmacy, Have the filled and pay for them and then send in the bill to choice for payment.

Veterans were told when choice started those Veterans that choose to use Choice, WILL not loose any benefits seeking care at the VA. LIE

The VA using this Tactic, Is nothing less than a Punishment of Veterans that decided not to use the VA, Pure and Simple. I believe that these policies Vary from hospital to hospital or it maybe a Nation wide effort to Retaliate against those Veterans.

It has to be Retaliation. VA’s past policy before choice was if your seen by an outside physician, You can bring in that prescription and it WILL be Rewritten and that is the way it should be.

The VA is and will keep Punishing Veterans any way they can, to try and get them to go to the VA. They do not care if they are hurting veterans.

You want to use Choice, No problem ! we will teach you.

Jennifer
Jennifer

Yeah same run around at va when it’s simple. Or suppose to be.

Jennifer
Jennifer

Also when my choice doctor puts in an urgent test that’s need approval why am I waiting a month for approval. Called choice 7 times and test are for life threatening issues. I think there purposely trying to knock me off. I cost them too much money.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

@Jennifer,
Welcome to the “New and Improved Veterans Administration!”

Ex va
Ex va

@ Jennifer, see if you can talk to someone in fee base clerking staff. They are the ones who handle the claims for payment. Call operator at medical center and see if they have a fee base office. Just trying to help.

Jo3n
Jo3n

@Angela. Seems you have been close to this situation for a long time now. I’m glad you found your voice, and there are ears to listen. Now, give whomever a swift kick.

Jennifer
Jennifer

Oh you have no idea some days I wonder how I haven’t done something to make myself feel better by tearing a new )$: at the va . And I’m considering sueing then if I get a cool million I be dead before they recoop it through keeping my whopping disability check lol

Ex va
Ex va

I do believe that this hiring freeze is an result to what the Veterans and the public want and that is change.

Otherwise, Veterans and va would not even be mentioned in the first talks of this new POTUS. I believe thru experience that this is not going to be enough to change the corruption. I do not know if this is a real start, but it has to start somewhere. I do not trust the va in fixing their own problems or the vaoig because they are so much into damage control by protecting the va with bad publicity.

I believe we need to continue our efforts in demanding change and i believe it will happen. History reflects change and hope to see it soon.

Ex va
Ex va

Benjamin Krause, thank you for the information of the hiring freeze.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Thank Ben for reporting on the Freeze.

Although I note that one department that is still frozen are the positions at the OIG’s Office.

Also really enjoyed seeing all the snow flakes come out to melt on Ben’s earlier post. Guess they liked the title and thought that they would not melt all over the comment section. I really wanted to chip in and help melt a few of those snowflakes but my mind and energy were needed elsewhere.

The other thing I was occupied with came to a head when I pulled into an emergency room sallyport at an area hospital. They immediately went into lockdown status. Security officers where there immediate to help transport the Veteran I was assisting into the emergency room. Where he within seconds got the care he needed.

Care that was being denied at another hospital a few miles away and across the state line of Minnesota and Wisconsin. It is worth noting that the other hospital has a VA clinic attached to it even though my friend was being covered by Tricare and seeing a private doctor. Proper care was being denied.

Back to the OIG’s Office a few recent reports are listed below.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

“Construction Company Owner, KC Veteran Indicted in $13.8 Million ‘Rent-A-Vet’ Scheme”, United States Attorney’s Office, United States Department of Justice, Friday, January 13, 2017

Jeffrey K. Wilson, 51, of the Village of Loch Lloyd in Belton, Mo., Paul R. Salavitch, 56, of Kansas City, Mo., and Patriot Company, Inc., a business located in Kansas City, Mo., were charged in an eight-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo.

According to the indictment, Patriot Company was a pass-through or front company for a Greenwood, Mo., construction company owned by Wilson during the scheme. Conspirators allegedly used Salavitch’s veteran and service-disabled veteran status in a “rent-a-vet” scheme to bid on at least 20 government contracts and receive approximately $13.8 million to which Patriot Company would not have otherwise been entitled to receive because those contracts were set-aside exclusively for legitimate veteran-owned or service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. As a result of the fraud scheme, legitimate veteran owned and run businesses were not awarded these contracts.

According to the indictment, Salavitch, a service-disabled veteran, worked full-time as a federal employee with the Department of Defense in Leavenworth, Kan., and did not work full time for Patriot Company. Salavitch nominally served as president of Patriot Company from July 14, 2005, to April 1, 2014.

Full Press Release:
“https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdmo/pr/construction-company-owner-kc-veteran-indicted-138-million-rent-vet-scheme”

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

“Review of Alleged Misuse of VA Funds at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System”

“The OIG substantiated an allegation that VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS) staff provided free meals for medical residents without the required meal plan. The VAPHS Director could have authorized the meals under an approved meal plan for residents comparable to those at the facility’s index hospital, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. However, the Chief of Staff, who is responsible for reviewing this activity annually, overlooked the requirement for an approved meal plan. As a result, VAPHS used about $441,000 in appropriated funds to purchase catered meals for medical residents from April 2013 through March 2015 without such a plan. In addition, OIG did not substantiate the assertion that the meals were lavish, but the cost of these commercial meals was more than the cost of similar catered meals potentially available from the Veterans Canteen Service (VCS). VAPHS missed the opportunity to acquire potentially less expensive meals from VCS, rather than using this competitively selected commercial caterer. In January 2016, in response to our review, the VAPHS Director established a meal plan for residents.”

Report Summary:
“https://www.va.gov/oig/publications/report-summary.asp?id=3819”

namnibor
namnibor

What the VA OIG report is probably also not revealing is fact that a great number of VA hires are from middle east, India, and Nigeria and the Veteran Canteen Service probably does not make the ethic foods these new resident hacks will even eat…I say the Veteran’s Canteen Service should be serving ONLY PORK PRODUCTS in that case and make them also eat crow. Plenty of crow around the VAMC’s flying aimlessly and not by ‘choice’.

namnibor
namnibor

[ethnic] not ‘ethic’. Coffee.

namnibor
namnibor

But the VA Canteen Service also does not have any ethics…to be clear…remember the Starbucks Takeover? That still burns my ass.

Jo3n
Jo3n

Never heard of a contact representatives, and I thought a psychologist was a half trained psychiatrist. So, what’s a psychologist assistant? I could probably use one. I’m one of many Veterans who have moved around. After receiving meds from at least ten VA’s, (current one 15years), they opened a clinic closer to home. My first visit and this Dr,(?), takes away two meds, changes one med, and tells me to try yoga. Ben, I am finding it more difficult each visit. Thank God for these posts. I was ready for it. I thanked her, and slowly walked away. I called the surgeon who put the stint in my heart and he prescribed what she wouldn’t, for a year. I despise the VA.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Jo3n,
The female (PCP) physician I see, regularly takes days off. Seems she likes “three day weekends”! Plus, if a Friday OR a Monday is a holiday, she will make it into a FOUR day weekend.
And btw, she’s from one of those middle Eastern countries also.

The wife has noticed she doesn’t really do anything to help me with my healthcare. Really a waste of time going to her office.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Seymore,
You posted some time ago, about these foreign ALLEGED physicians getting their hands on “fake (healthcare) degrees” so they could be hired by VHA.
How would one go about finding out more on a person one suspects at being a fraud?

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Hey Elf,

I will be getting back to you on that but it will take some writing with instructions. It is not always easy to determine.

One of the easiest ways would be to Google the name of the school the person claims to have attended with the term “fake degree” included in the search. It will tell you if there has been a problem with fake degrees coming from that university. Also, you can search for the universities website and find out if they offer the degree program the person claims to have graduated from.

But some times the catch is finding the name of the school the person claims to have gradated from. That is the part I will have to write the instructions for, given some one hiding a bogus degree does offend time take measures to cover their tracks.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Will write them up latter, right now sweating bullets waiting for test results on my friend. All tests that should have been done a week ago when he was admitted to the Wisconsin hospital connected to the VA Clinic.

Total absence of any standard of Care. What they did was dope him up throw a diaper on him and put him in a bed. He was so doped up he couldn’t sit up or even talk.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Seymore,
Thanks for the info.
The problem being is my PCP refuses to tell me, or the wife, where she went to medical school.
When asked, she says Atlanta. Nothing more.
When we’ve asked “what” university, she changes the subject. Seems to me, a person would be proud to say the university they graduated from.
That’s why we are ‘concerned’ about this.

It was a few months after we questioned her, you put that “comment” on here about “FAKE” healthcare providers from middle eastern countries at VHA’s.
Seriously got the wife and I thinking. Because she’s from one of those countries. Yet, won’t even say which one!
Something isn’t passing the “smell test” with her.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Start with searching on her name Crazy Elf. Narrow it down to find her full name, what her specialty may be and what college she went to. Once you figure that out, web pages like vitals dot com might show where she has practiced.
Ultimately, you want to find out in which state she is licensed, then go to that states licensing board. More details should be there.
If she has a specialty like board certified in XYZ, that specialty may also have a web site where you can look up more credentials.

Its worth it. You can find whether she may have settled malpractice suits, whether she worked at another VA and had to be shuffled elsewhere, etc.

I found a person claiming to be a credentialed provider at my VA only has an expired nursing license from Oklahoma.
I found another whose only training was at some overseas, Caribbean school, but somehow the VA indicates her training was in the US, but there are no records of that. I still haven’t figured that one out.

Dennis
Dennis

If Trump has exempted VHA from hiring health care professionals does this mean that VA is finnally going to get some?

Dennis
Dennis

exempted from a freeze.

Jennifer
Jennifer

Thank u crazy elf. I haven’t been huge into politics due to lack of knowledge but it’s time I am. I have been a disabled vet for 22 years and there care, knowledge and the way they treat the vets is disgraceful. And I don’t think the freeze and hiring a bunch more unqualified doctors is going to help. I think the vets should be able to use any doctors they want (choice health care) which I use. And see any doctors, surgeons and specialists I want. I didn’t known about it until I got breast cancer in 2014 and the va argued with me for almost a year that nothing was there. By the time I had kicked and screamed I had 6 months to live if I hadn’t pushed them to do proper test and figure out I had cancer. In short I could have had a much smaller surgery with much less treatment and less mental health issues. And you can’t sue the va lol. Well you can but whatever you get they keep your disability check until they recoop what you got paid. how is that sueing?? I almost died. And two years later still having surgeries and issues. Because I let the va cut me. No one said I had a choice (CHOICE) I found out after by my Dave rep. And someone else mentioned that all the staff eats free meals. Way back the vets did as well. We got to eat at the canteen of got a food voucher or added funds to our travel. Now we don’t get anything and even if we could eat at the canteen I went to it last week w my boyfriend he’s a vet also and it looked like week old pig slop that’s in Fl anyway and ME Mo just the three I have been to a lot.

Evea thank you for the suggestion on travel I’m am at a loss and when last speaking to travel I was told that she would process the few she could like 8 out of 47 vouchers and throw the rest away. So I spent two weeks driving around to 12 doctors and getting doc notes and proof of visits through choice approved visits and made copies at home (expensive) and remained everything and basically it just cost me about 30 hrs in time and 237$ WOW that’s the good old va for ya.

And furthermore it’s going to take decades to fix the va health care. I hope the choice program stays in place.

Jennifer
Jennifer

Crazy elf I don’t know how we can find out about fraud. I do know that the American leaguon is suppose to help us but low and behold I had a very helpful rep but when something bad ended up in my records by a new incompetent doctor ( dirty urgent n test from a male patient) wow I’m a girl I saw my rep and he asked me why I pissed dirty and I hadn’t told him yet. And he told me the chief of staff told him. She the hell was the chief of staff talking to my American leagion rep that violates the HIPPA law. I found out from my nurse case manager. By phone she called me to ask me what i was thinking seeing a new pain Mgt doc and having a positive urin test for Marjawana? I freaked out asked for blood, hair, urin test that day. She found out that the test wasn’t mine the pain doc actually told her that he was overwhelmed was his first week and had a bunch of papers on his desk and must have put it in there accidentally. WOW HOW MESSED UP IS THAT. Then when I tried to get the negative remarks out of my record because now I’m permanently ban from pain meds. No one will help me. Nurse case Mgr don’t remember wha I’m talking about, chief of staff don’t recall, and American leagion (which is suppose to have no contact w va unless the vet needs something) won’t cooperate. So the positive test remains in my records with neumours attempts to get it out. And I’m stuck paying 6k a year for one prescription and I’m 100%. That’s messed up.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Jennifer,
Here’s a suggestion.
Get a copy of that “dirty piss test of another veteran” that’s now in your records, write out- in detail- what occurred, and take it to the veterans rep at your Congressman/woman in your area. At the same time, send a letter to your local news representatives explaining exactly what happened.
Use “cc”, (closed copy) to each one.
This way all involved, the VHA director, News Medias and your Congressional Reps know your not playing around. “Shine a Light” on it!
I don’t know if it will help. But talking to VSO’s is, from what you’ve written, isn’t helping your case.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

P.S.
Be VERY brief in your summary! No representative likes a book to read.

Jennifer
Jennifer

I tried all of that but not to my supplies the test has manically disappeared and just now says I had a dirty urin test. How convient. When I appealed it three times I got letters saying they needed more information. I had date, doctors name, facility and only the test results notes from record. We’re did the original notes go I wonder. I finally gave up the nurse case Mgr that informed me said she had no clue what I was talking about when she was the one I was directly working w at the time, the doctor wouldn’t see me again, and the American legion rep didn’t want to get involved. I was disconnected from the case Mgr on my healthy vet. And the rep for American legion is friends with the chief of staff in which my personal record of this mess was discussed between them. There all in kahoots.

91Veteran
91Veteran

You need to go outside that hospital and submit your privacy complaint at least to the VISN level.

Call the VISN first and explain why you need to submit the complaint at their level, and why you want them to handle it rather than just referring it to the hospital.
Tell them it involves the Chief of Staff, nurse case manager and a doctor.
If you can’t get help at the VISN level, there are email addresses to people that work at VA HQ, including Shulkin, on the VA is Lying Facebook page.

Email them with the same request, that you need them to handle a privacy complaint involving the Chief of Staff and others, and it is affecting your medical care.

Have your congressman involved and copy them on any emails sent.

VA HQ has a long list of FOIA and Privacy Officer addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. Find that and use them.

Jennifer
Jennifer

I will try that too see what happens. They all are covering each other’s )$&.

Lem
Lem

File a claim for the payment on an appeal form you can get from the FOIA Clerk. Explain the circumstances on the form. It will go up the other side (benefits) and VARO will give the Med Director a call to straighten him and his crew out. 100% means something on the Benefits side once they have given it to you. They don’t want you writing to your congressman over a claim.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Jennifer, get copies of any records indicating you tested positive for MJ. Write a letter to the Privacy Officer at your VA describing what happened. Include the names and positions of all involved, including the person who erroneously put that in your record. Include how you became aware of it being wrong, and who was told it was wrong.
Write that you are requesting a correction to your medical records, and you want any notation showing you had a dirty urine test removed from your record.
Include in your letter that you believe it was a violation of HIPAA for them to communicate those results to your representative.
Inform them you are contacting your congressman to open a case file on your request, then do it.
Mail, email or hand deliver that letter to the Privacy Officer. Send a copy to your congressman after calling them and telling them what is going on.
Provide a copy to that Legion representative.
The privacy officer should initiate an investigation, and speak with all of the people named in your letter, then inform you of what the outcome is.

Unfortunately, the Chief of Staff is involved. This complaint likely will go through them to be resolved, which is why you want your congressman involved.

They will have to respond in writing.

Call that Privacy Officer weekly for updates. If they have no status updates after a week, contact your VISN director and request their assistance.

The VA should provide you with a case number for your complaint.

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

If you follow these instructions. Let us know how it goes. When I did this, the VA told me to write a letter stating what was wrong in the chart and how it should read and they would file it.

What do they think they were reading the letter. Yet they wanted another letter. !

Veteran’s need to remember they have 2 two files your medical file and a Administrative file.

You letter will be placed into the Administrative file and will only collect dust.

No one will ever know you wrote it.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Actually James, when did as I stated when my PCP falsified my records, they did as you said. Asked that I specify what was wrong and how I wanted it changed.
I gave them a line by line response, and they redacted everything I said was false, and left what I did not dispute.

The Privacy Officer investigated, my PCP responded in writing that what I stated was true, and the Chief of Staff also put in writing what the outcome was.

My medical record actually reflects those changes.

Whether the letters are in my medical record or in my admin record doesn’t matter to me. I have copies of everything involved. The false record, the PCPs response, the Chief of Staffs response and how the record was corrected.

james gallegos
james gallegos

I was and I am being Retaliated against by the Chief of Staff and the Director for trying to clear my good name after a former Co-worker FALSELY Accused me of Disruptive Behavior. So they will not do any thing for me period. They have lied over and over and are keeping a lie going and have even lied to Senators Bennett’s office. Telling his Office that due to the reporting of the Disruptive Behavior the VA NEVER Coded my Official Medical Records for Disruptive Behavior for Disruptive Behavior, They also stated that they never Red Flagged my official Medical Records.

That is False reporting to a Senator. After they Punished me a M.D., put into my Official Medical Records Veteran states he was STABBED while in the military and that was not True, What I think happened is that the Manager from my local CBOC told the Doctor that I said this or the Doctor heard it from someone else in the clinic.

They have Falsely Accused me of Disruptive behavior with out any Proof, What is to stop them from calling the OIG, or FBI or anyone else telling them that I had Falsely told a Government Official that I was Stabbed while in the Service. Any Idea what type of Trouble I could be in if they did this.

These people have ignored any request to change anything, They state those were the facts at the time. I call that Bull Shit and they are Intentionally trying to punish me. For trying and Fight Back. I just hope that Senator Bennett or Cory Gardner will give me some of their time, so I can show them everything I have that would prove my case.

In the past the VA would reply to the Senators office, with Lies in writing and Bennett’s Aide, Replied we can not make the VA change anything. Now that was his Aide, So the citizens and Veterans when they contact their Elected Officials they do not get the Official to get involved, the official Lets their Aid do Anything they want. The Aid’s are Acting for the Senator and the Citizens and Veterans are not being Represented by the Elected Official.

They have some Joe Blow do his Job for Him, How is that Justice. The Aids will state, well the Senator is Way to busy to deal with the Small Stuff. This is not a small thing. I have been THREATENED with Federal Charges, Arrest and Banishment from all VA Care, When the VA knows they had or have any proof of me doing anything wrong.

Now I am glad that it worked out for you, But what about all the other veterans, that the VA will not help, Because if they would do their job and look at the matter properly, would have to Admit they Screwed up and God Forbid if they have to Admit they were wrong.

If they Admit they were wrong, that means they Assisted in the Cover Up and they could be Sued for Slander and would be admitting to a Crime. They will never Admit to wrong doings and will continue to Retaliate against me, Until I find someone who has the Ba55s to take them to Task.

Dennis
Dennis

@jennifer

The VA has now told me as of last week that they will not provide mental health services. I am 100% PTSD sc. This comes after extensive media coverage regarding their abuse of authority in my case.

Here is one step you might be able to pursue, and this is a copy and paste from my own notice to them. The wording is constructed around the wording contained in VHA staute.

“This appeal of the VHA clinical decision to deny mental health services is beng sent via secure message to the facility patiaent asvocate pursuant to VHA Directive 1041.

Pursuant to VHA Directive 1041 this is a written disagreement over the clinical decision to deny mental health care services at an VHA facility. The decision to deny mental healthcare benefits earned to this veteran rated at 100% sc for ptsd will likely have a significant impact on the clinical outcome of a comprehensive healthcare product.

I expect the facility policys regarding this clinical dispute to be followed and in any case the ignoring of this appeal in writing will also be appealed as a seperate issue under VBA appeals process regarding denial of services.

Please respond in writing by first class mail regarding your decision to either grant access to VHA mental health services or to deny such services.”

Additionally I also filed the following by secure messaging;

“This is a written official Notice Of Disagreement (NOD) pursuant to VHA Directive 1032, expressing dissatisfaction with the decision by VHA to terminate Mental Health Service provided at a VA facility, and I desire to contest this decision

In accordance with Title 38, CFR, Part 20, I hereby demand that VA develop this case into a formal appeal for submission to the BVA as required by VHA Directive 1032, dated August 16, 2013.

Please note that a decision to ignore this appeal will be appealled to the BVA as outlined in VA Directive. Willful Disregard of this directive is a violation of federal law.”

I attached a pdf file of each of those Directives which can be found online. My iPad has an app that makes a pdf out of any page so it is easy to attach pdf files to secure messaging. I used secure messaging because itouts a date and time on when the message was read. They cannot deny that they received this.

I hope these example help you. I truly doubt that VHA Roseburg will give a shit about them. Our current Chief Of Staff who did this is an Islamic dentist from Kenya. His native language is Swahili and it is unclear if he understands the importance of complying with the laws of this country. So far he has ignored them.

Dennis
Dennis

the attached pdf files I mentioned are the directives themselves. A Kenyan Chief from Swahili land likely has no clue what any directives are so I provided them copies.

Jennifer
Jennifer

@ex va I have talked to travel 6 times at local clinic is that we’re your talking about. Right in travel office where claims are processed. There if no help there.

Ex va
Ex va

@ Jennifer, ask for the fee base clerk staff number. These are the clerks who work for the choice program who pay the providers you see. Talk to someone who handles your provider (doctor)claims or give them your name to see what claims they have pending. If you call them it can speed up payments to your doctor.