Shulkin VHA Leadership Did Not Curb Whistleblower Retaliation
A new whistleblower from Phoenix VA maintains whistleblower retaliation remains largely unchanged under VHA Under Secretary David Shulkin.
That whistleblower, scheduling manager Kuauhtemoc Rodriguez, informed the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) that at least 215 veterans died while waiting for care at Phoenix VA.
Rodriguez, a combat veteran, apparently conducted his own investigation into the VA wait list scandal, and his findings landed him into hot water with his bosses.
Ongoing Whistleblower Harassment
Rodriguez, a combat veteran, conducted his own investigation into the VA wait list scandal, and his findings landed him in hot water with his bosses.
“As an Iraq veteran, it makes me feel like dirt that bureaucratic civilians who’ve never served this country are abusing vets like me, and killing vets who are defenseless because they’re ill,” said Rodriguez. “They know the price of freedom and the VA abuses that, and benefits off the backs of veterans.”
After reporting his complaint about continued wait list problems to the VA Office of Inspector General (IG), Rodriguez reported that IG leaked his complaint by email to his bosses. The unlawful leak resulted in him being put under surveillance.”They grilled me for four hours in a [VA investigatory] board. I was in the military and had to deal with the CIA once and that only took me an hour,” Rodriguez reported.
“They grilled me for four hours in a [VA investigatory] board. I was in the military and had to deal with the CIA once and that only took me an hour,” Rodriguez reported.
Phoenix VA apparently thought his complaint about a continued wait list scandal and whistleblower harassment warranted additional intimidation.
Phoenix VA Whistleblower Harassment
Problems at Phoenix VA have now spanned three VA secretaries since their exposure in the press by CNN in April 2014. Almost three years later, the problems persist.
Now, the head of the VA Health Administration (VHA), David Shulkin, will lead the entire agency as Secretary if confirmed next month.
Almost three years ago, CNN exposed a massive scandal spanning over one decade where VA employees were actively engaged in fraud. The fraud involved manipulating health appointment schedules to artificially improve performance numbers to receive higher bonuses.
Those fraudulent bonuses were paid by American taxpayers. No VA employees were prosecuted in relation to the fraud, though a few were pushed to retire or prosecuted for other reasons.
Since then, Phoenix VA has been under intense public pressure as a steady trickle of whistleblowers leak scandal after scandal from the facility.
Despite this pressure, veterans are still being defrauded out of access to health care services while whistleblowers exposing the continued fraud are harassed.
Rodriguez, an Iraq War veteran, is supremely disappointed, “I’ve been in combat in Iraq and to have to come home and deal with this?”
118099 5966Now we know who the ssebnile one is here. Great post! 329635
@Lem — Give it up, granted a snowflake will cry, but in 4 more years you have another try. Now please melt-down and evaporate and stop being an incessant pain in the ass internet policeman. You have gone way beyond embarrassing yourself at this point. Sad. But not sad in a lost puppy kind of way…more of an embarrassment of your intentions to sow snowflakes amongst Vets here…it’s beyond getting old at this point.
@Lem – Dang nam Lem, you have a big project going on with keeping all those posts that reference snowflakes. Policing? Alternative intentions? Saving them for a civil rights attorney? Geesh, research time would be better spent on something else. You just keep on pushing, and you know that you’re not going to change people’s believe. Unless, you got to make a big point in the matter, hiring a liberal attorney to try to force something down some one’s throat. My goodness Brother, give it a break and stop instigating. There is a Brother’s wife who is grieving. Really, your good at writing, send Lisa a condolence. Other than that, you should know when your beating a dead horse. Come on now! Enough already.
“Suzy snowflake” song humanizes snowflakes instead of dehumanizing humans or a group of humans. Doesn’t apply. Doesn’t excuse one veteran dehumanizing another by name calling.
@Lem: You know it was YOU that brought up the false claim that Nazi’s used the term snowflake to describe German guard burning of Jews, and so YOU are responsible for getting your buddy J banned from this blog. Think about that. Your butt hurtedness got someone else banned. While your still all butt hurt over a simple name. Did you take the time to go over and pay your condolences to the wife of a lost veteran on a previous page? Get your priorities straight, and quit being thin skinned. People call me all kinds of names, some funny, some not, some are on point at the time, and some not. Get over it, and get over yourself. As Ben, and others have pointed out on many occations. The more impotant task at hand is the very real problem of veterans not getting the care they need, and the fact that we are losing over 20 veterans a day. That compared to you being all so butt hurt, makes you look like a whinney little ass. Know what I mean Irv…………….and that is the last I will ever speak on this subject.
@cj, @Lem – No ill feelings, I agree. Lem, please send a Brother’s wife, who is grieving, a nice word of encouragement. I’ve noticed that you’re very good with words, and you can probably wrote something that is really comforting and point on compared to other messages that Lisa has or will receive. Thanks Brother.
I agree, Lem is fantastik with words, and could write a much needed condolence. Thank you Lem, in advance for doing so.
Which thread is that on, CJ? I’ve kept all of the DisabledVeterans.org posts since I spotted the sight in my save file.
Also, absolutely no hard feelings whatsoever. I’m out for the rest of the day. Peace to all of you.
@cj – Me too. I need to catch up on things. My wife shared with me that we were spending way too much time on the snowflake issue. Better, and more important matters to tend to. Chat with you later.
Sorry you and Ben are not old enough to have watched the movie, “Holocaust.”
@Lem, @cj, @Seymore Klearly – And, the flood gates have been opened. Again. Here we go! Yesterday was really weird. We had about 3 squals that produced large fluffy snowflakes. Participation was only about an inch.
Too much unrealated politics and name calling to wade through. I ‘ve been skipping most emails. It is as you have just stated. A lot of bull and no information. I don’t even have a relative response other than my first post. so will not engage.
@ Lem, please stop it. If you were offended, there have been people who have apologized. I apologize too. Just stop, it causes ill will. We really don’t need it to keep continuing. That is not the intention to always try to offend someone. I wish you the best, peace be with you.
‘J’ and ‘Lem’ and a few other names may very well be the same person posting as they all started this false dialog about Nazi Germany and Snowflakes…beyond embarrassing.
To all the Snowflakes found an investment for ya’s.
I also see that Hillary has set up a go-fund-me-page for help with her upcoming legal fees. Now that all those countries are demanding their money back since she can’t deliver.
“EXCLUSIVE: Clinton-Allied Education Firm Hid IRS Probe Prior To IPO Launch”, by Richard Pollock, The Daily Caller, 10:23 PM 01/30/2017
“Laureate Education, Inc. — which on Wednesday will launch its IPO on NASDAQ — failed to tell investors in federal filings that IRS officials are reviewing congressional charges it had a “pay to play” relationship with Bill and Hillary Clinton, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group has learned. They also failed to inform investors of a current ongoing corruption investigation in Turkey.”
I am sure everyone remembers that Bill Clinton received $16.5 million in payments from Laureate while Hillary was Secretary of State. Also, while Laureate Ed received $100s of millions from the State Department to fund foreign education programs.
Read more: “https://dailycaller.com/2017/01/30/exclusive-clinton-allied-education-firm-hid-irs-probe-prior-to-ipo-launch/”
I guess lem is a snowflake.
Lems not offended, he is just trying to redirect focus off of the subject:
““EXCLUSIVE: Clinton-Allied Education Firm Hid IRS Probe Prior To IPO Launch”, by Richard Pollock, The Daily Caller, 10:23 PM 01/30/2017”
Showing that IRS officials are reviewing congressional charges that Laureate Education, Inc. had a “pay to play” relationship with Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Typical snowflake redirect.
Folks, I didn’t mean to make that sound like some kind of order. My e-mail is on an alarm to inform me of a new email. I am out of my mind, due to sleep deprivation. This terrible news effects us all. and is exactly the reason we are all at odds with the V.A. system.
To all veterans……….. This veterans wife is hurting, please show your love now.
Lisa a January 31, 2017 at 12:43 am
My husband did not take the survey because he died waiting on treatment.
To all veterans……….. Lisa a commented on Veterans Not Better Off Under Obama Says Majority Surveyed.
My husband did not take the survey because he died waiting on treatment.
This veterans wife is hurting, please show your love now.
It is scary being a whistleblower, I’m sure.
I think that anyone commenting on a web log (blog) such as this and makes statements, comments, replies, etc, which is critical of the VA/VHA administration, is in danger of being considered a whistleblower. It should be common knowledge that phone calls, text messages and surely any social media posts/protests are subject to any kind of scrutiny our government deems proper. I use to patrol myself and was careful of what I said about any government agency. We know our 1st and 4th Amendments rights have been snipped away at (mostly by use of the ‘patriot act’ — what a name for it) and we’ve been aware that once those rights are gone, it takes a heck of a lot to get them back, if we ever do.
Everyone is up in arms of the new president’s recent EO– I don’t think it’s much different than what Obama and Shinseki proposed after Obama’s opening punch as new president:
(hope that link works)
“Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance.”
See how far we’ve come? 🙂
@LittleSandyRiver – Is there a more recent article per the topic of having Veterans pay for service connected medical treatment? This article is well outdated, March 12, 2009. Unless it is common knowledge, most information that isn’t susceptible to changes, is most of the times outdated about 3 years after publishing. Especially issues that are ever changing by directives implemented by administrators. Only coming from the point of a scientist’s thinking. The article shows how our compassionate leaders can think of changing billing matters that can create a financial burden on Veterans. You just never know what they are thinking behind closed doors. Thanks for the post.
In a lot of respects, the politicians in DC got their Obama’s wish. Vets pay for their “care” by diminished health from not receiving timely and adequate care, or pay for their care when they refuse to pay the Choice bill.
@91Veteran – It behooves me, that an agency such as the VA, and what its function is and what they should already be aware of, don’t follow through with finding out how a new policy or program REALLY affects-effects us Veterans. My dog knows better. No, my bird knows better. No a microorganism knows better, and they don’t even think, they only proliferate to survive.
Something is wrong with this whole picture. But, the VA will inform me that it is all my fault for what’s happening. Seems like there is less accountability every where you turn. I’m going to sneak out first, and take Dennis’s dang nam smoke away from him.
Concerning your meds: A couple of notes on your meds, My VAMC charges veterans 15 dollars per script per month. This is no small amount for a veteran living off of a fixed income. If you are taking a med that is just too expensive outside of the V.A., you can go directly to the Pharma Manufacturers website, and print out a form to recieve the drug for free. I have a cholesterol lowering med Zetia, that cost from 300 to 600 dollars a month, I recieve that drug free of charge from the Manufacurer. Lipitor, you can get for free just by taking your rx to Meijers if you don’t mind a generic. The only med I get from the V.A. is generic Morphine, only because I get it free for service connection. All other meds, I have my private doctor write an rx for 90 days supply, and then I go to “goodrx.com” and usually get a 90 day supply for around 10 dollars. That is much better than paying 45 dollars from the V.A. Again, just some idea’s for a ‘backup” plan to help out. I don’t put anything past the V.A., in the late 80’s or early 90’s even the VAMC in N. Chicago was shutdown from performing surgeries, and not allowed to perform them again untill fairly recently. The reason why? they were foound to be performing uneeded surgeries on veterans, just to get in knife time for training surgeons. So as it seams, nothing new these days, they get away with whatever they can get away with. It is only veterans banding together as one voice that will ever make a difference. We can only depend on each other to force a change for the benefit of all. Ben………..you have no idea how much all of us appreciate your work. God Bless all of you, and really…………………..I mean it this time……………………..goodnight.
Ben, The linked NBC news article is even more damning than what you have here….as if what you posted isn’t enough.
What a friggin disgrace for this to continue right in McCain’s backyard, yet he can only muster enough energy to write a letter?
The VA spokeshack claims Rodriguez is mistaken…that they were simply conducting an Administrative Investigation Board. Yeah, I think a manager in the VA who is a former military policeman can tell if it were just an AIB. I am sure if it were only that, they would have readily informed him of it being that kind of investigation. How is it the IG can continue emailing confidential information to VA supervisors when that is against the law? This seems to happen in every instance of the IG being involved in a whistle blower case.
It’s also infuriating that these idiots are claiming it’s only 118 dead vets rather than over 200…as if almost twice the number of dead vets first reported when Shinseki was fired is an improvement.
Yeah, Trump has been busy, but he needs to get off his ass and get moving on this disaster since the rest of those morons in DC can’t seem to do anything about this.
@ANutterVet, Ex Va,namnibor,OLDMARINE, Dennis, NiteWish, Jo3n,Crazy Elf,Seymore Klearly, everyone here, Thank you all for you input for tadays appointment, and kind words about the need for laughter. I could have have driven to the Twin Cities in the time it took to go round trip. I did tell the tech no pictures of my head (wouldn’t find anythin in there anyway, maybe an old moth carcass, but that’s about it) So they only scanned my lower back, and I still took your advice and shook my head back and forth, just in case. No I was too stressed to think about the hungry hippo song………..darn!!!! That would have been excellent. The MRI tech did look an awful lot like a girl I use to date when I was younger, she was half Amrican Indian and half Chinese, her name if I recall was Uhg Lee. It also hit me on the way home how battently selfish I have been with all of you. I know most of you are dealing with a lot of pain and stress. I have to tell you about a way to releive just a little bit of that stress. A Tibeten Monk I ran into once, at the dry cleaners, once told me, (he lovingly refered to me as Rint on gnatz ass ho). He said “Rint u soooo stressed out, u need very special way to go back to a place when u were happy, When u get der Rint on natz ass ho, you pickka reel goood song, from when u was justa wittle wittle runty Rint, and u play that song and close u eye Rint. Alll u stresses will go puff”. You know? he was right, and selfish, self centered, inconsiderate me, has not thought to share that song with the rest of you, It is sung by Rosemary Clooney, gawd that woman was so far ahead of her time it isn’t even funny, and she had the voice of an angel, And it makes it so much easier to fall asleep, So to make up for my short sidedness. Here is the link to that song, and I apologize in advance for poking that hornets nest once again, sorry Ben I just had to do it: “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBpFprdX8-w” Hope you guys enjoy.
@cj – Gotta get me bug spray now.
@cj – you won not talk good shinee, grrrrrrasshoppa.
I salute and applaud Mr Rodriguez. When something needs done, ask a combat vet to accomplish the mission. I really hate the term “whistle blower”, especially when it comes to Mr Rodriguez. The man must’ve been one helluva NCO. A employee in the VA with balls, imagine that.
@Warhorse — I too, have never cared for the term ‘whistle blower’, but I try to look at it being applicable to the metaphoric V.A. Titanic and those whistle blowers are trying to save lives by alerting loudly when icebergs are spotted by the blowing of that deck whistle. It just works for me then I forget about the rather degrading term of whistle blower. I would much prefer term ‘Thistle Plower’. 🙂 (thistles in VA’s rear)
The Phoenix VA, Is no different than many other facilities and they will not change. This Action by the OIG, proves they are with the VA and will Assist in attacking Veterans and protecting VA Employees. As Ben stated they have weathered different Secretaries.
Its called the wait game, Its just like the Colorado weather, if you don’t like it, don’t worry it will change in 5 minutes. So just wait it out. The OIG will even tell the VA it is ok, to Punish Veterans they feel were disruptive.
All the VA has to do is call them tell them a veteran is being reported as being disruptive and the OIG gives the VA Their Blessing to go after the Veterans. The VA does not even have to provide proof of the Disruptive Behavior, The OIG and the VA think that Hearsay is Evidence enough to punish Veterans.
The OIG is suppose to protect veterans. But as you can see they Warn Management when an Employee Blows the Whistle. So if an Employee should contact the OIG and request help. that employee already been Flagged and the OIG is also Breaking the Law by leaking that information.
We know they are not going to close the Doors and with this new secretary being a VA employee, This Guy has been Assisting McDonald do Nothing. I do not believe anything is going to change in favor of the Veterans.
If anything I believe they are going to get Bolder and will step up their efforts to Deny more and More Veterans of their Disability or they are going to Approve claims at 0 %. Even if their records show the Veterans should be at a higher %.
They have Managers that protect Bad employees and with help of the OIG, will continue doing it. Who’s going to stop them no one, anyone policing themselves will never Admit to what they are doing.
I agree that Veterans who want outside treatment to be given that option, But the VA has attacked veterans for using the program, by not paying the bills and making it very hard for those veterans to obtain their medication in a timely manner. Deny, Deny, Hope You Die. Its not just a saying it the Fact and its not Hearsay.
@cj, you seem to be much more patient than me. For years and years now I have been using humor to mask my anger. I hear it’s kinda common. There are too many bad things going on in the VA. Without the many anecdotes, provided by Ben, and the Veterans who follow this site, I’m quite sure that I would have lost it by now. Cj Sometimes, laughter is my only straw. God Bless the Veterans. And, SHUT DOWN THE VA, and let the OIG IG investigate that.
I happened to be in the CLC in Dallas Tx (Lancaster) VA from Nov 18 2016 until Jan 9 2017 and can say that a walk through inspection won’t cure the problem. The reason for being in the VA Hospital at all was due to the Choice Programs lack of doing what it was created for. I ended up getting an infection in a wound while waiting for the Choice Program to find a wound care aide for me. The infected blister turned into a heart attack and an amputation. I saw things while staying in the CLC(Community Living Center)that would turn ones stomach during my extended stay,however,unlike many that were there that are dying or have died while I was healing I am able to begin a crusade in which,I pray,future Vets receive the stellar care they so richly deserve. I have been in contact with a veterans advocate and who is also a spokes person for a Congressman regarding many aspects that veterans face. There are some things that have already been set in motion. I went back to the CLC last week to do some leg work but it was being overran with an outbreak of influenza flu so upon finding this out I cut my visit short. I plan on returning for more ammunition.
@Chuck M – I find it to be absurd, that Veterans who visit VA facilities offer more intelligent suggestions where changes are required, compared to VA employees and other overseers, that are responsible for the expected professional care and treatment of our beloved Brothers and Sisters in a VA Medical Center setting. It’s a disgrace, and its criminal.
The VA OIG will be the first to chime-in gleefully and state, “We at the OIG only IDENTIFY PROBLEMS at the VA, but never enforce existing laws on the books but rather, ONLY recommends to the VA to police themselves…and the vicious circle continues to churn, while Congress will take some of their valuable time AND taxpayer $$$ for multiple band aids to prop-up the initial law in the first place.
Not even the VA OIG is held to accountability of The Law…they are only the hall monitors at the local middle school, at best.
How about a **real** watchdog WITH TEETH? Rabies Shot optional.
@Namnibor – This is all common at all levels. I get the run-a-round even at the VA facility level. Its dirty ways seeps all through the system. No wonder Veterans [myself included] get very discouraged, frustrated, and feel that a system that is supposed to have my back and my best interests at heart, fails me miserably enough so that these people cruise so professionally that they get away with it.
Its very tiresome when your dealing with medical issues that drain your energy, concentration, motivation, and creative thinking. I have already paid a high price as a guinea pig.
I hope that some political authority has enough the nads to shake up the VA, put a hold on everything that doesn’t effect Veterans care, do an biased and thorough audit performed by outside resources, and seek professional advice from consulting services that exceed in 21st century healthcare and beyond.
I talked to a vaoig agent personally and he told me that they were the ones who had the jurisdiction and prosecuted criminal activity. My experience is that they pick and choose who or whom the choose to prosecute. NO justice for criminal acts committed majority of the time in my opinion.
With a VA OIG office that has for decades preformed nearly every investigation with blinders on and heavy use of white wash of any wrong doing by VA Staff. Each of the times their investigation turn up additional wrong doing it is always listed as not part of the scope of their investigation. So, no further investigation is performed.
It is like the VA OIG office is only concerned about who they need to silence and what evidence they need to cover up to make a problem go away.
@ Seymore Klearly, you have it perfectly correct of the vaoig.
@ANutterVet: Of course you wil hear back from me, Thank you for the advice. Now picture this if you will. I am laying in an MRI tube, rocking my head back and fourth, and saying, “kibbles and bits, kibbles and bits, I got to get me some kibbles and bits”, I wonder what kind of look I am going to get from the techs, when they pull me back out? Think they will offer me a treat an pat me on the head? I mean, I already know they going to ask me to roll over to get off the table. I should make a sound like a Boston Terrier..bock bock bock…….
@cj – I almost choked on my bite of sandwich. Look, in their minds, they already know they think somethings wrong. So when you do get off that table, get on all fours, then bite and shake their ankle, all the time growling like a ticked off Belgian shepherd or a badly treated pit bull. You’ll be out of their quicker than a corrupt VA employee making some side money, and plus, they don’t get those additional MRI images.
Additional input; when you’re on the table, don’t forget to rhythmically tick along with the MRI’s noise that it makes. If any thing goes array, you can always tell them that you were speaking in Raymond Vahan Damadians’ scientific physical language. Its not your fault that they can’t catch on. I have always said, and will keep on saying it, they need more training, better yet, we need more types of protection.
tick, tick, tick, . . . . , da, da, da, da, . . . . , tick, tick, tick, . . . , ah sir, where are you going? Call security, he’s acting like a canine.
@cj — Some advice: I learned the hard way to *never* fart while in that MRI Tube…yes, there’s some air circulation in that tube but not nearly enough velocity to move a burrito bomb. 🙂
In all likelihoon when you start singing kibbles and bits the VA technicians will begin to salivate and wag their butts. Bring some milk bones because they can turn mean fast.
Wonder what would take place if you started singing the Hungry, Hungry Hippos song? Would they break-out into choreographed song and dance while placing metallic items into the running MRI machine for nifty sound effects? 🙂
@ANutterVet: I tried to respond, but only a couple hours sleep in the past five days, I am not thinking clearly either. I start out nice enough, but I just get angy as the response developes. Remember that episode of The Honeymooners, where Ralph is trying to record an appology to Alice onto a record? “SHE’S A BLABBERRRRRMOUTH Alice!!!”, so I just canceled my reply.
I have an hour drive to the VAMC, I am tired, I am drugged up, my head is not screwed on correctly, and I am strung tighter than a Stradivarius. Maybe this time I don’t make it back. I don’t really care anymore. I just hope I don’t hurt anyone else along the way. Take care.
Damn, looking at my last post, I didn’t mean to sound so grim. I am ok, just strung out is all. Nothing to worry about here.
@cj – I feel the same from being exhausted. But what I know about you, is that you are a fighter. Do your appointment, don’t let them take images of other areas. If they try to be slick, all that you need to do is to move, and get your body away from the MRI. Or, just constantly move your body all around. This will distort the images. I don’t trust them either. But your input and humor on Ben’s blog is priceless to others and to myself as well. You know how to stand your ground. It’s in you. And, I need to hear back from you.
@cj – Your pisser. I even had my wife involved. Heart rate went up. This also tells me that you know what to do to those VA employees. Trying to LMAO.
@Namnibor, @Seymore Klearly, @Crazy elf, @91Veteran, @Ex va, @cj – MK posted – Could you deal with the facts that i stated? or we got to hear about the childish names calling, Snowflake and talking about another mans asshole or trolls? Name calling will not stop me or any clear thinking person from being Critical of the Sociopath in charge. Maybe i may be asking too much from this Group.
MK, I’ve not been able to think clearly, so I don’t want to give an off the wall response. I refer your comments and question to others who at this time, are able to think more clearly than myself. Can some one, who thinks more clearly, answer MK’s question? I trust your responses.
I think you should go in for the exam, but excuse yourself to the restroom. Then poop in the wastebasket. Save it up from a good chilli dog feed the night before and heap on the chilli peppers. I vote personally that you toss down some cherry cheesecake followed by cheap burboun after you eat but you may be dieting. Make it a good heave-ho effort and let the movement of the bowels grace the wastebucket.
Clean yourself up, then return and report with disgust (and complete honesty), “My God somebody took a shit in the trash can!!!” Look shocked and appalled. This action you can take as part of an overall strategy that is the pre-amble to the poop cannon rolling in. It is a test shot. Besides, it gets a ton of laughs on the mental ward, and can cheer you up considerably. Trust me…
There is no sin in fighting back damnit!!!
@Dennis: LOL, tooooo funny. Thank you for that.
@Dennis – You got me laughing. Thanks for the endorphin push.
@Ben, CorpsmanUp, ANutterVet, namnibor, Dennis and others.
Why should our “so-called”, “ALLEGED” elected and appointed officials care one bit about us, they don’t use VA for anything. As a matter of fact, they made it, by law, so they wouldn’t even have to enroll in that bull shit Obamacare!
That said, “WHY SHOULD THEY CARE?”
It’s come out Congress, in both houses, can’t do anything to anyone in VA. Look at how many of those reprobates have laughed at Congress, veterans and taxpayers in the past few years.
Another ‘rant’ for this morning.
@Crazy elf – I hear exactly what you’re saying. And, they don’t take it at all seriously what are concerns are or what is bothering us. They don’t even respond to our requests in person, only by robotish [can I use this word] impersonal methods. They’ve been doing this for decades. And you know, if they wanted to make changes, they rapidly can if they wanted to.
I need to watch myself, anxiety is making ripples in my body, mind, and thoughts. Been like this for over a year, and been yelling for help. Do you think they care? Elf, didn’t mean to be late in responding to your post. Its the best I could do at the moment. Only 1.5 hours sleep last night.
Need to stay away form MSM, and tune into alternative outlets. My wife took my service dog out for a bit. He gets clammy being inside for long periods of time, like I do myself.
I have an appointment later today for an MRI of the lower and upper back. I also have, for almost a year and a half now been waiting on a decision for service connection TBI. Since nothing could have possibly have changed in my back, I am not feeling confortable about getting this MRi done. I feel as though it is a bogus request, that is being used to get pictures of my head instead, to gather information to use aganst me. I feel this way because the original claim was denied, and them I filled a complaint with the OIG because the shrink that was the cause of the denial was not qualified to make accessments of TBI. What do you guys think about this situaltion? They already have many MRI’s of my entire back, along with complete sets of x-rays. I also told them that durring this MRI scan, that they are not authorized to take scans of my head.
compare your old MRI to your new one and look at what they omit , bet they use the new one on your decision
I also filled a complaint against my pcp in the same complaint, then I was given a new pcp and told my old pcp was no longer seeing patients. She is now an administrator, is what I was told. I have only seen this new pcp once, his words were, “I have never seen anyone with this much damage to their back, and since you are taking Morphine, we need a new MRI, to justify continued use of Morphine”. I have been going to this VAMC for over 42 years, it sickens me to the core, the mistrust they have instilled into me. I almost feel paranoid, when I walk through those doors. I no longer trust anyone in that damn place. I hate the games they play, how they have made me feel these past 5 years, and how utterly incompetent these doctors are.
cj The MRI for my shoulders through Choice cost $4,402.00 because the radiology Inc. billed me. I sent the bill to R McDonald, TriWest, Choice & wrote the radiology to stop billing me. I could be paranoid but soon after I lost access to my primary dentist & the TMJ specialist. Retaliation? Yes I think so. Get a copy of the MRI from the place that takes it & compare it to the report VA gets & research those findings online.
The reading software on MRIs that your primary care or neurologist or orthopod get to use are very inferior compared to what a contract neurosurgeon or radiologist use. A reading from a Medical School will be very different than one from the VA contractor. Obviously the contractor is a mill operation and pressured to downplay compensable conditions. The reading software that will be on your disc will be even more inferior.
Only in Japan do all physicians have the best reading software on their desks. Provided by the government. Here in the U S you have to rent reading software and the bests costs a lot more per license. And the best is grossly inferior to what I was shown in Japan. We really need a change it that delivery system. It is like the guy who bought the cure for Hep C and then charged outrages prices per pill.
Also I sent my bill (smaller than yours) to a letter to the editor after the patient advocate refused to do anything about it explaining I was a veteran compensated at 70% and was supposed to be given all health care free of charge. The bill was paid by the billing office very quickly after the letter was published.
Lem, Last week I mailed out another set of letters from bills for a bone density scan & co-payment bills from a 2015 mammogram which VA had already paid & this time I left out mcdonald from the mailing list.
Did you put in Shulkin? It is on his side of the Office these bills are paid. Did you pre call on every appointment as required unless they were all ready listed as approved in your letter? Lot of fraud out there in civilian practice so some extreme elements are in the Choice authorization program. You can’t even get an ER bill paid unless you call and get it authorized first and when you call they tell you they can’t guarantee authorization.
It is a pit that the VA is understaffed and hasn’t got its act together in accounting controls so they are solid but not obstructionist to veterans who rate the care. And with the ACA all veterans who are registered rate the care although some have a co-pay to shoulder.
Lem, All the tests were authorized in advance & it took months & I have no co-pay & I didn’t snail mail Shulkin. Its just so darn annoying.
@NiteWish: NiteWish, I will only have testing done at onsite V.A. facilities for service connected injuries only, and even then I get a copy for my own private doctors to evaluate. I never take the V.A.’s word for anything. Way to many veterans have lost their lives to the misconduct, and incompetence of the V.A. and it’s doctors. For everything not service connected I use Medicare, and go to my own doctors. Most veterans are not aware, and I am not talking about the vererans here, because most here are extremely knowlegable about their own health, that they can recieve ssdi because of their service connected, and also personal disabilities. Also available to all citizens of my state, Illinois, is the DHS, in your state it may be called by another name. Dept. of Human Services. If you ask for their help they have different things they can help people with as well. For my sister who is legally blind, they got her into the Chicago lighthouse, to learn how to read braille and use a walking cane etc. Also in Illinois, the people that the ss admin uses for determining if your disabled or not is the very same DHS. So for people that are deciding if they want to apply for ssdi, it would be benificial if they first were known to the DHS, who requires only a letter from your doctor to determine if your eligable for help. Hope this helps. No veteran can rely on the V.A. to do what they are suppose to do. In my mind, I refuse to wait on them, and seek out my own sources. It is a backup plan, and we all can use one.
Also to anyone that ever gets insulted by anything I say, know this. I never ever harbour any ill though against any veteran. Even if we happen to get in a childish spatt, I will still stand in front of anyone of your to take a punch, or even a bullet, that was intended for you. It is what we do.
Now I really really have to get some rest, before I implode on myself and pop inside out. Goodnigt, and I hope you all have a painfree as possible restfull sleep.
stand in front of anyone of you……………not your……………..sleepy time.
The entire VA organization is like an experimental maze that the rats run around in. The rats quickly learn what floors not to touch and how many tugs at the lever it takes to dispense cheese. In the VA maze the rats are tasked wih picking which floors shock, where the cheese is at, and the rats themselves get to decide which researcher to dissect. What can science learn from this?
Answer: Rats get really fat and multiply quickly.
For All – FYI- The below link will allow you to do a specific search of Office of Internal General’s reports about your VA Medical Center. The site listed below, also offers filters that may be applied while searching for reports.
ANutterVet, I spent a number of hrs looking over those reports. VA’s Drug-Free Workplace Program is not working & the cost to drug test employees in 2013 was $1.4 million, they are supposed to test only 3,420 employees every year. I know that every veteran that goes to a VA has been drug tested, Veterans Arrested for Making Threats, VA employees stealing drugs, My clinic listed as a specialty in Gastroenterology but missed Crohn’s in my son, inappropriate destruction or mishandling of claims-related documents at 11 VAROs that are not listed & on & on….thankx for the link. I’m going back to watching the Trollhunters on Netflix-its hard to be angry when your watching cartoons.
@NiteWish – Yeah, I’ve only been recently exposed to the innards of the VA’s inefficient system. As a life scientist, it aggravates me to the core. You’d think that due to all of the so-called medical professionals and system processors in a facility, that all would go half way decent for us Veterans. I think we can accept some potholes that we run into in the path of trying to get something done. But my, not even the dang nam shovel slappers would be able to keep up with the amount of scattered potholes.
For myself, I have to search for humor by the minute. I know the VA’s system is too far from perfect, and I can’t accept that the VA can’t be reformed and reorganized in a short period of time with all the talent that can be mustered. Its been going on for far too long. And, sure, I get frustrated with our lazy politicians. Since they are overseers, I consider them to be worse off. They have the authority to make changes an act of policy or guideline. And, law if need be.
Sorry to hear about your son NiteWish. Totally uncalled for, unprofessional, and downright criminal in actions. There is a lack of integrity. They are not held accountable, and because of careless mistakes, people lives are at risk, and people are suffering because of stupidity. Dam dirty and corrupt mindsets.
Anyway, good to hear that you can use the link. I looked it up only after @Dennis posted information about it. The first thing I did was to look up the VA that I use. No reports in 2016. Maybe some are due according to reports in 2014 and the relocation of the previous Director. We’ll see.
It’s time for the “Hammer of Justice” to come down on the VA.
If Shulkin doesn’t do his duty within a very short time span, fire him. Replace with a person who will work with veterans, not VA employees!
The union is a dinosaur. Do away with it. “Songbird” McCain is a useless piece of garbage. How he was re-elected is beyond my comprehension. It must make him proud to know this all happened on his watch.
There’s not really much more to say, because until someone with balls takes the reigns, it will be “business as usual” at all VHA’s nationwide!
Here’s something I forgot to mention.
Rodriquez said “215 veterans died” while waiting.
The VA said, in the MSM article, ONLY “118 died”!
So, I guess it’s OK to “kill” veterans, no matter what the actual numbers are!
Let’s be clear here. It doesn’t matter what the numbers are, MURDER IS MURDER! Using the word “KILL” doesn’t make the problem less palatable!
These people, from director to the lowest clerk IS responsible for this. They need to be held accountable.
Rant over for now!
But, McCain wrote a letter! It seems you picked up on the same thing I did…that only 118 was somehow an improvement.
@91Veteran – Shootz, they were only off by around 45%. That’s not too bad considering. And, I agree, murder is murder. McCain. Even though its not possible, I expect more from a Veteran. Especially if they are a politician.
“[The whole thing smells fishy,” Coleman said of VA probe into Rodriguez. “It is Phoenix VA leadership textbook 101 how they work harder to go after whistleblowers than they do in actually admitting to and fixing the problems we raise.]”
^That more than likely represents the systemic mess the entire VA is in. The VA Public Relations and OIG spend more time blowing pixy dust on problems and only when they become out in the wild beyond their own damage control and never fix any problem, but certainly take oodles of $$$$ for the series of band aids for any such problem…it’s a cultural problem and requires an enema.
I feel that I must point out to you something that your keen observation has missed. You speak of the VA OIG blowing pixey dust. Well, I suspect that they do indeed avail themselves of some good blow and likely up their noses in between child porn festivals (only in the OIG glass conference room), but I have always believed the devil hides in plain sight. So I went to the OIG website to see what they say abut themselves.
Do you think the OIG looks at vets like the good guys? Do you think at this agency is on our side? Hard saying, because reading namnibors mind is pretty tough, but before you answer please try this; google “VA OIG press release”. If your google is as big as my google (size does matter) then your google will goog you to a page that the OIG proudly displays as their accomplishments.
Now, if you have googed onto the OIG page count the number of veterans and/or non-VA employees that they showcase as criminals. Then count the number of VA employees they showcase as criminals. The VA does far more than blow pixey dust up veterans asses.
I went to public school so calculating the ratio of indictments the VA OIG sent after non-VA folks (mostly vets) vs. the ones they sent after VA folks is hard to do for me (I smoked pot in school). However the difference between the two numbers as a ratio is more than all of my fingers and toes combined. Now, factor in all the reports about each of those groups in the media (I personally do not recall hearing a news story about rampant vet corruption, have you?).
The VA OIG sees vets as the threat to America. It is no wonder why the ignore us – they believe that WE are the problem.
The OIG NEVER finds ant credence in a VA employee doing wrong. Every prosecution they get is some Vet. or family member guilty of some sort of fraud. NEVER any evidence against ANY employee that is reported. Damndet thing I evefr saw.
If you are on Twitter, the VA OIG has a twitter account in which they release news of what they may be doing. It’s an interesting read, and would be interesting to see how many investigations that they have tweeted about resulted in prosecution for vets as opposed to prosecution for VA employees.
A report they just tweeted about and released today is a review of the Choice program.
$300 million was used by the VA to administer the program. Which means they used slightly less than half allocated for direct medical care to hire flunkies, print Choice cards, etc.
The examples they provide in the report are not examples, but typical of the entire program.
@91Veteran, @Dennis – Many VA employees that are involved in disseminating information on the Choice Program fall short of properly informing Veterans. I was offered outside services that a provider no longer participated in the program. There are also many providers that don’t belong in the program anymore, due to discounted payments from the VA, and lengthy waiting times for payment of services.
From my experience, even though it is another option for Veterans to receive medical care outside the VA, many top notch providers avoid the Choice Program due to what I stated earlier and other reasons. There are other issues that I’ve experienced, but I would have to write a dissertation to explain.
Overall, the Choice Program may have been created for good intentions. but it was shoddily set up, implemented, and updated. When a Veteran experiences these problems, they may get discouraged due to the intentional infliction of emotional distressed when dealing with their provider at a VA Medical Center. Just saying.
Health Net is in Phoenix?
It’s a “systemic problem” at the VA, meaning it’s become a CULTURE of corruption and no single VA Secretary will change this. It will take no less than completely banning the AFGE and Performance Bonus System. Give these hacks the “Jelly of The Month Club” gift and make them happy with burnt toast to eat it on and serve Veterans with a smile while doing so.
Disgusting, Disappointed, & Disgruntled. Drain The Swamp Shuklin or….YOU ARE FIRED as quick as you are hired. Next, place a leatherneck Marine in charge of the VA…
Yet Gibson just a month ago was whining to Congress about restoring their bonuses.
Want to wager any guesses how many vets habe been placed under a DBC flag in that same time frame? For every VA whistleblowers persecuted by VA there must be at LEAST 100 vets tagged, flagged, and bagged by these traitors to America. My pity for VA folk burned by their own is tempered greatly with the knowledge that these scumbags are tossing out DBC flags like a rodeo parade tosses candy.
I just cannot get around the idea in my head that so very many of these pricks are the same ones pissing on vetrans from the shadows of the notorious DBC chambers. He only got shit on – how many innocent vets got buried? God bless the man for serving his country, but when you work in the septic fields it is hard to garner sympathy with me if you end up smelling like shit.
I no longer care how it gets done, but Veterans need to see Dr.’s today, maybe tomorrow, might be ok to wait a couple weeks. The VA serves none of these. It’s like a real bad prearranged marriage. I need a divorce, and decent medical, and mental health. I need a Dr. Not programmed to avoid conditions for… who cares what for.. ? I remember the contract. The VA is not living up to the contract I signed in 1968, which said, They will provide medical if I were to need it, if injured while in service. In my case, I am not sure if the VA hasn’t added to the damage done. I don’t want them taking my blood pressure, or my blood. I can’t sleep the night before an appointment, they offer me serequel(spent). How can anyone communicate with a Dr. whose job is to misdiagnose, and lie?
jo3n, The next time you go to the VA, look around for any posters showing the Patients Bill of Rights. It may be hard to find with the number of posters they have up insinuating all veterans are thieves stealing travel funds.
Everyone should look them up. Then ask themselves if any health care they receive at the VA resembles anything like what is in them.
Absolutely criminal, I have no words for the disgust I feel after reading this article.
Ask Shulkin about this one taking a job at NASA. She called the IG to probe Delaware. The biggest liar is Shulkin and McDonald who came to Wilmington. Invited by slimeball Carper and a crooked OIG who retaliates against whistleblowers for the exposure of Legionella, a dirty doctor and fake AIBs. The MSPB and EEOC are involved in the whistleblower take down scheme as well. I already embarrased the Delaware AUSA when her dumbass tried to file a motion to dismiss and I filed a motion to strike clearly proving her false brief.
Crooked times and a corrupt system that Trump is taking action on!
They better get their shit together!
@CorpsmanUp!, @cj – Its true about the Wilmington VAMC. They even refer themselves as a full service medical facility. You know now what I’m dealing with. They’ve promised services, then acted like nothing was ever offered. With my PCP, I’ve been left our from a patient-doctor relationship. For me this doesn’t exist. And, the dirty science is of the charts. Since receiving care from this VA facility, my health has tremendously deteriorated. Shootz, my direct medical providers don’t even probe with questions like a good treating medical provider should. And, Delaware Online in another example of not truly keeping a consistent and regular reporting on this facilities mishaps.
Like CorpsmanUp! stated, our political leaders are effective as much as non-medicated petroleum jelly protecting a wound until being able to receive proper care. The hoops just get further apart, and are too many to go through. Hopefully, some day, some one with enough integrity and common sense will be in the position to swiftly clean this house, and they won’t give a dam who is causing the stagnation of Veterans getting the healthcare that they truly need.
And, there is nepotism, favoritism, bullying and mobbing of good VA employees who really want to make changes or to report the things that need to be changed, many VA employees shut down early [time theft], especially on Monday and definitely Friday, the phone system always puts you in que and leaves you waiting for a long period of time, the Physical Therapy Departments warm water pool for basic PT exercises was filled in, many of the employees don’t know proper protocol, now a Nurse has to call you back to schedule an appointment even if your PCP sent you a letter stating that they need to see you, and it goes on, and on.
This is all uncalled for. We Veterans need to stick together to support one another. CorpsmanUp!, you now know where I reside. By the way Ben, thanks for the earlier dismissal of the troll. It was getting way out of line. You picked up on it, good call, and proactive measures were implemented.
I hate to hear that whistleblowers are still being retaliated against for reporting criminal activity and wrongdoing by va administrators.. As a va employee you are to report crimes to vaoig or a medical center director in some medical centers.
I believe they want you to report it so they can paint a target on you. I hate to hear this article of retaliation because that means it is business as usual in the va medical care system. It disgusts me. The POTUS and Congress need to address this issue specifically, it is too dangerous of a system with no accountability.
When you worked for the VA, did you ever hear of the No FEAR Act? Ever get training on it? It’s a law passed by Congress in 2002 that is supposed to improve protection for whistle blowers or those reporting wrong doing.
If you look it up online, it says federal agencies are supposed to provide training to everyone on this law. I’m curious how many actually get the training…or even know about it.
@91Veteran, i heard of it, we had so many training modules to do every year it was probably in the mix. I will look for some evidence if i did or did not. Thank you for reminding me or it, i am working on somethings and taking it to a different avenue, hope to report about it here if successful.
It is disgraceful their conduct and negligence about the majority of operations and how they treat someone who reports it. They have a lot of posters for vaoig and a medical center memorandum “duty to report” which tells you have a duty to report criminal activity. No accountability majority of time. My experience was shocking i had no idea how bad things could be with upper managers. Also, the number of people involved in the schemes.
To all veterans……….. This veterans wife is hurting, please show your love now.
Lisa a January 31, 2017 at 12:43 am
My husband did not take the survey because he died waiting on treatment.
@ cj, thank you for seeing the post about Lisa. So sad. I prayed for her, this is so upsetting. So disgusted with va. Right words are hard to say about this because i don’t think there are any for something like this. This va reality is so ********* up. This madness needs to stop NOW!!!! So angry about all of it!!! How dare they get to play with people’s lives. They are asking for judgement, and they may receive it. God knows everything.
@Ex va – You’re totally correct. How uncompassionate can you get. A disgrace to our Brother and his family. Really ticks me off. I shared with my that I feel like I’m going to snap. They can kiss off. VA treats us and our families worse than, . . . it makes me mad. Need to hit the sack, or hit something. My muscles are shaking and I’m getting spasms. Time to chime out. Continue the justified ranting. Night all.
@ ANutterVet, sleep well. God bless
@ Craig Womer, glad to hear that you received good and timely care from choice program. I wish everyone could receive that type of care. Glad it saved your life. 🙂
I’ve been following Disabled Veterans for years now. This is a great resource to follow.
I’m also glad you received timely healthcare through the Choice Program. And, that you received a favorable outcome!
Here’s a couple of questions for you, and many others out there.
“Out of all the veterans who have requested to use “Choice”, How many were actually granted permission?”
“Once granted that permission, and after using the ‘Choice Program’, how many veterans got “stuck with the bill”?”
I believe, *IF* a truthful investigation were done, the answers would probably shock most veterans and taxpayers.
As almost every one on here has said, at one time or another, “Follow the Money”!
Choice card program works for me. I got open heart surgery saved my life in less than 30 days. Work the system. CHOICE 866 606 8198.
Shut down the VA and give every vet a Medicare card. No President will solve the problem. The only way to solve the VA problem is to give vets as many ways around the VA as possible.
VA DEATHCARE US TAX PAYERS JUST PUTTING NEW LIPSTICK ON VA FAT NASTY PIG POTUS SHUT THE WHOLE VA PIGDTY A2 give all vouchers asap ythe va is the titanic just let the va sink asap !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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