The Department of Veterans Affairs put the contract to transition from VistA to a commercial electronic health record system for $10 billion.

After some controversy over cost and possible patent violations, Secretary David Shulkin decided to put the Cerner contract on hold. Apparently, in addition to those issues, VA has reason to believe the system proposed by Cerner may not work with other systems.

Cerner was part of a slew of contractors who failed to deliver on another contract costing the agency over $1 billion. As a reward for failure, VA then awarded Cerner a $10 billion to privatize the entire electronic health record system without a proven track record.

At a Politico-sponsored event, Shulkin expressed concern over how Cerner’s system would interact with other systems used by private health care providers.

RELATED: Cerner Sued For Patent Infringement Over VA Contract Battle

On Tuesday, I wrote the following about new revelations concerning the earlier Cerner failure that cost taxpayers $1.1 billion:

Veterans Affairs blew $1.1 billion on failed IT projects in the past six years. Meanwhile, veterans went without 5,000 doctors as VA played with bad code.

The majority of the $1.1 billion was split between 15 companies to update the agency’s VistA electronic health records system. One of those contractors, Cerner Corp., received about $13 million of the kitty. After the failure was well known, Cerner was then awarded the sole-source contract in an effort to fully privatize electronic health records for the agency at the tune of $10 billion.

VA says the new IT project, despite its high price tag, will improve data center optimization and electronic health record portability between DOD and VA. Now, the agency has fought with DOD for over a decade to make this happen. Now, both agencies have turned their hopes to the private sector for a solution. 

Source: http://www.kansascity.com/news/business/technology/article189792379.html

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74 COMMENTS

  1. A little more on what is going on with Cerner.

    “Cerner president sells more than half his shares”
    By Elise Reuter – Reporter, Kansas City Business Journal
    Dec 14, 2017, 8:40am

    “Cerner Corp. President Zane Burke sold $3.5 million in stock Wednesday, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    Burke sold 50,000 shares valued at $70, leaving him with 26,799 shares owned directly. Cerner’s stock (Nasdaq: CERN) was valued at $70.58 at market open on Wednesday.

    The sale comes weeks after interim CEO Cliff Illig sold 530,000 shares, netting $35 million in November. However, Illig still owns 13.25 million shares in the company. By comparison, Burke’s sale represented 55.6 percent of what he owned directly and through his 401(k), which holds another 13,135 shares.”

    *******************

    “Health IT company that sued VA goes after Cerner’s patents”
    By Elise Reuter – Reporter, Kansas City Business Journal
    Dec 12, 2017, 12:39pm

    “The same company that sued the Department of Veterans Affairs over its no-bid contract with Cerner Corp. is now suing Cerner over one of its patents.

    San Diego-based CliniComp International Inc. filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California on Monday stating Cerner (Nasdaq: CERN) had violated one of its patents for an enterprise health care management system. The 2003 patent describes a system that allows companies to remotely host hospitals’ IT infrastructure, removing the burden for health systems to update their own IT systems.

    The company stated the remote-hosting solutions Cerner offers for its Millennium electronic health record system violate this patent. CliniComp will seek a permanent injunction and an undetermined amount of damages, according to the complaint.

    The news comes just a month after CliniComp appealed its lawsuit against the Veterans Affairs department. The original case, which challenged the decision to award the revamp of the VA’s aging electronic health record system without an open bidding process, was dismissed by a judge in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in October.

    As expected, CliniComp appealed the case, but offered to settle if the VA tested its software to see if it was up to the task, FierceHealthcare reported.”

    • Also worth noting that Cerner stock at “NASDAQ: CERN” started a downward trend right after the president of the company started selling off his stock in the company. That downward trend is picking up speed.

      • I wonder how the pentagon will deal with CliniComp over it’s use of their patents?

        Maybe they can rehire the Russian coders, Obama’s pentagon Hired, to write a new work around on the updates.

        “Company That Used Russian Coders for Pentagon Project Strikes Deal”
        December 11, 2017

        The subcontractor that hired the coders signed a non-prosecution deal to end a criminal investigation.

        “http://www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/2017/12/company-used-russian-coders-pentagon-project-strikes-deal/144466/”

      • Cliff Illig the one remaining founder of Cerner made it into the Billionaire club in 2015 when the pentagon went with Cerner. Now he is about to lose his seat at the table.

      • Got to wonder how much Shulkin got for his shares of stock in the company right after the patent lawsuit was filed?

      • Link to the patent in pdf:

        “https://s3.amazonaws.com/assets.fiercemarkets.net/public/004-Healthcare/external_Q42017/CliniComp_patent.pdf”

        Link to the filing in the lawsuit pdf:

        “https://s3.amazonaws.com/assets.fiercemarkets.net/public/004-Healthcare/external_Q42017/CliniComp+patent+complaint.pdf”

    • Hmmm. A little profit taking before their stock tanks when its formally announced they will not get the contract.

      I’m curious who in the VA knows who in Cerner for this no bid contract to get this far in the first place.

      …and which politician had more pull than Cerners.

      • “How Jared Kushner helped the VA pick Cerner… quickly”

        In a leaked audio, the senior adviser and son-in-law to President Donald Trump discusses meetings with the VA Secretary, Defense Secretary and DoD EHR experts.

        By Bill Siwicki
        August 03, 2017, 02:50 PM

        “http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/how-jared-kushner-helped-va-pick-cerner-quickly”

        In all honesty after reviewing the lawsuit filed by CliniComp International Inc. and the patent. I am just not seeing a chance in hell for CliniComp to win the Suit.

        But when you have the President of the company selling more than half his shares in the companies stock two days after the lawsuit was filed. Maybe he knows something that isn’t public yet.

      • The lawsuit seems bogus and a way to dig at Trump.

        One thing it will do if the lawsuit is allowed to go forward is put an end to any advances in the VA’s Telehealth systems.

        Which by the way is already under investigation by the GAO for Medicaid and Medicare Fraud.

        “Telehealth policy changes mean big revenue opportunities for hospitals”

        Pending developments in government policy around access to virtual care and reimbursement for services delivered are opening doors for hospital executives.
        By Jeff Lagasse. November 21, 2017

        “The third development, which came on Monday, was the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General revealing a plan to audit Medicaid payments for telehealth services. If that seems like just another government audit program then in addition to knowing that hospitals treating Medicaid patients via telehealth could be audited for compliance purposes, the real takeaway is that OIG said it established the program because it has already spotted a significant increase in such claims and has reason to expect that to continue. Look for the report from OIG sometime in 2019.”

        ***
        More from the article on Teleheath points out that what the VA is doing with Teleheath. To me it makes it clear that Veterans receiving health care from the VA and their Teleheath Services are nothing but Lab Rats on a new method of providing Government run health care.
        ***

        More from the article:

        “Telehealth policy changes

        Three significant policy developments happened in November alone and, although they are not finalized, they point toward a future that hospital executives should understand because it’s coming.

        The first to be aware of are the MACRA and MIPS payment models. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published the final rule on November 2, 2017 and it includes new billing codes for virtual visits that involve care planning and risk assessments as part of CMS chronic care management program.

        CMS Administrator Seema Verma said the final rules move the agency in a new direction to bot encourage innovation among hospitals and empower patients to better understand the value of care they recieve.

        Second, Congress also signaled a new direction of its own for telemedicine in the first week of November when the U.S. House of Representatives Veterans Affairs Committee passed The VETS Act, HR 2123, supporting the VA’s Anywhere-to-Anywhere program.

        VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD and President Trump announced Anywhere-to-Anywhere in August, 2017. The initiative is designed to enable VA providers to offer virtual consults to patients regardless of geographical location — including across state lines, which is widely viewed as one of the biggest regulatory impediments for hospitals looking to institute telehealth services.

        The third development, which came on Monday, was the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General revealing a plan to audit Medicaid payments for telehealth services. If that seems like just another government audit program then in addition to knowing that hospitals treating Medicaid patients via telehealth could be audited for compliance purposes, the real takeaway is that OIG said it established the program because it has already spotted a significant increase in such claims and has reason to expect that to continue. Look for the report from OIG sometime in 2019.

        While it’s still too soon to tell exactly how those will play out in the long-run, hospital C-suites will want to pay close attention because, when taken together, they indicate where telehealth is indeed headed.

        Telehealth frontier: Broader array of primary care services

        The services available via telemedicine today are limited, and as expansion is likely to continue, the technology will have to evolve to encompass more primary care functions. Currently, the services that can be performed through telemedicine visits — which typically consist of a phone or video chat — are pretty much restricted to what a physician can diagnose visually.

        Tyto Care’s Gilad said the logical next step in the rising popularity of telehealth services is rounding out the portfolio of primary care services.”

      • When I read the article at the link you posted about Kushner, Kushner said “they came back in two weeks with something that made a lot of sense”.

        I understood that to mean that Kushner asked Shulkin and Mattis to get their people to work together to fix the problem after VA spent 16 years fucking around holding hearings.

        The conspiratorial headline on his article sounds more like clickbait.

      • I know what you mean. It seems like the only way they report on any thing done by Team Trump is if they can make it click bait.

  2. Off topic but worth mentioning: S.1266 – Enhancing Veteran Care Act

    The act has been past by both the senate and the house. Currently it is sitting on the President’s desk to be signed into law.

    To this Veteran I see it as a Nuclear White Wash Bomb and a VA rubber stamp for covering up any problems with healthcare at the VA. It is also a means for the Veterans administration to not report findings in any investigation that is covered by this act.

    The full act reads as follows:

    “To authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into contracts with nonprofit organizations to investigate medical centers of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    SECTION 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the “Enhancing Veteran Care Act”.

    SEC. 2. Investigation of medical centers of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    (a) In general.—The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may contract with a nonprofit organization that accredits health care organizations and programs in the United States to investigate a medical center of the Department of Veterans Affairs to assess and report deficiencies of the facilities at such medical center.

    (b) Authority of directors.—
    (1) IN GENERAL.—Subject to coordination under paragraph (2), the Secretary shall delegate the authority under subsection (a) to contract for an investigation at a medical center of the Department to the Director of the Veterans Integrated Service Network in which the medical center is located or the director of such medical center.
    (2) COORDINATION.—Before entering into a contract under paragraph (1), the Director of a Veterans Integrated Service Network or the director of a medical center, as the case may be, shall notify the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Inspector General of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Comptroller General of the United States for purposes of coordinating any investigation conducted pursuant to such contract with any other investigations that may be ongoing.
    (c) Rule of construction.—
    Nothing in this section may be construed—
    (1) to prevent the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Veterans Affairs from conducting any review, audit, evaluation, or inspection regarding a topic for which an investigation is conducted under this section; or
    (2) to modify the requirement that employees of the Department assist with any review, audit, evaluation, or inspection conducted by the Office of the Inspector General of the Department.

    • 12/15/2017

      Dear Seymore Klearly,

      Tear this open more so the others can see what you are saying.

      It [S.1266] appears to be fair—-where is the misdirection?

      Example: Koch Brother’s CVA nonprofit organization?

      Or another Example: Lockheed’s QTCM for profit organization?

      Sincerely,

      Don Karg

      • Don,

        Perhaps if you read the bill listed above you might note that the director for VAMCs would be in control of picking which Non-Profit Group they want to investigate them or their facilities when the need arises.

        Also the wording of the Act makes it clear that there is no requirement for VA employees to assist with any review, audit, evaluation, or inspection conducted by a non-profit. Although they will be required only if any review, audit, evaluation, or inspection conducted by the Office of the Inspector General of VA.

      • …and after that director hand picks the non profit to investigate his hospital, that director can then point to that whitewashed report and claim there is nothing to see.

      • Also the IG can defer any need for any review, audit, evaluation, or inspection back to the director to assign a Non-Profit of his choice to perform the work. Work I might add is done with out the co-operation requirements of staff at the facility.

        There by circumventing the need of the IG to report and maintain records of any investigations that are completed by Non-profits.

      • Seymore and 91Veteran,
        The way I see it is, the directors would be allowed to pay off the nonprofit, with lots of taxpayers monies, once a complaint is made.
        Therefore, no investigation!

      • Given it only cost less than $300 dollars to set up a none profit. You can bet that staff at every VA facility will have there own non-profit set up to do the investigations.

        Of course the staffs at these non-profits will be able to charge the VA some hefty fees and pay out some six figure salaries for their management.

  3. How is it that VA can transitition your name that use to be in Vista ,into the new system without your consent?

  4. Three Observations on Shulkin’s VA:
    1) He and VA seems to be hell-bent on spending oodles of $$$ while at the same time trying to find places to steal $$$ from Veterans.
    2) Seems Shulkin & VA are repeatedly throwing various consistency shit against the wall to see what will stick.
    3) VA Sec. Shulkin is embarrassing himself and should step-down while he’s not ahead and more Vets are dead from a deadbeat Fed.

  5. For all of you who are watching the two most corrupt and egregious government agencies, ie: “FBI and DOJ”, get away with tearing this Republic apart.
    The Veterans Administration seems to be coming in at a close second! The “BILLIONS of taxpayers monies” seems to be up for grabs by VA’s upper management!
    I wonder, as Seymore does, how many others, of the upper management of VA, have made off of selling their stocks and bonds in this “IT scam/sham”?! Remember Martha Stewart?

    In my opinion, we veterans are screwed once again! This “blog” will be going off to my Congressman today! And, he will be asked to read, not only what Ben wrote. He’ll be directed to the “comment section”!

    They, Both Houses, need to call Shulkin back in and grill his ass. WHEN he lies, hold him in “Contempt of Congress”! At which time, as pursuant to the law, have the Senate’s Sgt. At Arms arrest and lock him up, UNTIL he’s ready to comply! (The Supreme Court decision of 1821, and I believe 1835, gives the Senate this authority!)

  6. I do enjoy Ben’s way of putting things. He is kind even when not being kind, ya know? Almost like he gives humans the benefit of the doubt without really having a reason. Is that how a sane person thinks? Must be a bitch…

    Let me illustrate. Here are Ben’s words;
    “As a reward for failure, VA then awarded Cerner a $10 billion to privatize the entire electronic health record system without a proven track record.”

    Rewritten in a more technically accurate and PTSD enhanced way;
    “Once the marks proved both stupid and stupidly rich in nearly equal measure, the scammers bumped the ante up ten fold explaining to the duped VA morons that things could only get better. VA concurred.”

    • @Seriously,
      Trust me, your watching this shit unfold almost hourly. If not hourly, daily!
      The massive corruption, which is in your face, in Washington D.C. and across this Republic is growing exponentially!

      As in a very popular fairy tale: Sooner or later, “…the bow will break and down WILL come baby, [OUR REPUBLIC] and all!”
      Or, how about the “Humpty Dumpty” fairy tale!? “All the kings horses and all the kings men, couldn’t put [OUR REPUBLIC] back together again!”

  7. Interesting. I wonder what liability Shulkin has created for taxpayers by publicly discussing a pending contract award that may be rejected, or may not be awarded because of problems with the contractor.

    Gee, shouldn’t that be researched before announcing a possible contract award?

    • 91Veteran,
      Your actually asking “Shithead Shulkin” to research something he already knows will fail. He’s got to sell all his stocks first. He’s like Soros, betting on the “short term loss!”

    • Bryce, are you talking about a doctor you saw through the Choice program? If so, your doctor wasn’t paid because the VA is sabotaging the system, using it as a jobs program for flunkies, and nobody wants to hold Health Net or TriWest accountable for being incompetent…yet collecting payment from the VA.

      • Yes. I was placed into the choice program because of so many cancelled appointments. I selected a doctor near me for treatment, I had one treatment in July and was scheduled for a second treatment in September, the day of the treatment the doctors office called due to non payment, and cancelled. I had another specialist for treatment as well, but his paper work has not yet cleared, since April. I’ve called numerous times trying to get it resolved, put on hold and no one ever gets back to me. I’m an older veteran who has service connection for mustard gas exposure. The treatments were for shots in my head to try and help prevent chronic headaches. I feel abandoned by this system. The same doctor in Choice was also the doctor who sets up my refills, so I can get my medications on line through MyhealthVet, but since he wasn’t paid, i can’t get them updated, so now I run out of my meds waiting on them to refill them from the local VA, some only 2 weeks at a time. I don’t understand why this is happening?

      • Bryce, The best thing you can do to resolve this problem and get your medications in a timely manner is to call the White House hotline for vets at: 855-948-2311.

        Explain to them your Choice appointment was canceled because the bill was not paid, and you are having problems getting your medications in a timely manner. Explain you are a Mustard Gas vet and why you need the medication.

        It may take up to 2 weeks to hear back about your call to the hotline, so I suggest making more calls.

        After calling the hotline, call your VA and tell them you have called the hotline, and ask to speak to who they have assigned to handle Choice billing problems. You might get passed around to a few different people, but you should be referred to someone who can help. Explain to every one you speak with that you called the White House hotline to get this fixed.

        You can also call your local Congressman’s office and request that they open a case file on your problem, and ask them to inquire into getting your Choice doctor paid, and how you can get your medications refilled.

        If you call all 3, you can hope at least 1 of them will help and get this fixed.

        Which VA do you go to? If you tell us that, we might be able to provide some idea of how good or bad your VA is.

        Let us know how this goes.

    • @Peter K- The truth is the VA was already (and still) behind the technology as far as recordkeeping and sharing 25+ years ago and the dysfunctional VA continues to keep all those various broken (and incompatible to each other) Systems throughout the VA, making it impossible even for IBM’s Watson to get all the VA’s Systems to speak to each other. I believe, as do many other Vets, that the VA keeps things dysfunctional like this after at *least* 3x now throwing Billion$ at making the DoD and VA being able to talk to each other, share data…with a FAIL each and every time that always ends with…”None or most of the various VA Systems will communicate with not only the new system, but they cannot even freely communicate with each other…”.
      This is purposeful self-sabotage because like a petulant & dysfunctional child, the VA has learned they can just march into congress and demand more and even hold Veteran’s healthcare hostage…this is why even the good employees require flushing with ALL other employees because the entire System is a Systemic Mess and the VA KEEPS it so….again, on-purpose, at our chagrin as Veterans.

      • *TO BE CLEAR*:…The VA was behind the evolution of technology 25 years ago, and those *same systems* that may or may not require the use of floppy discs the size of a dinner plate like the original CRAY’s had…this is what we are dealing with. It’s NOT a question about $$$$, the VA has that always in spades, it’s the mismanagement of that $$$ that brings us to this point year after year and decade after decades.

        See, the VA just loves to still use excuses such as that proverbial “St. Louis Warehouse Records Fire”, when they cannot or do not want to find your file…that’s relying upon the dingbat system in-place still.

        One could argue that tech evolves at such an exponential rate that it’s almost impossible to ‘keep-up’ with it, but in the VA’s case, they prefer the old standard cups connected with kite string for communication and printed travel pay fraud warning posters. This Cerner contract was just replacing those cups with large cans of beans, with the beans still in them.

        Rant Out.

      • The best way to find, and receive files from St. Louis is to find the phone number and call them directly.
        I used to know the Marine out there who was in charge. HE WAS GREAT FINDING VETERANS RECORDS!
        He knew that fire didn’t destroy the amount the VA claims! He and I used to talk about the corruption going on in the VA!

      • And here is the # to the Louisville VA
        502-566-4408…otherwise you will call there # and it will route to the first line open because I tried it yesterday and got someone in Cleveland Ohio,I just tried it and that one goes to Louisville directly,
        “Dirt can’t hide from intensified TIDE”
        LOL

  8. Has anyone taken any serious consideration to my theory that the VA is Uncle Sam’s Septic Slush Fund and when the gov’t wants to bypass prying watchdog eyes and not do as military used to and have purchase orders with $10,000. toilet seats, they simply use the VA and “IT Fixes” or even “Choice” to “launder” Billion$ for dark ops projects?
    Just saying it’s time to look way outside the box and maybe under the box, because this has all happened before.

    • Look this one up NAM and watch the vid.
      ““launder” Billion$ for dark ops projects?”
      More like Trillion”s

      $21 Trillion of Unauthorized Spending by US Govt Discovered by Economics Professor
      December 17, 2017 Covert Geopolitics

  9. Hey Elf,

    I see Senator Thad Cochran is not likely going to be able to make it back for the tax cut vote. Cochran is the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which has had its work interrupted because of his illness. Due to his illness and absence from Washington this last month is why Shulkin could not get funding to go with Cerner.

    Also it is why the border wall has not received funding and the Veterans Choice program hasn’t been funded with the additional funds.

    Also worth noting is that he was originally out sick due to a urinary tract infection and when contacted today his wife said that the infection came back and he is not returning to Washington until he is able.

      • Supreme Court will declare McCain’s Brain Tumor an individual with full voting rights and tax exemption after McCain is long gone so the Tumor can continue to have the Lamebrain Limelight Procession (LLP) and full Senate privileges.

  10. “Roanoke VA office cited again for mishandling veterans’ claims”
    By Luanne Rife, Roanoke Times, 4 hrs ago

    “The Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General for the third time in seven years determined the Roanoke VA Regional Office mishandled veterans’ disability claims.

    Auditors found the appeals staff closed case files by claiming veterans with multiple appeals withdrew some of their claims when they had not. Staff then merged all of a veteran’s claims into the oldest case file, which made it more difficult to process each issue, but boosted the Roanoke office’s clearance rate and placed appeals managers in line for bonuses.”

    Full article at: “http://www.roanoke.com/news/local/roanoke/roanoke-va-office-cited-again-for-mishandling-veterans-claims/article_9e321c24-4c53-54ef-804a-3051b595da17.html”

  11. “Duckworth responsible for legionnaires issue?”
    By: Raquel Martin Posted: Dec 15, 2017 05:08

    “ILLINOIS (WCIA) — An investigation into a deadly legionnaires outbreak at a VA home has politicians scrambling for answers.

    Governor Bruce Rauner is under fire for how he handled it. Now, some are trying to blame the scandal on Senator Tammy Duckworth (D).

    Senator Duckworth is a wounded veteran herself. She was the director of the Veterans Affairs Department in 2009; six years before the first outbreak in 2015. That’s when two veterans first came down with the water-borne bacterial infections known as legionella.

    Families say they weren’t notified in time to take action. Since then, 12 more veterans have died from the infection.

    Now, Rich Miller, from Capitol Fax, reports Rauner’s chief legislative liaison, Darlene Senger, a candidate for comptroller, sent an email this wish pushing the administration to tie the controversy to Duckworth.

    Duckworth says the claim has no grounds.

    Right now, the state is facing several lawsuits from family members who say the state did not inform them and say the veterans home knew the water was contaminated in 2015.

    Candidates running for governor are calling for an investigation into the governor’s office. Rauner says the Centers for Disease Control was alerted and responded to the incident promptly.

    Senator Dick Durbin (D) also addressed the scandal saying the state should move the 400 veterans and their families to a safe place until the plumbing is fully fixed. If that can’t happen, he says the state should build a new veterans home.”

    Full article at: “http://www.illinoishomepage.net/news/capitol-news/duckworth-responsible-for-legionnaires-issue/881873477”

  12. “Experts call for new approach to regulating fecal transplants”
    Filed Under: Antimicrobial Stewardship; Clostridium difficile
    Chris Dall | News Reporter | CIDRAP News | Dec 15, 2017

    Namnibor — just to be clear they are not talking about updating personal transfers at the VA utilizing the VA Whack A Mole Management system.

    “Balancing access and safety

    To address these concerns, a group of lawyers, researchers, and physicians with the University of Maryland and the Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System have proposed an alternative regulatory system that they believe is similar to the FDA’s approach but has advantages over the current system.

    Under the first track of their three-track scheme, FMT for treatment of CDI would be regulated not as a drug but as the “practice of medicine” when performed by a physician with screened stool acquired from someone known to the physician or patient. In other words, physicians would be able to perform the procedure at their discretion, based on the scope of their practice. State medical boards would regulate the practice. FMT for any other condition would require an IND.

    Under the second track, stool from stool banks could be used, but the stool banks would be regulated in the same way that human cell-tissue or blood banks are regulated. This would require annual registration with the FDA, and compliance with rules for donor screening and testing and “good manufacturing practices.” In addition, stool banks would have to collect safety and outcomes data for every sample used and submit those data to the FDA.

    Lead author Diane Hoffmann, JD, a professor of healthcare law at the University of Maryland, says that while she knows of no cases of patients dying or getting very sick from stool obtained from stool banks, more oversight of these facilities is needed.

    “There are no requirements on stool banks in terms of how they get the stool, how they screen it or test donors and stool products, and there’s no requirement for the kind of good manufacturing practices you would want,” Hoffmann said in an interview. “These are the kind of things the FDA is concerned about when you’re selling a product that’s going to be a therapy for people.

    “We think that would improve on the potential safety of the stool banks that are operating,” she added.

    The third track would require “modified stool-based products”—drugs containing beneficial bacteria cultured from stools—to be regulated as drugs or as biologics. Although there are no such products currently on the market, several companies are developing them, with mixed results from early-phase clinical trials.”

    Anyone wishing to donate to the new stool banks, if your shit don’t stink, can send their donated samples to the Sec of Veteran Administration Washington D.C.

    Full article at: “http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2017/12/experts-call-new-approach-regulating-fecal-transplants”

    • Where’s the VA regulation on use of leeches? How about use of uncooked chicken to induce vomiting of patients? 😀 So let me get this straight; the VA is wanting to create a “Million Veteran Fecal Bank”? (one large shit brick wall?)

  13. “Man battles Phoenix VA while battling Stage IV cancer”
    By: Nicole Garcia Fox 10 News, Posted: Dec 11 2017 09:49PM MST

    “The problems at the VA, however, became a life-or-death battle for a local veteran battling Stage IV cancer.

    The man ultimately found himself battling VA administrators, in order to undergo stem cell transplant surgery with his local doctor. Days before he was to begin the transplant process, the VA informed him the procedure was not approved, despite a letter that said otherwise.

    “Earlier this year, in March, I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Disease Lymphoma, with malignancies in my bone marrow,” said Travis Angry, a veteran of the Iraq war.

    Angry took advantage of the VA Choice program, and is a patient at the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Gilbert. His doctor believes stem cell transplant surgery could finally cure Angry of his recurring cancer. So, he went through the process of getting it approved by the VA.

    “It is important to have the community of support around the patient during a transplant, because we know patients do better if they have that community of support around him,” said Dr. Matthew Ulrickson with the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center.

    Angry was ecstatic when he received a notice of approval from the insurance company that works with the VA. The transplant surgery was scheduled to take place three days after the approval notice was written. However, the day before the surgery, a VA manager informed Angry that the procedure had not been approved after all.

    “For the first time in 12 years, I was denied care for my cancer,” said Angry. “I feel like my government has failed me as a veteran.”

    VA officials told Angry he was approved to have the stem cell transplant surgery done at the VA transplant center in Seattle, Washington, not at a valley hospital.

    “I received the approval letter,” said Angry. “The Phoenix VA Hospital needs to honor the approval. For them to rescind it now is an absolute disgrace.”

    “This was not formally approved,” said Dr. Maureen McCarthy, Chief of Staff for the Phoenix VA Medical Center.

    McCarthy doesn’t normally get personally involved in the approval process, but this case was unique. All transplants are normally performed at a VA transplant center. Transplants performed at private hospitals must be doubly approved by the VA first, and that is a confusing process.

    McCarthy said Angry’s request was “preliminarily approved”.

    “The person that did the initial approval thought that the whole transplant approval process had been completed when it hadn’t, and the fact that it wasn’t was caught in the system of checks and balances,” said McCarthy.

    McCarthy, however, could not tell us who in the VA administration grants the initial approval, and who grants the final approval for transplants.

    “When you’re asking for very specifics and trying to pin down who made a mistake, I dont have that information because we are a system and we need to look in a non-punitive way what went wrong, so that we can improve our system,” said McCarthy.

    Although the VA was able to get Angry a stem cell transplant appointment at the Seattle transplant center right away, Angry refused, saying he couldn’t coordinate care for his kids, on such short notice.

    Angry, frustrated, fatigued, and fearful, reached out to local lawmakers and FOX 10, desperate for help. Two weeks later, the same woman who told him that his approval was actually denied reversed course, and informed him that he was now approved.”

    Full report at: “http://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/arizona-news/man-battles-phoenix-va-while-battling-stage-iv-cancer”

      • Seeing how McCain has various options: 1) 100% Svc. Connected Disabled Vet Comp and Medical, 2)Officer Pension and related ring-knocker preferential treatment and options, 3) Congressional Medical Coverage, which is still exempt from Affordable Care Act, Mayo Clinic and Walter Reed, take your choice, and finally…4) His wifey-poo and the family’s beer empire SURELY has really great medical coverage as well.
        5) The VA and Veterans only serve ring-knockers when it’s reerection season for them…often mistaken for molting season but it’s re-errection season.

      • Although McCain does have all those resources to cover his Medical I just can’t see him pass up another chance to screw Veterans over by having Choice pay for it all.

        Especially with his former aid owning Tri-West. Surely McCain will work something out to get a kick back.

      • Seymore,
        Have you read the article about how “…McCain is refusing to answer questions, from law enforcement, on WHERE he received his monies!”
        Seems there’s questions about his “new foundation” or that university out in Phoenix that had monies flowing in from his failed bid for POTUS, on who’s donating monies to it!

        I haven’t been able to get much more info on it!
        Kinda like it’s being hushed up!

      • Here is an older article on the “McCain Institute for International Leadership executives”.

        “EXCLUSIVE: McCain Institute Refuses to Disclose Big Donations”
        Richard Pollock, Reporter, Daily Caller News Foundation, 6/26/2017

        “http://dailycaller.com/2017/06/26/exclusive-mccain-institute-refuses-to-disclose-big-donors/”

      • Also note in the article there is a link to his biggest donors.

        Some of the donors on the list include:

        George Soros, Chairman, Soros Fund Manangement
        Anonymous Foundation Donation
        Charitable Trust – Anonymous Donation
        JP Morgan Chase Foundation
        Prague Freedom Foundation

        Also a good number of known CIA front companies.

        ********************

        Another informative article on McCains institute worth reading is at:

        “John McCain’s Cronyist ‘Humanitarian’ Group: Your Path to Trump’s State Department”
        Elizabeth Nolan Brown|Jul. 7, 2017

        Also note that everything in the article McCain wanted for his wife he didn’t get. that is when he started coming out against the Obama care Repeal Vote. Guess McCain though his vote was worth everything he was asking for his wife.

        Also note the timing of the article and it’s content about McCain, his wife and Ukraine. How in line it is with the Steel file that is in the news now.

        Remember that when the file first came out the story was that some gave it to McCain and then he brought it to the FBI. But the Truth has come out that they already had a copy. Also not proven yet but it is likely the FBI wrote the file.

        “http://reason.com/blog/2017/07/07/mccain-institutes-volker-headed-to-state”

      • “John McCain faces questions in Trump-Russia dossier case”
        By Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy DC Bureau
        July 11, 2017 05:00 AM

        “According to a new court document in the British lawsuit, counsel for defendants Steele and Orbis repeatedly point to McCain, R-Ariz., a vocal Trump critic, and a former State Department official as two in a handful of people known to have had copies of the full document before it circulated among journalists and was published by BuzzFeed.”

        “A McCain spokesperson declined to comment Monday on the new court document, pointing instead to a Jan. 11 statement from the veteran senator about the dossier. “Upon examination of the contents, and unable to make a judgment about their accuracy, I delivered the information to the director of the FBI,” McCain had said then. “That has been the extent of my contact with the FBI or any other government agency regarding this issue.”

        In recent congressional testimony, ex-FBI Director James Comey, fired by Trump amid a widening probe, acknowledged receiving the dossier from McCain on Jan. 6. Kramer, a former State Department official who until recently served as a senior director at Arizona State University’s McCain Institute for International Leadership, declined comment.”

        Read more here: “http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article160622854.html#storylink=cpy”

      • Hey Elf,

        Did you see the picks of both Hillary and McCain with their matching leg braces. It is kind of funny how lame brain screwed up and put it on the wrong leg in one of the photos.

        “https://i.ytimg.com/vi/hxY70LZjIyc/maxresdefault.jpg”

      • Seymore,
        Yea, I saw a few pics of McCain in his “new footwear!”
        Have you seen where Hillary’s STILL wearing hers after almost two months! Ahhh, poor baby! She broke her little toe, and can’t get over it! I wonder how many people she’ll blame this on?

  14. I know this is just a movie. Yet, I’m wondering how much of it “…is true to life!”
    The title to google is;
    “Miss Sloan”
    It’s a little more than 2 hours long and is described as being “a political thriller!”
    The title character is “Miss Sloan”, a Washington D.C. lobbyist. And how she switches sides on a “Gun Control Legislation”!
    There’s also a part in it, which concerned “Palm Oil”! Which was a real issue raised not long ago by a nonprofit organization vs. Proctor and Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio. The nonprofit snuck into P&G’s main corporate headquarters, in 2015, and put signs out of the windows. Remember when that happened?

    I believe, IF y’all haven’t seen this movie, it would be very interesting to get your opinions!

    It also might help on how to defeat the many lobbyist groups out there. Which are pulling too much weight in Washington D.C. and are part of killing veterans!?!?

  15. OFF-TOPIC: Be Careful out there, Vets and Survivors! This story shows you what kind of scumbags are out and about and a Veteran & his daughter win: “Burglar caught by 95-year-old veteran and his daughter”
    “http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/burglar-caught-by-95-year-old-veteran-and-his-daughter/ar-BBGOC1F?ocid=ientp”

    “[A suspect who was interrupted as he broke into a Wisconsin home is now in custody.

    Mary Bennett knew something was wrong when her dog barked and her dad hollered her name.

    “When I came down, my dad is laying on the floor here, and the guy’s standing, and my dad’s got his arms wrapped around the guy. I just tackled him,” Bennett said.

    Her 95-year-old father had caught a burglar. Bennett told him to call 911 while she grappled with the guy.

    “As I was wrestling him in the house I could tell that I could kind of take him,” Bennett said.

    Finally, the burglar got out their back door, but Bennett followed. She chased him nearly a half-mile in bare feet and her yoga clothes.

    Amber Hruska spotted them running through her yard and heard the woman screaming, “Call 911.” She did.

    “They tackled him right over there. I saw that part,” Hruska said.

    “He was getting angry because I wasn’t letting him go. He’s like, ‘Lady just let me go.’ I said, ‘I’m sorry,'” Bennett said. “I said, ‘That man is a World War II veteran, you don’t break into a Marine Corps veteran’s house and get away with it.'”

    Court records show the suspect has spent most of his adult life in prison. Now he’s in the Milwaukee County Jail facing burglary charges.

    Police said the suspect was on probation for a prior burglary at the time of this arrest.]”

    This is one of Obama’s catch & release thuglets. Thanks again, Obama!

  16. Seymore,
    Have you seen this article out from: “Daily Wire”
    Titled:
    “FLOODGATES OPEN; Congress ‘to be Rocked’ In Next 72 Hours; Over A Dozen Resignations Coming, Says Reporter!”

    By: Ryan Saavedra
    Dec. 15, 2017

    Oh, and btw, The governor of Rep. Franken’s state “…has already picked his replacement!”
    ________________

    Have you ever heard of this site?
    It’s supposed to be run by veterans!
    It’s called “Whatfinger News”!
    _______________________

    To ALL!
    Be careful out there! There’s some crazy stuff going on!
    The nutjobs are really going “Coo-Coo for Cocao Puffs”! It’s as though they’ve lost ALL their brain cells!
    And, I saw where ISIS is planning something over the Christmas holidays!

    • Just checked out the article and found it is from information reported by Luke Rosiak. That makes it very credible and reliable information.

      In other words it is going to happen!!!!

  17. “Federal Union Ensured Armed Robbery Suspect Got Paid While On House Arrest”
    Luke Rosiak Investigative Reporter, Daily Caller News Service, 11/24/2017

    “A civil servants union representing employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) objected to the suspension of VA employee Elizabeth Rivera after she was “arrested and incarcerated for felony armed robbery” and successfully convinced government officials to return her to work and pay her for 30 days she was confined to house arrest.

    The union in a grievance pointed out the fact that Rivera’s boss had been arrested with drugs, and management hadn’t fired him. The boss, hospital CEO DeWayne Hamlin, “responded by threatening the union with filing charges against them if they continued to bring it [his arrest] up,” according to internal documents addressed to Hamlin and obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

    The VA eventually tried to fire Hamlin for his handling of the Rivera incident, but that decision was also reversed after the VA concluded it would be blocked by the Merit Systems Protection Board, which provides an avenue for even top executives to file union-like protests in attempts to block discipline.

    The notice of proposed termination to Hamlin reads in part:

    You met with Rivera Rivera and her representative, union executive vice-president Richard Colon, to discuss the grievance. During this meeting, Mr. Colon argued, among other things, that it was unfair for you to suspend Rivera Rivera for being arrested when you were arrested in April 2014 for Driving Under the Influence and possession of a narcotic without a prescription, and you were not suspended. The union confronted you with your arrest mug shot and arrest police record and you responded by threatening the union with filing charges against them if they continued to bring it up, or words to that effect.

    Shortly thereafter, on or about August 3, 2015, you reversed your decision to indefinitely suspend Rivera Rivera and instead held her suspension in abeyance, allowed her to return to work, and granted her 30 days of administrative time while she was on house arrest. You exercised poor judgement when you settled the grievance in a manner that did not protect the best interest of the Veterans.

    Rivera was assigned to work in the hospital security department while wearing a GPS ankle monitor as part of the plea deal stemming from the arrest for armed robbery. She pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors and authorities dropped the charge of felony armed robbery.

    Eugene Lugo, the American Federation of Government Employees local president in Puerto Rico, hung up the phone when TheDCNF asked him about the Rivera case last year.

    In April 2016, now-VA Secretary David Shulkin contested TheDCNF’s exclusive report that the Rivera was kept on the payroll, telling a congressional panel that “it is my understanding that that person is not currently working at the VA in San Juan.” He later acknowledged that he was mistaken.

    Rivera worked at the VA hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Hamlin served as CEO. A management-side labor relations specialist in the human resources department, Tito Santiago Rodriguez, is also a convicted sex offender.”

    Full article at: “http://dailycaller.com/2017/11/24/federal-union-ensured-armed-robbery-suspect-got-paid-while-on-house-arrest/”

    • …and to think that hurricane that hit Puerto Rico knocked-out all power and made that VA there even more of a hellhole. The AFGE absolutely needs to be banished from the damn VA and probably all gov’t.

    • Seymore,
      On Rivera’ s case. Didn’t someone state something to the effect she, did it on her “off hours”! And, that VA wouldn’t get involved when someone does something illegal. Or some such nonsense as that!?
      So, upper management at VA can threaten the AFGE and keep their jobs. Especially after they’re caught red handed committing a FELONY!
      On the other hand, a whistleblower gets caught telling the truth about VA employees committing a FELONY, and the whistleblower gets fired – with no recourse for justice!

      Sounds about right! [MASSIVE Sarcasm intended here!]

    • I remember reading about that as well and I believe Crazy Elf is right about the VA position on the matter.

      I wonder if the VA orderly who murdered the elderly vet in his hospital bed by assaulting him is still in his position I believe it was in Texas maybe? Last I heard he was still pulling down a paycheck?

  18. Just a thought here….

    We live in a world that is connected together at lightning speed now in what is substantially a humumgous database (the internet) connecting every living soul on Earth in virtually seemless fashion. Yet somehow the government of the most powerful nation on Earth can’t keep track of which vets have the sniffles and which ones have gangrene in a way that any other human on Earth can access when they need too?

    VA teats Veterans just like like money – here today, gone tomorrow, and no records leave a fucking clue what happened to either.

    • Dennis.
      Another great comment. Yes.
      1. No VA records, but only the false VA narrative’s and unthical VA notes that are being horribly thrown in to our VA files without no recourse. With No objections, nor without any documation stating the objects. VA complaints by injured vets and disabled former soldiers are completely lost by the VA Pedophila-like-Ring in Ohio

      2. Complaints filed with Ellery Smith VA Parma Ohio Phone #216-739-7000 Ex.2509, and Patricia Brown Sales Patient Advocate Employee Representative Akron Ohio VA Outpatient Clinic Phone #330-724-7715 Ex.1169, lost, or sitting on their desks. These two only send emails back and fourth, and thus call each other to notify each other SO to cover up the malpractice, and by NOT documenting the specifics of the injured veteran’s and disabled former soldier’s complaints. How convient for the VA CASH HOG Pedophila like Ring in Ohio…

      3. For example”
      Eric Canna Akron Ohio VA Outpatient Clinic Waterloo Road Non veteran catholic stated and said,
      “ALL VETERANS LIE (Are Liars). ALL VETERANS WANT (Care About) IS MONEY. ALL VETERAN WANT TO DO IS BUY HOUSES AND CARS. ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THAT? THIS WILL EFFECT YOUR BENEFITS! VETERANS CAN ONLY BE HURT (INJURED) BY BOMBS AND BULLETS.”
      Eric Canna VA Employee Non veteran catholic Arkon Ohio VA Outpatient Waterloo stated and quoted these things. But yet he gets fat paychecks, great benefits and neither he nor his father served our country.
      Pamela Sue Sherer Non Veteran Catholic Akron Ohio VA Outpatient Clinic Waterloo road. Just lying, lying and lying in her medical notes.

      5. PETER M. BARACH NPI #1396773610 Ohio License No.3280 Ohio Non Veteran draft dodger 1970-1973 (deferment for mental illness), Jewish VA Wade Park Cleveland Ohio C and P Hatchet Man, Paid Forensic Whore, to engage in Forensic Fraud for the VA by creating bull shit 20 page C and P exams. Paid VA Forensic Prostitute, and the VAs paid “Forensic Whore” “Cherry Picking” and creating false narratives in order to sabotatge injured veterans and disabled former soldiers claims for entitled benefits.
      Ohio NPI # 1396773610 Ohio License No.3280 PETER M. BARACH AKA “The Monster of Shaker Heights”and the VAs LAP DOG at Wade Park VA Cleveland Ohio. Peter M. Barach should be fired for lying, and misrepresenting the VA, Lying and misrepresenting the disabled former soldiers and injured veterans, and Lying misrepresenating the very medical field he holds a license in Ohio.

      6. Thanx again disabled veterans for allowing me to express my opinio, and state the truth about the VA CASH HOG in Ohio.

  19. For anyone using VA for their Health Care provider remember to remind every VA Employee they need to make sure they get their Flu Shot.

    On that note, For any Veteran considering getting a Flu shot this year some things you need to be aware of:

    “You may have heard we are seeing more early, dangerous flu this year. Not true. Look at CDC’s own figures”
    Dr. Meryl Nass, Anthrax Vaccine dot Org., Saturday, December 16, 2017

    ” No need to run and get that flu shot, the one that is reported to be only 10% effective this year. Yes, the same flu shot that will get me 10% off my grocery bill, if I get vaccinated at the supermarket.

    When you consider that a shot this year would likely make shots less effective in the next year, there is no reason at all to get it.

    While the flu season is starting early this year, comparable to 2014 (see first CDC graph), deaths from flu and pneumonia are considerably lower than at this time of year in 2014, 2015 and 2016 (second CDC graph). So: is it really a bad flu season?”

    “https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/”

    More at: “http://anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/”

    • I would be more worried about the ramifications of suffering a bite from an engorged purple team member, so with that said, I am hoping the flu virus is inoculated from the dastardly engorged purple team members.

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