Veterans and attorneys filing release of information requests at Bay Pines VA have run into roadblock after roadblock due to agency incompetence.

VA OIG investigated allegations into massive mismanagement that included losing requests for records and delaying responses to non-VA care providers where one veteran allegedly died while his non-VA doctors waited for records. Managers in the Release of Information department could not locate 547 requests that were logged into a tracking system.

RELATED: VA Spends $22 Billion On IT Projects

Release Of Information IG Report

According to the IG report:

OIG conducted a healthcare inspection in response to allegations regarding the Release of Information (ROI) section at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center (facility) of the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (system), Bay Pines, FL. The complainant alleged that the facility had a backlog of ROI requests, including one pertaining to a patient who died before the non-VHA provider received the records; the Business Office Services (BOS) Chief took ROI requests “off-station” and lost requests; staff working on ROI requests were not trained; and BOS staff did not comply with policies and procedures to process ROI requests.

OIG did not identify patient harm attributable to delays in processing the ROI requests. However, OIG found that the facility Patient Advocate Office did not adequately capture ROI complaints. OIG substantiated a ROI request backlog of which system leaders became aware in 2014. OIG also found that ROI staff did not communicate the backlog status to requestors, and that facility managers did not monitor staff productivity accurately.

OIG substantiated that the BOS Chief approved transfers of hard copy ROI requests from the facility to an off-site BOS location in an effort to reduce backlog. However, VHA policy authorizes certain managers to remove records from the facility. OIG substantiated that managers were unable to locate 547 ROI requests which were logged into the tracking system from approximately January 2014 through June 2016. Further, OIG found that ROI managers did not fully implement corrections in response to missing authorizations. OIG did not substantiate that staff were not trained to complete assigned ROI tasks.

OIG substantiated that ROI staff did not comply with VHA’s prioritization policy and that longstanding workplace culture challenges in the ROI section contributed to the difficulties in resolving the backlog and sustaining effective processes. We made eight recommendations.

Over the years, I’ve had tons of hang-ups from various VA medical centers nationwide. Each facility seems to do it differently, and guessing how it will go based on past experience is a complete waste of time.

Source: https://www.va.gov/oig/publications/report-summary.asp?id=4018

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50 COMMENTS

      • Namnibor, good for cat litter too. Saved us a lot when we had 3 fur babies. To try it out, just contact the VA’s Comptroller for a couple of large bags to try over a length of time.

        Or call these two Toll-Free Numbers;
        1-800-PEE-HERE
        1-800-POO-HERE
        And, FREE Drop Offs too.

        You know, some cats are finicky, and prefer two different boxes for their excremental organic deposits. It’s best to give them a choice. You very well know, they can be vindictive at times.

        Oh forget about the first number. Lets do this. Being sneaky as cats are, we should train them, and let them loose in each VA facility. Why? To locate the corrupt, wicked, and lazy ass back stabbing VA employees clothing, running shoes, or belongings, and spray (flag, tag) the fuck all over them.

        Don’t worry about the food. The Ratty Basturds are plentiful.

      • My cat has but -1- large litter box as a sanitary choice but he also has freewill to do that wherever he so chooses as long as he notifies the proper choice champion (me) and that his choice does not take him even 12 inches as a crow flies from his litter box, all is in order.

  1. The ROI officer at Roseburg called me at home on the telephone when I was battling my PRF. I recorded all calls from VA as is my right in Oregon. The press printed this call up in the article:

    TheROI man, Richard Weber (identified in the article by name) had boasted often to me that he was a long standing member of the Disruptive Behavior Committee at Roseburg. I had been tipped off inadvertantly by the Chairman of the DBC who also called me at home and was also recorded. By then the press and my congressman had made dozens of calls to them about me – the hounds were closing in… so the Chairman of the DBC calls me and admits as recorded that I had never been violent, aggressive, or disruptive on their campus as their Chief of Staff and Director had claimed in multiple letters to my congressman (big old DUH moment because it had become obvious).

    He lets slip that the DBC had made up a letter proposing to me a “negotiation” with terms that I woud be asked to sign in return for a removal of the DBC flag. He promised to come into my home with this proposal. One of terms he said was that all complaints, like civil rights complaints must first be forwarded to him persoanlly for approval. There were other bizarre conditions considering he had just admitted on tape himself that it was all a sham! (He left VA service immediately after the story printed. He let himself be recorded and admitted to the fraud by his superiors so he was thrown under the bus by them. Score one for the good guys.)

    The meeting was set for two weeks or so in the future at my home. I immediately issued a FOIA stating, “…if I am being asked to enter into negotiations for removal of the DBC flag then I want to know beforehand what exactly is being negotiated. It was a perfected request and identified precisely what I was after – the letter of proposal the Chairman told me about. Two days later the ROI officer, Richard Weber (as reported in the paper by name) also called me at home. He was angry and said, “I do NOT agree to be recorded.” I said, why did you call? (When he said he did not agree he acknowledged unknowingly that he was aware of the recording. Stupid thing to say. I don’t need his approval but acknowledging that he knew about it and contined talking constitutes approval all by itself, duh).

    He told me, “I have your request and I am asking you to formally withdraw it.” I asked why? He said because we (the Disruptive Behavior Committee) are sending it anyway so it would just be a duplication of efforts. I said calmly and also recorded, I want you to fullfil the FOIA as requested. He angrily said, “Fine, you’ll get two copies then!”

    About a week later the only copy I got back made zero mention of negotiations, was absolutely meaningless and made no sense, but even better – the letter returned was dated at least a week after the FOIA request for the DBC letter. In other words when I refused to rescind a perfected request, the DBC created a new letter without the obvious horrific implications of forcing a flagged patient to negotiate for his rights and replaced it with just a plain jane nothing letter that made absolutely no mention of negotiations.

    I looked it up. FOIA requests are ALWAYS for information existing at the time of the request. The request coild be made in theory for future documents but this one asked for existing documents. In response to my refusal to withdraw my FOIA they simply typed up a new letter that made no mention of negotiations or the bizarre terms and conditions that the DBC chairman spoke of and was recorded. Their system time stamps everything. The paper reported this. Subsequent to that nugget being printed as I just described along with pages of other things like this, the ROI, proud member of Roseburg DBC, has since refused to return ANY Privacy Act requests and FOIA requests from me.

    There is NOTHING at VA not thoroughly broken and for OIG to imply that this matter Ben prints today was simply a matter of poor training and good gosh by golly nobody ever told me not to push that button sort of thing is…… let me think…… well, financially speaking it is a Bullish driven market at OIG and the bulls have been running a great streak for their stakeholders now for decades.

    My hunch is of course that the Roseburg ROI staff simply misssed the proper training to understand that fabricating documents to fulfill a FOIA was outside of standard VA policy, right. I am sure that with additional training the FOIA officer might learn that requesting a person to rescind a perfectd request is also against policy even when yiu are on the DBC and the documents tells on you….OIG will undoubtedly make some great recommendations…. I have to log now. My crock pot is boiling over and the shit is going everywhere.

    • Dennis, it is so shocking how many at Roseburg are so thoroughly corrupt, and willing to violate federal law.

      I imagine any member of that DBC has to be fully aware of what is going on.

      As for that Privacy/FOIA officer refusing to do their job…have you thought about setting them up? If you have sent a request to them that they ignored, having you tried appealing their no response to the VISN or higher Privacy/FOIA officer? Have you sent requests directly to the VISN or higher?

      One would think a VISN or higher FOIA/Privacy officer would not want to be holding the bag for some lower level flunky violating the law.

      One would also think if Roseburg received a FOIA request passed on to them for response from VISN or higher that it would compel some action.

      An interesting request would be for the logs of the requests you have submitted, but they did not comply with. I bet those FOIA/Privacy tracking logs show your requests were never entered.

      • @91Veteran

        Good suggestions but the VA has now given me really what I needed which makes previous deeds sort of moot.

        The VA has entered now multiple entries of late into my record flat refusing assingment of PCP, Mental health, and a PACT team. They might have been able to play this off as a mistake except for their simple attempt at defamation. Even this might have explained it except for that last line in the entry about why they refuse all VA care;”…He brings reporters with him.”

        I cannot conceive of any other thing they could provide with any request that would bolster a case because a flat denial of service has no defense. Not even a PRF can lock out a vet from PCP assignment or mental health provider.

        Something odd is going on. The VA hotline said to expect an answer to getting my meds in two days. That was over a week ago. Then I learn that they have issued a second case number focusing on retaliation. Still no meds and no PCP or MH or PACT assignment.

        In the box of the OIG complaint they wanted me to state what damage had resulted or could result as a consequence of my complaint. I stated simply, “Several of my VA diagnosed medical conditions left untreated are known to be life shortening (hence the reason for treatment).” I left out the paranthesis comment but it seems to me that the real issue is just what I stated. Not treating a vet for a serious health condition creates the harm of a shorter more painful life.

        If OIG finds a reason that makes it ok for VA to do this then it sure beats me how they are gonna do it. I will wait for the call that was supposed to take two days and I will wait for OIG to explain why VA did what they did. For now I am sick and very tired.

      • Its shocking they would lay out the reason for denial so clearly…because he brings reporters to his appointments. I don’t recall any caveat when I enlisted or any section of Title 38 that allows the VA to dictate to a veteran what companion they choose, if they choose one, to accompany them to an appointment.

        What if you chose a doctor? What if your companion was on a state medical licensing board? An attorney?

        As for waiting for a response from the hotline, I suggest you not do so. You have laid out the complaint to the IG that your health is harmed by lack of action by the VA. I suggest you bolster your claim by calling the hotline back, and explaining their delay in responding to you is causing further harm. You might even say that this refusal to provide care to a veteran causes even more anxiety and possible heart problems.

    • Litigation in public is the only thing that will cure this shit. You had a great case for defamation as well as a 1983 Civil Rights claim. Let’s pick one and get it going; Otherwise, unless they have to fire people and pay money it doesn’t mean shit.

  2. OIG at it again, unable to conclude any harm when in multiple hearings , have stated it is not their role to substantiate medical harm or malpractice.
    So, if you were not able to substantiate any harm, it would be wise to say that you did not have access to that private physicians concern which may include medical abnormalities that may have existed in the VA records that were lost. Waiting for records is critical for a physician that has no medical information.
    That patient may have had meds or other comorbid problems that could have conflicted with the treatment the non VA physician was implementing.
    OIG needs to take several seats on that one!
    Bitches!

    • Let’s analyze the logic of the OIG saying that both the jobs were not performed as specified and paid for by The People across multiple employees, veterans, doctors, and families AND that no harm was done.

      Hmmmmm.

      Logically then if zero negative consequences resulted from an entire section of VA not doing its job then does that not beg the question? Logically it means that either what they do there makes NO differences to anyone OR it means that in order to do no harm that they MUST have to disobey regulation, law, and policy. I think in America that would be termed an affirmative defense scenario.

      Either way OIGs explanation cannot be reasonably supported. Either they must break the law to do no harm or our government is employing at great expense an entire group of people that make no difference at all. The harm of course is paying for something worthless.

      • Just because the OIG said it was so does not mean it is so. A lawsuit can not only secure damages for the persons affected, but it can also show that the OIG has become just another bureaucratic cover up, and then support firing of the OIG boobs. Publicity with these suits.

  3. When I complained to my Congressman about the VA flagging my record, I recieved a response from Congressman stating the OIG investigated my complaint.
    I filed a FOIA re OIG supposed investigation in which they responded no records.
    I appealed the no response with the Congressmans response showing it referencing OIG investigation,
    Flag removed. Still in District court with this.
    VA will not take my complaint on the whitehouse hotline. LOL
    Very important to stack your inquires to checkmate their LIES!

    • @CorpsmanUp!

      Ben is a lawyer and gives good advice. I am a mental health patient who has received no less than seven Catagory One PRF letters in an 18 month period and give absolutely horrible legal advice that generally will bring great grief to those who listen. However, my advice is free and Ben charges as a lawyer so it evens out that way….

      I suggest submitting a FOIA and ask the following:

      “Return all letters of PRF that have been entered into my permanent medical record.”

      If they are like Roseburg they will NOT have entered the letter of PRF into your permannet record as required by law which is the explanation for the flag. Upon entry into your record it is therefor subject to a revision by you via The Privacy Act and your right to am,end your record for accuracy. By not entering it into your record BUT entering scant irrelevent fact in some other place that pops up on screen and imposing restrictions it means you have ZERO recourse to am,end innacuracies in your own medical record. The law says they MUST enter the reasons for the PRF and they MUST enter the PRF letter into your record. When they do not they bypass the safety valve built into the Privacy Act of 1972 – the right to ammend.

      Do a FOIA and ask for ONLY the letter(s) of PRF entered into your record. Be clear you do not want the text of the flag that appears on screen but you want the actual medical record entry. I give twenty to one odds they follow Roseburgs lead and “forget” to enter the ACTUAL flag which contains the justification and description of your behavior which justified the flag. This record IF ENTERED as required byblaw can be modified by you via the Privacy Act and they cannot legally refuse a request to ammend your records for accuracy as you see it.

      Then when they return no record then file an hhs dot gov Privacy Act violation against them. Allege that when an agency makes it impossible to correct the record through the Privacy Act of 1972 but that the record is still somehow contained in your record and show up on screen to providers, and when that agency’s own directives are violated as well as federal law in this regard that you have been unlawfully deprived of the rights under that act to ammend information in your medical record which is your right.

      VA does not enter the info because they wish to hide the names of those involved and they wish to make it impossible to excersize your rights under the Privacy Act of 1972 to ammend your own records for accuracy.

      After you file this VA will terminate all care, say you are verbally abusive and sexually innapropriate, that you have fired all your doctors, and cannot be worked with. Your care will be terminated. Be prepared for this lolz.

      • I like your way of thinking Dennis. I am also having to deal with these dirty scoundrels in ways of fabricating or falsifying shit in my medical records. I’m having to file an amendment after amendment to keep it clear. Of course it comes back as “denied” then I have to file the revised amendment with more evidence. I to record EVERYTHING they say as my right says I can. I am in a one party state and I use it to my advantage, piss on them and what they think. Haven’t got the flagged thrown up yet but getting close. I keep all records straight and clear to rebutt any bullshit they wish to throw under my wheels or a wrench in my spokes. Anyhow, I’m copying and pasting your notes for future or upcoming events as my shit becomes to much for them to handle.

      • They have no right to deny entering your ammended info. They MUST make entry that you dispute the accuracy and what the nature of the dispute is. They have a right to refute and rebut but if they flat deny you the right to ammend a medical entry then file a Privacy Act violation stating this at hhs dot gov. You have six months to file for each infraction you become aware of.

        It is the person who made the entry that has a right to rebut but nobody has a right to refuse you an opportunity to correct your own medical record. Just ask yourself; why would an agency not want you to enter corrections to what you perceive as inaccurate info? What is their vested interest in keeping your own opinion out of your own medical record? If they believe your own info is wrong they will note it but you will have your side and posssibly the correct info entered – what is their interest in preventing that?

      • @Dennis,
        Did all of the above, HHS refused to get involved . The records are in District Court which shows a psychologist made this determination and never even saw me as a patient. The Delaware Psychology Board was hands off as well. I showed them direct evidence of what he wrote in my record, 8 months after seeing a social worker there.
        I posted the record on Twitter, what the social worker wrote and she listed the OIG agents name ,work and fax number.
        Of course I tagged the OIG and Trump, VA house Committee .
        All a big farce. 🤣🤣

    • Keep going forward with your lawsuit and seek as much publicity as possible. Harassment (done properly) of the boobs involved also works

  4. I’m pondering just how any of the VA OIG can actually shit in the toilet while sitting on top of it when they cannot thread needles nor hit bulls-eyes when fraud is blatantly in front of them like a bare ass sitting above the porcelain bowl’s waterline?
    (yes, I’m strongly implying their aim is fucked)

  5. Have y’all noticed, at least for the past couple of years, government agencies “destroying”, “losing” or “misplacing” pertinent information [hard copies of documents, phones, “chips”, and/or other digital information] concerning their illegal activities?
    It seems as though, this is the normal operating procedures within our government. All the while, these “missing documents/information” IS fully retrievable. Unless, like Donald Avant has said, the “shredding machine[s]” are the culprit! Which would explain why the VA is reluctant to be exposed in the massive corruption they perform each and every day against veterans!

    _________________________________

    One a side note;
    This just out from “military.com” via “Stars and Stripes” by: Nikki Wentling.
    Dated: 23 Jan 2018.
    Titled:
    “After Impasse, Senators to Restart Negotiations on VA Choice Reform!”

    In my opinion, Senators ARE trying to apologize for the FUBAR they just caused active duty military, veterans and taxpayers!
    Again, that’s just my opinion!

    Read the article!

  6. I received the third response from the VA GC to the CAVC order to correct my RBA by replacing documents obviously missing and relevant in the RBA from the hard copy of my Medical File OPTR and IPTR maintained by the Medical Division.

    Apparently they were just dumped into contract warehouses without adequate record keeping when the VA finally computerized the Progress Notes and Examination Records. The Pharmacy records and Lab records have been computerized since the late 1980s making it evident that there should be accompanying OPTR and IPTR to match that were requested and at one time in the Comp & Pen hard copy file but were not there when scanned into the computerized record.

    It has now been over 45 days since the CAVC issued the Order to Correct the RBA to the Secretary. I’m waiting for another 45 days to make it 90 days, 6 responses from the VA GC without the directed “status report” (only stating they are responding) before submitting a request for court ordered stipulations on what the missing records show.

  7. Ben Krause stated, “Over the years, I’ve had tons of hang-ups from various VA medical centers nationwide. Each facility seems to do it differently, and guessing how it will go based on past experience is a complete waste of time.” I wonder what else the VA does differently within each VA facility?

    How about VA’s PCP’s *REALLY* going to bat for us Veterans, per requesting and obtaining medications that aren’t on the VA’s Regular Formulary listing? I
    personally know that there are problems in this area. What a continuing battle.

    I’ll take the hit for assuming, that the VA is inconsistent in a lot of areas that negatively effect us Veterans in one way or the other. Especially the ones that the VA is keeping on the down low, purposing hiding from Ben, other Advocates, and us Vets. Or, just plain out not doing a damn thing about the inconsistencies.

    Want to bet? Never mind, that’s unfair, because I already know that I’d would win. Please don’t connect or relate my post to the NFL. Thank you.

  8. Get a load of this BULLSHIT
    “ensure every tax dollar given to VA supports Veterans” I guess giving bonuses out really help The veterans out, The biggest fraudsters going after fraud what a fucking JOKE…..LOL

    VA, Health and Human Services Announce Partnership to Strengthen Prevention of Fraud, Waste and Abuse Efforts

    WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a partnership to share data, data analytics tools and best practices for identifying and preventing fraud, waste and abuse.

    This newest partnership enhances ongoing efforts between the country’s two largest public-private health-care payment organizations to help America’s Veterans by leveraging the gains made by CMS.

    “The VA-HHS alliance represents the latest example of VA’s commitment to find partners to assist with identifying new and innovative ways to seek out fraud, waste and abuse and ensure every tax dollar given to VA supports Veterans,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “This effort marks another step toward achieving President Trump’s 10-point plan to reform the VA by collaborating with our federal partners to improve VA’s ability to investigate fraud and wrongdoing in VA programs.”

    • Just more smoke screens to look good in the eyes of Politicians and the Public. The VA doesn’t want women to jump on board, to help Veterans receive better, streamlined, and expedient care, whether in the Claims Side, or the Medical Side. Remember, Shithead “Shitty” Shulkin has already admitted that the VA is being adversarial towards us Vets. Which in turn, negatively effects our spouses, love ones, service animals, caretakers, etc..

      What the VA *REALLY* needs to do, is to create a *TRUE* Open Door Policy, so that the VA employee’s not only are welcomed to come forward with problems that need to be fixed, but to offer incentives to do so (and I’m not talking bonuses).

      Plus, publicly state this with full reporting of the MSM, and have the backing of many National Workplace Organizations. You gonna bring it on, then bring it on.

      And, to focus this objective towards those employees that are mostly on the front lines; the areas that effects Veterans interactions with the VA. Stop playing with a minor venal passageway, and go for the juggler. Shit, can’t be fooled as much as before. Assholes.

  9. Lolz the press just instant messaged me. They have my iPad contact info. She told me they plan to establish a website just to “…document this ongoing saga…” of VA refusing treatment for me and their antics.

    I just wanted a refill of simple anti depression pills, nerve damage pills, and nitro glycerin that they used to provide for chest pains and heart disease. Three simple prescriptions with a hope of some anti anxiety treatment too.

    Instead of a simple thirty minute meeting and med review now look how many people are involved. This is absolutely the most colosal waste of time and effort. How can a country plan for expenses like VA care when it takes four agencies, multiple investigators, and countless time spent writng letters trying to explain it all, when in reality a simple thirty minute sit down and chat with a doctor can solve the problem? VA has made those relatively inexpensive pills now cost America ten times what it would have costed if they just did what we hired them to do. I know with certainty at least three doc careers were ruined over the drug stashing issue which never would have come up without their antics. So the cost is spread out even more and touches everyone.

    There is NO way to factor in such horrific expense! We are talking huge numbers of man hours involved just to avoid one thrity minute med review? Some piece of this puzzle eludes me and I pride myself on my delusions that I can figure stuff out lolz. There is something much bigger going on here. What else explains it? A newspaper starting a website because the story grew too big to print???

    • Maybe they can create an app to “…document this ongoing saga…”, and make the game first-shooter format where the ‘Angry Birds’ have ALL the guns and the piggies have none.
      (‘Angry Birds’ are we Vets, the piggy’s are everything the VA misrepresents), 😀

    • Dennis, request the news agency turn on the comment section.

      You should also encourage that news agency to ask the same questions you raised here of politicians in the area.

      It is their lack of will to clean up the VA that creates this waste, and allows it to go on.

      PS. It would be interesting to include some of your audio recordings on that site. People would be shocked after hearing what the VA told you on the phone.

      • I just sent Ben the entire link to the new rules about wait lists and such. Do you remember my post where they entered me into Choice Program without asking and against my express wishes? Look at this one line from the EWL document I sent Ben.

        “f. If VA is not able to offer an appointment within 30 days of the CID/PD, the patient may be eligible for the Choice program. In this case, the scheduler must ask the patient if they would prefer to make an appointment in the community or wait beyond 30 days for a VA appointment.”

        “must ask the patient” is pretty cut and dried. They were given seven business days I was told to comply with the order now entered into my record directing them to place me on EWL or ask my permission to enter a Choice referal. Five days are up as of this post.

      • It will be interesting to see them try prove what action they took to either place you on the wait list, or to make the referral to Choice.

        Given their reply to your appointment request, I bet they have done nothing, and will have no records to prove any action was taken.

      • I see a bigger picture here. From reading the VA directive it is clear that the longer a patient is on the waiting list the worse the facility rating will be. They spell it out. Bonuses are based on facility ratings at least for senior staff.

        The only way to verify if a patient actually was asked to accept the Choice program is to accept the word of the scheduler who made the Chioce referral if the did ask. Once placed on Choice the patient no longer appears on the facility Electronic Wait List, thus bolstering their numbers. When that letter to the Times printed there was also local nurses interviewed abot Roseburg. One said point blank about the current charges of shipping high risk patients off site in order to boost ratings, “This is only the tip of the iceburg.”

        My gut tells me they have been doing this to others to boost ratings and showing such excellent service and boast even walk in appointments now. Their responses to me in formal language showed that I no Choice. How many vets bought into that? This has the hallmarks of another wait list scam just in a different wrapper. I bet that VA nurse was dead on right – there is much more to this iceburg than just sending a few vets away from the hospital one day who needed help.

        I am laying three to one odds Roseburg and others are scamming the wait list this way now. It would be foolish to think they just stopped because they got caught for the fourth time, and it would be insanity to believe they all suddenly decided to start following rules.

      • Good point. How many other vets have given up waiting on a call from Choice after receiving a notice from Roseburg that they have been referred?

  10. I bet if the supervisors and employees of that office were missing $547 out of their paychecks, they might get their shit together enough to do their jobs.

    Why didn’t they do their jobs? Culture problems? What the hell is that? You show up to a job and get paid for it, so what does culture have to do with not doing your job? The IG report says they didn’t comply with policy and procedure, but they also said the staff were trained, so the only answer can be is that they were lazy, did not do their jobs, and oversight of the ROI section is nonexistent.

    As it is with the hacks in the Patient Advocate section. How can they not adequately capture a complaint? Do they just completely ignore what a veteran is telling them? Is Bay Pines so fucked up that veterans have multiple complaints, and the Patient chair warmers can only handle 2 at a time?

    Patient chair warmers have specific forms to fill out, including an electronic Report of Contact system they can use when taking complaints. If I were a veteran waiting on records, or an attorney, I would FOIA both the forms and the Reports of Contact. Both would show who else at that Shithole was notified, but did nothing about the problem.

    So the requests were shuffled off site? How can records be copied and a response provided if the request is off site, but the records are at the hospital? Unless a contractor was involved, and they either had the paper records off site for copying, or had access to the vets Electronic Health Record. Any chances of records being lost as well? HIPAA violations?

    Oh, but it was not substantiated that a veteran died while his private doctor waited on records. It wasn’t obvious when they found his body under a pile of records requests.

    Just another vet dead because of VA incompetence.

  11. Hello, Ben, thought you might have kicked me off of these sites cuz I was too hard on the snakes in the grass and advised of legal remedies as a lawyer that would shock the Boobacracy into action. Well, you are doing a great job, Ben as usual but anytime these boobs pull something like this they need to be immediately booted from government service, easy as that. Time to get serious, results are the only thing that matter. Semper Fi

  12. No harm done to patients?

    Well, did the IG interview all the vets who had their ROI’s “lost?”

    Since the vet had to sign the ROI form, it means his whole SS number was on the form. So what happened to the forms? Did any vet have his identity stolen?

    What about having to go and have tests again or having a private doctor recommend treatment without having the vet’s records? That is why I usually ask for a ROI request so I can take it do my personal physician.

    What about the anxiety of waiting for something and never receiving it? Doesn’t that count as harm? What about the time vets had to spend re-requesting information? Isn’t it harmful to wast a person’s time. Well, I guess since the VA schmucks get paid for their time, the vet’s time is meaningless.

    No wonder we feel like second class citizens.

  13. All I can say it that the person who was responsible must be located, identified and prosecuted immediately. End of case. Unless there are consequences, Shulkin and “OIG” there will be no justice nor will there be any changes.

  14. If one files FOIA complaint against the VA in the Court, where would one file this complaint? Is it in the district court one resides or the District Court in Washington, DC?

    • Ben may have a much better answer, but I would think you would have to exhaust any appeals process the VA has before you can file a complaint in court.

      • Hello 91Veteran,

        Thank you for responding to my question. I am just curious because I am requesting information in question and dispute regarding the overpayment. I am stuck as far as the FOIA appeal and requested FOIA request more than a month ago. I guess VA does not respond to FOIA request.

      • JC, when you submit a FOIA request, you have to make sure it gets to the right FOIA officer. Yes, federal agencies can assist and are supposed to pass your request on to the right person.

        You should follow up in writing and make sure the right person received it. If they acknowledge they received it, you should ask if they sent a response stating they received it with a tracking number.

        Generally, a federal agency has 20 days to respond, and 30 says to produce the record. They can ask for more time. If you have gotten no response at all, you should contact the FOIA office you sent the request to and find out why. While on the phone with them, you can ask for the contact information for who you can appeal their lack of response to.

        I found a listing on line a couple years ago of VA FOIA officers from the VAMC level all the way up to the FOIA officer in the Executive Office of the Secretary. It contained their phone and fax numbers, along with their email contacts since federal agencies are required to respond to FOIA requests received via email.

      • Everything you have said I did it. It is very strange the VA has no tracking or tickler for any request, and I escalated my FOIA appeal VA OIG said that my request was not received until I sent the FOIA appeal. It is very, very strange but it does not surprise me at all. Thank you again.

      • VA IG said your FOIA request was not received until after you sent your appeal?

        If so, it sounds like your appeal forced someone to acknowledge you submitted a request, and the IG should have provided a tracking number.

        You can submit a second request for the same information and state in it your lbetter that your previous request was ignored. You can also submit a FOIA for the tracking number for a request you submitted on XYZ date to XYZ FOIA office.

        If you submit that request for the FOIA tracking number, I would send it to the FOIA officer at VA HQ. Somebody is ignoring your first request.

  15. Hey Elf,

    Given this is a great article on the problems with the VA and their inability to follow through on ROI requests.

    Thought I would share a little on the Memo the Feds keep talking about releasing. If you care to read some of the material used and taken from the NSA used in the Memo you can view it at:

    Memo Material: https://www.scribd.com/document/369818480/2016-Cert-FISC-Memo-Opin-Order-Apr-2017

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Special Thanks to InfoWars!!!

  16. New one for you Ben. From the DOJ News letter: “https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/california-medical-device-company-pay-762-million-resolve-allegations-its-subsidiary-billed” This is for overbilling Tri Care.

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