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USA Today and The Boston Globe recently reported on VA nursing homes receiving poor internal rankings in secret. If you have been following our blog, we also posted on this topic. Almost half the country’s VA facilities received the worst possible ranking… from a system the VA invented.

It would seem that for the most part, even given metrics our bureaucracy has awarded to itself, the assisted living aspect of VA care does not come out looking good. Patients are suffering from neglect and trauma in the place where they sought attention and healing.

The recent press on this matter seems to have prompted our House VA Committee to launch an investigation into patient outcomes. We need to know what the numbers actually are, and we need to remedy the ones that are so low, reflecting these poor patient outcomes.

Patients in more than two-thirds of these homes are more likely to suffer from daily pain and from severe bedsores than their private sector counterparts. One particular failing this blog noticed and commented on was the massive 11 percent chance for these patients to be improperly catheterized.

The VA stopped releasing quality control reports in 2009, after the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review did a story on a Philadelphia VA nursing home. In one extreme case, a veteran’s leg had to be amputated after staff neglected the infection in his foot for months.

According to the Tribune-Review, that infection went without care for so long that the foot was literally infested with maggots. Let that sink in.

Obviously, outcomes like this are preventable. Increased access to good care and transparency within the system can only lead to higher quality of life for veterans across the country.

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) of the VA Committee called the recent journalistic findings “shocking and unacceptable” and urges “tough disclosure requirements” moving forward. Pro-veteran leaders of all political stripes are urging this now. We need to keep getting the updates.

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), a former Marine and sitting member on the VA Committee, had this to say about the investigation: “Veterans deserve the best healthcare in the world. Period. That means having more transparency than private providers, not less.”

Seems obvious when you hear it like that. Well said by him, though. I think we all can agree on that front. Whether or not you support the decisions our leaders make when they send us to war, they have to be responsible for our continued health when we return home.

That is the deal we made when we signed up for this. If we live, you take care of the toll that combat took on our bodies. That is a necessary and inevitable cost of having a strong military.

Nice to know that at least a few of our legislators are looking into that.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/07/17/va-nursing-homes-house-va-committee-launches-investigation/784014002/

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25 Comments

  1. It is impossible to imagine that the Vets are being treated worse than the general population. When you think of the horrors my poor Dad endured while I nearly lived with him in Kindred Hospital to protect him, unable to be moved due to an unnecessary trach that was put in but never removed by them, even though unneeded, just to get extra reimbursement for a “long term trach patient”. After they exhausted his Medicare benefits, they started the balance billing at $6600.00 per day resulting in a lawsuit to take everything my Mom owns (Dad died by a medical construct designed to kill his organs…right in front of me as I demanded they stop, to no avail! . Having worked with VA docs at a major university, I know how vets are treated while the walking wounded visiting the clinics getting the “delay, deny, and hope you die treatment”. It is a national disgrace! Those hidden away in the nursing homes must be endurung pure hell, because it is horrible enough in the private nursing homes. It is the fault of the Shared Savings Program in which 40% of the savings from denied, delayed treatment, and actually death is driving this eugenics, geriatricide agenda. This needs to be knocked down and restructured, treating elders the way they were promised they were going to be treated. The corruption and white color crime is unbelievable and amounts to organized RICO offenses. Nobody will step forward to stop this, because nearly everyone is on the take, legislators, all elected officials, law enforcement, judges, lawyers, all reporting agencies like Adult Protective Services, CMA, JCAHO…EVERYONE! Someone needs to report the number of deaths in these homes. It is so high, the bodies are piling up in the morgues and even the new alkaline hydrolysis isn’t keeping up. There are so many cover-ups with this elder care abuse private and VA as well. People need to be aware and be involved with the care of loved ones…they require and deserve protection.

  2. Veterans deserve the best???

    Decade after decade of irrefutable proof that the worst of the worst and the most horrific of horrifying outcomes for patients happens at VA health care facilities. If stacked up, the newspaper articles documenting verifiable allegations of gross misconduct, gross malpractice, malfeasance, deception, retaliation, theft, and the list goes on would stack nearly to the moon.

    From fly infested kitchens, operating rooms, and veterans wounds to uncooked food, filth absolutely everywhere, and armed guards with weapons issued for use against patients as needed roam the halls.

    Veterans deserve the best???

    How about veterans deserve to be let out of this segregation you have thrown us down into? Why is it that Americans entitled to healthcare can all enjoy maggot free facilities and wounds and enjoy cooked food and a staff that is not listed on child sex offender registries, except for those who “deserve the best”? For those that deserve the nest we cast them down into places the light of day does not shine and where hope has never set foot.

    “Veterans deserve the best” is the cop out sentence used now for how many presidents who promised to fix this horrific ongoing nightmare? No, veterans do not deserve the best VA can offer. Veterans deserve the real healthcare just like every other American. The nightmare goes away the instant health care segregation does. Seperate but equal never EVER worked for those who get to be the “equal” part.

  3. My experience in the DC VA Hospital long term care unit. An orderly was given the key to the controlled substance locker by the nurse to give me my Tylenol 3. I got aspirin in stead. Obvious taste difference on the tongue. Raised hell about it as it was a known method of getting patients medications for substance abuse or sale. To no avail. As far as I know that orderly and nurse are still there.
    My being there was to get me off the street living homeless and demonstrating in front of the VA Central Office. And this was my reason to get back out there AMA.

  4. ELDER ABUSE is illegal in every state in out nation. I filed a claim at the Atlanta VA and had surgery two days later! We know we must handel these things ourselves. U are fighting

    Bureaucracy!!!

  5. My belief after the Election please contact your Senators and Representatives contact the Veteran Affairs Committee your belief how to improve Veterans Healthcare remember jam the telephone like you did at war and Spread your belief how to improve Veterans Healthcare and you don’t have to Veteran to share my firm belief or your belief how to improve Veterans Healthcare

  6. WTF is the matter with Trump? Come on where is all this swamp draining at the VA? The anger that I see in the waiting rooms and hallways of My local VA is real and I get nervous just being around some of My fellow Vets, mark My words one day one of these Guys will snap and it wont be pleasant for some deserving REMF.

  7. Veterans or so called Veterans nothing can passed with out Representatives or Senators and Representatives contact the Veteran Affairs Committee.

  8. Veterans or so called Veterans nothing can passed with out Representatives or Senators and Representatives contact the Veteran Affairs Committee.

  9. The only possible way the VA can work is put in state’s control with a board to over see. Not that the state is better, the VA is way too big and has given in to the Union. Can’t possibly be successful with so many employees that don’t care. It literally makes me sick reading what is allowed to happen and nothing is done. Except putting people on paid leave, or demoting someone until cools off, with same pay and bonuses, moving up in six months because there too much bullshit to notice. Far too big, no oversight and the lack of simple human compassion. Thought what they have done to me was horrible, I don’t show on radar compared to others when details slip out.

  10. I had a friend that was placed in the nursing home after falling and fxing his tibia.Due to his weight(over 600lb.-tumor on his penial gland). Nurses would ignore when he needed the bedpan,he caught MSRA because his roommate had it,the orderly would empty the urinal in the sink,no concern about transferring bacteria.A nursing student was replacing an i.v. bag ,she dropped the tube into the garbage realizing it was too early,she pulled it back from the can and reinserted.I asked her if she realised the heplock needed pulling,she had completely contaminated the site. Alerting the RN,
    who made a joke about the need they must use alcohol wipes. I demanded the heplock be pulled,they refused,A few days later,my friend had to be transferred to the main hospital due to infection in his arm @the IV site.His arm doubled in size,a student nurse,who was supposed to be learning ignored protocol to avoid being written up,so instead her mistake put my friend in jeopardy.
    Jumping forward,I fractured my hip,was transferred for rehab.The nurses let me know immediately,they remembered when I complained about my friends treatment.In response to my being there,I was given meals since it was delivered by dietary,however since the kitchen shipped the food in by truck,many times chicken was raw.Staff would refuse to contact kitchen I was amazed at how little concern the staff showed. I was struggling to use a walker,I witnessed a petite woman I had seen when my friend was still alive. She was dirty and needed changing,instead of putting her in a wheelchair,the female staffer drug her to her room by her arm.I was furious,so I began to keep a journal of the abuse.When you are involved personally I believe it reinforces the anger. I was told by the nurses when asking for medication,PRN meds would be given when they wanted to give them.I was told no one else asked,my reply “maybe because everyone I have seen hardly knows where they are,plus they’re in bed right after supper.” I then was forced by the evening nurse,to wait,she deliberately withheld my meds for pain until the 3rd shift.I didn’t know I was ill, just a fracture,the doctor who was heavy on cussing,came where I was sitting stated I was about to have a heart attack,get my things and get off her ward.No concern about transferring me to the main hospital,just Don t return until you’re better.I did return,filed a formal complaint of the abuse I had witnessed and was suggested I should be discharged immediately.I live alone and I’d only been there for 3weeks.I had to recover at home without any assistance that VA sends (nurses to do home check,vitals,nothing)I still wasn’t walking well,lunch was on my table,the discharge nurse,denied me lunch,told me to get out,apparently I didn’t leave early enough since I had no idea of discharge time.
    My friend was mistreated there and because I couldn’t watch the abuse he was receiving,I stood up against the unnecessary abuse he was receiving;when I needed care the staff took their residual anger out on me as a patient.

    • I as a follow veteran know exactly what you are saying. Many other veteran’s speak their minds concerning the VA.

      I am really surprised you were not retaliated against by falsely acussing you of disruptive behavior and then punish you.

      The VA hates veteran’s who are brave enough to tell the truth. Here is what I am doing to get the word out about how the VA is using the Disruptive Committee to punish veteran’s who speak up about their treatment.

      Thank you for your post. If you find out how your friend is, let us know. If you should receive any negative remarks on this site.

      We, have VA employees coming on this site to belittle veteran’s. Called trolls. Don’t fall for this tactic.

      • Sorry I forgot to tell you what I am doing to get the word out. I read almost every story written.

        I say my piece of mind. I repeat what other say about a certain subject concerning employees and how the VA is using the Disruptive Committee to punish veteran’s for expressing their personal concerns.

        I believe if each of would take the time, to read and watch report’s from news organizations.

        The VA inspector general’s office and the house, Senate and other committee’s and we can share our thoughts as veteran’s using Facebook.

        I believe our elected officials who read these reports will take our thoughts as veteran’s and take corrective action.

  11. Are you speaking of VA long-term care facilities? VA assisted living (Veteran Homes) are run and inspected by the state. The Adninistrator is appointed by the Governor and it’s employees are State workers; that’s how it works in California. It’s run according to State law. I was the inspector for Ventura Veteran Home and it was run well (at the time I was inspector) and patients received great care. As a matter of fact, I told my son when it came time for me to go into assisted living, that is where I wanted to go.

  12. My point was VA Long term care facilities and Veteran Homes are totally different. There have been a few new facilities built in California, Ventura Home is one

  13. Anyone keeping up with current affairs & half a brain has to see that illegal, law breaker, immigrants are more deserving & getting better treatment & protections from a good portion of our populace than the disabled vets, with knowledge I could write a book on poor care from the VA, all the presidents in memory including George Bush in overall treatment of vets, cut VA funding considerably & the VA wastes millions on bonuses for themselves & are already underfunded. And Bush sent our vets to war where so many died & the IED’s crippled so many of our youth it is sickening. I feel for the immigrants, but most are lying for amnesty & just want a better life than their society can provide. I understand. But watch how all of them protest & vote once they are accepted into our society, they all stand for anything to better their cause & their brothers, that in itself is trying to change our society into what they left. It is so obvious, why cannot our people understand befor they become a minority in their own country. But it is not our responsibility & even more so if this portion of the populace understands the trillions of dollars we are in debt & where priorities should lie. Another point 90% or so of these ILLEGALS speak Spanish, it would be so much easier for them to assimilate if they went to a Spanish speaking country that they are surrounded by or neighbors to & it would not destroy that countries educational system as is happening to ours & would be so much easier for their children. My grandchildren’s high school in Santa Clara California students spoke 34 different languages at home (Silicon Valley), imagine the conflict & stress on the teachers sorting this out. Just as social security & the millions of money put in, the older congressman saw fit to put the money in the general fund & spend for their pleasure rather than put it in a fund & borrow from it & pay back the borrowed money with interest rather than spend the billions of interest money to China & others !!!! You can see if just taking a moment for a glance & they tell us our Social Security is going broke. How screwed up our leaders are & we let them get away with it. Also this is just a minor part of complaints including outright law breaking from our elected officials, but we are too busy, sitting on our hands, watching TV to see that any of them are in jail where a good number of them belong. Has any poor vet facing bankruptcy had a bail out of a few dollars & our financial institutions got billions !!!!! Still no jail time !!!

  14. “Shocking and unacceptable…”? How about prosecuting the VA employees responsible for this “shocking and unacceptable” practice!
    These employees, if a vet dies under their care, should be prosecuted for murder! Or, at the least, manslaughter!
    I’m tired of the bullshit VA employees are getting away with against veterans. These “hearings” are nothing but a “dog and pony show” for our amusement! Nothing ever happens to the assholes. When they’re called out for the abuse, all that occurs is – they’re transferred to another facility to continue harming veteran.

  15. Hello dear brothers and sisters in arms,

    I read all of your comments here and would also like to state something that has NOT yet been spoken of. For many years we tried to get the government to pass new legislation so that family could take care of their own veteran… We know how that turned out, but the true reason it was never passed until recently was because the nursing homes would lose client’s, lose money, lose staff due to lower enrollment and of course the lower cost for care when a veteran lives at home and is cared for.

    The cost to keep a veteran in one of these facilities is astronomical and I applaud the passage of the new CAREGIVER program so that veterans can live at home and hopefully be cared for by someone who actually cares. The stipend they are giving to those who qualify seems reasonable, but I believe should be much higher as the savings to the government will actually pay for the program itself.

    The moral to this story is that NO ONE wanted this metric to change because it’s BIG money for these nursing homes… The staff are paid poorly but the directors and doctors make huge salaries. Will the new CAREGIVER program work? Will family take better care of their veterans for the stipends being paid based on local zip-codes? These are questions I am unable to answer, but what I can tell you is my wife is my caregiver and she is the absolute BEST… Even though she is my wife I still pay her so that she has her own spending money since she cannot work and is there for me 24/7. In case you are wondering how much? I give her $3,500.oo dollars per month which is over the top tier of what the VA will pay depending on where you live.

    I am sure that in the months and years ahead we will read stories about elder abuse by a family member supposedly taking care of their veteran only to find out that they took the money and bought drugs or what ever and did nothing for the veteran. This is where public laws will play an integral part in prosecuting those individuals since the VA is not their employer. No where to run and no where to hide… So justice in the end should prevail.

    One last thing before I go… There are good, even great VA facilities out there along with awesome people working in them. Not all VA healthcare facilities are corrupt and the people who work there value not only their jobs but the veteran’s they serve. I have been in a few of them over the years and can honestly say that I was taken very good care of. Perhaps not as good as my wife does, but then again, she is my wife and knows me better than anyone. Still, it is my hope that the VA will fix the understaffed over worked nurses in these homes and pay them well so that they want to stay and do their BEST for those who have borne the battle…

    Respectfully,

    Dr. Kevin B.

  16. That number that the financial institutions have been receiving Since The W Bush regime, through a program called Quantitative Easing is $85 BILLION PER MONTH or $1.2 TRILLION PER YEAR – INDEFFINITLY !!! Yet the VA is continually crying, tightening buggetary constraints all the while making multi million dollar face lifts on facilities and ignoring the real purpose for the existance of the VA in the first place. Care for veterans. By the way who is it that has and is still profited so handsomely off the blood of those who gave all and the perminantly disabled who will never be able to stop giving? The near Untaxed, Inc.s

  17. 07/22/2018

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    Benjamin you stated: “Nice to know that at least a few of our legislators are looking into that.”

    The last four years we heard such phrase as most disturbing, very shocking, this is unacceptable, we must stop this, etc…as the whistleblowers were dealt false promises by the Media, Government [And the People], and the VA. Not the first time—remember all Senators slamming the door shut on the Whistleblowers in Aerospace back in 1989?

    I would not even call it lip-service.

    Rep. Higgins will be receiving his letter and you will begin to see real action.

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

  18. Following. Ahh, another politician given I can try contacting about the VA and civilian retaliation, attacks and persecution. I bet I know what he’ll say too, just like all the others. Wanna bet?

    • 07/23/2018

      T—-It is a tough battle—-things do change—I had met a Veteran who was standing at the AZ Capitol Steps and thought nothing would change [When the Governor decided to take the Veterans cash—inspired by Ted Vogt] and I told the Veteran to read the letter that I was hand delivering to the Governor’s desk [the Veteran stated it is hopeless and walked away]. The Governor received his letter and in less than 24 hours he reversed his decision.

      Sometimes you get lucky!

      Sincerely,

      Don Karg

      • Trying to play catch-up here.

        Don, always glad to hear about some positives happening for vets somewhere out there, or happening in this country today. And that you have a Governor that will take the time to listen to some of the people with issues instead of totally ignoring them or the vets.

        The only luck I have had for years is good ole “Murphy’s Law,” and Gremlins in the social machinery. But I keep hoping I’ll hit the lottery in some way. I would love to go with Ben to confront Congress critters or be heard on a national news broadcast if they didn’t edit things so much or twist or censor some things.

        Another preacher read my truck sign and told me I needed his kind of luck…”LUCK”…’love under Christ’s kindness.” Told me not to fight the system but to wait on Jesus to fix it all. I “would be blessed with good health and wealth if I just let things be.” (??????!!!!!!) Normal stuff for around here. Be a door mat and enjoy it all I guess. Let the VA and others kill us off and abuse us, crucify us. Fit in and stop fighting it all. Let evil reign… and I have some of my own passages about fighting that off or standing up to it it all. But they’ll stand with the likes of the open border crowd to Antifa or LaRaza to being silent about the local corruption and censoring. Zooming past that stuff.

        Indiana or local politics play that well with we the people or veterans with issues that aren’t so positive to discuss or mention in public or in the highly censored lying news.

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