My HealtheVet: How To Micro-Manage Your VA Doctor From Your Sofa

Are you tired of wondering what your crabby VA doctor says about you? Ever want to have greater input into your health care? Ever wish you could control your doctor like a puppet master?

Wish no further.

Meet My HealtheVet. A clever little tool created by VA at taxpayer expense to eradicate human interaction when providing health care services to veterans.

While created to save money on the backs of veterans needing real interaction with real human physicians, this nifty software platform can serve enterprising veterans with another purpose.

Veterans with access now have the means to micro-manage their VA physician or entire care team.  

[Batteries not included.]

Yes, we know the existence of My HealtheVet is not new.

What is new is the concept of micro-managing your VA care team into compliance with your own personal vision of what health care you should be receiving – all from the comfort of your favorite couch cushion, La-Z-Boy, or VFW bar stool.

It’s new because I say it’s new, and no one else has written about using My HealtheVet to the advantage of the veteran.

RELATED: Ants Covered Dying Veteran At VA Medical Center

Veteran Plight

For about 100 years, veterans have felt alienated, disregarded, and abused by VA personnel responsible for providing you with the health care you need.

Calls to the nurse hotline frequently go unanswered and the voice messages go unreturned – sometimes not listened to. Days or even weeks pass without the ball moving much.

Remember the wait list scandal starting with Phoenix VA?

How about the time the nurse mixed up your medications or the pharmacist shorted you out of pain killers? How about the time the nurse didn’t rotate you in bed causing bedsores?

Did they put notes into the system about the harm they caused?

Probably not, at least not the kind of notes that should have been entered.

Perhaps they wrote in that you refused the drugs or rejected offers to be rolled in bed. Or, better yet, they said you were noncompliant, or, heaven forbid, that you acted mean like someone with PTSD (because you have PTSD).

RELATED: VA Reduces PTSD Veteran 100% to 0%, Misleads Press On Reduction

Before My HealtheVet, you would have no way to know the care team was badmouthing you in the system, at least not without a lengthy Privacy Act request.

You may not know a lot – or at least according to your doctor – but now you know about My HealtheVet. A way to turn that frown upside down.

Let’s talk tech and how it can help.

[If you are a VA provider reading this thinking, “I am very prompt and caring, so how dare you…” This article is obviously not talking about you. It’s talking about the other guy next to you.]

RELATED: Veteran Suicide Calls Likely To Increase 150%

Your My HealtheVet Fix

For the first time in a century, veterans (with legal access) can sit back on the comfort of their couch to comb through every entry error and omission by VA physicians, nurses, and other personnel.

You can now get in front of that bad relationship with your provider. You can ensure proper documentation gets into the system before it’s too late.

The cure?

Whether due to human indifference or heavy workloads, your bad relationship with your physician can be cured with direct access to the messaging portal available in My HealtheVet.

You no longer need to wait months and months to tell your doctor what you really think. You don’t need to wait 6 months for a copy of your VistA clinical file.

Oh no.

You can fire off a scathing, but professional, message outlining exactly what procedure was done or prescription not provided while sipping your favorite beverage (Pabst Blue Ribbon) watching YouTube.

Very few of the VA’s projects can be characterized as streamlining what requires a human touch. That is why VA paid billions in taxpayer dollars on IT fixes to diminish the need for humans with technology.

But that technology can be turned on its head to not only improve access to records and other resources.

It can help you micro-manage the healthcare you receive from VA providers

So, how much is My HealtheVet and how do I get access?

For veterans, it’s free. For taxpayers, it’s a few billion dollars.

RELATED: VA Police Beating Victim Gets Settlement

My HealtheVet Three Tiered Portals

The My HealtheVet portal is a three-tiered free online portal, offering a lot of software tools to veterans who want or need to take more control over their health care.

Basic Access

Basic Access has no ID requirements. This means it is the easiest access point available.

It allows you to input information to your personal health journal, like blood sugar numbers, heart rate, information about medications or allergies.

This information storage was designed to help you track your medical conditions for your reference.

Advanced Access

Advanced Access requires you to be a VA patient and a link between your DoD account and the portal. Advanced Access will give you access to certain elements of your DoD records. You can also use it to manage VA prescription refills and information.

Premium Access

Premium Access on My HealtheVet requires you to verify your VA/DoD records, social security number (SSN), gender, and date of birth (DOB). Yeah, it is quite a bit and seems redundant since VA already has this information about you.

Once this access level is attained, it opens online tools veterans may find very useful including the ability to download your records.

There is no cost other than your soul, and you will need to name your firstborn after the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Well worth the price of admission if you ask me.

Meet Premium My HealtheVet

Premium Access to My HealtheVet has a number of features that could radically alter your communication and micro-management expectations.

Obviously (hopefully), this does not apply to emergency issues. If you are experiencing an emergency, go right to the nearest emergency department.

Instead, it applies to situations less dire where a simple but consistent stream of messages can help address your situation. With its secure messaging features, non-emergent issues can be addressed by your primary care team and become permanent records in your clinical health record.

The response deadline is supposed to be 24-48 hours excluding holidays and weekends.

Again, if it’s an emergency, do not wait. Go right to your nearest emergency room. Be sure to let VA know right away that you had to go to the emergency room or have someone else do it for you (assuming you are conscious).

More My HealtheVet Perks

The perks don’t end with micro-managing other grown adults.

Many other aspects of your care can also be controlled through My HealtheVet.

You can manage prescriptions. You can make and change appointments. You can timely access much of your clinical health file. You can even reschedule appointments that were mysteriously canceled by the VA physician. What a win!

Do not submit to the typical veteran sentiment that your personal concerns can wait. Hell no. You paid your dues and it’s time to take what’s yours.

Take back some control. At least a little bit.

Your presidential vote may not count. Your spouse may hate your guts. Your belly may have grown so large you cannot see your toes. Cutting back on Twinkies won’t help.

But, by God, you can at least start to control who omits what from your health records.

And that’s not all.

You can even set an email alert to notify you of a response from your care team when you reach out with your secure message.

Secure Messaging allows you to:

  • Ask non-urgent, non-emergency health related questions
  • Update your VA health care team on your health condition
  • Request VA referrals and medication renewals
  • Manage your VA appointments
  • Ask routine administrative questions

There is no limit to the hours you can spend thumbing through your redundant VA health records while sending little notes about typos and Privacy Act correction requests.

But, don’t forget, responses are only a Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm affair within three business days. And if it’s an emergency, do not wait around on your couch for a response. Go to the emergency room nearest you.

A Side Note My HealtheVet Prescription Refills

Refilling prescriptions online is great whenever they show up before you run out.

This was especially a problem during COVID, and not just because American has outsourced nearly 97 percent of our antibiotics and other drug manufacturing to China.

There have been some reported issues with this system, but My HealtheVet also has a tool to report prescription issues, and worst case, you can message your provider to address the issue.

The prescription tools in My HealtheVet also allow you to track shipments, and create prescription lists, if you also see a non-VA provider that has issues in communication with the VA.

Additionally, the health record tools within the portal allow you to track your healthcare records, make additions if necessary, or updates if you receive care outside the VA that you would like to coordinate with VA providers.

When you find errors, you can initiate a Privacy Act challenge to change or correct the offending record.

Beware, downloaded health records from My HealtheVet, may not be a complete representation of your file. Referred to as “VA Blue Button,” and much like online TRICARE tools with the VA Blue Button feature, you can:

  • Customize and download a report (as a PDF or text file) to share with your VA and non-VA providers
  • Print a report or summary to take a copy to your next appointment
  • Send an electronic version of your self-entered information in Secure Message to your VA health care team
  • Build your Personal Health Record (PHR) by self-entering your personal information or data that you have tracked

It’s also possible that your DoD treatment records can be linked, giving your VA treatment team the access for recently discharged veterans. Health records can be downloaded in XML or printed in PDF format, to more easily integrate with non-VA systems.

While VA doesn’t specifically endorse or provide any apps directly, there are even VA Blue Button smart phone applications that can be integrated (buyer beware with third party options).

Premium access gives anyone a front see to manage their own physician.

Never In Writing, Always In Cash

I swear, sometimes, I feel like some VA personnel intentionally dupe us into keeping a request verbal.

When the floor falls out on whatever issue you were trying to resolve, when the time comes to “prove it,” the conversation never happened. It will be your word against theirs, and you will lose.

Remember, if it’s not written down, it did not happen.

This is why tools like My HealtheVet are so great.

It can allow you direct access to your care team. It allows you direct access to at least some (but not all) of your health records. It gives you the power to put it in writing even after the appointment, just to be sure everyone is on the same page.

What an empowering tool, no?

Should your physician refuse a procedure but not write it down, you can send a note about it later that should be added to your records. If you need to appeal the refusal in a clinical appeal, health care appeal, or if it comes up in a malpractice matter, the request will be documented.

Final Words Of Advice

In case you did not figure it out yet, this post is somewhat satirical, like an unofficial infomercial on SNL.

We as veterans can never truly micro-manage any VA employee. It’s like herding cats. The odds of holding a bad VA employee accountable are low. Do not hold your breath.

But you can micro-manage your situation by doing everything in your power to advocate for yourself using My HealtheVet as a tool from your couch.

The system can help you leverage its features to help identify and change incorrect information in your records, document errors or omissions, and more proactively participate in the care you receive.

With great power comes great responsibility.

Given your newfound ability to actively participate in your health care, you need to remember, it is a crime to threaten or harass VA personnel. They are federal employees. They are humans.

Do not threaten or harass VA personnel, or anyone else for that matter.

Avoid swearing in your messages or making hostile or derogatory comments. Be consistent with messaging without spamming the system. Never send a message when you are mad. Write a first draft and then sleep on it.

What you type into a message you send will likely become a permanent part of your record.

A judge may need to look at it later, and you do not want to look like more of a controlling jerk than you may already be. A judge will look more kindly on a case where the veteran keeps their cool despite poor treatment from VA care staff and clinicians. A judge will not look kindly on a veteran who swears at VA personnel.

And yes, if you swear at VA personnel, it is possible to be charged with disorderly conduct if you make the comments on VA property. Many judges will find that 1st Amendment protections do not apply in that context.

If you take your frustrations too far, it is possible VA will complain and accuse you of being disruptive. This could place you before a Disruptive Behavior Committee to decide if you should be flagged.

If you get a red flag, you will enjoy a long future of very intimate and personal VA police escorts everywhere you go within VA including doctor appointments.

Be professional. Be consistent. Be nice even if it hurts.

When things get too hot to handle, reach out to a social worker, VSO, counselor, or hire an attorney.

If you feel VA personnel are abusing you in some way, and your attempts to address it have not worked, it may be time to seek health care from a third party.

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39 Comments

  1. Every time I have tried to promote myhealthevet I end up getting crapped on by someone who has an ax to grind. I’ve had far more success in “managing” my healthcare with the myhevet than I ever did with the Pig Med crowd. The telephone system is to easy to ignore, whether it’s departmental, give a shit employees or some grand conspiracy to screw the lowly veteran. “Say it forget it, write it regret it” was a phrase I learned from my experience in managing sizeable construction projects. It’s a cynical outlook for sure – nobody wants a paper trail. But therein lies the beauty of mhevet. Stay polite, stay professional, don’t ramble – for God’s sake don’t ramble – these people are busy – they don’t want to hear about your dog or your gripes.

    Have there been bugs – of course. I’ve stumbled into a rather obscure health issue, and mhevet won’t always expedite what you need when you want. I’ve waited for over six months for a test at OHSU. It took a few months to get into the VA docs in Portland (who are OHSU docs), who, farmed me over to OHSU for a test that has been, and will be backlogged for a long time to come. Pick and prod as I tried – it didn’t matter. That’s not the VA’s fault, nor mhevet’s. It’s life in Amurkan healthcare. Pray you don’t develop neuro dysautonomia from Long Covid. Every autonomic lab in the country is back up like diapers down the shitter.

    But I digress. Mhevet is a good tool if you use it. I’m admittedly bracing myself for the “new system” to mess it up. But I will persist in getting back on line if that happens. It’s worth it.

    Oh, my wife’s clinic has a portal. We can fetch reports, but don’t even think of trying to contact her doctor. Pure BS.

    1. Excellent post! And oh so true. HealtheVet until recently has been a most excellent tool. I agree completely about the metamorphosis into the “new system”.

      Two words: Screenshot Utilities.

      Haven’t had contact or conversation with you since about 2016 or so. CJ or Old Marine still around? I owe a debt of gratitude to CJ. His moral support over the phone my last year-and-a-half in Hawaii, enabled me to survive long enough to escape. I will be eternally grateful for that.

      Glad to see you are still alive and kicking! Seemed to have changed geographical location though. Better where you are at now?

      1. Still on the Southern Oregon Coast – God’s Country – ‘cept for healthcare. Roseburg has us down to nurse practitioners and rumor has it Roseburg won’t be sending any docs. Fine, my NP is very good. It’s out of her hands anyway. If I don’t see a change, we’re headed back to Frozendick, MN, where you need a gnat screen for your nostrils and all sorts of winter padding to stay warm. My wife has lots of family (cast of Ben Hur) – son a couple hours away – and I’d be 90 minutes to Mayo/Rochester.

        Where did you escape to? I haven’t been paying much attention and just noticed more fine posts from Ben. Glad to see you’re still at it too.

    2. Go reread the comments section from “White House Poaches VA General Counsel For Possible Impeachment Prep” and you’ll have all current updates since we last spoke.

  2. I guess you guys missed the part where he write about it being “satirical”? Or maybe ask yourself the last time you read one of Krause’s posts where he wrote “because I said so” (my answer is never)?

    But is is a good time to bring this up, as his earlier blog post about the portal shows. MyHealthyVet was very successful, and the solid or good Docs and Nurses at the VA love the portal, because it vastly improves communications between them and us (I am lucky enough now to have a great care team). It does let us ride herd on the cats a bit, which is not a bad thing.

    The VA is of course trying to eliminate this unexpected windfall to patients; it wasn’t meant to *work*, after all.So the new requirement to have *another* logon credential from one of three sites, so that the MyHealthyVet portal logon can be “protected”, is going more like VA projects usually go–poorly.

    1. Benjamin
      I have a question?
      I wonder what would happen if the VA leadership and the VA medical teams decided to serve with peace?
      Could this ever happen?
      Why start the conversation off by expecting or speaking in cautiousness in such a way of reminding the veterans about proper protocol?
      People have a right to express themselves. Some people interpret if someone disagrees with them that they are in the wrong or they are yelling or acting with disrespect. And truly in many situations people are just expressing a discrepancy or a concern or a situation that needs to be solved. All people have the right to express themselves if positively impacted or negatively impacted. Just because people disagree does not mean they should not have that right to speak.
      A wise person knows there is something to be learned from everyone.
      As for the VA Benjamin, I do not desire anything from the VA. Why would I even apply to Chapter 31? I do not care.

      1. @A, Krause wasn’t stating that Veterans should be excessively deferential, nor to fail to get their point across. He was making the very valid point that we need to remember that the person in front of us isn’t always the cause of our displeasure. I have yet to speak to an actual VA functionary beyond the self-identified VA Patient Representative (he’s actually a Patient Advocate, but he doesn’t believe in advocating, so there’s that).

        So losing it at the poor clerk who can’t give me an appointment because my Dr. with 1,500 patients hasn’t yet put in the order for my next visit, accomplishes nothing. Using SM to ask for my next appointment to be scheduled, please, get the appointment and proof that I asked for it.

        And he was noting that even when the author of one’s troubles is right in front of one, losing your shit on them will not make things better. The nice thing about SM is just what he said…you can draft your note on your computer, and save yourself from your own temper–I certainly have one.

        Or maybe not. Maybe he was “gaslighting”, whatever that means ( I suspect it means “pulling your chain”). I tend to take him by his written word, though.

    2. Absolutely Agree. HealtheVet has been successful – – – both for the good docs/nurses, and folks like you and me. Not quite what the VA thought would happen. And goodness knows anything that is successful and actually benefits veterans – – – well.

      So now since it was not broke for the most part (and to give job security to outside contractors) the VA sees the need to ‘fix’ it. Just unreal.

      If it is being done correctly and benefits a veteran, it is most assuredly not being done in an efficient manner by the VA . . .

  3. @ Walter J. Smith – Suggest you look at (historically) who the big Russian missiles have been aimed at since the 1960’s. Next take a good look at how the renewal of Sino-Russian relations is starting to play out. Third, watch how China is becoming emboldened WRT Taiwan.

    Your conclusion may be a bit different.

  4. Old news. Combat veterans already have exhausted Secure Messaging. Today, Messaging is also is controlled. It is the source of a lot of DBC’s work. Ben needs to focus on the DBC and turn his talent onto it. This essay is way out-of-date and way too simple explanation.

  5. Haven’t seen a post here yet about the proposed COLA increase for 2023. What does the community think about this article?

    *”https://vaclaimsinsider.com/cola-increase/”*

    1. My HealthEVet is not by a long shot NEW! It’s been around for over 20 years! I don’t call that new. Besides, it is currently plagued with all kinds of delays and malfuntions.

  6. I have a premium VA account, they shut me out of secure messaging because IU told my doctor disability it was very difficult for me to enter the VA Hospital because of their Gestapo tactics at the front gate and their interrogation of veterans entering the gate. A non medical person somehow read my confidentiual feelings to my doctor and he took offense by my using the adjective GESTAPO Tactics so he closed my secure messaging access premium account, No one would listen to this persons violation of numerous Ethic violations and Constitutional violations he committed they just protect his ass. So what good is MyHeatheVet and good in the manner you describe above.

  7. I had labs a three weeks ago. A week ago I was in my VA doc’s office and she had to read the results to me as the labs never showed up on myhealthevet. Truly, I can’t find much of anything on myhealthevet regarding any of my medical history and I’m rated 100%. Is there a rating point where nothing gets entered? I’ve been at this rating since 1995.

    I shudder to accuse them that maybe it’s just us females who aren’t receiving updates to our online records.

    Seriously though, myhealthevet is the most pathetic online medical record system I’ve ever seen our used. It’s as if whoever got the original contract to write the website just kept piling crap on top of crap. It looks like a 6 year old wrote the thing. The contractor must have been LTFAO at the millions the government threw at them to provide a product (quality product clearly wasn’t specified)

    1. Mary, read the 21st Century Cures Act The VA is required to provide you copies of the tests results. by not doing so they are engaging in information blocking. see “https://www.healthit.gov/curesrule/”

      “The rule includes a provision requiring that patients can electronically access all of their electronic health information (EHI), structured and/or unstructured, at no cost.
      Finally, to further support access and exchange of EHI, the rule implements the information blocking provisions of the Cures Act.”

      The Cures Act went into effect October 25, 2020.

      I hope this information is useful.

      Got Your 6

    2. Benjamin
      No go
      Veterans should not be having to micro manage VA employees.

      VA employees should not be having to micro manage veterans.

      The VA compartmentalization in the VA organizational structure needs to be absolutely done away with.

      If allowed one’s own space to function and speak, nobody would be speaking over anyone.

      Then it would be two sided and debated.

      Sorry Attorney Krause.

      Is not efficient or effective.

      1. The US Congress has been passing all sorts of unenforceable laws since WW II and likely prior to that.

        The US Constitution was built upon several ideological principles, the primary one being “divide and conquer.” It has worked well for the dividers for over 234 years and counting. It works so well, because those of us divided ignore all the dividing and all the distraction thrown at us are kept emerging so as to keep the dividing and the divisions growing.

        Works well, don’t you think? For them, at least.

        Now they have us all in their catastrophic muck-up in Ukraine; Russia has no choice now but to either destroy 1) Norway, or 2) Sweden; alternatively they could also nuke Germany, Poland, and every other US ‘ally’ hosting the ring of missiles aimed at both Russia and China. Of course, China is now and unavoidaby involved. Why do you think PI boss, Marcos, Jr. says he tilts toward China? Ditto, Solomon I Islands! The Great Game is now white hot.

  8. There are numerous medical records systems which can’t be accessed on myhealthevet.
    the Computerized Patient Records System (CPRS). (aka CRAPS) is a catch-all [email protected] of records which includes Office ofCommunity Care (OCC) Consults/records from community care providers. When at a Roseburg VA Town Hall 2 years ago I asked Veterans Experience Officer Sarah Cranston about obtaining these records, specifically the OCC Consults. I and all present were told that Veterans would have to file an ROI or FOIA request to see these as they are not available on myhealthevet.

    Veterans should be provided these consults in advance of their appointment to correct the inaccurate and lack of information provided by VA PCP’s/Nurses/OCC to community care providers. Just one example here is they do provided a list of your service connected disabilities on the consult. I have been service connected for my right hip since 1985 and left hip since 2019.
    the Roseburg VA, since 2017 has removed my service connected right hip and not included the 2019 established service connected left hip. One reason this was done is so that the Roseburg VA could bill my BCBS for treatment for service connected conditions at a 300 to 500% markup from what they payed the Provider and collect 200-300% more than they paid. treatment for service connected conditions are not to be billed medicare or Private Insurance. this is even stated in my letter from blue cross about the matter who simply passes on these costs to plan subscribers. I am service connected for my back and nerve problems in my legs also. The below pertains to Doctor ordered Aqua therapy. since blowing the whistle, Roseburg VA has wrongfully denied aqua therapy and have had to utilize BCBS for 2 years making the $25 copays for each of the 75 visits/year I used @ twice per week. The below is anexcerpt from the Letter and the letters were sent to Senator Merkley’s Office who apparently does not care if thees costs are simply passed on through higher health insurance premiums.

    Much more I can contribute on this myhealthevet story. see excerpts from the Blue cross letters below. C.M.

    “We appreciate you believe the physical therapy (PT) services are service-connected. Per page 2 of BCBS’s letter to you dated May 22, it is the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) not Blue Cross Blue Shield or the U. S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that determines whether a medical service is service-connected. Based on that fact there is no further investigation by BCBS or OPM concerning the billing / overbilling of these services. BCBS provided benefits for the PT services, reported to BCBS as not service-connected, per the 2018 and 2019 BCBS Service Benefit Plan brochures. Should the VA determine prior or future services were or are service-connected, BCBS will reprocess/process the claims per the information provided them the claim form. Recoupment of paid claims could occur per revised claim information.

    Local BCBS Plans determine the covered service Plan Allowance to reimburse for services provided by Preferred, Participating, and Non-participating professional providers. Local BCBS Plans and OPM do not assess a provider’s profit margin.

    Concerning Questions 2 and 3 we have no additional information.

    Claims payments are funded by premiums collected by employing agencies, for the employee and the agency contribution, and OPM Retirement Services for OPM’s and the annuitant’s contribution. Unused funds are retained by the U.S. Treasury to fund future claim payments and benefits administration costs.

    We hope this information is helpful.

    David Page, Health Insurance Specialist (Contracts)
    FEHB 1/FEIO

    1. Hey Chicago,
      Vets are being denied proven treatment in Alaska for chronic pain-spinalcord stimulation.
      Alaska, Washington and Oregon (where the [email protected] up Roseburg VA is located, is VISN 20.

      “https://alaskawatchman.com/2022/02/09/alaska-va-refuses-alternative-to-opioids-for-veterans-in-pain/”

      “Alaska VA refuses veterans an alternative to opioids, class action lawsuit looms”

      Got Your 6

      1. thanks 6, on 11/6/2020 I brought up the spinal cord stimulator (SCS) to Roseburg’s Pain Management Team conference call which they said they were not familiar with SCS. This was the first and last such meeting that was only scheduled so Director Allen could regurgitate in a letter to Senator Merkley that he set of this meeting to give the appearance he was doing something.
        OCC Pain Specialist Dr. Greenberg had recommended SCS. Dr.Greenberg and all of my VA PCPs had also recommended continued Aqua therapy which Roseburg VA OCC Denied and it was Dr. Greenberg who made the referral for aquatherapy through my BCBS.

        Roseburg’s Pain Management Team also stated that Aquatherapy was a treatment for Chronic pain and has helped me maintain my range of motion/current functional level. Roseburg’s pain management Team also informed that Chiropractic care could also help with my SI Joints. I informed them that when I requested Chiropractic care form Roseburg previously, OCC’s Heidi Thompson sent me a post card in the mail stating that OCC was not sure what kind of treatment I was looking for because Dr. Thorsen was a Chiropractor.
        Roseburg’s Pain management team recommended Ibuprofen cream and Battlefield Acupuncture which I received both were bullshit treatments.
        due to the recommendations for SCS by OCC community care providers Dr. O’Sullivan (orthopedic spine surgeon) and neurosurgeon Dr. Schrot, I am scheduled for the SCS trial this Thursday, May 19.

        Roseburg VA had to be forced into this. They will probably just bill my BCBS for this. Roseburg, like the Alaska article you posted has been denying SCS to its Veterans. finally I may get some relief. I’ve been on VA prescribed Hydrocodone then Methadone since 2008! I hate these drugs even though the help.

        C.M

      2. @6 & Chicago,

        Hey guys…this is total bullshit on the part of your local VAs. Spinal Cord and Peripheral Nerve stims are VA-approved for pain management, and the VA loves the things–like fancy artificial legs, they can show them off to the civilians as “cutting edge treatment”. My local VAOPC is actually working to push my Community Care pain guy to do the peripheral nerve stim, despite the CC people dragging their feet (it’s a $$$ thing, of course).

        Here is where the use of Secure Messaging is handy. If you have a Pain management contact in your list of care providers, write to that contact and to your PACT to ask where the process for your SCS is, and what, if anything, you need to do to move things forward. They have to answer *in* Secure Messaging (though I suspect your Director will try and use a phone call nevertheless). That’s something you can take to your congressperson or senator that their staff can hang your case on; they have a goal they can act on to make a voter happy. It doesn’t solve all your issues, but it gets an important step moving, and it will help your morale–because I do feel the VA thing is a fight.

        Also, I don’t know about aquatherapy and the VA, but you can use the same approach. Stake out the issue from the standpoint of wanting to know next steps, and what you need to do to help that. I suspect its like accupunture. The VA liked it as a way to get good numbers for “getting patients off opioids”, but disliked that it couldn’t “fix” chronic pain. The VA is big on cures, not so good with “help me manage, this cannot be fixed”.

        If I can help, let me know. I am kind of a peer-expert in Pain Management and the VA; my opinion of those committees is unprintable, by the way. They are intended to make you angry and to cause you to lose the ball.

        Stay on mission, brothers. All the rest is noise.

  9. Hello Ben, Brothers & Sisters,

    The Albuquerque VAMC and the Federal Police did something very bad to me a few years ago, The White House and the FBI heard about it along with many others. I have not been made whole, I have not been back to a Federal Facility since. I moved to Arkansas where I received a letter from the VA Judge who is trying to screw me again despite an Appeals Court Order. Two nights after the letter arrived a helicopter was bullying me over the roof of my house. An Olive Drab Chopper. He came back the next morning with a quick fly by. Coincidence? No the Govt is harassing Veterans with these things, mail and Electronic Weapons. I think you are going to hear very soon , Veterans complaining of “Havana Syndrome” which is really Acute Radiation Syndrome; an actual medical diagnosis. Infra sound is also in use. Get ready people-Brave New World is here and a whole new era of social controls weaponry is being introduced and deployed. Microwave Weapons are a reality. Mass Craziness is right around the corner. Good luck to all of you,
    Russ out,

  10. I email my doctors prior to Amy appointment and tell them what I want to discuss. After the appointment I email them what I understood was said at the appointment. That way when they say oh don’t worry about that spot on your seem, it’s not cancer, I email them and say you said the spot on my arm is not cancer and I do not need to see the dermatologist. A few days later I will receive a phone call scheduling me with the dermatologist. It is how we get the doctor to take responsibility or get us the help we need.

    1. Good method, Peter. One I have used myself for various ‘community care’ issues that seem to disappear into a black hole at the VA over the last few years.

    2. Agree Peter.
      Accountability both ways.
      Mutuality. Neutrality too.
      Zero micro management and zero deciding for others.
      Peter you have it. Great methodology.

      1. More like agree to disagree and disagree to agree. Ben I do believe sometimes you pigeon hole Veterans patients. You mention about being respectful to VA employees. Did it ever occur to you that there are probably many veterans who are have been respectful to the VA staff? But the conduct was not reciprocated. I am one of those veterans. Benjamin I have never yelled at any VA employee. I mean ever. I am the one who was shutdown and slammed Benjamin. As for confronting, I have had to do that out here with the companies. Because they have been in the wrong. Please start believing in the veteran community a little more. Veterans know how to conduct themselves. Many get blamed for situations they have had zero to do with.

  11. After 17 years developing evidence,it doesn’t matter what doctors say,or don’t say,claims personnel are incompetent,as possible their managers are incoherent.

    1. Yeah, Claims is a whole other world. The discussion for Secure Messaging works well with established issues and PACT visits.

      Nothing works on the C&P people but political force. You absolutely must get either your congressperson, or your senator, engaged (pick whichever one is stronger on Vets and longest serving).

      Remember that the VA views the C&P process as adversarial. They had a rule for a long time that said a previous decision being factually incorrect was not grounds for appeal. Facts simply did not count. And they got away with it.

      Jim Clement has a 20+ year saga that puts my 13 year trudge to shame.

  12. Pretty negative and not as helpful as it might have been, Ben.

    Ask Vets who have learned to use the Premium version of MHV how they would feel about having it taken away to get a balanced survey of its value.

    Your “satire” is probably lost on those most in need who would gain the most value for keeping on top of their records, meds, and appointments using the system.

  13. 1. I have had Premium Access for over 7 years now. Used it for everything from ordering meds to scheduling appointments to messaging. Worked with nary a glitch until the contractor that be decided to come up with that new login screen and other enhancements that do not play well with Apple or Linux.

    2. Ben, your sense of ‘VA humor” is awesome! I was actually laughing out loud less than ten percent into the article. Should you ever publish another book, please give us some good VA humor. You have a talent for that!

  14. There’s an old saying many have forgotten and few are saying today,
    *”ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES!”*
    We are seeing and living those consequences first hand since 20 January, 2021! Absolutely nothing this administration has done IS FOR America! Prove me WRONG!

    P.S.
    1.) Are you aware that Hillary Clinton and AOC’s campaign donors are on the jury in the Sussmann trial which starts today! He’s part of the Clinton machine. If you want to see a comedy in action, watch this trial unfold.
    2.) Congress is now “…investigating alien UFO’s!” Goggle it and watch the show live!

    1. Here’s a new video from down on the Texas border;
      *”https://youtu.be/Bb7SyRss4FU”*
      It’s a warehouse full of foodstuffs for the illegal aliens coming into our Republic!
      “ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES!”

  15. What can a veteran do when his VAMC provider’s notes lack any info whatsoever about “diagnosing” a “nothing-to-worry-about fatty cyst/lipoma” that 13 months was revealed to be cancer? The cancer necessitated corrective surgery & radiation therapy, but, by VA decree, I had to pay for it. I ended up bankrupt & homeless.
    (Interestingly, though, part of my answer on when I first noticed the lump, is in my medical file, just no mention of a lump, nothing about my PCP’s diagnosis. One more thing, the VAMC C & P examiner who went through my medical file, declared he could not find when my lump was first diagnosed as benign.)

    1. Not much. Get your records, go through them page by page and note by note, and see if maybe, maybe, there is an entry about your lump somewhere in your provider’s notes (which are often highly cryptic).

      If you can find any mention of it, even if it doesn’t state what was diagnosed, you have **something**. Start scrapping away from there, looking for either the results that called it begnign, or a lack of follow-up on it. If no one looked at it either through labs or surgery, you may have something anyway. If some one took a lab and made an incorrect interpretation, you definitely have something.

      The Federal Courts ruled in 2019 that a Veteran may sue a VA Doctor for malpractice in some cases.

      Good Luck.

  16. We all now have good reason to suppose our ruling elites are ruled in their turn (substantial campaign donations come with their own ‘price’ tags – i. e., writing part or all of select pieces of legislation, etc.). This is not news to all of us, though it may be to some. That former sovereignty is not evaporating. It is being handed over to the WEFers.

    This means among many other things that US official national sovereignty has become increasingly mitigated by the increasing, US inspired globalism catastrophe. Right now, for example, POTUS is ‘negotiating’ on the US’s behalf, of course, handing off US sovereignty on medical care, what does and does not constitute medical malpractice, WHO decides all ‘pandemic’ issues, etc. Ignore it now and weep later. More yearly if not daily.

    Prepare now for transitioning into the homeless ranks, if you are not already doing so; unless you have means few of us can imagine.

  17. First, I’ve never been able to access anything on my healthevet website. Maybe that’s because a VA employee helped establish it for me?
    Secondly, why is there a large amount, over half, of VA employees claiming little to no support at VA? Especially since, during the pandemic, they took care of fewer patients! That would indicate less stress and more playtime!
    *”https://www.military.com/daily-news/2022/05/16/over-half-of-va-health-employees-report-not-feeling-supported-during-pandemic.html?ESRC=eb_220517.nl”*

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