NBC Reveals True Cost Of VA TBI Scandal
Monday night, NBC captured the true cost of the VA TBI scandal at Minneapolis VA on film that almost led to one veteran’s divorce and near suicide due to his negligent TBI diagnosis.
Minneapolis VA, home to one of VA’s few polytrauma clinics, is also home to a growing scandal where VA was caught defrauding veterans of health care benefits. The facility was using unqualified doctors and nurses in compensation examinations to unethically deny diagnosis for TBI using loopholes within internal policies that resulted in overall cost savings [sic] for VA nationwide.
RELATED: VA ‘Greatly Regrets’ Brain Exam Scam With Unqualified Doctors
Now, NBC is highlighting examples of veterans harmed, including last night’s story about Navy veteran Anton Welke. Welke suffered a traumatic brain injury while in the Navy in 2002. He was running up a ladder on the USS John C. Stennis when a heavy hatch fell on his head.
When the veteran sought benefits from VA through a medical examination at Minneapolis VA, the compensation director assigned a doctor not qualified to assess traumatic brain injury. That doctor wrongfully denied Welke experienced a brain injury.
Years later, Welke was on the verge of suicide. He believed the complex neurological problems he experienced were something that could not be fixed, and was ready to commit suicide. It was at that point he received a letter from VA telling him his TBI needed to be reassessed.
The statement from VA failed to inform him that the previous doctor, Wanda Blaylock, MD, was unqualified. Instead, the daft cowards at VA merely told him to come back in for an exam. During that exam, it was confirmed Welke suffered from a TBI. His case is still pending adjudication, but the diagnosis now allows him to receive rehabilitative care for traumatic brain injury and has saved his marriage.
When should we start the revolt and what should be the first step?
I also had a VA Physician’s Assistant preform a medical diagnoses for a compensation exam, he had to Refer to a Medical manual before examining me and then making a reference to the Computer,he didn’t seem to me to be qualified for the job he was doing. If you use a civilian or a local civilian hospital you will always see a Doctor, not a Dr. Assistant, but at the VA you will surely be examined by a Physician’s Assistant for a C&P exam.
Being a sailor was one strike against him.
Try to explain an active-duty incident, using even a minimal of nautical terms, to anyone at the VA and they look at you like you’re ‘speaking in tongues’.
Even though you may have done a sterling job of assembling a narrative of the incident, they want you to tell them orally what happened. It’s wasted time; because they just craft something reflective of what they think you said, which is invariably wrong.
“I was walking across the hanger deck one night during an underway replenishment (unrep) operation between our ship and another. I could see part of the unrep working party, about 30 sailors in life vests, near one of the aircraft elevators. I was not far away when I was surprised by what sounded like a high-powered rifle shot. Sailors immediately belly-flopped onto the deck and alarms sounded. The shot I heard was the breaking of one of the cables rigged between the ships to transfer cargo. The tension released when the cable snapped sent one end of it speeding back very fast at those sailors in the working party, one of whom was struck in the head by the leading end.”
Now, the version of that incident produced by VA employees – doctors and claims people – would be so different it would seem like someone else’s claim.
Are you saying this happened to you or another person? I have said over and over that the VA employees do put words into a veterans records, that was never said by the veteran! And I do have the proof! When you advice higher management, their response if you think something is wrong with the way a doctor etc noted in your chart, write us and tell us the error and what it should say and they will file it!
That will do no good. I don’t think veterans know that each veteran has two records, one for medical and one for administrative paper work!
The VA will file your concerns in the administration file and no one looks at those files! So you’re concerns will never be seen and you’re concerns Just filled away!
The department has a serious problem with lettings employees write anything they want even if it’s wrong.
I was shot in the head and the military doctor placed into my chart solider is immature and gave me a diagnose of neurosis!
Refused me care for PTSD for 40 years and suffered with migraine headaches!
Had to higher Kenneth carpenter a lawyer and like majic my LOST records were found (I. Know they were not lost) and was granted 30 percentage and when I verbally stated, that I felt I should be at 100 percent to a fellow patient! And stating you know I wish the rater would have been shot like I was and then they would understand what I had to go through for the last fourty years!
The VA then reported that I wanted to shoot the rater that did my rating!
Then it changed from the rater to he wants to shoot employees at the Denver vamc!
Then it changed again veteran wants to shoot employees at his location clinic and then a employee at the clinic told Denver management that I would come into the clinic at least twice a month and become disruptive and they called the fbi, inspector General and my local police department of threats that were never made!
The fbi called me about the so called threat and told him what was really said and he told me, you can understand how the VA would think they have to take it seriously! I told him I do but what their saying is not what was said!
The VA in Denver called the inspector General office and they told the VA to punish me and to call the fbi and my local police!
The employee whom reported me as being disruptive on numerous occasions was an employee whom I worked with and she didn’t like me personally and when she heard the report about the rater! She jumped at the chance and reported me as being disruptive!
She was able to sit in on the Disruptive Committee and successfully convinced them this was fact!
When I told them to show me the proof, they admitted there is no evidence, but has been collaborated ?!
They didn’t offer me any chance to defend myself and punished me, using hearsay!
And then placed into my official medical records, IF the VA EVER hears again that you are disruptive or DO not corporate with staff!
You will be arrested, Federal charges placed upon you and banishment from all VA care!
How would they like their father, brother etc, to be accused of something and then punished and the VA not require real proof!
So in a nutshell if the VA employees want they can punish any veteran at any time and do so Without any evidence!
To make things worse the VA disallowed any of my civil and constitutional rights! To a fair hearing!
They won’t arrest the veteran because when it goes to court, the VA will drop the changes. Knowing that it would be thrown out! By the judge.
VA needs to be held accountable for falsely accusing veterans of anything and not be required to provide any proof of anything!
VA is staffed with degenerates and rejects, many of whom crave military-like authority over others but could never achieve it legitimately.
There are some very sick units throughout the VA, and, regardless of how they wring their hands and their many statements of concern and outrage, that’s exactly the way the the government – and the Trotskyist neocons in particular – wants it.
Dear Benjamin Krause,
Looks like everything is moving along [slow] but it is moving.
I see the Deputy Attorney General had something to say just recently.
Keep up the good work.
3000 complaints—38% from Phoenix or 1140 complaints—Polk Winning Reporters  only delivered 20 complaints out into the open after a year and a half [back in 2014 there were 500 complaints].
Just recently the Phoenix people just heard word about the Veteran [Thumbelina Hinshaw,] who was ran over and killed in front of the Phoenix VA in November 29th, 2013….not one word from the Town Officials, the Local Newspaper & Media, or any Representative from our Federal Government….one and half years later we get word of this event.
How can we find out about the complaints and lawsuits?
>>When should we start the revolt and what should be the first step?
there are some good groups that have gotten marches and such up to DC to bring awareness for causes. may be they can provide some help/info regarding the “first step” for your question?
but as others have mentioned it’s way past time complaining to spouses, friends, caretakers, VA, Congress, news outlets, etc., because we veterans/families are still at the starting gate and basically squat accountability and reform has taken place at VA. our lawgivers can’t even reign in anyone in fed gov yet these folks make laws!! bizarro!
pretty soon we are all going to be like the “Eloi” from an H.G. Wells novel, in the sense of just hanging about lazily while the gov tramples us under foot and just accepting it as “oh well, why bother”. the time traveler showed them how to stop getting eaten and trampled.
get those million motorcycle folks and such to help out?
Any qualified rehabilitation unit of a private (non-VA) hospital has a special unit that treats people with a TBI, including MV accidents, sports injuries like football or snowboarding, and yes.. combat veterans that wish to use their services rather than the VA HS. These units are part of the Brain Industry Association of your particular state, and are manned by qualified individuals that can guide you to the right professionals that have experience with brain injuries. Having been hospitalized myself for a TBI, I know that they make a big point about seeing doctors and neuropsychologists that do have specialized experience treating patients with Brain Injuries. It is like a subspecialty. Not all physiatrists or neurophysiologists have this experience . They will recommend those that do FROM THEIR FACILITY.
They do not know, however, anything about getting treatment for this by the VAHS. They actually believe that the VA has its thumb on all things brain injury and must have some sort of good programs for treating Iraqi veterans that have TBIs, after all.
They , once again , are not knowledgeable with how the VA shortchanges every veteran and just sends the veteran to any fucking jerk – most, if not all, without brain injury experience. Yes, they assume the propaganda from the military and VA is true, unfortunately.
TBIs are not something to fuck with. The VA does fuck with it in a big, big way. The VA is truly from another freaked out planet. So, one suggestion of mine is to contact your state’s brain injury association and let them know how improper your care is with the United States government (who shoud get their fucking brains examined, ectomized, and stuffed with sawdust to hang on the wall).
Get treatment with the right people…not with dumbbells !!! Even if you have to welsh on the bill, if any. Tell them about your experience with the VA who they fund with their tax dollars and who do NOT follow any kind of best practices at all. The VA is a federal testing ground for all American citizens who are all going to be part of “the single payer system and will be called the “government heath-care system” mimicking the VA healthcare system. The people of this country don’t know what the government has planned for them down the road. They are too busy being Douche-bags. on their iPhones. They are letting it all slip away..
It’s nice to hear some people take pride in their work and really care for people who have tbi, it is hard to live with! Our government officials need to wake up and treat veterans like people! The VA works with tbi people, after they die! Guess dead football players with tbi are not enough! One day sir those who are harming veterans will pay for their crimes against veterans. Hell is not that far away and the employees know what they did and can’t hide it from a higher power!
Wanda Blaylock has been in the business of adverse medical opinions for most of her career. Fifteen years ago she was contracted to perform an adverse examination on me until I asked for her qualifications to evaluate my condition. She saw the handwriting on the wall and backed out. Of course they simply contracted with another hired whore doctor not so bothered by lack of qualification.
It’s an unfortunate state of affairs for the VA to be caught red-handed screwing-over Veterans before they even begin to do the right thing and even then, this Veteran was not even TOLD in his letter that simply told him to return for a “test”, that the people administering the “test” were totally unqualified.
What’s the sad reality, even with Veteran Wilkes’ Navy Medical File/Documentation and this being brought forward into the news; I am betting the VA will fight all such Veteran’s Disability Compensation Claims and like a two year old, lash-out and tie all such claims up in Appeals Hell Hole. Hope I am wrong but the VA is incredibly Passive-Aggressive.
A ‘March On Washington” is a great idea but I have a strong feeling it would be met with riot police and tons of pepper spray and then veterans arrested and then the VA lashing out and vilifying all Veterans, making it APPEAR at WE are the adversarial bodies, not the VA.
This would HAVE to entail a lot of great planning and by all means, peaceful or else we will be really screwing ourselves.
Remember, we are dealing with the government’s second largest agency AND THEY DO NOT PLAY BY THEIR OWN RULES. Matter-in-fact, they MAKE-UP their own rules as they go along. VA Sec. McDonald is proof of this. What he promised as a new “transparency” were nothing more than political fodder, nothing less.
Americans have always stood up in the time of need and no better now than never! What they going to do shoot me in the head!
Been there done that! There is a movement going on. The old saying lead, follow or get out of the way!
I think if the government would hurt veterans and it be seen on t.v., I think the masses would revolt and a civil war would be called for by all Americans!
We have come to far to give up now! They the VA has hurt and scared to many veterans. But not all of us will go quietly into the dark!
Stay strong my fellow veterans and future veterans in the end we will prevail!
The VA is also playing games with aid and attendance for TBI known as SMC T.
My husband is service connected for TBI, has had two doctors fill out form 21-2680 and for reasons allowed. They denied it.
My congressman Rep Lee Zeldin sent a letter to Baghdad Bob McDonald asking for specific answers. They ignored law, Fast Letters, Training Letters. etc to deny SMC T.
The last I heard it will take TWO months from receiving the letter to answering it A disgrace in itself.
The VA seems not to know how badly a missed diagnose can harm a veteran by not notifying the veteran that he has a tbi! Veterans with tbi and are not told they have a tbi, leaves the veteran confused as to why things are happening to them and they not understanding why! Trouble remembering what has happened (short term memory loss) etc, some think why is this happening to me.
I was denied treatment for over forty years, migraine headaches, forgetfulness! You know something is not right and just can’t understand why? Once I was tested it showed a tbi from my gun shot to the head!
That explains why I was having these problems and finally knowing this, helped me understand that some things that happened to me could have resulted in some bad decisions I made! Like drinking! That is also a horrible disease and many many veterans drink to cope with something they don’t understand what is happening to them, some think I know something is not right!
It is so important that a correct diagnosis is given and the VA, STOP telling the veterans excuses that their records were lost, just to find out that, that statement was completely false and in fact they had the veterans records all along and as a result the veteran suffered not knowing what was actually causing their problems!
My life could have been so much better, if I only knew that I had a traumatic brain injury and the VA would have believed me about being shot!
I may have now been treated, but nothing can change what I went through without treatment! If not for my faith in our God, I would not be here now!
It’s so much easier for someone to do their job right the first time and believe the veteran! I know there are employees who think the veterans are trying to game the system.
They should keep their personal feelings out of the treatment plan and just do their job and treat the veteran, until proven other wise!
y’all need to google the following ;
Gerald Celente; “We’re on the Verge of The First Great War of The 21st Century”
Sunday, September 20, 2015.
It’s a great read with a video that’s approximately 20 to 25 minutes long. There’s a few references to our military that many may not be aware of on here.
I suggest checking it out…
Correction, I should have said,
“There’s more than a few references to our current military on here!”
They call their cause, “Operation Peace”! How will these military members be taken of by VA when they return????
I totally agree let’s get it on all this talk isn’t getting it done let me repeat myself all this talk is not getting it done let’s B about it
I think a time and date be made for a peaceful march in Washington. Ben can give notice to the news outlets of the day and time of the planned march and tell those who can’t attend to write letters to the president with their concerns, sent to Ben and those letters hand delivered to the president!
If Ben needs volunteers, we need to assist him in what ever, each can provide, taking phone calls etc!
All Ben has to do is ask and from what I have read, he would find hundreds will be willing to do what they can.
This moment would be monumentally significant and the catalyst for VA reform and the country can know what’s really going on!
Our concerns must be spelled out and the solutions and that also given to the president and notification to congress to join this March in support of the veterans of these here United States!
God bless America! !!….
Trump promised that he would have someone to review VA complaints & follow through with them. Or something to that affect. I would volunteer for such a position even though it would cause me to have more flashbacks, panic attacks & seizures. For in light of the TBI scandal I asked to be evaluated but was denied but now the VA says I didn’t because it isn’t written down & was also denied to get access to the TBI group for help but again was. Told that it is only for recent returning veterans even though I have 30% brain damage but not VA related. Encephalitics but still so confusing with someone with brain damage on getting more help even though I am 100% service related disabled due to PTSD, & a host of other problems it is hard for me to express myself to get help and my PTSD causes seizures & seizures causes more PTSD the perfect storm I was told. What am I to do? I am unemployable, loss of smell, headache & tinnitus 24/7 poor mental health & poor hygiene mostly bed ridden etc.
Request a meeting with Congress and the President and we all show up. Choose a venue in which they will be inconvenienced. Instead of just talking we really need to demand “ALL” Veterans are treated fairly.
Start faxing the medical records to your representatives. So they too, can see the evidence.
A million VET march on Washington D.C. Send our VA I.D. cards to the President, like burning draft cards during Vietnam, file class action suit against the doctors involved which should draw the VA into court, publicly encourage our sons and daughters not to join the military, DEMAND that congress put a stop to the corruption immediately.
Pigs will grow wings start to fly and this shit I’m taking really works.
“When should we start the revolt and what should be the first step?”
Cocked Locked and Ready to Rock
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