Veterans Choice

RED FLAG: Veterans Choice Contractor Sanctions Has History

Veterans Choice

Benjamin KrauseThe contractor known to be “notoriously incompetent” as administrator of Veterans Choice was just purchased by still another company with a history of similar sanctions.

Last July, Centene Corp announced its plans to by Health Net. The merger was worth $6.3 billion but it took many months of wrangling with the state of California before it was approved. Health Net will likely continue on conducting the same business just under the Centene Corp banner.

As a result of the acquisition, Centene will expand its business into providing health insurance type solutions to the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Centene Corp is known as a multi-national healthcare enterprise. It provides services to government-sponsored healthcare programs. It was founded in 1984 and has since grown to be a Fortune 500 company.

But are all things smelling like roses under the hood?


When the merger grew near, employees at Health Net reportedly “stopped caring” and Centene was expected to rescue the “sinking ship”. On Glassdoor, one employee commented:

“Company is going through an acquisition. People just stopped caring. There are no procedures documented and there is no consistency. When someone leaves the company others have to guess how to handle the excess work. Management does not know the work their teams are performing. When it rains it pours with no guidance or support. Deadlines mean everyone works until midnight. It is very hard to get the people who have knowledge to stay and the new ones have zero direction. Better hope Centene can rescue a sinking ship.”

Other employees described the management was “toxic” and “arrogant” while also being “extremely unorganized” with “terrible customer service” and a “lack of accountability.”

Sound like the existing VA? How much more are taxpayers paying a company the offers no real change?


A deeper look into Centene and its Health Net reveals that veterans may be in for a long ride when it comes to seeking health services through the Veterans Choice Program. A quick Google search of “Centene Sanction” showed the company has been hit with sanctions for a variety of failures.

This January, Centene was sanctioned for losing 6 hard drives with personal health information of 950,000 individuals. The data on the drives included names, addresses, social security numbers, health information and birthdates.

RELATED: US Health Insurer Centene Loses 950,000 People’s Records

In 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services handed out a $100,000 fine for violations of its contracts to administer Medicare benefits and services related to prescription drugs.


Health Net also experienced problems through the years. In 2011, Health Net discovered that nine servers were missing in transit from a California data center in route to an IBM data center in Colorado. That data breach affected 1.9 million individuals and providers.

In 2010, Health Net was suspended for improperly administering Medicare drug benefits. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) found that, like Centene, Health Net had failed to properly administer its Part D contracts.

Now, if you know me, I kept digging to see what others were saying about either company when I stumbled across a lengthy forum called Consumer Affairs that focused on Health Net. Here are some of the excepts:

  • “Health Net is incompetent. You know what happens to incompetent businesses, they fail. I plead with the rest of the United States, DO NOT PURCHASE HEALTH NET.”
  • “This is the most inefficient company I have ever dealt with!”
  • “There is so much wrong with Health Net I cannot list the ways. In trying to get [Health Net] to pay toward our costs for a recent surgical procedure which they cover in other cases, the phone representatives have been rude, vague, misinformed and/or kept me on hold forever plus simply hung up.”
  • “The local VA had to outsource me to a local allergist. The process began on January 6th 2016 when I watched the VA doctor input his referral. He warned me to be patient, as the company which manages this outsourcing for the VA – Health Net – was notoriously incompetent.”

Read More: Health Net Consumer Complaints & Reviews

Does this sound like what we hoped from using a market model or should veterans be wary of what we will get? Does it sound like VA is already behaving like Health Net?

While the Veterans Choice Program is new, it appears Health Net and Centene have been bungling government supplied health insurance services for years.

Perhaps VA behaves like an insurance company because it basically is an insurance company cloaked in the American flag. And maybe the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence.

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  1. HealthNet, Centene, all the same polished turd. How do they continue to get these government contracts? Political lobbying, connections and donations. Why else would the government renew contract after contract when the details of how badly these companies are screwed up is publicly available in their Form 10-K SEC filings? How can they be renewed when there are huge numbers complaining of how bad they are?
    Is the VA like these companies? No. I believe the VA is much worse. These companies push paper and pocket money. The VA claims to provide health care, fails miserably by hurting and killing veterans, and have zero accountability.

  2. In the design of the ebenefits site was the same contractor who wrongly designed the Canada and Affordable Care website the same company?? From going through their 1 hr estimated time adds up to 3-4hrs. The navigation and links are all over the place and if you forget to put in anything it is to re-enter it. This messed up site creates an “undue burden” on disabled veterans on many meds or cognitive problems?? It makes me wonder as they don’t want to do data entry but they try to force disabled vets to do the work they are to do?? We should ask the American Disabilities Association to look into this. As the VBA/BVA tries to have a process setup that is worse and longer than a job application only to deny faster?? They never decreased the appeals backlog but decreased the effective date and close it out short changing many veterans !! Another shell game with effective dates as they combine to screw veterans out of entitlements!!

    1. @Ernie
      You do realize Michelle Obama IS connected to the “Affordable Care Act” corporation!
      That came out about two or two and a half years ago!

  3. Right now I have great sadness in my heart. Because about 25-30 years ago, a small group of men from the 173 rd Airborne Div. originated the “POW/Missing Man Table Ceremony!” It was to pay homage to those who never returned.
    One of those men who started this was a MOH Recipient! I met him. He “…never wore his medal during the ceremony!” When asked WHY? His reply always was, “I don’t want to detract from it!” (paraphrasing)!
    I believe almost everyone has at least seen “The Table!” Y’all may have even seen the ceremony. It’s quite a sight to behold.

    That said, when I opened an email from “Millitary – com” about 30 minutes ago, I was angered at what I read.
    Bryant Jordan has ‘penned’ an article in a “matter of fact” way! Titled;

    “Ohio VA Clinic Swaps Bible for ‘Prop’ Book After Complaint”

    In my opinion, this P/C crap has gone way to far!!!
    I leave it up to y’all. I’ll go with the majority!

    1. Yes, the “PC-Crap” has gotten way out of control. There’s a rather rabid group called “Freedom FROM Religion” that pops-up here in Ohio anytime they find out an elementary school has a Biblical Picture in a frame on any wall, and are heartless in their projecting what THEY think should be allowed or not.
      Interestingly, Hitler’s Regime did very same thing down to depicting what “Fine Art” is German or Heresy…and same went with religious freedoms…come forward to 2016 and it’s still happening…but for some reason these same groups have absolutely NO PROBLEM with all the Muslim Mosques popping-up like a game of SIMS on steroids…only Christianity.
      That’s more than heartless they would wish to place a “stunt Bible” in it’s stead. That’s way extremist thinking they have.

      1. Hey brother, here’s another, (of many more to come), article, (6 Apr. 2016), from the AP, written by; Paul Wiseman and Marcy Gordon.

        “A Top Haven for Tax Cheats that may surprise you: the US”

        It’s from the “Panama Papers” – seems there’s alot more info coming out. The U.S. “…ranks third…” after “…Switzerland and Hong Kong…”!
        There’s a growing number of U.S. states, corporations and people, accused of “illegal tax evasions”!
        Could this be a “shelter” of a growing number of people, politicians and public officials, and corporations hiding monies?
        On this same situations.
        The wife and I watched a “60 Minutes” show a few months ago about this very same scenario. The “crew” went to around 20+ attorneys and asked if they would help hide assets of false companies. Only one said NO at the outset! This shows just how corrupt our country is!!!!

        Get ready for more coming out on the 15,000 page “ledger” of “The D.C. Madam”!
        The attorney, prior to the ‘gag order’, sent the attorney for Larry Flint and other journalists a copy! They are not bound by that gag order!
        According to the journalists, many, and I do mean many, politicians and public officials are in that “book”!!!
        As is “Lying Ted” Cruz!!!! He’s going to have lots of ‘splainin’ to do, LMFAO!!

        I, along with many voters, want to see that list of any and all politicians and public officials currently in and/or out of office!
        We have a right to see WHO the scumbags are!!!

      2. The Freedom From Religion was founded by a raving liberal nutball, Annie Taylor and her equally nutty daughter years ago, I believe in Madison, WI. When I lived there years ago, they were running around trying to stamp out any appearance of religion in any manner. They sued a church there claiming their church bells were too loud and could easily be heard by any unsuspecting person walking by on the sidewalk. They had not gotten much attention beyond Madison for some years, but lately have expanded nationally. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were able to expand after a grant from Soros.
        For the military, there is Mikey Weinstein doing the same thing…running around stamping out any vestige of religion in the military. I believe he claims to have been forced to pray while at the AF academy.

        No idea why they ignore mosques.

  4. Also, anyone think about the created plausible denial and/or conflict of interest when such issues as Gulf War Syndrome, et al, and the very parent and affiliates of say, a Lockheed-Martin, same collective of contractors to facilitate bringing on Veteran health issues, then coming full circle to treat the pcs of meat that come back, experiment some more, then same company provides the coffin or burners for crematorium?

    Catch you coming and going. I am just wondering about any relationships that may not seem so obvious on the surface because we are talking about DoD tangled web of contractors, sub-contractors, piss boys/girls, you get the picture.

    1. If that sounded too paranoid, just chalk it up to another bad IBS day living on the ‘throne’. VA stuff the blind eyes of Congress, am almost starting to believe it comes down to ‘the owls are not who they seem’-Twin Peaks-David Lynch. 🙂

    1. On the first day (THEY) will tell him how the game is played and like a good politician he’ll fall in lock step…………….

      1. I think the Koch Brothers arrive in a spaceship for that briefing to get that icebreaker out of the way, then back to their galaxy in Satan’s a$$. 🙂

      2. @namnibor and Hondo
        Don’t forget Soros and his minions from “Moveon – org” or whatever their called.

    2. He will build a tube that reclines from the ceiling that encapsulates him, so he can play with stocks and get away from the rat race.He is preoccupied with building his wealth and does not seem to be real intent on being President: just the Republican nominee. The Speaker, Paul Ryan and Las Vegas already says HRC is going to be the next President. Do you have better odds than that from other than a Tea Bagger Radio talk-show host? They are the only ones that convince people making less than $400k/year to vote Republicans even though it does them harm. We don’t have much choice, but I’ll pick the ‘good cop’ over the ‘bad cop’ any day.

      1. Paul Ryan is very much part of the huge problem of disconnect in D.C. and I would gladly vote for a hoof infection on an old sow before I vote for Paul Ryan in this lifetime. Only just a few years ago, Ryan and Bachmann were determined to reduce Veteran Benefits, not clean-up the problem called the VA.
        The Disconnect is strong with that one, it is.–Yoda on Paul Ryan.

      2. I wouldn’t believe a word coming out of Nevada or Paul Ryan.
        Google what namnibor has stated.
        And then google the “Panama Papers” on Nevada. Or, the article I just put on here a few minutes ago about this illegal tax evasions!
        That should change your mind in HitLIARy Klinton. Also google these two men, “Peter Paul” and “Stan Lee”. If not, then what you read about $1.2 million in illegal campaign contributions might! She was found guilty, in California, and forced to pay a fine ($35,000).
        Then look up “The Rose Law Firm” and HitLIARy Klinton if you think she’s never been held accountable.
        This new email scandal is what’s causing her to drop in this campaign. Sanders, even though I don’t like him either, is giving her a run for her money!
        He’s slowly catching up with delegates. He’s less than 300 down after yesterday.

        Do you really want to continue? These are just a few negative articles on your favorite candidate – HRC that I’ve mentioned! Want more!?

    3. @Tom
      Trump will do what’s necessary. He’s a business man!
      Have you had any dealings with that type of person? If yes, have you ever heard a businessman/woman ever lay all his/her cards on the table at the beginning of a deal? The answer is a resounding “NO!”
      They are “unpredictable”! Let Mr. Trump be unpredictable!

      With all the news stations slamming him with false B/S reports. Don’t you think he’s got back-up plans in the works?

      It’s already come out by highly trained construction companies- his plan on that “Wall” IS not only feasible, it can be built in a relatively short period!
      The way he’s planning to get Mexico to pay for it is also feasible. Plus, it follows the laws if OUR country!

      There’s lots more I could say. For instance, his ability to make jobs. Possibly renegotiate that asswipe, Coward Kerry, Iranian deal. That they have violated multiple times so far. (did you know monies Kerry gave them has already made their way to “Radical Islamic Terrorist Groups”!)

      There’s more much more he can and will do!

  5. It’s not that hard to figure out if you think about it. In November we have elections for a new government, most of the presidents appointed positions will be replaced, secretary Bob is making sure he and his crew have lucrative high paying sand boxes to fall into. Veterans will continue to be cannon fodder for political abuse.

    1. I certainly hope it is of the “clumping sand litter” variety, as to contain the fallen turds when they do fall. Have to always think of the environment. 🙂

  6. Their probably Former VA employees who were fired or forced to retire and they also hire their friends and relatives. They act the same and management acts the same. Its just a racket and monies are going every where except to veterans.

  7. @namnibor and Carolyn,
    I wonder if we’ll find this companies name, along with politicians and public officials names, on that “Panama Law Firm leaks detailed information about offshore accounts”?
    The “ripple effect” has begun. Iceland’s head has stepped down yesterday. I believe he won’t be alone for long.
    Usually corporations having multiple sanctions are seen as being corrupt. Maybe there’s going to be another leak or many more leaks. Which exposes a lot more in the months ahead!

  8. Sure seems that both of these contracted companies are already infested and infected with VA Employee’s relatives, and probably why the VA went that route instead of better serving Veterans.
    This is exactly what total lack of real Accountability with the VA brings to this situation. WHY would Congress just “take the VA’s word” and write a huge check without checking-out the competence of said contracting companies?

    I am fully expecting to hear a forthcoming scandal in which VA sticky fingers will be found in this contract for Choice.

    Why did not the VA simply use the ChampVA platform for Choice? It’s already there and seems to run efficiently, according to an AO Veteran Spouse Survivor/Widow that’s a friend of mine.
    Good digging Ben, to find what lies below the sprinkles on the steaming pile of poo.

  9. Ben, maybe you can tell us all why the Department of Veteran’s Affairs continue to use the worst contractors? I have had the worst experience with the contractors that provide services to Veterans in the home. They too are rude, arrogant and very disrespectful to Veterans. When reported to the VA, the Veteran is vilified. But the taxpayers money keeps footing the worthless companies.

    My guess is as long as the cash hog is paying, just keep on doing what ever it is that you do. or Don’t do.

    SAD, Very SAD!

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