Flow Health Inc Genomic Data

Flow Health Inc Lays Out Sketchy Profit Plan For Veteran Genomic Data

Flow Health Inc Genomic Data

Flow Health Inc is back in the news asserting it can and will profit off whatever it does with veteran genomic data from the Million Veteran Program.

According to yesterday’s VentureBeat article, Flow Health Inc will track patient personal, family and genetic history because of its unfettered access to VA’s coveted and valuable Million Veteran Program (MVP) genomic database.

It will then organize that data and sell access to its research results for a substantial profit to whatever entity will pay.

CEO Alex Meshkin also decried advancement to the voucher program because veterans getting non-VA care would disrupt the comprehensiveness of the MVP data.

[Update: At 8:20 AM PST, VentureBeat updated the article to reflect VA’s cancellation of the contract and removed numerous citations from Meshkin about his company’s ownership over data from the genomics program. The link above is to the WayBack Machine version of the article. Here is the new version of the article to compare.]

Alarmed? It should since VA reportedly canceled the contract with Flow Health last month after admitting it failed to conduct due diligence to protect veterans’ data.

I exposed this potential breach of confidentiality and public trust last month.

VA Public Affairs asserted it canceled the plan the day I published the article, December 20, and then provided a public statement days later (see full statement below).

DOWNLOAD: VA Public Affairs Statement On Flow Health Partnership

Now, Flow Health CEO Alex Meshkin says his startup not only plans to move forward, but that it stands to profit from selling access to our data after supposedly repurposing it through an artificial intelligence (AI) scheme.

Should Flow Health ever be sold to any company from any country, veterans and VA could lose access and control to veteran genomic data in the company’s possession.

@realDonaldTrump @DeptVetAffairs Don't let @FlowHealthHQ profit from #MillionVeteranProgram! Click to Tweet

New Article Boasting Value Of Veteran Data

In the newest article, Flow Health asserts it owns the data received and then processed from its “access to millions of veterans’ health records.” To benefit from the result of that data, despite being publicly paid for and donated, anyone seeking access “will have to pay Flow Health for the privilege.”

So while veterans bear the burden of the wars, we do not share in the “privilege” of making money off our own health data.

Should veterans be part owners of this company? Will the funds be used to hire doctors to provide us with health care? Or, will veterans continue to be the guinea pigs of for-profit companies?

According to CEO Alex Meshkin, “Everything we develop with the VA, we own the intellectual property and can make available to any other hospital within the U.S. or abroad, and that’s kind of the goal here of the collaboration, to create really powerful tools and machine intelligence that can impact health care for everyone.” (emphasis added)

RELATED: VA Public Affairs Disavows Flow Health Inc Contract Claims

Veterans’ genomic data is incredibly valuable to companies for research and apparently resale because it is the only dataset that provides a “complete picture” of the patient.

Should our data be used in this manner? What if they sell it to a foreign country like China or Iran or Russia? Can we trust they will protect our private health information?

Why Did VA Assert It Canceled The Contract Last Month?

Last month, VA Public Affairs asserted it canceled the contract with Flow Health because it violated numerous laws and regulations aimed to protect veterans’ privacy.

On December 29, 2016, VA spokesperson Randy Noller stated in writing:

“On December 20, the Department of Veterans Affairs terminated a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with Flow Health Inc., a San Francisco-based company. We took this action after it was determined that the agreement, which involves genomic data from the Million Veteran Program (MVP), may violate regulations, VA policy, and VA’s longstanding commitment to our Veterans to protect their data. (emphasis added)

“It is important to note that no Veteran data were shared nor compromised.

“Entering into such an agreement with any company requires additional research, consultation with medical and privacy experts and appropriate, senior-level signoffs to make sure the use of the data comports with the letter and spirit of applicable regulations and policies while also protecting Veterans’ sensitive data. That was not fully done in this instance(emphasis added)

“Launched in 2011, MVP – with more than 500,000 volunteer participants – is the largest genomic database of its kind in the world. Participants donate blood from which DNA is extracted. MVP will accelerate our understanding of disease detection, progression, prevention and treatment by combining this genomic data with rich clinical and environmental data. MVP will allow the nation’s top researchers to perform the most cutting-edge science to treat some of the nation’s most troubling diseases – not just among Veterans, but those that impact individuals worldwide.” 

Randy Noller
Dept. of Veterans Affairs
Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs
810 Vermont Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20420
[email protected]

Notice that no one within VA did their due diligence early on to prevent this kind of deal from being inked in the first place. Was anyone held accountable for the obvious failure?

@realDonaldTrump #Veterans demand accountability for giving away access to genomic data for profit! Click to Tweet

Despite this, Flow Health now says it is proceeding with the contract and that it owns the data it presently has from veterans’ protected health records.

Is VA lying? Or, is Flow Health trying to save face and prop up its value to investors?

Based on the unusual tone of the most recent article (read it here), it looks like Meshkin is angling to trump up how valuable the arrangement was for the company to soon sue VA for damages after backing out of the deal.

Curiously, Meshkin downplayed his profit motive in entering into the arrangement last month only now to highlight their right of ownership in the database they create and how valuable that data would be if sold to others.

RELATED: Flow Health CEO “Hall Of Shame” Former NASCAR Owner

Flow Health Inc CEO A Serial Entrepreneur, Serial Failure

As for CEO Alex Meshkin, he is a serial entrepreneur with a history of startup failures in his past.

A review of his serial failures includes a chronic inability to anticipate market realities while spending investors’ money. The company list includes:

  • SurfBuzz.com – a now defunct website idea focused on paying website surfers fake money they can use to bid on real products like Porsches. The company reportedly closed after Meshkin and his brother ran out of the $3.5 million in seed money. That experience earned SurfBuzz.com a place in a “dot coms to dot bombs” list published in 2000. “The online auction site informed its customers that it ‘will no longer be operational nor continue to exist’, after burning through its cash.”(emphasis added)
  • Bang Racing – a now defunct Toyota NASCAR truck racing team where the self-proclaimed “whiz kid” raised $15 million to run a race team that later flopped after Meshkin reportedly stopped paying his employees and vendors. His performance as owner earned him a spot on the “Hall Of Shame” list of NASCAR owners.
  • Nutzz.com – a now defunct website development company that was paid over $1 million to build a NASCAR membership website. Investors recalled their contribution after becoming concerned Meshkin would not deliver. The matter was resolved in arbitration.
  • Bopaboo – a now defunct software company focused on selling used MP3’s. The recording industry did not respond well and forced the company to change its business model. Meshkin later acknowledged the flaw in the firm’s economic model.
  • GroupMD – a company dubbed the Facebook of health care communications. It focused on turning your health care communications and related records between you and a doctor into a supposed secure version of Facebook.
  • Flow Health Inc – basically GroupMD with a new name. On LinkedIn, Meshkin described the company as, “Flow Health is building the world’s largest knowledge graph of medicine and genomics from over 30 petabytes of longitudinal clinical data drawn from 22 million people.” And by people, he means veterans. The entire business model is dependent on access and reselling processed genomic data that belongs to veterans.

That LinkedIn summary described the genomic information Meshkin planned to glean from electronic health records including the Million Veteran Program. Can you imagine the value of any company in possession of VA’s genomic data?

It would simply soar, especially for private defense contractor firms hoping to glean the impact of certain chemical weapons, pharmaceuticals, and exposures to bomb blasts.

Now we know his intention is to rebrand veterans’ genomic data to market the results to whoever is willing to pay. At the worst, Meschkin could intend merely to repackage and rebrand veteran health data without much of an investment at all.

The MVP initiative is the largest of its kind with the most complete collection of data from the point of entry to the military to the point of death. No other health care network can boast such access to genomic data.

Voucher Program – Veterans Choice Will Disrupt Profit Scheme

Meshkin told the reporter that a robust voucher program would disrupt his company’s ability to create the profitable database:

“If veterans get care from non-VA health care providers, there will still be some data flowing back to the VA (and thus to Flow Health). However, most likely, it will be less rich, and subsequently, not as complete than the data generated from within the VA.” (emphasis added)

Not limited to Meshkin, but I wonder how much concerns over data integrity and the value of the database is holding back Veterans Choice.

Again, the health data VA gleans from its veterans is invaluable.

Disrupting health care data tracking by allowing veterans a choice through a voucher system would negatively impact this research tool.

Dates Do Not Line Up

I intend to get to the bottom of this contact issue, which appears to be little more than a white label scheme propped up by a good salesman.

But there is something immediately apparent with each story Meshkin puts out. The dates do not line up that Meshkin tells about the relationship with VA.

In December, Flow Health told GCN it entered into a partnership with VA to access veteran genomic data two months earlier, as the five-year deal “was finalized in October and announced at the end of last month,” meaning November. (emphasis added)

According to GCN, the partnership was supposed to go operational in January 2017, “Flow Health is set to begin operationalizing its plan in January and expects no changes as a result of the upcoming change in administrations as President-Elect Trump takes office.” (emphasis added)

This month, January 2017, Flow Health apparently told VentureBeat the agreement was struck last Spring, “Last spring the startup Flow Health began a five-year contract with the Department of Veteran Affairs to examine all historic and ongoing medical records.” (emphasis added)

Who is telling the truth? Is it GCN, or VentureBeat, or is the “Hall Of Shame” former NASCAR owner Alex Meshkin telling fish stories to boost investment in his company?

Profits On Backs Of Volunteer Genomic Data In UK

American veterans are not the only unsuspecting individuals whose genomic data is being targeted by profit-minded companies:

“Earlier this year, Google was criticized when details of a collaboration with the National Health Service in the United Kingdom were discovered. Initially the deal was thought to only collect data to make a predictive app that helps doctors treat patients with kidney disease. Later the program was found to be more extensive and to include more than one million retinal eye scans.

“Google says DeepMind’s computer vision could greatly reduce the risk of blindness for people with diabetes, and the program has gained the backing of sight-related charities and organizations. But critics are upset that their data was shared with a private company who stands to benefit financially as a result, and that their personal data, though anonymized, will be shared without their consent.” (emphasis added)

Did any of you consent to your health care data or genomic data given to Meshkin so he can profit from it?

Meshkin says to not worry about the profit motive for Flow Health since his startup company supposedly cares about veterans while also intending to profit from our genomic data:

“I think the key thing is we’re very focused on, just like other organizations that work with the VA, helping veterans, and without access to the data, we’re not going to be able to build machine learning that’s going to be accurate, so it benefits everyone by making the data available.” (emphasis added)

How much will veterans get paid for providing unfettered access to their genomic data for VA to apparently hock through contractor back channels?

Another Problem – Where Does Company Exist?

Flow Health Inc is supposedly a San Francisco-based company conducting business in the State of California, located at:

182 Howard St
San Francisco, A 94105-1611
(415) 231-5200
DUNS 07-955-0506

However, when you look at the company’s website, flowhealth.com, no physical address is readily listed. The website indicates the firm is supposedly based in San Francisco, with the above phone number, but that is all.

The website has no about page, and it is registered behind a privacy wall making the ownership appear anonymous. The whole operation seems sketchy based on the website alone in the context that the firm is supposedly handling our private health information.

I tried to look it up on the California Secretary of State website that lists companies registered to legally conduct business in the state like Google and Apple. “Flow Health” is not registered in the state as an alien corporation or domestic corporation.

I did find Flow Health Inc registered in Delaware under file number 5458678. Its registered agent is:

Delaware Intercorp LLC
113 Barksdale Professional Ctr
Newark, DE 19711-3258
(302) 266-9367

Individuals Involved With Flow Health Per Angel List

On Angel List, a website that joins investors with new companies, you can find the full list of individuals supposedly involved with the company presently or in the past are:

Robert Rowley
Chief Medical Officer
Founder @GroupMD. Physician and creator of the technology used by Practice Fusion, serving as its CMO until 2012. Health IT consultant 2012-now.
Dmitry Shingarev
Head of Engineering
Founder and CEO at EigenGraph
Divakar Rayapaty
Full Stack Generalist, Architect, @Priceline.com
Alex Meshkin
CEO of @FlowHealth, former CEO of Toyota Motorsports’ Flagship NASCAR racing team, Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly
Colin Evans
Independent Consultant at Evans Ventures
Alex Demidov
Developer and Team Leader more than 10 years (Java, Go, NodeJS)
Alex Meshkin
CEO of @FlowHealth, former CEO of Toyota Motorsports’ Flagship NASCAR racing team, Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly
Maciej Migacz
CEO at Semantive; polyglot software engineer (scala, go, java) experienced with big data solutions; open mind with strong technological background
Roman Luzanov
Good experience in iOS. I want to improve my programming skills as much as I can. Everyday I try to know smth new. I get pleasure from beautiful code.
Past Employees
Shahroz Khan
Android Developer
Senior Android Developer. Worked at @THE O @TenMarks Education @edX .
Alexey Naumov
Lead front developer
front-end developer (angular, react + flux) with Ruby on Rails background
Roman Tolmachev
Android Developer
Co-Founder at Kedzoh. Senior Mobile Developer, participated in numerous projects from Russia, USA, Chile, Brazil. Studied Nuclear Physics at Tomsk University.
Erick Tseng
Head of Mobile Products at @Facebook. Formerly Lead Android PM @ @Google; McKinsey. @Massachusetts Institute of Technology, @Stanford University.
Colin Evans
Independent Consultant at Evans Ventures
Neri Cohen
Medical Director, Greater Baltimore Medical Associates; Chief, Division of Thoracic Surgery at GBMC Healthcare
David Harlow
Healthcare Lawyer & Consultant // Focused on digital health, data privacy & security … & all things healthcare // Advisor to companies of all shapes and sizes


Do any of these names seem familiar? Have a guess where any of these people are from?

It may be worth noting, with all the negative press about Russian hackers, that Flow Health is not afraid of recruiting developers and programmers for remote work from Moscow rather than hiring Americans, or even veterans, to do the same work.

I found a few ads for job placement for programmers up to 80 thousand rubles for work at the Russian partner (named OOO “Hals Flow”) of Flow Health to work on the Flow Health system from Russia:

We use the latest technology in all phases of the development process, starting from version control and ending deployment. We offer formal employment with all-white wage and all social guarantees provided by law. All employees are invited to share in the Flow Health, Inc, our American partner.”

I have nothing against Russian programmers, they make some of the best hackers.

But I do wonder why Flow Health has a partner in Russia and why this partner was not disclosed anywhere on the Flowhealth.com website, as far as I can see.

Was the relationship disclosed to VA prior to the October 2016 agreement?

Flow Health Russian Partner

Iran Connections?

Normally, I would not mention what I am about to mention, but the present political climate warrants evaluating ties to foreign countries now more than ever.

Adding to concerns of potential security and conflicts of interest, the Meshkin’s relationship with Iran should at least be vetted given the present political climate. Meshkin’s father, Shahram Meshkin, emigrated from Iran. He was apparently involved in pharmaceuticals to some capacity, a directly both of his sons gravitated toward.

Past Family Business Practices

In 2006, Shahram and his wife Mary Ann Meshkin filed for a protective order to prohibit production of their private assets at Wachovia Bank connected with a lawsuit against their son Alex Meshkin. Alex Meshkin’s two companies, Bang Racing and Nutzz.com, were being sued for fraud by investors at the time. Plaintiffs accused Alex of moving money to Mary Ann’s then newly formed a company called Angel One to evade court review.

Meshkin’s brother Brian Meshkin runs Proove, a similarly situated pharmaceutical startup who as a 20-year-old actively supported the Bob Dole campaign in 1996.

Three years later, he co-founded the dot-com-bust SurfBuzz.com. It made Wired Magazine’s “dot com to dot bomb” list when it folded after burning through $3.5 million of investor money in a few months:

“If ever a startup embraced the whole make-a-fast-buck, dot-com ethos, it was Surfbuzz.com, an auction site that awarded expensive prizes to its customers. The only buzzing to be heard now is from the flies swarming over the corpse of Surfbuzz, which said Tuesday that it is going out of business.” (emphasis added)

RELATED: The fervor of a young Republican Campaigner: Brian Meshkin, 20, believes that Bob Dole and his own father are living proof that The System works

Brian Meshkin Speaks Out Against Flow Health CEO Spin

That was in 2000, and a falling out between the brothers at the time resulted in sale of the business to the investors.

The now estranged brother, Brian Meshkin, went on to found a company that is now a recognized leader in genetic research focusing on Opioid addiction.

He spoke with me today at length about the lessons he learned from SurfBuzz.com and his brother’s endeavor at Flow Health.

On the record, Brian commented that Flow Health appears to be little more than a “paper tiger” and that they likely have no business with employees in San Francisco, from what Brian can see online, Flow Health “is just made up.”

“It does not really exist in that there are no real employees,” or an office in the general sense.

Shockingly, Brian later disclosed Alex likely still lives at home based on his conversations with family members he still speaks with and Facebook photos online, “He lives with my folks… He is a 36-year-old that still lives at home with his mom and dad.”

So how did this 36-year-old talk his way into almost getting access to the Million Veteran Program and its 30 terabyte data?

I intend to provide a much deeper assessment of my hour long interview with the Proove founder, but suffice it to say the Flow Health Inc operation sounds like little more than smoke and mirrors, which is how Alex Meshkin encourages investors to invest.

Build a fancy website. Sell the concept to investors. According to Brian, what Flow Health is telling investors and the public about the MVP data and what it would do with access is “impossible.”

I asked if Flow Health would have the ability to process the 30 terabytes of data the company asserts. “The magnitude of data that he was talking about in the story, you cannot process that. It is not realistic… There is no way to pull in all the data [Alex] is talking about at this time.”

And Brian would know. Proove, Brian’s company, owns the largest big data bank on chronic pain that was approved through the rigorous IRB process.

Apparently, investors are not the only ones who fall for the fancy website scheme coupled with tech savvy terminology.

VA was ready to hand over all our health care data without conducting due diligence review of the firm or its owners, like Alex Meshkin, at least if you believe what VA Public Affairs said about the deal, and once they did take a look under the hood, they ran like hell.

Had no one asked VA about its due diligence review in December, the “Wall Of Shame” former NASCAR owner would be elbows-deep into your genomic data learning all about the findings of your recent proctology exam.

At the end of the day, here, somebody is lying.

Is it VA? Or is it Flow Health? Or, is there more to this story? Congress needs to take a look.

UPDATE: 1/26/17, 4:20 PM. I was contacted by Brian Meshkin today about his brother’s company and past business practices. The story was updated to reflect statements from Brian.

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  1. We’ve been treated by media to outrage after outrage perpetrated in this society, of which the VA seems to hold forth as a leading perpetrator. Without attempting a comment to sum it all up I can say that this is FOR REAL and should not be passed off as a minor attempt to use private information for personal gain. This theft is a MAJOR crime the effects of which will be realized by future generations far beyond our naive mentality.

  2. So how did this 36-year-old talk his way into almost getting access to the Million Veteran Program and its 30 terabyte data?……I think if you back up to the VA’S contracting office you will find the nest of RAT’S…….it’s for the veterans what a bullshit line they use

    1. Yes. Deep in those comsha shit bags that climb over good employees getting theirs on the way to the top. Question is how are the “miss appropriated funds” laundered? That 36 year old has a slick tongue and had some backing he conned up from somewhere.

    2. That’s what I have been thinking.

      There is no way this could have gotten to the point of the VA issuing a press statement canceling the deal without a number of high level flunkies being involved.

      The only alternative is their controls on contracting and access this this data are so bad, they are essentially non existent.

      Care to address that in your press statement Randy? Rosemary? Anyone?

    1. @Jo3n – I usually had a hard time understanding many positions by xPOTUS. Losing his mind? Swag went to his head. Ahhhh wait, could be? I could see where most white boys wouldn’t understand. Joking.

  3. Hey Elf,

    Remember awhile back I posted how Jade Helm was just a cover for moving decommissioned tanks and eq from the depot in California to Texas for shipping out.

    “Obama Legacy: Tanks Deployed to Counter Russia Arrive With Dead Batteries, No Fuel”

    1. @Seymore Klearly, @Crazy elf – I have a gut feeling that ex-President Obama sent troops near the Russian boarder, mainly because he wanted to tie up President Trump with an International Military Issue with a leader that publicly announced favoritism towards President Trump. If Russia was going to start something, they would have when xPrez Obama was still in office. And, the amount of troops, equipment, and weaponry is quite limited to cover such a broad area of real estate. All politics and playing with peoples lives. Typical.

  4. About a third of the employees being Veterans, how many are in a position where they have access to the billions wasted? Or, mess with files, put wrong info on our files. It’s upper management, and whomever is in the line of money transfer.

    1. About 1/3. They are the selfish comsha class that you knew in the service. They could get a friend anything but always expect to profit from it. And God forbid if you get on their wrong side. Where do you think the “disruptive classification” came from.

      There are also a lot of good people upstairs at the Central Office but too many of these shit bags entitled from their service and political connections.

    2. Also there are a lot of officer’s widows in that upstairs group. Most of them are O K. They talked to me outside the Central Office when I was homeless and looked like it.

  5. @Me! Hang in there. I’m beginning to believe that the email thing with Clinton’s, is way bigger than just classified. There’s more. Sadly, many of the articles Ben writes, have no end. This article needs an ending. I know a few of you are in overdrive now. This blood thing is disturbing my spirit. Thanks y’all, God Bless the Veterans.

  6. @Me!: My god guys, I’m an old disabled screwed over vet too but I don’t sit in front of the fuckin computer all gawdam day bitching about my disabilities and who said what, and who’s screwing so and so over and over. Your all digging so deep in your own bullshit that nobody gives a shit about your comments anymore. CHRIST! go outside and smell some air………….Yet you just sat in front of the fuckin computer bitching about your disabilities, and who said what, and who’s screwing so and so over and over……………..Just saying!!!!!!!

      1. @Lem: I had to re-read that several times before I caught on……….your right, I should have said “sayin” good catch.

  7. The MVP was/is a voluntary program where they were really pushing to get vets to participate. They were saying you are not individually identifiable and the results would be better health care in predicting disease.

    I learned the first week in basic, don’t ever volunteer. I made my misgivings known on another veteran site and excoriated. I should go back and post this, but screw them, if they were that stupid.

    1. @Me! – You may as well go participate somewhere else. You completely ignore what many Veterans are getting compensation for, while others are in a battle in order to get help.

      Do you receive compensation? If not, if you could, would you take compensation if the VA offered it to you? Or, collect it, and give it another Veteran in dire straights?

      Do you receive your healthcare from the VA? From the air?

      It’s you, all about you. Your not that hard to truly figure out.

      1. @Seymore Klearly – Thanks for the heads up Brother. I get tired of dealing with people who think that the VA issues aren’t real, and that the issues don’t affect-effect the lives of Veterans. That just lets them off the hook, continuing to mess up the lives in which they are supposed to honorably serve, treat, and protect. Only holding them accountable like they hold us accountable. I even have relatives that are Veterans, who got pissed off at me, only because I shared the problems that I’m dealing with. I wish it wasn’t this way, but it is what it is. I can’t change their minds.

  8. My god guys, I’m an old disabled screwed over vet too but I don’t sit in front of the fuckin computer all gawdam day bitching about my disabilities and who said what, and who’s screwing so and so over and over. Your all digging so deep in your own bullshit that nobody gives a shit about your comments anymore. CHRIST! go outside and smell some air.

      1. Seymore,
        His “handle” says it all!
        This shows a complete singular attitude. Not wanting to be a “Part
        of a collective!”
        I thought veterans always refer to ourselves as “WE!” As in “TEAM”! As in helping each other overcome our health, attitudes and other “Maladies” brought on by the third most corrupt government agency. The DOD and the AFGE being #1 & #2 collectively!

    1. @Me! – I haven’t had the experience of air participating in a conversation. What are you doping on, dope? I can see it now, your not the scientific type, and I don’t believe you’re that screwed up in the first place. Everyone is different, and of course, your grammar and spelling proves my point. Oh, by the way, how much do you want for your gawdam flippant remarks of advice? C’mon now, you’ll take what, 2 bits, 4 bits, 6 bits, a . . . what? And, I’m not talking computer science terminology either.

    2. Some of us can walk and chew gum at the same time.

      Good luck on figuring out how to do that.

  9. 91Veteran, Lem and others.
    For y’all looking for current news on the “hiring freeze” and how it will work for the VA.
    This article was published yesterday on “military.com/daily news”. I received it earlier today and posted it.

    “Trump At Odds With His VA Nominee on Hiring Freeze”

    25 Jan. 2017 | by Richard Sisk

    A “hiring freeze” -IS- in affect for the VA!!!!!!!
    Also, a freeze on pay!!!!!
    The VSO’s are trying to block it. So are some Republicans!

    1. I haven’t been able to get the actual print of the “executive orders.” It is being reported that what is stated they are is “alternate facts” if you ask Kelly Ann. They are not ready for real action. The hiring freeze may actually be a directive to study a hiring freeze for example. The wall is apparently a study of how to do the wall according to some reports.

      Without the actual print out of the “Executive Orders” how can we know what they are?

    2. Hey Elf,

      Did you catch the opinion piece in the Washington Post fake news section?

      All of the people who had leadership positions while the Clinton Foundation was running the state department quit. I guess that way they can not be subpoenaed by Congress in any further investigations.

      “The State Department’s entire senior administrative team just resigned”, By Josh Rogin, January 26 2017


      1. Seymore,
        I had heard President Trump “…fired all the managers at the State Department”!
        This is being brought out by “MLordandGod.com” today.

        “Quit” or “Fired”, makes no difference. We all know they were complicit in helping “The Butcher of Benghazi” in the “Pay to Play” scheme at that fraudulent Foundation.

      2. Starting with Patrick Kennedy and including every one of those resigning…I suspect every one of them sent or received an email to Hillary’s bathroom server while she was SecState…and they did nothing to stop or alert others to it.

        Do I care they all resigned? Hell no. Every single one sending or receiving an email from her should be prosecuted for mishandling classified information. Or not acting when they knew it was being mishandled.

        In the end, their resigning looks like a childish tantrum, and it was planned given the number of leftists talking to the media about it.

      3. I am hoping that will happen at the VA very soon.

        Personally I am happy they all resigned. These fake news services stating things like talent drain. What the fuk! Talent drain, the only talent they demonstrated was covering Hillary’s ass and hiding the truth from the public.

        All of them were involve with millions of deaths of innocent people in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and else where. Not to mention the lives of U.S. military personnel and the harm to Veterans.

        I do like how they are claiming they quit. The truth is they got fired.

      4. I agree. I suspect every one of them were told they were fired.

        I read in an earlier article where someone commented about how hard it would be for the new administration since these hacks were at the end of their career, and how new people just wouldn’t be able to pick up the expertise needed for a very long time.

        How many were going to retire anyway, and they decided to throw a childish tantrum instead.

        Or, how much is the media hyping this?

        I get suspicious of motives and news articles when officials quoted are mostly or all from one side.

        I was wondering how much expertise do you need in constantly screwing over the US at every turn.

        On another note, I see the FDA was pretty much pulling stunts similar to the VA. A management hack screwing the taxpayers, likely taking bribes and the FDA stiffing congress on answers.

    3. I read that article yesterday after searching for more information on it.

      I thought it disgusting how some politicians and VSOs are concerned now for veterans getting care after the hiring freeze was announced, when they couldn’t care less in the past 8 years.

      I also think a lot of VA employees, politicians and Union friendly media are way overhyping the issue. They still have no idea of the details, and are clearly ignoring the “public health and public safety” part of Trumps action.

      Only an incredible fool would decide not to hire doctors and nurses at the VA after Trumps campaign promises, and the media salivating over being able to rip him up on veterans care.

      Trump is not foolish enough to create that kind of distraction.

      His problem is he will have to detail the kind of hiring agencies can do. Unless he specifies hiring doctors and nurses, the nitwits at the VA will be hiring directors, and other bureaucrats.

      1. Given that survey that showed 74% of Veterans would prefer having the ability to chose private health care over VA care. It is more likely the VA is going to be looking at some serious layoffs and not need to hire.

  10. Interesting update to the story Ben.

    Also interesting his brother would reach out to you and provide better explanations than the paid spokeshacks at the VA.

    Gee, Noller, are you going to sit on this like the VA sits on news of veterans committing suicide outside VA hospital doors?

    One interesting thing about Brian’s comments to you Ben about putting up a web site. When you posted your previous article on this scam, I did a search on Flow Health, and it was interesting to see the number of sites that had laudatory comments about Flow Health. The sites had enough information to suggest there was buzz about the company, but not enough detail to see if that buzz was real.

    Those web site comments almost seemed like they were created to gin up interest from investors in the next Sham Wow cleaning material.

    Sweet Jesus this is shocking to see the extent that the VA was entering into such a deal costing taxpayers many millions, without any regard whatsoever for the veterans whose data the VA was selling.

    Hey Randy? I don’t think some vague, bullshit press release is gonna cut it.

    Better call Rosemary.

  11. Off topic. Question for Ben About the hiring freeze in the Federal Government? Rep. Julia Brownley Dem/Cal. says this will adversely affect hiring of veterans at the VA. She states and i quote ” 33% of VA employees are veterans. Is this true? Also, Do they use the same VA health care we do?

    1. @FLB – Another thought. If 33% of the VA’s employees are Veterans, why can’t they speak out about what’s happening at the medical facilities where they work? They either can speak out and won’t or they can’t. Either way, we know something is going on.

  12. Just got off the phone with Brian Meshkin, founder and CEO of Proove, and estranged brother of Alex Meshkin. The story he told me is shocking, and I updated the article at the end to better reflect what sounds like the truth about Flow Health…

    You will never believe where Alex lives as a 36-year-old VA almost gave our genomic data to… His brother said he believes Alex still lives at home with his parents…

    How did this happen? I plan to write a whole other article on the mystery once I verify some details. Incredible details.

    1. Benjamin, 10% marketing costs are not unheard of. Spending $100,000,000 (1%) attempting to get a $10 Billion contract is peanuts comparatively. Contractors spend a much higher amount just preparing a bid. And with these huge contracts competition is limited. An easy mark for a confidence scheme. There is a lot of room for bribery in that if you have a Russian Oligarch funding you. In the market they are called Industrialists until they get in the Billions. Financiers of startups.

  13. Great article Ben, I am amazed how fast the Veterans on this site can filter through the crap and get to a truth. Great work. All I can say is, I am pissed to the max. Another reason I just can’t keep going to the VA. I’m hoping Munchkin, is full of it. I do need to know, how much of my data has been compromised. All the data in the world is useless to the VA. Who would use it?

    1. Jo3n,
      One thing for sure is, we will never find out if our information was exploited from the VA by that fraudulent scammer!

    2. @Jo3n – Big Pharma, Insurance Groups, and Investment Firms would love to get a hold this information. Why? Future $$$.

  14. Very good post Ben.

    This is exactly what I said in commenting on your last post, that once these scammers got a hold of this data, they would be selling subscriptions to it to the highest bidder.

    Now. The VA needs to get off its ass and come clean about this deal, because it not only stinks to high hell, but from the comments Meshkin is making, he already has huge amounts of data.

    If you look at the timeline, they likely do.

    Whenever the deal was put together, it was announced or finalized in November, and the VA didn’t bother taking a second look until December.

    Was data flowing to them in that months time?

    As for getting the data…from blood drawn from veterans at a VA, how would we ever know if it was just included without our consent? They constantly take blood, but I don’t ever recall being asked to participate in this crap.

    Why be concerned? Well, given Meshkins comments and concerns about losing data or data gaps from veterans using Choice or vouchers, it seems to be this data is being gathered every time a veteran goes to the VA. It doesn’t appear to be a 1 time data gathering, but ongoing.

    Meshkin also comments on access to medical records. Was that also occuring? Or planned?

    What’s interesting about the shadiness about his company is, among other things, his street address.

    If you search on 182 Howard Street, you come up with Bizpedia entries showing 22 companies listing their address in suite 724, and 23 companies listing their address in suite 312…none are Flow Health, but many seem to be fly by night software companies, except for the UPS store and RocketLawyer, and Uber corporate HQ in suite 8.

    I would strongly encourage you to keep digging Ben. This guy is not pulling this scam on his own. There has to be several within the VA looking at this before it ever got to the point of their PR hack announcing the deal.

    Who are they? Who in the VA are so friggin incompetent they couldn’t bother to look deeper than the dollar signs they were seeing?

    1. 91Veteran,
      BILLIONS of taxpayers monies went to this fraudulent company.
      I wonder how many VA upper echelon took some of it!?
      Can’t tell me someone, or a few someone’s, weren’t involved in “skimming off the top”!
      I also believe Ben should look deeper into this. Never know, he might find something really interesting. Like maybe another fraudulent contact!

  15. From:
    “True American Justice/Jonathan Schwartz”
    “Bernie Sanders “Mr. President I’m Very Uncomfortable””

    Jan. 23, 2017 (4:47 minutes long)

    Re: “Healthcare/Private Sector metadata collection and more!”
    Y’all should watch this. Very interesting!

    1. Kinda like “undocumented immigrant” AKA “Illegal Aliens” ooops now I am guilty of stating alternative facts.

      1. @Bill – Now be nice. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by being insensitive, even though your stating “different facts.” Your point is well taken. Using the word “alternative” compared to using “fake,” is contradictive. I prefer to use the word “fake,” when describing the information that is incorrect. Funny, they even soften the truth so it becomes easily digestible and non-offensive.

        About illegals. President Trump is on a mission to accessing and taking action on those that are illegal and they have committed crimes. He is also firm on removing the “safe zones,” of sanctuary cities that protects illegals. Especially those with warrants and criminal records.

        Many Philadelphians are hell bent on protecting what Mayor Kenney refers to as, “their citizens.” Which doesn’t sound right or make sense. Contradictive and the twisting of the English language. We live in strange times, with strange political leaders.

      2. ANutterVet,
        1.) It just came out President Trump is mandating that DHS, (Dept. of Homeland Security), force Sanctuary Cities “…to document all crimes committed by illegal immigrants”.
        This was from “MLordandGod.com” today

        2.) And, he just “…fired all the managers at the State Department!”
        This is from “The Horn News” today.

        3.) And, President Trump also is going to hire 5,000 border security agents. Plus, the top leader was told to resign. Because, from the beginning he was backing Hillary. He was also being very hard on the border security union.
        I believe this was also from “The Horn News” today.

        In my opinion, the reason behind such actions is;
        It’s for “Public Safety”!
        The VA’s attempt to stop the hiring freeze is not what one would describe as public safety.
        That would come under healthcare safety!
        Again, Shulkin, Democrats, some Republicans and “progressive” liberals can’t distinguish between the two! They want more taxpayers monies to try to “Fix VA”! More money isn’t the answer. Get rid of it. Give veterans a choice to either use VA or utilize outside healthcare. It’s really that simple!

  16. One reader just brought to my attention that VentureBeat materially altered its article after reviewing the information I published today. For comparison, below is the WayBack Machine version of the original and the new version that acknowledges the cancellation of the contract and removal of certain other statements from Meshkin.



    According to VentureBeat, “Correction 8:20 a.m. Pacific Time: The original version of this story described a business and research agreement between Flow Health and the Department of Veteran Affairs, but failed to state that the VA canceled its contract with Flow Health. This story has been updated to include a statement from VA Undersecretary for Health David Shulkin. Mention of a voucher program supported by President Trump and claims by Meshkin of potential impact on Flow Health research have also been removed from this story.”

      1. Hey Lem,
        Don’t you mean, ‘LIES!”

        In my understanding of the English language, “alternative facts” equal “False Statements”!
        Or, ‘alternative facts’ might not be complete lies, it’s just not being fully reported with ALL the facts.

        Example; When President Trump said he would ban all Muslims. The main stream media forgot to add “Until we can figure out what the hell is going on!”
        In essence, he’s only putting a ‘temporary’ ban on Muslims. Especially from those countries known to harbor terrorist cells.

      2. Yes, that is what most people except those using them call them. So I put it in quotes echoing the statement by those perpetrating the lies as you call them.

        Hey everyone should be able to use alternative facts or no one. At least identify them for what they are. Not the truth.

    1. Nothing like a little internet scrubbing. Interestingly, they do not refer to Shulkin as VA Secretary but instead, as Undersecretary. Good thing they keep-up with the news…and yes, I realize Shulkin has to be confirmed, but you know what I mean.

      Sounds like Meskin is a bit of a butthurt snowflake.

      1. If you actually read for content and context you would see in my post I realized that…perhaps it would benefit you to contribute in a non-combative way, and reading for content. When you assume you make an ass before you and me.

      2. @Namnibor, @Lem – This type of tactic stirs ill feelings, and clogs proactive thinking and discussion.. C’mon @Lem, you’re smarter than this.

      3. You don’t get to be called “Mr. Secretary” until confirmed. Simple. He is the Undersecretary until confirmed and sworn in as the Secretary. Now he is possibly the “acting secretary.” Haven’t seen anything to call him that yet.

  17. Do you want to know more about many aspects of the human genome? Below is a good read;


  18. President Trump Addresses Republican Congressional Leader in Center City Philadelphia- Paraphrasing, “We are going to do something special for Veterans. It is about time.”

    I hope he turns the VA inside out, and rips into all the foxholes to expel all the VA employees that are a disservice to Veterans, wasting taxpayers monies, and breaking the law.

    1. All he needs to do is make it clear that a brand new game of musical chairs has rolled into town. He makes it VERY clear that in order to make SURE that you have a chair when the music stops , you had are advised to start singing and pointing “rightdafucknow”.

      It really sucks when you are the last person with no chair and everyone is looking right at you in the silence. (fade in now to love scene from “Deliverance” – Quiet on the set! …start banjo music…put the VA stunt man in now…roll cameras…. and ACTION!)

    2. Thanks for posting that comment ANutterVet.

      I searched on Trump making them, and I see no news articles whatsoever reporting them.

      Similar to comments made about the hiring freeze.

      I get the sense that media are ignoring any stories like that so veterans believe Trump is ignoring one of his biggest voting blocks.

      Searching on “Trump veterans” results in a CNN article from December. All others are older.

      1. What we need to look at is an actual record of the statement. You can probably see the full speech or get a transcript. Fox recorded the speech. I watched it and he did make the remarks Nutter quoted.

        The problem with the Freeze is it is not recorded as far as I have been able to find.

      2. @91Veteran – Your welcome Brother. You know they ‘core media’ don’t want to publish what President Trump says. And yes, I believe the same thing, they don’t want to get Veterans fired up because they know that Vets will more than likely stick together on the issues at hand, even though they may have different political beliefs.

        And, you know that President Trump will not give into the MSM. I don’t blame him. My local news call President Trump, Trump, while always referring to President Obama, as President Obama. To me, just respect the title of the person of the office in which they were elected too.

      3. @Lem, @Namnibor – Brothers Lem and 91Veteran, thanks for the shout out and of confirmation.

  19. Maybe this is just a smoke screen?

    Here is just a TINY sample of an article detailing hiring at VA facilities;

    “During the Obama administration, eleven sex offenders listed the Detroit VA hospital alone as their work address; some of them were fugitives wanted by local police, but the VA cited employee privacy.

    Rapists and kidnappers also work at nearby hospitals. An Ohio VA employee, Antoine Hall, was convicted of creating pornography depicting a 13-year old in 2014. Hall is wearing a VA badge around his neck in the sex offender registry picture, meaning he was still going to work after being sentenced, and even received a bonus in 2015.

    Ralph Wood was convicted of child molesting in 2006 and sentenced to five years in prison, with three years suspended. He was released in 2008 and almost immediately began working at the Indianapolis VA hospital as a clerk. David Allison was convicted of child molesting in 2007 and began working in “medical support assistance” in 2010. His five-year prison term was suspended, but he was likely still on probation.”

    This is one tiny sample of who is handling the data that the man in the article claims is valuable and belongs to him alone.

  20. I gave my DNA to the MVP willingly and free with understanding that the data was to be kept INSIDE THE VA.
    I don’t need some corporate dink(s) trying to or actually tracking my health problems, my family, or even having ACCESS to my DNA or anything remotely related to me or my family.

    No, I don’t have any social media accounts.
    This complete idiot stating, “I can and will profit from…” isn’t really thinking through who’s intel he’s playing with.

    I’m sure some of the Vets wouldn’t mind the company doing whatever if they got paid for it, or were compensated in some other way. I’m not one of them.
    I hope that company likes it’s upper echelon staff members and their families being tracked and catagorized the same way…

    1. There are 2 rules when dealing with the va.

      #1…Never trust the va
      #2…Never ever forget rule #1

  21. Investor in flow health: Alex Demidov

    Currently located: Simferopol
    Education: ТНУ им. В. И. Вернадского ’10

    The location Simferopol is a city on the Crimean peninsula, the status of which is disputed between Ukraine and Russia.

    Source: “https://vk.com/id114013459”

    1. I had to reread this article again. Investor in flow health: Alex Demidov, location Simferopol city in Crimean peninsula status disputed between Ukraine and Russia. Thank you Seymore Klearly and Ben Krause for interesting article.

  22. Cofounder Dmitry Shignarev another cofounder of Flow Health.

    From a Cashed version of his Master Search query.

    Dmitry Shingarev
    Information Technology and Services
    Head of Engineering
    Tomsk Region, Russian Federation

    Current: Flow Health, Dmitry Shingarev
    Previous: Software Developer, Outsourcing Contractor at Dmitry Shingarev

    Education Tomsk Polytechnic University

    Head of Engineering at Flow Health at “https://www.linkedin.com/company/flow-health”
    Software Developer, Outsourcing Contractor at Dmitry Shingarev
    Co-Founder at Planergize Limited
    Research Associate at DERI at “https://www.linkedin.com/company/deri”


  23. As for foreign involvement: Divakar Rayapaty one of the listed founders of Flow Health is also listed as one of the recent founders of SpringLeap a South African Company.


    1. Addistional links involved with Divakar Rayapaty and his South African company SpringLeap.

      Spring Leap About us page: “https://www.springleap.com/about/”

      Spring Leap Blog “All South African posts–”


      The Blog post include:

      “Out of the comfort zone – how iDare2Care set the stage for establishing an innovative charity campaign in South Africa”

      Link “https://www.springleap.com/blog/comfort-zone-idare2care-set-stage-establishing-innovative-charity-campaign-south-africa/”

      “The Silent Disco Party in Cape Town – Tapping Into the “Niche Nightlife” Consumer Market”

      Link “https://www.springleap.com/blog/silent-disco-party-in-cape-town-tapping-niche-nightlife-consumer-market/”

      “Inspiring South African Relevance by Making Local Look ‘Lekker’ – Santam’s “One-of-a-kind insurance for a one-of-a-kind-country” TVC campaign”


      “Following the Footsteps of Your Consumers – First Thursdays Braamfontein”


      1. Hey, Seymore,
        Sounds as if there’s a lot of people around the world are using the “Saul Alinski model” of getting rich quick scheme!
        I wonder if Obama has anything to do with these schemes!?

      2. Hey Elf,

        One only needs to look as far as the investors list to see this is a foreign based operation. Although the people have titles and what would be good educations and have demonstrated a good degree of manipulation of web content.

        They truly only have cookie cutter skillsets on very limited apps. Although this current venture may be aimed at targeting artificial intelligence computers and programming. They truly have very limited skills.

      3. Also Elf,

        With the Veterans Administrations software VistA being so readily available and if they have already transferred the data files to Flow health. They not only have the file structure but also have the software to access all veterans records maintained by the VA.

        For example the Wikipedia webpage for the VistA software contains links to all downloadable modules of the software. Also the page states”

        “Licensing and dissemination[edit]

        The VistA system is public domain software, available through the Freedom Of Information Act directly from the VA website[14] or through a growing network of distributors, such as the OSEHRA VistA-M.git tree.”

        We also know that the criminally run VA contractor “Document Storage Systems” was selling not only connections to the VA system but also clearances to access the system. That is according to there GSA schedule that Ben Posted on this site.



        Ben’s prior article

        “Contractor Announces Plan To Fix Non-VA Fee Basis Claims” December 15, 2015

        GSA Price Schedule for Document Storage Systems Inc.

  24. Well at least the man only got close to having his hands “elbow deep” into learning about my next proctology exam. As God is my witness I swear the VA doc himself was involved elbow deep in my last one. Odd thing too because I could have sworn that both of his hands were on my shoulders.

    Stepping out now to take a smoke…

  25. From:
    “Military.com/Daily News”

    “Trump At Odds With His VA Nominee on Hiring Freeze”

    25 Jan. 2017 | by Richard Sisk

    Looks like the “freeze” *IS* affecting the VA. The VSO’s are trying to change it.

    (Every time I see a picture of Shulkin, I see a “ferret” wanting something more be given to him!)

    Shulkin is claiming the VA needs to hire over 2,000 Physicians and other healthcare providers, (nurse practitioners etc.) so veterans won’t be harmed.
    On the other hand, as Seymore Klearly so cleverly pointed out some time ago, many of the healthcare providers, hired from outside countries, at VHA’s – are “playing doctor” with FAKE documents. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m tired of seeing ALLEGED physicians presiding over my healthcare. I’ll bet not one of our elected or appointed officials have, or use, such screwed up healthcare!!!!!!

    Until that mess, along with all the other messes, (graft, waste, fraud and abuse), at VA is cleared up, I see absolutely NO reason to hire anyone!
    I also like the idea of a “pay freeze”. Which is also in affect until further notice!
    With the $180 BILLION dollars given to VA in October 2016, this fiscal year, let veterans use outside healthcare! By the way, where has all that money gone?
    By allowing veterans to use outside healthcare, I believe the American Taxpayers and Veterans will see a complete turnaround in how VA operates by doing so!
    Screw the VSO’s! They’ve not been accomplishing anything worth while for veterans in decades.

  26. When this company goes bankrupt (and it will) will the mvp data go to payoff creditors?

    Has our data been given to this con artist already?

    When I was contacted by the va years ago about the mvp program it did not pass the smell test.

    Thankfully my complete lack of trust with these people screamed no damn way will I turn over even more of my privacy to them.

    1. It did not pass the smell test??? My God man! Tell me a single thing about VA that does??? Even the flowers out front smell like Pepe Le’Pew seeking love.

      The folley here is in believing that every shred of the data in your record has not already been compromised. Example; when the CBOC manager showed up in Circuit Court and produced my own medical records that he had freshly copied and carried to court to defend himself against a Restraining Order issued by the Judge and it surprised me, the Judge, and the Dept. Of Justice Lawyer who was defending him.

      I made a Privacy Act complaint to hhs dot gov alleging that he had released my med information without my knowledge or consent. Their response; “Even if fully substantiated, your charge that the manager produced medical records in Circuit Court without your foreknowledge does not violate the Privacy Act of 1972. HHS has determined that this is a ‘routine use’ of agency records.”

      So my fellow vets, your med record can, and for me was, freely copied off and carried into Court in order to attempt to impune my or your character. And you are scared about genetic data??? They already have you firmly in hand (turn your head and cough) and there ain’t nothing you can do about it.

      P.S. HHS officially determined that defending a named “molester” in an Oregon Circuit Court RO was a routine use! Lolz! Does this happen so often it is routine, or do they just feel that it should happen more often?

      Stepping out now to take a smoke…

  27. As I understand, you are not on the million veteran program unless you signed up for it. Like when I signed up for the research conducted by Yale Medical School on temporal lobe seizures—wait a minute — I didn’t sign up. Later complained about research on non volunteers. In 1996 the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Medical and Research Center lost its accreditation to do research because of the practice of UCLA Medical School slamming veterans, unknowingly, into research projects. Based on veterans’ complaints.

    Are you one of the MVP—actually you probably don’t know. That has long been a practice of the VA allowing research by allied medical schools on veterans without their knowledge — research done on behalf of for profit drug companies instigated by lobbyists.

    So where are the watch dogs? Who is the watch dog?

    Thanks for the detailed research, Benjamin. From public documents not private documents.

  28. Question,
    When vets gave blood at VHA’s, was our information given to this fraudulent company without our knowledge?????

    I would venture to guess ALL entities are lying.
    Plus, I’ll bet a dollar to a donut, someone, or many someones, in VA made a bunch of money off this contract!

    Congressional investigation!? That’ll take months, possibly years, to unravel. Then what?! Nothing. Not one damn thing will occur! No one will be held accountable. No one will be forced to pay the price of this egregious scam against veterans!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It’s about time for VA’s upper echelon to start paying for their criminal activities against taxpayers and veterans!!!!!!

  29. Great article Benjamin. My educated guess is the VA Is Lying to save face while the VA was protecting it’s damage control outflow when Sec. McDuck thought he was entitled to remain at the VA…my guess is the VA and Flow Health are lying and having to state further lies covering-up the original lie…and just maybe it was VA Public Relations being butthurt that this website is exposing their swamp water….Ms. Williams at VA Public Affairs, anybody?
    Someone is definitely lying and statistics back-up that the VA is one of them. Munchkin is a weasel.

    1. “[Had no one asked VA about its due diligence review in December, the “Wall Of Shame” former NASCAR owner would be elbows-deep into your genomic data learning all about the findings of your recent proctology exam.]”

      Munchkins would likely be further than elbow-deep up Veteran’s asses.

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