OIG Watchdog

Tomah VA ‘Candy Man’ Dr. David Houlihan Fired

Dr. David Houlihan

Benjamin KrauseOn Friday, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced the agency will fire Dr. David Houlihan on November 9 following a 10-month investigation. It also terminated his clinical privileges.

Numerous of his cronies are no doubt disappointed to learn that their fearless leader would not return to VA after the investigation. Rumor on the ground was that Dr. Houlihan showed up at least once at Tomah VA despite being forbidden from being at Tomah VA during the investigation.

To refresh your memory, Dr. Houlihan was placed on leave after allegations surfaced in January that he participated in dangerous prescriptive practices linked to the death of at least one veteran. These allegations were, in part, confirmed by VA OIG this summer.

@deptvetaffairs Glad you finally fired 'Candy Man' Dr. David Houlihan... Click to Tweet

This comes as great news to reporters including myself. Dr. Houlihan’s attorney threatened to sue us last winter for highlighting Dr. Houlihan’s involvement in the substandard care scandal. Apparently our allegations were generally correct.

Lawmakers were not lost for words following the announcement.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin said the termination was long overdue. She hopes the termination announcement will help VA “restore the sacred trust we have with those who faithfully serve our country.”

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson also indicated his hope that the termination will bring some form of closure for people who received inadequate care.

Personally, I know people harmed will receive closure when VA does right by all the victims. Here is a hint. They should make a formal apology to all who were harmed starting with a full and public statement following by fair payment for the injury caused.

However, do not be mistaken. For those families who lost loved ones, nothing can be done to fully provide closure but VA should not fall short in its attempts to do so.

I am surprised Dr. Houlihan was fired. Apparently his cronies through he would regain his position. What did you think would happen?

Source: https://www.militarytimes.com/story/veterans/2015/10/30/wisconsin-va-hospital-official-dubbed-candy-man-fired/74898232/

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    1. below is the copy/paste from the DEA 2015 cases against doctors part of the website. Look what he did, then look at the punishment! I would be sentenced to life with a tin foil hat on in jail for this. Probation?????
      cut and paste below, some of it is out of order because of formatting.

      City, State:
      Date of Arrest: Date of Conviction: Judicial Status:
      DEA Registration:
      BICKELHAUPT, Ethan E.
      Topeka, KS
      Pled Guilty
      Illegal distribution of a controlled substance and acquiring a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, or deception
      Retired 12/04/08
      Ethan E. Bickelhaupt, MD, age 58, pled guilty in U.S. District Court, District of Kansas, to two counts of an Indictment charging him with illegal distribution of Schedule II controlled substances and acquiring controlled substances by misrepresentation, fraud, or deception.
      According to court documents, Bickelhaupt, while employed as a full-time practitioner at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Topeka, Kansas, wrote prescriptions for oxycodone and amphetamine to individuals who were not patients, and for other than legitimate medical purposes. After filling the prescriptions, the individuals gave the controlled substances back to Bickelhaupt for his personal consumption. On occasion, Bickelhaupt would compensate the individuals with cash or some of the controlled substances. The drugs were used during parties at Bickelhaupt’s house, including to ease withdrawal symptoms after using cocaine.
      Bickelhaupt was sentenced to probation for a term of three years to be served concurrently for each of the two counts he pled guilty to. The court also ordered Bickelhaupt not to practice medicine during the probation period and to perform 300 hours of community service.

      1. Illegal and legal drugs are dangerous and destroying this country and our children!

        Sadly, my daughter’s boyfriend got her hooked on black tarr heroin and is homeless now!

        This drug now has her in jail for theft and new charges of identity theft! She maybe facing five to ten!

        The boyfriend then left her and the children, he then dated another girl and got her hooked and both she and my daughter lost their children!

        My wife and I can’t do anything about it, social services made a lot of promises and never honored any of them and gave our granddaughter to him!

        There were 22 people arrested and all were given probation!

        This just taught the drug dealers to be more careful!

        People dealing need to be in prison and so should have the VA employee!

        Don’t know if this country can survive with all the drugs and the drug dealers don’t give a shit, who they hurt!

        Some VA employees sell and do drugs and need to be randomly tested!

        The VA has gotten away without testing employees, must be getting a kick back!

      2. From what I’ve seen, any VA employee handling contolled substances should be randomly tested throughout the year.

      3. during my chronic pain management orientation we were told that if we tested positive for anything other than what we were prescribed and if what we were prescribed tested higher or lower than it should, we would be weaned off of our pain medication. No excuses, no exceptions, nothing. If we are to be held at such a high standard when we are simply trying to get some help relieving our pain, then I think the VA employees should be held to the same type of standards. Random test with no minimum or maximum and if you are not right, you are gone. No excuses, no exceptions.

  1. @nameisaBORE : just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean they are a troll. To make a blanket assumption that ALL Vets are up and up and rainbows and unicorns is as unfair as someone else saying all Vets are liars and fakers. I know for a fact that there are many Vets with addictions to their prescription medications. Should the docs keep prescribing? No. Should many of these Vets been prescribed stimulants to “stay awake” during combat in the first place? Hell no. But if you are saying that there are not Vets who abuse their meds then you really are in some la la land. And no, I am not a troll. I am someone who is very close to this situation and knows what theyre talking about.

    1. No doubt you are indeed *very close* to the situation, hence the brain-drain and your attempt to vilify Veterans is simply embarrassing yourself at this point.

  2. what doi think? I think Tricare or medicare or obamacare is as open corrupted as much and right out in open daylight. I have over 40 claims on backlog. noody is sayinganything? I am with Tricare Service over Seas. live in Thailand. try a spot and see if there are some comments. Ronald hickson, p.o. box 07, pattaya, chonburi, 20260 Thailand.. please don’t adv address.

    1. Dave is not a deadbeat. He has been a great father, husband, and friend to many. Did anyone ever hear from his side of the story? He doesn’t have a huge house, boat or anything that you would even notice he was a doctor. While I was with him, he was only concerned about the well being of the veterans. Many of whom would travel from Iowa to see him.

      1. @Erin Houlihan,
        No one’s saying he wasn’t those things to you and yours!

        Explain this, what doctor would even consider prescribing 800 – 30mg tabs of Oxicodone or any other narcotic to any patient? That was confirmed Erin.
        You’ve evidently missed the point. A patient DIED because of your “loving person”. He’s lucky he only got fired. That no criminal charges were filed, as what happened to that a$$wipe who was arrested at the Danville VA a few months ago. And was extradited back to Indiana..

      2. The number of lives the man destroyed over the years retaliating against them for simply being concerned about patient safety and as a result destroying careers is incalculable. I know some of them and their lives were destroyed because of him. Others are now well known publicly. His machine came after me personally as well. His band of criminals was surely popping the champagne corks after my resignation. I could really care less how nice of a guy he is to those he has a self interest in being nice to. He not only left a list of dead people in his wake, but he destroyed the families of those he ran out of the facility. Boohoo for him. What goes around comes around.

      3. @Erin H.-

        If you know your world/military history, you would know that EVERY MEMBER of the Nazi Party were QUICK to state they were upstanding Christians in their communities in Germany.

        Then there’s the minions of Church Leaders whom abused children under the cloak of the cleric.

        What am trying to convey is you more than likely do not REALLY know who he is entirely and the evidence is not made-up. How would you have felt if it were members of the military that had (hypothetically) mortally injured your father? Those members of military had been transferred for doing the same questionable practices not long before and continued same illegal and reckless behavior wherever relocated to?
        Try walking in the Veteran’s Shoes as a perspective change. There’s an expected TRUST between Dr. and Patient.

        He broke his Hypothetical Oath. Period. He should not even be allowed a license to practice and perhaps would be better suited as an inmate treating other inmates in Leavenworth.
        Even then, I would take a Witch Dr. from Haiti over the likes of Dr. H., aka “The Candy Man”.

  3. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t make them a troll. Clearly thou dost protest too much…maybe you all should get your heads out of your arses and ease up on the pill seeking. And yes, believe it or not, there are vets who have addictions. GASP! Who knew?!?!

      1. Leeches! Silly me to have overlooked that cutting edge VA Tech. Something tells me the VA still has Lobotomy on their books in their Psych Dept. as well as TBI Clinic.
        Except the VA would have mutant leeches that were grown in the International Space Station, exposed to mutating Cosmic Radiation and are trying to ‘weaponize the leeches’, practicing on vets as a form of ‘Off-Label Clinical Study’ named “Invasion Body Snatchers”, funded of course by Astra-Zeneca and Tax Dollars.

  4. “[“Whether it’s continued delays in veterans’ medical care, the blatant waste of billions of taxpayer dollars or a rampant lack of accountability throughout every corner of the organization, there is simply no denying that the problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs are indeed widespread. Anyone who would claim the opposite simply isn’t paying attention. The VA scandal was caused by dishonest bureaucrats who chose to whitewash the department’s problems rather than solve them. Those who repeat that same shameful pattern of behavior are only shortchanging veterans while giving failed VA bureaucrats cover for continued malfeasance. The only way to reform VA into an organization truly worthy of the veterans it is charged with serving is to acknowledge the department’s challenges and tackle them head on. Downplaying VA’s problems or denying they exist will only lead to more scandal.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs]”

    If these elected officials do not have the teeth to walk the talk or talk their walk, election day is our tool to get rid of the tools.

  5. It’s looking like the VA AFGE Attorneys obviously instructed Rubens and Graves to Plead The Fifth and not answer a thing!
    I believe in the power and inherent protections within The Constitution but I do not agree when it is used in a bastardized way of protection to start the charade of hoping it just gets swept under the rug.
    WTF use is the Congressional Veteran’s Committee if they cannot or WILL NOT do the right thing.
    What real benefit is the OIG when they seem to only make “recommendations” that have no teeth?
    Starting to think this is all a charade or pony show. Want to be proven wrong.

    Why wasn’t the FBI there to take them onward? If it was a Vet that committed fraud at only a minuscule fraction of that amount of ca$h, we would have been in a cell while waiting for the hearing date. FACT.

    This stinks of the AFGE and protecting it’s own. How about the very likely Vet or Vets out there awaiting an important prosthetic or wheelchair that could not and still cannot because of $400,000. in relocation expenses in an underhanded transaction?

    This begs to question what, if any, Plea Agreement with Resignation, Gen. Hickey may have taken? Seriously, I cannot be only person wondering about this?

    1. According to the Stars and Stripes article, the IG referred it to the DOJ for a criminal prove.
      As for the amount they ripped off, it pisses me off when I think I had to fight and write a Congressman to get a machine to use at home to flex my leg after surgery…after I was hospitalized again, put under and my leg bent to break up scar tissue. The VA didn’t want to pay the monthly rental to an outside company. I got it for 1 month before the company called saying I had to give it back. It did help a huge amount in how much I could flex my leg after using it.

  6. Namnibor, if I were a patient going to Tomah and I had clear medical reasons for prescriptions that were suddenly cut off, I would be on the phone to Ron Johnson or Tammy Baldwins office letting them know what was going on, and asking them to assist in getting it fixed immediately. It would only take 1 call before the VA would figure out those Senators are not going to take a chance on being accused of doing nothing about the VA. I think that is why other Congressmen are taking notice.
    As for his large family, he should have thought of his large family before his own actions caused the loss of someone else’s family member. His actions caused the death of another who will never have the chance to support their own family. I have zero sympathy for him given the lives he has ruined.

  7. Disclaimer: I don’t blame the victim and I am not defending his practice nor the widespread reckless prescribing at the VA. However, there is some accountability needed on behalf of Veterans as well. No one is forcing Veterans to abuse benzos or opioids or stimulants. Yes they are addictive but many Veterans have become dependent by their own doing. Saying things like “I deserve my xxx” doesn’t help the cause. Nobody needs these medications to survive. They aren’t like heart of diabetes meds. They make life easier (sort of) but aren’t a necessity.

    1. DISCLAIMER: I do not blame YOU DEE, for being a freaking idiot and VA Troll. How about trying to walk in the shoes of a Vet that actually requires any given med? You are so blatantly just like the VA in attempting to BLAME VETERANS.

      I call BULL $HIT WHEN I SMELL IT! Your Troll Cave is calling you, Captian OBVIOUS!

      Yes, I smelled TROLL very heavy in air again today!!! They cannot resist…nor can they hide since Halloween is over.

      1. It also grammatically sounds as if “Dee” considers the DR. a “victim”, and used the singular of the word “victim”….VeteranS are the VICTIMS, “Dee”.

      2. I am a disabled Veteran you fucking moron. Why don’t you stop sounding like a defensive drug seeker butthurt whiny asshole who gives the rest of us a bad rap? Now move along, tard. Go pop some more pills.


    2. Necessity is one thing when talking life or death, but QUALITY of life is another.
      The VA has told me for over 10 years I needed my knee replaced, but they wouldn’t do it since they said I was too young. I agreed since I didn’t want to be worse off than I was if I had to have it replaced twice, or suffer something worse if there were complications. When it got to the point of not being able to put weight on it, and at my first appointment with Ortho after an ER visit, the Ortho doc said I was too young. I said I had been told that for years, that I couldn’t take certain pain meds because of allergies, that I didn’t want to take pain meds, I said my quality of life should be worth something. I said I was worried about being able to continue working. He agreed and did the surgery. Am I happy with it? No. But at least I can use it better than before and I can keep working.
      Quality of life certainly needs to be considered since it is better for a veteran to be functioning and productive then laid up because of debilitating pain.
      Finally, even if a veteran says they deserve xxx pain meds suggesting they are addicted, it is damn irresponsible, unethical and unprofessional for the VA, who likely prescribed the meds the veteran became addicted to, to suddenly cut them off and throw them out on the cold.

  8. What did I think would happen? Firing. It was the only option. This issue had become too public for any cover-up and transfer to work. Look at other VA scandals or firings. They happen simply because the details become too public, and public officials finally get involved and do their jobs. Either Congress wakes up and makes public statements suggesting they are watching, or public oversight officials get involved in investigation as in the case of that mental health supervisor mocking suicidal vets. Without widespread publicity, firing would not have happened.
    Correct me if I am wrong, but didnt that hack Griffin investigate both these issues and do nothing?
    As for the candy man, he needed to be prosecuted for what he did. At a minimum, any license of his to be involved in medical care of any kind needs to be revoked permanently.

  9. I’m at VA reading the “Marine Corp. Times”
    There’s a real good article in the Oct 26th issue on page 24.

    “Report: VA execs misused reimbursement programs”
    “Lawmakers call for firing of VA officials”
    by Leo Shane III
    Ishane@militarytimes dot com

    “An investigation was launched after reports surfaced that Philadelphia VA Regional Office Director Diana Rubens received more than $288,000 for moving expenses to Washington, D.C.”

    1. Just left VA. The nurse was pleasant and courteous. Oh, and because she’s not allowed to be a real nurse, she’s quitting soon.
      She admitted to the wife and I “orders come down from on high”, that disallows good people to do good at their jobs. She also said, Florida, in Orange City and Orlando is terrible to work.
      The reason she opened up was because she was in the Navy. She was stationed on the old Navy Base there. And she also was stationed at Pt. Loma, Calif. Sub base. Both places where I served. It shocked her to meet someone who had been stationed where she was.
      So, like I said, she opened up to my wife and I….

      1. Whether or not we ever get true choice to go somewhere else and regardless whether or not the VA thinks they can resist choice, it really doesn’t matter. People like this nurse are voting with their feet. Vets with insurance thru work like myself leave the VA. They either get their shit together or they’ll just be empty va hospital hallways.

      2. CrazyElf, I too have been at Pt Loma,sub base, not stationed but for some training. Being on subs we used to pull in ther often. They don’t do that anymore. But, I understand about how good people are being forced to be Drones instead of good HealthCare givers. As a VA patient and 100%TP Disabled, I too have been some serious Drug Pushing. Yet that damn So-called Pusher is still there. That dr even was Lying to my PCP about our sessions and my pain mngmnt. I wish I could have had him Fired. Now, I feel the system has the need Not to give me care if I have any problems assoc with my primary condition. My pcp has said that the Care Panel has said they didn’t feel the tests and treatment was necessary. WTF! This is unethical to me and frankly very criminal. IMHO. Seems those of us who are total Perm disabled, the VA just wants us to waste away,so they don’t have to treat or worry and further. It’s disgusting. I am on strong pain meds. Yet, I HATE to be on them all. I just wish the VA would treat the Root of the problems and Not just push meds to cover up the major issues. It’s like they are putting a patch on a flat ragged tire,Instead of changing the tire all together. So sick of that. I been trying to use all Natural ways to control my pain,with no real change, seems that having Spinal Fusion at multi levels can Not be treated with just some natural herbs. I would like to be able to try if Medical Maj would help with the pain. I hear it does,but I get whizz quizzed at VA’s Discretion. So I can’t unless it would be Rx. It all makes me sick that vets just can’t get The Best Health Care Possible! I think the wealthy get better care because they can afford it. Vets should Never Ever have to worry about that. It was Promised when we Signed on the line and Swore to an Oath! Blessed Wishes to you and All Vets!

    2. Oh if you folks only knew the cronyism which goes on! Its about time some people started to get fired within the agency! Rubens and the rest didnt even show at they’re own hearing and are now being forced to attend! She obviously isn’t too smart or she wudve resigned a long while ago where she may have had a chance to keep her benefits and retirement. but now if she’s fired i doubt shell get them! and if she wasnt ‘out of closet’ with her ‘partner’ before she sure is now! haha
      honestly its a shame the under sec Allison Hickey resigned because she was actually a good thing vba had going believe it or not. say what you wish about her but those who know her well are aware she put honest effort into what she did and treated all the va employees with respect and dignity which as you see the backlogs on disability claims DID in fact go down lower!
      this site is fantastic and i love the stuff posted here very much! no bs or pulling punches and definetly telling it like it is- bravo folks-bravo!!

      1. If I remember right, I believe Rubens and the other cohorts were to show up today. Or maybe something else was supposed to happen on 2 Nov.
        At least that’s what I remember. But, I’m getting old(er) and my memory sometimes fails me, lol.
        So, if any of y’all out there remember, put it on here, thanks!

      2. A quick search shows a Stars and Stripes article posted 30 minutes ago saying Rubens and Graves appeared today and plead the 5th. They appeared along with the Directors who were pushed out.
        Ain’t that just friggin ironic. A VA executive, charged with providing care to the very veterans upholding the Constitution, but ripping them off, using that same Constitution to avoid accountability.

  10. We see a few isolated incident’s of the V.A. supporting us, and they hope that all is forgiven. We see more wrong doing’s that will ever be corrected.

    I am due mri of bilateral knees. I have been told on four occasions to call the choice program and set the appointment up. We are at 30 days now, I called this morning and the lady at choice did seem to care, She put some notes in the computer for me that would speed it up or so she stated. She also told me to get back with primary care and tell them to upload the order to choice and they may be able to bypass Radiology.

    I did contact by message my health care provider that in return, told me she called the consulting department and they said they just uploaded it and call choice in three to five days. I explained to the primary that I have been through that with them four times so far and the same thing happens. She then said she has forwarded a complaint to the advocate. At which time I stated, I have complained to the Forth Worth advocate many times and have not received a single response back. The open door policy is a good one, but anytime you walk by that open door there is a note on it that says do not disturb.

    No I do not think this is a win. I just think the V.A. has to cover there azzes on this one so that the DEA does not get totally involved. I would think the DEA would trump the V.A. and cause quite a few problems for them.

    I also do not think my doctor abuses prescription medications with patients. he gives me 10/325, 30 of them, but he knows they will last me 90 days, as I do not take much of one at a time, since I am a nurse and I am actually afraid of narcotics. As a nurse though. I do know many doctors who will write you whatever you want.

    When I see them fire the 104,000 or whatever Mcstupid said the first time, then I will know they are serious about cleaning up the V.A.

    1. Dam. Yours Say open door there is a note on it that says do not disturb too? That note must be very popular with VA advocates.

      1. I wonder if VA “Patient Advocates” have Xeroxed that sign? Cause I swear, that’s the same sign on the P/A’s door down here in Orlando, Florida.

      2. When I used to use the VA I also recall there ALWAYS being signs on the Patient Advocate door and the one that really caught my attention that not only amazed me but was so appropriate was one that was actually Laminated that stated, “Patient Advocate Out To Lunch”….that sign was always on her door and ALL my appointments were always first thing in morning or mid-morning at very least. Nowhere near “lunch” and recall when I had a legitimate complaint, she was actually very much “out to lunch” in the flesh and about as helpful as a dirty cat litter box is to a flat tire.

        Where do they get these so-called “advocates”? Cousins of Cousins Once-Removed within the VA Employee Gene Pool? Yup! I think in-breeding is encouraged for that very reason…so they can make more of them.

      3. I had been going to the VA for about 7 years before I ever found out there was such a thing as a Patient Advocate. That was in Madison, WI, and I must say she was very good, as was most of the care there.
        Grand Junction VAMC has at least 2 patient advocates, with another guy in charge of them. All are worthless, particularly the guy in charge, who is also the VA PR guy for there. I asked the Chief of Staff in a meeting with him and about 8 other VA employees about it. I asked, if he ever got a call from the media with questions about a veteran complaint, who would he advocate for, the veteran or the VA. The Chief of Staffs only response was, “that is a very good question”. Nothing has changed there since I asked the question.

  11. As for why Dr. Houlihan may have did what he did. Also why many of the pill pushers are over prescribing medications check out the press release from the Department of Justice published 10/29/15, Titled

    “Warner Chilcott Agrees to Plead Guilty to Health Care Fraud Scheme and Pay $125 Million”.

    can be found at “https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/pr/warner-chilcott-agrees-plead-guilty-health-care-fraud-scheme-and-pay-125-million”

    It was a joint investigation involving the VA and the DOJ.

    Also to anyone who has been prescribed Tramadol, also known as Phuck-It-All. You need to find a new doctor.

    1. It’s good to see that someone is taking action against employees whom think they can b.s. their way out!

      Good to know someone really cares about our veterans and will actually do something about it!


      1. I just have to say this regardless of how brainwashed everyone will accuse me of.

        Dr Houlihan was the only one standing up for veterans in that hospital. Now nobody is. Over the past 8 months I’ve contacted the patient advocate at Tomah three times. Not so much as a single return call.

        Nobody seems to get those of us who have needs above basic care are treated like criminals now.

        Some are very disabled and are not being treated because they were ejected because of this fiasco. Who is watching over them now? NOBODY!

        Everyone is so busy covering their rear ends, the veterans are being totally screwed over at Tomah. It is a hostile medical environment.

      2. Sorry to have to say it doesn’t look like he will receive any time as part of the plea agreement.

        Although others have individuals were either criminally charged or pleaded guilty to various offenses related to the company’s alleged conduct. Two former district managers, Jeffrey Podolsky, 49, of East Meadow, New York, and Timothy Garcia, 35, of Los Gatos, California, previously pleaded guilty to various charges, including conspiracy to commit health care fraud and violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). A third former district manager, Landon Eckles, 30, of Huntersville, North Carolina, was criminally charged earlier this month for alleged HIPAA violations relating to the alleged prior authorization scheme. Last week a Springfield, Massachusetts physician, Rita Luthra, M.D., 64, of Longmeadow, Massachusetts, was charged with, among other things, allegedly accepting free meals and speaker fees from Warner Chilcott in return for prescribing its osteoporosis drugs.

        You can read the full press release by Googling the title.

        “Warner Chilcott Agrees to Plead Guilty to Health Care Fraud Scheme and Pay $125 Million”

      3. You people are making my day, thinking I will go outside and enjoy myself for once!

        Maybe one day they will really looks at my case of falsely being accused of disruptive behavior and I can go anywhere and not fear that I’m going to be arrested for something, I never did and the retaliation will stop!

        That would be a glorious day!

      4. Also worth noting As part of the resolution, the whistleblowers in the case will receive approximately $22.9 million from the federal share of the civil recovery.

      5. What ever it takes and veterans should be reimbursed their compensation, as they have been lied to and deserve it!

        It’s money well spent, if veterans are going to be taken care of and those who thought they were above the law pays the price and the government be reimbursed by those perpetrators!

        Even if they have property, bank accounts and serve jail time!

        If people can be arrested for smoking a joint and are serving time!

        I just hope they keep digging and those covering up for each other are included, IF they speak up and come clean, their sentences should reflect that, not ignored!

        This country will be much better off, if our officials would band together and force the people to tell truth and given one chance to come clean or pay the price, if it’s found out they lied to any investigator!
        Also any investigator who refuses to investigate the wrong doings or found covering up, needs to be held accountable!

        It’s been a very long time that I feel something is being done!

        Maybe one day, someone will help all those veterans the VA has accused of being disruptive and retaliated against and where the VA has no proof, be contacted and have their records expunged to reflect their innocence!

        If this doesn’t happen, these veterans will continue to be harmed, as employees will still see them as a threat and will still retaliate against those veterans!

        My fellow veterans keep up the great work!

      6. To James, Seymour and newday,
        Maybe that’s what prompted the following, check out the following ;;

        “John Oliver breaks down Big Pharma and its hilariously ugly”

        Watch the video. It’s straight to the point about Big Pharma.

      7. Rubins pleads the fifth and refuses to answer any questions fifth amendment!

        Every question! !…!.

        It’s on right now

        Holy smokers

      8. Ms graves pleads the fifth and refuses to answer any questions, every question! !.

        As it may incriminate themselves

        Holy cow! !

        Can’t believe they refuse! ….!!!!!

      9. Robert mckenrick, states he wanted to transfer! Under oath to ig he didn’t want to go! The offers were to good to turn down!

        Mr walker, I was pressured to relocate!

      10. James,
        So, only Walker told the truth. That he was pressured to leave….
        The rest either took the 5th or lied.
        Well, that’s the VA way…..
        I bet the committee was pissed. But if they don’t do something oh well, veterans get screwed AGAIN…

      11. They were pissed, you could see it on their faces! Miller told the two ladies ok you took the fifth !

        Will be contacting you again to speak with the committee!

        There were many committee members their and flat out that veterans and the citizens are sick about how VA is run and not taking care of the veterans!

        You speak about veterans, you need to think about the one veteran, he’s the one that wants to hear something positive about his case! Can’t remember his name!

        I recorded it, so I watch it again. I think I will email maybe two bosses, to see if they mean what they say and ask for assistance in my case.?

        Maybe, just maybe they will listen to a veteran and help and not pass the buck and let them let someone else try to handle it!

        If he listens, I would like him to call me so, they can hear the story directly from me!

        They seem like Very smart people and seem like stand up guy’s and seem to really care about the veterans?

        I really want to clear my good name, falsely accusing me, has made me so unhappy, knowing that one woman could falsely accuse me, not provide any proof, sit in the disruptive committee and lied to everyone involved and they fell for lies and unjustly punished me!

        With no proof, the committee called the OIG and my records show that the OIG gave them permission to punish me and then called the fbi and my local police department!

        Fbi calling me, when I told him, I did nothing, have them provide you the proof of me being disruptive!

        Major manipulator and seems they thrive to punish veterans and will even use hearsay as the truth.

        Ten years Is a long time to wait for justice and justice is all I want and my good name returned so I can once again be free from this injustice!

        Worth a try! If not, I will keep looking for someone who can!

  12. For y’all who’ve been “contracted out” to civilian psychiatrists, psychologists etc., I put the following article on a previous blog. it’s title is;

    “John Oliver breaks down Big Pharma and it’s hilariously ugly”

    Please google and Read the article. Plus, watch the video. It should anger you.
    He definitely breaks down Big Pharma…
    There’s plenty of “facts and figures” that y’all will want to be empowered with! Especially when it comes down to the BILLIONS of $$$$$ pharmaceutical companies make off unsuspecting people (veterans and civilians alike)and the governments of many countries.
    There’s lots of info in this article…….

  13. Sadly a practice that is not just limited to VA circles. I had a psychiatrist (private Blue Cross physician) overprescribe me a bunch of stuff. At one point I was so doped up I was on Adderall, twice the normal amount of Citalopram, and Xanax. He prescribed me sleeping pills too, I think. The thing is, I would go in there and tell him I didn’t want to be on so much, and he’d send me out with a new prescription anyway. I finally ended up not going back and being weaned off the stuff by a different psychiatrist I found myself. The Dr. who ended up overprescribing me this stuff ending up abusing substances himself and dying in a DUI accident. But again, he was not VA affiliated, so this could happen anywhere 🙁

    1. This is what is now happening to me since I was bumped to a contracted doctor after Dr Houlihan was moved from Tomah.

      I’m sorry but I’m not going to be made a zombie for a PTSD diagnosis. My diagnosis is from the 1980s and now some new quack wants to dope me up for it?

  14. Normally when you fire someone you do it on the spot, here it is the 2nd & announcement is for the 9th sounds like some hanky panky to me! Is the worm getting severance pay?

    1. Can only guess that because he has a large family, they’re giving him a few days to make adjustments.

      1. He has two beautiful boys that I am the mother of. He is now not paying support to either of his ex wives. He has been out since January. I can’t believe that he didn’t take any responsibility for his actions.

      2. Seriously James. You’re rudely responding to the mother of his children. Have a little respect for people’s feelings.

      3. Was not trying to be mean, what I meant is father’s who don’t take care of their children are deadbeats!

        If I stated it wrong, I apologize, i’m not afraid to say sorry, maybe I read it wrong!

        My dad always told us boys, if you’re man enough to make a baby, you should be man enough to ensure they are cared for!

      4. Newday,
        James was NOT being rude to “sickofbeingthreatened”,
        If that Dr. had been smart and turned whistleblower, as Ryan did, he probably wouldn’t be in the fix he’s in.
        And, if he’d not prescribed so many damned narcotics to his patients he wouldn’t be in this situation.
        It all comes back on his shoulders. No one else. Like she said, “I can’t believe he didn’t take responsibility for his actions!” That in itself, shows what kind of a person he really is!
        And, I don’t really care if someone on here says he was the only person who stood up for the vets….evidently he didn’t feel it necessary to be a “High Quality Health Professional”..He took an oath to be a physician. No one forced him to break that oath…

        As far as all the other employees there, “covering their a$$e$”. That’s one pi$$poor attitude by any healthcare professional…

        Now, if his ex-wife is being threatened, that’s also wrong! Anyone who has done that, should be prosecuted.

      5. There will be more veterans dying because of Tomah. But this time it will be from the lack of needed care. That’s a valid argument for reasonable middle of the road care. Not swinging from over prescribing to not prescribing at all.

        There is the argument of how many of those veterans who were bumped to outside agencies for mental health care by inexperienced psych doctors regarding veteran issues or cut off from pain meds now looking at other options such as street drugs or suicide? I am not looking at either option now but if things get worse yet with care, those options become viable.

        What ever happened to leave no veteran behind?

      6. Send the OIG a letter or the department of justice to do another investigation!

        Also send one to Bob McDonald, that way he can’t say he knew nothing about it!

        They need to act now! They are punishing veterans for one of their own being caught!

      7. @newday.
        It was reported and substantiated some veterans at Tomah were receiving up to 800, 30mg oxicodone pills a month. That in itself is a pure violation of ethics, let alone a violation of the law.
        Not only should any physician be arrested, the pharmacists should have been arrested as well.

        Try to explain why Hollihan shouldn’t be fired. (Or be arrested)? Damn folks the evidence was more than enough to hang the a$$hole. If we were living a hundred years ago, that’s exactly what would have happened….you know he killed a Marine, remember!
        Ask any normal person what a patient was doing by getting 800 narcotic pills each month. They will probably say,
        car payment, rent payment or pay off credit card bills. Come on quit being freaking stupid….
        Before y’all start on me over this. I USED TO GET pain meds from VA. Only I took myself off of it. Why, because of the “deadly side effects” for one. Since then I use “Native American” pain remedies. All natural, no narcotics, non habit forming, et cetera. Guess what they f**kin work!

      8. Houlihan was the candy man. And he freely doled out the candy. There is a small vocal group of Houlihan supporters that miss the glory days. The house, boat, and credit card payments must be quite a burden now. But the real tragedies are the addicts he created that all of a sudden found themselves without their free fix.

      9. There nothing like going cold turkey! They took me off a medication cold turkey!
        Me and my body didn’t know what to do, took about three days to calm down!

      10. I would agree the real tragedies are those addicts not getting their pills, but I wonder how many are addicts because he gave out pills so freely rather than having their pain properly assessed and managed with proper follow up care for the root cause of that pain. Far too many in the VA were very quick to give a prescription just to get rid of a vet.
        To me, the bigger tragedy are those who truly needed pain medication suddenly getting cut off cold turkey.

      11. Well I sure didn’t get any mega dose of pills and Dr Houlihan was my doctor. What he prescribed me was a minimal, I reiterate, minimal dose which did two things, it lowered my pain and it gave me a quality of life.

        When pain overtakes your every thought and it becomes difficult to sleep, function, pleasantly communicate, you get the idea, life drastically diminishes.

        Your thoughts become consumed with how to maintain any semblance of normalcy and trying to reduce pain. I good instance is the recent infrared heating pad used trying to find a fix. Little did I realize that damaged area did not have normal sensitive function and I landed with 3rd degree burns.

        It turns into a real circus. To come on here and see Mr. Honl calling people such as myself a Houlihan Hooligan is beyond insulting. Until he walks a mile in the shoes of any of us who were thrust into no man’s land, the drug seeking comments need to be laid to rest.

        I’m not doing a Congressional inquiry. I’m not going to be judged publicly for something which should be a private matter. I use a anonymous ID for that purpose

      12. Thanks Ryan.
        There’s many VA physicians, pain management specialists etc., out in “VA Disney Land”
        making ‘addicts’ out of veterans. The only problem I see is they aren’t getting caught, YET. That’s why, in my opinion, something very drastic has got to happen before VA’s head is placed on the proverbial “chopping block”!
        I just wish and pray no more veterans die because of the malfeasance VA has created.

        This reminds me of the Mary Shelley story, “Frankenstein”!
        How you ask? Simple, the doctor wanted to play God. In the original Boris Karloff movie. The following scene was cut, and not restored until 1951, where the doctor. After reviving the “monster”, said; quote, “I feel like God. I created life. I AM GOD!” In 1931 when the movie premiered, the audience wasn’t allowed to see that scene. It was thought to be too “thought provoking”.

      13. James, go on the internet and Google;
        “herbal medicines of Native Americans”.

        There’s a LOT of natural medications that can be taken. You just have to search what would be right for you.
        Plus you can get these at any natural food outlet.
        And guess what, their cheap…..

      14. Ms Rubinstein and ‘s graves released from the panel and will be called back for another hearing and left the room, because they refused to answer any questions pleading the fifth!

  15. His clinical privileges are revoked. He won’t be coming to any VA near you. He can’t practice in the VA so it would be a moot point. Also being fired flags you for rehire. However, if he’s not prosecuted he could seek a license elsewhere even if Wisconsin were to take it to practice in the civilian sector. Who knows his future but at least he won’t be treating vets anymore. All of his minions are still running the show in Tomah so the powers that be will want it to all end with him. So much dirt out there on the elected officials and VA leaders who covered and let him run amok all these years. They’ll all wash their hands and say all is better now. Or at least they’ll try. Thank God there is at least one politician getting to the bottom of things and not letting anything die; Senator Johnson. He will have the most comprehensive investigatory conclusions since every whistleblower of every political stripe has dumped testimony and documents on his the desk of his committee. And although he only represents Wisconsin his committee is gathering evidence of wrongdoing across the country since the word is out that he’s about the only one digging down to the root problems of VA widespread corruption.

    1. Just have to say Thank You Ryan for your help in bringing this problem to light. I know they made your life miserable for coming forward.

      Again “Thank You Ryan”.

    2. @Ryan,
      Thank God he can’t work at VA anymore. God help the civilian sector if he’s allowed to be recertified anywhere else?!

      Also, the “Senator Johnson” you mentioned, does he know, and read the “Blogs” and “comments”, on Ben’s website here? And does he know about these other two sites, “VAwatchdog” and “VAislying”?
      If not, it might be beneficial for him to have an ‘aide’ check them out. There’s been many articles about VA on all these sites. How the VA is not being transparent or accountable to anyone, et cetera!
      I hope he “drops the hammer” on VA.

      1. Johnson doesn’t need to monitor those sites. His staff already knows and speaks with the creators on a regular basis. I guarantee you when his committee published its final report on Tomah, it will be comprehensive and no party will be able to hide.

    3. Thank you for what you went through to insure this was stopped Ryan. I applaud you for doing the right thing. As for any civilian practice, I cannot believe any state licensing board would approve a full, unrestricted license for him to practice without supervision.
      Same as with any other non-VA doctor.
      Newday, you say you are being seen by an outside doctor. You are the patient. Tell them what your treatment is and ask them WHY they believe their method would help. Tell them WHY you don’t believe a certain method will work. Tell them WHY you believe a different method has worked in the past.
      I cannot understand why people are intimidated by doctors, but would have no problem telling a waitress that your food order is wrong. Or burnt. Or you cannot eat it because you are allergic to some ingredient. If I took my truck into the shop for transmission work and they changed the air filter instead they would certainly hear about it.

      1. To 91Veteran,
        Great reply!!

        To Ryan,
        I forgot to say,
        Thank You for all that you’ve done.

      2. Lol don’t forget that Houlihan was under probation and supervision in Iowa in 2002 due to ethics violations there when he ran to Wisconsin and the VA hired him in Tomah.

      3. Exactly, 91Veteran!!!!!!!

        I have to go through this same type of hell anytime my civilian Psych Dr. gets a new “Dr. in Training Resident”…they all seem to not care at all that I have been on same meds that HAVE HELPED since late 90’s and they will try to pull what I call an “EGO BOOST” for their career and God Syndrome, trying to change my treatment the way THEY think…or whatever NEW RX is out and I put my damn foot down and will go over their head to the Chief M.D. (had to do it before), and let them know what they are trying to do.

        I have gotten to the point that I am so tired of this crap that the next time it happens (potentially December) again, I am about ready to say screw it to the Psych meds and go “all natural”…it’s about to be clear what direction I go because it’s on my State’s Election Ballot for recreational and RX MJ Legalization. We shall see.

        The main beef I have is these “Residents/Dr’s in Training” may be working in the civilian sector BUT they spend MOST of their time…wait for it…yup…working at the VAMC’s…the God Syndrome is accelerated because of the VA teaching potentially good Dr’s BAD VA TRICKS. I am not a Halloween Holiday and care not to be Trick or Treated on=Experimented On. No Thanks.
        The VA is actually hurting the civilian healthcare field with their bad training of Dr’s

      4. After my knee surgery, the Doc was pushing Motrin to deal with pain and swelling. I told him I was highly allergic to NSAIDS. He asked what happened, so I told him my face swells so bad my lips split and I get hives all over. I expected a fight with him, but I didn’t have to argue. He had a PA with him all the time, and sometimes I only saw the PA. The guy seemed eager to learn and help, so I tried helping him whenever I could. When I ran out of the initial prescription for pain meds, I asked him about getting a renewal. The doc didn’t initially want to give it, which the PA told me, but when I said The Doc also expected me to do PT and I couldn’t progress like I should without them, the PA agreed and he wrote the prescription for a different pain med that wasn’t as harsh. I hate it when I think of an eager, young PA like that being ruined by the VA.

      5. Veterans learn very quickly by seeing other veterans speak up and sees the police arrive and charge the veteran with disruptive behavior!

        The veteran will be punished, so veterans are afraid to say anything.

  16. There are those of us who now can’t get pain medication at Tomah no matter how disabled we are. They shut down the mental health services at Tomah so now we’ve been bounced around to contracted doctors. Then that doctor wanted to put me on meds for a diagnosis I don’t have. However, now us veterans carry a stereotype from the massive negative media.

    Tell me how any of this is beneficial to me as the veteran? I understand the need to fire the Doctor but now we suffer in constant backlash.

    I am a person without a country.

    1. You need to write to the veterans committee and let them hear your story!

      You can also email the president! Go to contact the president, you can send email!

      When you do you have to get to the point, you only have so many words you can send!

      Tell your congressman etc! They can’t do anything unless they hear from us!

      1. @james

        all good advice. my pessimistic side has to chime in though. how many of us veterans have written these people and committee’s you list in the last few decades only to fall on deaf ears? with current elections and many current VA accounts being made public maybe its changed, but its so difficult to not be pessimistic with years of conditioning…by none other than the VA itself and Congress, regarding these VA issues.

        keep writing them and calling them, i still do as i’ve done for decades. veterans are getting a little traction now, way more than we have in years.

      2. You are exactly right, it’s falling on death ears!

        And yes we have to keep writing, if we keep writing they can’t use the excuse, no one told me, there was a problem!

        Were leaving a paper trail!

    2. Newday, if you have read any comments here for some time, you will see veterans have complained about being cut off from many meds, not just pain, for some time now. I don’t believe this is just due to Tomah. I had knee replacement surgery before Tomah became widely known, and had trouble getting pain meds. Shortly after getting my first prescription, I got a letter from the VA about the DEA cracking down on certain prescription meds. In my opinion, an ethical doctor that truly cares about providing good medical care will know a patient has a sound medical basis for their prescriptions and would continue the prescription. That leads me to Hooligan. From the details I read on the one vet who died, no vet should be faced with a supposed medical professional that provides prescriptions for any medications without knowing in detail what other prescriptions they may have and how those might interact with each other. For years, VA doctors treated symptoms by throwing pills at vets without any regard to what other medicines they may be taking. Considering some medicine can kill you when mixed with other medicines, it is not only dangerous, but negligent and irresponsible to prescribe medicine without knowing what other medication is prescribed. If I recall correctly, Houlihan also has some crazy ideas for treating veteran illnesses that were not only off-label for the medicine he prescribed, they weren’t even in the same ballpark. No amount of telling me how good Houlihan treated vets will convince me he was good if he was conducting his own little unapproved medical testing on veterans. There is a reason for established procedures in conducting medical research, and Houlihan ignored them. Also ignored were those veterans being prescribed medication way beyond what any person could conceivably handle without other treatment. How many veterans are now addicted needlessly because Houlihan was a quack?

      1. Yeah, I do not buy any excuses that “Dr. Houlihan was the ONLY Dr. looking after my needs, et al…”
        What he was doing and others at that clinic was so over the top unethical it warrants absolutely no excuses and do not care if they claim to be Sister Theresa…and now, as the VA always has been, has become adversarial and screwed with Vet’s meds all across the board rather than addressing issues of competency and Hypocritical Oath defiled.

        It would be like complaining that serial killer John Wayne Gacy was SO GOOD WITH MY KIDS AS A HIRED CLOWN, he was the ONLY clown that treated my kids right and now I cannot find a clown just like him! NOT!

        I would go as far as saying if it is at all feasible, as a Vet, if I lived in that area with all that going on I would do whatever I could do to make it happen and MOVE to another city or state and get far away from the continuing storm that will ensue at that VAMC because the VA cannot see that others working with and for Dr. Candy Man were knowledgeable for YEARS of what was going on and said nothing! Just as guilty. Cannot give me the same excuse the Nazi’s used, “We were just following orders”…no…that shows absolutely no moral compass. None.
        I also do not care that Dr. Houlihan “has a large family”….perhaps he should have thought of that before desecrating his Oath as a M.D. and screwing with Veteran’s Lives….you think?!!!

        WHY was he allowed to make a PLEA DEAL?? Did he give-up a ton of other names or something? THIS is the lipstick on the pig, if you ask me.

        Thanks to Ryan and all your reporting and personal hell you and others ensued and continue to. Thanks!

      2. Honestly I have mixed feelings about whether or not the med combo I was given could be considered dangerous. While one professional tells me I had a bad combo, the next will say all the doses were so small it didn’t make a difference.

        It’s just upsetting being bounced on this issue by professionals and judged by the public just for receiving care at Tomah.

      3. I know exactly what that is like when the public looks at you as if you are crazy. For years the VA and DOD both said Gulf War illnesses were just stress or mental health problems.
        As for prescriptions, I don’t take any until I research them on the internet and find out what side effects there are, or what the interactions are with other drugs. I was given an antihistamine by the VA once and antibiotics at the same time. The FDA pulled the antihistamine off the market because it caused heart damage if taken with antibiotics. The VA claims any heart problems I now have are genetic. For many years they never checked what other drugs a veteran may be prescribed before prescribing another.
        I still suggest contacting Johnson or Baldwin’s office of you are having problems getting proper care.

      4. Tammy Baldwin has used this term, “PTSD and other mental illnesses.” It was in a letter sent out in the heat of the Tomah issue.

        The civilian majority still relate Gulf PTSD as veterans who are mentally ill, unstable, nervous and a danger. I personally carry this erroneous badge of dishonor. It is unbelievable society measures me by something that happened to me beyond my control.

      5. They do and the VA will use PTSD against you when they want to punish you!

        I told the VA where I had to fight to protect myself and they used that against me as being violent!

        Since when is protecting your self violent behavior! I don’t think many people would set back and let someone beat you up and not try to defend yourself!

      6. There is all this talk how veterans have been over prescribed and are drug seekers. What about the veterans, like me, with medically documented chronic service connected spinal damage in which surgery cannot be performed?

        Was it reasonable for Tomah to deny me pain medication?

        It is easy for everyone to tell me to call Baldwin or even write the president. Why would I want to fight to get pain management? That would make me sound like a drug seeker.

        I doubt anyone understands what I have to live with. How the pain gets so unbearable it’s hard to function on the lowest of levels. Then I’m supposed to fight for pain relief on top of it?

        This whole situation is nothing but hogwash.

      7. Newday, you really should write BOTH Baldwin and Johnson, and courtesy copy the Director at Tomah. In your letter, be just as honest in explaining things as you are here…that you have service connected spinal injuries that are documented in your VA medical record, and your treatment has been xxx at Tomah since 19xx. Explain that your pain has been managed with prescriptions of xxx by the VA since xxxx, but now they have been cut off due to the scandal there. Specifically ask for their assistance in contacting the hospital to get your treatment going again. Explain how that lack of treatment is affecting you now, particularly if it is limiting what you normally do every day. Baldwin used to have an active vets affairs staff…not sure now since its been years, and that’s when she was still a Representative. I don’t know about Johnson, but I bet either would be more than willing to help since there are already allegations that both ignored warnings about Tomah. Either would be better than what Kohl or Feingold were.

      8. 91,
        you state
        “In my opinion, an ethical doctor that truly cares about providing good medical care will know a patient has a sound medical basis for their prescriptions and would continue the prescription”.
        I guess I do not have an ethical Dr. or I would not be having the problem I have.
        My problem as I have stated on here, the Indy VAMC refuses to look at my previous medical records and as a result, they have made up a condition I do not have. I was receiving pain med for my condition and now it is being weaned because the Indy VAMC states that there is nothing wrong with me. I will now lose my job, not get out of the transitional housing the Indy VAMC caused me to be put into, and my life is ruined.
        I was going to look for apartments starting in Dec. and finally be done with being homeless. Now I have to look forward to having more and more pain because the Indy VAMC will not replace the pain med and/or do anything else to help with the pain. They keep telling me I have nothing wrong. If they would look at the last 10 years of VAMC medical history from my previous VAMC, they would see that I do indeed have a disability and I have been in pain for many years.
        I have contacted many people and I continue to do so. I have given up hope on this being settled in a timely manor and my life as I hoped would continue. Now I am again in limbo thanks to the Indy VAMC.
        Newday, I do know what you are talking about. My anxiety is through the roof due to this and no relief in sight. I am in so much pain now that by Fri. night I come back to my room, ice my knees, cuss the VAMC and try to keep the tears from forming. Hang in there and don’t give up. I fight them everyday and I will continue to do so.
        Just think, Veterans Day is next week and is a govt. holiday. That means the people who work at the VAMC’s will get a paid day off while most of us veterans have to work. Somehow that just doesn’t seem right.

      9. F8f, I don’t know what to suggest given they refuse to look at your previous records. If at all possible, can you put what is happening in writing and take it to the Directors office? You may have gone through the Patient Advocate already and found out how useless many of them are. Have they ever said WHY they refuse to look at your records? If you can put it in writing, I would state in the letter that the VA in xxx determined your knees are xxx with MRIs or whatever on xxx date, and that they prescribed xxx as a treatment. I have since moved to Indy on xxx, sought continuing treatment for your knees, and have since determined that they refuse to look at prior records to continue that treatment. Indy VA claims there is nothing wrong with my knees, but no MRIs, xrays have been performed, or no Ortho consults have been performed, and because of that, they refuse to provide treatment including pain relief for that condition. Due to the Indy VA not providing proper medical care, you will soon lose your job and continue to be homeless rather than moving in to an apartment as you had planned.

        Email that letter to McDonald and your representative there. Take copies of it, with medical record copies from your previous VA showing proof of your condition, and take it to the Patient Advocate. If the Patient Advocate refused to help you in the past, state that in your letter. Give the patient advocate a copy, explain it is a letter you have emailed to McDonald, then tell them you are taking copies to the Directors office. Go to the Directors office and give a copy to the executive assistance, and explain the same thing, then tell them they have 3 days to fix it, or you will be going to the media.
        You go scorched earth on them once, and do what I said to do, and you can bet they will be helpful in the future because they don’t want you contacting half the VA airing their dirty laundry.
        What have you got to lose by doing this?
        Do this, and I bet you finally get results.
        Your records should likely be in the VA computer system, even those from your other VA. Mine were when I moved from Wisconsin to Colorado. There is NO reason why they cannot review your previous records.
        Is it your primary care doc refusing? If so, go to the ER. Tell them you had been seen at xXxX VA for your knees, and ask them to look up the record. Explain your knees are much worse now, and ask what they are going to do. If they refuse, go to the Release of Info office and make a clear request for any records from your previous VA. Carry copies with you to your next appointment, or go back to the ER. It sucks doing this when you are working because there is never enough time.
        If you recall, I was complaining last year about VA billing my family health insurance for treatment of my service connected conditions. I raised 7 kinds of hell over that, including emailing Hickey and McDonald and several reporters. I got a statement yesterday from my insurance company showing the VA tried billing them for physical therapy for that surgery, from an appointment in October 2014. I called the lady in charge of the billing office, left a voice mail, and within 10 minutes got a call back from her. I reviewed with her the many times the VA tried billing my insurance AFTER I last talked to her and thought we had things resolved. She knew I would not stop contacting officials until it was resolved, and within 2 hours, she called telling me what she had done to fix the problem. I had also gotten calls from other people at the VA that she had contacted telling them there was another problem with billing. They are not only fixing the incorrect biling, but she had the lady in charge of Release of Information call me to see if I wanted copies of any notes for which they incorrectly billed.

        The VA hates when you put things in writing and provide copies to others.

    3. @newday

      this is true and a devastating fallout for the veterans who have been on these meds for long-term for incurable diseases and inoperable conditions. for many illnesses, abruptly stopping some of these pain type meds can kill a person or negatively exacerbate the illness/condition.

      @91Veteran writes below regarding “ethical doctors” [ providing good medical care will know a patient has a sound medical basis for their prescriptions and would continue the prescription ]. for many of veterans falling into this category i hope our doctors follow this. most will as @91Veteran points out well, but some of us have been burned badly in the past via VA and those mental wounds don’t completely fade away.

    4. Newday, as I’ve said, many veterans are having meds cut off, which does not help your situation in the slightest, but as for something being beneficial to veterans? When this mess is sorted out, perhaps it will be beneficial to other veterans not being killed or becoming addicted because some quack hands out prescription medicine like a pez dispenser.

      1. To namnibor, 91Veteran, newday and all.

        Remember the “pain management Quack that was arrested up in Danville, Illinois (at the illiana VA hospital) a couple months ago. Here’s a refresher, That asshole was wanted in Indiana on multiple criminal charges of killing people. The charges stemmed from prescribing “drug cocktails” to patients. Think about it. That’s exactly what Hollihan (or whatever that quacks name is) up at Tomah VA hospital was doing!!!!! There’s been no word yet on how that idiot got hired by VA back in April (2015). But my buddies up there are keeping close tabs on the “how”.

  17. Here’s two articles from “The Washington Post”.
    Both were written by Lisa Rein.
    #1.) “Thousands of federal workers on extended paid leave”
    written 20 Oct, 2015
    In this article It’s estimated around “$775 million was paid out to employees” to basically sit at home. This encompasses ALL federal workers. I bring this article to you because of her second article. Written on Oct. 30, 2015. Which speaks only about VA employees.

    #2.) “More than 2,500 VA employees were on paid leave last year. The VA hasn’t tracked why”

    These articles were from the “Governmental Accounting Office” (G.A.O.) that “The Washington Post” picked up recently. In this article, some VA employees were off for two years, WTF OVER!
    Maybe Ol Bobby’s got some MORE explaining to do about NO accountability and NO transparency in HIS VA !

  18. During the time Houilihan was on paid leave, the citizens of this country (taxpayers) paid this quack about $180,000. Add that to the quarter of a million for our new Director at the Philly RO’s relocation, the 3 million at the East Orange VA embezzled by an engineer, hundreds of millions of cost overruns at the new Denver and Orlando VA Medical Centers and the………. I could go on but, we all get the picture.

    Fraud, corruption, mismanagement, malpractice, lying and malfeasance are the first words you think of when you hear the words Veterans Administration. .

    1. Remember those people are like foxes sly, steal the farmers chickens! They do this a few times until the farmers figure out it’s a Fox eating their chickens!

      The farmer set a trap and when the Fox returns, knowing he got away with it before, gets a very rude awakening!

      The farmer deals with the problem and no more chickens are harmed and the farmer, takes measures to ensure the Fox can’t even get close to the hen house again, because the farmer eliminated the threat!

      Same principles apply here!

      The farmer has to remember that Fox has little foxes and taught by the bigger Fox, they will take what they were taught and continue to destroy the rest of the chickens!

      But the farmers also learned and those that think, they can continue stealing his chickens will be in for a rude awakening!

  19. I believe he, and others, should have some criminal charges brought against him.

    @Ben, I also wonder if he will be allowed to relocate and attempt to be rehired at a VA in a different state? If, or is, that’s possible???

    I am also glad no lawsuits were brought or allowed against any journalists that brought this to light.

    This article says some elected officials say this might “bring some closure to the families”, I disagree. Closure will only come when a person who’s criminal acts against a family member is tried and convicted if the crime he/she committed.
    Also, VA, in upper management, is STILL in complete disarray and denial. Many articles have surfaced recently confirming this.
    There will be, and should be, no trust by veterans until all VA’s, that are not doing right by vets, are either closed or staffed with competent employees!
    McDonald hasn’t the mentality, or courage, to come on national TV, or send out letters, emails etc., to apologize to all veterans!!!
    His statements made on Oct. 7, 2015, in an article, “McDonald rejects VA’s failing grade audit” (by Anjali Shastry of the Washington Times) confirms my opinion of this of him!

    1. Yeah, we do think an awful lot alike. There’s many others. We all know the VA moves like as slow as a glacier…unless you owe money TO the VA, then they are quick and slick…but perhaps maybe this firing will turn into a trend?!
      Crime and Punishment…how about revoking his medical license for life? And a cell in Leavenworth infested with VA rats…and ‘Bubba’…LMAO…do not want to see another slap on the wrist turn promotion. It would be just the VA to then make this ASS of a Dr. in charge of all RX/Pharmacy in VA Land, wouldn’t it? Like placing a child molester into work at a daycare center. The Candyman Can…

  20. Call me cynical but as surprising as it is that he was really fired AND clinic access revoked, I also see this using Critical Thinking and here’s my take:

    This ‘Firing’ is probably nothing but a sacrificial lamb so McDonald can make another plea for more budget $$ with blood on his hands, to try to place some false emphasis that HE has CHANGED and CLEANED-UP the VA…HE alone…just as he was just recently rebuking the OIG report card on the VA that elf posted yesterday.

    This is the person # 2 under the VA Bus. Hickey was first under guise of resignation but apparently not strong enough because of the scandal lingering.
    Notice, McDonald does not ever take responsibility for any of the corrupt crap he oversees? Maybe this is not just a hat trick for more ca$h…but he has been rather incessantly asking for more ca$h lately.

    What about those that worked with and said nothing and new what was going on and still work there? I say clean the house of all the ilk. Give it an enema! Hire Vets.

    1. I am glad he got fired but does that just mean in “VA-Speak” that he just might be coming through a transfer to a VAMC near any of us and a promotion at that after getting a few hundred thousand in relocation expenses?

      It’s getting very predictable, isn’t it?!! (still, popping popcorn…might be interesting)

      1. McDonald fired 900 temporary workers, now he should match that with career employees, who they know who are doing wrong!

        They cut the feet off, now the head needs to come off and the body will follow!

        There should be a lot of stings going on, to capture the rest!

        They are so greedy, should not be that hard to capture, just show a little money!

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