VA Clinic Stops Taking New Patients

Clarksville VA Clinic

Benjamin KrauseOne VA clinic located in Tennessee has stopped taking new patients due to budgetary limitations and lack of staffing.

The facility, located in Clarksville, TN,The facility, located in Clarksville, TN, decided to not allow veterans seeking care to get that care from the facility including urgent care. The decision resulted in at least one veteran having to pay out of pocket following rejection from the facility’s urgent care.

One employee at the facility called the facility a “converted toilet” that is definitely overcrowded.


According to Michael West, chief medical officer at Clarksville:

“Patients were calling in and we’re saying, ‘Well, you can’t get in for 90 days, 120 days.’ It was just logistically impossible for us to take care of the patients we had, so we had to draw a line and say, ‘Look, we’ve got to do something.'”

To solve the problem, rather the get a bigger budget or increase facility size, West decided to stop taking in new patients.

The service reduction plan started March 2015.

The man responsible for access issues at all VA’s is named Mike Davies. He said the problem of access is “very common” and that such shortfalls are inevitable.

He seemed to belittle the issue saying:

“Remember, VA has 1,700 sites of care. It’s hard to have every single clinic open for accepting new patients every single day, just because life happens, right? We have providers that get sick, we have providers that move.”

He might as well be throwing his hands up in the air saying “shit happens” while collecting his bonus check knowing veterans are not accessing care when they seek it out.

Quite a sham.


Davies claims a fix is in the works, but veterans are meanwhile getting stuck with medical bills who deserve coverage. The facility plans to add one doctor, which will increase capacity by a few hundred new patients.

But the move will not come soon enough for come patients who were turned away during an urgent event.

One veteran’s name was Steve Singleton. He reportedly went into the Clarksville VA to seek health care but was turned away. Instead, he had to seek care at an urgent care at a civilian facilt8y and pay out of pocket for the care.

When will the size of VA no longer be an excuse for its shortfalls? How often do other facility administrators get away with the “shit happens” excuse?


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  1. I have been saying for a long time now that, all of the veterans who are either not receiving care or are being denied care, should join in together and file a class action lawsuit against the government and the VA for breech of contract. I am Vietnam era vet. It is my understanding that the people serving now when they get out, get 5 years of care, unless they are injured while serving. When they signed up to serve, they entered into an agreement with the government, to receive this benefit. The veteran upheld his part of the agreement. If the government is not upholding their part, all of the veterans who are coming out, and being refused enrollment into the program should find a legal group or organization to take them to court. What do any of you think about this idea.

  2. Mike Davies. said the problem of access is “very common” and that such shortfalls are inevitable. It’s hard to have every single clinic open for accepting new patients every single day, just because life happens, right? We have providers that get sick, we have providers that move.”
    Then (as per your statement), Davies claims a fix is in the works
    If he thinks this is inevitable for this to occur for various, why does he say ‘a fix is in the works’? How does he plan to fix what will be very common problems? How can a fix be in the works if this is a ‘nothing’ and never even thought of to begin with? And, since when does anyone at VA have the intelligence to fix anything when they don’t know how to wipe their own asses? Let’s ponder….

  3. @namnibor
    Evidently the “lone (troll) commenter” either didn’t read Ben’s Blog correctly; ie: the vet needed emergency treatment! Or, the “lone (troll) commenter” doesn’t understand the VA fully.

    Like I wrote in my earlier comment, this is NOT an isolated incident. It’s occuring nationally.

    Last, yet not least, the “Choice Program” is a complete disaster. It “…was gutted…” last year.

    Veterans are being denied healthcare, emergency or otherwise, through it under suspicious excuses!

    Anyone who is approved, is lucky! Many veterans have been stuck with the “Unpaid Billing” because VA has refused.

    91Veteran, I believe, asked “Why”, when one calls VA’s, do they tell you to “dial 911” in case of an emergency, IF they won’t pay the bill?
    I also remember something about a vet who was taken from a VA clinic to a local hospital due to an emergency. Then the vet was stuck with the bill. How’s that for a real FUBAR!?

    1. It can have unintended consequences as well. My off the books Special Operations husband was accidentally overdosed on a seizure med when the va denied care and a ER doctor made a mistake. Anyone want a complete list of names dates etc of Iran Contra? I even know the money cleaner. I met her in Alaska and did not know it until that major FU. And, no one was ever debreifed. I doubt Dr. Cynthia Joe even reported a PRP security breach. Now I understand why he was offered 6 figures for his story. He declined foolish thinking the same government that set that up would keep the promise of the va benefits for his exchange of health.

  4. I agree the “shit happens” excuse is lame, and shows an attitude of absolutely no concern for the whole purpose of this jackasses job…to care for him who shall have borne the battle.

    That attitude just permeates the entire VA system and is at the very heart of so many of their problems.

    The VA, and Davies in particular should be answering why these vets are being turned away after billions in Choice funding was provided by Congress. That funding was not only for care outside the VA, but the VA has publicly stated they were also using it to lease more facilities and hire more doctors.

    I believe the hiring of more doctors is bullshit, that the funding has been used for all kinds of things.

    Ask yourself, given the limitations of Choice, why is it necessary to hire 3 “Choice Champions” at my small VA hospital, supposedly to help veterans with the Choice program? They are worthless, and the VA refuses to tell veterans they are available to help. I very highly doubt there are that many veterans being referred to Choice in my city that 3 flunkies were hired to help veterans. I strongly suspect someone saw the ability to hire 3 people using that funding and jumped on it.
    How many VA hospitals or clinics are there in the country? If each one decided to hire 1 to 3 “Choice Champions” for their little empire, imagine how much money has been removed from Choice to hire clerks? Money not used to hire doctors and nurses?

    Davies needs a serious attitude adjustment…or a different job.

  5. There’s no one going to VA ,with the multi billions these Assholes ask for you could send everyone in America to hospital, we are all being played by the Koch Brothere follow the money the executive’s are grabbing as much as they can ,shit rolls down hill ,the VA will be shut down ,they do absolutely nothing for me ,quit colonoscpy, said if I get it ,it going to happen anyway,took all meds about 14 cut all at once,psychiatrist sold me down river ,it’s the biggest ripoff in history .I hope it all falls in on them all F. K em

  6. Is anyone on here is 100 percent service connected and if you feel like it we can put in DAV Newspaper our belief on how Veterans Healthcare can get better…..Semper Fi.

    1. I’m 60 at the 100% level I keep all paperwork everything from when I got hurt to every letter to every prescription, the VA has cut every thing they are doing nothing for Veterans except killing or jailing them,with their private army of traitors, which violates posse comitatus act ,I hope everything does unravel

    2. A few quick things about DAV!
      They are entrenched so far up VA’s a$$. One can see the “ring around their collars!”

      They also have shut down many of their “chapters” nationwide. They’ve sold many of them and put their members “at large!”

      There’s a great website called “DAVReform dot org” you need to visit.

      They won’t do anything to help a majority of veterans. As a matter of fact, DAV’s “PAID” service officers won’t believe a word you say, even If you were to inform them of articles you’ve read. You could actually take in articles from nationally recognized magazines, and they would still call you a liar!
      I know, because many of us here in Florida have experienced it!!!!

      Last yet not least, the DAV is but one VSO against the VA being privatized!
      Don’t you think veterans should have a “Choice” to use outside healthcare?
      I was turned down, then approved, then turned down, then approved a bunch of times. I finally gave up. Because it was NOT worth the aggravation! That’s exactly what VA wants a veteran to do! It’s so they can use the money for whatever! At least that’s my opinion!

      1. @crazyelf- Thanks for saving me some typing. What you said about the VSO’s is spot-on.
        I love it also when you see the random person come on and give a very “VA solution” like simply calling Choice, or VA OIG…it’s the trolls trying to keep the ship from flying apart. 🙂

      2. So where do we go to get help? I went to the American Legion in the Philippines to file for Veterans Pension. They told me that this does not exist unless I have served 20 plus years. Not true… They then gave me a form for disability, and the pension form when I gave them the form number. I contacted a RAO who was helpful with Social Security but not much so with VA Disability as he referred me to a VFW who has never responded to me. I found a DAV who seems to be helpful but is discouraging me from applying with the VA online. After reading the above, I now have to wonder about him.

      3. To add to the list of worthless VSOs, do a search using “System worth Saving” and you will find an active American Legion effort at convincing the media that the VA is worth saving, regardless of what veterans think.
        Go to westernslopenow dot com, and you can see the local media reporting on the Legion providing a forum for the VA to convince someone other than veterans that the system is worth saving.
        What’s interesting is that site seems to be affiliated with KJCT channel 8 and KKCO channel 11…neither of which have a news reports on their web site on this town hall, and neither does the Grand Junction VAMC FB page announcing it.
        So it seems like the Legion and the VA want a very poorly attended town hall so they can claim most veterans must be satisfied if they didn’t bother to show up and comment.
        The westernslopenow site has video of the VA director suggesting delay times and Choice problems are a result of “contracting policies and processes”…never mind their 3 Choice Champions are worthless, and a contracting policy doesn’t prevent Choice from paying the bills when they should.

        You damn Skippy I will be there tomorrow.

        PS. If you do a search on the Legions dog and pony charade, you can find it’s been a nation wide program of the Legion since 2010 at least.

        I wonder how many vets the Legion has helped in getting medical care in the 6 years they’ve been acting as a shill for the VA.
        How much money and effort has been wasted by the Legion acting as PR for the VA…who spends millions on PR.

        That whole Legion web page is damn disgusting when you think of the scandals over the past 6 years. Its at archive dot legion dot org.

      4. @91veteran- Do not forget to ask those American Legion folk how many actually use the VA for their healthcare and also, find out from their perspective of “what” the AL is stating is “…worth saving”, from….from what, is the Legion and all other VSO’s so fearful the VA needs saving from? Privatization or Accountability? Either?

      5. You raise a good question: Even if the VA were privatized, how would that change or affect the Legion?

        Would it cause them to help vets any less?

  7. No one needs to be stuck. Write a letter to the “Choice” program. It is designed to privatize the VA Medical ultimately. If you have to wait more than 30 days for an appointment you are eligible for the Choice Program.

    And if you have a truck with a TV monitor all you have to do is request a face to face physician so there is no reason to miss something. Especially if you have anything complicated going on.

    And it is the Funding that is being used to privatize. Your Congressmen are not worried about the cost of the VA. They are trying to pay off “debt” to Big Medical Corporation campaign contributions. Some of the owners have even gone so far as to get themselves elected to pull this off.

    I’m under the Choice Program. My Dr. seems O K. If I didn’t like her I could ask for a change even in this small town. There are more than a dozen in the clinic that serves this town of 6,000 and the surrounding county. And the cost for me is $0. But then I’m 70%

  8. SMC T is 8k a month per veteran roughly. Aid and attendance for TBI SC vets. Since 2011 an amazing amount is MIA and until I challenged a senior senator and several congressional to find it and they couldn’t it was off the radar.

  9. 04/25/2016

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    “David Shulkin, a physician who took over as undersecretary for health at the VA in June, told USA TODAY the agency has increased capacity to get wait times down.
    ‘We’ve expanded appointments, we have added evening hours and weekend hours, we’ve added 3 million square feet of space, we’ve hired 14,000 new providers,’ he said.”

    It is apparent that Secretary Bob McDonald, Sloan Gibson, and David Shulkin have new innovations to try out on the VA System.

    Over here in Phoenix—-Our former County Attorney—writes: “she has made it clear that accurate, transparent patient scheduling and patient records are priority number one. In stark contrast to the past, Amdur has encouraged staff to come forward and share any concerns with leadership, and has rewarded staff for identifying opportunities for improvement.”

    Yes, that is one way of taking care of the problem just stop doing what you are suppose to be doing [shutting down the VA Clinic].

    But have they not tried that for years?

    And is this not the root of the problem?

    Rick Romley continued with—“We are proud to state our support for Deborah Amdur and to encourage other leaders in our community to do the same. We look forward to continued progress and restored confidence in Phoenix VA under her leadership.”

    We now know that 1600 Phoenix vets fell through the Cracks here in Phoenix, and according to Dr. Mitchell’s recent testimony to Congress Death is “likely.” And there are 293 Dead Phoenix Vets that the State, County, and City refuses to Identify, Name, List, explain the causes of deaths, a long with the Polk Awarded Investigative Reports at the Arizona Republic, and the “reporters” at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism/PBS.

    There are lessons to be learned from the documentary “Eyes on the Prize.”


    Don Karg

  10. This isn’t the first time this has happened. Remember the vet in Georgia, outside Atlanta, who was turned away from TWO VAMC’s last year! He even made a video recording of his visit. Because he felt no one in his family, or his friends, would believe him.

    In my opinion, all those billions of taxpayers monies are being divided up between those asswipes in the upper echelon of VA.
    namnibor is 100% correct! VA needs a complete enema!


    Did y’all watch “60 Minutes” last night? Two articles of interest.
    1.) “Dialing for Dollars”
    Discussed what our (alleged) elected officials must do to raise money. Instead of doing what they were elected to do! Which is “To Serve WE the People!”
    It’s shameful, and disgusting, what a majority, (about 95%+), are doing “TO FATTEN THEIR POCKETS” and screw “We the People!”

    2.) “Gold Star” [Families]
    These are parents, or loved ones, who’ve lost someone in a war. Who come together for support.
    Something our current, and previous, governments has FAILED them on!!

    After y’all google these articles, you’ll understand more about our “corrupt to the core government!”

    1. @crazyelf- Glad you saved me from typing about last night’s 60 Minutes….I was outraged that since Citizen’s United each and every members of Congress *must* spend no less than 30 hours a week fundraising on phones and phone banks.

      Wonder why nothing has gotten done for last going on 8 years in Congress? Why they do not give a shit about what the VA is not doing for Vets? Seems to me that the members of Congress on Veteran Committees/Oversight, do not have to time to actually work for the PEOPLE. Let alone Vets. I even slept like crap because it enraged me so.

      Now the VA feels so entitled to actually turn away vets and blame it on $$$?

      WHERE the HELL is and WHAT the HELL is VA Sec. McDonald doing these days? Between he and Gibson and Shulkin, we have box of rocks for proper leadership.

      1. @namnibor
        Yea, my night of sleep wasn’t that great either! The wife said I was really going off last night!
        “Pissed” doesn’t even come close to how I felt after that FUBAR by what our “elected and appointed public officials” have been up to. Especially, since “Citizens United”, with the SCOTUS’s blessings, gave the ‘Green Light’ to screw Americans!

        Remember that one asswipe who wouldn’t answer any questions? Remember what he had hanging on his wall – a Winchester (lever action) Repeater! You know what he can do with that, right!?

        That one official (outsider) from Florida, wasn’t even allowed in that buulding to be a “telemarketer”! I thought that was rich!!!
        Plus, all those other asswipes having to raise $18,000 per day for re-election is a joke!
        I hope this episode got out on social media. Because the local, and national, news media will be told not to say anything more about it.
        The “SHEEPIES” really need to wake the Fμ€K Up and DEMAND accountability and transparency from Washington and all our state legislatures! Or face long prison times for failing their “Constitutional Duty to We the People!”

        I really believe this is going to be one VERY LONG HOT SUMMER!
        There’s so damn much corruption going on in Washington and all the states right now. I honestly believe all hell will break loose BEFORE November’s voting! It might even start at either convention!

  11. What the f**k happened to the BILLION$ the VA has in it’s budgetary black hole?

    Ben’s right-on because that’s the exact attitude served cold on a tetanus rusty platter of BS that “Shit Happens”, just as another VA employee came on here recently in subject of Vet that sat himself on fire in front of a VAMC, “Shit Happens”…WTF happened to the original mission on a plaque in front of every freaking VA?

    The VA has lost their way and are on a Totalitarian self-ruling cesspool that again, I say, the VA needs a complete enema compete with depth charges to ensure no floaters reappear and infect the VA.

    WTF? Turning Vets away. FOLLOW THE $$$ and where it’s NOT going!!
    Rant out.

    1. Great minds think alike nam. I thought the same thing before reading your comment. Flippant attitude and missing/wasted money.

      Ps. The Legion town hall is tomorrow. They even have a separate web page titled, System worth Saving…as if any vet who has used the VA for other than minor medical care wants to save it.
      The director of our VA will be there supposedly.

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