VA Health Care Retains ‘Profound Deficiencies’

VA Health Care

Two years after the wait list scandal first emerged throughout VA health care, a report shows that the agency is still afflicted with “profound deficiencies.”

The Commission on Care is set to release its report on Wednesday. That report will show high-quality care is still being withheld from many veterans, and that required reforms are urgent. About the flawed Veterans Choice program, the commission recommended scrapping the program in favor of community-based delivery networks.

I am not sure why we need another report to tell us what many veterans are presently reporting, but I am thankful more documentation is verifying the hardships veterans face.

RELATED: Strawman Proposal To Close VA Scares Veterans


ABC cited comments from President Barack Obama and Secretary Bob McDonald about the report:

President Barack Obama said in a statement late Tuesday that the commission’s report includes a number of specific proposals that he will review closely in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, “We will continue to work with veterans, Congress and our partners in the veteran advocacy community to further our ongoing transformation of the veterans’ health care system,” Obama said. “Our veterans deserve nothing less for their sacrifices and their service.”

VA Secretary Bob McDonald also hailed the report and said he was pleased to see that many of the panel’s recommendations are in line with ongoing efforts to transform the VA into what McDonald calls a “veteran-centric organization.”

Work on that effort has been underway for two years and has resulted in increased access to health care and a better experience for veterans, McDonald said.

In March, the VA set a new record for completed appointments: 5.3 million in VA hospitals and clinics, 730,000 more than in March 2014. The VA also issued twice as many authorizations for government-paid, private care than in a comparable period two years ago, McDonald said.

Nearly 97 percent of appointments are now completed within 30 days of the veteran’s preferred date, McDonald said, a huge improvement over past performance.

McDonald is quite the cheerleader, isn’t he?

Despite record funding, it is troubling VA still struggles to fulfill its mandate to provide timely and high-quality health care to veterans.


In my opinion, the backlogged care problem is now being exploited to change laws within VA to allow nurses with advanced training, like nurse practitioners, to treat veterans independently. I wrote about that quite extensively last week to provide readers with a good understanding of the legal proposal.

RELATED: Should VA Terminate Physician Led Care?

This VA health care crisis leads me to wonder whether the drawn-out process of reforming VHA is in part being extended to create the appearance that VA lacks funding to adequately staff doctors to treat veterans nationwide.


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  1. “profound deficiencies” is an understatement – I can say I never expected to have a doctor completely ignore my health concerns during my first appointment, resulting in a delay of treatment that cost me part of my hearing in my right ear and some of my vision in my left eye – and since when do they lie about sending out medication in the mail just to find out weeks later the order was never filled? I can say the women’s program manager and the patient advocates are a joke that just ignore your complaints and requests to file complaints. Buffalo VA has got to be the worst VA I’ve ever gone to and I wish I could sue my dumb ass doctor for ignoring my health concerns and causing me to become even more disabled. I went to get my patient file today so I can give whatever new doctor I find for myself since I still have some health concerns and I find they “forgot” to put in some important notes from my first visit with my doctor. I did find out that I have some kind of cyst in my kidney though, how nice of them to let me know.. smh

  2. When the Phoenix VA former director, a confessed felon for accepting bribes as well as for falsifying VA data, is allowed by the US attorney general to sue for her job back, you understand that the VA problems come from 3 areas: hiring practices, labor unions, and their EEO policies. Employees abuse Congress made laws meant to protect employees from abuse, resulting in lazy and incompetent staff to flood the VA and driving motivated people to leave. So when the former VA Phoenix director gets a job back inthe VA, she’ll drive out a dozen good people who are less willing to abuse VA rules to stay in the VA. Another example :every one thinks the VHA should support vets well beyond Lincoln’s promise, by hiring disabled or less competent vets over fully able highly qualified candidates. That means inept care from people who call in sick a lot.

  3. Yesterday July 11 I received a letter from TriWest stating: Our records indicate you are covered by other health insurance which may be primary to the VA Choice Program. Below is a short questionnaire to assist us in updating your records. 1st question Do you have other healthcare insurance coverage? YES or NO if no please sign.
    What is this? Is this because I went out of VA & paid my cash money to see a TMJ specialist & also paid cash money for the CT Scan he needed to format a treatment plan? The dentist has phoned me & said my treatment has been approved & we made my appt but I haven’t received official notice of approval. Anyone else ever get this type of letter?

    1. I have never gotten a letter like that from Choice, but there are serious discrepancies between what Choice says regarding billing insurance and what is reality.

      I saw the same thing last night in a VA is Lying Facebook post.

      In my experience, I have been told repeatedly by Choice and VA people that a private provider is PROHIBITED from billing a veteran for care received through Choice as a part of the providers contract agreement to participate in Choice.

      I also have a letter from a person who lists himself as the head of Choice Grievance process that states a veterans insurance is a primary payer, and that Choice is secondary. That letter was provided along with 465 other pages of documents from a FOIA I submitted to the VA.

      If that is the case, then Congress sold veterans a load of bullshit with this Choice program.

      As well, it is a load of bullshit because the VA referred me to Choice because they did not have a specialist on staff rather than referring me to another VA hospital.

      The VA also told me the provider has not been paid months later because supposedly the provider submitted the bill to the wrong facility.

      If any veterans insurance is supposed to be primary when the Choice program is used, then where the hell is the billions of dollars Congress gave for Choice going?

  4. What is going on is an effort to privatize VA health care and give the insurance companies a deeper pick in the tax payer’s pockets.

  5. It’s a horror story. My husband been waiting over 5 months for vital consults. Been threw 3 doctors , they all left either by there own action, retirement, fired…. No one says use the choice card. One time you call they say you don’t qualify even though they send it to you. Another time you may qualify. Maybe…. Then the turn over of doctors, and say a nurse practioner and he couldn’t handle the health problem that was presented to him. If this was a regular hospital , it would be closed. So I don’t believe the nurse solution will work. Most vets have complicated health issues, and if a nurse practioner can’t handle it, how will a nurse be the answer…..

  6. Bob hails the work done in the last two years. In that period, after a newspaper story printed about my plight withVHA disruptive committees and extreme official misconduct in that regard, my VHA psychiatrist implemented a policy that anytime I am with her for medication review there must be two extra AFGE members present whether I consent or not. This was in response to a newspaper story that I did not write. A reporter did, but because I gave the reporter information that told her part in denying medications up until
    I lay in the hospital two years ago with a shattered ride side, my caring VHA psychiatrist had terminated my medications at the direction of DBC.

    While struggling to self inflate my,lung, Bob, less than two,years ago, the emergency room surgeon at the local hospital inquired for me about starting my psychiatric drugs again with VHA. I guess he must have figured he would assist your people Bob by reminding them that terminating my psychiatric drugs may be contraindicated in a mental health patient with a poor record off of them.

    Behold, Bob, those drugs showed up,in one day! This is progress Bob! Screaming good progress. Bob, while still in the hospital with a crushed right everything and screaming screams I didnt know I could make, the chairman of the DBC for what ecer reason entered into my record that I was uncooperative and he would meet with DBC to “…discuss what, if any, further care we can provide this veteran.” That entry, Bob, in my medical record in the last two years, was made even while pumps in my leg were pumping out really icky goo as I enjoyed the ambiance of a civilian hospital. I guess I had icky-goo-oozing syndrome which for some laying nearly dead in the hospital can trigger behavior forbidden even off campus in a non VHA hospital. They got pissed I ratted them out Bob.

    Bob that has been in the last two years. For months I could not wipe my backside for myself. Really icky. I am 100% disabled vet and under your improved care. VHA did provide in home help,Bob, but after three months in which I could not clean my own body, feed myself, or obtain my own medications. Three months seems like a long time with a shattered body to struggle with potty chores but in retrospect I guess the idea was to build character.

    It took a counsellor paid by SSDI to phone a friend at VHA over on the coast and unsympathetic to the DBC here to write me a script to get in home help. Thank you Bob, and you should thank SSDI too – they called in a favor and went around the local DBC Bob. Maybe you can employ SSDI counsellors to work around the DBC for everyone and not just me? An idea.

    Yep, the last two years has seen great improvement.

  7. The VA’s own numbers only 9 million vets use the system. Yet its the biggest healthcare provider in the country. Those two facts should tell you all you need to know vets who don’t have too or choose not too use it don’t and the VA just plays the game of being overwhelmed to pad their paychecks.

  8. In my opinion the VA is trying to kill several birds with one stone with this nurses as primary care providers BS.
    Since Obama care was forced on the nation, there have been reports of a doctor shortage for several reasons. Doctors retiring, doctors moving to a private only care setting, less people entering the medical field etc. You have less doctors providing for a larger population, and then you have an organization that has been a disaster for a minimum of 2 years, and clearly much longer. Doctors are not as willing to work for the VA as they once were and risk their livelihood and put up with the scandal and bureaucracy.
    The VA is also a culture mired in scandal over wait times, and an unwillingness to fix incompetent or corrupt management that might bring more doctors in.
    What’s left are doctors who couldn’t maintain a practice or license in the private sector.
    Without enough doctors, wait times grow and bonuses drop or stop.
    Rather than fixing the problems of why the VA cannot recruit and retain competent doctors, they avoid the issue by pushing for nurses to act as providers. No repair of the corrupt bureacracy is needed, and AFGE happily goes along if it increases dues paying members. Nurses may be easier to handle or bully than doctors, are cheaper than doctors freeing up money for other activities, and would likely buckle under to corrupt VA management much easier.
    Problem is, competent nurses stay in the private sector, there is a nursing shortage as well, nothing changes at the VA and vets continue suffering.
    …but the gravy train for some still rolls on.

    1. Lets not forget the loss of doctors at the VA due to whistle blowers. Both the doctors who blew the whistle and then were forced out and the doctors people blew the whistle on.

      Also the failure of the VA to advertise openings for doctors and refusing to hire some doctors because they are Veterans or because they were not connected to a research facility.

      Of course there are the doctors that have been hired as researchers after Robbie McDonald visited the research institution associated with several VA facilities. Selecting only the researchers as doctors who had a need to use Veterans in research.

      This is definitely a manufactured doctor shortage.

      1. Oh, and let’s not forget the many insurance companies, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, being the current insurer to quit Obamycare in 2017! I believe they are the seventh or eighth to do so!
        When they finally pull out, watch the premiums and co-pays go through the roof!
        Mr. Trump is correct, again, on this matter.

        Nurses “playacting as physicians” will cause more veterans deaths in the future. We have many down here in Central Florida who should have never received any form of license whatsoever! How they ‘passed’ medical school is beyond comprehension!
        I feel there needs to be a complete restructuring of VHA medical facilities nationwide. Maybe retest all healthcare professionals outside of VA! Let the veterans see what kind of persons they are really made of!
        If they fail, they’re fired!

        I hope y’all got a chance to google the two videos I mentioned earlier. The one from FBI Comey. The one from Mr. Trumps rally last night in North Carolina.
        Both are
        Very interesting!

  9. Nam, Elf and Seymore, Again, I would like to thank you folks for the info you provide. And Ben thank you for providing a forum where we can bitch. I’ve complained until I just can’t any longer. I’ve been in pain since 99. I spent 12 years on VA Morphine and finally was able to give it up in Feb 2015. No thanks to the VA, I got no help. Since, I’ve seen no less than 10 so called medical practitioners. 5 offered me more Morphine 1 said there’s nothing they can do, the pain clinic offered me, get this, acupuncture, warm water treatment (bath?) and an N-SAID cream that does not recomend use on shoulders, neck or back. Guess where my three points of pain are. These quacks need careers at McDogfoods. The incompetence at the VA has reached Biblical proportions. I would get better care from the lazy ass janitors. I give up gentlemen (and ladies). I hope Trump can turn this around.

    1. oh boy not another Donald Duck Trump Reference hes sounding more like a fuckn politician saying whatever that will get him some dumbasses heads nodding in favor like most low information voters. Did you google his own lil scammy ass issue he had with trying to keep donations he said were going to vets and lied that he sent monies to these vets organizations then the next day sent the donations out cause the so called liberal media started to question his broke ass Billionaire in Bankrupt assets.

  10. My local news station, channel 9, reported on this just now at noon. They also reported on the VA payouts to incarcerated veterans, as Ben reported on yesterday.

    Seymore, do you think using nurses WITH physicians would be better? I remember it being this way when I was younger, during civilian life.


    On a side note.

    1.) If y’all haven’t seen the video of FBI Comey’s “final report” on Hillary. I would strongly suggest watching it. He basically calls her a liar on five major points.
    In my opinion, she’s guilty on many felonies. I ain’t the only one thinking this!
    As a matter of fact, Comey will have to defend himself tomorrow in front of the (“Republican”) Congress!

    2.) Also, I would suggest googling Mr. Trump’s rally he had in North Carolina last night.
    He tears Hillary a new hole! Plus, he tears into the VA. He calls VA shameful.
    Y’all have got to admit the illegal immigrants and refugees ARE being treated way better than all of the current active duty military and veterans.
    Once y’all have watched both videos, let me know how you feel?!

    1. Hey Elf,

      You asked “Seymore, do you think using nurses WITH physicians would be better?”

      Elf I know that it would be a fatal mistake. I also know for a fact that the VA’s use of APN nurses in states where it is legal has already killed Veterans. Also I know for a fact that the VA’s has already been using Tele-Med inter state to circumvent the code of federal regulations and the restrictions on use of APNs in other states.

      Here is a repost of a portion of a comment I made to a troll regarding the one of the deaths that I have researched.

      ” Kimberly, given Kimberly Bolen is a member of the Atlantic County Mental Health Advisory Board and Northfield Veteran’s Clinic is located in Atlantic County. The Northfield Veteran’s Clinic is where Charles R. Ingram III had been receiving Mental Health care via Tele-Med connected to the Wilmington VA Medical Center system when he set himself on fire outside of the Clinic.

      Now Kimberly VAMC Wilmington is located in the State of Delaware where not only can APNs in the Mental Health field prescribe, diagnose, and treat patients without physician oversight. But Student APNs in the Mental Health field can be temporally licensed to do the same while they are attending school in the state of Delaware.

      A review of the training program for APNs in Mental Health at VAMC Wilmington show that the students enrolled in certain courses are required to man the Tele-Med system a minimum of 4 hours per week. Also that the school affiliated with the system is on a quarter basis and not semester biased.

      Charles Ingram set himself on fire outside of the Northfield Veteran’s Clinic where he had been receiving treatment Via Tele-Med with VAMC Wilmington and the Clinic is located in New Jersey a state that requires APNs to have oversight of a physician.

      Unfortunately for Charles his mental Health Crisis also occurred during spring break a period where students are focused on their breaks. When students return from spring break no doubt new students would have been assigned to the Tele-Med system to assist Veterans like Charles, but clearly he was not receiving proper care.

      Personally Kimberly I feel that Charles would be alive today enjoying his life with his wife his two-year-old daughter and his eight-year-old son If he had received proper care. Instead he received care from a system designed to circumvent the Code of Federal Regulations requiring that he receive care from a qualified professional Not an unqualified student APN via Tele-Med.

      There are also a number of serial killers that have been employed as APNs by the VA and at state Veterans Nursing Homes who have been responsible for a number of deaths. Those state Veterans Nursing Homes are Certified, inspected, and receiving money from the VA.

      I will be posting more on several serial killers nurses working as APNs that cause a number of Veterans some Very Horrific deaths a bit latter.

      But for now I would like to point out several problems not only with the APNs but also nurses in General. Given we know that the VA hires even the worst of the worst doctors. You can image that they also hire the worst of the worst nurses in general. Here are a few out of the thousands of articles about nurses involved with murders, sex abuse and Drugs.

      Maybe it is time we all start giving nurses at the VA the attention they are asking for, with this Nurses instead of Doctors bullshit.

      The first link is the best because it leads to a data base of articles from an investigation done by ProPublica.

      “When Caregivers Harm America’s Unwatched Nurses”.

      A data base containing 40 articles on 10s’ of thousands nurses that are guilty of egregious misconduct but still getting away with continuing to work as nurses.



      “VA Nurse Still On Payroll Despite Charge He Beat 70-Year-Old Vet To Death”



      “FBI: Texas Hospice Boss Texted Nurses Execution Orders for Patients”

      The founder and CEO of a hospice services company instructed nurses to administer fatal overdoses to patients who had ‘been on the hospice service for too long,’ the FBI alleges.



      “Seguin nurse practitioner accused of inappropriately touching child”



      Study: 15K Hoosier nurses could be fighting drug and alcohol addiction



      “Increase in nurses abusing drugs, medication meant for patients”
      1,116 nurses are in treatment programs overseen by the state



      “”‘Worst of the Worst’: Ex-Pediatric Nurse Sentenced to 80 Years for Sex Acts with Infants”
      Michael Lutts pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child and distribution of child pornography.



      “Drug-addicted, dangerous and licensed for the operating room”



      “Ex-nurse accused of sexually abusing patients”
      Suspect allegedly accessed victims’ medical records to find phone numbers



      “Ga. nurses say Secretary of State Kemp putting ‘patients at risk’”

      “Three years ago, I reported that the nursing board had a backlog of more than 3,000 unanswered complaints against nurses ranging from medical errors to unlicensed people posing as nurses to drug-addicted nurses stealing narcotics from patients. Complaints that made it to the board took an average of 15 months to decide, but most spent years in unending holding pattern. Today the board continues to struggle with a massive workload”



      “Genene Jones, the Texas serial-killing nurse who poisoned over 40 babies during her career”



      “Colorado nurse was able to keep working despite sex abuse claims”


  11. To those wishing to comment, the WordPress plugin that manages comments needed to be updated and was the reason no one could comment. I have no idea what occurred between 5am today and right now, 10am, to cause the plugin to no longer work. But it works now. Please feel free to comment.

  12. McDonald loves pumping-out those VA Unicorn Fairy Dust Farts…with pixy dust and glitter, ala Disney, doesn’t he?
    If we had never seen nor heard of a ‘Yes Man’ before in life, we surely have with VA Sec. McDonald. I have the sinking suspicion that McDonald is trying to lay the groundwork for possibly retaining non-leadership of the VA into the next Administration. Just my suspicions.
    “Profound deficiencies” at the VA is the understatement of this century. How MANY reports have to be made, studies, et al, before someone finally realizes the VA is fulfilling one of the definitions of being considered insane when the VA and our leaders repeatedly get the same answer over and over that always comes to conclusion of “Profound Deficiencies”, yet want to do further ‘studies’, while Veterans suffer and potentially die?
    The VA is a very, very SICK agency. It’s unfit for it’s original duty/mission and would go as far as stating the VA actually is a huge sociopathic, nepotistic mess. Unfit for duty. It’s definitely “more likely than not” that the VA really has NO intention on improving to the benefit of Veterans but rather their own self-serving AFGE ambitions, not actually for Vets.

    1. @namnibor

      Trump’s holding a rally tomorrow in Cincinnati. I don’t know how close you are.
      Just thought I’d let you know!

      1. Thanks, Elf. I will not go into that city. I live on the Western outlaying area of Columbus, and it’s for a reason. People are literally ape$hit out there and am thinking of moving in two years back to Black Hills, S. D….I need low-key life these days and that pretty much includes avoiding crowds. Twenty cows + me within 1 acre is totally doable but not so much with a fraction of most humans. Road rage here in Ohio is out of control and often involves ballistics made of lead but also moving objects, pails of poo…the metro areas of USA have become a human zoo.
        I will watch it online as I always do and thanks for letting me know. (Sorry for rant, sort of) 🙂

      2. “… pails of poo…the metro areas of USA have become a human zoo…” 🙂 🙂 That was not even intentionally rhyming and came out like a demented Dr. Suess 🙂

        I mean really…WHO keeps any amount of poo in their cars for a potential road rage via their sunroof on driver behind them? Eeek! 🙂

      3. im 52yo i had a older gentleman tell me i think in the 80s stay away from Crowds in the coming years cause they will become dangerous or someone in that crowd will. Trump rallies and well as others bring out the best in Savagery.

  13. The Commission on Care Final report is available at:


    1. Unfortunately it seems that Ben may be right about what is really going on. I have been following the Commission on Care for a while now and have reviewed their meeting minutes and reports at no time did the subject of APN nurses get mentioned.

      But after just getting started reading the report I did find statements like “VHA is also currently failing to optimize use of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). APRNs are clinicians with advanced degrees who provide primary, acute, and specialty health care services.”.

      For all of the information that has been published up until now I would have generally stated that the Commission on Care is truly concerned about putting Veterans first. But now being blind sided with this Nurses for Doctors Bullshit. I feel the need to really take a closer look at what they are trying to accomplish.

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