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(WTKR)   Has the VA solved their backlog problems? Let's just say you still never want to get sick after you've served our country   (wtkr.com) divider line 73
    More: Fail, VA solved  
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2909 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Apr 2014 at 9:23 AM (24 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



73 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-04-05 09:15:11 AM
As a disabled vet I can't say I've seen much improvement over 20 years. Under fund anything and you will get this kind of performance
 
2014-04-05 09:26:03 AM
Crap doctors, long waits, what's not to love.

There is a reason I've gone out of my way to pay for my own health needs instead of relying on the VA.
 
2014-04-05 09:31:05 AM
For all its problems the VA is stillrated better by its users than private insurance. (As is Medicare, incidentally.) But considering what it's being compared to I'm not sure how well that really speaks of the VA.
 
2014-04-05 09:31:11 AM
So wait, youre telling me the government has a proven track record of failure when it comes to managing health care?  Well, we should probably expand the program then, to cover, well, everyone. Then fine them if they don't participate.
 
2014-04-05 09:31:44 AM
Thank you to all the servicemen and women who have fought and died for our country.  Oh, you didn't die?  That... could be a problem.
 
2014-04-05 09:32:52 AM
My wife was beyond screwed over by the VA during the claim process.  They lost her medical records twice which cost us $90 per time to recopy and ship to them, claimed to have sent letters requesting additional information that had due dates which we never received, her claim administrator quit in the middle of the process and didn't tell us and the new person had no clue what was going on with her case so would basically reset the clock, sent her to doctors who weren't specialists in the field she needed, etc.

In the end, the VA claimed she was 0% disabled and not eligible for anything when that is definitely not the case.  Awesome.
 
2014-04-05 09:34:16 AM

Phineas: So wait, youre telling me the government has a proven track record of failure when it comes to managing health care?  Well, we should probably expand the program then, to cover, well, everyone. Then fine them if they don't participate.


they do just well when funded. You cut the funding (as has done with the VA) then you're gonna have pisspoor performance. Also, the whole fighting 2 wars to increase the user base of the VA while still cutting their funding probably put a damper on things

you wanna be productive? Fund the goddamn things that people need, don't biatch and moan because you weren't hugged enough as a child and now you want everyone to suffer
 
2014-04-05 09:36:47 AM

Phineas: So wait, youre telling me the government has a proven track record of failure when it comes to managing health care?  Well, we should probably expand the program then, to cover, well, everyone. Then fine them if they don't participate.


Little known facts about Taftcare: Members of Congress literally draw straws every week to see who performs what procedures on the American public.  Biden is checking out a mole for me next week.
 
2014-04-05 09:37:37 AM
More importantly, from the side bar , mug-shots-from-hampton-roads-arrests-7 ,


img.fark.net


WTF IS THAT!?!?!
 
2014-04-05 09:40:55 AM
The VA and Indian health systems are two windows into the future of single payer progressive utopia.
 
2014-04-05 09:41:14 AM
When I was trying to use the Montgomery GI Bill to go to college, I learned that the VA's purpose is to screw veterans out of their benefits by coating everything in as many layers of bureaucracy as possible.

I had to get approved for using my GI Bill, but first I needed pre-semester approval, but before that I needed pre-pre-semester approval, and then I had to get approved, then I needed post-semester approval, and then I had to submit the post-post-semester approval.

I spent more time filling out VA paperwork my freshman year than I spent in some pit classes.
 
2014-04-05 09:41:30 AM
Health care Army.
 
2014-04-05 09:43:04 AM

edmo: As a disabled vet I can't say I've seen much improvement over 20 years. Under fund anything and you will get this kind of performance


Actually, VA is the only government department that has seen budget increases every single year of Obama's presidency.  If as the saying goes "put your money where your mouth is," the government has done more for vets in the last 6 years (FYs 2010-2015) than it has maybe at any other point in American history.  We still have A LOT
more to do (I actually work these issues for a VSO in DC), but to moan and say nothing's changed is not entirely accurate.

The electronic health records, however, are a complete travesty of a government program and somebody has to be held responsible for the failure to complete that crucial project.

somedude210: they do just well when funded. You cut the funding (as has done with the VA) then you're gonna have pisspoor performance.


Again, not entirely true.  DOD has been cut, especially personnel programs (in the latest budget), but not VA.  Separate budgets.
 
2014-04-05 09:43:24 AM
Thanks, GOP.
 
2014-04-05 09:43:34 AM
Just because you served your country as a vet doesn't mean you go to the VA,  Subtardo.
Millions who have served,  get out and go to private doctors.

And no one is surprised that large Government run health programs are not very good.
Subby must have had a head wound.
 
2014-04-05 09:46:13 AM

MassAsster: More importantly, from the side bar , mug-shots-from-hampton-roads-arrests-7 ,





WTF IS THAT!?!?!


Napoleon Dynamite?
 
2014-04-05 09:48:45 AM

toadist: And no one is surprised that large Government run health programs are not very good.


Actually, once you're actually receiving VA healthcare, it's pretty good care. Just google "sponges sewn into hospital patients" to see that you're not guaranteed quality healthcare in the private sector.  There are problems everywhere, but when you compare quality to cost VA is actually one of the top systems in the country.  It's also the largest.
 
2014-04-05 09:50:00 AM
It's been such a great idea to try and balance the budget on the backs of people protecting this country.  We're used to sacrificing, so what's a little more REALLY going to hurt?  Sure, we can absorb 20% higher commissary prices, 5% less housing allowance, and elimination of services like libraries on base.  God forbid we cut funding to programs that benefit folks that provide very little for our country instead.
 
2014-04-05 09:57:25 AM

MassAsster: More importantly, from the side bar , mug-shots-from-hampton-roads-arrests-7 ,


[img.fark.net image 336x420]


WTF IS THAT!?!?!


i270.photobucket.com
 
2014-04-05 09:58:29 AM
Not bad for socialized medicine.
 
2014-04-05 10:02:03 AM
Good thing the GOP just filibustered a bill to increase funding. I mean, it's not like we've had a sudden increase in people coming back from wars with horrid physical and mental injuries. We wouldn't want to increase the amount of takers, moochers and freeloaders in this country. Vote Republican!
 
2014-04-05 10:02:54 AM
American's volunteer soldiers are easily some of the biggest suckers that ever sucked.  Despite all the bullshiat that you see on TV about the "Greatest Generation"  our draftee grandfathers and great grandfathers, demanded to be compensated for their time in WWII.  When they returned they received education, health care and JERBS.  They weren't going to take, "No",  for an answer.  Today these patriotards go off to get their asses IEDed for Wall St, come home,  and don't dare make any demands for fear of being lumped in with the parasite 47%.

/Chumps
 
2014-04-05 10:03:55 AM

Lolpwnt: Crap doctors, long waits, what's not to love.

There is a reason I've gone out of my way to pay for my own health needs instead of relying on the VA.


Cool story bro time!

I am a civilian surgeon in private practice who contracted with the local VA hospital to provide specialty services, along with two other colleagues.  Otherwise, local vets who needed our expertise would have had to commute to one of two other nearby VAs, both of which are 70 miles away.  It didn't pay shiat, but we considered it to be our civic duty.

The VA has a tendency to attract docs who are not... let's just say, "go-getters".  Some of them are guys who don't want to work at the breakneck pace required to make it in today's reimbursement climate.  Some are biding time until retirement.  Some of them are foreign trained and for whatever reason cannot and don't want to fulfill the requirements for ECFMG certification.  They are not necessarily *badly* trained, but there can be language and cultural misunderstandings, and they sometimes don't understand what US citizens expect from the health care system.

Don't get me wrong... there are quite a few good VA-employed docs who are skilled and enthusiastic about their jobs.  But they're few and far between.  They tend to be the younger guys.

Anyway, the VA is great for management of stable, chronic conditions for which broadly accepted treatment algorithms exist.  So if you just need long-term management of your hypertension, hyperlipidemia, or diabetes mellitus, the VA is a good low-cost (or no-cost) option, if you're willing to put up with some inconvenience. If you have a condition that is out of the ordinary, or requires expedited intervention, you are screwed.

A few years back, while the "War on Terror" was in full swing, employed docs and contractors were told to strongly discourage patients to seek treatment within the VA system for non-service related conditions.  There was only so much money in the budget, and the large number of wounded veterans leaving active service and getting booted to the VA system was draining resources.

We were allowed to schedule three surgical procedures per week out of our sub-specialty clinic.  I had a backlog at one point of about 150 cases.  When I complained that the administration needed to let us do more cases, the response from the Chief of Surgery was, "Stop scheduling surgery! You get paid the same whether you work hard or not, so why bother?"

"But even if I stopped scheduling new cases, it will take a year for me just to clear the backlog, unless you give me more OR time."

"So? Those people will wait.  They have to!  Where else are those losers going to go? And if they get mad and want to have it done elsewhere, then your backlog gets smaller anyway and it's off-budget.  So we win."

I quit not long after that, because it was just too frustrating dealing with the constant roadblocks set up by those assholes.

At my exit interview, the Chief of Surgery told me: "I am going to give you some advice. You need to understand you have it pretty good here. You think you are going to make all this money out there, but you are going to have to work like a dog.  Here, you can relax.  You have great benefits.  You can't be sued, or fired, no matter how bad you screw up.  We protect our own.  In private practice, there is cut-throat competition. Trust me, stay in the VA system.  The money might be better in private practice, but it is not worth it."

I have never wanted to punch anyone in the face more than at that moment.  That arrogant, selfish motherfarker was more concerned with feathering his own goddamn nest than taking care of the guys who got their asses shot off for Uncle Sam.

I'd like to say that I had an earth-shattering comeback, but all I could think of was, "For your information, I'm a part-time contractor.  I have a private practice, and I work here because I *want* to, not because I *need* to. I shouldn't care more about the welfare of the vets more than you, a career VA doc. You are what's wrong with the goddamn system."

Then I left, and never went back.  Maybe I should have toughed it out, because one of the other civilian guys followed my lead, and I have no idea how they hell they're running the clinic now.

Cool story, bro.  Unless you're a vet in the system.  My condolences.
 
2014-04-05 10:20:59 AM

Parthenogenetic: Lolpwnt: Crap doctors, long waits, what's not to love.

There is a reason I've gone out of my way to pay for my own health needs instead of relying on the VA.

Cool story bro time!

I am a civilian surgeon in private practice who contracted with the local VA hospital to provide specialty services, along with two other colleagues.  Otherwise, local vets who needed our expertise would have had to commute to one of two other nearby VAs, both of which are 70 miles away.  It didn't pay shiat, but we considered it to be our civic duty.

The VA has a tendency to attract docs who are not... let's just say, "go-getters".  Some of them are guys who don't want to work at the breakneck pace required to make it in today's reimbursement climate.  Some are biding time until retirement.  Some of them are foreign trained and for whatever reason cannot and don't want to fulfill the requirements for ECFMG certification.  They are not necessarily *badly* trained, but there can be language and cultural misunderstandings, and they sometimes don't understand what US citizens expect from the health care system.

Don't get me wrong... there are quite a few good VA-employed docs who are skilled and enthusiastic about their jobs.  But they're few and far between.  They tend to be the younger guys.

Anyway, the VA is great for management of stable, chronic conditions for which broadly accepted treatment algorithms exist.  So if you just need long-term management of your hypertension, hyperlipidemia, or diabetes mellitus, the VA is a good low-cost (or no-cost) option, if you're willing to put up with some inconvenience. If you have a condition that is out of the ordinary, or requires expedited intervention, you are screwed.

A few years back, while the "War on Terror" was in full swing, employed docs and contractors were told to strongly discourage patients to seek treatment within the VA system for non-service related conditions.  There was only so much money in the budget, and the large numbe ...


Fairly similar situation for me as a workaholic general surgeon contracted to work for the Indian Health System.  You sound like my kind of people.  Tip of the disposable blue bouffant to you...
 
2014-04-05 10:23:51 AM

Parthenogenetic: A few years back, while the "War on Terror" was in full swing, employed docs and contractors were told to strongly discourage patients to seek treatment within the VA system for non-service related conditions.


This!!!

My health went in the toilet 12 years ago. After running through multiple 'experts', boned by my insurance company multiple times (just one ex. they'd approved for a several thousand dollar test, gave me my reference number - which was actually in their system (sometimes they'd claim they couldn't find it) - and still refused to pay, claiming 'it was a mistake, it shouldn't have been approved').

Anyways, I finally contacted the VA. They told me it would take them a minimum of a year to validate my eligibility - even though I had my DD214 in my freaking hand - and that then I'd go on a waiting list... which, in my local area was currently 18 months.  Since the 'experts' at the time gave me less than two years to live, I told them to go pack sand.

/BTW, I'd worked since I was 13, had full documentation from my docs, and the Social Security Administration officer looked me in the eye and said: 'We deny 95% of all first claims. If you really want your benefits, hire a lawyer that specializes in filing SSA claims...
//He was right, they denied my claim.
///Still broken, but too stubborn to die.
 
2014-04-05 10:24:14 AM

Parthenogenetic: *cut for brevity*


I'm sorry that the man got you down and no one supported you in your quest to not be a dick.

You seem to be really good at it, and I hope you can find a way to satisfy your desire to not be a dick in the future.

/Seriously. You're good people.
 
2014-04-05 10:25:23 AM

Phineas: So wait, youre telling me the government has a proven track record of failure when it comes to managing health care?  Well, we should probably expand the program then, to cover, well, everyone. Then fine them if they don't participate.


So stupid. So butthurt. Such a liar.

/doesn't sound like you served, either.
 
2014-04-05 10:26:23 AM

Parthenogenetic: Lolpwnt: Crap doctors, long waits, what's not to love.

There is a reason I've gone out of my way to pay for my own health needs instead of relying on the VA.

Cool story bro time!

I am a civilian surgeon in private practice who contracted with the local VA hospital to provide specialty services, along with two other colleagues.  Otherwise, local vets who needed our expertise would have had to commute to one of two other nearby VAs, both of which are 70 miles away.  It didn't pay shiat, but we considered it to be our civic duty.

The VA has a tendency to attract docs who are not... let's just say, "go-getters".  Some of them are guys who don't want to work at the breakneck pace required to make it in today's reimbursement climate.  Some are biding time until retirement.  Some of them are foreign trained and for whatever reason cannot and don't want to fulfill the requirements for ECFMG certification.  They are not necessarily *badly* trained, but there can be language and cultural misunderstandings, and they sometimes don't understand what US citizens expect from the health care system.

Don't get me wrong... there are quite a few good VA-employed docs who are skilled and enthusiastic about their jobs.  But they're few and far between.  They tend to be the younger guys.

Anyway, the VA is great for management of stable, chronic conditions for which broadly accepted treatment algorithms exist.  So if you just need long-term management of your hypertension, hyperlipidemia, or diabetes mellitus, the VA is a good low-cost (or no-cost) option, if you're willing to put up with some inconvenience. If you have a condition that is out of the ordinary, or requires expedited intervention, you are screwed.

A few years back, while the "War on Terror" was in full swing, employed docs and contractors were told to strongly discourage patients to seek treatment within the VA system for non-service related conditions.  There was only so much money in the budget, and the large number of wounded veterans leaving active service and getting booted to the VA system was draining resources.

We were allowed to schedule three surgical procedures per week out of our sub-specialty clinic.  I had a backlog at one point of about 150 cases.  When I complained that the administration needed to let us do more cases, the response from the Chief of Surgery was, "Stop scheduling surgery! You get paid the same whether you work hard or not, so why bother?"

"But even if I stopped scheduling new cases, it will take a year for me just to clear the backlog, unless you give me more OR time."

"So? Those people will wait.  They have to!  Where else are those losers going to go? And if they get mad and want to have it done elsewhere, then your backlog gets smaller anyway and it's off-budget.  So we win."

I quit not long after that, because it was just too frustrating dealing with the constant roadblocks set up by those assholes.

At my exit interview, the Chief of Surgery told me: "I am going to give you some advice. You need to understand you have it pretty good here. You think you are going to make all this money out there, but you are going to have to work like a dog.  Here, you can relax.  You have great benefits.  You can't be sued, or fired, no matter how bad you screw up.  We protect our own.  In private practice, there is cut-throat competition. Trust me, stay in the VA system.  The money might be better in private practice, but it is not worth it."

I have never wanted to punch anyone in the face more than at that moment.  That arrogant, selfish motherfarker was more concerned with feathering his own goddamn nest than taking care of the guys who got their asses shot off for Uncle Sam.

I'd like to say that I had an earth-shattering comeback, but all I could think of was, "For your information, I'm a part-time contractor.  I have a private practice, and I work here because I *want* to, not because I *need* to. I shouldn't care more about the welfare of the vets more than you, a career VA doc. You are what's wrong with the goddamn system."

Then I left, and never went back.  Maybe I should have toughed it out, because one of the other civilian guys followed my lead, and I have no idea how they hell they're running the clinic now.

Cool story, bro.  Unless you're a vet in the system.  My condolences.


I've had a great experience with the Va, claims, and GI bill. Then again I'm in one of their top rated systems.
 
2014-04-05 10:26:38 AM

Phineas: So wait, youre telling me the government has a proven track record of failure when it comes to managing health care?  Well, we should probably expand the program then, to cover, well, everyone. Then fine them if they don't participate.


It's a track record of failure in line with everything else the GOP started defunding under Reagan and which they now point to show that government "doesn't work."
 
2014-04-05 10:30:05 AM

TurboCojones: Fairly similar situation for me as a workaholic general surgeon contracted to work for the Indian Health System.  You sound like my kind of people.  Tip of the disposable blue bouffant to you...


You know, the typical solution for this is "more money".  Not that a larger budget is bad, but money can't fix everything.  And more money just makes the sloths fatter.  You need to provide incentives for employed docs to work harder and more efficiently, whether by paying more for better performance, or holding their feet to the fire, or both.

Although what they were paying me didn't come close to what I lost by giving up a day of office or surgery, I didn't want more money - all I wanted was for them to let me work, dammit!

/posting from work
//yup, on Saturday
 
2014-04-05 10:34:49 AM

Molavian: When I was trying to use the Montgomery GI Bill to go to college, I learned that the VA's purpose is to screw veterans out of their benefits by coating everything in as many layers of bureaucracy as possible.

I had to get approved for using my GI Bill, but first I needed pre-semester approval, but before that I needed pre-pre-semester approval, and then I had to get approved, then I needed post-semester approval, and then I had to submit the post-post-semester approval.

I spent more time filling out VA paperwork my freshman year than I spent in some pit classes.


That's strange because it wasn't a problem for me to use all but 2 months of my entire GI bill to help put me through college (~$13K).  Every semester, I would go sit at home and spend a couple of hours filling out my paperwork which included loan paperwork (GI Bill covered about half), grant applications and GI bill information.  Then I would go up to the FA office, get my aid approval and deferment and the checks would come in at a spaced period during the course of the semester.

I'm not saying there's a shiat-ton of bureaucracy but it's not that big of a pain.  For VA medical benefits OTOH, I don't really have much info over the last 5-8 years but I know that if you had medical records from the service that show you developed a problem while on Active Duty that required medical attention, and then you were trying to claim VA benefits later, it was easier.  Why?  My guess is that some VA doc had already physically verified that you had the problem.  I was put on profile twice (which I pretty much ignored) for throwing my back.  I guy I know had almost the exact same recorded in his medical records and applied for benefits and was receiving 10%.

Now, I wouldn't dream of trying to claim that 10% but the option is there and no-doubt, many people take it.  I also handled a shiat-load of nasty chemicals.  If it were found one day that my kidneys are screwed because of hydroflorocarbon, I could make a claim (I wouldn't) and I imagine it would take quite a while to process that claim.  I would be interested to know how many claims are like that.  And on paper, you don't know if the individual was some maintenance slob (like me) or a combat soldier who was exposed while getting shot at.
 
2014-04-05 10:37:13 AM
Note that the article is about VA disability claims, not medical care. There is a massive glut of disability claims needing to be processed as a result of 13 years of deployments. Along with conditions like PTSD and anxiety becoming a reason for benefit claims, you also have multiple chronic conditions fairly unrelated to the service like mild high blood pressure being accepted as a permanent VA claim with lifetime payout. Anecdotal yes- but one of the guys I work with (who has an active job) was bragging last week about he now gets a VA disability check for his high blood pressure, as well as compensation for the time since he filed. 

The largest example of this abuse of VA disability claims comes from Congresswoman Duckworth, a double amputee shaming a federal contractor. 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/26/tammy-duckworth-strong-cast le _n_3504531.html 

The last round of U.S. Marshal applications required 10 veteran's preference points to even have application considered, regardless of education or training. They had enough applicants for the Marshals service (A physically active job) that you had to be drawing on disability or purple heart to even make it to past application round.
Point system explained:  http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits/veterans-employment - preference-points.html 

So college degree, service, and no injuries means a snowball's chance in hell.
 
2014-04-05 10:40:46 AM

Parthenogenetic: Lolpwnt: Crap doctors, long waits, what's not to love.

There is a reason I've gone out of my way to pay for my own health needs instead of relying on the VA.

Cool story bro time!

I am a civilian surgeon in private practice who contracted with the local VA hospital to provide specialty services, along with two other colleagues.  Otherwise, local vets who needed our expertise would have had to commute to one of two other nearby VAs, both of which are 70 miles away.  It didn't pay shiat, but we considered it to be our civic duty.

The VA has a tendency to attract docs who are not... let's just say, "go-getters".  Some of them are guys who don't want to work at the breakneck pace required to make it in today's reimbursement climate.  Some are biding time until retirement.  Some of them are foreign trained and for whatever reason cannot and don't want to fulfill the requirements for ECFMG certification.  They are not necessarily *badly* trained, but there can be language and cultural misunderstandings, and they sometimes don't understand what US citizens expect from the health care system.

Don't get me wrong... there are quite a few good VA-employed docs who are skilled and enthusiastic about their jobs.  But they're few and far between.  They tend to be the younger guys.

Anyway, the VA is great for management of stable, chronic conditions for which broadly accepted treatment algorithms exist.  So if you just need long-term management of your hypertension, hyperlipidemia, or diabetes mellitus, the VA is a good low-cost (or no-cost) option, if you're willing to put up with some inconvenience. If you have a condition that is out of the ordinary, or requires expedited intervention, you are screwed.

A few years back, while the "War on Terror" was in full swing, employed docs and contractors were told to strongly discourage patients to seek treatment within the VA system for non-service related conditions.  There was only so much money in the budget, and the large number of wounded veterans leaving active service and getting booted to the VA system was draining resources.

We were allowed to schedule three surgical procedures per week out of our sub-specialty clinic.  I had a backlog at one point of about 150 cases.  When I complained that the administration needed to let us do more cases, the response from the Chief of Surgery was, "Stop scheduling surgery! You get paid the same whether you work hard or not, so why bother?"

"But even if I stopped scheduling new cases, it will take a year for me just to clear the backlog, unless you give me more OR time."

"So? Those people will wait.  They have to!  Where else are those losers going to go? And if they get mad and want to have it done elsewhere, then your backlog gets smaller anyway and it's off-budget.  So we win."

I quit not long after that, because it was just too frustrating dealing with the constant roadblocks set up by those assholes.

At my exit interview, the Chief of Surgery told me: "I am going to give you some advice. You need to understand you have it pretty good here. You think you are going to make all this money out there, but you are going to have to work like a dog.  Here, you can relax.  You have great benefits.  You can't be sued, or fired, no matter how bad you screw up.  We protect our own.  In private practice, there is cut-throat competition. Trust me, stay in the VA system.  The money might be better in private practice, but it is not worth it."

I have never wanted to punch anyone in the face more than at that moment.  That arrogant, selfish motherfarker was more concerned with feathering his own goddamn nest than taking care of the guys who got their asses shot off for Uncle Sam.

I'd like to say that I had an earth-shattering comeback, but all I could think of was, "For your information, I'm a part-time contractor.  I have a private practice, and I work here because I *want* to, not because I *need* to. I shouldn't care more about the welfare of the vets more than you, a career VA doc. You are what's wrong with the goddamn system."

Then I left, and never went back.  Maybe I should have toughed it out, because one of the other civilian guys followed my lead, and I have no idea how they hell they're running the clinic now.

Cool story, bro.  Unless you're a vet in the system.  My condolences.


In 14 years of practice I have only been able to successfully transfer one patient from my ER to the VA hospital. Sucks for the veterans when they have no private insurance and they request to be transferred for inpatient care to the VA, then the doc(s) at the VA give me hundred excuses why they can't except the patient for transfer then the patient is on the hook for medical bills from my facility.
 
2014-04-05 10:44:44 AM
My 92 year old WWII vet grandfather still recieves VA care. Theyve helped throughout the years. Maybe he got lucky.
 
2014-04-05 10:54:23 AM

Dwight_Yeast: Phineas: So wait, youre telling me the government has a proven track record of failure when it comes to managing health care?  Well, we should probably expand the program then, to cover, well, everyone. Then fine them if they don't participate.

It's a track record of failure in line with everything else the GOP started defunding under Reagan and which they now point to show that government "doesn't work."


Through the Bush years my favorite newspaper headlines were BUSH CUTS VA FUNDING INCREASES when the reality was Congress pushed for a 6% increase, and Bush wanted a 5% increase.

Nope, no citations.  Don't care if you believe me, it wouldn't matter if I did provide them.  Obama 2016.
 
2014-04-05 11:04:04 AM
thehobbes: ....The largest example of this abuse of VA disability claims comes from Congresswoman Duckworth, a double amputee shaming a federal contractor. 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/26/tammy-duckworth-strong-cast le _n_3504531.html ...


So, the problem is actually private enterprise ripping the taxpayers off?

I am shocked. Shocked.
 
2014-04-05 11:07:05 AM

generallyso: For all its problems the VA is stillrated better by its users than private insurance. (As is Medicare, incidentally.) But considering what it's being compared to I'm not sure how well that really speaks of the VA.


Wild - wish I had them run that survey by me.

There is nothing less caring than the va disability and care system. 5 years man and 4 claims - I was declared dead, told there want enough evidence and told evidence I submitted didn't count - It got so bad at my own expense I went to colorado to pick up a copy of my records and hand delivered them to VA in Muskogee Ok , while I was there lo and behold they had them - the lazy fark who was "reviewing my file" hadn't even read the farking thing.

Long story short I got back pay all the way back to 2005 (feb 2009) and an apology letter "the decision to deny your original claim was unmistakably erroneous. An erroneous decision is one where reasonable minds can only conclude that the decision was unmistakably flawed from the beginning"

You have to understand that even with this admission I have no grounds to sue the fark nut that made the original judgement.

With no consequences what keeps him from doing it again?
 
2014-04-05 11:11:15 AM

TurboCojones: The VA and Indian health systems are two windows into the future of single payer progressive utopia.


The ONLY Indian hospital that is any good is The Chickasaw Medical Center - it's only partially paid for by IHS it might as well be privately funded.
 
2014-04-05 11:11:36 AM
Thus we should end all military pensions, free healthcare, and subsidies.  They can use their paychecks to purchase private insurance and provide for their present and future.
 
2014-04-05 11:15:53 AM

youmightberight: Long story short I got back pay all the way back to 2005 (feb 2009) and an apology letter "the decision to deny your original claim was unmistakably erroneous. An erroneous decision is one where reasonable minds can only conclude that the decision was unmistakably flawed from the beginning"

You have to understand that even with this admission I have no grounds to sue the fark nut that made the original judgement.


Seems like they compensated you with the back pay already... 

Opening the VA/Military to lawsuits would see thousands of lawyers seeing a bottomless fund from which to sue.
 
2014-04-05 11:18:39 AM

UberDave: Molavian: When I was trying to use the Montgomery GI Bill to go to college, I learned that the VA's purpose is to screw veterans out of their benefits by coating everything in as many layers of bureaucracy as possible.

I had to get approved for using my GI Bill, but first I needed pre-semester approval, but before that I needed pre-pre-semester approval, and then I had to get approved, then I needed post-semester approval, and then I had to submit the post-post-semester approval.

I spent more time filling out VA paperwork my freshman year than I spent in some pit classes.

That's strange because it wasn't a problem for me to use all but 2 months of my entire GI bill to help put me through college (~$13K).  Every semester, I would go sit at home and spend a couple of hours filling out my paperwork which included loan paperwork (GI Bill covered about half), grant applications and GI bill information.  Then I would go up to the FA office, get my aid approval and deferment and the checks would come in at a spaced period during the course of the semester.

I'm not saying there's a shiat-ton of bureaucracy but it's not that big of a pain.  For VA medical benefits OTOH, I don't really have much info over the last 5-8 years but I know that if you had medical records from the service that show you developed a problem while on Active Duty that required medical attention, and then you were trying to claim VA benefits later, it was easier.  Why?  My guess is that some VA doc had already physically verified that you had the problem.  I was put on profile twice (which I pretty much ignored) for throwing my back.  I guy I know had almost the exact same recorded in his medical records and applied for benefits and was receiving 10%.

Now, I wouldn't dream of trying to claim that 10% but the option is there and no-doubt, many people take it.  I also handled a shiat-load of nasty chemicals.  If it were found one day that my kidneys are screwed because of hydroflorocarbon, I could make a claim (I wouldn't) and I imagine it would take quite a while to process that claim.  I would be interested to know how many claims are like that.  And on paper, you don't know if the individual was some maintenance slob (like me) or a combat soldier who was exposed while getting shot at.


GI bill is an almost completely automated system. Va disability claims and healthcare are run with all the caring and efficiency of California's DMV
 
2014-04-05 11:22:44 AM

thehobbes: youmightberight: Long story short I got back pay all the way back to 2005 (feb 2009) and an apology letter "the decision to deny your original claim was unmistakably erroneous. An erroneous decision is one where reasonable minds can only conclude that the decision was unmistakably flawed from the beginning"

You have to understand that even with this admission I have no grounds to sue the fark nut that made the original judgement.

Seems like they compensated you with the back pay already... 

Opening the VA/Military to lawsuits would see thousands of lawyers seeing a bottomless fund from which to sue.


I don't want anything more than that fark to never be able to hold a federal or state level job again.

I'm not wanting to sue VA - not enough money as it is.
 
2014-04-05 11:50:21 AM
Defend our Nation, no treatment for you
Illegally in the country? Free treatment for you

Try and explain this to a rational taxpayer
 
2014-04-05 12:02:54 PM

Clemkadidlefark: Defend our Nation, no treatment for you
Illegally in the country? Free treatment for you

Try and explain this to a rational taxpayer


They should be being bootstrappy and fund their own healthcare. We did GIVE them a free pair of boots, what more of a handout do they need?

Whats that about a mass shooting? shiat. We really gotta ban the army from having guns.
 
2014-04-05 12:03:43 PM

Parthenogenetic: Lolpwnt: Crap doctors, long waits, what's not to love.

There is a reason I've gone out of my way to pay for my own health needs instead of relying on the VA.

Cool story bro time!

...............................



Thanks for your service man. Without outside help like yours, the VA hospitals would somehow be worse.
 
2014-04-05 12:06:04 PM

youmightberight: Va disability claims and healthcare are run with all the caring and efficiency of California's DMV


The CA RMV has vastly increased it's computer automated systems in the past decade. They are now highly efficient at having 5 people on break while 1 person works a window at any given time.
 
2014-04-05 12:08:06 PM
ts4.mm.bing.net
Veterans should get same quality health care these useless pricks get.
 
2014-04-05 12:13:42 PM

youmightberight: UberDave: Molavian:  ...

GI bill is an almost completely automated system. Va disability claims and healthcare are run with all the caring and efficiency of California's DMV


It's so true. Filing VA disability claims is all about knowing the VA's mountain of regulations. If you don't do all the work (and then some) for the claims processors you may as well not file at all.
 
2014-04-05 12:18:49 PM

MassAsster: More importantly, from the side bar , mug-shots-from-hampton-roads-arrests-7 ,


[img.fark.net image 336x420]


WTF IS THAT!?!?!


Jeff Bridges and Tatum O'Neil..?
 
2014-04-05 12:34:46 PM
Tricare Prime, baby - that's why I stuck out the full 20.
 
2014-04-05 12:34:59 PM
This is a sad state of affairs, over which our government should be embarrassed, but isn't.

Men and women have either voluntarily gone into war or been conscripted (the Draft during WW2 and Vietnam) into the military and many returned shot to pieces, damaged mentally and forever changed.

For decades there has been problems and scandals infesting the VA, from medical wards infested with rats, to buildings basically held together by termites holding hands. From too few overworked staff to uncaring, overwhelmed doctors and the battle for proper funding from Congress has been going on nearly forever.

It is as if once our soldiers get the shiat shot out of them and can no longer serve, the government has no use for the troops and discards them. Yet, the next encounter that pops up, they expect young men and women barely out of high school to inundate the military and charge off to defend the nation.

The military can quickly approve a billion dollar jet manufactured by a company which has little to fear over the bidding process, yet will stall for years on cleaning up the VA.

Many of you probably don't recall the Vietnam fiasco where wounded soldiers were denied VA benefits and the benefits granted to soldiers who had fought in a war. Because congress never declared Vietnam more than a 'Police Action'. Thousands of vets had to protest at the White House, and the government promptly called in the cops who ruthlessly broke up the action, destroyed their camps and beat up vets who had already been injured in that nasty war.

It took years for them to get benefits and even the VFW was reluctant to accept them, since getting your legs blown off in a 'Police Action' was not the same thing as having them blown off in a Real War.

The Military modernizes it's fighting equipment readily, but balks at upgrading the systems needed to make the VA work better; systems commonly found in your average civilian hospital.

Congress would rather spend a million dollars putting in an eco-friendly hikers outhouse in Glacier National Park. It didn't take Congress long to bastardize the Emanate Dominion Law, to be used only for the good of the nation, to now be used for the good of developers in cities. Then we have the $90,000,000 for continued upgrade of the M1 Abrams tank to the M1A2SEP variant. The army is on record saying it has more than enough tanks, and wishes to delay the M1 upgrade program until 2017, saving taxpayers $3 billion. However, much of Congress disagrees, probably because the tank has many suppliers spread across a vast number of congressional districts. (CGAW excerpt.)

So, we'll send our soldiers out to war -- any war seems to do --, leave behind billions in vehicles and accessory supplies after it's over (too expensive to return home and surplus, tough, reliable military vehicles sold cheaply to the public cuts into Car Makers profits) then make our Military Wounded jump through hoops to get the care and support they need.

That just aint right.
 
2014-04-05 12:41:32 PM

undernova: Tricare Prime, baby - that's why I stuck out the full 20.


way to go man! Tricare Prime is a pretty sweet deal if you can do the time.

/after 8 years i hobbled out with my dd214 and an immense collection of well traveled socks
 
2014-04-05 01:18:03 PM

edmo: As a disabled vet I can't say I've seen much improvement over 20 years. Under fund anything and you will get this kind of performance


It's so underfunded they are giving massive bonuses to themselves for their superb job.
 
2014-04-05 01:21:07 PM

Dog Welder: Good thing the GOP just filibustered a bill to increase funding. I mean, it's not like we've had a sudden increase in people coming back from wars with horrid physical and mental injuries. We wouldn't want to increase the amount of takers, moochers and freeloaders in this country. Vote Republican!


What else was in the bill. You aren't one of those ignorant people who ignore all parts except the part you can politically use to bludgeon the other party are you?
 
2014-04-05 01:23:37 PM

GORDON: Dwight_Yeast: Phineas: So wait, youre telling me the government has a proven track record of failure when it comes to managing health care?  Well, we should probably expand the program then, to cover, well, everyone. Then fine them if they don't participate.

It's a track record of failure in line with everything else the GOP started defunding under Reagan and which they now point to show that government "doesn't work."

Through the Bush years my favorite newspaper headlines were BUSH CUTS VA FUNDING INCREASES when the reality was Congress pushed for a 6% increase, and Bush wanted a 5% increase.

Nope, no citations.  Don't care if you believe me, it wouldn't matter if I did provide them.  Obama 2016.


Shhhhhhhhh with the facts. This is now a blame the GOP thread. Why point out how badly run the entire system is when you can blame the GOP for only increasing it at double the growth rate instead of triple.
 
2014-04-05 01:31:43 PM
Parthenogenetic: "So? Those people will wait.  They have to!  Where else are those losers going to go? And if they get mad and want to have it done elsewhere, then your backlog gets smaller anyway and it's off-budget.  So we win."

After two years of waiting for disability (they finally rated me at 70% for PTSD/Depression alone) I had the idea that maybe some bean counter was trying to get me (and my friends, as I wasn't alone in this) to commit suicide and stop being their problem. I'm actually alive today partly just to spite the farkers.

Your story basically confirms it. If that guy existed in your field, I shudder to think what their accountants could be capable of.
 
2014-04-05 02:06:09 PM

DrExplosion: Parthenogenetic: "So? Those people will wait.  They have to!  Where else are those losers going to go? And if they get mad and want to have it done elsewhere, then your backlog gets smaller anyway and it's off-budget.  So we win."

After two years of waiting for disability (they finally rated me at 70% for PTSD/Depression alone) I had the idea that maybe some bean counter was trying to get me (and my friends, as I wasn't alone in this) to commit suicide and stop being their problem. I'm actually alive today partly just to spite the farkers.

Your story basically confirms it. If that guy existed in your field, I shudder to think what their accountants could be capable of.


Thank you for your service. When I hear stories like yours, it makes me sick to my stomach. I had the DAV helping me get 10% and while it should be more, I know I'm lucky to get that.
 
2014-04-05 02:19:39 PM

vincentfox: Thus we should end all military pensions, free healthcare, and subsidies.  They can use their paychecks to purchase private insurance and provide for their present and future.


If it's what we're doing to everyone else, it's what we should do to the military.

No more military pensions, make them get 401ks.  No more VA, let them get Social Security if they're disabled, and let them buy healthcare on the exchanges.  If it's good enough for everyone else, it's good enough for the military, right?

On the other hand, if it's not good enough for the military, maybe we need to rethink what we're doing to everyone else.  Maybe we need a single GOOD national disability system.  Maybe we need a GOOD national healthcare system.  And maybe we need a GOOD national pension plan for everyone.

But having a separate system for the military is a massive mistake.
 
2014-04-05 02:25:17 PM

MyRandomName: Why point out how badly run the entire system is when you can blame the GOP for only increasing it at double the growth rate instead of triple.


Doesn't that just prove that the GOP is denying people the healthcare they need.

The GOP started 2 wars, and are now responsible for 12 years worth of damaged veterans.

And they don't even want to spend money on caring for them.

So yes. I WILL blame the cop for increasing the cost by double digits instead of triple

/You monsters are why Fort Hood happened.
 
2014-04-05 02:26:21 PM
We had a saying that sums up all you need to know about the VA:

"The VA: Giving you a second chance to die for your country."

/Used the GI Bill: Awesome
//Tried to use VA Loan Guarantee: Not so awesome
///Never going near VA medical
 
2014-04-05 02:49:02 PM
If the VA is going to reduce that backlog, they need to hire more clerks. You know, the people who handle the initial paperwork and applications and such like as.

/I'm actually quite happy with my VA care, much more so than any "civilian hospital" experience I've had.
 
2014-04-05 03:03:00 PM

GORDON: Dwight_Yeast: Phineas: So wait, youre telling me the government has a proven track record of failure when it comes to managing health care?  Well, we should probably expand the program then, to cover, well, everyone. Then fine them if they don't participate.

It's a track record of failure in line with everything else the GOP started defunding under Reagan and which they now point to show that government "doesn't work."

Through the Bush years my favorite newspaper headlines were BUSH CUTS VA FUNDING INCREASES when the reality was Congress pushed for a 6% increase, and Bush wanted a 5% increase.

Nope, no citations.  Don't care if you believe me, it wouldn't matter if I did provide them.  Obama 2016.


That was the exact same tactic the democrats used in the Clinton era. Put in a budget increase of 12%, then claim that republicans "cut" a program when they only increased it by 6%.
 
2014-04-05 03:45:22 PM
C'mon people. We're denying them as fast as we can!
 
2014-04-05 03:50:11 PM
Probably not as I've gotten hit up for spare change by the same person trying to get bus fare to get to VA hospital every week for the past month.
 
2014-04-05 04:01:55 PM

Phineas: So wait, youre telling me the government has a proven track record of failure when it comes to managing health care?  Well, we should probably expand the program then, to cover, well, everyone. Then fine them if they don't participate.


To be fair, veterans as a group are conditioned against speaking ill of any authority figure, especially ones that have any sort of power of them (such as their medical care.)
 
2014-04-05 04:08:33 PM

Securitywyrm: Phineas: So wait, youre telling me the government has a proven track record of failure when it comes to managing health care?  Well, we should probably expand the program then, to cover, well, everyone. Then fine them if they don't participate.

To be fair, veterans as a group are conditioned against speaking ill of any authority figure, especially ones that have any sort of power of them (such as their medical care.)


Maybe you should head over to a VFW and listen in on the conversations.
 
2014-04-05 04:12:10 PM

thehobbes: Note that the article is about VA disability claims, not medical care. There is a massive glut of disability claims needing to be processed as a result of 13 years of deployments. Along with conditions like PTSD and anxiety becoming a reason for benefit claims, you also have multiple chronic conditions fairly unrelated to the service like mild high blood pressure being accepted as a permanent VA claim with lifetime payout. Anecdotal yes- but one of the guys I work with (who has an active job) was bragging last week about he now gets a VA disability check for his high blood pressure, as well as compensation for the time since he filed.

The largest example of this abuse of VA disability claims comes from Congresswoman Duckworth, a double amputee shaming a federal contractor.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/26/tammy-duckworth-strong-cast le _n_3504531.html

The last round of U.S. Marshal applications required 10 veteran's preference points to even have application considered, regardless of education or training. They had enough applicants for the Marshals service (A physically active job) that you had to be drawing on disability or purple heart to even make it to past application round.
Point system explained:  http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits/veterans-employment - preference-points.html

So college degree, service, and no injuries means a snowball's chance in hell.



I know two guys that are on the Marshal's hiring list and are 5 point vets
 
2014-04-05 04:33:56 PM

ReverendJynxed: Securitywyrm: Phineas: So wait, youre telling me the government has a proven track record of failure when it comes to managing health care?  Well, we should probably expand the program then, to cover, well, everyone. Then fine them if they don't participate.

To be fair, veterans as a group are conditioned against speaking ill of any authority figure, especially ones that have any sort of power of them (such as their medical care.)

Maybe you should head over to a VFW and listen in on the conversations.


There's a big difference between "griping" and "filing a formal complaint." There are serious negative consequences for filing a formal complaint in the military. The general policy is "If you're going to complain about this bad situation, we're going to make your situation so much worse that you'll wish you never complained about the bad situation."
 
2014-04-05 05:05:46 PM
My son is being treated for depression, anxiety and agoraphobia related to PTSD from serving as a corpsman in Afghanistan. I just got a notice in the mail last week that the VA charged my insurance for treating his service related condition. They also told him that his case won't be settled for another 18 months or so which is about 2 1/2 years after he started the process.

Assuming they don't "lose" his case file again.
 
2014-04-05 05:44:45 PM
<sarcasm on>
Subby, how can you say that about the VA? I only visit the local VA hospital once per year for my annual heart check-up and to update my prescriptions. Despite this, my latest echo showed absolutely no sign of the trio of heart defects which got me kicked out of Subs. I'm telling you brother, that is the most effective medical service in history.

Come to think, that sort of medical miracle exceeds Starfleet's abilities. Not even Dr. McCoy could completely heal a bad heart valve just by reading an echo report. <Sarcasm off>
 
2014-04-05 06:01:29 PM
Remember how the libs blamed all this on bush and swore that their messiah would fix all of this?

// guess these soldiers aren't hoping hard enough.
 
2014-04-06 05:42:03 AM
I work for the Department of Veteran's Affairs. I've also worked in the private sector doing radiology.
I come from a Navy Family, but was unable to serve due to adolescent asthma.

We have our problems, but they're similar to private hospitals.

Our biggest problem is, of course, our file system and lack of people able to digitize them. Our internal medical records are all digitized, but the claims system is not. The problem is that we've got such a huge backlog to even GET them in the computer, that nothing is being processed any faster until it's actually input. But we've had an effective pay freeze and hiring freeze (aside from nursing), for the last 5 years that nothing cant get done any faster.

There are lot of people that work here, that do their damnest to treat every veteran with the care and respect they deserve. However, just like the private sector, there exists the 80-20 rule. For the 80% that work their asses off, there's 20% who just don't give a shiat. These 20% tend to be the old guard. They're nearing retirement, they're lazy, and we can't get rid of them. And sadly, a lot of them are vets themselves. Typically, the real go getters are the newer people like myself. I will say though, that the average age of a VA employee is 54 years old. let that sink in for a sec. Average.

And to the guy who posted earlier that that VA people are stealing the money and keeping if for themselves... I haven't had a raise in 4 years. I haven't had a COLA adjustment since 2009. This year, supposedly, we'll be getting 1.5% increase... not enough to put a dent the continuing rise in cost of our health insurance costs (blue cross federal, in my case). I lose money every year I stay, but I stay because I want to help.
 
2014-04-06 10:10:25 AM

snoopy2zero: know two guys that are on the Marshal's hiring list and are 5 point vets


Weird. I still have the email telling me 5 points and a B.S. don't cut it from 2011.
 
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