VA Destroys Vets Medical Records To Eliminate Backlog

Discussion in 'Healthcare/Insurance/Govt Healthcare' started by boedicca, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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    This sounds like a pilot program for ObamaCare!

    In order to deal with a backlog of requests for medical care, the health care bureaucrat vanguard stationed in the Veterans Administration decided to destroy the records...and voila! Much less backlog!

    This is what we should expect as the ginormous snowball of ObamaCare Fake Coverage causes a big backlog of requests for care in networks that are too small to handle the demand.

    Hopenchange!

    mployees of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) destroyed veterans’ medical files in a systematic attempt to eliminate backlogged veteran medical exam requests, a former VA employee told The Daily Caller.

    Audio of an internal VA meeting obtained by TheDC confirms that VA officials in Los Angeles intentionally canceled backlogged patient exam requests.

    “The committee was called System Redesign and the purpose of the meeting was to figure out ways to correct the department’s efficiency. And one of the issues at the time was the backlog,” Oliver Mitchell, a Marine veteran and former patient services assistant in the VA Greater Los Angeles Medical Center, told TheDC.

    “We just didn’t have the resources to conduct all of those exams. Basically we would get about 3,000 requests a month for [medical] exams, but in a 30-day period we only had the resources to do about 800. That rolls over to the next month and creates a backlog,” Mitchell said. ”It’s a numbers thing. The waiting list counts against the hospitals efficiency. The longer the veteran waits for an exam that counts against the hospital as far as productivity is concerned.”

    By 2008, some patients were “waiting six to nine months for an exam” and VA “didn’t know how to address the issue,” Mitchell said.

    VA Greater Los Angeles Radiology department chief Dr. Suzie El-Saden initiated an “ongoing discussion in the department” to cancel exam requests and destroy veterans’ medical files so that no record of the exam requests would exist, thus reducing the backlog, Mitchell said.

    Audio from a November 2008 meeting obtained by TheDC depicts VA Greater Los Angeles officials plotting to cancel backlogged exam requests.

    “I’m still canceling orders from 2001,” said a male official in the meeting.

    “Anything over a year old should be canceled,” replied a female official.

    “Canceled or scheduled?” asked the male official.

    “Canceled. …


    Read more: VA destroyed veteran medical records to delete exam requests | The Daily Caller
     
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  2. Sunshine
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    Sunshine Trust the pie. Supporting Member

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    The VA is trying to practice using the primary care model and isn't really equipped for it. Every veteran is supposed to get a physical every year, and letters go out to that effect. I doubt that any complete record was destroyed, but likely just request for physicals. In specialty clinics, if a person hasn't been seen in a year, they cannot get their meds refilled. You have to use some common sense. I would refill meds for people who had net been seen in a year but with a big notice on the bottle that said, 'no more refills until seen in clinic.' That usually did the trick.

    One thing I learned working in state and federal facilities was to always look your bet and always dot your 'Is' and cross your 'Ts'. Any day you walked out to go to your care the press could be standing there waiting for you.
     
  3. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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    In this case, the destruction of records involved complete deletion so that no record of the request for an exam remained. I can see closing out obsolete requests, but outright eliminating that an exam request every existed is rather beyond the pale.
     
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  4. Bill Angel
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    Bill Angel Gold Member

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    I get my healthcare from the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center. If a Vet has an urgent care issue they can visit the emergency care section and they will be examined by a physician that day. But you can end up waiting several hours if you are not in pain . The facility also has a Patient Advocate whom you can take complaints to. I had a problem getting to see my Primary Care physician, so I contacted the Patient Advocate and she got me an appointment with my physician the same day that I had complained.
     
  5. Sunshine
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    Sunshine Trust the pie. Supporting Member

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    I think there is more top the story. Having worked in the VA, I know how their computer documentation system works. Clerks cannot delete appointments, only cancel and state the appointment was canceled by patient or by clinic. When I took a sick day, it said 'canceled by clinic.' If the patient called and canceled it said 'canceled by patient.' Psych hospital discharges had to be seen 4 times in 30 days. That meant overbooking for me, but it had to get done. New patients had to be scheduled within 2 weeks of their request. Many in primary care were waiting longer than that for their routine physicals, though, and they kept a running list so they could plug them into cancellation spots. Anyone with an emergent condition was evaluated and sent to the ER. Walk ins were seen that day. No clinician can delete a record, nor does one have the authority to call up IT and tell them to delete a patient record. I know some clinics are more efficient than others, but this story just doesn't add up.
     
  6. Moonglow
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    Moonglow Diamond Member

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    Yes you can get your meds filled.
    My primary team doc left for another position(late 2012), the replacements have been temporary, now that we have gotten a permanent one I get to go to the VA for my annual checkup. My scripts for narcs have expired but I call in every month and they are re-filled.I've been doing it this way for a little over a year.

    I hear people taking script testosterone are getting strokes. I was going to request that on my next visit,but now, I am not so sure since strokes are in my family history..
     
  7. Moonglow
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    Moonglow Diamond Member

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    I go to the VA in Fayetteville, Ar. I have nothing but compliments on their abilities even with a heavy case load..
     
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  8. Sunshine
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    Sunshine Trust the pie. Supporting Member

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    Once a clinician gets to know a patient, you can do things that need to be done. Bottom line on those 'rules' is that a clinician's practice is not regulated by the silly rule maker upper. We are regulated by the medical and nursing boards. If the VA makes a rule that you can't give a medicine until the patient comes in, they can't enforce it. You are under your own license and let's say someone is late for their visit and a clinician refuses to renew he patient's oxygen. In life and death situations you have to go ahead and renew or send them to the ER. You can't withhold life saving meds because they are late for their physical.
     
  9. Sunshine
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    The more I think about this the more I'm thinking it is just a disgruntled employee or former employee trying to make trouble for the department. As a manager in a place like the VA you WANT to be able to show that your clinic doesn't have enough staff to handle the case load if that is indeed the case. That way you can make a reasonable request of the director for more staff. If the manager didn't do that and try to get adequate staffing, then he/she is a little slow.
     
  10. usmcstinger
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    usmcstinger Silver Member

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    This is not the first the VA has destroyed records.

    The National Association of Radiation Survivors (NARS), an organization formed to help atomic veterans in 1982 has tried to bring the issue to national attention. Litigation by NARS in the past has revealed that the Veterans Administration destroyed critical documents related to radiation exposure of GI’s that clams adjusters were prejudiced against radiation claims, that they opposed legislative changes in favor of atomic vets, and even violated VA regulations and federal laws. The VA admitted that it denied 99.49% of claims brought by atomic veterans and their widows.
     
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