Fixing the VA problem
Posted in the Rochester Forum
#1 Aug 10, 2014
The VA got 152.7 BILLION DOLLARS in 2014!!!
This amount is more than triple the cost needed to provide health care to the vets.
Most of the money is spent on run down facilities, low quality doctors, and administrators.
If the feds just gave veterans a medical credit card which covers a percentage of medical costs based on their time in service or the severity of injury while in the service, we would save so much money!
Using existing hospitals would still be cheaper that the cost of building and maintaining VA hospitals.
Local economies would get a boost, as local hospitals, doctors and staff would be receiving the money.
The quality of care would also improve because if a vet doesn't like the quality of care, they can easily go somewhere else! Competition would spur on better care!
Getting rid of the bureaucratic administrators will save the most money because you don't have to pay their salaries, benefits, annual bonuses and retirement!!!
Not to mention getting rid of their poor quality of service!
These government slugs make going to the DMV a joy!
They are rude, cant be fired, and spend all their time focused on inter office politics all while collection a taxpayer funded bonus.
VA doctors are notoriously the worst doctors practicing; they must have barely passed med school.
These doctors choose military service or working for the VA to build experience because they can't get sued for medical malpractice. The drawback for doctors working for the VA is that they are paid a fixed salary. If they develop any skills as a doctor while at the VA, they quickly leave to start their own practice, or go to work for a hospital because they would make more money and put up with less B.S.
This problem is easy enough to solve, but good luck putting it into action!
Politicans love to build bureaucracies so they can say they created jobs.
Government jobs always come with a union, and that means votes.
So, in the end ... I guess all the vets are screwed.
#2 Aug 10, 2014
You hit that squarely on the head. VA docs are typically less skilled that their counterparts in private practice, and use the VA to mask their mediocre abilities. There is a saying "someone has to graduate in the bottom of his class" -- and they're mostly working at VA facilities (a system that is absolutely desperate for MDs).
They go there and are assured a job for life (albeit with lower compensation). Younger MDs do sign on for experience (in some cases) to prepare for a specialty. The usually last as long as their training. They can't bail fast enough.
The VA system should close their very expensive facilities and leave care to local hospitals. Not only would it be more comprehensive care, it would be of better quality.
We taxpayers need to completely rethink the VA system, in addition to providing vets a higher level of medical care. Today.
Unfortunately, the VA, along with healthcare in general, is the third rail.
#3 Aug 10, 2014
The VA is recruiting MDs from foreign medical schools, many with questionable (and I'm being charitable) training. Examine all the foreign MDs working for their system. Many barely speak English. For them, working for the VA is big money and none of the regulatory headaches.
No one wants to hear "Your gastroenterologist just finished at Mumbai University. He will be doing your colonoscopy. We'll have a translator provide the results."
#5 Aug 10, 2014
They served our country, and many died for us. We owe them bigtime. STFU. You should have a Dykes of Bikes parade to raise money for them.
#7 Aug 17, 2014
Well said, I believe I have heard this plea before. Thanks
#9 Aug 17, 2014
I heard about one of those Doctors. She had been working at a VA as a Contract Doctor before being hired by a different VA. A lowly HR clerk was reviewing her application noted that her age and education level did not match. If the application was to be believed, she graduated from High School at the age of 15 IN PAKASTAN. A country that we know does not even want females to be educated. After being questioned about the information in her Medical Record, she resigned the following day. By the way, her last name was Kahn (pronounced con), very appropiate under the circumstances. The sad part is that she is probably still working for the VA someplace.
#10 Aug 18, 2014
The VA's credentialing process for docs [all MDs must be credentialed, which is a background check of their education, medical experience - and includes written peer reviews from other doctors attesting to their competency] is lacking. It is also more difficult to verify the educational background of physicians educated in foreign med schools. It is not out of the ordinary for the credentialing body to not receive a reply to their off shore inquiry.
A lot of incompetent docs slip through the cracks, so likely MDs that are also not properly trained can get in. It is unknown how many frauds slip through, but with their abysmal credentialing system, it's open season on poor or incompetent medical care for vets. And the marginal docs known they can always get hired by the "desperate for bodies" VA.
The VA has turned to importing large numbers of foreign docs, because U.S. educated physicians look at the VA as their rock bottom last choice, due to pay and the perceived mediocre medical environment.
#11 Aug 18, 2014
Forgot to mention -- the VA has one centralized credentialing office for the entire system, instead of individual offices like private hospitals maintain.
Imagine the chance for errors and omissions when their credentialing clerks are overwhelmed with applications system wide, and under the gun to process them quickly -- so these new hire MDs can start work.
The chance of error increases exponentially.
#12 Aug 19, 2014
Gov't should close the VA system, and let us go to the nearby hospital of our choice. The feds will never fix the VA, and it will continue to get worse. Take the nearly $200 billion it costs to fund it. It would be money better spent, and it would improve care and service.
Maybe the next president will get it.
#13 Aug 19, 2014
You nailed it brother. Give us the right to choose. We don't want quack doctors.
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