Congressional committees probing Arizona's VA care

Apr 23, 2014 Full story: Journal Gazette 9

Sen. John McCain, middle, R-AZ, speaks and Sen. Jeff Flake, right, R-AZ, listens as they join military veterans and local politicians for a news conference PHOENIX - U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake say congressional committees are investigating allegations that up to 40 Arizona veterans died while awaiting medical appointments.

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The MadMan

Long Beach, CA

#1 Apr 24, 2014
Flake says the Inspector General for the Department of Veterans Affairs also is investigating the complaints about Arizona VA facilities.

Phoenix VA Health Care System officials say they've asked for an external review by the Inspector General and will address any problems quickly.

This is rich...a govt investigating its own facilities???? What will that outcome be, if it is ever released to the public? How many pages of documentation is this going to take, who is going to recommend changes, if any and how long is this going to take?
Inspector General will address any problems quickly...after complaints have been lingering for how long???
I for one, would like to read articles about what has been done to correct the problem them to read about who is investigating and then the line goes dead after that.
Viet Nam Veteran

Chillicothe, OH

#2 Apr 25, 2014
At least 40 veterans DIED. There has to be some criminal charges there someplace. This needs to be investigated by the FBI not the VAs own office of the Inspector General.
The Mad Man

Long Beach, CA

#3 Apr 26, 2014
Viet Nam Veteran wrote:
At least 40 veterans DIED. There has to be some criminal charges there someplace. This needs to be investigated by the FBI not the VAs own office of the Inspector General.
If will take a federal committee to appoint someone to appoint someone to appointment someone and then give for review at the sub committee level and then for review at the administrative level and on and on....
This is how the govt works and they get away with it. John McCain and Jeff Flake know this. That is how they got on to where they are now. Congressional committee my butt!!! Just another delay tactic till this story goes away. News conference/investigating allegations/ congressional committee probing...
Send in the FBI, it has been done in the past. Why the delay? Oh that right, the FBI can cover up stuff also???
Send in a news reporter!!!
misleading

Rio Rancho, NM

#4 Apr 26, 2014
The title is misleading. The problem is not the 'care' they receive, but timely access to care. The VA has some of the best Dr's in the country. Most Drs are active military at facilities close to bases, and contracted private physicians at distant facilities. When veterans are only allowed 2 scheduled appointments with a primary care Dr a year, older veterans have problems much more often than that. This requires work-in appointments or VA ER service. A veteran cannot use an ER out of the VA system because the VA will only pay if the problem is related to a service connected issue. At some point the gubbmint will have tp open up ER care for veterans outside of VA facilities, but who knows if that will ever happen. It is sickening that a veteran has to find a VA emergency room to receive paid care and illegals can walk into any ER in the country and never pay a dime. Veterans that live 3-4 hours travel time from a VA hospital have to rely on rural clinics, and in an emergency must travel the 3-4 hours for care. A good example would be a veteran with bullet wounds is covered at a Non-VA ER if he goes to the ER because a wound is giving him a problem. BUT, if that veteran has a heart attack or stroke and he goes to a non-VA ER, the VA will not pay for the ambulance or care because the heart attack was not connected to a service injury or illness. These veterans will die trying to reach a VA facility driving the 3-4 hours to get there. This is true, I had a heart problem and live 200 miles from a VA facility. The local ER Dr called the VA and got me an admission to the cardiac ward at the VA hospital, but the VA would NOT pay for transport so I ended up hugging an ER supplied oxygen tank as my son-in-law broke every traffic law on the books to drive me 200 miles. I got lucky because the VA admitting me to their hospital during the ER visit required them to pay for the problem. But, if the problem had been more minor and the ER released me, I would have to pay the ER bill.
plus

Rio Rancho, NM

#5 Apr 26, 2014
This is a nationwide problem for the VA system, not just Arizona. Maybe the Senators could address this as a national, not regional problem.

Eventually all healthcare will end up this way with obamacare as hospitals and Dr's opting out of obamacare plans will require citizens to pay out of pocket for all care since in an emergency EMTs will route you to the nearest facility even if your insurance won't cover you there.
The Mad Man

Long Beach, CA

#6 Apr 27, 2014
misleading wrote:
The title is misleading. The problem is not the 'care' they receive, but timely access to care. The VA has some of the best Dr's in the country. Most Drs are active military at facilities close to bases, and contracted private physicians at distant facilities. When veterans are only allowed 2 scheduled appointments with a primary care Dr a year, older veterans have problems much more often than that. This requires work-in appointments or VA ER service. A veteran cannot use an ER out of the VA system because the VA will only pay if the problem is related to a service connected issue. At some point the gubbmint will have tp open up ER care for veterans outside of VA facilities, but who knows if that will ever happen. It is sickening that a veteran has to find a VA emergency room to receive paid care and illegals can walk into any ER in the country and never pay a dime. Veterans that live 3-4 hours travel time from a VA hospital have to rely on rural clinics, and in an emergency must travel the 3-4 hours for care. A good example would be a veteran with bullet wounds is covered at a Non-VA ER if he goes to the ER because a wound is giving him a problem. BUT, if that veteran has a heart attack or stroke and he goes to a non-VA ER, the VA will not pay for the ambulance or care because the heart attack was not connected to a service injury or illness. These veterans will die trying to reach a VA facility driving the 3-4 hours to get there. This is true, I had a heart problem and live 200 miles from a VA facility. The local ER Dr called the VA and got me an admission to the cardiac ward at the VA hospital, but the VA would NOT pay for transport so I ended up hugging an ER supplied oxygen tank as my son-in-law broke every traffic law on the books to drive me 200 miles. I got lucky because the VA admitting me to their hospital during the ER visit required them to pay for the problem. But, if the problem had been more minor and the ER released me, I would have to pay the ER bill.
I don't know about your ER but in CA the vet is usually treated and released. I have been to the VA ER many times, mostly for pain control and they shoot me full of morphine and let me go but nothing ever shows up in the tests. I am not service connected and have never received a bill for my visits.
Doctors are not smart enough to know if something is service connected or not and this is not their job. Their job is to treat. If the patient is not a vet, he is billed for services. That is standard procedure. DD214 has to be verified for military service and treatment at the ER.
Hospital director had his wife admitted and there was no bill generated until one member of my staff looked this up and found out she was a 'humanitarian' which not a veteran but billed for services. After this was reported, she was billed and transported to another hospital.
There are many walk ins, not scheduled so I don't know where you get this 'scheduled er visit'. This is only done by the nurse you call on the 24 hour program or the admitting doctor.
You are entitled to see you primary doctor according to what he/she schedules. Mine is every 3 months. The VA does not pay for emergency care outside of the hospital. 100 percent service connected under certain circumstances, maybe but not usually.
You have some screwy facts here. Suggest you re-read your manual given by the VA for free.
Check with your local ambulance company. Procedure dictates patient is to be taken to closest emergency room. That is their procedure, not the VA. Has nothing to do with the VA. Patient will be required to pay for any services unless covered by insurance.
political baloney

Saltsburg, PA

#7 Apr 27, 2014
THE GOVERNMENT IS NO LONGER CAPABLE...everything is a DAY LATE and a DOLLAR SHORT being researched, blah blah blah..........OR CANT BE FOUND ...the biggest business in THE COUNTRY is TAXATION,, and its 300 times bigger than WAL MART... AND THE 10000 WALMART STORES . every time you pass a walmart ,you just passed 300 tax stores the size of walmart....
The Mad Man

Long Beach, CA

#8 Apr 30, 2014
I concede that there is a secret list at this VA. The phones apparently have been shut off and treatment is being delayed BEYOND REASON!!!
Answers now, there has been enough time for investigating. The news media has reported this and now it is time for the VA to respond!!!
Stop the delay and start treatment of these men and women who need medical help!!!
Viet Nam Veteran

Chillicothe, OH

#9 May 1, 2014
The Mad Man wrote:
I concede that there is a secret list at this VA. The phones apparently have been shut off and treatment is being delayed BEYOND REASON!!!
Answers now, there has been enough time for investigating. The news media has reported this and now it is time for the VA to respond!!!
Stop the delay and start treatment of these men and women who need medical help!!!
Better yet, give every veteran a health care card and let them choose their own health care provider

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