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What's Happening at the VA Hospitals?

As a vet are you concerned about your healthcare?

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traumaRUs specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

A VA hospital in West Virginia is investigating some suspicious deaths.

What's Happening at the VA Hospitals?
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There is a recent article from the Washington Post about several suspicious deaths at a Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital in West Virginia:

"An investigation into the suspicious deaths of 11 veterans, who may have been given deadly insulin injections at a West Virginia VA Medical Center, is reportedly focusing on a nursing assistant who worked the overnight shift and had “improper access” to a supply room. The woman, whose name was withheld by the Washington Post, was fired from the facility last year and has not been charged. Seven veterans’ bodies have been exhumed as part of the homicide probe, which has raised troubling questions about the Department of Veterans Affairs’ health-care system. “You mean to tell me that for nine months you didn’t know what was going on in your hospital?” Sen. Joe Manchin told the Post. “Either you didn’t care, or there was a lack of competency.”

In one instance, a non-diabetic man had a progressively decreasing blood glucose, without known cause, and died shortly thereafter.

This is just the latest in a string of issues at various VA Hospitals:

  • August, 2019 a former VA pathologist in Fayetteville, Ark., was indicted on three charges of manslaughter after officials say he misdiagnosed thousands of patients while using drugs or alcohol.
  • In Beckley, W.Va., a former VA doctor is under investigation for sexually assaulting as many as 20 of his male patients, according to two people familiar with the case.

Should the VA Hospitals be overhauled? There are many other issues at VA hospitals all over the US. From USA Today:

  • At the Loma Linda VA Hospital the average wait time in the ED is >7 hours
  • Almost all VA Hospital fare worse than their civilian counterparts in patient satisfaction surveys
  • In 2014, the Phoenix VA came under scrutiny when it was reported that vets were dying while waiting for appointments.
  • Equipment sterilization issues in a Washington VA Hospital

How should this be addressed? The VA says they care for elderly, very ill, sometimes immunocompromised patients. In June 2019 the VA published information about the new Veterans Community Care Program and here are some of the details:

  • Veterans can work with their VA health care provider or other VA staff to see if they are eligible to receive community care based on new criteria. Veterans may elect to receive care in the community if they meet any of the following six eligibility criteria:
    • A Veteran needs a service not available at any VA medical facility.
    • A Veteran lives in a U.S. state or territory without a full-service VA medical facility. Specifically, this would apply to Veterans living in Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire and the U.S. territories of Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
    • A Veteran qualifies under the “grandfather” provision related to distance eligibility under the Veterans Choice Program.

Is this enough? It's a start for sure. It is yet to be seen if this initiative will improve care to our vets.

As a veteran do you trust the care at the VA? Do you use the VA?

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Pixie.RN specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN.

I am a VA patient. I really don't have any complaints about my care, but I have never been hospitalized in a VA facility - I've only gone to them for outpatient visits because anything requiring inpatient admission (childbirth/c-section and heart failure) required that I be sent to civilian facilities with those services.

I will say that I wasn't impressed with the initial nurse who did my intake for my primary care provider. She documented responses to questions she never asked me, and she didn't wash her hands. I always go back and check my VA visit notes, which is how I know she documented questions she never asked and answers I never gave. 🙄

OncologyCat specializes in Medical Hematology/Oncology/Stem Cell Transplant.

If this is true, I’m disappointed that those who work for the VA hospitals have better benefits than ppl working at civilian facilities...

I know almost nothing about it, except that an NP and an MD friend both failed to make their probationary period at the VA.

In retrospect, they said it was a blessing in disguise, because the place was very screwed up.

The NP said that the other employees were preoccupied with making it look like they were working, while doing very little.

Leader25 specializes in NICU.

On 10/9/2019 at 8:57 AM, traumaRUs said:

There is a recent article from the Washington Post about several suspicious deaths at a Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital in West Virginia:

"An investigation into the suspicious deaths of 11 veterans, who may have been given deadly insulin injections at a West Virginia VA Medical Center, is reportedly focusing on a nursing assistant who worked the overnight shift and had “improper access” to a supply room. The woman, whose name was withheld by the Washington Post, was fired from the facility last year and has not been charged. Seven veterans’ bodies have been exhumed as part of the homicide probe, which has raised troubling questions about the Department of Veterans Affairs’ health-care system. “You mean to tell me that for nine months you didn’t know what was going on in your hospital?” Sen. Joe Manchin told the Post. “Either you didn’t care, or there was a lack of competency.”

In one instance, a non-diabetic man had a progressively decreasing blood glucose, without known cause, and died shortly thereafter.

This is just the latest in a string of issues at various VA Hospitals:

  • August, 2019 a former VA pathologist in Fayetteville, Ark., was indicted on three charges of manslaughter after officials say he misdiagnosed thousands of patients while using drugs or alcohol.
  • In Beckley, W.Va., a former VA doctor is under investigation for sexually assaulting as many as 20 of his male patients, according to two people familiar with the case.

Should the VA Hospitals be overhauled? There are many other issues at VA hospitals all over the US. From USA Today:

  • At the Loma Linda VA Hospital the average wait time in the ED is >7 hours
  • Almost all VA Hospital fare worse than their civilian counterparts in patient satisfaction surveys
  • In 2014, the Phoenix VA came under scrutiny when it was reported that vets were dying while waiting for appointments.
  • Equipment sterilization issues in a Washington VA Hospital

How should this be addressed? The VA says they care for elderly, very ill, sometimes immunocompromised patients. In June 2019 the VA published information about the new Veterans Community Care Program and here are some of the details:

  • Veterans can work with their VA health care provider or other VA staff to see if they are eligible to receive community care based on new criteria. Veterans may elect to receive care in the community if they meet any of the following six eligibility criteria:
    • A Veteran needs a service not available at any VA medical facility.
    • A Veteran lives in a U.S. state or territory without a full-service VA medical facility. Specifically, this would apply to Veterans living in Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire and the U.S. territories of Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
    • A Veteran qualifies under the “grandfather” provision related to distance eligibility under the Veterans Choice Program.

Is this enough? It's a start for sure. It is yet to be seen if this initiative will improve care to our vets.

As a veteran do you trust the care at the VA? Do you use the VA?

I worry about any one of my relatives getting care there.We have been told by some that the care was good but they actually could not afford anything else.I have never heard anything great about VA in all my years in nursing,either for a patient or to work there.

traumaRUs specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

I want to preface my comments with the disclosure that I was employed as an RN in an ICU at a large VA in the midwest for a couple of years. I only left when we moved out of the area. During the two years, this is what I encountered:

1. Professional staff (RN/MD) were not allowed to belong to the union. There was a strike and we (RNs) had to fulfill the roles left open by housekeepers, kitchen staff, etc for the 6 weeks it lasted. We did not get a paycheck during this time but we were forced to work or lose our jobs.

2. Our pt population in the ICU received care that was equal to that of the civilian hospitals. In the two years I worked here, I cared for NO female vets.

I am also a vet, though I have no service connected disabilities. I registered with the VA but because of income guidelines unless I have a service-connected problem - no care is available. My husband who is retired after 23 years active duty service is also registered with the VA but again, since no service-connected probem, our income prohibits us from using the local clinic. We have no VA hospital within a 200 mile radius.

I care for many vets that do receive some care, mostly prescriptions thru the VA system. As a provider outside the VA, the system is cumbersome and redundant. In order to obtain a medication for my VA pt, I must document, write the script, fax the script and documentation to the VA, then call the pharmacy and alert them that its coming. Then...maybe a week or so later, my pt might get the med...not very efficient if its an antibiotic or BP med. In order to get into the clinic, pts have to call and hope they can get in to be seen.

HarleyvQuinn specializes in Military, ER/Trauma, Psych, Post-Partum, Med-Surg.

On 10/9/2019 at 8:57 AM, traumaRUs said:

As a veteran do you trust the care at the VA? Do you use the VA?

A great example I have for you occurred after my subtalar joint fusion. The surgeon wanted to keep me for a week, but I had talked him down to only overnight so long as I was doing well. During that overnight, I started off well. It was painful, as expected, but manageable. Well, at some point the pain became unmanageable and began escalating out of control. They reached a point where they were giving me 2mg of IV Dilaudid at a time. Now, I had been taking 5mg/325mg Hydrocodone PRN no more than 30 tabs in a month (frequently filled less frequently than monthly) to manage the chronic pain from my unstable and degenerating ankle and subtalar joint and continue working. I was working in a level 1 trauma center at the time, or at least trying to. I was also trying to maintain regular, low-impact exercise. Obviously, the narcotic was not used prior to or during shifts, but it helped keep me from being unable to walk for days after them.

Anyway, this sudden escalation of my pain and increasing need for much higher doses of narcotics resulted in the physician team rounding to see me no less than 2-3 times. Normal, right? They should be evaluating this. Well, during the times they came to evaluate me, they only asked one question. "Do you abuse substances?" They kept focusing on demanding to know about substance abuse. Not once did they do an actual physical assessment. Nor did they take down the dressing and actually look at the surgical incision. I did still push for discharge the next day, believing that fusion surgeries really are "just very painful" and to get away from being accused of substance abuse. I made it a day before I had to present to the ER because the pain had worsened to the point it was unbearable. They paged my actual surgeon who comes down and the first thing he does is remove the dressing to note the completely purple ankle. The drain had clotted off and a hematoma developed and residents from both hospitalist and podiatry missed it in their fervor to accuse me of substance abuse while ignoring physical assessment of a surgical site for potential complications. I almost had to go back into surgery.

I wasn't screaming in pain or shaking or showing outward signs of pain, either. I had the stoic, quiet appearance. Even when I presented to the ER and even when the surgeon was manually squeezing the ankle to remove the clots. Without pain medication on board. Not a problem with the pain medications after that complication was cleared up.

OUxPhys specializes in Cardiology.

I am a VA patient (mainly just routine outpatient visits) and I also work for a large VA medical center on their cardiac floor. We are one of the better VA hospitals in the VA system. I work with a great group of nurses and the patients are great (mostly). However, I have seen my fair share of horrible employees. Unfortunately the union makes it difficult to get rid of them (RNs are allowed to join the union at my facility).

A lot of our vets like the care they receive at our hospital. Are they always happy? No, but you get the same thing at private hospitals too. If we can't do a procedure we are partnered with a large private hospital down the street and they go there.

So why all the problems? It's simple. It's upper management. Off the top of my head I don't think any of our upper administrators are veterans. As a veteran myself I think that is a huge problem. Staffing is also a joke. They dont hire enough even though they know they are short they make no attempt to fill positions. One aide for 24 patients on a cardiac floor? Really?

Would I receive care at my VA hospital? Not likely (Im not service connected), simply because if I retire from the VA I have the option of keeping my insurance (still paying for it mind you) in retirement plus I'll have medicare (honestly who knows where Medicare will be when I retire, Im 33). Most of our vets only have the VA (some have medicare too) and IMO having the VA is still better than having nothing (at least in my area).

Keep in mind too that the VA is the largest medical system not just in the US but the world. Not every facility is going to be perfect. From what I have heard from vets and employees the VA has come a very long way from what it used to be.

Walti specializes in ICU/ER mostley ER 25 years.

l worked for about a year as an LPN at a VA hospital back in the mid 1980s so this information is dated. At the time the RNs were the best paid nurses in the area (Virginia) The LPN pay scale was at the bottom. We had a problem retaining LPNs as they kept transferring from nursing services to housekeeping as the housekeepers were better paid.

We were affiliated with a medical school which I was not particularly happy about. I felt that the veterans were not well treated by the interns and residents. I came very close to punching an intern after he made a joke abut why it was better to experiment on veterans instead of rats. His answer was because you don't get attached to veterans.

As far as nursing care went it was fair to good and I did see some mistakes. One was an IV inserted in the wrong direction in the vein but it did work okay. anther was a penile amputation after the nurse forgot to bring the foreskin back down after cathing a man..

As a veteran I'm concerned about the care veterans get. I will say that the care I receive in our local clinic is good.

I do wonder though about veterans suicides and if they are exacerbated by the war on opiates. Many of the veterans have been cut off after they had been using them as prescribed. Chronic pain is certainly depressing and for those no longer adequately treated it might be a tipping point.

One of the things POTUS managed to push through after consultation with his friends was the Mission Act. Although most veterans groups opposed it, it has opened up more treatment options and those veterans who thought they were not eligible in the past maybe eligible for reduced fee care under it. My feelings are that it is a way to shift care from the Veterans Administration towards care and increased profits to the private sector. I'm due for a routine colonoscopy and prior to this change I would have received a packet for the VA hospital or a contracted facility. Went there the day of the procedure and been discharged afterwards. Now to have this done will have to be seen as an out patient prior to the procedure then return another time for the procedure. Imagine your doctor sending you for a routine pap smear and having to see an OB-GYN as a patient first. Added expense. I can not help but wonddr if the eventual goal would be to close the VA hospitals. some of them sit on some very pricey real-estate. there is very large hospital in San Francisco and other one in Palo Alto.

In short, although the VA is not perfect IMHO it's pretty darn good. I really don't want to see it go away.

OUxPhys specializes in Cardiology.

On 10/13/2019 at 2:38 AM, Walti said:

l worked for about a year as an LPN at a VA hospital back in the mid 1980s so this information is dated. At the time the RNs were the best paid nurses in the area (Virginia) The LPN pay scale was at the bottom. We had a problem retaining LPNs as they kept transferring from nursing services to housekeeping as the housekeepers were better paid.

We were affiliated with a medical school which I was not particularly happy about. I felt that the veterans were not well treated by the interns and residents. I came very close to punching an intern after he made a joke abut why it was better to experiment on veterans instead of rats. His answer was because you don't get attached to veterans.

As far as nursing care went it was fair to good and I did see some mistakes. One was an IV inserted in the wrong direction in the vein but it did work okay. anther was a penile amputation after the nurse forgot to bring the foreskin back down after cathing a man..

As a veteran I'm concerned about the care veterans get. I will say that the care I receive in our local clinic is good.

I do wonder though about veterans suicides and if they are exacerbated by the war on opiates. Many of the veterans have been cut off after they had been using them as prescribed. Chronic pain is certainly depressing and for those no longer adequately treated it might be a tipping point.

One of the things POTUS managed to push through after consultation with his friends was the Mission Act. Although most veterans groups opposed it, it has opened up more treatment options and those veterans who thought they were not eligible in the past maybe eligible for reduced fee care under it. My feelings are that it is a way to shift care from the Veterans Administration towards care and increased profits to the private sector. I'm due for a routine colonoscopy and prior to this change I would have received a packet for the VA hospital or a contracted facility. Went there the day of the procedure and been discharged afterwards. Now to have this done will have to be seen as an out patient prior to the procedure then return another time for the procedure. Imagine your doctor sending you for a routine pap smear and having to see an OB-GYN as a patient first. Added expense. I can not help but wonddr if the eventual goal would be to close the VA hospitals. some of them sit on some very pricey real-estate. there is very large hospital in San Francisco and other one in Palo Alto.

In short, although the VA is not perfect IMHO it's pretty darn good. I really don't want to see it go away.

It's still true that the VA nurses are the best paid, at least in my neck of the woods. As for closing hospitals a lot of them need to be closed and rebuilt but I think the VA medical center in Denver ruined that for everyone. The VA does need to do some re-shuffling and open new facilities in areas that are vet heavy.

Walti specializes in ICU/ER mostley ER 25 years.

I concur on the rebuilds and opening new facilities. We did get a new clinic recently and it is nice. It did have a leaky roof which delayed the opening. I was reminded of the movie space cowboys where the Russian cosmonaut commented about what do you expect when your parts are built by the cheapest bidder. In the VA hospital I worked at we usually carried a water bottle and a urinal when we got on an elevator. You never knew how long you were going to be in it as they broke down so frequently.

We had a very good husband and wife MD team until politics chased them away. Now we have a another guy on loan from a different clinic. Scuttlebutt is he isn't very happy either.

I definitely concur about the need for more administrators that are veterans.

OUxPhys specializes in Cardiology.

24 minutes ago, Walti said:

I concur on the rebuilds and opening new facilities. We did get a new clinic recently and it is nice. It did have a leaky roof which delayed the opening. I was reminded of the movie space cowboys where the Russian cosmonaut commented about what do you expect when your parts are built by the cheapest bidder. In the VA hospital I worked at we usually carried a water bottle and a urinal when we got on an elevator. You never knew how long you were going to be in it as they broke down so frequently.

We had a very good husband and wife MD team until politics chased them away. Now we have a another guy on loan from a different clinic. Scuttlebutt is he isn't very happy either.

I definitely concur about the need for more administrators that are veterans.

I mean some of these hospitals were built in the early 1900's! I will say some of the good things about the Mission Act is it allows vets to get care the VA cant provide (for my facility its neuro) and it forces the VA to up their standards since they have to compete with the big boy hospitals in my area.

DaveMHA-RN specializes in Behavioral Health.

The Veterans Administration (VA) needs to get out of the healthcare business and stick to administering benefits. That might also help with the backlog in claims in the Veterans Benefit Administration (VBA).

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has no competition. It is competition in healthcare that fuels quality, innovation, value and safety.

The VHA has no real oversight -is it's own watchdog and cannot be trusted to police itself. The VHA tracking its own quality metrics is a joke.

As a service-connected Veteran, I say we deserve to have a choice in where we receive healthcare. There is nothing the VHA does that the private sector cannot provide.

The VHA should be eliminated and proceeds used to fund insurance. We could use that insurance to get our care where we choose rather than relying on a failed corrupt healthcare system that is killing Veterans.

Most private sector healthcare organizations in the U.S. are not-for-profit organizations which promote a culture that’s service-driven. The private sector could compete to earn the Veteran's insurance dollars adding value, safety and quality to Veterans healthcare.

Walti specializes in ICU/ER mostley ER 25 years.

OMG, not-for-profit? typically means we don't give big raises we hide the money as bonuses. Many CEOs make more than the top doctors at the facilities. There was a push by Concerned Veterans of America to move away from VA healthcare. They were funded by the Koch brothers and if it concerns Koch industries it is probably going to be good for Koch also. Every other Veterans group that I know of has opposed that move to privatization. Putting veterans into the claws of private health will mean lengthier stays, testing of questionable worth and unnecessary procedures.

I too am a disabled veteran and when I had to go the the local ER for chest discomfort I was admitted for "observation". The nitro relieved my severe indigestion and my EKG and labs were normal so I stayed for R/O MI. The first thing they did was loose my paperback. The next thing was put me on telemetry and then come in with sequential compression devices as I was on "strict bedrest", I declined both orders. Next was lab was in to re draw a CBC as mine was "abnormal", it was 1% off of the average, Every other value was WNL. Next was to redraw my CK MB and I expected that. It too was WNL. A couple of ours later they came in to do a D-dimer. Odd I thought as I had zero symptoms of a PE. I declined that one also. Unbeknownst to me one had been added to my initial labs and it too was normal.

8 hours later the last of my serial enzymes is drawn, My EKG was repeated and was without change. the blood came back also without change. Yay! I've ruled out and am ready to go home. Nothing happens. I hit the call button and my nurse comes in. I ask her what's holding up my discharge and she says, "I'll call the PA". He's in shortly and says the hospitalist wanted to do a fourth enzyme that night and check my cholesterol in the morning!

This turns a less than 24 hour stay into a greater than a day stay. To the best of my knowledge 3 normal serial enzymes are still the standard of care for R/O MI. Checking cholesterol in a hospital setting is rarely needed urgently and if not can always be done as an outpatient. I looked at the the PA, said "My 3 sets are normal and my EKG is without change. If you think I still need to stay in the hospital I want to transfer to a higher level of care. In my case that is a VA hospital. You know with three normal MBs and no change on the EKG they will refuse the transfer and tell you to discharge me to followup with my primary care provider. I was then discharged.

Bill padding? Staggering the lab draws for the repeat CBC and again the repeat D-dimer adds 2 charges for the blood draws. Telemetry was invented way back in the olden days when I was a younger nurse. It was great because it allowed ambulation in the room. Strict bedrest means a charge for SCD's. I can almost agree with a D-dimer as part of an additional initial workup but there were no symptoms of it.

Adding the fourth CK MB was padding as was wanting to keep me overnight for a cholesterol prior to discharge. Seriously?!

As an aside the cholesterol was ordered because of my history of high cholesterol except for that I don't have it. My VA doctor liked to put veterans on the low dose statin's to keep hypercholesterolemia from becoming a problem. They got the dose wrong when they generated my med list. It also never occurred to them to ask when I had it checked last. It was completely normal 8 days prior when I had last seen my doc for a routine visit.

Next unwanted outcome was leaving the hospital with a history of HTN on my H&P. Reason was my med list showed beta-blocker use. Never had HTN and went on the beta-blockers for frequent PVCs. But once again the doctor never asked.

The most upsetting was being discharged with a history of Alzheimer's. I was an Army medic 50 years ago and the experience gave me PTSD. Working ER for 25 years exacerbated the disorder. I also had a probable TBI when my aid station was blown up while I was inside of it. As I've aged (I'm 2 weeks from 70) I worry about cognitive decline. Because of those concerns I went through a 2 day neuro-psych exam and was found to have no deficits. My VA PTSD doctor put me on Namenda because he felt it might slow the normal cognitive decline of aging. Never diagnosed with Alzheimer's but ips fcto ,the hospitalist put it in without asking about my history.

When the bill came due I was not personally worried as my VA disability rating is high enough that the VA pays for my emergent care. When the VA reviewed the charges they declined to pay many of them.

Getting the VA out of health care is not a good idea unless you are into enriching the movers and shakers in the heath care industry.

The VA is also doing cutting edge research on spinal cord injury as well as TBI injury.

It is not with out problems but fixing the problems should be where the emphasis is, not on eliminating the problems by eliminating the VA.

Walti specializes in ICU/ER mostley ER 25 years.

To clarify my neutrophil count was 1% lower then the hospitals decided norm. My PCP didn't feel a need to repeat it either.

On 10/10/2019 at 7:02 PM, Leader25 said:

I worry about any one of my relatives getting care there.We have been told by some that the care was good but they actually could not afford anything else.I have never heard anything great about VA in all my years in nursing,either for a patient or to work there.

Edited by Kooky Korky
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OUxPhys specializes in Cardiology.

12 hours ago, DaveMHA-RN said:

The Veterans Administration (VA) needs to get out of the healthcare business and stick to administering benefits. That might also help with the backlog in claims in the Veterans Benefit Administration (VBA).

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has no competition. It is competition in healthcare that fuels quality, innovation, value and safety.

The VHA has no real oversight -is it's own watchdog and cannot be trusted to police itself. The VHA tracking its own quality metrics is a joke.

As a service-connected Veteran, I say we deserve to have a choice in where we receive healthcare. There is nothing the VHA does that the private sector cannot provide.

The VHA should be eliminated and proceeds used to fund insurance. We could use that insurance to get our care where we choose rather than relying on a failed corrupt healthcare system that is killing Veterans.

Most private sector healthcare organizations in the U.S. are not-for-profit organizations which promote a culture that’s service-driven. The private sector could compete to earn the Veteran's insurance dollars adding value, safety and quality to Veterans healthcare.

I think the VA does a far better job with SCI and TBI than private sector. I think they also do a very good job with prosthetics. I work at the VA and my medical center is one of the better ones. Alot of our vets like the care they receive. If we cant do a procedure they are sent to a large medical center that is 5 minutes away (they also have a partnership with the VA).

Unfortunately the media focuses on the bad and not the good the VA does. It isnt a perfect system. Neither is the private sector. There are large hospital systems that make mistakes, kill patients. The reason you dont hear about it is because they are able to settle out of court. The VA is government funded therefore they cannot.

I strongly disagree with giving insurance companies more government dollars. They are one of the primary reasons why we are in the mess we are in.

If you think dumping vets on private sector doctors will make them seen faster you are mistaken. Sometimes it takes me months to schedule an appointment. There will be an even bigger backlog.

DaveMHA-RN specializes in Behavioral Health.

As far as TBI SCI goes, the work the VA does is in partnership with academic institutions and the private sector. If we eliminate the VHA the private sector will pick up where the VHA left off and do a better job than the VHA did.

The problem with our Veteran Service Organizations is they get money from the VA and that is why they are losing members. The American Legion recently dropped war-time service as a membership requirement -which shows how desperate for members they are considering the eligibility period went back to 1990. I did not renew my membership in the Legion this year for that very reason.

The VHA is going away and all the big money, paid holidays, generous benefits and retirement for VHA employees and all the will be transformed into better healthcare for Veterans.

It's not about "dumping Vets on the private sector" -it's about giving Veterans choice and control of their healthcare rather than depending on a bloated bureaucracy that has failed as a healthcare system. Veterans have earned the right to choose where they get healthcare -gubberment cheese is not what we need.

OUxPhys specializes in Cardiology.

33 minutes ago, DaveMHA-RN said:

As far as TBI SCI goes, the work the VA does is in partnership with academic institutions and the private sector. If we eliminate the VHA the private sector will pick up where the VHA left off and do a better job than the VHA did.

The problem with our Veteran Service Organizations is they get money from the VA and that is why they are losing members. The American Legion recently dropped war-time service as a membership requirement -which shows how desperate for members they are considering the eligibility period went back to 1990. I did not renew my membership in the Legion this year for that very reason.

The VHA is going away and all the big money, paid holidays, generous benefits and retirement for VHA employees and all the will be transformed into better healthcare for Veterans.

It's not about "dumping Vets on the private sector" -it's about giving Veterans choice and control of their healthcare rather than depending on a bloated bureaucracy that has failed as a healthcare system. Veterans have earned the right to choose where they get healthcare -gubberment cheese is not what we need.

I can say with 100% certainty the private sector hospitals would not do a better job with TBI and SCI patients because they dont deal with either if those populations.

While I agree there are alot of bloated salaries in the VA its mostly upper administration.....the same issue in private sector. You sound very bitter. The VA offers great benefits, its one of the perks of working there. I never understood why people who dont enjoy the same benefits at their employer dont try and fight for the same. You would rather see those who do enjoy those benefits be miserable like you.

Alot of the RNs I work with at the VA bust their tail day in and day out. Again, dont paint the whole VA as the same just because of a few bad medical centers.

What about the vets who do enjoy their care at the VA? If you close the VA you are dumping those vets in the private sector. You seem to be only considering one half of the patient population. Not every vet dislikes the VA and is satisfied with their care.

The VHA isnt going anywhere, sorry to say.

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