Jump to content

Will the Phoenix VA hospitals former director Sharon Helman be held accountable?


Cyberdave

Recommended Posts

The VA is so hoping this will just fade away and be quietly swept under the rug. Or, will they man up and prosecute Sharon Helman and her cronies?

 

You can bet that if this outrage happened in a public hospital she would already be charged.

 

So, where are the veteran's organizations calling for prosecution and email campaigns?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 243
  • Created
  • Last Reply

On edit: Capwiz at bottom for those who just want to let their reps know their position. Thanks for this heads up Dave, it was not on my radar screen. The more I researched it, the more corrupt it appears, and that "sanctioned from the top down" corruption has been known and swept under the rug for at least the past four years, if not more.

 

Here is one group doing petitions. Go here then click on VA accountability project. Scrolling to the bottom gets you to links to easily contact your representatives on this issue. http://vaaccountability.org/

 

That effort is from this group: https://www.facebook.com/ConcernedVetsforAmerica

 

Apparently this is a long ongoing problem that has been swept under the rug. Here is military.com article about it from 2013 referring to the fraud being in existence since at least 2011.

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2013/04/23/va-silent-on-exec-bonuses-for-manipulated-data.html

 

The short version is the VA W.I.G. program (Wildly Important Goals) set 14day maximum waits for appointments and 95% seen goals that when met resulted in tremendous bonuses for the executives at the VAs. Helman is just the most visible because of a whistle blower doc, and then two other docs still there printing out the proof before the executives at Helman's direction could destroy it.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/23/health/veterans-dying-health-care-delays/index.html

 

It isn't just the VA hospital system but tuition assistance directors, veteran benefit claims, virtually all of the SES (Senior Executive Service - a high tier of the civil service little talked about and compensated at approximate civilian CEO/CIO/CFO levels, given the equivalent privileges as the senior military general ranks) are getting performance bonuses for meeting goals they pretended to meet and hid the evidence all at the expense of the veteran's care.

 

Dave you asked where the petitions were? Here is the Capwiz from the American Legion on this issue with the letter you can modify to your reps. It can also be modified to say the opposite if that is the vet's opinion.

http://www.capwiz.com/legion/issues/alert/?alertid=63201916

 

I originally was going to just put this capwiz here but it does not go far enough as all it calls for is a moratorium on SES VA bonuses not prosecution for those whose actions can directly be attributed to delaying VA improvements, in fact making things worse, and perhaps knowingly allowing their "system" to contribute to otherwise preventable deaths of more than a few vets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As my recruiter told me as I was getting on the bus, "Boy if you think fighting the Viet Cong is tough wait till you get home and have to fight the VA."

 

The bureaucrats are dug in deep and have only their own interests at heart, the politicians don't want to touch this as it will cost money to fix and stink like the dickens once the lid comes off. The public could care less unless one of their family is stuck in the system so it just keeps going like it has since the VA was founded.

 

Senators McCain and Flake (R AZ) were both down here "looking into it" and if you watched them you'd think the whistle blowers were the scum of the earth and the administrators walked on water.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe because until you are vested in the retirement system if you make too much noise and they kick you out before you are?

 

The government and military are both structured to make it in your best interest to keep your head down and mouth shut. Holler about something that embarasses the senior folks and you will be hammered. Only thing you can be sure of if you do holler is that your chain of command will be standing behind you, waiting to push you off the cliff to save their behinds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Only thing you can be sure of if you do holler is that your chain of command will be standing behind you, waiting to push you off the cliff"....

 

My impression as well, and confirmed by my conversations with VA employees....too bad. But it is also true in the private sector...IMO, you will put your career in jeopardy if you escalate over your manager/supervisor in all but extreme circumstances (and this case is extreme).

 

The whistle blower will have to live with him/herself if he/she played a part in the coverup, but at least he/she had the conviction to come forward, albeit late.....something that the Administrators apparently lacked.

 

In the process of following orders, it appears this RN in Wyoming made the mistake of leaving an audit trail, lets hope he can produce the same kind of trail from the Administrators he was referring to:

 

"Investigations are underway in Texas, Wyoming, and a number of other states throughout the country. David Newman, a registered nurse at the VA Medical Center in Cheyenne, Wymong was placed on administrative leave Friday after CBS published an email Newman wrote giving instructions to his staff. The memo explains how to list patients within the required 14-day appointment window no matter when the window was first requested, and regardless of how long the sick veteran waited.

Yes, this is gaming the system a bit…” because “when we exceed the 14 day measure, the front office gets very upset, which doesn’t help us,” the email said".

http://rt.com/usa/158012-veterans-hospital-scandal-growing-mccain/

 

We can only hope adequate justice is meted out, and the revolting situation resolved asap.

 

Regards

Gemstone

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reading about this some today, the guy that took the blame and stepped down had already planned on retiring in a few months.

 

 

http://www.stripes.com/news/us/top-va-health-official-steps-down-over-care-scandals-1.283481

 

“Today’s announcement from VA regarding Undersecretary for Health Robert Petzel’s ‘resignation’ is the pinnacle of disingenuous political doublespeak,” according to a statement from Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. “Petzel was already scheduled to retire in 2014 and President Obama has already announced his intention to nominate Petzel’s replacement

 

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/may/16/robert-petzel-resigns-veterans-affairs-undersecret/

 

Dr. Petzel was already planning to retire later this year and the White House announced May 1 that the president would nominate Jeffrey Murawsky as his successor.

 

Quotes carefully trimmed to eliminate the politics involved in this stinking mess.

 

 

Stock tip, buy these guys: https://www.semshred.com/level_6_shredders "Paper trail? Not here!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Shinseki tendered his resignation today, and apparently one with no skeletons in their closet with the VA to be afraid of exposing will take over. I think a lot more heads are going to roll for the rest of this year. I do hope so. There are some good people at the VA, but how can they help the vets if the vets are held off? This will be a long time fixing. But I believe those heads will roll and soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One question I have is, did it take so long to get an appointment because hospital staff was just lazy and slow, or was it because the hospitals were under staffed do to budget limitations?

 

Hopefully, these revelations will get things moving in the right direction.

 

Paul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Paul you'd need to divide that "staff" above into several groups to find the root of the problem from what I'm reading. Doctors and low level admin folks seemed to not be a problem so much as management and senior executives from what I've seen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Paul you'd need to divide that "staff" above into several groups to find the root of the problem from what I'm reading. Doctors and low level admin folks seemed to not be a problem so much as management and senior executives from what I've seen.

 

I agree that the problem was with management. My question was did they try to make things look better, just for their bonuses, or were there not enough doctors and other staff to see the number of patients that wanted to be seen in a timely manner?

 

Paul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it was both. If the scheduling was done correctly, it would expose the staffing issues and the bonuses would not be awarded.

 

It is sick what these people that were supposed to oversee and correct the problems put all that aside for $$$.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All bonuses need to be reclaimed. Criminal charges pressed. The bonuses were fraudulently obtained. They also need to be reported to the appropriate licensing board. Bonuses for ALL federal employees need to be prohibited.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All bonuses need to be reclaimed. Criminal charges pressed. The bonuses were fraudulently obtained. They also need to be reported to the appropriate licensing board. Bonuses for ALL federal employees need to be prohibited.

 

I believe it shows the potential problem with bonuses in almost any business if you dont have ethics.

 

Paul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is not a money issue. The VA budget in 2014 was 161.9 billion dollars with a 3 percent increase for 2015 which means it will be 164,000,000,000 billion dollars next year. There are roughly 26,000,000 million vet in America of which 2,000,000 are retired. If my math is correct (please check me on this) based on a 161.9 billion dollar budget that breaks down to 6,230,769 dollars per year per vet. Would someone please write me a check for $6,230,769 million dollars per year and I will never ever step foot in a VA facility again and I am 50 percent disabled. This is not a money issue. I started using the VA when I retired in 1993 and I have never ever received bad care, I have never been disrespected at any level in any of the 3 VA facilities that I have used which are in AR,HI and CA. This is a management issue. We pay the folks at the top of each one of these hospitals at least $175,000 a year to do a job to the best of their ability and then we have to pay them a bonus to make sure they do that job well? Give me a break. Why we pay any US Government employee a bonus is lost on me. Did any E4,E5, E6, E7 or 01,02,03 ever get a bonus for taking or holding a hill. We as a nation should tell the folks in government at the upper levels that if you don't like your pay scale, take a F#$%@(* hike. It is a fact that 85 percent of what they do anyone could do and 10 percent of what they do anyone could do with some training. It's only 5 percent of what they do that is unique to them.

 

Dennis

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ron. Paul

 

Totally agreed. Reclaim the bonuses, prosecute where possible and reform the system with standards that must be met. Those standards could be evaluated periodically by an outside organization made up from volunteers filled mostly by veterans.

 

The reports should be made public and reevaluation for failed areas. No bonuses, no rewards but you get to keep your job for doing your job.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"did it take so long to get an appointment because hospital staff was just lazy and slow, or was it because the hospitals were under staffed do to budget limitations?".....IMO....probably some of each but don't exclude poor leadership/management.

As one whose Wife has worked in many VA hospitals, and as one who frequents the Tucson VA hospital weekly, I can attest that there are many vacant positions posted for RN's, Clinicians, Physicians....just as there is in the private sector. But the problem does not stop there, there is a shortage of qualified professionals, qualified instructors and facilities...and it won't be fixed anytime soon.

Shortage facts

 

Regards

Gemstone

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a former VA employee (RN) I know first hand the gross incompetence present in the system. Our housekeeper was always unavailable because he was always sleeping in a bathroom. When his supervisor was informed we didn't want him on the floor and why he was promoted and moved

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the solution that has been proposed: Dissolve the VA health care system and give veterans vouchers for private health care. It would cost far less than sustaining the present bloated bureaucracy.

 

The VA system has not been able to adequately prepare for the onslaught of catastrophic injuries and PTSD from the last 3 wars....and they've been treating Veterans for generations....starting from scratch would be a nightmare. IMO the private healthcare system also needs a major overhaul, would take way too long to ramp up and cost way too many lives of Veterans who would fall through the cracks during the transition. Again, IMO, the VA system needs fixing, but it hasn't reached the point of no return.

 

Regards

Gemstone

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

Dish For My RV.

RV Cable Grip

RV Cable Grip

All the water you need...No matter where you go

Country Thunder Iowa

Nomad Internet

Rv Share

RV Air.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...