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4 quit after Oklahoma veteran with maggots in wound dies

This is a discussion on 4 quit after Oklahoma veteran with maggots in wound dies within the Veterans Affairs forums, part of the Armed Services category; Originally Posted by nra lifer 1980 I am not a veteran but I do support those that are. As a ER nurse working in the ...

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Old December 6th, 2016, 04:23 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by nra lifer 1980 View Post
I am not a veteran but I do support those that are. As a ER nurse working in the private sector, I have seen and sent Veterans to VA hospitals from my ER and every time it has been a hassle. Excuse after excuse is always given, no rooms, no beds, the MOA on call refuses to accept for some reason where other private hospitals would accept the same veteran without question. Health care from what I have seen and experienced is like the rest of the GOVERNMENT sit and wait. If Private hospitals tired to do what the VA does to our veterans, the GOVERNMENT would closed the door so quick it would break your neck. I don't have a answer only observations. I only hope that the elected and appointed officials would at least try to do the right thing for our veterans!! It just bothers me how the VA can and has treated our hero's and all those that have served. Thank you for all of you that have served
Thanks after all this I forgot we too deal with the VA at least when looking for transfers to VA facilities. As an ex ICU nurse I had others dealing with that headache. The government expects from us more than they are willing to give.

As far as opinions ,yup your right we all have one. Lol !

Somewhere in there though there must be something that will work.

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Old December 6th, 2016, 06:07 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by ShootingSight View Post
Who gets to judge the merits of someone's ideas, before they say what they want to say?

Further, while non veterans are not consumers of VA benefits, as a taxpayer I am paying for the system. Are you saying that paying in does not entitle me to even voice an opinion?
Thank you for your last few posts Art. I feel the same way but you did a much better job of expressing yourself than I would have done.

Regardless of anyone's opinion here, our vets deserve the best medical care that can be given to them. When I read of vets dying before a doctor sees them, vets contracting Aids and hepatitis because of poor cleaning procedures and a vet with maggots in a wound lying in a VA hospital it infuriates me.

I'm not concerned with the ultimate cost. The system should be run efficiently and fraud weeded out. But the goal should be the best care for the vets. If that costs me more taxes to do it, so be it. Our country made a promise to the vets and we have to stand good for it. That is the least we should do.

Get rid of the VA or reform it? I have not seen any acceptable results from attempting to reform the VA in the past. I think it's time to create a new system to provide medical care and nursing home facilities. I doubt that it could be worse than what we have currently.

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Old December 6th, 2016, 10:44 AM   #48
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VA infection issues lead to 13,000 veterans' tests

updated 5/29/2011 1:26:02 PM ET

DAYTON, Ohio – Herman Williams came home safely after fighting in the jungles of Vietnam as a Marine. He was shocked to learn four decades later that his military service had again placed him in jeopardy – this time, because he got a tooth pulled.

Williams is among 13,000 U.S. veterans who have been warned in the last two years that their blood should be tested for potentially fatal infections after possible exposures by improper hygiene practices at five VA hospitals in Ohio, Florida,Georgia, Missouri and Tennessee.

This Memorial Day finds the Department of Veterans Affairs under political fire and numerous veterans upset after enduring fear and uncertainty over their health.

"I was scared to death," Williams said.

One afternoon this winter, Williams received a letter warning that he could have been infected during tooth extraction and other procedures in the dental clinic at the Dayton VA Medical Center. A VA investigation found that a dentist who practiced there for decades repeatedly violated safety measures such as failing to sterilize equipment or change soiled latex gloves, potentially exposing patients to HIV, hepatitis, or other bloodborne diseases.

For two anxious weeks, the 60yearold Springfield, Ohio, man wondered and worried about himself and his family's health.

"HIV ... that's something to be afraid of. AIDS is no joke. If you're positive, then your wife, everybody around you, needs to be tested. "I didn't know what was going to happen."

As with the vast majority of veterans tested, Williams' results were negative.

Eight patients with HIV, 61 with hepatitis So far, VA officials say, tests on nearly 12,000 patients have found eight HIVpositive results and 61 confirmed cases of hepatitis B or C, including three hepatitis cases at Dayton. It's not known how many of the positives resulted from treatment at VA hospitals or from unrelated causes –officials say testing may not be able to determine the origin of the infections.

Infections related to medical treatment are a problem at public and private hospitals nationwide. The VA, as a government entity, must report
infections publicly but most public and private hospitals do not.

The Veterans Affairs system that serves about 6 million vets a year in more than 1,000 medical facilities has been praised by medical authorities for
its successful efforts to reduce antibioticresistant staph infections from treatment, a common problem in U.S. hospitals. A study published last
month in The New England Journal of Medicine reported VA hospitals reduced such infections by 60 percent in intensive care units around the country after three years of emphasizing hygiene education and sanitizer availability in its facilities.

Diane Pinakiewicz, president of the advocacy group National Patient Safety Foundation, agreed that VA health care has done exceptionally well on
the problem of health careassociated infections, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates afflict 1.7 million patients
nationally, killing 99,000 people and costing up to $34 billion a year. Many hospitals have balked at pushes for greater transparency about
infections, citing issues ranging from inconsistent reporting standards to patient privacy.

"It's not a small problem," she said. "It's something patients should be aware of and very concerned about."

VA officials say their overall record of providing care for veterans is strong, and that critics shouldn't generalize about VA care from the series of
hospital infection cases in the last two years. The Disabled American Veterans, which represents some 1.2 million veterans, rallied to the VA's defense as criticism grew.

"VA health care is clearly the best anywhere and has been so deemed by numerous private entities," Wallace Tyson, the group's national commander, said in a statement late last year.

But subjecting those who had put their lives on the line for their country years ago to such alarming potential harm infuriates VA critics.

Worried veterans insist on tests

There are stories like those of Tom Sharp, 63, a Vietnam veteran from Springfield. He wasn't notified for testing – the Dayton VA has contacted only the 535 patients who received invasive procedures such as extractions and root canals from the dentist from 1992 through last July 28. But Sharp has gotten his health and dental treatment at the center for nearly four decades,
so he was worried after seeing TV reports of the dental clinic problems.

"I insisted," he said. He came to the hospital and gave five vials of blood for testing. Lab analysis found no infections.

"It tore me up. I was really nervous," Sharp said. "I go all my life, and then this."

"This is abhorrent, that any patient who entered a VA hospital would be placed at such risk," said Rep. Mike Turner, RDayton. "Our veterans deserve the quality of care they were promised."

In February, surgeries were halted temporarily at the Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis after potentially contaminated surgical equipment
was discovered. Last year, improper equipment sterilization at the same center's dental clinics caused the VA to offer testing to 1,800 veterans who
may have been exposed to bloodborne infections.

"In my years in public service, this is one of the issues that has made me madder than anything I've ever seen," Rep. Russ Carnahan, DMo., said
after the latest problems.

In 2009, about 10,000 veterans treated at hospitals in Augusta, Ga., Miami and Murfreesboro, Tenn., were informed they could have been exposed
to infection during colonoscopies or endoscopic procedures because of improperly cleaned equipment.

Surprise inspections at 128 VA facilities afterward found all were following proper procedures, the VA said.

At the Dayton center, whose first patients were Union Army veterans of the Civil War, an employee complaint last July brought VA investigators,
who learned that dental instruments weren't properly cleaned between patients and that sterilization of instruments was skipped entirely. One
dentist, the employees reported, sometimes left his gloves on between patients, answering his cell phone or drinking coffee – routine behavior by
him since at least 1992. Employees told investigators a supervisor had been notified but didn't respond. The investigation began in late July and the
clinic was closed for nearly a month in August.

"We were horrified and surprised," Dr. John Daigh, an assistant VA inspector general, said in a congressional hearing.

The dentist has denied the allegations, blaming coworkers he said were out to get his boss. The VA won't confirm the dentist's identity, but Dr. Dwight Pemberton, 81, told the Dayton Daily News in an interview this month that he had put no patients at risk and had been falsely blamed.

With administrative action against him pending, Pemberton retired this year after more than 30 years with the agency. The hospital's director was
reassigned, and the newspaper reported Pemberton's supervisor was fired.

Has VA been slow to make changes?

Some in Congress say VA officials have been slow to make needed changes at the hospitals to prevent recurrences, and generally were reluctant to
share information or cooperate with their factfinding efforts.

"You neglect the basic issues of communication and accountability," Rep. Bob Filner, DCalif., told VA officials in a recent Washington hearing.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, DOhio, has questioned what he saw as a lack of urgency in responding to the Dayton issues, with six months passing before
veterans were notified for testing. Turner and a local independent task force have urged broader testing of the clinic's patients and for reforms in
the center's training and openness. The investigations have suggested that a culture of secrecy and fear of retribution contributed to the problems.

Daigh said he considered the Dayton VA dental clinic "an outlier," and not typical of VA operations.

William Montague, a longtime VA hospital executive called out of retirement in March to lead the Dayton hospital, said officials have stepped up
efforts to encourage problem reporting, from anonymous employee surveys to confidential face to face meetings with him. The clinic adopted a
"dental dashboard" system of checks on equipment and procedures and frequent dropin inspections of the clinic rooms. Montague said this
month that two hospital employees have been disciplined recently for not following hygiene procedures, although he declined to give details.

Montague, who last headed the Cleveland VA hospital, has gone out to talk at American Legions, VFW halls and anywhere else he can find veterans to tell that problems in Dayton have been cleaned up.

"We had a situation that was dealt with effectively, but slowly. And because we were slow, we appeared resistant or secretive. For that, I apologize.
We should have been quicker. We should have been more transparent," he told The Associated Press.

"I can assure people that dental is completely safe, as is the rest of the hospital," he said. "The Dayton VA is a firstclass organization."

Jerry Adams, a Vietnam vet who comes to the Dayton VA for diabetes treatment, said he's generally pleased with the care he receives there, but he's still disquieted by the dental clinic problems.

The Sidney, Ohio, man, age 64, said he will continue relying on his wife's insurance for his dental care elsewhere.

"I had been considering trying a dentist here, but not now," he said. "Not after this."

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

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Old December 6th, 2016, 03:26 PM   #49
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Yep, Time to Privatize It!

And whatever we do, don't put a VETERAN in charge of it !!!

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Old December 7th, 2016, 05:25 AM   #50
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I don't think we need to privatize the Pentagon but we do need to separate the purchasing division from the generals.

The Pentagon needs to provide the specifications for the material they need, be it a battleship or men's underwear. These specs would then be sent to an independent purchasing division to have a contract created and put out for bid. This means no more wining & dining for the generals because they would have no influence over the awarding of the contract.

As an example, the state trooper in charge of specing ammunition was all over me to purchase Federal ammunition. He actually thought that if he speced a particular fps that every round would perform at that spec. He didn't know the difference between .223 and 5.56 ammo. He told me he didn't give a damn what the FBI tests demonstrated he wanted Federal ammo period. I wanted the highway patrol to have the best carry ammo we could buy and purchase it at the best price from a vendor that could deliver on time. But then I didn't have anyone influencing me.

I want to have our military have the best equipment money can buy but I want the best price from a vendor that can fulfill his contract obligations.

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Old December 7th, 2016, 09:45 AM   #51
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Vouchers or whatever might be feasible for conventional medical care, but the privatization of mental health care in this country is horrible. People are merely warehoused in group homes, which are disgusting and on par with section 8 housing. Whenever patients have an outburst or don't get along with the staff, law enforcement gets called to haul them off to a lock down facility. Law enforcement makes a report, and after the person is evaluated, they go back to the group home and the process repeats. These group homes don't have a dedicated doctor, just someone who travels a circuit and doesn't answer a phone while on call.

In places with VA facilities, someone can just walk in and get treatment. They don't have to jump through hoops to get accepted into one of these privatized slums, suffering in the meantime. Instead of law enforcement's hands being tied, they can bring veterans to VA facilities instead of initiating police reports as long as a crime didn't occur.

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Old December 7th, 2016, 09:51 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by High Hat View Post
I don't think we need to privatize the Pentagon but we do need to separate the purchasing division from the generals.
These same generals you blame for wasteful spending are the same ones who have told Congress for years the Army doesn't want more tanks, and Congress buys more tanks. At the end of the day, Congress controls the money. You can make purchasing divisions or whatever you want, Congress still makes the final decision, and every Congressman knows it is political suicide to get rid of jobs in his district, no matter how practical it is to the big picture.

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Old December 7th, 2016, 03:11 PM   #53
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Old December 7th, 2016, 06:16 PM   #54
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My wife is the CNO of an LTC corp. in TN. Had this occurred in a private, state licensed LTC facility, an immediate IJ (highest level of "tag" in the LTC inspection protocol) would have been issued. The facility administrator, DoN (director of nursing) and the care staff involved would have been placed on paid leave pending a state investigation. Once the state investigation was completed, all parties found to be negligent would be terminated. Any nurse found to be negligent would be reported to the state nursing standards board for action.

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Old December 8th, 2016, 10:56 AM   #55
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InternaldocumentsdetailsecretVAquality ratings

DonovanSlack ,USA TODAY 3:05p.m.ESTDecember7,2016

WASHINGTON —The Department of VeteransAffairshasfor yearsassigned star ratingsfor each of its medical centersbased on the qualityof care and service theyprovide, but the agencyhasrepeatedly refused to make them public, saying theyare meant for internal use only.

USA TODAY hasobtained internal documentsdetailing the ratings, and theyshow the lowestperforming medical centersare clustered in Texasand Tennessee. VA hospitalsin Dallas, El Paso, Nashville, Memphisand Murfreesboro all received one star out of five for performance asof June 30, the most recent ratingsperiod available.

Manyof highestrated facilitiesare in the Northeast —in Massachusettsand New York—and the upper Midwest, including in South Dakota and
Minnesota. Those medical centersscored five out of five stars.

The VA determinesthe ratingsfor 146 of itsmedical centerseach quarter and basesthem on dozensof factors, including death and infection rates,
instancesof avoidable complicationsand wait times.

USA TODAY Networkispublishing the ratingsin full for the first time so that membersof the public—including patientsand their families—can see
how their local VA medical centersstackup against othersacrossthe country.

Some lowerranking medical centershave remained poor performersdespite highprofile crisesand yearsof attention and resourcesfrom

For instance, the PhoenixVA wasa onestar medical center in 2014 when newsbroke that veteranshad died awaiting care there while schedulers
kept secret wait listsmasking how long veteranswere waiting for appointments. The revelationstriggered a national scandal, hearingson Capitol Hill and the replacement of the VA secretary.

Phoenixremained a onestar facilityin the most recent ratings.

VA Undersecretaryfor Health David Shulkin cautioned against using the star ratingsasa “ranking tool” and said theyare considered an “internal
improvement tool.”

“It isessentiallya system within VA to see who’simproving, who’sgetting worse, so we can identifyboth,” Shulkin said.

The documentsobtained byUSA TODAY list star ratingsfor everyfacilityfor the fourth quarter of 2015. The VA subsequentlyagreed to provide a list
of one and fivestar facilitiesfor the quarter that ended June 30, the most recent ratingsavailable, but declined to identifythose with two to four stars.

Shulkin said he wasapprehensive about anyratingsbecoming public. Myconcern isthat veteransare going to see that their hospital isa 'one' in our star system, assume that’sbad qualityand veteransthat need care are not going to get care,” he said. “And they’re going to stayawayfrom hospitals
and that’sgoing to hurt people.”

But without the star ratings, membersof the public—including patients, membersof Congressand others outside the agencywho could hold it accountable —have no wayof knowing whether VA medical centersare
improving or declining, except to plow through a dizzying arrayof hundredsof spreadsheetson the agency’s website.

“The data’sthere, but you’d have to be an expert to get through it,” Shulkin conceded.

He said 120 of the 146 medical centersthat the VA rateson the star scale have shown improvement since he began overseeing the VeteransHealth Administration in July2015. He said all of the onestar facilitieshave shown improvement except for the VA medical center in Detroit, which

Pamela Reeves, director of the Dingell VA Center in Detroit, said that officialsthere are "working closelywith our performance improvement teamsin the development and oversight of action plansto addressthe
opportunitiesidentified bythe …data.” In Phoenix, VA officialsappointed a new director in October and are pumping millionsinto the effort to improve the medical center.

Shulkin said that nationwide, medical centerswhere performance hasdeclined are getting extra scrutinyand help from national VA officials. If theystill
don’t show sufficient progress, hospital management could be replaced.

That’swhat happened in Wilmington, Del., where the VA ousted the medical center’sdirector in October after monthsof deteriorating quality. Wilmington wasamong several hospitalsplaced on a “highrisk” watch list earlier thisyear because of declining performance, according to the internal VA documents.

Also on the list were hospitalsin Tomah, Wis., and Oklahoma City, Okla.
The Tomah VA Medical Center made national headlinesnearlytwo yearsago after a veteran died there when he wasprescribed a fatal cocktail of
narcotics. A USA TODAY investigation published last December revealed gaping lapsesin care (/story/news/politics/2015/12/22/veteranssufferingpoorvacaredespitewashingtonfixes/77556860/) at the Oklahoma CityVA.

Rep. Jeff Miller, RFla., chairman of the House Veteran'sAffairsCommittee, said the VA should immediatelyrelease all the ratingsand qualitydata and do so on a continuing basis. He argued that the statusquo —“in which VA officialsoften attempt to downplayand sometimesmislead the publicabout
seriousproblemsuntil it'stoo late” – isunacceptable.

"The secrecywith which VA treatsthese qualityratingsisalarming,” Miller told USA TODAY. “Veteransseeking care at VA hospitalsdeserve to know exactlywhat theyare walking into. Additionally, Congress, taxpayersand
other stakeholdersneed to have a quickand efficient meansof comparing the performance of variousVA medical centersin order to identifyfacilitiesin need of improvement.”

AlexHoward, senior analyst at the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan transparencyadvocate in Washington, said there’s“no rationale that I see for withholding that from veterans, much lessthe general public.” “I would thinkthe onlyentitythat wouldn’t want that data publicwould be the facilitiesthemselves, which isnot sufficient cause,” he said.

The VA also rarelyreleasesnationwide averagesshowing overall improvementsor declinesin agency performance measures, so it can be hard to determine exactlywhat’schanged since the scandal in 2014, when President Obama tapped Bob McDonald, a former Procter & Gamble CEO, to take over assecretaryand overhaul the agency.

The documentsobtained byUSA TODAY detail those averages, and when asked about them, VA officialsagreed to provide updated statistics. Overall,
the data show something of a mixed bag, with improvementsin some areasand declinesin others.

On average, veteransare dying at lower ratesand contracting fewer staph and urinarytract infectionsfrom cathetersin VA medical centerssince
2014. Veteransare not staying aslong in VA hospitalsand theyare being readmitted within 30 daysat lower rates.

At the same time, veteransare experiencing higher ratesof preventable complicationsduring hospital stays, on average, than theydid in 2014. Those
on ventilatorssuffered more problems, such ascatching pneumonia, and the rate of turnover for nurseshasincreased.

The VA hasalso seen increasesin the percentage of veteranswho have to wait longer than 30 daysfor appointmentswhen theyare new patients.

Overall, more than 500,000 veteranswere still waiting longer than 30 daysto be seen asof Nov. 15. More than 125,000 of them were waiting
longer than two months, and 46,000 were waiting more than sixmonths.

Shulkin said half of the 500,000 appointmentsare for more minor needssuch asdental, hearing, vision and diet consultations. “I can sleep at night,”
he said. “The onesI worryabout are the oneswho can’t wait or shouldn’t be waiting, so that’swhere our entire focusof our system isright now. I don’t
care about you waiting for eyeglasses, I mean that’spoor customer service, I understand, but I do care if you have a lung nodule. I mean, that

Shulkin said the number of veteranswaiting longer than a month for urgent care hasdecreased from 57,000 to 600 since he tookover last year.
And he sayshe isworking to ensure that veteransget samedaycare —if theyhave urgent needs—at VA medical facilitiesacrossthe countrybythe
end of the year.

“If you have an urgent care problem, your wait should be zero,” he said.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has for years secretly rated its medical
centers on a scale of one to five stars, with one star being the worst and five
being the best. USA TODAY obtained internal documents listing the ratings and is publishing them here for the first time. Search for a state, town, hospital name or star rating below.

SOURCE: VA internal documents obtained by USA TODAY; Current VA data.

The VA agreed to provide USA TODAY updated ratings for one- and five-star
medical centers, but declined to provide updated ratings for the rest. These are marked with * above.


Guys, go to the article link and scroll to the bottom. There you'll see the star rating for your VA facility. HH:


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Old December 11th, 2016, 02:58 PM   #56
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Contrary to what the VA Chief said things are not better,

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Old December 12th, 2016, 06:26 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by ordnance21XX View Post
Contrary to what the VA Chief said things are not better,
Since the VA chief says things are getting better I guess this must be quicker than they used to pick up dead vets. HH

VA hospital left deceased veteran in shower room for 9 hours, report finds

Published December 11, 2016

An internal report blames staffers at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Florida for leaving the body of a deceased veteran to decompose in a shower for nine hours and then trying to cover it up.

The 24-page report concluded that hospice staffers at the Bay Pines VA hospital failed to provide appropriate post-mortem care to the veteran’s body, Fox 13 Tampa reports.

The report found hospice staff put the veteran’s body in a hallway and left it there for an unspecified time, the station reported. Staff then put the veteran’s body in the shower room and did not “check on the status of the decedent…for over nine hours.”

The report also found that a staff member then “falsely documented” the incident, Fox 13 reported.

The investigative report said that leaving the body unattended for so long increased the chance of decomposition.

"The report details a total failure on the part of the Department of Veterans Affairs and an urgent need for greater accountability," Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., told the station. "Unsurprisingly, not a single VA employee has been fired following this incident, despite a clear lack of concern and respect for the veteran. The men and women who sacrificed on behalf of our nation deserve better."

The unnamed veteran died in February after spending time in hospice care.

The hospital's Administrative Investigation Board ordered retraining for staff.

Hospital spokesman Jason Dangel told the Tampa Bay Times hospital officials view what happened as unacceptable.

Click for more from Fox 13 Tampa.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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Old December 12th, 2016, 01:22 PM   #58
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Sad to hear things still suck with VA care. My grandfather was a WWII/Korean vet. He was living in Missouri and his health was declining but the place he went to for Veterans couldn't say what was wrong. So we brought him up to Rochester Mn to the Mayo Clinic and he had cancer everywhere and only lasted 3 months after we brought him up to MN. I don't know all the details but it was a little upsetting. Sorry that you guys have to worry about crap like this you deserve better.

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Old December 12th, 2016, 11:52 PM   #59
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What is sad with all health care both VA and Private is that the 1 the Government and 2 the insurance companies control how all MD and Hospitals treat the patient. Example if a MD DX a patient with Pneumonia, the Md are required to order only certain kind of antibodics and if they go to an ICCU then they can order a stronger antibodic. The length of stay that the gov't and insurance will pay for is usually just 3 days. Medicare standards, but if you can discharge them before the 3 days everyone makes more money, but if it takes longer they lose money. What is really sad that our gov't has places a price on everyone on how much they will pay to keep you alive. And you wonder why there is a shortage with nurses, and all the MD you can find are from another country that speak with a accent. Sorry for the soapbox but it is a observation after 35 years in the healthcare field. Just follow the money!!!

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