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Exclusive: Texas VA Run Like a ‘Crime Syndicate,’ Whistleblower Says
Daily Beast ^ | 05/27/2014 | Jacob Siegel

Posted on 05/28/2014 8:17:58 AM PDT by Rusty0604

For years, employees at a Texas VA complained that their bosses were cooking the books. For years, the VA insisted there was no widespread wrongdoing.

Emails and VA memos obtained exclusively by The Daily Beast provide what is among the most comprehensive accounts yet of how high-level VA hospital employees conspired to game the system. It shows not only how they manipulated hospital wait lists but why—to cover up the weeks and months veterans spent waiting for needed medical care. If those lag times had been revealed, it would have threatened the executives’ bonus pay.

What’s worse, the documents show the wrongdoing going unpunished for years, even after it was repeatedly reported to local and national VA authorities.

There’s enormous pressure to report favorable wait times for VA patients, the Texas whistleblower explained...

The case of Dr. Joseph Spann, a recently retired doctor who reported malfeasance in the Texas VA system, where he worked for 17 years, raises the possibility that official investigations may only be hiding the problems they were charged to root out.

After retiring in January of this year Spann sent a letter to VA investigators accusing a VA employee of manipulating patient wait lists to hide treatment delays for veterans.

According to Spann, Dr. Gordon Vincent, chief of radiology at Olin E. Teague Veterans Medical Center in Temple, Texas, didn’t just break VA policy by manipulating veterans’ appointments himself. He ordered VA employees across the state to engage in the same fraudulent practice.

The VA said it investigated Spann’s charges, and, after, finding nothing to substantiate the claims, cleared Vincent and the Texas VA.

But documents obtained by The Daily Beast appear to show Dr. Vincent doing precisely what Spann accused him of—the activities the VA said it could not substantiate.

(Excerpt) Read more at thedailybeast.com ...


TOPICS: Health/Medicine
KEYWORDS: bonusmoney; vahospitalscandals; vascandals; vawaitlistscandal; veterans

1 posted on 05/28/2014 8:17:58 AM PDT by Rusty0604
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To: Rusty0604

ALL of the Federal agencies are run like that. The two different ones I worked for were run like that. Literally.


2 posted on 05/28/2014 8:19:41 AM PDT by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

At the end of the day, these soul-sucking bureaucrats exist to serve THEMSELVES - NOT veterans. NOBODY is served by these bastiges - it’s always ONLY about themselves: their own cushy existences.
We need to flush a giant toilet.


3 posted on 05/28/2014 8:23:37 AM PDT by spankalib ("I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.")
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To: Rusty0604

While appreciated, Spann’s statements should have come while he was a VA employee. I hope that a good number of VA employees, including physicians, come forward now. The one positive step taken now has been to allow referral out of the VA if wait time are excessive. Unfortunately, this also seems subject to bureaucratic manipulation so as not to have a high referral rate reflect poorly on the VA.


4 posted on 05/28/2014 8:27:47 AM PDT by JimSEA
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To: Rusty0604

Too bad we could not just turn these folks over to Texans (not the Texas government), and let them take care of them...


5 posted on 05/28/2014 8:28:33 AM PDT by topher (Traditional values -- especially family values -- which have been proven over time.)
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To: JimSEA

“The clinician has been alerting authorities to the wrongdoing at their facility for years but the corruption has persisted despite multiple reports and investigations by the VA’s inspector general.”


6 posted on 05/28/2014 8:31:45 AM PDT by Rusty0604
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To: Rusty0604
Words cannot describe how reprehensible all this is.

No wonder Paul Ryan and Patty Murray had no shame for scrooing the vets on their pensions - the anti soldier mentality is pretty well entrenched within all levels of government.

7 posted on 05/28/2014 8:32:43 AM PDT by MichaelCorleone (Jesus Christ is not a religion. He's the Truth.)
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To: Rusty0604

The article ends with a laugh line:

“Maybe it’s time for Attorney Genral Holder and the Department of Justice to get involved...”


8 posted on 05/28/2014 8:33:46 AM PDT by NonValueAdded (Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi or Atty General Holder, who brought more guns to Mexico?)
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To: Rusty0604

Preview of Obamacare


9 posted on 05/28/2014 8:35:32 AM PDT by Mr. K (If you like your constitution, you can keep it...Period. PALIN/CRUZ 2016)
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To: NonValueAdded

“Maybe it’s time for Attorney Genral Holder and the Department of Justice to get involved...”

To show them how a real crime syndicate works?


10 posted on 05/28/2014 8:37:42 AM PDT by ConservingFreedom (A goverrnment strong enough to impose your standards is strong enough to ban them.)
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To: Rusty0604

GOVERNMENT run health care for all the world to see!!


11 posted on 05/28/2014 8:40:38 AM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: Rusty0604

I understand he’s been trying to work within the system but the system is rigged. Unfortunately, going public is all that works and that only temporarily.


12 posted on 05/28/2014 8:42:09 AM PDT by JimSEA
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To: Rusty0604
“There’s definitely reason to think there may have been criminal activity,” Rieckhoff said. “Maybe it’s time for Attorney Genral Holder and the Department of Justice to get involved, or for someone else trained to investigate criminal cases to take the lead on this.”

Would someone please help me get back into my chair and stop laughing?

13 posted on 05/28/2014 8:45:45 AM PDT by Portcall24 (aer)
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

The guiding principle I have observed at various agencies by personnel at all levels is: ‘What can we get away with today?’

Recruitment, hiring (especially for internally-posted positions), ratings, reviews, promotions, etc. are rarely if ever based on knowledge or merit and are, of course, political in the casual and formal senses of the word.

As so-called stewards of public funds, they are beyond irresponsible. Massive surpluses of everything - vehicles, computers, supplies - are commonplace in order to meet or exceed budget thresholds and ensure future funding. Some of the same funds are also used for what can only be described as recreation - cookouts, volleyball games, etc.

So-called business travel to conferences, meetings, etc. is routine and routinely wasteful - conference calls, video conferences and good old e-mails would suffice.

Like a criminal syndicate, there is massive pressure on each and every individual to participate, to approve. By becoming soiled that individual is no longer a threat to reveal wrongdoing. The security clearance system is a joke, with Edward Snowden merely the tip of the iceberg. Such clearances are another portion of the code of Omerta, since few will risk their clearance and thus their livelihood by becoming a whistleblower.


14 posted on 05/28/2014 8:48:22 AM PDT by relictele (Principiis obsta & Finem respice - Resist The Beginnings & Consider The End)
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

I have been a software engineer contractor for 25 years- EVERY Government agency I have had to work with was run like this.


15 posted on 05/28/2014 8:56:44 AM PDT by Mr. K (If you like your constitution, you can keep it...Period. PALIN/CRUZ 2016)
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To: relictele

Public employee unions have a lot to do with the criminal activity. I worked with one in CA and I was shocked to see how they operate. They detest taxpayers and businesses.


16 posted on 05/28/2014 9:14:30 AM PDT by Rusty0604
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To: Rusty0604

I speak from first hand experience that the Audie Murphy VA in San Antonio is a corrupt craphole.

The VA cops there are as Jackbooted as they come! F’ing nazi SOB’s.


17 posted on 05/28/2014 9:34:32 AM PDT by mabarker1 (Please, Somebody Impeach the kenyan!!!! Once again dingy hairball, STFU!!! You corrupt POS!!!)
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To: relictele

These crimes are being committed at multiple VAs using the same precise methods. This is not a coincidence. This means there is coordination from above and is not a local phenomenon.

I think I know why General Kinsheiki has not been fired. I think this comes from the top! This administration has and continues to put out fraudulent numbers concerning Obama Care until recently. Now they are refusing to put out any numbers. This administrations lies to us with regularity. I believe Kinsheiki is up to his neck in this scandal. That means he was ordered to do this. His boss is Obama.


18 posted on 05/28/2014 9:51:28 AM PDT by cpdiii (Deckhand, Roughneck, Mud Man, Geologist, Pilot, Pharmacist THE CONSTITUTION IS WORTH DYING FOR!)
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To: JimSEA
While appreciated, Spann’s statements should have come while he was a VA employee. I hope that a good number of VA employees, including physicians, come forward now. The one positive step taken now has been to allow referral out of the VA if wait time are excessive. Unfortunately, this also seems subject to bureaucratic manipulation so as not to have a high referral rate reflect poorly on the VA.

The problem is, trying to leave a VA hospital because you are tired of waiting may result in VA police killing you.

19 posted on 05/28/2014 10:01:17 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: Rusty0604

The Houston VA was always a disaster.


20 posted on 05/28/2014 10:24:11 AM PDT by ansel12 ((Ted Cruz and Mike Lee-both of whom sit on the Senate Judiciary Comm as Ginsberg's importance fades)
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To: Rusty0604

If people think the VA Inspector General is going to take care of things, they’re wrong. My Dad contacted the VA Inspector General about a problem and they never called back. He’s been dead over two years now.


21 posted on 05/28/2014 11:28:36 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: blueunicorn6

So sorry to hear.


22 posted on 05/28/2014 11:32:27 AM PDT by Rusty0604
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