New wait-list fraud alleged in Illinois VA

posted at 9:21 am on May 14, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

That would put the list to seven facilities now where whistleblowers and/or media probes have discovered allegations and evidence of wait-list fraud at VA facilities. This CBS News investigation into the Hines, Illinois facility adds a new twist — performance bonuses. Germaine Clarno alleges that this facility had multiple, fraudulent wait lists intended to make the facility’s performance look better, and also intended to qualify its leaders for extra cash from the VA:

Germaine Clarno is a VA social worker and employee representative in Chicago. She alleges there are multiple secret waiting lists of veterans kept at the Hines VA Medical Center.

Asked which divisions of the hospital kept the secret waiting lists, Clarno says, “Employees are coming to me from all over the hospital, from outpatient, inpatient, surgery, radiology.”

Clarno says veterans were put on secret waiting lists when they called for appointments, but they wouldn’t formally get an appointment booked in the computer until one came up within the VA’s goal of 14 days. The purpose of the lists, she says, was to hide how often veterans were not being seen on time.

Clarno says the purpose of the lists was “to make numbers look better for their own recognition and for bonuses.”

The VA grants bonuses to executives and doctors, partly based on short wait times. Whistleblowers — including Dr. Sam Foote, who revealed the scandal in Phoenix, where up to 40 veterans may have died — believe bonuses give an incentive to conceal delays in care.

Just how long has the VA known about the problem of wait-list fraud? Well over a year, NBC reported yesterday:

The VA is auditing all of its medical facilities after whistleblowers claimed employees were manipulating patient schedules to hide long wait times which may have contributed to patient deaths.

“I think every American should be outraged about how our veterans are being treated American Legion National Commander, Daniel Dellinger.

An internal memo from March 2013 obtained by NBC shows top VA officials learned of the problem well before the current allegations, and had been quietly trying to fix it. …

“The question to the Secretary is, did he know? And if not – if he did not know what was in a GAO report or Inspector General’s report, why not?” asked Senator Jerry Moran, (R) Kansas.

They have known about the problem for 15 months — and only now are getting around to doing audits? Sounds like a typical VA wait time, eh?

Shinseki is scheduled to appear tomorrow at a Congressional hearing that looks more and more like a distinctly unpleasant experience for all involved. Whether or not he knew, Shinseki’s team apparently did, and Shinseki is responsible for their work. Shinseki needs to go, as part of a larger housecleaning at the Department of Veterans Affairs.


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makes you really want ACA to come in full force

RonK on May 14, 2014 at 9:23 AM

We need a single payer system. snicker

rhombus on May 14, 2014 at 9:24 AM

This is your obaka non-care at work, people!!!

ladyingray on May 14, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Wonderful.

BigGator5 on May 14, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Not to sound nitpick, but there is no such place as Hines. IL. The hospital on question is the Hines VA Hospital, located in River Forest. IL, a small, depressing little toilet bowl located about 30 minutes west of Chicago (itself the festering boil on the buttock of Illinois) on Roosevelt Road.

Eric in Hollywood on May 14, 2014 at 9:31 AM

I wonder why we never see our Obamacare-loving liberal commenters on these VA posts. /s

Buck Farky on May 14, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Ad hoc death panels, within a fully government-run system. ObamaCare won’t work exactly like that, since your local or regional hospital isn’t going to want to get the reputation for putting off high-risk patients’ treatment until they die. But they will in the end support having the feds put in a similar buffer system that weeds out the high-cost patients, especially if the government has no plans to allow the hospitals or their doctors to be properly compensated for treating those patients.

jon1979 on May 14, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Eric in Hollywood on May 14, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Yup. Pops went to Hines, twice. Vowed never to go back. He would board a van that would drive him up to the Madison facility, Middleton for medical care. They were wonderful there.

Fallon on May 14, 2014 at 9:40 AM

What difference, at this point, does it make?

Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday that the Department of Justice doesn’t have any plans to investigate allegations that veterans placed on secret waiting lists at VA hospitals died while waiting for care.

Of course if it ever gets covered by the WaPo and the rat-eared wonder learns that his guy at the VA has been killing people- Well, nobody would be madder.

Happy Nomad on May 14, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Clearly, if this is proven, then someone needs to end up in jail. And with the numerous facilities all having the same issue, this is not just the isolated incident that the Administration will want to make this out to be. But, it is all for naught as our wonderful AG says that no DOJ investigation is planned in this area!

This country is getting stranger and stranger.

johntexas on May 14, 2014 at 9:43 AM

I got your back
-obama and holder

Via Drudge, Holder doing squat

cmsinaz on May 14, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Yet Eric Holder indicates – already – that the Justice Department doesn’t intend to investigate. Interesting.

Rat f*ck bastard. Does this simply mean that the administration is behind the intentional VA slow-roll, from the top?

Midas on May 14, 2014 at 9:43 AM

I wonder why we never see our Obamacare-loving liberal commenters on these VA posts. /s

Buck Farky on May 14, 2014 at 9:32 AM

They have the rat-eared wonder’s hatred of the military. They probably think that those veterans are pampered as it is.

Happy Nomad on May 14, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Just how long has the VA known about the problem of wait-list fraud? Well over a year, NBC reported yesterday:

How many of those men and women suffered and/or died because of this? What does it take to hammer some mothereffers into federal lockup for the crimes occurring all over this nation at their hands.

Take every one of these scumbags up in a C130, strap them into parachutes, and drop them out over Tora Bora.

Bishop on May 14, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Indeed HN

cmsinaz on May 14, 2014 at 9:44 AM

This is your obaka non-care at work, people!!!

ladyingray on May 14, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Only for us, the likes of Durbin and the Dog Eater will have special facilities just for them.

Europe did this sort of thing once, abandoned their veterans to beg in the street after the fighting was done. Here we are in the modern age when any border-jumping ahole with a Spanish surname can get instant access to an organ-transplant list, but the men and women who went toe-to-toe with savages are treated worse than stray dogs.

Bishop on May 14, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Yet Eric Holder indicates – already – that the Justice Department doesn’t intend to investigate. Interesting.

Rat f*ck bastard. Does this simply mean that the administration is behind the intentional VA slow-roll, from the top?

Midas on May 14, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Like most other questions about this administration that almost hurt to ask, yes.

We have been bad. We need to be punished.

Fallon on May 14, 2014 at 9:50 AM

I have dealt with this at various VA hospitals and clinics for the last ten years. It really has not been a big secret among Vets who use the VA. We all knew/know that it typically takes 45-60 days to get seen for a routine appointment even when they say the typical wait is 21 days or less.

I am not sure why this is such a big shock. When you give a Bureaucracy unrealistic goals and don’t give them the resources they need to even come close to attaining those goals, they will try anyway they can to rig the numbers to make themselves look good. That is the way the Federal Government works. Surprise!

Johnnyreb on May 14, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Can you say Death Panels?

Trial run for ObamaCare single payer

txdoc on May 14, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Johnnyreb is absolutely correct. I am a vet and former VA employee and I can tell you this is not limited to the locations identified by any media orgs.

matthew26 on May 14, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Systemic, coordinated fraud and abuse. People need to prosecuted and go to prison.

These statements apply to every agency and department under the Obama Regime.

They also apply to the White House and the “President”.

Meople on May 14, 2014 at 10:15 AM

How many of those men and women suffered and/or died because of this? What does it take to hammer some mothereffers into federal lockup for the crimes occurring all over this nation at their hands.

Bishop on May 14, 2014 at 9:44 AM

DoJ doesn’t see a problem here. Why are you such a hater?

Happy Nomad on May 14, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Well, I remember the liberal asshats around here claiming how ACA would be run just like the VA, and look how well rated the VA was….

Somehow, they have all fell silent when I bring it up.

Dupes.

Snowblind on May 14, 2014 at 10:21 AM

This is looking more and more like a policy position than an attempt by administrators to garner more in bonuses. What needs to be asked of Shinseki if he’s really in charge of this dept, is when did this policy begin and who made the decision in the first place.

Kissmygrits on May 14, 2014 at 10:25 AM

I am not sure why this is such a big shock. When you give a Bureaucracy unrealistic goals and don’t give them the resources they need to even come close to attaining those goals, they will try anyway they can to rig the numbers to make themselves look good. That is the way the Federal Government works. Surprise!

Johnnyreb on May 14, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Except that the administration has been lying their asses off to Congress and the public about how much they’ve improved things at the VA.

Happy Nomad on May 14, 2014 at 10:26 AM

They have known about the problem for 15 months — and only now are getting around to doing audits? Sounds like a typical VA wait time, eh?

Well, yes, they knew in March ’13, but they were put a scandal wait list.

Lolo on May 14, 2014 at 10:27 AM

What needs to be asked of Shinseki if he’s really in charge of this dept, is when did this policy begin and who made the decision in the first place.

Kissmygrits on May 14, 2014 at 10:25 AM

What needs to be asked of Shinseki is what he would have done as Army Chief of Staff if a subordinate had been caught being grossly incompetent and implicated in the deaths of 40 soldiers. The dishonorable crap weasel has to go.

Happy Nomad on May 14, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Clearly, if this is proven, then someone needs to end up in jail transferred and promoted to a less conspicuous position.

Far more likely.

Systemic, coordinated fraud and abuse. People need to prosecuted and go to prison become accustomed to it.

Just business as usual with Chicago on the Potomac in charge.

hawkeye54 on May 14, 2014 at 10:35 AM

This isn’t incompetence. It’s intentional. And criminal.

rbj on May 14, 2014 at 10:37 AM

this facility had multiple, fraudulent wait lists intended to make the facility’s performance look better, and also intended to qualify its leaders for extra cash from the VA

…so now…not only do you get a government salary…you also get a commission?…when will government job openings be listed……….. under “SALES”?

KOOLAID2 on May 14, 2014 at 10:40 AM

HA!
Just did an internet search for my old stomping grounds. I am so glad that I got fired from there after being chewed out in front of the whole morning staff for “spending too much $$” to help a vet back in 2005 or so. Another 20year social worker (a Nam vet) quit over this thing.
.
.
“May 5, 2014
For anyone laboring under the assumption that the scandal that plagues the VA hospital in Phoenix, Arizona must be anomalous, think again. Without even delving into the medical malpractice testimonials of my three relatives who work at a VA Medical Center on the East coast, the recent near-death experience of my brother confirms our worst fears: the culture of corruption and indifference that afflicts the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is systemic.
This was after they shaved his beard. I still could not recognize my brother…

His was literally the face of a dying man. And it was the foreseeable result of shocking malfeasance and misfeasance exhibited by the bureaucrats who allegedly staff the VA hospital in Big Spring, Texas….
When Richard walked into the VA in Big Spring, Texas three years ago, he complained of a sore foot and minor pain in one hip. After three years of never-ending delays, lost files, stunning incompetence, bureaucratic bumbling, self-wrapping red tape, countless broken promises, and blatant cruelty (that would have formed the basis for a meritorious medical malpractice lawsuit in the private sector), this veteran became a completely disabled invalid. He was unable to walk or care for himself and grew concerned he might not wake up some morning. Only the calendar-based happenstance of turning 65 years old saved his life.

My brother had never before resorted to the VA for medical care… “
http://www.newswest9.com/story/21390286/lamun-lusk-sanchez-veterans-home-being-sued

AND, their nursing home
http://www.newswest9.com/story/21390286/lamun-lusk-sanchez-veterans-home-being-sued

May they and the administrator of the VA Hospital rot in he!!. I hope everyone working there loses their licenses, including my old boss’s license. There are worse things than losing your job w/o being told why.

The busturds!

avagreen on May 14, 2014 at 10:54 AM

*darn! The first link about the horrible care of a vet should be: http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/05/the_veterans_administration_scandal_hits_home.html

avagreen on May 14, 2014 at 10:55 AM

This isn’t incompetence. It’s intentional. And criminal.

rbj on May 14, 2014 at 10:37 AM

A foretaste of what we will be getting with ACA Single Payer Plan. Hey, it really only criminal if those in high up in the chain of command are are prosecuted, convicted and sentenced accordingly.

hawkeye54 on May 14, 2014 at 11:01 AM

More:
What the Big Spring, Texas VA couldn’t do in three years, a private doctor did in five days. Put another way, the duration of VA indifference was as long as the period Richard’s grandfather was held captive in a Japanese POW camp!

Richard had the first of two hip transplants at a Lubbock hospital and is now recovering in a nursing facility. The doctor said the hips were in such bad shape that he was essentially walking on two very badly broken hips for three years. The doctor also said Richard would not have survived through the summer.

But for Richard’s rescue by a private doctor, if the VA delays had continued the VA would be making grave space in one of its cemeteries rather than bed space in one if its hospitals…..

avagreen on May 14, 2014 at 11:01 AM

This isn’t incompetence. It’s intentional. And criminal.

rbj on May 14, 2014 at 10:37 AM

A foretaste of what we will be getting with ACA Single Payer Plan. Hey, it really only criminal if those in high up in the chain of command are are charged, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced accordingly.

hawkeye54 on May 14, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Is there any part of this Clusterfock that isn’t corrupt.

Sven on May 14, 2014 at 11:12 AM

From “Corruption That Works” to “Corruption That Kills”.

As Paul Harvey was wont to say, “This is Chicago”.

“Ad hoc death panels, within a fully government-run system”.

Dr Mengele ran the same system on a railroad platform.

formwiz on May 14, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Is there any part of this Clusterfock that isn’t corrupt.

Sven on May 14, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Hmmmm, let me think for a moment…..

Nope.

Nada.

Got nuthin.

Corruption is a resume enhancer and a sure asset and path for advancement in this admin.

Corruption is its business.

hawkeye54 on May 14, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Eric in Hollywood on May 14, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Yup. Pops went to Hines, twice. Vowed never to go back. He would board a van that would drive him up to the Madison facility, Middleton for medical care. They were wonderful there.

Fallon on May 14, 2014 at 9:40 AM

My mom’s husband is experiencing “triple-booking” for appts at the Madison VA. It’s been very frustrating for them. Drive 90 minutes to appointment only to sit and wait for hours.

Not sure if Madison is any better than these others….

BabyElephantWalk on May 14, 2014 at 11:50 AM

been trying to keep a list here and update as more come out
http://tinyurl.com/mvp7et2

dmacleo on May 14, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Under obama’s watch.

hawkdriver on May 14, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Missed your commentary Eric. Good to see a comment.

hawkdriver on May 14, 2014 at 12:15 PM

been trying to keep a list here and update as more come out
http://tinyurl.com/mvp7et2

dmacleo on May 14, 2014 at 11:53 AM

So you are the one who snatched up obamacarebodycount dot com?

lol Smart move.

Murphy9 on May 14, 2014 at 12:15 PM

So you are the one who snatched up obamacarebodycount dot com?

lol Smart move.

Murphy9 on May 14, 2014 at 12:15 PM

LOL yup, have not had chance to do anything with that yet :)

dmacleo on May 14, 2014 at 12:16 PM

They should try to fix this bureaucratic nonsense with more bureaucracy. It’s a Dem tradition—let some rules and regulations square it all away, and then shrug and move on when it surprisingly fails.

Psycroptic on May 14, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Which office will be found out next?

sadatoni on May 14, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Which office will be found out next?

sadatoni on May 14, 2014 at 12:25 PM

don’t know, been trying to see if Togus Maine is as its one of the older centers and directly affects me.

dmacleo on May 14, 2014 at 12:31 PM

and they laughed when Sarah Palin said govt death panels.

medical delayed
is medical care denied

RATIONING, long waits and DEATHS.

while govt administrators get bonus’s for keeping costs down

THIS IS AMERICA UNDER OBAMACARE . . . . .

sniffles1999 on May 14, 2014 at 12:45 PM

and people think obamacare will be better?

really?

sniffles1999 on May 14, 2014 at 12:46 PM

People are shocked that Obama and his disciples are killing off vets? Why? It’s no secret those scumbags despise us vets and have no use for us. I mean why would they help people that they labeled, with the help of Mark Potok, as potential terrorists right when he took office?

bbinfl on May 14, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Bonuses for government employees should be outlawed. In the private sector bonuses are paid for earning profits for the employer. Government employees are not there to turn profits, they exist to provide services to the taxpayers. Just do the damn job you’re paid to do. If you want bonuses go find a job in the private sector where you actually have to produce.

Trafalgar on May 14, 2014 at 12:59 PM

This isn’t incompetence. It’s intentional. And criminal.

rbj on May 14, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Yes it is, and those responsible should be prosecuted and sentenced to long prison terms. But we know it won’t happen. There will be expressions of outrageous outrage and assurances that something will be done, and then a few people responsible for the illegal conduct will be “fired” (i.e., shuffled into new government jobs), and the public will be told the situation has been resolved.

SOP with this corrupt administration.

AZCoyote on May 14, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Holder will not investigate what travesties happen in the VA.

People are let to die, in order to receive fat bonuses.

All bonuses s/b forbidden in gov’t. You don’t produce a profit; thus, no bonuses, you incredible thugs and leeches of the land.

Schadenfreude on May 14, 2014 at 1:14 PM

I did not serve my country as a member of the Armed Forces. I do my best to honor our country’s veterans by assisting friends who are veterans with transportation to and from Hines VA in Illinois.

One of my buddies, Peter, lost his right leg in Vietnam, back in the day. For a long time, he had a “VA Issued” prosthetic. Frequently, the “knee” on the prosthetic would fail. On those occasions, Peter would call and ask if I could “give him a ride” (it was dangerous to drive without the use of his right leg).

So, I’d take a day off and play chauffeur. It took from “Zero Dark Thirty” to well after dinner time, for Peter to get his leg fixed. Many’s the time that I found myself fetching lunch and non-alcoholic beverages for not only Peter & myself but dozens of Vets, waiting there.

The worst thing of all, was not the waiting, but the attitudes of those who are paid by our tax dollars towards the vets. To say that they were surly is an understatement. I took great pleasure in frequently giving a piece of my mind to the administrators – not that it did any good!

The upshot of Peter’s story is that finally he purchased himself a state-of-the-art shiny new leg and has replaced it many times since – all at his own expense. Peter is one of those Vets who visit the VA Hospital only as a last resort.

Bottom Line: “What’s New!?”

CiLH1 on May 14, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Too bad the VA is not a private company. The Justice Department would have been all over this 15 months ago, making arrests of the executives, exposing every allegation of misconduct, and keeping the story at the top of the news cycle for months.

But since Obama declared that ‘government does it right’, they have to help cover up any government agency screw ups and malfeasance. Any problem that is uncovered will be declared to be caused by a ‘lack of funding’, which will be fixed next year by doubling the budget of the agency, and doubling the salaries and bonuses of the screw ups in charge.

Some minimum-wage janitor at the VA who missed a spot while mopping will be fired in order to show how ‘tough’ the administration is on wrongdoers.

s1im on May 14, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Coming to the UK’s Socialist system:

Death Panels in Action: Top UK Doctor Wants To Deny Elderly Patients Cancer Drugs

slickwillie2001 on May 14, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Systemic.

OxyCon on May 14, 2014 at 2:00 PM

All of this was perpetrated by ‘rogue’ V.A. personnel and was NOT a result of policy driven from the top in an attempt to hide how undermanned, how back-logged the V.A. was to the point of breaking it’s own laws/regs by not seeing patients in the legally required amount of time. ‘Rogue agents’, I tell you….who were driven over the edge after…ummm…watching a VIDEO. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

easyt65 on May 14, 2014 at 3:18 PM

So far, the governments response to the VA scandal tells me that no minorities have died because of the fraud.

BobMbx on May 14, 2014 at 5:34 PM

Trafalgar
Bonuses for government employees should be outlawed. In the private sector bonuses are paid for earning profits for the employer. Government employees are not there to turn profits, they exist to provide services to the taxpayers. Just do the damn job you’re paid to do. If you want bonuses go find a job in the private sector where you actually have to produce.

Most bonuses paid to government employees are paid to seasonal employees with set total workloads per year, as a “reward” for finishing them ahead of schedule so they can be laid off sooner. They generally save money in total.

For these particular VA employees, though, they didn’t do the work. They were shuffling it out onto the back dock and pretending it was done. They should face firing and criminal charges of theft and embezzlement, but we can dream of an administration that actually obeys the laws of the nation…

Asurea on May 15, 2014 at 8:16 AM