Showing posts with label VA Contractor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label VA Contractor. Show all posts

Thursday, May 21, 2020

VA Contractor said veteran did not show up...after VA cancelled appointment for COVID-19

KARE 11 Investigates: Vets penalized for missing cancelled exams

KARE 11 News
Author: A.J. Lagoe, Steve Eckert
May 20, 2020
A KARE 11 investigation reveals veterans have been denied benefits for not going to exams the VA had already ordered cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

KEMPNER, Texas — “That’s a total lie!” said an angry and frustrated Harry Payne after receiving a benefits denial letter from the VA claiming he failed to show up for a required exam.

Records obtained by KARE 11 show the VA itself had cancelled the exam.

Payne, of Kempner, Texas, is one of thousands of veterans who had disability claims pending with the Department of Veterans Affairs when the COVID-19 pandemic struck the nation in force in March.

Records show he was scheduled for a C and P exam on April 21st by VA contractor QTC.

However, after VA put a stop to in-person exams on April 3rd, Payne says he received a phone call from QTC informing him his appointment was cancelled.

He thought his claim was just on hold until it was safe to do the exam.

He was wrong.

The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) sent him a letter informing him his PTSD claim had been denied.
read it here

Friday, March 13, 2020

Sterling, Cincinnati-based company paying $1.85 million under VA False Claims Act

Outpatient Clinics Agrees to Pay $1.85 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations Concerning Veterans’ Wait Times

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
Thursday, March 12, 2020

The Justice Department announced today that Sterling Medical Associates Inc. (Sterling) will pay $1.85 million to resolve allegations under the False Claims Act that it failed to schedule veterans’ medical appointments timely at two outpatient clinics in Minnesota, resulting in the submission of false claims to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Sterling is a Cincinnati-based company that provides various services in the healthcare industry, including staffing, departmental operation, and outpatient clinic operation.

“We expect companies doing business with the government to comply with their contractual obligations, particularly when they relate to the health of our veterans,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “The Department is committed to ensuring that our veterans receive the timely medical care that they need and deserve.”

VA maintains community-based outpatient clinics across the country, including clinics in Minnesota. VA awarded Sterling a contract to operate its clinics in Hibbing and Ely, Minnesota, in March 2013. The contract incorporated VA requirements that routine appointments be scheduled within 14 calendar days of the veteran’s requested appointment date. Today’s settlement resolves allegations that, between July 2013 and April 2014, Sterling did not schedule patient appointments at the Hibbing clinic in compliance with these requirements and changed veterans’ requested appointment dates to make appointment wait times appear shorter.

“Today’s settlement exhibits the importance we place on the health and welfare of our veterans,” said U.S. Attorney Erica H. MacDonald for the District of Minnesota. “The women and men who have bravely served our country deserve to receive timely care without exception.”

“We are pleased with the settlement and the willingness of the company to recognize the importance of timely scheduling medical appointments when veterans seek the healthcare treatment they earned,” said Gregg Hirstein, Special Agent in Charge, VA Office of Inspector General.

This matter was investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota, the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch, and the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

VA Contractor failed disabled veteran--he cannot sue

Veterans Affairs misdiagnoses and delays nearly kill SoCal veteran
ABC 7 News
Robin McMillan and Lisa Bartley
October 9, 2018
NO LEGAL RECOURSE - CALIFORNIA STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS EXPIRES DURING VA DELAYS To make matters even worse - during the eight months it took the VA to tell Brian that his primary care physician was a not a VA employee, the California one-year statute of limitations on medical malpractice had expired - meaning he could not sue in civil court either.
TEMECULA, Calif. -- Brian Tally is a military veteran, a husband, a father of four - and until a few years ago - a successful small business owner. Now, he spends much of his day in a beat-up recliner chair, the only relief he says from unrelenting pain.
"There's not a day that goes by that I'm not in pain," Tally said. "This is the only thing that takes the pressure off my spine."

Brian served four years in United States Marine Corps, but now he's in what he calls the fight of his life.

Brian's downward spiral began in January 2016. Severe back pain, night sweats - he made urgent phone calls to his primary care doctor through the Department of Veterans Affairs. She prescribed painkillers over the phone.

The pain only got worse. He went to the VA's emergency room in Loma Linda twice. Both times - he did not get to see a doctor. And twice - no one ordered a simple blood test.

"I was on the floor, I was in traumatic pain...I was literally in tears," Brian recalled. "They gave me an X-ray and the VA ER in Loma Linda diagnosed me with having a low back sprain and told me to go stretch."

He was seen by a nurse practitioner both times, but again - no doctor.

Brian followed up, as instructed, with his primary care physician at the VA clinic in Murrieta.
read more here

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

VA Contractor charged with sexually assaulting 4 female patients

Prosecutor: Doc hired by VA sexually assaulted four female patients
San Diego Union Tribune
Carl Prine
June 18, 2018
Manzanera’s arrest came two days before one of his former patients filed a series of lawsuits in state and federal courts against the doctor, the VA and his former employer, QTC Medical Services.

Four female patients from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs were sexually assaulted by an Oceanside physician who was arrested on Wednesday, authorities say.

Out on a $150,000 bond, Dr. Edgar Manzanera is slated to be arraigned on Wednesday afternoon in California Superior Court’s North County Regional Center in Vista on four separate felony counts of sexually penetrating the women with a foreign object.

A physician contracted by VA to review pension disability claims, Manzanera also is accused of violating the state’s professional code for health providers by allegedly making sexual contact with his patients.

“If there are any other potential victims, please contact the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office,” said deputy prosecutor Dan Owens during a telephone interview on Monday.

Manzanera did not return a Union-Tribune message left with a woman at his home on Monday.
read more here

And about QTC Medical
DIAMOND BAR, Calif., Aug. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- QTC Medical Services, Inc. (QTC), a Leidos (NYSE: LDOS) company, was awarded its second prime contract by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to continue to provide medical disability examinations for the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA). The contract has a one-year base period of performance, four one-year options, and a total contract ceiling of $6.8 billion, if all options are exercised. This second award follows the initial award of VBA's only nationwide contract supporting disability examinations for separating and retiring Department of Defense servicemembers.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Criminal Admits Using Veterans

Salesman admits falsely billing St. Louis VA $644,000
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
By Robert Patrick
June 1, 2018

ST. LOUIS • A former salesman pleaded guilty to a federal charge Friday and admitted submitting $644,380 in fraudulent invoices to the Jefferson Barracks VA medical center.

Vincent DeBlasi, 72, was "trusted at the medical facility to such an extent" that staff would sign off on scores of false invoices he submitted for various tools and other commercial and industrial products from 2012-2017, U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig said in court, reading from DeBlasi's plea agreement.

DeBlasi had his company send the falsely-ordered items to his Fenton home instead of the medical center, and kept them in his garage. DeBlasi would then sell the items at flea markets or give them away to friends and neighbors, Fleissig said.
read more here

Sunday, April 29, 2018

VA Clinics not always what you think they are

First question should be, is this a VA run clinic or is it a contractor run clinic? You know, like maybe something like this...
VA officials say the possible expiration of a contract with a medical clinic in Ely would not cause a hardship for veterans there, but two members of Nevada’s congressional delegation want to be sure.
U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., both expressed concerns last week that the possible decision by the Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Health Care System not to renew the contract with the William Bee Ririe Hospital and Rural Health Clinic in Ely could adversely impact the 230 veterans who receive care there.

VA hospital launches inquiry after tweets from veteran's dad about 'unsanitary' room
Deseret News
Ben Lockhart
Published: April 28, 2018
Christopher Wilson said he was in the room for an appointment on April 5 to get 18 injections in his ankle and surrounding area, and worried about the appearance of the room, which he said "felt unsanitary." The ankle was being treated in relation to a service injury he suffered while serving in Iraq, according to his father.
Pictured is a patient room at the George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City that Army veteran Christopher Wilson says he encountered during a visit on April 5, 2018.
SALT LAKE CITY — After the father of a U.S. Army veteran tweeted photos of an unkempt patient room at a Veterans Affairs clinic in Salt Lake, igniting angry reactions on social media, a top administrator there said the facility is investigating why the space was in poor condition.

The tweeted photos showed some medical supplies strewn out on a counter, a bowl containing water and a plaster-like substance sitting mostly full in a sink, and an overflowing garbage can.

"I figured they would say, 'Oh, this room's not clean' and take me somewhere else, but they just kind of blew past it, didn't acknowledge it," said Christopher Wilson, who spent six years in the Army and was deployed to Iraq twice. "They're doctors, right? So I figure one of them was going to say 'Let's go somewhere else' or 'Give us a minute to clean it,' but nothing."
read more here

Monday, July 3, 2017

You Could Be in the Hands of Contractors and Not Know It

Reminder, if you still want to blame the VA employees for all that is wrong, but the press usually won't tell you, here is something from Peter Biello a reporter in New Hampshire "VA Hospitals Step in as Federal Program Hits Growing Pains"
The federal government hires a third-party contractor to do some of that appointing now. Health Net is who that company is now, though I think that could change. Is it fair to the Manchester VA have employees do some of this work, especially since Health Net is in theory supposed to be doing it already?
Manchester VA Assistant Director Kevin Forest answered,
"We already do a lot of that work. Choice isn’t the only program we use to provide care to veterans in the community. We coordinate care for veterans who receive care at other VAs, we coordinate care for veterans who receive care out in the local area hospitals, and we work closely with Health Net now to make sure veterans receive appointments through their provider network."
Then again, if you think any of this is new, would be good for reporters to also remind you that veterans have had to fight the government since they started fighting for the government. 

On June 17, 1783, Congress received a message from soldiers of the Continental Army stationed in Philadelphia, which demanded payment for their service during the American Revolutionary War. The soldiers threatened to take action that day if their complaints were not addressed. Congress ignored their message, but the soldiers did not act on their threat. Two days later, however, the Congress received word that a group of about 80 soldiers had left their post at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, approximately 60 miles (97 km) west of Philadelphia, and had joined with the soldiers stationed at the city barracks. The group of approximately 500 men had effective control over the weapons stores and munition depot.[2]