Friday, February 27, 2015

Update on Obama's LATEST veteran's screwing.

Hard core readers are familiar with my battle with the VA to get my right little finger repaired from their last effort to repair it.

Those unfamiliar with that effort can check out the story here:, Chapter One and here, Chapter Two.

To that, we can now add Chapter Three.

Veteran's Choice has implemented a contract with something called TriWest.  TriWest, apparently, deals with local, available medical people foolish enough to take the dramatically reduced reimbursement rate for services rendered (Think in terms of Medicare/Medicade and how doctors , clinics and hospitals are dumping that in droves) by going what military types call "on the economy" to get our various medical ills taken care of.

Well, Veteran's Choice was pretty proud of how they handled my case and except for a few details, I must admit that the system has worked.

Unfortunately, the "few details" have killed the deal.

I repeatedly received "authorization" for something I didn't need,(A primary care physician?  Really? I never ASKED for one) and NO authorization for what I DO need, specifically, a hand surgeon.

Every time of the 3 times or so that I got an authorization, it was for a primary care doctor.  Finally, I called the Portland VA patient advocate, and she got the fine folks in the office of the surgeon who had initially operated on my hand to actually send my file up to where it needed to go: specifically up to Veteran's Choice.  Finally.

So, with that, THEY sent my file over to TriWest.  They sent me a letter, just the other day, telling me that.  It was dated 20 February, two months after this whole thing started and roughly 2 weeks after I had already been in contact with TriWest.

TriWest, having received the authorization (There, see?  I TOLD you the system worked!) contacted the Vancouver Clinic.  The Vancouver Clinic called me and took down my information.  That was a couple of weeks ago.

Well, a couple of days ago, this very nice lady called me to tell me I was set up for an appointment with, I kid you not, a Dr. Sunshine.

And he would look into my "carpal tunnel" problem.

"Carpal tunnel problem?"

WHAT "carpal tunnel problem?"

"Well, sir, that's the authorization they sent us."

But I don't HAVE a "carpal tunnel problem."  There's NOTHING WRONG WITH EITHER OF MY WRISTS.

So, I explain the problem.  Again.  For what must be the 12th time.

"Oh, sir.... I don't know if Dr. Sunshine does that kind of work.  Let me see if I can find the doctor who does and ask him to take a look at your file."

I'll call you back."

And she did.

"Sir, the doctor that does that kind of thing is on medical leave and we don't know when he's coming back.  You need to be re-referred by TriWest."

So, I just finished talking to TriWest.  Explaining the situation... again... being transferred.... again.... this time back to Veteran's Choice where.... I explain the situation, again, only to be told, again, that the "appointment team will get back to me in 3 to 5 business days."


Which, by the way, has NEVER HAPPENED.  Even though I have heard that MULTIPLE times.

This is what your $18 billion has bought.

Is this where I remind you that the surgeon who worked on me the first time promised me that they'd have this wrapped up within 2 months, and that it's now been 4 with no end in sight?

I am, it appears to me, directly back where I started from roughly 2 months ago...

Meanwhile, my finger has continued to grow out with the angle now approaching 30

In the over all scheme of things, it's minor.  Not life threatening at all.  Having screwed around with this for the better part of 2 years, though, I've started to wonder:

What's happening to those poor schleps that are dying?  What about this kids back from the M.E. meat grinder?

I have thought about cutting the damned thing off with a circular saw.  Then they can just sew up what's left of it and be done with it.

Words, you see, cannot adequately express the sense of frustration this thing has put me through.


Lew Waters said...

Gotta love the VA.

Back in November, late evening I got another nose bleed with high blood pressure, 196 over 100 and something. Tried for an hour to stop it myself to no avail, so got my wife to leave work and run me to Legacy Salmon Creek ER, some 16 miles closer than Portland VA.

Got it stopped shortly after getting into the ER and waiting 15 minutes of so in the waiting area.

Just told today that VA denied the claim, citing it was a "non-emergency," Legacy now wanting over a thousand dollars for the visit.

Yeah VA. :-(

Pete Masterson said...

Ah... more proof: Government does nothing well. Government fritters taxpayer funds, rarely getting value for value. Those few things that government seems to do well, are usually done at an expense that's far above anything reasonable.

We need less government at all levels.