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Study: Less than 10 percent of new VA hires were doctors

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posted on May, 26 2016 @ 09:40 PM
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More bad news for the VA:


The study from OpentheBooks.com shows that between 2012 and 2015, just one in 11 new hires were “medical officers.”
Much of the money that could have been directed to hiring new doctors – including $99.1 billion in salaries and bonuses – flowed to VA employees largely outside of the medical field.
The report noted the VA hired 175 lawyers between 2012 and 2015, bringing the total number of lawyers to 1,060 at the cost of $454 million in salaries and bonuses. The VA also directed $99 million to salaries and bonuses for public relations officials, according to the report author.
the VA paid $1.7 million for surveys; $751.1 million for “household” and “office” furniture; and $303 million for non-essential positions such as painters, interior designers and gardeners.
19 percent of the employees – or 67,609 – were paid more than $100,000 per year, with the top echelon of salaries reaching $400,000.
“It’s pretty difficult to argue the VA is suffering from a lack of resources when it spends money like this,”
“What’s clear is that money is not the issue – the culture is,” said John Cooper, press secretary for Concerned Veterans for America.

www.foxnews.com...

$99 million for public relations? if the VA was doing what it`s suppose to be doing they would have free GOOD public relations,if you need to spend $99 million to convince people you are doing a good job then you probably aren`t doing a good job otherwise your actions would speak for themselves.
$1.7 mil for surveys, no doubt to find out if the $99 mil they are spending on public relations is working.

can`t someone just disband the VA and start over?
Government incompetence and greed is just a fact of life but when people`s lives are at stake drastic measures are needed.

edit on 26-5-2016 by Tardacus because: (no reason given)

edit on 26-5-2016 by Tardacus because: (no reason given)

edit on 26-5-2016 by Tardacus because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 26 2016 @ 11:28 PM
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a reply to: Tardacus




 $303 million for non-essential positions such as painters, interior designers and gardeners. 


But those waiting rooms though...

Seriously this is what happens when you put government in charge of healthcare.. or anything for that matter.



posted on May, 26 2016 @ 11:35 PM
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a reply to: Tardacus

You need a little perspective because those numbers only seem big if you think the VA is small.



Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is home to the United States' largest integrated health care system consisting of 152 medical centers. In addition, there are nearly 800 community-based outpatient clinics, 126 nursing home care units and 35 domiciliaries. They have 312,800 employees



posted on May, 27 2016 @ 12:32 AM
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90+% of the doctors working at VA hospitals are are not VA employees.

Many of the doctors are in training and from local medical schools.

The VA hospitals i go to are staffed by doctors from UCLA medical school.
www.semel.ucla.edu...

The VA contracts these medical school to staff there hospitals with interns, medical residents, and Assistant Professor, Associate Professors.
Medical officers are the doctors that run the hospitals not the doctors that treat people.



posted on May, 27 2016 @ 03:50 AM
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Probably 1 in 11 is a good ratio of doctors to other staff such as nurses, pharmacists, duty electricians down to the person who empties the trash cans.

Yes there is non clinical jobs, but at some point peeling paint in an operating theater is liable to help cause infections and unless you want to pay doctors to become painters etc its probably better to leave each profession to get on with what its good for.



posted on May, 27 2016 @ 08:41 AM
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a reply to: Tardacus



Can we assume that the VA requires about 10 warm bodies in their facilities for every warm-bodied doctor? That sounds about on par.

Basically, I'm suggesting that this ratio mentioned is not really very relevant unless we know what the standards are across medical facilities. But it makes for a good headline.



posted on May, 27 2016 @ 04:47 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on May, 27 2016 @ 05:01 PM
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I am so sick of folks bashing VA, I have been using their services for the last 4 or 5 years, and have received nothing but the best and most timely care. For my latest issue, I had to postpone them due to personal reasons. The VA wanted to take care of it 3 or 4 weeks earlier than my schedule permitted.

I will caveat that with, this is nothing life threatening. I receive my health care from the Kansas City VA personnel in a couple of different facilities and would give them a 10/10.

I realize that others have not had my experience, but I have found that if I am honest with them, actually show up when I am supposed to, and follow directions, I get what I consider to be excellent health care from the VA.



posted on May, 27 2016 @ 05:06 PM
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originally posted by: Tardacus
More bad news for the VA:


The study from OpentheBooks.com shows that between 2012 and 2015, just one in 11 new hires were “medical officers.”
Much of the money that could have been directed to hiring new doctors – including $99.1 billion in salaries and bonuses – flowed to VA employees largely outside of the medical field.
The report noted the VA hired 175 lawyers between 2012 and 2015, bringing the total number of lawyers to 1,060 at the cost of $454 million in salaries and bonuses. The VA also directed $99 million to salaries and bonuses for public relations officials, according to the report author.
the VA paid $1.7 million for surveys; $751.1 million for “household” and “office” furniture; and $303 million for non-essential positions such as painters, interior designers and gardeners.
19 percent of the employees – or 67,609 – were paid more than $100,000 per year, with the top echelon of salaries reaching $400,000.
“It’s pretty difficult to argue the VA is suffering from a lack of resources when it spends money like this,”
“What’s clear is that money is not the issue – the culture is,” said John Cooper, press secretary for Concerned Veterans for America.

www.foxnews.com...

$99 million for public relations? if the VA was doing what it`s suppose to be doing they would have free GOOD public relations,if you need to spend $99 million to convince people you are doing a good job then you probably aren`t doing a good job otherwise your actions would speak for themselves.
$1.7 mil for surveys, no doubt to find out if the $99 mil they are spending on public relations is working.

can`t someone just disband the VA and start over?
Government incompetence and greed is just a fact of life but when people`s lives are at stake drastic measures are needed.


Are you a vet, have you requested services that you have been denied? or are you just spouting more right wing political bovine feces?



posted on May, 27 2016 @ 05:23 PM
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a reply to: BubbaJoe

I'm a Contracting Officer for the VA, and we are at 65% staffing. About 80% of the people I work with are themselves vets.

I can't remember a weekend or pay period thag I have not worked significant overtime because of how much workload we have getting contracts awarded.

I've had two close colleagues die in or near the office when they were in their 40s due to stress related illness.

I'm just saying that to provide an anecdote that a lot of the systemic issues are related to high level management including political appointees. That and the people with solid work ethic eventually get burned out and leave.
edit on 27-5-2016 by SonOfThor because: sp



posted on May, 27 2016 @ 06:28 PM
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originally posted by: SonOfThor
a reply to: BubbaJoe

I'm a Contracting Officer for the VA, and we are at 65% staffing. About 80% of the people I work with are themselves vets.

I can't remember a weekend or pay period thag I have not worked significant overtime because of how much workload we have getting contracts awarded.

I've had two close colleagues die in or near the office when they were in their 40s due to stress related illness.

I'm just saying that to provide an anecdote that a lot of the systemic issues are related to high level management including political appointees. That and the people with solid work ethic eventually get burned out and leave.


I can understand that, and I realize there are systemic issues that need to be fixed, I saw it with DOD both when active duty and selling to the gov't. Where I have issues is with non-vets, who have never needed the services, screaming it is horked up and needs to be closed down and rebuilt. What do they plan to replace it with, more corporate welfare feeding for profit medicine.

ETA: Thank you and all those you work with. As a veteran who seeks healthcare, I do not see the behind the scenes, but will add, everyone I have ever dealt with at VA has treated me as the most important individual for as long as I have dealt with them. There is something special about the medical professionals at the VA, because I am sure they could make more money elsewhere.
edit on 5/27/2016 by BubbaJoe because: I needed to



posted on May, 27 2016 @ 06:50 PM
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that's a straight up disgrace



posted on May, 27 2016 @ 11:53 PM
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originally posted by: BubbaJoe
I am so sick of folks bashing VA, I have been using their services for the last 4 or 5 years, and have received nothing but the best and most timely care. For my latest issue, I had to postpone them due to personal reasons. The VA wanted to take care of it 3 or 4 weeks earlier than my schedule permitted.

I will caveat that with, this is nothing life threatening. I receive my health care from the Kansas City VA personnel in a couple of different facilities and would give them a 10/10.

I realize that others have not had my experience, but I have found that if I am honest with them, actually show up when I am supposed to, and follow directions, I get what I consider to be excellent health care from the VA.



I think that boils down to a diamond in the rough.

I live in California. Southern Orange county, going to college on the GI Bill. The nearest HOSPITAL, is 60 miles away in Long Beach. Everything else between here and there is small little outpatient clinics.

At that, I have a relevant story:

I got out of the Marine Corps in 2014, fresh off a deployment. (I got out in July and got home from my second pump in late April) While on deployment, I developed what I thought was Athletes foot on my right foot - Corpsman told me use Lotrimin so I did for the remainder of the deployment, made sure to change my socks as often as practical, but it's not the easiest thing as most Vets who've been to Afghan in the winter can attest - you are either slogging around in mud or snow. Either way, it didn't work. I got back from my deployment and went to Battalion Aid Station, THEY told me it was Athletes foot and proscribed me oral Lotrimin. I get out of the Marine Corps and start going to school. Figure since I'm not doing any military stuff, handling weapons with chemicals and working on vehicles being drenched in oil it would help. It didn't.

This is where my issue with the VA came. I went to my local outpatient clinic to get it checked out because this skin condition was obviously NOT Athletes foot. I went in August. THEY told me it was also Athletes foot and to use the Lotrimin as prescribed for a month and to come back if the issue didn't sort itself out. Obviously it didn't and one month later I came back. They told me they would refer me to a specialist and that Long Beach would call when they scheduled my appointment. A MONTH later, I finally get a call back from Long Beach to schedule an appointment. Good I thought, took them long enough. Nope. Their nearest appointment for a dermatologist was 7 weeks away if memory serves. Obviously I schedule it. Finally, after 3-4 months dicking around with the VA, and having had this skin condition for more than a year, I go to Long Beach to get a skin sample done. Whole appointment took less than 2 hours. Turns out I had Eczema, not Athletes foot. Got prescribed some sort of Steroid cream, condition was gone inside of 2 weeks.

TLD;R: Took the VA 4 months to tell me I had Eczema and get me a prescription only steroid cream in Southern California, at a hospital that is less than 75 miles from a major military installation. I can't imagine what it is like in other areas not as heavily urbanized as Southern California.

The VA needs to allow Vouchers for people who are not fortunate enough to live in close proximity to VA hospitals, and for Hospitals that get overwhelmed.



posted on May, 28 2016 @ 12:22 AM
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I will add to my story that I never had a bad experience with employees at the VA - I think bad employees are one of the smaller issues with the whole issue itself. It's stuff that seems like it should be smooth and simple but turn out to be nightmares, or have so many little ins and outs that are the bigger problem.

I'll admit, my issue with Eczema was moderate at best. It wasn't debilitating, I wasn't in constant pain - but it shouldn't have taken them 4 months to tell me what the issue was. Administration needs to be seriously streamlined, and organization also needs to be streamlined. I won't pretend to know how to make that happen or know if it's practical or not - but with my experience, it's what it seems to me what should happen.



posted on May, 28 2016 @ 08:35 AM
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originally posted by: chuck258
I will add to my story that I never had a bad experience with employees at the VA - I think bad employees are one of the smaller issues with the whole issue itself. It's stuff that seems like it should be smooth and simple but turn out to be nightmares, or have so many little ins and outs that are the bigger problem.

I'll admit, my issue with Eczema was moderate at best. It wasn't debilitating, I wasn't in constant pain - but it shouldn't have taken them 4 months to tell me what the issue was. Administration needs to be seriously streamlined, and organization also needs to be streamlined. I won't pretend to know how to make that happen or know if it's practical or not - but with my experience, it's what it seems to me what should happen.


I am fortunate, I have 3 or 4 outpatient clinics and 3 medical centers within 60 miles of my home. 1 clinic and 1 major medical center within 20 miles. I was told, and received a new ID card, that allowed me to visit 3rd party providers if the closest VA facility was more than 60 (?) might have been 50 miles from my home. You might want to inquire about that.

I would agree that some things need to be fixed, but tearing it down and providing more money to for profit healthcare providers is not the answer.



posted on May, 28 2016 @ 08:56 AM
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a reply to: chuck258

I hear you on the streamlining. The VA has implemented all kinds of unique policies for their contracting staff that adds a lot of red tape to what should be "simplified acquisition procedures". A whole lot of extra reviews and signatures when it is the CO's warrant that gives the authority to execute a contract.

Getting a contract done at the VA can take significantly longer than when I used to be with DHS, because of this inefficiency. I work with some amazing, dedicated people but it often feels like we're fighting the same red tape monster as you veteran patients are as well.



posted on May, 29 2016 @ 09:28 PM
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originally posted by: SonOfThor
a reply to: chuck258

I hear you on the streamlining. The VA has implemented all kinds of unique policies for their contracting staff that adds a lot of red tape to what should be "simplified acquisition procedures". A whole lot of extra reviews and signatures when it is the CO's warrant that gives the authority to execute a contract.

Getting a contract done at the VA can take significantly longer than when I used to be with DHS, because of this inefficiency. I work with some amazing, dedicated people but it often feels like we're fighting the same red tape monster as you veteran patients are as well.


I will honestly say I have never dealt with a red tape monster at VA, for me the folks at VA have been awesome. I have dealt with red tape monsters at BIA, WAPA, NOAA, BOP, NIH, etc, etc. I have sold to the federal government and sometimes they are a nightmare to deal with.

I have worked with contracting officers such as SonOfThor, and they are the most awesome individuals in the world, there are some others that think they need to be bought.

Gov't contracting is screwed, good on SonOfThor, and his co workers. Some of these other SOB's need to be hung.



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