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Delayed care has one Augusta VA patient fearing for his life

Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 10:30 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 7:51 AM
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Michael Newton had an appointment at the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center last week to have as many as 12 small tumors removed from his bladder. But instead, the cancer patient canceled and will now travel across four states and more than 1,000 miles to get the treatment he said he should have received six months ago at the Augusta hospital.

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Air Force veteran Michael Newton and his wife Romaine will travel 1,000 miles from Augusta to have tumors taken from his bladder. In June, Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center doctors told him all such cells were gone.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Air Force veteran Michael Newton and his wife Romaine will travel 1,000 miles from Augusta to have tumors taken from his bladder. In June, Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center doctors told him all such cells were gone.

“I have lost all faith in that hospital,” Newton, 62, said last week at his Grovetown home.

After reviewing the Air Force veteran’s medical records, the National Institute of Health offered to resect the dozen tumors that had formed in Newton’s bladder since June 13, when surgeons at the Augusta VA promised him all such cells had been removed from his system in their “entirety,” according to medical records.

Also offered by the Maryland research institute, and accepted by Newton, was mitomycin, a type of chemotherapy for upper gastrointestinal cancers that Newton said he was denied this summer at the Augusta VA despite lab results showing the tumor originally removed from his bladder was “high-grade.”

“When they saw that the tumor was high-grade, they should have brought me back and given me mitomycin, but they didn’t,” said Newton, who is a 100 percent disabled veteran. “Instead, they told me the tumor was benign and that no chemotherapy was needed. They were basically putting me on a schedule to die.”

Hundreds, possibly even thousands of veterans, including Newton, are becoming more and more fearful that the Augusta VA is shaving years off their lives.

Three cancer patients died and four veterans were injured between 2011 and November 2012 after hospital administration failed to schedule 5,100 primary-care referrals made to the medical center’s gastrointestinal program.

The House Committee on Veterans Affairs is investigating the management error in hopes of holding accountable those who are responsible.

The committee has targeted the administration of former Director Rebecca Wiley, which managed the hospital from 2007 to 2011 – the year Newton’s problems began to escalate.

Newton joined the Air Force in 1972. Almost a year after he enlisted, a biopsy performed by Navy Medical staff found he had rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which damaged skeletal muscle tissue breaks down and is released into the bloodstream, possibly resulting in kidney failure.

“Because of the uncertainty of his illness, Mr. Newton’s life has been disrupted and he needs some measure of emotional support,” Dr. Stanley Bodner wrote in a letter to Newton’s commanders on Jan. 23, 1973.

Newton left the Air Force in 1979, but his health condition persisted for more than 30 years, peaking in June 2011, when he suffered a major episode.

“I thought I had the flu, but then my vision became black, my urine turned the color of Coca-Cola and I started passing lesions,” he said.

Newton said he stayed in the Augusta VA in kidney failure for two days until a nurse intervened and started to give him dialysis. A week later, the hospital released Newton for three months of outpatient dialysis and said a notice would be sent in the mail for a follow-up appointment in two weeks, discharge summaries show.

But Newton said he never got the notice and that the hospital stopped dialysis by the end of 2011. His wife, Romaine, said her husband’s urine flow returned, but that his kidney output was below normal and as a result, he put on 30 pounds.

“He kept saying ‘I’m not feeling well,’ and we visited several different programs in the VA’s nephrology and neurology programs until October 2012, when he began experiencing sharp pains in his right side and started seeing blood in his urine,” she said.
“I bent over in my room and felt like someone had stabbed me,” Michael Newton said, describing the pain.
A CT scan performed at the VA in January 2013 revealed his bladder was distended, but the Newtons said the VA did nothing about it.

“From then until April 2013, there has been a tremendous delay,” Romaine Newton said.

In May, the VA scheduled a cystoscopy and found a tumor in his bladder.

“The bladder was surveyed in systemic fashion and a papillary tumor was noted on the right wall with a clot attached,” progress notes filed May 29-30 at the hospital stated. “Within the pelvis, the bladder is partially distended.”

Newton had surgery June 12 to remove the tumor and surgical information on file states that staff was “able to access the right lateral bladder wall tumor, which was resected in its entirety.”

Medical records state that the plan was for Newton to have a “surveillance cystoscopy every three months.”

In September, Newton’s right side still hurt. He went into the VA for a cystoscopy, but no adverse conditions were reported.

On Nov. 5, Newton saw a private physician in Columbia County to get a second opinion on why his side continued to hurt.

According to diagnostic report from the Center for Primary Care in Evans, an ultrasound found a 2-centimeter cyst and several small stones scattered throughout his left kidney. Newton was prescribed allopurinol, a drug used primarily to treat excess uric acid in blood plasma.

The veteran said he took the prescription to the VA to get it filled on Dec. 10, when a cystoscopy confirmed multiple small tumors – possibly as many 12 – had formed in his bladder, according to progress notes filed by the medical center nine days after the appointment.

Newton, however, said he was told he could not get the medication unless he had gout. Four days later he returned to the VA with a swollen right foot. An assessment by the hospital found he had an “acute gouty attack,” according to progress notes filed Dec. 19. The hospital scheduled another resection for the tumors.

“I felt like my life was in danger,” Newton said of canceling the appointment. “The VA ignored everything the doctor in Columbia County wanted to do. If the tumor had gotten to the muscular layer, I would have had three years – plus or minus one year – of my life left. I didn’t like my odds.”

Hospital spokesman Pete Scovill said it is not uncommon for patients to seek treatment from both public and private facilities, but said it is rare for VA staff not to explore every treatment plan possible. He urged any veteran who wishes to appeal their case to call his office at (706) 733-0188.

“If they come to us and give us a chance to review their case, we will do our best to resolve any issues they may have,” he said.

The Newtons said they are unsure if they plan to sue the hospital. However, Romaine Newton said all this could have been avoided.

“If Michael presented them with a symptom, the VA would order a MRI or an ultrasound, but the underlying cause of the problem, they would not try to determine what it was,” she said. “That is the way they work.”

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chuckstud
15
Points
chuckstud 01/15/14 - 12:17 am
1
5
VA

Are his ailments service connected ie Vietnam? I know people that get "rhabdo" get it from forced exercise when they are out of shape/conditioning. I doubt the Air Force back then had a hard core PT program. Still don't have one.

TheGeorgian
432
Points
TheGeorgian 01/15/14 - 03:37 am
6
1
Charlie Norwood Center

I was prescribed a diuretic drug which raises blood sugar and cholesterol. Next visit a blood test revealed elevated levels of both and I was bawled out for not eating right. No mention made of this being an expected side effect of HCTZ. I also complained of several years of intense muscle pain and the doctor only shrugged. No questions and no information given. After living as an invalid I discovered I had a severe magnesium deficiency made extreme by that same diuretic. The quality of care provided by Charlie Norwood varies wildly from one department to the next with some doctors being concerned and up on their specialty and others not seeming to give a fine hoot while just waiting to move on to a better paying job elsewhere.

JimS
166
Points
JimS 01/15/14 - 08:09 am
3
0
REALITY:
Unpublished

The Abandoning of the missions and the purposes of, along with the once
again promises to the Afghan people, first time was after the
Afghan/Soviet long war, quickly after 9/11, with the Lives still being lost, those serving still being wounded!!! Giving rise to, with the rhetoric from within, not a victory over, and spread of al Qaeda type ideology criminal terrorism!!!

The Cost of War, All Costs, the Responsibility of Those Served

"12 years also is a long time. We now have a lifetime responsibility
to a generation of service members, veterans and their families." Dr. Jonathan Woodson 11 Sep. 2013: 'With 9/11 Came Lifetime Responsibility'

There's only one branch of Government, Federal and States, consistently
doing for not only us Veterans' but also the Military personal and their
Families and without the control of the Countries purse strings and combining
the Cabinet agencies abilities to help where possible with their
budgets. That's the whole Executive branch under President Obama. Doing
what Congress, and State legislatures in passing feel patriotic support bills that are unfunded, and the people represented by them and served by the
Military refuse to do, Sacrifice, especially the wealthy!

Decades, and wars of, of under funding the VA. With these two recent
wars little was done for the Veterans of as well as the Military
personal, i.e. Walter Reed as one example, and their Families, in the
first years of both under the previous executive branch and those
congresses. Rubber stamped war costs, off the books and on the countries
credit card with no bid private contracts, including building an
expensive private merc army! That's not adding in all the other rubber
stamped costs of the bush administration policy wants, especially in the
first six years of!

Rachel Maddow: "We got a huge round of tax cuts in
this country a few weeks before 9/11. Once 9/11 happened and we invaded
Afghanistan, we kept the tax cuts anyway.
How did we think we were going to pay for that war? Did we think it was
free?

Then, when we started a second simultaneous war in another country, we
gave ourselves a second huge round of tax cuts. After that second war
started. The wars, I guess, we thought would be free, don`t worry about
it, civilians. Go about your business." 23 May 2013

"If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth
our treasure, too" "not just in the abstract, but in the form of a
specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

David (CBS News) Martin: "Then there's the financial cost. To date,
the Pentagon has spent more than $500 billion on the war in Afghanistan.
A defense spending bill the Senate is expected to pass this week would
add another $80 billion to that." 17 December 2013

That's not counting those decades to come results from costs and the once again ignored, by those served, issues!

The wars, neither Afghanistan nor Iraq, have yet been paid for. Nor
especially the now decades to come, DeJa-Vu all over again, the of
results for those sent, over and over, and the continuing under funding
the Peoples Responsibility, the Veterans Administration charged with
much more then just caring for the wounded, as those served ignore most
of those results from!!

'Cost of War' site {real and estimated costs}: "Total
US federal spending associated with the Iraq war has been $1.7 trillion
through FY2013. In addition, future health and disability payments for
veterans will total $590 billion and interest accrued to pay for the war
will add up to $3.9 trillion." 19 March 2013 © 2011 Watson Institute, Brown University

USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71

corgimom
38717
Points
corgimom 01/15/14 - 09:24 am
4
3
Anytime tumors are removed

Anytime tumors are removed from somebody, there is a possibility that they will return. There's also the possibility that there are more that are too small to be seen at the time.

When my mother was dying of cancer, she had a bone scan that showed her bones were fine. A week later, her leg started hurting and wouldn't stop. 2 weeks after that, she had another scan.

In just those 3 weeks, the cancer had nearly eaten through her tibia in her leg.

The human body is very complex and medicine isn't exact. Sometimes doctors know there's a problem, but they just have to wait until it gets bad enough to be found.

And doctors don't always concur on diagnoses, medicine is both a science and an art.

The bottom line is that people are ultimately responsible for their bodies and their health care. If someone isn't comfortable with their care, they can and should get a second opinion. That's the prudent thing to do.

Michael Atwood
62
Points
Michael Atwood 01/15/14 - 09:56 am
7
1
Orthopedics Department policies

I injured my right knee in 2010. I saw a doctor at the trauma center when I got back in town to have staples removed in my head in December of 2010. I complained about my knee and not being able to stand on or walk far on it. No examination of the knee and no mention was made in my medical records of the complaint. Again, 3 days later I saw a PCP. I again complained about my knee. no examination, and again no mention of the complaint in my medical records. I saw a different PCP in January, 2011. Again I told them about the knee, again no examination, but they did mention the complaint. No consults were scheduled for it. I finally saw my own PCP in February 2011. I told him about the pain during the exam, but it ewasn't until the end of the exam, he was supposedly finished and was telling my discharge instructions when I finally said I wasn't leaving the hospital until someone looked at the knee. He finally had me lay back and examined the knee. Results? You could move both the upper and lower bones both left and right and forward and back from each other. He finally scheduled me for PT and an MRI. I saw the Physical Therapist before the MRI results were done. He examined me and in 5 minutes told me I had seriously injured the knee, and that while there was nothing PT could do to help, he couldn't put a consult in with Orthopedics because their policy requires 8 weeks of PT on all cases prior to a consult ( I found by talking to other employees in the VA it was in fact their policy and they never saw a patient without it.) This policy was well known throughout the VA and is still in effect there. The MRI results were in when I next went to PT. I had torn my PCL, the ACL and ruptured the meniscus in the right knee. A class 3 PCL tear. It was August, 2011 before I saw anyone in Orthopedics. It took the PA 15 minutes to determine the extent of the injury, and told me there was nothing the VA would do (not could) to repair the knee, and ordered a custom brace for it. That was 8 months to see the orthopedics for an injury that puts professional athletes on a stretcher leaving the field writhing in pain.
In the mean time, I had become homeless, couldn't work, and was having to walk all over Augusta every day with my knee in this condition. My sister in the mean time married a retired GI and had her torn ACL repaired at Eisenhower at Ft. Gordon with surgery.
I filed a complaint with Patient Advocates and the Orthopedics Department replied with a statement they made exceptions to the 8 week rule all the time. This is in complete contradiction to everything I had found out over the length of time not from one source but from people from different areas of the hospital. Of course the VA administration did as they always do and ignored the truth even THEY had to know and accepted the whitewash lie from Orthopedics. Patient Advocacy at the Charlie Norwood VA is largely a joke.

jnewton0828
33
Points
jnewton0828 01/15/14 - 10:06 am
7
1
corgimom,I am Michael's son.

corgimom,

I am Michael's son. So please dont take this personally. My wife is a stage four colon cancer survivor and I have had extensive experience with helping her through that battle.
To respond to your post. My father and family have taken responsibility for his body and health care. In point of fact, when the initial diagnosis was made, there were many requests made to the VA for the standard regimen and treatment for cancer to be done. IT WAS NOT DONE. To get to this point, my father went to the VA with blood clots in his urine. If you do any amount of research you will see that a common cause for that is bladder cancer. The VA, at that time, did not diagnose and/or treat him for that. By the time they did, they did not do anything according to the standard regimen and treatment plan. That's how and why it grew. If you study any of the several hundred types of cancers, you will find that they all have probable growth rates and spreading patterns. This type of cancer when there was one tumor was very treatable. Even though the chance of recurrance was 47%, with proper monitoring and treatment, it could have been controlled.

Here is your quote that really cause me to question your post "The human body is very complex and medicine isn't exact. Sometimes doctors know there's a problem, but they just have to wait until it gets bad enough to be found."

My questions is... ARE THEY LOOKING, OR ARE THEY IGNORING OBVIOUS SYMPTOMS AND HOPING THAT NO ONE IS INTELLIGENT ENOUGH TO KNOW WHAT PROPER TREATMENT IS?

When he went the first time with blood in his urine, there should have been a immediate workup to determine the nature and cause of that symptom. That would have led ANY competent doctor to a diagnosis of cancer. Instead my father got pushed around from doctor to doctor, until he damn near collapsed from a pain in his side. How much responsibility are you talking about?

In addition, my father's case is not the first and it is doubtful that it will be the last of patients not receiving proper care from this VA center. Responsibility needs to start there. This is shameful!

Michael Atwood
62
Points
Michael Atwood 01/15/14 - 10:08 am
5
1
Primary Care Physicians

I am a diabetic. I went to my PCP because I had a piece of glass stuck in the sole of my foot that had become infected. It was a walk-in so of course I was chewed out for not scheduling an appointment weeks in advance. The doctor pulled out a syringe, took the needle and prodded at the then closed wound and said it appeared to have taken care of itself and discharged me. I went home, took a fingernail file, pushed the pointed into the wound and allowed the puss to run out. I then soaked it in hot salt water the next 3 days to draw the infection out while it healed.
I complained to Patient's Advocate about the treatment and demanded a new PCP. I was told the hospital couldn't provide one. I remained under the care of this PCP for 3 more years. Evidently she knew I went to the PA, and every time I went into her office. Not once a year but EVRY time I walked in to see her, quarterly visits, everything, I had to have a prostrate exam before I could leave. I finally got fed up with her completely and raised so much hell the VA finally switched not just my PCP but care team. I saw another PCP then for about 12 months when she left the hospital. I was transferred to another PCP. Guess who? You guessed it, the one I had just previously raised so much fuss about the way she had previously treated me. I am still under her care and she is no better now than she was then.
The VA Administration at Charlie Norwood does NOT care about their patients, they care about covering up for mistreatment and malpractice.

Michael Atwood
62
Points
Michael Atwood 01/15/14 - 10:15 am
6
0
Patient abuse at Charlie Norwood VA

I had to stay a weekend on the 5th floor of the VA here. Remember the WWII hero ex pro baseballer that recently passed away there? I was in the room with him. I saw his loving wife come in every day and sit with him from beginning of visitor's hours to end. As soon as she left I saw the male nurse there start abusing that man. Yelling, hollering, pushing shoving an old man that was bed ridden, couldn't stand on his own at all.
I filed a complaint as soon as I left with the Patient's Advocates at the uptown division. I have yet to be told of the investigation of this. I have also learned fro m again people all over the Charlie Norwood VA hospital (employees not patients) that the problems on that 5th floor are well known throughout the hospital. That patient abuse occurs all over and people there are afraid to say anything to anyone about it for their jobs.
This is something I myself witnessed. Not something I was told. I saw it. I complained about it. I have heard NOTHING from the hospital in response to my complaint at all. Once again, Patient Advocacy at the Charlie Norwood VA is a joke. The only thing management there care about is covering up problems, not their patients.

thauch12
7076
Points
thauch12 01/15/14 - 12:18 pm
2
4
The VA is the epitome of

The VA is the epitome of what's wrong with the government: bloated, inefficient, inept, and simply not as good as the private sector. The system simply does not make sense anymore...too many entitlements and users with not enough funding. And it's only going to get worse folks.

jnewton0828
33
Points
jnewton0828 01/15/14 - 01:01 pm
6
1
Entitlements

I don't think this veteran or any of them, who put their life at risk for you to have the fundamental freedom to sit behind a keyboard and spout your first amendment protected speech should have his medical care classified as an entitlement as though they didn't earn it! They fought and sacrificed family time and life in your stead and the least this country could do is provide proper medical care for them all. To put this in the same classification as an entitlement program is wrong. These guys should have the same medical options and care as our members of congress----because they have earned it!

OutrageousCitizen
86
Points
OutrageousCitizen 01/15/14 - 01:58 pm
3
3
Rhabdoyolysis
Unpublished

Chuckstud,

No one gets life time rhabdoyolosis from exercise. He probably was exposed to something that the military will deny.

thauch12
7076
Points
thauch12 01/15/14 - 02:51 pm
1
5
Pesky facts jnewton

Before you fly off your handle, perhaps you should take the time to learn what the term "entitlement program" actually means.

"The kind of government program that provides individuals with personal financial benefits (or sometimes special government-provided goods or services) to which an indefinite (but usually rather large) number of potential beneficiaries have a legal right (enforceable in court, if necessary) whenever they meet eligibility conditions that are specified by the standing law that authorizes the program."
Source: http://www.auburn.edu/~johnspm/gloss/entitlement_program

VA benefits are entitlements, just like Social Security, federal retirement plans, Medicare or Medicaid. That's a fact.

I'm not even going to go down the road of saying veterans "deserve" or "don't deserve" anything. That's an opinion...to which I'm entitled my own as are you.

jnewton0828
33
Points
jnewton0828 01/15/14 - 03:47 pm
6
1
context sir.

Lol...I never questioned your right to an opinion. Health care for a Vet is not a financial benefit sir. It is a responsibility that those who send someone into battle or to defend our way of life should live up to. Sorry I ruffled you feathers with my opinion. And I do think Veterans deserve medical care. I'm sorry..I'm human..forgive me.

corgimom
38717
Points
corgimom 01/15/14 - 05:21 pm
1
2
It isn't any better in the

It isn't any better in the military hospitals.

I wound up with a brain-injured child because my son laid on his umbilical cord during labor, and I needed an emergency C-section.

There was no anesthesiologist on duty at the time that was available.

His oxygen was cut off and his brain swelled. That was back in 1980.

This is why when you use military and VA health care, you do so understanding that they are chronically understaffed and underfunded, and sometimes you might get good care and sometimes you might not. I believe that the people that work there do their best in a bad situation, they don't cause the understaffing and the underfunding.

The people that INSIST on using those hospitals- because they "earned" it- well, ok, but you are taking a big chance. We didn't insist on it, we were too poor to go out on Champus. I've wished a million times that we had done it anyway.

But. And this is an important BUT.

It isn't any better any more in a civilian hospital, either. They too are chronically understaffed and underfunded, too.

People have to be their own advocates. If you don't think your care is adequate, go somewhere else. Don't trust any hospital. Get a second opinion, if you don't feel you got adequate care. Or get a third, if you need to.

It's all about money, and that's sad but true.

Vet2
26
Points
Vet2 01/15/14 - 06:08 pm
5
1
Coherent Story?

Does anyone check these stories? A case of rhabdomyolysis in 1973 has nothing to do with bladder tumors now. Nurses don't get to decide about starting and stopping dialysis treatment and Gout has nothing to do with any of the rest of the story. The NIH is in Bethesda, Maryland which is around 560 miles from Augusta not 1,000.
This article is poorly written, full of irrelevant information and has factual errors. There certainly are issues that need to be addressed at the CNVA
and its good that they are being brought to light but a shoddy piece of work like this article is easy to rebut and therefore virtually useless.

SJL1204
188
Points
SJL1204 01/15/14 - 06:32 pm
3
4
And the beat goes on

Yes the VA has some issues. But guess what, so do other hospitals in the area. It seems the VA has one big target on it's back. Ironically the MD's that work in the GU department at the VA also work at GRU/MCG. I guess there are no problems at GRU ....THe GU department at the VA is excellent and the staff are very empathetic.

thauch12
7076
Points
thauch12 01/15/14 - 09:42 pm
1
4
My last thoughts on this matter.

"Health care for a Vet is not a financial benefit:" Sir, that is indeed quite debatable. Sir, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Sir, somebody (ie John Q. Taxpayer) is paying for these services and that is an undeniable economic fact. Sir, whether or not that is justified, is a whole other tangential argument. Sir, what is not debatable is the fact that VA benefits clearly fall into the category of "special government-provided goods or services" as covered in the second half of that sentence.

"It is a responsibility that those who send someone into battle or to defend our way of life should live up to": Sir, I respectfully disagree with you. Sir, in the modern army (including the above case, at least as far as the article states), noone is expected or forced to serve. Sir, the choice to join the military is just that-a personal choice-and one which I personally am glad certain people make the decision to go forward with, but that does not make it any less of a personal choice, nor does it "obligate" anyone to do anything.

However, we cannot afford these benefits anymore. It is hard to rationally and financially justify a lifetime of health benefits for 5-7 years of enlistment. It may be an unpopular stance, but it is the dollars and cents reality of the situation.

corgimom
38717
Points
corgimom 01/15/14 - 09:48 pm
2
1
Vet2, a whole lot of people

Vet2, a whole lot of people like to blame a hospital for "poor care" because they want their problems to be fixed and solved.

They watch TV and think that it's like it is on tv, where patients are cured and made all better and they skip out of the hospital.

They are aged, they've spent a lifetime using and abusing their bodies, but blame a hospital because they couldn't be cured.

They don't ever want to consider the concept of managing a chronic illness, they want it FIXED.

My father was like that too. It was difficult for him to understand that he wasn't going to get cured, it was about managing a disease so that it would progress more slowly- but was going to progress nonetheless.

And people don't like to face that.

OutrageousCitizen
86
Points
OutrageousCitizen 01/16/14 - 01:45 am
1
1
Facts, Facts, Facts...
Unpublished

If Newton was exposed to something and he is service connected as the article says from something, for which rabdomyolysis is ONE of the symptoms, who is to say the cancer is also not one of the symptoms? Thousands of Viet Nam vets died from strange and rare diseases, including Cancers, after being exposed to Agent Orange and Agent Purple. The VA gives a short list of know diseases from exposure to Agent Orange...

http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/conditions/index.asp

but notice they never mention Agent Purple which is more deadly than Agent Orange.

The Chronicle referred to medical records and I am sure the staff of lawyers at the Chronicle wouldn't have let this article be published if there was something wrong.

TheGeorgian
432
Points
TheGeorgian 01/15/14 - 10:59 pm
2
1
Helath care benefit

thauch12, I suppose you would rather tax money went to those who do nothing for themselves or others than to people who put their lives on the line to protect and serve. I assume that you are former military and not one of those with an opinion on what others gave and did while playing it safe at home. It might surprise you to learn that many using veterans' benefits have insurance the VA bills for services. Others pay a prorated amount according to their income. Visit any VA facility and note the number of men in wheelchairs and those missing an arm and then tell me what YOU gave your country. It's an over used phrase but true; Some gave all but all gave some, sir.

OutrageousCitizen
86
Points
OutrageousCitizen 01/15/14 - 11:45 pm
0
0
Vet2, SJL1204, Corimom,
Unpublished

Vet2, SJL1204, Corimom, thauch12:

First, I'm never seen a group of people like those listed directly above. They show emotional thinking and not critical thinking or reasoning ability.

Vet2: You must be an employee of the VA. How do you know what this man has gone through? Do you know his family? Have you peeked into his medical records? Has someone at the VA shared some privacy issues about Newton? Your carom shot ad hominem attack on Newton is the type of sleaze that motivate hospitals go have doctors write up a patient and then have a resident sign their name to the write up. The affiliation between GRU and the VA hospital is this: Allegedly, the VA supply aging Vets to Resident or Fellows to practice on; and sometimes no attending doctor is there to oversee what the residents are doing. As a Vet, Newton is owed the best care for volunteering to serve this Country. I'm sure no insurance company would give him health insurance to cover his issues, including medicine. Finally, you said, "The NIH is in Bethesda, Maryland which is around 560 miles from Augusta not 1,000. This article is poorly written, full of irrelevant information and has factual errors." Well, a round trip to Bethesda is more than 1,000 miles... and would you let the same doctor who misdiagnosed you work on you again? The Article was highly informative and attempted to give an overall view of the situation. Apparently Newton has more problems with the VA than the Article was able to cover.

thauch12: Your reply indicates you have some bitterness about something and you are concerned with money. If the government promised our military men and women medical attention, by golly they should give it to them. The failure, by any means or reasons, is an act of Broken Trust and Broken Promises. Abraham Lincoln established the Veterans Department and you should read his Second Inaugural Address when he spoke about Veterans and their families: With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

SJL1204: You took brown nosing to an art. Obviously somewhere mistakes were made. Maybe they should put Attending doctors with a Resident each time a resident sees a patient. Newton is but one. How many more didn't know what to say or know that the protocol wasn't right? Until others speak up, you, me and others will never know. And in most cases we would never know because hospitals don't release patient information and news that they settled a lawsuit.

Corimom: I saved you for last. You don't display a bit of compassion in your posts. I hope you never was a nurse's aide or nurse. You are critical of everything without foundation to your premise. Newton, has
"borne the battle" and I don't care if he was peeling Potatoes to be served in the chow hall, working in a hospital or slopping buckets at a field sanitation pit. He stepped up when many ran to Canada or hid in the rich pockets of their fathers.

OutrageousCitizen
86
Points
OutrageousCitizen 01/16/14 - 12:23 am
2
2
TheGeorgian: I Agree With You!!
Unpublished

People have been citizens for years must have slept during American Government classes.

VA benefits are not entitlements. The benefits to Disabled Veterans is a TRUST that is funded out of non-appropriated funds.

The VA Administrative Dept. is paid out of Appropriated Funds... but the Benefits to Disabled Veterans are paid out of left over funds called "Non-Appropriated Funds." Which means the Disabled Veteran is the last guy in the line to get paid.

Even Retired Military People who are also called vets can't go to a Veteran's Hospital. They report to a regular military hospital for treatment. If a VA hospital doesn't have the service needed for a Disabled Veteran they can have him seen at a Dollar COST or on a Fee-Basis at a local medical facility, including a military hospital. If a Disabled Veteran has Social Security (many don't) the VA hospital sends a bill to the Social Security Dept. for treating the Vet. Sleight of hands with money... dealing off the bottom of the deck? Yes!

If the Disabled Veteran has Social Security and the VA refuses to treat him or her, the Disabled Veteran is forced to seek outside doctors and end up paying 20% of whatever Social Security allows on the Bill.

OutrageousCitizen
86
Points
OutrageousCitizen 01/16/14 - 12:28 am
2
1
Pete Scovill said to call him... but you won't get him.
Unpublished

From the article above, "Pete Scovill said it is not uncommon for patients to seek treatment from both public and private facilities, but said it is rare for VA staff not to explore every treatment plan possible. He urged any veteran who wishes to appeal their case to call his office at (706) 733-0188." If you believe this, call gatekeeper Mr. Scovill at his number. When you hear the recording, press "1" and then his extention of 1733. I've called him 24 times and have yet to get him. It is always leave a message.

OutrageousCitizen
86
Points
OutrageousCitizen 01/17/14 - 02:16 am
2
2
Fantastic Article... Shame of the Augusta VA Medical Center!
Unpublished

Vet2, SJL1204, Corimom, thauch12:

First, I'm never seen a group of people like those listed directly above. They show emotional thinking and not critical thinking or reasoning ability.

Second, Newton didn't criticize everyone at the CNVAMC. It appears his issues center around delay of care, denial of care and some incompetency within the Urology Dept. A casual read indicates no treatment was ever attempted for his chronic rhabdomyolosis a serious condition that existed from the first year of his enlistment. I would like to know more.

Vet2: You must be an employee of the VA. How do you know what this man has gone through? Do you know his family? Have you peeked into his medical records? Has someone at the VA shared some privacy issues about Newton? Your carom shot ad hominem attack on Newton is the type of sleaze that motivate hospitals to have "real" doctors write up a patient and then have a resident sign their name to the write up. The affiliation between GRU and the VA hospital is this: Allegedly, the VA supply aging Vets to Resident or Fellows to practice on; and most times no attending doctor is there to oversee what the residents are doing. As a Vet, Newton is owed the best care for volunteering to serve this Country. I'm sure no insurance company would give him health insurance to cover his issues, including medicine. Finally, you said, "The NIH is in Bethesda, Maryland which is around 560 miles from Augusta not 1,000. This article is poorly written, full of irrelevant information and has factual errors." Well, a round trip to Bethesda is more than 1,000 miles... and would you let the same doctor who misdiagnosed you work on you again? The Article was highly informative and attempted to give an overall view of the situation. Apparently Newton has more problems with the VA than the Article was able to cover.

thauch12: Your reply indicates you have some bitterness about something and you are concerned with money. If the government promised our military men and women medical attention, by golly they should give it to them. The failure, by any means or reasons, is an act of Broken Trust and Broken Promises. Abraham Lincoln established the Veterans Department and you should read his Second Inaugural Address when he spoke about Veterans and their families:

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

SJL1204: Obviously somewhere mistakes were made. Maybe they should put Attending doctors with a Resident each time a resident sees a patient. Newton is but one. How many more didn't know what to say or know that the protocol wasn't right? Until others speak up, you, me and others will never know. And in most cases we would never know because hospitals don't release patient information and news that they settled a lawsuit.

Corimom: I saved you for last. You don't display a bit of compassion in your posts. I hope you never was a nurse's aide or nurse. You are critical of everything without foundation to your premise.

Newton, has "borne the battle" and he and his family should be cared for by the VA. I don't care if Newton was peeling Potatoes to be served in the chow hall, working in a hospital or slopping buckets at a field sanitation pit. He stepped up to the plate when many ran to Canada or hid in the deep rich pockets of their fathers.

jnewton0828
33
Points
jnewton0828 01/16/14 - 08:01 am
2
1
My last thought too...

Thauch12.....we cant afford these benefits but we can afford no-bid contracts to kellogg brown and root, haliburton, and whatever other company comes along. I thank God your "stance" is unpopular, because it is unrealistic as well. In a country that would adopt a "stance" like yours kids who are sent off to war would be nothing more then expendable lives to serve your fiscal agendas---oh but wait...that's exactly what they are to you.

Vet2
26
Points
Vet2 01/16/14 - 12:49 pm
1
2
Poor example of a headline article

There could be a worthwhile story here but there are so many missing pieces that I can't really tell. It covers 40 years and 5 different medical problems 4 of which have nothing to do with the main topic and all done superficially.

Outrageous citizen: Your crystal ball is hazy. I know nothing more about Mr. Newton than what I read in the Augusta Chronicle. You might also want to reread my initial post and look up the definition of an ad hominem attack. I criticized the article alone and did not mention either Mr. Newton or the writer. As to the distance quibble, the caption under the picture says that they will travel 1,000 miles from Augusta, not that they will make a round trip of 1,000 miles. Finally, it is clear that you have no concept of the current regulations regarding resident supervision.

OutrageousCitizen
86
Points
OutrageousCitizen 01/17/14 - 02:07 am
2
1
Vet2... You're wrong.
Unpublished

Vet2,

Tell me the story of the three little bears.

The Article's intention was to highlight and draw attention to the many problems at the CNVAMC. To me, you sound as if you are one of the Residents or doctors affiliated with either the VA or GRU.

You also stated: "(I have) no concept of the current regulations regarding resident supervision." You're wrong. And man you don't know how wrong you are about my knowledge. The problem is that those regulations are not being followed and that is the crux of the matter. How do you think those other Disabled Veterans Died?

One situation that I am personally aware is of a Resident seeing a patient without an attending doctor. The attending physician was around the corner sitting in their office reading a magazine. In that situation, that person obtained their medical records of that visit and two different doctors said they SAW and spoke with the patient along with the Resident. That never happened, so the medical records are falsified and in error.

Is the VA being used like a diploma mill for GRU? Are VA staff doctors writing reports for Residents and the reports are attributed as work of the Resident? As one doctor said, electronic medical records are easily "massaged" to change the "facts."

As to my statement of " an ad hominem attack. " I specifically qualified my statement as a "carom shot ad hominem attack." Do you know what a Carom shot happens to be? It's a billiard or Pool term... meaning to aim and hit one thing causing an intention hit on something else to pocket a ball. You spoke about the Article but in reality you were talking about Newton; the source of the interview and article. It's like talking out the side of your mouth. You say one thing but mean something else.

As to the quibble about distance... that was your foot in your mouth. I relieved you of that foot & mouth disease. Did you expect Newton to drive one way and not return? If so, your reasoning ability is cripple.

OutrageousCitizen
86
Points
OutrageousCitizen 01/17/14 - 02:39 am
0
0
Fantastic Article... Shame of the Augusta VA Medical Center!
Unpublished

Vet2, SJL1204, Corimom, thauch12:

First, I'm never seen a group of people like those listed directly above. They show emotional thinking and not critical thinking or reasoning ability.

Second, Newton didn't criticize everyone at the CNVAMC. It appears his issues center around delay of care, denial of care and some incompetency within the Urology Dept. A casual read indicates no treatment was ever attempted for his chronic rhabdomyolosis a serious condition that existed from the first year of his enlistment. I would like to know more.

Vet2: You must be an employee of the VA. How do you know what this man has gone through? Do you know his family? Have you peeked into his medical records? Has someone at the VA shared some privacy issues about Newton? Your carom shot ad hominem attack on Newton is the type of sleaze that motivate hospitals to have "real" doctors write up a patient and then have a resident sign their name to the write up. The affiliation between GRU and the VA hospital is this: Allegedly, the VA supply aging Vets to Resident or Fellows to practice on; and most times no attending doctor is there to oversee what the residents are doing. As a Vet, Newton is owed the best care for volunteering to serve this Country. I'm sure no insurance company would give him health insurance to cover his issues, including medicine. Finally, you said, "The NIH is in Bethesda, Maryland which is around 560 miles from Augusta not 1,000. This article is poorly written, full of irrelevant information and has factual errors." Well, a round trip to Bethesda is more than 1,000 miles... and would you let the same doctor who misdiagnosed you work on you again? The Article was highly informative and attempted to give an overall view of the situation. Apparently Newton has more problems with the VA than the Article was able to cover.

thauch12: Your reply indicates you have some bitterness about something and you are concerned with money. If the government promised our military men and women medical attention, by golly they should give it to them. The failure, by any means or reasons, is an act of Broken Trust and Broken Promises. Abraham Lincoln established the Veterans Department and you should read his Second Inaugural Address when he spoke about Veterans and their families:

"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

SJL1204: Obviously somewhere mistakes were made. Maybe they should put Attending doctors with a Resident each time a resident sees a patient. Newton is but one. How many more didn't know what to say or know that the protocol wasn't right? Until others speak up, you, me and others will never know. And in most cases we would never know because hospitals don't release patient information and news that they settled a lawsuit.

Corimom: I saved you for last. You don't display a bit of compassion in your posts. I hope you never was a nurse's aide or nurse. You are critical of everything without foundation to your premise.

Newton, has "borne the battle" and he and his family should be cared for by the VA. I don't care if Newton was peeling Potatoes to be served in the chow hall, working in a hospital or slopping buckets at a field sanitation pit. He stepped up to the plate when many ran to Canada or hid in the deep rich pockets of their fathers.

OutrageousCitizen
86
Points
OutrageousCitizen 01/17/14 - 02:55 am
1
0
Good Article
Unpublished

Vet2, SJL1204, Corimom, thauch12:

Of all the articles about VA Hospital Abuses and Mis-Mangement, the Comments seems to have an air of bias about them from certain people. The Veterans featured thus far have been of one race. Newton is obviously not of that race. Is he not entitled to Veterans' Benefits and Health Care because of his race?

First, I'm never seen such emotional thinking and not critical thinking or reasoning ability concerning this Article.

Second, Newton didn't criticize everyone at the CNVAMC. It appears his issues center around delay of care, denial of care and some incompetency within the Urology Dept. A casual read indicates no treatment was ever attempted for his chronic rhabdomyolosis a serious condition that existed from the first year of his enlistment. I would like to know more.

Vet2: You must be an employee of the VA. How do you know what this man has gone through? Do you know his family? Have you peeked into his medical records? Has someone at the VA shared some privacy issues about Newton? Your carom shot ad hominem attack on Newton is the type of sleaze that motivate hospitals to have "real" doctors write up a patient and then have a resident sign their name to the write up. The affiliation between GRU and the VA hospital is this: Allegedly, the VA supply aging Vets to Resident or Fellows to practice on; and most times no attending doctor is there to oversee what the residents are doing. As a Vet, Newton is owed the best care for volunteering to serve this Country. I'm sure no insurance company would give him health insurance to cover his issues, including medicine. Finally, you said, "The NIH is in Bethesda, Maryland which is around 560 miles from Augusta not 1,000. This article is poorly written, full of irrelevant information and has factual errors." Well, a round trip to Bethesda is more than 1,000 miles... and would you let the same doctor who misdiagnosed you work on you again? The Article was highly informative and attempted to give an overall view of the situation. Apparently Newton has more problems with the VA than the Article was able to cover.

thauch12: Your reply indicates you have some bitterness about something and you are concerned with money. If the government promised our military men and women medical attention, by golly they should give it to them. The failure, by any means or reasons, is an act of Broken Trust and Broken Promises. Abraham Lincoln established the Veterans Department and you should read his Second Inaugural Address when he spoke about Veterans and their families:

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

SJL1204: Obviously somewhere mistakes were made. Maybe they should put Attending doctors with a Resident each time a resident sees a patient. Newton is but one. How many more didn't know what to say or know that the protocol wasn't right? Until others speak up, you, me and others will never know. And in most cases we would never know because hospitals don't release patient information and news that they settled a lawsuit.

Corimom: I saved you for last. You don't display a bit of compassion in your posts. I hope you never was a nurse's aide or nurse. You are critical of everything without foundation to your premise.

Newton, has "borne the battle" and he and his family should be cared for by the VA. I don't care if Newton was peeling Potatoes to be served in the chow hall, working in a hospital or slopping buckets at a field sanitation pit. He stepped up to the plate when many ran to Canada or hid in the deep rich pockets of their fathers.

Vet2
26
Points
Vet2 01/17/14 - 11:54 pm
2
1
OC: You're blind to any opinion that doesn't match yours

For the third time, my complaint is that the article does not conclusively prove its thesis. A front page article in bold print better be complete and indisputable. I have no problem with Mr. Newton, but the author of a front page article better have all his facts straight and a clear, coherent explanation of the situation. That is not the case here. That article is incoherent, incomplete and full of irrelevant information. There is evidence that there was access to medical and service records from the various disjointed quotes, but they are not used in any fruitful way. This is disappointing since there may be a real problem here, but we really can't tell for sure. I'd be hard pressed to grade that article a C in a high school journalism course.

Mr. OC since you apparently have reading comprehension problems, I'll STATE ONE MORE TIME that my problem is with the author.

Mr OC, you can now return to your important activities such as making stupid internet posts in the middle of the night and making harassing phone calls. Since you are a fairy tale fan I'd suggest that you watch out for big billy goats.

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