We fly around the world serving in world medical missions but here at home we struggle daily and cannot give our Veterans the Treatment they deserve. Lawmakers charged with congressional oversight of the department said that issues at VA medical centers and clinics are not confined to certain individual facilities but rather are "deep-seated and systemic." "From delays in care and scandal cover-ups, to rampant unaccountability and a lack of leadership, the VA is an organization challenged at every level" said Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla, and Senate VA Chairman Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.
We hear a lot of talk and insults in this 2016 Presidential Campaign but as healthcare providers we are living in the "real" world working with hurting people who gave their lives for our freedoms and they cannot get appropriate specialized care. It was in 2015 a Comprehensive Report on Veterans Affairs Department called for a complete overhaul of the system, especially the medical care, noting without change, the department's problems would continue and veterans would be denied the treatment they deserve. Read an article review here. Have you ever had EXTREME neck, back, leg or nerve pain that never goes away? Ever had to sincerely consume narcotics that can't touch the pain? Have you ever cried to your doctor to do SOMETHING?
Word spreads quickly among our veterans and they have all found the best in the business, Dr. Ken! They remain loyal patients and come every month simply because they know we will not stop fighting for them and we are knocking on the doors of our elected officials. Our Vets need interventional pain management treatment not narcotic pills but we cannot accomplish our jobs as healthcare providers with the current leadership.
Today we called AGAIN for what seemed like the millionth time to obtain "authorization" to medically treat our Veteran Patients and AGAIN we were told "we are so far behind we haven't gotten to it yet" the women on the phone said "she didn't realized we have been asking almost daily for 6 months!"
We have gone to the VA and begged, networked and pleaded to please help us fix this problem in the NC/SC Counties we serve. We just cannot get anyone in the Administration to approve any of our authorization request for medical care. We are frustrated and feel completely helpless as we fight for our Vets. We've gone to every Presidential Town Hall that has come through our area regardless of the candidate just to see if the opportunity presented itself to ask about the Vet Medical Care. The only candidate I was actually able to talk to was Jeb Bush due to crowds!
A typical day at our medical practice has a never ending line of Veterans begging for care who we cannot appropriately TREAT because the VA will NOT Authorize Services. Writing prescriptions for narcotics is not the treatment that will heal them. They need interventional pain management that treats the source of the pain.
Our very first patient of 2016 was a VA patient and we asked him what his goals were for the New Year. He said “hopefully I can get a shot.” As we looked through his medical record, indeed once again it had been over 6 months that we have been trying to authorize an Interventional Procedure to treat the source of his pain. We requested 3 times and had no response. The previous year we requested a test which was NEVER approved. He continues in extreme pain and faithfully comes every month for narcotics for the symptom of pain while waiting for VA approval of the TREATMENT for the reason he has pain. He could be healed and he could be free from the 24/7 pain but the VA is incompetent. This is not an isolated situation and it is our common daily experience with VA patients.
This same day we had a VET patient leave the office crying because she was so happy that we found the reason for her pain of 15 months and she finally was approved for her first treatment. She was feeling hopeless that the pain would never end. This led to severe depression and poor quality of life.
We had to make the hard decision this past month to adjust our medical practice so we can help more people and will no longer treat VA patients. The constant phone calls and waiting on the phone with no results is terrible and other patients suffer waiting. We cannot get approval to treat the Vets. We have someone everyday with dramatic and usually complete relief of pain. Sadly, none of these are VA patients because we cannot get the authorization to treat them! Today, the revolving door of VA medial doctor's called and asked why we are not treating the Vets? The VA doctors come and go so much in our Counties that no one ever stays long enough to understand what these local Vets have been dealing with for years!
As South Carolina begin the VOTING PROCESS please remember we are electing a LEADER to run our Nation. We have real issues and we have many in powerful positions who do not know what they are doing. Terrible Leadership, Terrible Corruption. Socialism Is Not The Answer.