VA medical care

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imagesEKBUQPJ2I would like to share some additional information on the misuse of the existing VA hospital system.  Most people, I suspect,  are completely unaware of this behavior.  There is a population of veterans who use the hospital system as a hotel for their travels.  It is not a small number.  While I was working at the VA and reviewing medical records for the purpose of providing health care, I became aware of the fact that a number of “VA patients” were traveling South in the winter and back North in the spring.  They would use the VA hospitals, along the way, as “hotels” to assist them in their travels.  They would simply go to a new hospital, complain of vague chest pain or abdominal pain, and gain an admission for several days of evaluation.  When they were eventually discharged, they would simply continue their travels, either North or South, find another hospital and repeat the process.  When I discovered this activity, I confronted some of the veterans and they readily admitted to their behavior.  Obviously, this is not what the hospitals were intended for, but in the veterans’ defense-they were just making use of a “resource” that they had discovered.  They would share this “travel information” with other veterans and, in so doing, they would spread the activity.  Initially, this was a great source of frustration for me, because I had assumed that hospitals were meant for “sick” people and not simply a source of food and shelter.  Eventually, I accepted the “reality” and just played the “game”.  However,  I am no longer willing to “just go along” and at least attempt to make people aware of how their “tax” dollars are being misused.  These are not “war-wounded” veterans, but simply people exploiting a system that is easy to exploit.

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