The Dayton Daily news sensationalizes every Dayton VA mistake

On the day after the Supreme Court’s historic ruling on health care, the Dayton Daily News chooses to publish a front page story on a tiny screwup by the Dayton VA. Coincidence? Or, an attempt to sell their rag?

The VA medical system is the largest health care system in the United States, and unlike the for-profit hospitals, they don’t buy full page ads in the DDN on a regular basis, or advertise on Channel 7. And, as a veteran who gets all his care there- they also don’t use paper records- and haven’t for the last 7 or 8 years- when they made the switch to entirely digital record keeping- something the DDN fails to mention in this article:

A disabled Marine veteran received a letter from the Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center this week stating that personal medical records for him and other veterans — documents including birth dates and Social Security numbers — were found in the former home of a deceased VA staff employee.

Angelo Arnold, 51, of Centerville said he plans to contact a lawyer about suing the VA to allege that his privacy rights were violated.

The letter from the VA said “records pertaining to you” were among those found in the Centerville home of a deceased former employee. The current owner of the home contacted Centerville police after finding a lid-covered box of records this spring in the home’s attic.

Arnold said a Dayton VA official told him the records included his and those of 15 other veterans. The VA confirmed that number Thursday night and said it is notifying each veteran.

“This is a grievous injustice to veterans,” Arnold told the Daily News in an interview Thursday. “My rights have been totally violated. Someone has to be accountable at the Dayton VA. This sends a message that certain VA staffers are very careless and reckless with our files. Our case files should be protected.”…

Arnold received the letter from the Dayton VA Wednesday, and on Thursday obtained copies of approximately 300 pages of records. Those records dated to 1980 and included a detailed accounting of his injuries, medications and medical conditions.

via Veteran’s records found at home of deceased VA employee.

While Mr. Arnold rightfully should be unhappy with the VA, unless there is proof that either these records were used for malicious purposes such as identity theft, or that these records weren’t already digitized and in his file, thereby causing his benefits to remain unchanged- his claims sound more like the coaxing of a reporter or an accident-chasing attorney than most vets I know who get their care at the Dayton VA.

While it is in vogue to say things like “we need smaller government” or “government doesn’t do as good a job as the private sector” when it comes to the VA, by all accounts, the level of care for the tax dollar is much more effectively spent. And, despite the wayward dentist who should have been fired long ago at the Dayton VA, compared to the debacle at MVH where patients died from Legionnaire’s disease soon after the new wing opened, this records issue isn’t even worth a blurb on page 6.

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14 Responses

  1. Ice Bandit June 29, 2012 / 9:19 am
    While it is in vogue to say things like “we need smaller government” or “government doesn’t do as good a job as the private sector”….(David Esrati)
     
    …saying those things ain’t just en vogue, dear David, those statements are true…

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  2. Hall June 29, 2012 / 9:48 am
    Maybe you should blame the VA for informing the affected people this week, knowing that the Supreme Court ruling was coming. You’re stretching to try and make it a “coincidence”.

    By the way, no ‘captcha’ ? 

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  3. David Esrati June 29, 2012 / 10:09 am

    Welcome back Ice, Hall- front page position isn’t a coincidence. As to no captcha- I’m trying a different Spam filter- that works based on known spammers since the old one was letting a ton of spam through.

    If I had to do this all over- I’d have you all register to comment- and build actual comment profiles- so everyone has a unique user name- and it’s easier to grant you access. Let’s see what happens without the captcha- for a few days.

    Thanks

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  4. Chuckie Chops-A-Lot June 29, 2012 / 10:24 am
    How out of touch is the Dayton Daily News if on the day of an historic Supreme Court decision, a front page story is that there are15 medical records found?

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  5. Diane June 29, 2012 / 1:26 pm
    Seriously, who really gives a crap about 32-year old medical records? This story is much ado about nothing, and the guy is just trying to score some easy money.

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  6. David Lauri June 29, 2012 / 3:06 pm
    Claiming that statements such as “we need smaller government” and “government doesn’t do as good a job as the private sector” are true demonstrates a lack of understanding of the difference between facts and opinions.
     
    Speaking of opinions, I like the profile/commenting system used by the “SLOG” blog of The Stranger in Seattle. No thumbs up or thumbs down, but people can have profiles and you can easily see people’s comment history.

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  7. David Esrati June 30, 2012 / 5:58 am

    Now on the front page of section B- the DDN continues in their witch hunt- finally thinking to track down the owner of the home via real estate records, and finding out a VA nurse who last worked at the center in 2000 was responsible.

    They also acknowledged that the VA digitized all their records in 1999- which they either learned from this blog post, or were told by the VA director who also read this post (because he thanked me for it).

    The VA developed a computerized patient record system in 1998 and has developed an information protection program over the past decade to protect against cyber attacks on records, Dayton VA officials wrote in their statement.

    via Officials: Local VA must explain records lapse.

    What hasn’t been answered is that were these records already digitized- were the patient records not in the system? This is more critical to the patients well being than the cries of privacy or identity theft- which are both unfounded scare tactics of a rabid dog press. In 2000, when the employee left the VA- identity theft was still relatively uncommon.

    Of course the paper quoted Mike “I didn’t serve in the military” Turner who loves to lynch the VA at every turn- instead of lynching his buddies in the military industrial complex that screw the taxpayers at every turn with over budget, overly expensive defense programs that deliver duds.

    Sharen Neihardt, has a statement by a spokesperson about the issues of identity theft as well- parroting Turner -proving once again, she’s incapable of taking a position or making a statement that ien’t the “proper and expected” public line.

     

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  8. Jeff Wellbaum June 30, 2012 / 9:50 pm
    I have a press release I gave the DDN and other media outlets dealing with Obamacare and VA, etc. If you are interested I can email you a copy in the next couple of days? Dayton and Ohio: Proud Past, Promising Future!

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  9. David Esrati June 30, 2012 / 10:58 pm

    @Jeff Wellbaum- I saw your pr on Facebook. I’m not interested- and, you could have posted it here- and gotten thumbs down and out. I’m glad veterans are running for office, and I wish you well- but, I think you are seriously lost when it comes to what makes sense when it comes to fixing our problems.

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  10. David Esrati June 30, 2012 / 11:04 pm

    @David Lauri- on commenting: I could change things over- but, we might lose some of our insiders- and, you’d all have to create accounts.

    We’ve been ok since 2005. Unless there is an outcry for accounts- I’m going to leave it for now.

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  11. Jeff Wellbaum June 30, 2012 / 11:29 pm
    David, David, David…Talk is cheap…Join me in helping our veterans instead of always talking the talk. Help our heroes. Get off this website…be a leader…18 veterans commit suicide everyday. This is serious business…life and death… marriages, families…Be a leader like Leitzell…

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  12. Tom McMasters July 1, 2012 / 9:46 pm
    Hi David,

    Congratulations on your juicer.  I wish you luck on promoting the VA and the Wright Patterson Medical Centers.  It would be good if more of the country got to take advantage of these types of facilities.  Also, I was reading an article from one of the proponents that believe military retirees should pay a much higher annual Tricare premium.  What was interesting was that if you divide how much the government spends on this premium by the number of families covered the cost is about ½ the amount an average company spends per family for coverage.  Note: Tricare prime coverage is superior to any of the plans my current company offers.  You may think these facts are a great argument for making retirees pay more however, this would be a devastating blow to containing the government healthcare cost for retirees.  For those who haven’t read any of my health insurance articles I always make the case that health insurance rates are so high because there isn’t an entity that is campaigning to keep them lower.  The end consumer has been trading pay raises in order to keep the same healthcare coverage, the employers really haven’t minded this and the insurance companies have been happy to take the money.  Only the federal government had been aggressively working to keep rates down and this has been because the retiree lobby has been successful in keeping the government from raising annual premiums and deductibles.  This has resulted in the government gaining a 50% reduction in premiums compared to the private sector.  If the retiree lobbyist ever fail the government will get lazy and stop being so aggressive in ensuring rates stay low.  The net results will be the government will start paying market rates and a large portion of the retirees paychecks will be funneled into the healthcare industry. 
     
    By the way do you think Justice Roberts read my Aug 2011 article when he prepared for his vote on the Healthcare act? http://tfmsview.com/articles/simplify_taxes.html  
     

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  13. David Lauri July 1, 2012 / 11:58 pm
    Jeff Wellbaum urges David E to “be a leader like Leitzell.”
     
    A comment on the Dayton City Paper website shows the kind of leader Mayor Leitzell is:

    On the marriage equality issue, this is what I have told people. As an individual I have no problems signing that. However there is no page for individual support. If I sign it has to be as the Mayor of Dayton. Being the Independent mayor who is elected to support the majority of the citizens, I can not be certain that the majority of citizens feel the same way as I do. Therefore at this moment in time I have not elected to sign it.

     
    Mayor Leitzell doesn’t believe it’s his job to lead; he instead believes it’s his job to be a pollster who follows the will of the majority. He personally has no problem with marriage equality (which is a surprise to me), but he can’t join other mayors from around the country (including 10 other Ohio mayors) in advocating for it.
     
    I think David E can find better role models when it comes to leadership.

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  14. Hall July 2, 2012 / 12:31 pm
    David Lauri: There are other (more important ?) issues than those related to gay rights…. 

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