Pissed off about dental

tony292

PEB Forum Veteran
VA is really irritating me! Today they purposely called at 4 PM and left a voicemail that my upcoming cleaning appt (21 Feb) is cancelled... this is the third time they’ve done so, they cancelled on me in May and Nov last year!! So I called them back 11 times (in my defense they hung up on me 4-5 of those times). Then they put me on the phone with the VA police because I was “harassing” them.

I’m a 100% PT veteran and am sick of the way they treat me. Should have some fun conversations tomorrow! They tell me I have to talk to the “patient advocate”... sounds like BS to me!!!
 
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gsfowler

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I'm sorry to hear that. If you ask for a referral to the community they will give it to you.
 

Former MiTT Team Leader

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VA is really irritating me! Today they purposely called at 4 PM and left a voicemail that my upcoming cleaning appt (21 Feb) is cancelled... this is the third time they’ve done so, they cancelled on me in May and Nov last year!! So I called them back 11 times (in my defense they hung up on me 4-5 of those times). Then they put me on the phone with the VA police because I was “harassing” them.

I’m a 100% PT veteran and am sick of the way they treat me. Should have some fun conversations tomorrow! They tell me I have to talk to the “patient advocate”... sounds like BS to me!!!
Tony292- might want to check out following web-site: VA Dental Insurance Program - Health Benefits "VA Dental Insurance Program"; know some vets that have this and claim it is pretty good also supposedly TRICARE claims it is a good plan.....??????

If VA hanging up on you and are stressing you out- instead ask them to connect you to the VA Police or hang up and call the VA Police, and report them for harassment, by name, just an idea! Door swings both ways should it not????

What VA VISN/System are you part of by the way so others can hopefully avoid......?????
 

Former MiTT Team Leader

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Tony292- might want to check out following web-site: VA Dental Insurance Program - Health Benefits "VA Dental Insurance Program"; know some vets that have this and claim it is pretty good also supposedly TRICARE claims it is a good plan.....??????
Tony292- I understand your frustration, and normally I have very little good to say about the US DVA in particular VISN16/Gulf Coast VA System, however I will say that usually, IAW numerous vets, the dental care is very good if one can in fact get it.......

Dental issues, especially infections, can cause all sorts of issues from simple pain, ear and sinus problems to blood pressure and other issues as well...... Know being 100% P&T you should get into dental via US DVA no problems, but sometimes it is better to try a different path such as "VA Dental Insurance Program"; realizing like everything, all dentist's are not created equal and specialize in same issues.....which is a major benefit -advantage of US DVA Dental Clinic as it is kind of a one stop shop for dental exams, surgery, prosthetic s etc......and if issues found by one dentist and not their particular area, vets usually looked at same day by right dental specialist-there on the spot...that is if not on vacation, etc.....and corrective actions put in place.... Only issue if a prosthetic is needed due to teeth being removed, is in fact wait time of prosthetic as I believe US DVA only has contract one or two companies for this, if my understanding on this issue is correct(?).....

Also, be advised if get in dental chair, and see things like blood etc... on lamps, and mirrors be sure and say something, as do not want to get infected by undue lack of sterilization of equipment, and the VA has janitors that do this-i.e. clan major equipment, it is not necessarily the dental folks, so they need be made aware so they can hopefully take corrective action with janitorial staff...... which is odd as janitorial staff do not fall under US DVA Infection Control....which is another department apparently.....that only gets involved if an issue occurs, supposedly, vs. focusing on prevention.....

Tony292- hope this helps, and unfortunately way to many US DVA staff, because do not want do their jobs, in fact call the US DVA Police at slightest, perceived provocation, like simply telling them they are not doing their job......unfortunately.... guess good job security blanket, that crutch.....
 

tony292

PEB Forum Veteran
I’m so tired of the VA, I’ve now fired them for the following:

1. primary care (they refused to prescribe meds for BP and cholesterol, even with BP of 179/121).

2. Mental health (they would bounce me around a psychiatrist, psychologist and social worker because that was the only way they could always see me within 30 days and not send me to VA Choice.

3. Sleep (the sleep doctor told me I was not a candidate for OSA surgery even though I’ve had 2 civilian docs say I was. Also they would only prescribe enough sleep meds for 20 out of 30 days per month. After 6 months straight of me complaining about not sleeping they still would not fix the prescription.

4. Dental (had 3 appointments either changed from cleaning to exam only or just outright cancelled. Still haven’t been able to get a cleaning for about 10 months now and no end on sight and zero offer of VA choice for dental.).

The only area they treat me well is neurology. That’s the only thing I will see the VA for from now on.
 

gsfowler

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Do you have Tricare?

I'm assuming that since you have had SSDI since 2016 you should have medicare part B and TFL or at least have it soon.

Medicare with TFL as a supplement is awesome. No need for PCM, you can go straight to any specialist that you want.

And, the cherry on top of the cake is that Tricare will bill the VA for every single penny that they contribute and you will get a letter seeing how much Tricare nickel and dimes them.
 

tony292

PEB Forum Veteran
Yes I have tricare and I’ve switched PCM, sleep doctor, and mental health, now in the process of switching dental. My biggest issue is why should I switch because the VA sucks? Why shouldn’t the VA be forced to do better? Many vets out there don’t have another option so they are forced to use VA.
 

gsfowler

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This is the beauty of the free market. If you do not like a provider, you have choices.
 

chaplaincharlie

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Wow, I' sorry your experience has been so poor. My experience with the VA has been mostly satisfactory.
 

Former MiTT Team Leader

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Many vets out there don’t have another option so they are forced to use VA.
Medicare with TFL as a supplement is awesome. No need for PCM, you can go straight to any specialist that you want.
Wow, I' sorry your experience has been so poor. My experience with the VA has been mostly satisfactory.
I agree with all the above, except a few things:

1) Per many a life-long US DVA employee, in their vast experience 50% vets entering US DVA System have no issues while the other 50% have nothing but endless issues..... ChaplainCharlie must simply fall into the former not the latter category, and why should any veteran have endless issues with the US DVA?????? Just a question.....????

2) GSFowler, perhaps not aware, but know vets that thought MEDICARE-SSDI was the answer to all their US DVA issues/woes, however, if simply having to see doctors all the time, and say VA Compensation garnished- any reason legitimately or not, basically end up spending most of SSDI income on co-pays and medications...... You are correct, with the addition of Tricare for Life (TFL) adds new dimension, but know veterans LA (lower Alabama), for instance, being told need consults to see any specialist doctor even with TFL ... and one can only get TFL if one retries and/or is Medically retired....which many have to go back and fight a long hard and drawn out battle for..... believe site founder and other Legal Firms out there specialize in this???????

3) Agree Tony292, too many veterans, especially those with constant and beyond persistent issues problems , i.e. the other 50% from above, have no recourse but to attempt to utilize the US DVA.... was this what the US DVA was established for to begin with, is it not.....??????? Furthermore, would one place a large wager if the odds were simply 50%-50%, think the odds of a favorable outcome with the US DVA by any US veteran should be much better than that......perhaps??????

4) Something not mentioned here as well, exactly how many US Military Field Grade Officers (say 0-5 and higher) and or very senior NCO's (CSM's per say) actually utilize US DVA services on a routine and regular basis.... I mean we all have eyes and ears, from what many veterans report they have only encountered a very few........something I think should be addressed at some level, as the input on issues and connections-networks say an O-6 or E8/9 have are vastly superior to say an E1-E7 or and O1-04..... and might actually help improve US DVA Services to some extent....perhaps???????? Furthermore, many these type folks go on to advisory or other positions within the US Government-VSO's-Civilian Firms where there input is highly regarded, but if not seeing or experiencing first hand then what exactly is the true value of that input......say on something like the US DVA and other issues "veteran" related????? [What is the old saying "Leadership by Example".....????]

Call me crazy(?), would not be fisrt or last time, ...but....50-50 is not acceptable odds, for any veteran trying get quality care at US DVA, especially those combat wounded or those injured as in "training for war" or whatever correct terminology is on that..... could be simply wrong on all of that....??????? Welcome any feedback........

PS: There are those whom have been asked by many their personal assessment of the US DVA--- well will probably offend some, but kind of concur with those that have observed over long time - "the US DVA has become by and large, among other things, an organization predominated at all levels by, for lack of a better term, by and large "the NCO mafia", that those having not served considerable time US Military may not be familiar with, but those who have should be much more than familiar with....and this can be both an endearing as well as not so endearing term.....situation dependent.....as with many things US Military related "
 
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chaplaincharlie

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I agree with all the above, except a few things:

1) Per many a life-long US DVA employee, in their vast experience 50% vets entering US DVA System have no issues while the other 50% have nothing but endless issues..... ChaplainCharlie must simply fall into the former not the latter category, and why should any veteran have endless issues with the US DVA?????? Just a question.....????
I was retired 100/100 in 2015 with severe chronic issues, so you have me in the wrong category. I have treated the people at the VA with courtesy and professionalism and they have returned the same. My experience is simply that, not yours or anyone else's experience. There is not doubt that some VA locations are probably more friendly that others, just like the Vets they treat.

Anyone that can read knows the VA has problems, some that are tragically WRONG. Every health institution has problems. But the people I have encounter have bent over backward to help me. Some policies the VA has are out of line with prevailing medical standards, but I understand that the average VA employee can't change VA policy. Just like the average military member had little influence over DoD or service guidance.
 

Former MiTT Team Leader

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I have treated the people at the VA with courtesy and professionalism and they have returned the same. My experience is simply that, not yours or anyone else's experience. There is not doubt that some VA locations are probably more friendly that others, just like the Vets they treat.

Anyone that can read knows the VA has problems, some that are tragically WRONG. Every health institution has problems. But the people I have encounter have bent over backward to help me. Some policies the VA has are out of line with prevailing medical standards, but I understand that the average VA employee can't change VA policy. Just like the average military member had little influence over DoD or service guidance.
Thanks ChaplainCharlie- the way VA employees are treated by vets should in fact make very little difference on much of anything as most vet's- I believe- begin in VA System by trying to be courteous, as it is simply the "wild blue rounder" or the unknown and are at first simply trying to figure things out. As with many things courtesy and respect are two way streets....and have seen many a "mild mannered vet" lose it at the US DVA.....

Per what you are exposing, perhaps, simply because a "vet" is considered by some VA employee to be rude, it justifies ill-treatment... am I correct????? Wonder if they ever worked for, or had to answer to, individuals akin the personality of GEN Norman Schwarzkopf, i.e. "storm'in Norman," and others same ilk, and would that affect his-their level of care-ratings if he called some VA clerk, nurse, doctor, admin. official, on their deficiencies- and believe me do not think he/they would have been too very polite about it?????? (But then again not many folks like-the level of GEN Schwarzkopf do not utilize the VA....or if so routinely ????]

Furthermore, once upon a time VA History, believe US DVA employees did have quite a bit of influence on policy, or recommend changes to policy to benefit of veterans...such as the bar-code system, electronic records etc..... and if that is not the case any longer, then should be re-looked by US DVA hierarchy....

Also, humble US soldiers can in fact also make/greatly influence changes to policy, or at least to how business is done certain locations/organizations/units..... as I have met them....and witnessed it my own eyes....(from very simple things like an E-3/4, when unit runs out overlay -field expedient -utilizing clear plastic trash bags, to E-5/6/7's making recommendations that affect how CBT Operations-training done/conducted.... to LT's, CPT's and MAJ's [i.e. all levels] making sound recommendations to their Chains of Command that, while may get tweaked, make huge changes eventually.....

(ChaplinCharlie did not have you wrong category, just might have typed incorrectly, by accident, what I meant, if confusion, is you are in 50% vets no issues.....)

As per usual ChaplainCharlie thanks for input......
 
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chaplaincharlie

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Professionals (doctors, nurses.... ) are suppose to act professionally. I know this does not always occur.

Assaults on medical staff happen with some regularity. In the ER, 38% of staff are assaulted annually. 97% of the time the patient was perpetrator. The rate in MH units is 44% annually. Workplace violence in the ER and MH is much higher than the percentage of Vets who have been in action (20% lifetime).

Some vets act in ways that generated fear of attack in staff members. Given the danger of attack by patients that fear is reasonable. When people, even professionals, become fearful their emotions often rule their actions.

As a vet, I chose to quiet the storm because I'm goal oriented. I ask myself what do I need from the VA and how can I best get that service. This does not excuse bad behavior by the staff, but it helps get me what is needed to take care of my health!
 

tony292

PEB Forum Veteran
So to add to the story today I went in for a dental exam. I was polite but let them know just how dissatisfied I was. What they told me was one of the most ridiculous excuses you could imagine.

The reason I’ve been cancelled for 3 cleanings in 10 months is that they have two hygienists. One is a male the other female. I was scheduled for the female all three times. Here’s the catch... the female had taken a leave of absence last summer to take care of her sick mother in another state. She left last summer and never came back... so the VA has scheduled me 3 times with someone who wasn’t there... someone who had taken a leave of absence and then quit. So instead of rescheduling me with the male hygienist who still worked there, or giving me VA Choice for a civilian dentist cleaning appointment they instead kept rescheduling me with the hygenist who wasn’t there....

I couldn’t make this crap up! And to add insult, the guy ahead of me for an exam was offered a cleaning appointment with the male hygenist for tomorrow.. he literally gave this guy in front of me a cleaning appointment because someone had just cancelled. So instead of looking to see who had been waiting the longest, he just randomly gave the appointment to the person in front of him!
 
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Former MiTT Team Leader

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Assaults on medical staff happen with some regularity. In the ER, 38% of staff are assaulted annually. 97% of the time the patient was perpetrator. The rate in MH units is 44% annually. Workplace violence in the ER and MH is much higher than the percentage of Vets who have been in action (20% lifetime).
ChaplainCharlie- where by chance did you get these numbers, are they VA numbers are simply numbers for all hospitals, etc.....????

And to some degree I can agree with you, once again per ex-Service Members whom work at the Gulf Coast VA/VISN16, they are hard pressed to tell that a lot of younger vets, in particular, ever served a day US Military by their actions and or demeanor, furthermore I too have seen vets acting like "caged animals" especially on MH floor - heck supposedly at MOPC, can hear them before elevator arrives, I guess simply because think it will help them get them a rating.....??????

But all that being said, whom is to blame... the veterans or VA staff for clearly allowing things such as this to occur, or not immediately taking very positive corrective action (i.e. turning them over VA Police, refusing to see them scheduled appointment, or simply sending them home...etc...) or when catch veterans with real weapons on US DVA Grounds among other things......

Then, on other hand there are simply VA staff scared to be around veterans- simply to begin with......so where does that leave one, and are they not screened for this on job interviews.....??????

Then you have what Tony292 has encountered... and sadly have also witnessed very similar too many times to count .......

The reason I’ve been cancelled for 3 cleanings in 10 months is that they have two hygienists. One is a male the other female. I was scheduled for the female all three times. Here’s the catch... the female had taken a leave of absence last summer to take care of her sick mother in another state. She left last summer and never came back... so the VA has scheduled me 3 times with someone who wasn’t there... someone who had taken a leave of absence and then quit. So instead of rescheduling me with the male hygienist who still worked there, or giving me VA Choice for a civilian dentist cleaning appointment they instead kept rescheduling me with the hygenist who wasn’t there....

I couldn’t make this crap up! And to add insult, the guy ahead of me for an exam was offered a cleaning appointment with the male hygenist for tomorrow.. he literally gave this guy in front of me a cleaning appointment because someone had just cancelled. So instead of looking to see who had been waiting the longest, he just randomly gave the appointment to the person in front of him!
So say someone like Tony292- being irritate, and telling US DVA Staff exactly what he thinks about the situation, as long as did not "threaten" anybody, should by all means be more than understandable as well by all......but sadly is not.....????

Then you have US DVA Staff just simply waiting to misconstrue something a veteran said, without checking with any of their US DVA Caregivers first, and making a huge deal out of nothing... to cover the fact not doing their jobs or they themselves calling/called a veteran something or other......

Bottom-line: It is all situational dependent, and unfortunately 50% of veterans, myself included, experiencing all the time similar Tony292, is not acceptable by any stretch of the imagination...no matter what statistics are presented, for whatever reason, AND we are not going to fix it here......?????

[Case in point, simply because of all the issues discussed here, {pros and cons so to speak???} have met numerous veterans whom simply refuse enroll with the US DVA at all... as they want no part of it....what so ever....]

These are all issues those much higher than us this post/thread should hopefully be addressing, at some point in US history-perhaps......or those that can, such as hopefully some Super-moderators, forwarding them on....?????

I am sincerely glad that you are 50% of those whom have no issue US DVA ChaplainCharlie, but it is in fact the other 50% that need to be brought "on board" , so to speak, with your level of care and experiences at the US DVA somehow..... and things Tony292 and others writing about are in fact more than salient issues that need to be fixed????????
 
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