Suggestions to veterans based on my experence
(1) Don't file a complaint.
(2) If you did file a complaint and things start happening that you don't understand, promote transparency and accountability.
(3) Keep a copy of your records.
(4) Use email to have a record of your side.
(5 ) If you can't get an answer when common sense says an answer is required (Are you my primary care provider? What is it in the computer system that prevents my medicine from being released?, etc.), keep asking by email until you have a record that shows that you asked.
(6 ) Visualize what documents should exist and try to expose them.
(7 ) There are psychological obstacles to exposing documents and following the trails. Put fear, intimidations, assumptions such as "They wouldn't do that much less be able to get away with it", and all other obstacles, aside. Most people will not get beyond these obstacles.
(8 ) If you feel that you have been tagged in the records as a "case", such as I apparently was on Oct 3, 2003, and afterward an overly proportionate amount of time is taken in asking you if you feel depressed or suicidal, think seriously about the intent behind it. Is the intent to create a paper trail to support the initial tag of you being a "case"
(9) Differentiate between realistic and unrealistic paths to transparency and accountability that you may be directed to. Going down an unrealistic path could lead to more confusion and make you look like the bad guy.
(10) Recognize confusion as a flag to see what is behind it.
(11 ) Tub-bee' Louis at the Tucson Office of the Arizona Department of Veterans Service, 1661 North Swan, Suite 128, firstname.lastname@example.org, is terrific. If you are having problems, I believe you would do well to see him no matter where you live in Arizona.
Are veterans who file a complaint tagged and forced out of the system to keep the filing population artificially low, and consequently the system's performance ratings artificially high? What happens to veterans who filed complaints? If all the veterans who filed a complaint were identified and interviewed, I would ask them:
(1) Are they still in the system?
(2) Were they ever surprised in an office visit in a way that made them not want to come back? If so, how many would have to come forward and say so before this is recognized as a reality?
(3) Were they framed as an unstable and/or bad person by using records that they are not allowed to see?
(4) Were they assigned to people who they were led to believe were their primary care provider, but really weren't their primary care provider?