Do You know Who can Conduct Mental Health C&P Exams?

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Mental Health Credentials

Do not be fooled, there are specific rules VHA examiners must follow when conducting mental health C&P exams – and not just any old VA employee will do.

Always remember – just because someone has a white coat on does not mean everything coming out of their mouths is gold. There are rules VHA C&P evaluators must follow and credentials they must have prior to evaluating you.

The parameters are outlined in VHA Directive 2012-021. And here I will be you thought they made it all up, right? I am sure for most of you it seemed like that was the case.

 

Two C&P Mental Health Examinations

There are two kinds of evaluations. The first kind of C&P Exam is an initial assessment called Initial Mental Disorder Examinations. The second kind of C&P Exam is a Review or Increase. Each of these examinations have different qualifications for the practitioner who can conduct the forensic examination.

For both kinds of examinations, make sure to ASK the examiner what kind of professional they are. Then, note whether or not they had proper supervision. As you will see below, this is important and can result in having the exam thrown out.

 

Initial Mental Disorder Examination

Only the following can provide these exams:

(1) Board-certified psychiatrists.

 (2) Psychiatrists who have successfully completed an accredited psychiatry residency and who are appropriately credentialed and privileged.

 (3) Licensed doctoral-level psychologist.

 (4) Non-licensed doctoral-level psychologists working toward licensure under close supervision by a board-certified, or board-eligible, psychiatrist or a licensed doctoral-level psychologist.

 (5) Psychiatry residents under close supervision by a board-certified, or board-eligible, psychiatrist or a licensed doctoral-level psychologist.

(6) Psychology interns or residents under close supervision by a board-certified, or board-eligible, psychiatrist or a licensed doctoral-level psychologist.

NOTE: Close supervision means that the supervising psychiatrist or psychologist met with the Veteran and conferred with the examining mental health professional in providing the diagnosis and the final assessment. The supervising psychiatrist or psychologist co-signs the examination report.

 

Review or Increase of C&P Mental Disorder

The following can provide examinations for reviews or increases:

(1) Mental health professionals qualified to perform initial C&P mental disorder examinations.

(2) Other mental health professionals, such as licensed clinical social workers, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and physician assistants who meet the requirements specified in subparagraph 4a, under close supervision by a board-certified, or board-eligible, psychiatrist or licensed doctoral-level psychologist.

NOTE: Close supervision means that the supervising psychiatrist or psychologist met with the Veteran and conferred with the examining mental health professional in providing the diagnosis and the final assessment. The supervising psychiatrist or psychologist co-signs the examination report.

 

Inadequate Examinations

If the evaluators do not follow the correct protocol, the evaluations can be returned due to inadequacy. There are two reasons for this: 1) The report does not include the examiner’s credentials and signature; and 2) It does not have the signature of the board-certified or board-eligible psychiatrist or licensed doctoral-level psychologist.

After reviewing your file, if you feel the VA exam was inadequate, contact your veteran service officer to explain why.

Read More: https://www.disabledveterans.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/QUALIFICATIONS-FOR-EXAMINERS-PERFORMING-COMPENSATION-AND-PENSION-CP-MENTAL-DISORDER-EXAMINATIONS.pdf

 

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1 COMMENT

  1. Talking awhile back to a friend of mine who is a Doctoral-level Psychologist. His biggest gripe was having to give C & P exams on potential Patients of his. Back about 6 months ago, most Doctoral Psychologist were being made to do C and P exams on several patients in the attempt for the VA to get through the Back Log on mental health Compensation Claims. As he stated to me, these may be potential patients of his and his example is;

    Say he is the Dr. on call and you the Mental Health Patient does a walk-in visit. You the patient will be seen by your C and P examiner. And as he stated, he thought it was UN-ethical to do this, but was being made to do so by the VA.

    Hmmm, just another thing the VA slips past us and my opinion is if the Doctors say it UN-ethical. I would have to agree

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