VA Fights FOIA To Cover-up Growing TBI Scandal
VA medical facilities across the country are fighting against reporters and clear FOIA laws to evade public accountability for using unqualified doctors in its TBI scandal to withhold benefits from veterans.
READ: Check Out KARE 11 Report On VA Cover-up
NBC KARE 11 just revealed more information about the Minneapolis VA cover-up that shows the agency is actively working against the interests of the American public to avoid public awareness and accountability. This flies in the face of fanciful claims from Secretary Robert McDonald that the agency is doing everything it can to improve the veteran experience.
Doesn’t it seem more like VA is doing everything it can to C-Y-A of VA employees? Does VA only exist for its employees or the veterans it is required to serve?
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the signature injury of the current wars in the Middle East. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is avoiding accountability for the total cost of these wars.
It does this by evading financial liability for payment and benefits for veteran afflicted with life altering TBI by using unqualified doctors to conduct exams. This unlawful insurance tactic is adversarial almost always result in lowball ratings or flat denials. That is clearly in opposition to the lawful requirement to behave in a “pro-claimant” manner.
Much like Agent Orange or PTSD, the current TBI policy and practice of using voodoo medicine and pseudo science to deny veterans benefits and health care has just been exposed in Minneapolis, MN.
In Minneapolis alone, two doctors named Danny Smith and Ephraim Gabriel conducted a total of 127 unqualified examinations between the two of them since 2010. VA told KARE 11 the total was at least 300 cases where VA defrauded the veteran by knowingly selecting unqualified doctors.
I caught them using a database I am building via FOIA for veterans to hold their own VA doctors accountable. The doctors were clearly not listed with the required credentials.
When KARE 11 and numerous other sister stations across the country asked for the names of all doctors who conducted initial TBI examinations nationwide, VA blocked the FOIAs. VA claims the identities of the doctors are private. It goes on to erroneously claim that the American public would not benefit from holding VA accountable by exposing this fraud.
They are clearly taking a “Trust us, we will figure it out. And after we figure it out, we will do the right thing.”
Last night, KARE 11 reported on the story of one veteran who suffered a concussion in 1958 that later led to a brain tumor. The word “concussion” was clearly written in the military medical record. Concussion is a synonym for traumatic brain injury.
Yet, the unqualified doctors repeatedly reported that the veteran never suffered a TBI while in the military. VA Benefits Administration at St. Paul Regional Office proceeded to deny the veteran disability benefits for TBI and brain tumor because of VA Health Administration doctors’ failure to diagnose TBI.
This is the area VA claims it is not liable for medical malpractice even though the behavior clearly deviates from the minimum standard of care in any state.
The game VA doctors are playing goes like this:
An unqualified VA doctor tells the veteran there is no “current diagnosis” of TBI in the medical records. Of course, prior to at least 1995, a diagnosis of TBI was never given to anyone. So any veteran with a concussion in their medical records will not fall within this new criteria even though the words are the same.
Further, since VA is unlawfully withholding examinations with qualified examiners, no matter what medical facts are presented, no doctor or nurse can conclude otherwise. This is a multi-billion dollar scandal.
Have you ever run into these problems? The game is very basic in nature. They redefine words that have one meaning in the regulations but another when used by VA employees. They list the regulation and then omit sections of explanations that result in a benefits grant.
Just more “VA is Lying” action here in Minneapolis and elsewhere.
WATCH: VA is Lying Campaign Comes To Minneapolis
Luckily, we are putting up some great billboards around Minneapolis VAMC and St. Paul Regional Office to let the public know veterans are not fooled by the antics.
I’m glad people are talking about this resistive attitude the V.A. has and , as far as I’ve seen has had for as long as I’ve been dealing with them, since 1975.
This is an old story though. The original sufferers of a war injury often are treated poorly and denied benefits because no body in the VA wants to be the first to stick their neck out and say ,”Yeah, he got it in the war.)
I almost died from a disease I had listed in my military out medical records back in the late 90’s. That was 30 years later. Because they had no actual specific name or treatment for the disease at the time, all the way through the Bush administration I was denied Benefits. And am still denied today even though other veterans are now collecting their benefits from the same disease.
Once someone black marks your record in their VA computer you can got to the Hospital end still but you are always denied benefits no matter what. People talk about lawyers and things but it’s just talk, no one is interested. And they tend to use your disability to defeat you. It’s been this way a long time. Nothing new and nothing changes except the cover up.
Remember. They have broke no medical laws whatsover and as long as they havepassed the licensing requirement for MD DO Nurse practicioner or PA they could be pediatricians and do yout c and p. they could even be a nurse and do a c and p if a doctor signs it.
Now is it the right way to do it i have no idea. I am also speaking of federal medical laws not VA rules and regulations.
Now if you do have a complaint. Do as i do and send a letter to the doctor, the advocate, oig, jacho, nursing board, medical board and to the state. Each has to investigate the situation and i promise you if enough of us do this one of two things will happen. The agencies will get so tired of investigating them they will
They will either will either severly punish them or the va will clean there act up.
Nick, try telling someone at the VA about something you feel is not right or question them period about the way they do things, would only get the veterans who do this. Has and will be considered hostile and reported to the disruptive committee and the veteran will be punished! It happens every day! And the kicker the VA does not even require any proof of wrongdoing! Explain that! Or any VA officials answer that! I want to hear the legal requirements of veterans whom they report.
First I apologize for the bad layout of the comment above but my phone is not compatable with my fingers.
I have not been punished as of yet or not to my knowledge, In fact my care has gotten better in the last three years I believe due to my official complaints. I have helped those that say they are being punished though. As I said complain to every entity you can, they all have to do an investigation, if they do something wrong, then file another complaint and continue to file complaints ect.
I’m not saying they won’t retaliate but if everyone would just keep filing those complaints and lawsuits at some point they will find they have to restructure.
I just sent another complaint in. They will not give me testosterone therapy till I lose weight. Number 1 side effect of low testosterone is weight gain. Plus the VA just finished a study stating men with low testosterone levels that do not get therapy are more than 47 percent more likely to have a premature death, and that is what I based the complaint on. Also that I did anabolic steroids in my earlier years and I do not make testosterone the way normal men do.
We will see if they retaliate or treat me.
There seems to be major misinterpretation going on here. The doctors in this case are not incompetent. They are absolutely qualified to do their work and their job was to review a case per the VA admin. They referred it on because they know they aren’t neurological specialists. The doctors in this article aren’t too blame and people need to stop pointing the finger at them. Many VA docs are vets themselves and are fighting the good fight for their fellow soldiers. Please research more before ranting people. Kare 11 will end up with their foot in their mouth once they realize they’re missing vital information regarding their “investigation”.
If that were the case why wouldn’t the VA release the information sought under FOIA and prove everybody wrong? Why are they trying to cover up this scandal?
They won’t reply to you with anything that proves this point, why they have no proof!
At least they do an investigation, VA admitted they never did any type of investigation, when I was reported for disruptive behavior, if they would have they would have found out that I was only reported, because a middle management employee had a personal vendetta against me and the higher management did nothing! Excuse after excuse! This employee should have been fired for her illegal actions and higher management for failure to assist a veteran In clearing their good name, nope they just covered up her lying, why is the va so afraid of letting a veteran defend themselves, this goes against all Americans civil and constitutional rights.
The investigation is skewed and prompted by a unethical lawyer. Yes, the VA is under investigation and has since changed policies to offer the best care possible for the veterans. However, the story here is throwing good doctors under the bus for doing their job. It’s making the doctors look like they’re at fault when it’s the VA administrators that had these old policies. It’s slanderous.
Why did the policy change? What ethical doctor would conduct an examination that they are unqualified to conduct? Regardless of what an administrator says?
Nice try. Before about 2009 they called it ‘residuals of brain injury’ and lumped whatever psychosis they could attach to it along with the head injury diagnosis. The VA was supposed to upgrade any veterans service connected with the old moniker to the new one. VES/George Turek…Ted Cruz & Beto O’Rourke donor sent my 100% SC husband to Dr. Lamb in Terre Haute Indiana, a pill mill for an exam for TBI..even though he was 100% since 1992. The doctor couldn’t use a computer, had no paper records and I dictated his records I brought with me to him. SOCOM grabbed my husband’s records as he exited the Army and Dr. Lamb wrote that without the records he couldn’t decide on causes. DRO Katrina Bone took this as an opening to say he said it wasn’t SC. And, to try and reduce his TBI from 100% to 70%. Laments that the 20 year mark forbids that and in fact he was declared homebound with 100 +60%.
It is a game. And, using drug mills and Pockystan’s finest doesn’t cut it. I got hima way from th VA and found specialists that know more than most VA docs will ever. So much for the VA is the world’s leader in TBI medicine. That #VABrainTrust last week was a total waste of tax money. Nice picks with NFL guys and fake Special Forces Baghdad Bob donated his fake TBI addled brain. Wasted time & $$$$
I would like to know what benefits a veteran is supposed to be getting if they have been diagnose with a tbi, special pay? ,what’s that and what type of treatment is to be completed. When I was told I have a tbi, that’s all I was told. They never advised me of any treatment available, I did apply for a tbi disability and was denied. Stating they needed more proof, guess the doctor word is not proof! ?
I am currently going through the “VA’s Treatment Plan” for a TBI & residuals. I’ll tell you what happened so far-
1) They didn’t have a clue of what to do with me and my TBI. They sent me to a neurologist (foreigner-guess what country?) that had no particular training with people with brain injuries ( it is very, very important for the practitioners to have this experience as I was told by The Brain Injury Association of the state I live in, and asked if I wanted to be referred to one of their private providers). The neurologist just gave me some simple “memory” quizzes that took 5-10 minutes and referred me to a consult with an OT (occupational therapist) 2) The OT originally planned to give me an ‘Allen Test’ , but when I got there, she said I’m way above the level of cognitive ability for that. She didn’t know what to do next or who I should actually see for residuals. She contacted this ‘psychiatrist’ who is supposed to head all things TBI and actually won an award by the VA, and she didn’t know either. 3) I complained my ass off telling whoever I spoke to at my VA hospital ‘Director of Patient Care’ office and told them I am relaying this all to the Brain Injury Association of my state (will not say which state here, as it doesn’t matter)..After I kept on their asses with 4 subsequent phone calls asking them what is the next step for me, they finally set me up with a neurophysiologist. This should have been done from the beginning (total time wasted = 6 months). 4) I was satisfied with him and the testing he performed (a full day, with a lunch break) I was given my okay areas and moderately impaired areas in follow-up. He said there is a 6-week program called FACT. where I would be able to meet with physiologists, one- on- one or group, to discuss issues and exercises used to repair my brain’s neuroplasticity. I haven’t began that yet..
Their is no specific treatment for TBI. No prescriptions for it either. TBIs differ from person to person, depending how severe you are (mild, moderate, severe). I also know there is no “special pay” given to you. The VA makes a % determination just like other disabilities based on many individual variables that come into play. I do not think they know what they are doing, however. They are very unskilled compared to a noteworthy private rehab facility in your geo area. The VA just don’t have the expertise or enough of the right doctors on their enormous payroll funded by taxpayers thru our tax dollars.
My best suggestion is to try some of the above complaining with your Dir of Patient Services office, seek non-VA help at a private rehab facility with a physiatrist or neurophysiologist – talk to them on the phone a few times so you know what they have to offer. Get what you can from the VA anyway, like I did. And work with the private doctors to furnish proof unto the VA (you may need to get a lawyer involved). Also, call Donald Trump’s Veterans line and furnish them with your story and paperwork they may request from you so they know you ain’t BS’ing.
I meant to say neuropsychologist ( PsyD.), not neurophysiologist in above message.
Actually yes, there is a very special pay…Special Monthly Compensation T paid at the r2 rate of about $8,000 per veteran per month for those that need aid and attendance. It is a black hole that no one can find what the VA is doing with the money but I expect that to change. It is what Rep Lee Zeldin took Dr David Shulkin on over my husband, John Mtichell: search for ‘Rep Lee Zeldin + 4/19/2016’ and the youtube will come up with the exchange.
And, best of all the VA is telling congress that the rate will go down 40% by 2019! Newsflash: as TBI patients age they need more care, not less.
I talked to the assistant under secretary psych doc for geriatrics last week. She testified before the same committee the day after Shulkin. She asked me to list my husband’s symptoms and immediately named the portion of his brain that is damaged. Even knew it was the right side..the side with the most damage (for one tied to a chair and beaten on a bad drug op in Central America). If a vet is 70 to 100% SC for TBI the lawyers on the House VA committee that wrote the law say they should qualify for SMC T. 375,000 vets have SC TBI and 1% right now get SMC T. What is the VA doing with the money? But, the more that are SC for TBI esp. at 70% or higher the more they will have to pay out. So they low ball the TBI.
I had a TBI exam done at the Leavenworth, KS VA by a nurse practitioner even though I had a diagnosis already by a psychologist and M.D. From the concussion clinic at Fort Leavenworth and was MEB’d out of the service because of it now I wonder if 40% was an accurate number. So, no! This is not isolated to one VA Medical center.
Amazing how McDonald is still leading this organization and Obama and our other DC politicians can go on long vacations while our vets suffer. They sure don’t mind sending us off to these conflicts and then sending us off from help when we need it. I seriously don’t think McDonald could properly flip a burger at his name sake fast food joint but Obama lets him go with his blessings. To all who have served, are serving and will serve…Semper Fi….
Th VA like many of the federal and state agencies are DELIBERATE AND INCOMPETENT impostor’s with the nazi style platitudes it repeats day in and day out to just CYA and to get away with stealing every dollar it can every which way it can and #1 WAY IS THE criminal profiteering insurance claims MONEY THEFT of millions of disabled vets and civilians.. The VA, like other gov’t agencies have betrayed most Americans and its disabled vets, but yet I see a light at the end of the tunnel with OUR COUNTRY’S disabled fighters, fighting back and actually getting nation wide attention.
Thank God for the internet with Benjamin Krause and our disabled vets. Injured and disabled workers without medical care, disability benefits and justice, applaud you.
I SALUTE ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR PERSEVERANCE IN FIGHTING BACK AGAINST the phony AND tin man tyrannical government employee forces.
So where is this mysterious Dr. David Shulkin and what is he doing about this? Now we can see he is a royal piece of shit! For all those that had kind words for him when he was nominated to “run” the VHS part of the VA as undersecretary. Looks like you all were duped. You won’t hear a word from him – only good things about the VA. Why talk about the bad? A real piece of SHIT! Does VA only exist for its employees or the veterans it is required to serve? It exists for the employees – that is what a beaurocracy is. It exists to keep it in existence…not the purpose it was meant to serve.
“Billboards around Minneapolis VAMC and St. Paul Regional Office to let the public know veterans are not fooled by the antics” you say? Cute, but it will take billboards around the entire country, and light projections on the empire state building to make people notice a little. And then what? What actions do you think they all will take? How about none! The government will spend an inordinate amount of taxpayer dollars to” think tanks” like RAND to come up with a whopping counter to that if they have to, anyway. Make it all go away. Poof! Your tax dollars and mine. Stick-’em-up!
VA ONE BIG BIG BIG FEDRAL RICO CRIME RACKET FROM AFGE UNION CRACT HELL THE MAFIA IS MICKEY MOUSE TO VA FEDERAL RICO CRIME RACKETS FROM HELL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
AMEN BRO IF I DONT SAY SO MYSELF
Have y’all heard the latest from Trump? Check it out, It’s on Alabama Today,
“Donald Trump asks CNN to give debate advertising to veterans”
it’s coming from the Associated Press.
No one else is helping the vets. Not one of those idiots, in my opinion, is truly doing anything but making promises they have NO intention of keeping. When it comes to helping the vets.
Until all veterans unite and file a class action against the VA and their employees this matter will never come to an end. VA and their employee will continue what they are doing and what they think is best for own interest if we don’t teach them a lesson. Don’t forget the key words “United we stand divided we fall”.
This, plus the recent revelations about the CAVC keeps convincing me just how adversarial the VA really is. Are they getting worse under McDonald? I don’t know that but this much I do know, things aren’t getting much better under him. Personally speaking, I don’t think the VA can ever be cleaned up. Going into a VAMC, for me is like walking off of a jungle trail in Kontum Province and encountering a booby trapped American 105 round, manufactured by the Sperry Rand Corp. propped up on a tree branch so that it will blow your head off first before it blows the rest of you away. VA too uses booby traps on us, don’t they?
Ben, I would hope you are lining up allies to prepare a lawsuit to force the VA to comply with this FOIA request. Clearly they are wrong as you have noted. There is ample precedent where federal employees are not covered with privacy protection, and this is one of them. Hell there are databases on line where you can determine a federal employees salary, awards or bonuses they were given, and here in Colorado, an on line database where you can look up medical providers, including VA doctors and nurses and determine if they have had ANY adverse action against them in their past. Its a requirement of the Michael Skolnik Medical Transparency Act, which was passed after he died because of an incompetent doctor. I encourage any veteran to search the internet to see if their state has the same reporting requirement, and Ben, any state with that kind of online database should be included in your database. Knowing whether a medical professional is competent and properly credentialed has been a right of patients in many states for years, and to claim that information is private is absolutely ludicrous.
To say the public or veterans would not benefit is just as ridiculous since it prevents a veteran from being involved in their own care and making informed decisions on that care, and violates the VAs Patients Bill of Rights. If I went to the VA for treatment of cancer, I sure as hell would not want a doctor specializing in orthopedics to be the provider. Having a VA provider who is not credentialed in TBI provide an examination or treatment for TBI is blatant fraud, and should result in complaints to a state licensing board if they were a private doctor.
This might be of interest:
The Doctors lists physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners and other Licensed Independent Practitioners located at this medical center or health care system. Our Doctors is updated on a regular basis. click on the medical center in your VISN and search for your doctor to see what they are qualified to perform
Just a blatant violation of FOIA law! FFS these nitwits reject Ben’s FOIA, yet have the information he wants on their own web site anyway, so they could easily provide his request. He should FOIA the contents of this database.
This reminds me of a FOIA I submitted to VA years ago on a meeting they had on Depleted Uranium exposures. The VA refused to admit what medical conditions they were finding in vets exposed to DU, including those with shrapnel in their bodies, because they accepted the Pentagon spin that it was harmless. The VA was bragging about some meeting they had on DU, so I FOIA’d the meeting minutes. The transcript I got showed they were finding cancers, tumors and kidney damage in vets they were publicly claiming were not showing health effects.
Their response to Ben that this information is private suggests strongly that upper VA management, like Sloan Gibson, is aware of FOIA requests, and interfering with how or when the VA FOIA office responds to requests. I cannot believe the FOIA office made such a stupid decision on their own.
At the moment Rep. Lee Zeldin’s office can’t even get an answer out of the VA why the VA violated the law on denying my husband SMC T…and he is on the Veterans Affairs committee and sub-committee on Disability.
The VA under Baghdad Bob McDonald and the dopey princess Alison Hickey are rogue. Until congress cuts off their funds nothing will change.
My TBI “PROVIDER” at the Bay Pines VA is a P.A.!
Did you see anything wrong with that?
Thanks GOD , I am on Medicare and TRICARE, and I am not Depending on These MFs!
I am Followed by a Great Neurology Doctor in the “OUTSIDE” ! If I was depending on them, I ‘ll be dead by now!
Not all PA’s are bad. My husband under Medicare and Tricare see’s a DO and a PA and they are great. The PA spent 8 years in a trauma ER and knows more about head injury than most of the docs I came across at the VA. Except in the Poly Trauma Rehab Clinic. Those docs were pretty good. His case manager is an angel on earth.
I would question their experience and credentials. A good PA beats a bad Dr anyday.
I am still fighting my claims. One of the most unscrupulous item that I will be fighting is that th audiologist that did my exam told me to guess the word he repeats no matter what and to push the button even if I hear ringing in my ears.
I was so naive that I had no idea what he was doing. These instances of employee abuse could not be a direct result of just self satisfaction but an administrative order set from above the ranks.
One problem America has is the way white collar crime is treated, rarely in any instance even most severe which causes life or limb is punishable as a criminal offense within the governmental or public sector of large corporations. Yes the man who is singled out for scamming old people are punished but the large Corporations such as GM, Blue Bell who refused at first to take there ice cream off the market ect are just given fines. Even when life is lost.
How many Vets have the V.A. truly MURDERED, yet, the worst that happens is they lose there jobs. White collar crime is the wave of the future, You can bilk billions from individuals by not relaying the proper information or not following the proper laws and only be fined millions for it.
This almost makes me want to become an attorney such as Mr. Krause has just to fight the judicial system on the way white collar crimes are treated.
I guess I’m naïve also. I had two (2) audiology exams this year. One in Jan., Lake Baldwin, Orlando, the other last month at Daytona Beach. I had been told to do the same thing. That is “repeat the word even if I didn’t understand or hear it”, and to “push the button”, even when I explained of the “ringing in my ears!”
Why is this done? Can you explain it? I’d sure like to know why this would be considered “Employee Abuse” against us???
I’d also like to know what can be done about it?
I did some research and can not say this for sure, but I am sure someone can. If you guess its counted right, and if you click and there is no sound it is not counted but by clicking even if you think you don’t hear something but there was a sound then that is counted right.
So if they say hat and you say cat, then it is counted as right, as far I my searching has told me.
If anyone can chime in since I’m new at this.
Now I will have to pay for an outside audiologist to fight this.
If you aren’t sure, refuse to answer it. Same with vision tests. Get a copy and check that they haven’t written lies on the exam. In myhusband’s case he has aphasia. He cannot find the right words fast enough. One tester was harassing him to go faster and guess. I shut her ass down immediately. The next one heard TBI and took her time. Helped me carry him out to the truck when the test set his equilibrium off.
Same with vision test. Low vision specialist wrote on the Goldmann test “not reliable do not use” so DRO Katrina Bone used it anyway and gave him 10% for vision.
At the #VABrainTrust last week I posted that McDonald needs to stop making veterans prove medically accepted (for 20 years in private practice) symptoms separately for vets with TBI..vision changes, sleep disturbances, depression, etc. One doc there asked a TOP VA official about Zeldin and Shulkin the day before and was told we are lying. This TBI and related SMC T scandal is easily bigger than the one that started the bad VA stories off.
I think VA “needs a kick in the rear”, as my daddy would’ve said. After reading the articles and watching the video, I truly believe VA is NOT being forthright in anything concerning this and other issues. They have never came out and just said, “We screwed up. We will apologize to every veteran affected. THIS will never happen again. If any veteran is treated like this again, we want to know ASAP! The employee will be dealt with harshly”!
If VA would do this, I believe veterans might start believing them…
I also believe the “VA is Lying, Veterans are Dying” billboards are the reason VA is telling more lies. They have to be running on empty. Because, more and more veterans who have had bad experiences are coming forward. Sooner or later McDonald WILL have to step up to the plate and fix his corrupt VA. Or, receive the opposite. I have sent this off to many news stations and newspapers this morning….
Lastly, I think an AUDIT by a qualified CPA Firm, not affiliated with VA, should conduct it. I also believe, if an AUDIT were done, some would be caught with their hands in the cookie jar, so to speak…..
Dear Benjamin Krause,
Is TBI cases being checked by QTCM [James Peake and Anthony Principi’s company/Lockheed]?
Dear Benjamin Krause,
Yorktown–really—Mr, Ridge [my girlfriend’s dad] was a cook on the Yorktown and worked at the Brecksville, Ohio VA Hospital for 35 years as an Security Guard [Say Hello to “the Fighting Lady” Vet].
As you stated in your recent radio broadcast, the VA is an “insurance company” and it is now acting like the insurance companies after the Hurricane strike from Katrina in 2005.
The Ethics of these doctors are gone and so are their licenses to “practice medicine.”
If the AMA does not step up to the plate—-we are going to see more Referees get clocked in the back and spines rammed with helmets as the whole team pretends that they did not hear the plan from the assistant coach.
Yeah is getting criminal fast in front of our eyes.
“[This flies in the face of fanciful claims from Secretary Robert McDonald that the agency is doing everything it can to improve the veteran experience.]”
Sec. McDonald does not qualify what “improving veteran experience” really means, does he? Is that “veteran experience” getting sorely shafted and improving ways to do so?
LTC Walt Cooper, McDonald recruited head of his My Veteran Experience program jumped ship last week. In a phone conference I told him I wasn’t surprised. He was a superstar. Rhodes Scholar, 14 year Green beret, nice guy.
Why would someone that could make much more and actually be listened to stay with Bob?
Those basTURDs!!!!! WTF?!! […small number…]-WTF?!!! If one only reduced this to the most basic statistics, while realizing there’s far more VAMC’s than 50, but just take 50 States X 127 Veterans=6350 Potential Unqualified TBI Evaluations, and you KNOW that number is bound to be much higher.
This paints how the VA is supposedly whittling the Claim Backlog significantly. Hell, I think I would rather be see by a Veterinarian than any of these QUACKS!
Good reporting, Ben! I am going to send that link to my State’s Affiliate Stations and hope for more coverage.
All the veterans need to do is bypass whatever VA says and go to the State Boards where the licensing issues are occuring and petition the govenor of that State under the State Doctrine Act , which is exclusive to the 14th Amendment. This separates whatever involvment VA has period.
The other issues is that a key person is missing from the equation,
A Speech Language Pathologist.(SLP) They do not diagnose TBI, but it is vital in the treatment planning and screening.
Appropriate roles for SLPs include:
identifying risk factors for TBI, taking into account variability among individuals from different racial and ethnic backgrounds and culturally and linguistically diverse populations;providing prevention information to individuals and groups known to be at risk for TBI as well as to individuals working with those at risk;screening individuals with TBI for hearing, speech, language, cognitive-communication, and swallowing difficulties;determining the need for further assessment and/or referral for other services;conducting a comprehensive assessment and diagnosing speech, language, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders associated with TBI with sensitivity to individual differences, including cultural and linguistic variations;developing and implementing treatment plans involving direct and indirect ntervention methods for maintaining functional speech, language, cognitive-communication, and swallowing abilities at the highest level of independence, with sensitivity to individual, cultural/linguistic variations;gathering and reporting treatment outcomes, documenting progress, and determining appropriate discharge criteria;
facilitating access to comprehensive services, including referral to other professionals as necessary;counseling persons with TBI and their families regarding impairments across the SLP scope of practice and providing education aimed at preventing further complications relating to TBI,consulting and collaborating with other professionals to facilitate program development and to provide supervision, evaluation, and/or expert testimony, as appropriate;
remaining informed of research in the area of TBI and helping advance the knowledge base related to the nature and treatment of TBI;serving as an integral member of an interdisciplinary team working with individuals with TBI and their families/caregivers;
advocating for individuals with TBI and their families and educating other professionals, third-party payers, and legislators about the needs of persons with TBI and the role of SLPs in diagnosing and managing speech, language, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders associated with TBI;providing quality control and risk management.
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