VA Radiology Failed To Take Steps So Prevent Misinterpretations

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VA Radiology

VA Radiology

IG confirmed allegations that VA radiology services lacked peer review protocol to prevent misinterpretations of radiologic studies.

A report published two days ago confirmed suspicions that VA lacked an integrated peer review process to help prevent misinterpretations of imagining studies. This was one of many issues addressed by OIG, but the others were not substantiated.

VA RADIOLOGY PEER REVIEW

According to the OIG report:

“We substantiated that the system lacked a system integrated peer review process for radiology. VHA Directive defines peer review as “an organized process carried out by an individual health care professional or select committee of professionals, to evaluate the performance of other professionals.”11 A peer review is a critical assessment of a provider’s episode of care by a peer or group of peers for the purpose of quality management with the goal of improving the delivery of care and enhancing the provider’s professional development. This ultimately contributes to organizational improvements and optimal patient outcomes. The VHA Directive further requires that each health care facility establish and maintain a program of peer review for quality management purposes.12 The system’s Medical Staff Bylaws require all medical staff members to participate in the system’s protected peer review program. We found that the system’s Radiology Service performed, at the service level, a peer review process for all radiologists. The data was tracked by the service chief but was not an integrated part of the system’s overall peer review program and therefore did not meet requirements as outlined in local or VHA policy.

“To assess for quality concerns with radiologic interpretation, we interviewed multiple staff members from the radiology department and reviewed patient advocate data. We found no evidence of delays in radiologic interpretation, misinterpretation of studies, or reports of patient harm. System managers reported that workload timeliness was not impacted by the additional work. Nevertheless, the absence of an appropriately integrated peer review program does create a vulnerability in which quality of care concerns could go undetected.”

Source: https://www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-14-04898-290.pdf

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61 Comments

  1. To asses the quality concerns, we asked the folks who were not following the rules if anyone got hurt? They all shook heir heads emphatically “no”. Then, to be double extra sure that no tumors, cysts, cancerous buds, unusual syndromes, or degredated cartiledge was missed we went to ask the Director about. She wasn’t in her office and nobody had seen her for months, so we went next door and asked the patient advocate.

    The patient advocate emphatically shook her head “no”. A janitor was passing in the hall and was already shaking his head “no” before the question.

    VAOIG therefor concludes that no vet was hurt.

    OIG must be right because I can see a lot of American vets also shaking their heads with their eyes tightly shut and wincing. Truth must hurt?

    • The VA Radiology Dept. is in charge of popping all AFGE VA Employee’s microwave popcorn, by peer review, of course. The RAND Corporation concurs that the VA employees should read the instructions on the microwave popcorn for proper protocol as to not upset the Veteran still laying in any radiological device, left waiting for said VA AFGE Employees to finish their snack and eventually…push the wrong button with their slimy, greasy popcorn finger on the machine. However, RAND found that the Patient Advocates get pretty nasty when their microwave popcorn is burnt…not so much if a Veteran is burnt because RAND acknowledges Veterans are setting themselves on fire anyway out of frustrated lack of access to care. VA OIG agrees that popcorn is a good thing. Carry-on.

    • Sounds exactly like what the VA IG would do, if they actually went to the hospital rather than just asking the same questions over the phone.

      Anyone else find it hilarious that the IG report defines peer review?

      Anyone else think VA peer review consists of anything more than passing around a research report to those mentioned by Redturtle…starting with the janitor?

      How is it a supposedly preminent research institution like the VA claims themselves to be has to have peer review explained to them? This is the kind of BS research that results from having a better PR department than research department.

      I’m still waiting for their research that shows torn cartilage or other soft tissue damage can be shown in an xray since the VA claims that constantly.

  2. Hey, namnibor.
    Yesterday “IrateVet24601”, eluded to the next war being ‘nuclear’! I agree 110%!
    Here’s a scary Utube video from 12 Oct. 2016.

    “Putin Ally Warns Americans: Vote Trump or Face Nuclear War”

    For example:
    With Hillary and her campaign idiots continually accusing Russia for the “hacking of their computers”! With Hillary, personally, and continually “threatening” military intervention with Russia for the hacking.
    When, in reality and FACT, it’s been the “NSA” doing the hacking. Then turning the info over to ‘Wikileaks’, something was/is going to break. Almost all of our “National Security Agencies” DON’T WANT HILLARY AS POTUS!

    Mr. Trump wants a “dialogue with Russia”. A “conversation” is much better than war. He wants trade. He wants Russia to help defeat ISIS, and more! He knows what’s at stake! He’s not a fool! Look at what this current administration has done to our military!

    Even Gorbachev has spoken out, and called for Putin AND Hillary to “Cool it!”

    The internet is going crazy over the stupidity of it all. At least, “We the People” are finally waking up to the stupidity of our elected and appointed officials!

    People are tired of war!
    The liberal’s, for a better word for ‘Idiots’, are causing this problem.

    Time will come when our “IDIOTS IN CHARGE” will have no excuse for what they’ve gotten the United States of America into!

    Yesterday, I said this about the Veterans Administration!
    “Can the VA stand more “casualties of war”?”
    Answer: Not only “NO!” But, “HELL, NO!”

    They keep saying the VHA’s, and VBA’s are swamped with the ‘casualties of these current wars’! Whether that’s true or not, remains “MUTE”!

    Does anyone actually believe Democrats, most Republicans and the “Social Elite” care about you, me or anyone else in America? Don’t you think they’ve made a freaking mess, and a “laughing stock”, out of our once Great Republic?
    I don’t know how to fix it. But, sooner or later, the shit WILL hit the fan. When it does, GOD HAVE MERCY ON US ALL!

    • I didn’t allude to it I stated it in point of fact. Putin as much as said so, I am looking at this professionally as a USACMLS trained NBC/CBRNE Specialist. Tensions are already high because of ISIS and North Korea. This ain’t a good situation. They fire then we fire, Mutually Assured Destruction, GUARANTEED. I have run the numbers. I halfway expect emergency measures emergency powers Obama staying put Martial law declared (look up Operation Jade Helm 2016)
      Call me paranoid if you want, but according to what I have read WE brothers and sisters are listed among the dissidents VETERANS. I can cite sources.

      • Hey, brother.
        I too am considered ‘paranoid’ by some.
        Yes, I’ve viewed many articles about “Jade Helm”!
        Yet, too many idiots out there are saying it’s a “Right Wing Conspiracy Theory”. And, they will be the ones looking for a way to survive.

        I can say more. Only it would scare the hell outta most people. You know what I mean!

      • So Crazy elf, I see you are on the correct track again. When you say u could say more but it would scare the hell out… Well- that is the truth. It is that same kind of scary sh__ that you think of when you hit the rack & it’s still there the next morning. Just remember God is there too. Yeah Buddy.

  3. Why doesn’t Putin just take Hillary out? BOY! would he be doing EVERYBODY a favor. Probably saving whats left of this planet. Do ya think maybe that’s what happened to Donald Duck???

    • Taking Hillary out would be problematic for Putin. He might be leader of his country but boy o boy would she be one EXPENSIVE date. But who knows? Maybe after dinner he would have a blouse to keep safe in the freezer? It is known in psychiatric circles as the Monica Effect although gender identity might have to be forced into Putin by Hillary in a way that would make it seem appropriate – he might be Monicanized by Hillary. Ouch.

      VA concurs.

    • Putin take Hillary out. It would just be fair play after the attempt on his life the day he returned from the summit. In the utube video at the link below. Note how the car that causes the crash pulls into the middle lane and accelerates to top end for his car before turning into Putin’s car.

      Looks like Hillary’s teams incompetent work.

      “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmJPncqoPvE”

      • Any idea where this happened? Was it in Moscow?
        Having ridden on Moscow streets, the drivers are nuts, but the video is clear that this was deliberate.

        When I was there, that center lane was often empty, because it seemed to me to be reserved for high government officials. I did see other high end card like corvettes and cadillacs in that lane, but they all moved over for any with a blue light. It wasn’t unusual to see a nice Mercedes or BMW going down the center lane, but those official cars had flashing blue lights on top, and you sure as hell better not be in that lane blocking a car with a blue light.
        As for regular drivers, there are many 3 or 4 lane streets in Miscow, but no matter how many lanes there are, it would turn in to 6 or 8 lanes at stop lights as drivers pulled up beside each other to race ahead at stop lights. The craziest thing I saw was drivers actually going up on sidewalks to go around a line of card stopped at a stoplight, then getting ahead of everone once the light turned green. I saw that several times.

        Given how fast the driver was going, it was clearly deliberate.

    • I do not believe suggesting someone KILL the likely POTUS, is in itself more dangerous than russian hacks. so much hate on this blog. it makes this 100% SC vet sick to my stomach.

      • @shannon,
        It’s not ‘hatred’, it’s anger. Anger, building up over years of blatant disregard of veterans healthcare and more.

        These criminal acts are committed by a select few over the many, and they must be stopped.

        The VA is but one government agency committing these crimes. Until all the agencies are stopped, nothing will change.

        I hope you understand, the VA needs a complete change of direction. McDuck, Gibson and Shulkin are just one part of a larger problem. The lower echelon, directors, physicians, etc., are another.
        The Union is the final “nail in our coffin!” It seems the union has power over all of VA employees. The employees are afraid to ‘buck the system’. Or they love the system. Your choice!

        As we veterans on this site have said many times, ALL the heads, plural, must be cut off to change the VA!
        If they continue, we are nothing more than ‘chattel’ to them!

      • Hey Shannon,

        Just got to say you said the ” likely POTUS” when talking about Hillary. Just got to say that is funny. I truly had a great laugh over that. “Likley Potus”, maybe of her cell block.

      • Agree, to Murder a president no matter who it is , is just wrong ! That’s like saying to take out people like Seymore,, It maybe a crime for someone to say take out someone. FBI maybe knocking on some ones door.

        Murder is Murder, What would you think if someone said this about Trump ! Trump is going to have a very hard time being elected, He has made a lot of people mad. Message is right about Americans are fed up with our elected officials, why not say take them all out, why stop at one official.

        The enemy or the one hurting us, is the VA ! Shut it down.

      • Shannon.

        I wish there was a site that had candid conversations about solving veteran issues of which there are many If we learned from BOTH positive and negative experiences and proposed solutions as a community we’d have a much better chance of developing solutions that could work.

        BUT a few people here throw “take her out,” “treason.” and “All” into vituall every conversation. You become a troll whenever you say anything positive about any VA experience.

        What I find amazing at that these “veterans” who claim to be “patriots” only recognize the first amendment and the constitution only when it supports their cause. You don’t see them invoking the 4th amendment when someone suggests we implement stop and frisk.

        So Shannon – don’t stop coming because the articles are informative and the idiocy of some is numerous.

        Seymour, my wife, who is also a disabled vet, told me to stop engaging you, but I won’t as am so humored by our professionalism 🙂

  4. I just read a bunch of the VA agenda/budget penned by Bob at VA. Then I barfed up a bit by putting my fingers down my throat. Then I read some more. Then I showered. Scrubbed hard too but feel dirty still…

    As dirty as it is to read VA propoganda it did provide insight. Off of their own budget report I copy and paste the ultimate goal of Bob;

    “VA Priority Goals for FY 2016 – FY 2017
    VA has identified the following issues as APGs for FY 2016 and FY 2017.

    Improve Veterans’ Experience with VA: Fulfilling By September 30, 2017, our goal is for Veterans to reach 90 percent agreement with the statement: “I trust VA to fulfill our country’s commitment to Veterans.”

    well, well, well….
    hmmmmmmmm. let us put our noodles together on this one, ok?

    Did you notice he did not say, “our goal is to save the lives of 90 percent of our patients”?

    he did not say, “our goal is to sanitize at least 90 percent of our surgical gear”?

    he did not say, “our goal is to comply with at least 90 percent of the law”?

    he did not say, “our goal is to spend 90 percent of our resources on vets”?

    he did not say, “our goal is to peer review at least 90 percent of what we are supposed to.”

    he did not say “our goal is to get our senior people to show up to work 90% of the time”

    So, the goal next year at VA is to round up ten people. Terminally ill would be best. Preferably on heavy doses of morphine. And success will be measured, according to Bob, if nine of them nod yes. The one that nods “no” is reported as disruptive and violent.

    I wonder if Bob is gonna ask those of us labelled as Violent and Disruptive if we are in the 90 percentile bracket? Do liquifying corpses get a yes vote, or a no vote? Suicides left outside of VA emergency rooms longer than 3 hours default to a “no” vote I am thinking.

    People setting themselves on fire? No vote for sure.
    People with reactivated Hep B? again, my hunch is a great big NO.
    People receiving experimental organs wihout consent? hmmm, gotta say no on that one too Bob.

    How about the 22 vets per day who swallow the end of a gun Bob? Are you gonna ask them too?

    Bob, just who are you gonna ask to sing the song you want to hear by Sept. 30, 2017. Will you join in the chorus Bob?

    • The RAND Corporation will sing any song you pay it to play. The “VA Playlist Of Reform”, aka, “VAPOR”. Also fulfilling the VA’s absolute love for acronyms. Tune-in to the VAPOR Channel Sept. 2017 for the cash grab!

    • The happy place VA experience by Sept 30, 2017 is at Disney. If we nod correctly, we’ll even get 10 percent off admission.

  5. I do not need to ask them. Two years ago a civilian doctor took an MRI of my shoulder that showed damage. A month ago the VA took a bunch of MRI’s and told the shoulders were fine. I am scheduled for more civilian MRI’s tomorrow. There is no doubt in my mind, with the amount of damage I have in my body, that the readings understate the problems.

  6. In today’s topic, at the VA, there are very few professionals there. The VA OIG is basically a monitor in the system. They can’t actually do anything. Since when do we take our orders from Russia. Politicians, maybe, but not citizens. I see no humor with Putin in our election. You ever wonder why Putin is only hacking Democrats? I sure as hell do.

    • Jo3n

      Putin isn’t hacking the Democrats. The NSA has been hacking them, then turning the info over to “Wikileaks”!
      That’s the facts of it. It came out late last month.
      They’ve also been trying to get other security agencies to help. They, along with others DON’T want Hillary near the White House.
      More FBI and CIA individuals have come forward, at dire personal risk, and said she “…should have been prosecuted!”

      On a sad note, staunch Democrats, and some Republicans, have not changed their views on voting. Money and power does that to people!

      As is the case of the Veterans Administration!

    • I will only believe the Russians are hacking Democrats when I see evidence of it, like Ivan Jerkinov sitting at a computer while logged in to their server.

      The people saying the Russians hacked into Democrat servers are the same who said people could keep their doctor under Obamacare, the same who said they didn’t pay ransom for hostages in Iran, and the same people who said Hillary didn’t do anything wrong with her server, although 5 of her flunkies got immunity.

      They are the same lying bastards who said McDonald fired thousands since he took over.

  7. Yeah in January, I had a lump in my knee (about the size of a pea). I went see my PCP (who subsequently committed suicide a couple weeks later) but anyway, she literally WEBMD’d this “lump and said “you have a Ganglion Cyst”. So I get a referral to Orthopedics 90 miles away. First trip was an X-Ray, next trip was a MRI, third trip I got to see the Orthopedic Surgeon. Based off of my initial WEBMD diagnosis (which I watched my PCP Google it) The Radiologist and Orthopedic Surgeon said Yep, just a cyst-no big deal. I asked the Surgeon if it could be removed. He threw his pen down on his desk in disgust and said Yeah I will remove it if you MUST have it removed. So the process began of getting scheduled for surgery. Now it’s mid-March and I got so frustrated and said “f**K this”. I used Medicare and went to a local Surgeon. He cut me open and sewed me right back up. When I woke up he said it’s not a cyst but a “mass” with a lot of blood vessels attached. He referred me to MD Anderson in Houston where a world class Surgeon (former Astronaut actually) removed the tumor. It was benign and has a name about a mile long. I had to pay Medicare for two surgeries. My point behind this long post is this….My VA PCP, Radiologist and BOARD CERTIFIED Orthopedic Surgeon decided I had only a “cyst” from a Googled, WEBMD diagnosis.

    • I have a small lump on my right hip. Can’t get anyone in VA to do anything.
      I hope it isn’t cancerous.
      My PCP said it was a cyst. Just like your PCP claimed.
      A private physician said it should be biopsied. No luck with VA doing it!

    • I went to the VA after having an MRI at a private hospital showing my ACL was severed. The VA took xrays and said everything was fine.

      When I told the VA ortho doc about the MRI, they suddenly scrambled, found their head ortho doc who looked at the xrays, then decided the VA needed to do their own MRI, but wanted the MRI from my private doc to compare to. They confirmed my ACL was severed and said they would do surgery several months later.

      I said I was scheduled for surgery the next week, and the VA was going to pay for it since they wanted me to wait months.

      I had the surgery, and the VA paid for it using CHAMPVA.

      • 91Veteran,

        I wish all veterans
        could use “Champva”! It would eliminate all the bull shit from these incompetent fools. Who believe they are healthcare professionals!

    • JM – send that case summary to Secretary MacDonald with documentation. Ask that the VA reimburse you. BTW – I had an ortho guy at one of the best hospitals in the country tell me he could give me a pain killer “if I had to have instant gratification.”

      Also, whenever the VA says we can’t da da da ask them to please show you the law, procedure, or medical protocol or standard that states whatever they told you – if they won’t provide it, FOIA it. Most probably there is no procedure. The best way to fix this is to make them obey their own rules and call them when they don’t

  8. This affected me. 2-15, independent neurologist confirmed that I needed lumbar fusion surgery because of foraminal and spinal stenosis. Took that to the Sr. Orthopedic surgeon at VA for both validation and to follow up on investigation of additional issues in my thoracic spine. The VA Ortho and the VA Radiologist said nothing was wrong with me, even though I had foot drop, and leg weakness. The two of them send me to see VA Neurologist, subjected me to NCV and EMG, both of which confirmed my condition (atrophy, peripheral neuropathy, etc), but even the VA Neuro failed to impress the need for lumbar surgery.

    The second outside opinion, a highly qualified Orthopedic Spine surgeon, confirmed the need to have surgery, and told me “sooner rather than later”. Because of the delay in my surgery (7 Months) my prospect for a complete recovery is slim to none at this point. If they had authorized surgery in a timely manner, complications from the peripheral neuropathy and circulatory problems from the muscle atrophy in my legs my never have been an issue, but now its pretty much a guarantee.

    • I was told by both a neuro and otho surgeon that I needed back surgery immediately – my PCP suggested I talk to a chiropractor first – I always thought they were quacks. But I went – what a difference – maybe I just got lucky – but that guy changed my life for the better. Your PCP can refer

  9. When my sub talor joint was destroyed, my Roseburg Orthopedic doctor said, “We are going to put a pin in that joint and fuse it to relieve pain.”

    I asked for a second opinion which was granted in Portland, hours north, by the surgeon who was to actually do the operation. When I got to Portland the surgeon looked at the scans. He called in a second doc immediately and they mumbled together.

    I asked them, “Are you able to pin the joint?” on the belief it was so bad that they couldn’t.” The surgeon looked at me sharply and asked, “What moron convinced you to get a pin?” He was demanding and rude.

    I said, “The orthopedist in Roseburg sent me here, it wasn’t MY idea! He said I needed one!”

    Surgeon two said, “If we attempted to pin that joint there is a 90% probability that amputation would shortly follow. Do you want that?”

    So, I must say that at last I heard something really intelligent out of a VA doctor! He asked a question! “Do you want that?” Gosh….let me think here…..as I walked out on my own two feet.

    VHA is a horrific nightmare. It staggers the mind wondering how many amputations the original doctor was responsible for. These surgeons were not joking when they demanded to know the name of “…what moron convinced you to get a pin???!!!”

    My God, to see that so many others live through this is overwhelming.

    • The VA requires so many Interior Designers so they can properly place all the medical equipment around in VAMC’s to make it **appear** as a place for medical care but…the medical equipment does absolutely no good if the people operating same equipment utilize them as accessories and not medical equipment. It’s all about appearances with the VA, not so much about the ugly truth.

  10. My question is simple i lived in Arizona does anyone know a Lawyer takes on VETERANS Healthcare Medical Negligence case? Semper Fi.

  11. Now the VA wants to replace highly educated, highly skilled Physician Anesthesiologists with nurses acting independently!

  12. The care VETS get are just what Kasier gives, it’s in the Nixon tapes, How to make more money with less care, now with SEIU, Kaiser Kare is the standard in the VA. AND THE SAME in civilian care. AND kaiser has been up Hillary’s derriere for several decades wanting to be in charge of universal , single payer, public option which again is now the national standard, including less trained medical professionals who are inept on purpose all to altering medical records for altering medical diagnosis. this is why the medical community want new employees. . Making more money by giving out less care and kaiser , federal contractor laughing all the way to the bank with billions every year to create more bogus corporations that have nothing to do with medical care. making them their own enormous fiefdom corporation with tax payer and patient money. Who is kaiser, why it is part of our very own DOD that gets most of national budget every year.

  13. Five months ago I cut my a ligament/tendon in my thumb and had a MRI done. Radiologist report said it was completely severed. Then I got sent to P.T. (of course) and the therapist said she probably misread it. Went to Ortho, Dr. said the Radiologist may have misread it as I could still move my thumb. I sent an e-mail to the radiologist telling her the Dr. and P.T. said you probably misread the MRI and I thought you should know that they must think you are misreading the MRI results. The radiologist said that her report is correct and that her report leaves no doubt it is severed and the appropriate care should be taken to the Dr./P.T. and me in an e-mail. Still waiting on an Ortho appt. The Ortho Dr. believes as long as I can still move it, there’s nothing he should do. The Ortho. nurse told me they have waited too long any ways as it should have been done within 8 weeks anyways…

  14. Hey Elf, Namnibor,91Veteran, everyone else

    After reading a comment on this website about the re-activation of other diseases caused by the new Direct-Acting Antivirals. The new VA Hep C Cure that veterans are currently receiving.

    Research conducted outside the United States is showing that in some subgroups treated with the new Direct Acting Antivirals as many as 40% of the patient will develop Hepatocellular Carcinoma(HCC). Which means they now have a continued life expectancy of 11 months. For some that life expectancy can be increased to 22 months with advanced care.
    That is from a study done by European Association for the Study of the Liver and release this year in April.

    Another Study from Spain show that 7.6% of all patients treated with Direct Acting Antivirals. Who have never been diagnosed or treated for Hepatocellular Carcinoma will develop it. The Study also points out that when patients who have been treated for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in the past but were in complete remission before treatment by Direct Acting Antivirals. That 28% of those patients will also develop Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Which means they now have a continued life expectancy of 11 months. For some that life expectancy can be increased to 22 months with advanced care.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    • Links for the studies:

      “High rate of early cancer recurrence following direct-acting antiviral treatment for hep C virus”, Study shows much higher than expected recurrence rates, particularly among those most recently treated for hepatocellular carcinoma, European Association for the Study of the Liver. Public Release: 14-Apr-2016

      “https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-04/eaft-hro041316.php”

      Excerpt from the study:

      “April 14, 2016, Geneva, Switzerland: A new study fast-tracked for publication today in the Journal of Hepatology has shown that patients with a prior history of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and who have been treated with direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) for Hepatitis C (HCV) infection have a higher than expected early recurrence rate of their liver cancer than previously thought – with the rate in some subgroups exceeding 40%.”

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      ~
      The Study from Spain:

      “The risk of hepatocellular carcinoma after sustained virological response in patients
      treated with the new direct-acting antiviral drugs: should we be worry about it?”, José R. Blancoa and Antonio Rivero-Juárezb, ARTICLE HISTORY Received 22 August 2016; Accepted 28 September 2016; Published online 12 October 2016

      • Link to the Study in Spain:

        “https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14787210.2016.1243466?needAccess=true”

      • Hey Elf,

        I believe you are right. There are two research studies that would have shown the very high Risk for Hepatocellular Carcinoma from taking the VA’s new line of Direct Acting Antivirals. One is under an information embargo and the other appears to have been completed twice but because the data didn’t match the wanted results the study was canceled instead of publishing the results of the study.

        One of the studies I mentioned above is from the website “clinicaltrials.gov”. The link to the archive showing the multiple enrollment periods and then cancellation of the study is at: “https://clinicaltrials.gov/archive/NCT01831037”

        This study that was suppose to occur within the US was Titled: “The Regression of Liver Fibrosis and Risk for Hepatocellular Carcinoma (ROLFH) Study”.

        The Brief summary of the study states; “This study aims to demonstrate that patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and B (CHB) experiencing regression of liver cirrhosis after effective antiviral therapy have decreased risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Primary aim is to determine the incidence of HCC in patients with cirrhosis secondary to CHC and CHB, after treatment is provided, and to identify the magnitude of the decreased risk for HCC in patients experiencing regression of fibrosis.”

        Although the study has past numerous start dates no research was published from this study. Instead after the study was set to start repeatedly between 2013 and 2015 the study was canceled in 2015. So although we paid for the study as tax payers, all data obtained by the study we will never be seen because it doesn’t support the use of Direct Acting Antivirals.

        The other study I mentioned which has an information embargo on it:

        “Future of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Incidence in the United States Forecast Through 2030”; Jessica L. Petrick, Scott P. Kelly, Sean F. Altekruse, Katherine A. McGlynn, Philip S. Rosenberg: J Clin Oncol. 2016 May 20; 34(15): 1787–1794. Published online 2016 Apr 4. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2015.64.7412, PMCID: PMC4966339

        The embargo is delaying the release of research completed by National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD. Paid for with our tax dollars. The research will be released on February 20, 2017. One month after the next administration takes office in January 2017. Also it is likely at that same time we will have a new replacement for Robert McDonald.

        A link to the embargo notification can be found at the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health PubMed website.

        The top line reads:

        “This article has a delayed release (embargo) and will be available in PMC on February 20, 2017.”

        The url for this page is:

        “https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4966339/”

      • So Elf,

        With the information embargo and cancelation of studies that would show that the New Direct Acting Antivirals are causing increased risk of liver cancer by the U.S. Government. Also the fact that the Direct Acting Antivirals is also causing reactivation of Hep-B in patients that were co-infected with Hep B and C.

        It certainly seems that the Veterans Administration is exterminating Veterans with Hep-C and not curing them. The VA’s way of not paying disability benefits to Veterans who were infected with Hep-C while in service.

        With the clear shredding and hiding of Veteran’s Claim files and medical records and the clear shredding of the Veteran’s life by not processing claims in a timely manor even though the Veteran is to sick to hold a job. Can we expect anything less from the VA then them trying to exterminate any veteran who has won a claim for Hep-C or any Veteran who should be eligible for a disability rating for Hep-C.

        Certainly seems that in fact that is what this new class of drug is all about and that is exterminating a problem for the VA.

  15. This hits home from my personal experiences with VA radiology reports and also a few radiology centers contracted out to veterans by VA i’ve been sent to.

    I’m sure i’ve mentioned here on this site in the past about this subject. How the VA radiologists’ written impressions/interpretation of xrays/CT/MRIs often are, how would one say, misleading.

    Say, compare to a non-VA affiliated radiology place where the written impressions are much more thorough. Where they would interpret “severe” or “moderate” vs VA interpretation returns, “mild”. Then you go see your follow up appt at VA and doc says, “don’t see anything on images, all normal”. That’s if your VA doctor even mentions the results.

    Or how about VA not taking MRIs for years, relying on CT where the CT shows “something” but VA won’t dig a little deeper via MRI to find out just what that “something” is. So its off to the VA psych doctor spin the veteran gets sent to for more SSRIs. You folks on this site know that drill.

    It was a non-VA radiologist who interpreted a MRI series that showed the neuro disease the non-VA neurologist suspected. Yep, the same disease I got just after my spinal fluid got infected after active duty spine injury. The VA CTs over the years always showed “something” but VA would always write off-the-wall inconclusive interpretations. Thus, for one, veteran isn’t getting correctly diagnosed thus not correctly medically treated. Too, can’t claim any rightful disability! Sound familiar to anyone?

    The VA does this radiology “misinterpretations” on purpose I sense. And for the VA not give me a MRI for over 20+ years and instead relied on their vague CT interpretations proves what I sense about this. Hell, they wouldn’t even acknowledge the private neurologist interpretation or the good private radiologist interpretations!! I had to file a claim to get that acknowledged via attorney!

    It’s a freakin insane spin cycle at some of these VA’s (most). And like i’ve said, VA management instructs these employees to do this crap.

    How in the world can any veteran have much trust in the VA system when we all know this crap goes on along with even bigger piles of crap?

    Glad Ben exposed another bizarre practice at VA. Many of us have spoken of it over the years only for it to fall on deaf ears.

  16. Two years ago I had an MRI which was interpreted outside the VA and it was 8 pages long. 8 weeks ago I had an MRI which was interpreted by the VA and it was 6 sentences long. I went from 7 diagnosis on the first MRI to 2 on the second.

    Have to just love socialized medicine. Why is it ONLY veterans who it’s practiced on?

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