Bad VA C&P Psychologist Barred In Gatlin TBI Case

C&P Psychologist

VA C&P psychologist Robert Bateen, PhD has been barred from providing TBI evaluations forever, unless he receives additional training, due to his own ethics violations by the Board of Psychologists in the State of Montana. Now, Bateen can no longer provide TBI assessments in Montana. He agreed to recant his C&P opinion from 2011 and to write VA to withdraw the opinion he wrote and to request that VA provide Charles Gatlin with a proper evaluation.

Bateen improperly utilized RBANS as a screening tool for TBI for a veteran who previously received 3 DOD neuropsychological examinations confirming not only the residual impact of his TBI but also that the residuals would not improve. At that time, he was awarded a 70% rating. Bateen performed his illegal screening of Gatlin, and VA used it to justify only a 10% rating despite no concrete signs of improvement based on an inappropriate evaluation tool.

In 2011, Bateen used RBANS and opined that Bateen no longer suffered from the same level of residuals – meaning that he miraculously improved – which was in fact not accurate even according to the results Bateen misinterpreted.

The Board concluded that Bateen was not trained properly to utilize RBANS despite VA’s own certification of him to conduct exams. It also concluded RBANS was inappropriate to use for that purpose per Montana’s own ethics standards. Bateen admitted to using RBANS over 200 times on other veterans, thus it would be wise for attorneys and veterans to investigate whether or not their case was infected by Bateen’s incompetence.

Here is what the Board had to say about Bateen, who is referenced as Licensee:

“Licensee has an independent professional obligation to ensure his work as a psychologist complies with the statutes and rules governing his license,” the state licensing board said.

“Licensee is hereby prohibited from engaging in psychological evaluations involving or affecting TBI assessment without first obtaining additional training as approved by the board,” the stipulation said.

“Licensee shall recommend to the VA that based upon these proceedings and the findings and conclusions entered pursuant to this stipulation, licensee’s former opinions with regard to Charles Gatlin be refused and that Charles Gatlin be reassessed for residual effects of TBI by a neuropsychologist having qualifications consistent with the criteria set forth by the National Academy of Neuropsychology,” the stipulation concluded.

Contrary to the false claims of VA and DOJ, VA policy relating to training and certification does not trump a health care professional’s obligation to follow local ethics rules related to their practice, which govern their local license.

VA generally hires only licensed health care providers – or at least in most situations. Those licenses are governed by state specific licensing boards that govern the ethics rules related to behavior, treatment and conduct toward patients. If a VA health care provider violates those rules, the licensing board may investigate and reprimand a professional who deviates from local standards.

Taking it a step further, VA policy does not trump state licensing standards, and even C&P evaluators owe a general duty of care to veterans getting evaluated in most states with case law related to independent medical examinations. Violations of that duty of care may open the door to file an SF 95 claim / FTCA suit for negligence and/or medical malpractice claims of your C&P examiner.

Veterans should review what happened in the Gatlin ethics case to get an idea if the VA C&P psychologist in their claim for PTSD or TBI may have violated state ethics laws.

If you are curious about VA’s own certification training videos, I was able to get copies via FOIA and posted them online for anyone to view on this site. The training modules can be very useful in teaching any veteran or advocate about what a C&P evaluator is supposed to do.

Skip to the bottom of the page for the videos:

Read about Charles Gatlin’s TBI Fight:


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  1. Anyone heard of this new Virtual Therapy “ELLIE” DOD is using? We need to know how Virtual Therapist “ELLIE” fit in with the claims process and procedures. Vets and potential Vets should be on the look out for appointments with ELLIE. The elites claim, “This is a way to identify everyone who needs to be treated, not just people who wave their hands and say, ‘Yes, yes, I have those symptoms,’” Gale Lucas, the University of Southern California social psychologist who led the study, told NBC News. “It could catch the people who would otherwise fall through the cracks.” He has stated the so called positives of a program like this, we have to look up the negatives of this procedure.

    1. My psychiatrist wanted me to try and use the new “phone system and an internet system” for my treatments and I told him “no” I said what if I was having a real, real, bad day and was thinking about ending it, what in the world could a person or thing on the other end of the phone or on the internet do about it. NOTHING! You would be allowed to end it because they can’t do a damn thing to help you. These Dr. get paid pretty well for what they are doing and are trying to get out of doing their job by using an automated system to take their place while they still get paid the same. I also asked him who would pay for this if I don’t have unlimited minutes of unlimited Internet and he said the VA would pick-up the cost. Yeah right, I am still waiting for a travel pay that I filled out the paper because the line was too long back in 2006 and you think I am going to wait that long or trust that the VA will even pay it. Don’t think so. The VA would most likely pay me way they pay private Dr’s at a reduced rate. Someone else can be the guinea pig on this not me. Where would the person to person, face to face, “I understand what you are going through” things? There would be no personality with these things. I may say something that the “system” would take the wrong way and a few minutes later the cops are busting down my door because of a complete mistake. The electric world and the phone can only go so far, this is a subject that each and every person who uses the mental health department needs someone they can have trust and a belief in or is it useless. But then again most of the VA is useless. LOL. I will continue with a person who is sitting right in front of me to see my emotions and to try and feel how I feel and to try and understand me. Just my thoughts and others may actually want to do this this way. It is every person’s choice to use what they feel the best with and the most comfortable with.

    2. I have brain scans that showed a t.b.i. and a spot that they think maybe cancer. I just was told a brain scan with and with out contrast. I was never told what type of machine they used. doing yearly scans now. sorry can not help more.

  2. I read something quite interesting today, and YUP “CALL BOB!” I requested all correspondence and all documentation including phone calls.i see a memo, “who’s Vickie?,” this was another phone used. Well, gee, “Vickie” left me messages-so is Vickie a man who called but sounded way too much like a woman?
    A woman who challenged the obscure diagnosis because the VA will do all they can to get out of giving you your due! She advocates and has teamed up with a law firm because she cared.
    Gee, me? I stated, friendly, kind words, laughter, enjoyed all people in school as well as my family and my time where I just enjoyed hiking alone? I never knew my enjoyment of my elders from Italy was bad, nor a Great Aunt and Uncle, I just loved all I could. But, now BOB will be enlightened, he should be. Because if he really does the I CARE, then he better listen to all I say, since his doctors can’t read reports, (yes, recorded too) and paying attention to details, do you think they should? No longer just about me “BOB,’ GET THAT IN YOUR HEAD! ( diagnosis is one you would give a 13 year old-not a 53 year old. Yes I do happen to have a DSM, again, expansive knowledge base-they shall see it!)

    1. After reviewing my medical records C&P, it reads veteran may have had problems as a child with his family growing up, veteran would catch himself and then state positive things. There was one report that read has 3 brothers one dead of cancer, he was alcoholic, another lives ??? and one lives ???, one is depressed, one is alcoholic, father passed away carcinoma he was alchol. ?. this was never told to them by me and why even mention my family. I do now why, they want to blame your parents and you for having P.T.S.D. You all better read what they are putting into your records or it may come back to haunt you later. 100% sc veteran after 40 years of despration and frustration.

      1. James, truly it has nothing to do with you. A family history the questions they ask, they take anything “negative” and apply it to how you are. Problem, we all are different and make different choices. Yes, every family isn’t Ozzie and Harriet, so why bother making comments regarding my two sisters I don’t interact with or my dad? I have no respect for my middle sister, a very good reason and I think it’s sick what she has done. She is one that has used her “childhood actions” and blamed the parents. Sorry, I think by a certain age you know right from wrong. I am a rather conservative dresser, and in Hawaii when she came by herself, oh boy, I know no way in hell would her swim suit be allowed as one to wear. My ex was all over her ass. But later as adults, she tells me she had sex with the next door neighbors son? WTF? do not say at 13 you don’t know right from wrong or morals. That won’t fly with me. These two girls are years apart in age and trust me, I loved them, spoiled them, and welcomed them anytime to talk. So comparing apples to oranges, that is taking the bad, which has not a thing to do with me, nor my adult children and I am afraid my youngest would love to get up in this woman’s face, my daughter as well, and tell her, “our mom taught us right from wrong, disease of addictions, if we drank, call, no questions no punishments, sex, protection, my daughter of course much deeper discussions regarding a choice to wait for “the one.” And she lied, changed my answers, played off that my medication was going to be changed but damn, I was coming off zoloft, my thoughts go really dark, I cannot help that my body just doesn’t mix with these drugs. But pictures are worth a thousand words correct? And so is a note stating moms ability can’t manage money. No I don’t overdraw the account, it is the damn FIBRO, and also I think the “professional opinion of a doctor who has treated me for 19 years means one huge thing, “lady, you just made a really big bad ethical mistake and did more harm than good. Because I trust no one of these idiots who can’t even write what happened to me right! Hell, let me dress up and play pretend! Because it sure seems to be the case. And I am not a happy camper!

  3. Private care is the only thing that will change the VA or their doctors. Veterans organizations need to continue to push for private care even after the two year law expires. The VA is already balking on the private care issue. Unfortunately, The VFW, THE DAV, the American Legion and others continue to get money because they support the same old VA way. Just think, if all veterans could see their own private doctor instead of fighting every inch of the way for anything from the VA. The VA could be downsized and veterans would receive quality care.

  4. Gee like the one who changed my responses and had to “give in” and tell my daughter regarding my back? Trust me, they know all this mom is a badass honest to my cOREBut I’ve stated my words when I stated I shall report her, a bit of concern maybe? SHE SHOULD BE AS WELL AS SQUIRM BECAUSE THE CASE IS NOW RE-OPOPEN. Oh I have what I need, but sometimes it is just “better” oh she won’t? Another young woman has written regarding her experience, as I’ve said, “they give you am obscure diagnosis,” she should be careful how or where she treads. I do have my own DSM and a whole lot more fun to add to her behaviors, “no ethics, no morals and definitely missing was the Hippocratic Oath. She starts out slow but then starts to excellerate clue anyone why? They want you upset, confused, and crying then they feel joy “another one bites the dust.” This is not about me, check how her “OWN MEDICAL RECORDS FROM SERVICE DO NOY EXIST. , also UNLESS YOU CAME THROUGH AFEEES WITH A MENTAL DISORDER WHAT THEY ARE DOING IS COMPLETELY AGAINST THE LAW! Have a great weekend, I need peace, solitude to write to “he was drunk” but the hospital tossed his blood. Scab test, .06 and this after a surgery he wasn’t expected to live. PLEASE ALL OF YOU, NONE ARE MORONS BUT DO NOT DRIVE INTOXICATED. YOU HAVE TEENS? THIS IS HOW I SAID IT; “YOU CALL US, NO QUESTIONS WILL BE ASKED, I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH TO LOSE YOU, REMEMBER THAT.” It has worked, however his prom date asked if he would take her, Freshmans need permission, it was all clear but damn, jealously moms? They sat up that night talking, she left for college and worked. She was killed by a drunk driver, and an only child. Her prom motto, ( mine always has been) “CARPE DIEM” but do remember live for this day, we never know much after!

  5. I have been digonosied with a T.B.I. about 40 years after I was shot in the head in 1972. I obtained my P.T.S.D. disability 40 years after I was shot. Had to hire an attorney. Found out I had a T.B.I. after telling my treating physician that I keep getting migrains and the report also shows that I may have a low grade neoplasm, it can not be rulled out. Neoplasm is cancer, the records show that their has been no change, so I am now getting brain scans yearly. I am not receiving disability for the T.B.I. and turned down for the migrains. I am sending the reqional office the records from the V.A. stating I have a T.B.I., to see what they say this time. I had to live with P.T.S.D. and A T.B.I. all these years with out any type of treatment, not knowing I even had a T.B.I., The V.A. kept turning me down, stating they have no record of me being shot until I hired a lawyer from Kansas and all of a sudden, I was approved for P.T.S.D., After obtaining a copy of my medical records and seen a C&P rating, where for the 1st time I was able to read for my self that the rater wrote veterans service records indicate he was shot in the face and taken to a german hospital and then to an american hospital Ect. The V.A. kept telling me they needed more evidence. When the facts they had all the needed evidence all along. I have been contacted by the regional office stating that if I want to try and get backpay from the V.A. I will need to file a form and told to get the American legion or service orginagation to file it for me. I will do this and lets see if it works or see if the standard requests comes back, Please provide us with more evidence. How can a veteran provide more evidence, when they had it all along and then the veteran have a T.B.I. Since I became SC, I was able to get help for substance abuse and attend the P.T.S.D program, I no longer use any alcohol, sober now for almost 5 years. If any of you need treatment for P.T.S.D., try and get the V.A. in Topeka Kansas to care for you. I can not say enough about their P.T.S.D. program. I was able to obtain vital information through the program and the staff from the Janitor to the head of the department, made every veteran fill like they were someone and treated us as equals and did not belittle us. I know that the V.A. is able to care for the veteran, I also know that there are very big problems in the system of employees getting a big head and thinking they are the V.A. and they are doing us a favior by being there and if the veteran does not like the job they are doing, so what. They will send your name to the disruptive committee and ruin your life. The Disruptive committee is running amuck and unchecked they will continue ruining veterans lives. At least 2 two veterans commit sucicide everyday. The question is why ?, I seen in my records that they seem to be using this against me. Again every veteran needs to request a complete copy of their records from the regional office and from the V.A. medical center and read what the providers are saying about you. You maybe supprised at the language they use to describe you.

    1. James, I am sorry to hear that it took you that long for the VA to do something and for what you had to go through just to prove that.
      I know exactly what you are talking about when you say to get your records. I have told so many vets to get their paper copy of their medical records and not go on the Internet and get them from MyHealtheVet because you will only find part of what is actually in your records. If you have a disability claim going on or had one request your C-file (claims file) it will have everything that they (the VA) has to look at and the difference between the online and the paper is night and day. I have all of my records on paper and keep them updated as should every vet. Mine fill two big boxes because I have so much but I have it and they can’t change what I have. Why do people think there is a three day hold on some of the records you are trying to get? It is because they are looking them over to make sure what is in them will not be anything that is bad for them. They give you the excuse that it takes that long to get them into the system, yeah right. So as James says and I agree, get a paper copy from the VA not the Internet and your C-file if you have one and start reading. You will most likely find things that you had no idea were in your records but you will now know why you were denied an increase. Good luck

  6. This has nothing to do with this worthless Dr.; however, I have been fighting the VA for an increase for six years now and they did give me an increase. The part of this increase that I am questioning is that I put in for an increase for both knees. They gave the increase based only on the right and denied my left. My extension on both legs has been zero until my last C&P exam when the Dr. gave me a limitation of 10 – 14 degrees IN BOTH KNEES. He also noted arthritis (from an X-rays he ordered that day and I had it done on the same day) in the left knee and still they denied both. Tell me how that works. I have contacted my “helpers” from the VFW RO in Seattle and the woman who is handling my case has not one clue as to what she is doing. I will call and leave a message on Mon. and she will return that call at least two times within that week. When we went to the board hearing, she handed me a piece of paper and said these are the questions I will be asking and we cannot include anything else when we go in there. Look them over and let’s go as they are waiting on us WHAT? I called many months before my hearing and she told me that anything that has happened since I applied for this increase can be used if it is directly related to the knees only.
    I realized that after my first phone call with her that she was worthless and started to teach myself how the VA and the VBA works and the rules and regulations. and what they use to determine certain things (it is amazing how they will use things in a certain way to deny a valid claim) so I put together my own version of what I thought the VA should look into and at and used their codes, rules, regulations, and other cases to prove my point and I went from a 20% rating to a 40% rating and that is without them still giving me the above ratings as well as the bi-lateral rating so I should be at 70% when this is done.
    I finally see on eBenefits that my case has been decided and sent out to me. I thought great I hope that I can at least get even part of what I questioned when I appealed their decision. Instead, I get that they now want to remand the whole case because of the fact that the authorizations that I signed and gave them permission to get the outside documents from whomever, they did not get and gave no reason as to why they did not get them or why they did not contact me to try and help get them. I could have gotten them very easily. I have most of them myself. So their solution is to have the paperwork re-sent to me to sign again giving them the authorization to get whatever they need from whomever they need and re-evaluate the case again. What a bunch of BS. Just because I caught them trying to get by on me and called them out on it they now want to punish me and make me wait longer for no reason. All of my VA medical records clearly show that my extension is at zero or at the most a 5 degree limitation which is a zero percent rating and that I have no arthritis. The C&P exam is from a VA Dr. (examined on 12/13) and he clearly states that I have the limitation and the arthritis (as proven with X-ray findings) so why do they need a bunch of papers that have no meaning in the case. I am questioning what the Dr. from the C&P exam put down and why I did not get a rating for it. Simple. Not for the VA. I will now have to wait another six years to find out that I was right and then they will have to pay me back pay as they did before. Unreal.


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