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New Rule About C&p Results Viewing?



VA Moves to Prevent Veteran Violence Over Disability Claims To curtail confusion, the department wants to change when veterans can view the results of their disability exam online.

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Information from the exam would be available online after a disability decision has been made.(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

October 21, 2014 Veterans Affairs officials want to change when veterans can view some of their medical records online, fearing that some could become violent if they see negative comments and think their disability claims will be denied.

Veterans must get a medical exam as part of the process for filing a disability claim for a service-related injury. Within days or weeks of the exam, veterans can see the doctor's forms or notes by using the "Blue Button" on My HealtheVet, the VA's website for health records.

A group of department officials said Monday that they fear some veterans could see the notes from the exam, assume from this partial picture that their claim is being denied, and take out their anger on local VA officials. They voiced their safety concerns Monday to members of the department's Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation at their meeting this week in Washington.

"He walks past the [compensation-and-pension] clinic, and he's very angry. Goes into the C-and-P clinic, and we have an incident of some kind," said Gerald Cross, the chief officer in the Veterans Health Administration's office of disability and medical assessment. "Some of our C-and-P clinics are quite small, … and it doesn't have much in the way of reasonable defense. We're very concerned about that."

Patricia Murray, the director of the VA's clinical program and administrative operations, said that to try to prevent any misunderstandings, the VA is removing the compensation-and-pension medical exam from a veteran's online health record until after a decision on his or her disability claim has been made.

"I think sometimes when they see [the medical records], they think the determination to grant [benefits] is solely based on the C-and-P file," she said, adding that "our examiners feel like they're sometimes at risk."

But some committee members were concerned about removing the compensation-and-pension exam records, but not other health documents, from the website.

"I hate to say this, but what is the ethical justification of removing the C-and-P exams from the Blue Button?" asked Michael Simberkoff, executive chief of staff at the VA's NY Harbor Healthcare System.

But department officials tied the move to one factor: Potential risk to VA staffers. In addition to changing when a veteran can see part of his or her file online, they are also considering adding extra security to the clinics, such as requiring a code to unlock doors.

"Many of the C-and-P docs are females, and they seem to be the ones that seem to have the evening hours or are in these far-flung [clinics]," said Denny Devine, the VA's project executive for disability and medical assessments. "Those are the ones on our weekly calls raising these concerns."

The VA received more than 1 million requests for disability exams during fiscal 2014. It has almost 527,500 pay and pension claims currently waiting to be decided, with more than 46 percent—or 244,727—waiting more than 125 days for a decision.


Edited by Opiate73
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Concur, Stretch.

I was so taken back when I ran across and read this article. I think the only productive comment I can muster is.....seems like a knee jerk reaction, and hopefully our national vet reps raise the BS flag. I mean seriously, we deserve a little bit more credit than what the VA leadership is suggesting. SMH

Edited by Opiate73
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I am on the fence about this possible change. I had several C&P exams last July with a QTC facility and I have yet to see them. However I do know that I was S/C partially for some of the contentions I did go to those C&P's for.

Now a few weeks ago I went to my MH C&P exam for my Eating Disorder and PTSD (secondary to personal assault) and I was able to view that on MyHealthyVets. I am a little discouraged at it but glad I was able to view it. I know we are all anxious when and after we take them so I think the better route for the VA is to go ahead and try to complete the claim(s) as soon as they can after receiving the C&P....

I can see how a lot of Vet's get angry over reading them and I know for myself I am not a doctor so trying to figure out what they are saying or if they say something that is not true is upsetting even though the C&P examiner is only seeing us for the first time.

Maybe it is a good idea to not be able to view them but I don't think it makes a Vet so angry they would take it out on the C&P staff???? JMHO

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They should not be worried as long as they can logically explain why they rendered the opinions they did in the C & P exam reports. If they can not explain their opinions, they should not be conducting the exams.

The examiners should also make sure everything they put in a C & P exam report is accurate. It is not usual for veterans to get copies of their C & P exam reports and find omissions or inaccuracies regarding info which is important to their claims. Sometimes vets find comments made by the C & P examiner which gives the impression the veteran was not cooperatve during the exam when in fact the veteran could not perform certain tests due to their pain and/or limited ROM. Like Stretch said, sometimes the examiners lie in the reports. If they lie or intentionally sabotage a vet's C & P exam, they deserve to be in fear. JMO

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