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VA changing Heart disease rating criteria.

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jbasser

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We learned tonight that the VA is changing the criteria or simplifying the rating criteria by only going with the term METS and getting rid of the Ejection fraction and other things in the rating schedule. 

Any heart specialist will tell you that the gold standard for actual heart functioning strength is the Ejection Fraction.  This is not good for veterans who file claims for heart disease and will be rated incorrectly. 

I sure hope this gets overturned or heart disease veterans will get screwed.

 

Basser

 

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This is what was proposed several months ago:


-Proposed Changes- Basic Rating System for Heart Conditions

The majority of heart conditions are rated based on a set rating system.

Note: It is very important that the physician performing your exam gets an MET (metabolic equivalent of task) test done for ANY heart condition. An MET test, more often known as an exercise test, checks for how much oxygen is being used by the body to perform increasingly strenuous tasks. 1 MET equals the amount of oxygen a person uses when at rest. An MET test is only not required if it is medically contraindicated or if a 100% rating can be made without it. For all other cases, it is essential to getting a proper heart rating. Be proactive and make sure an MET test is done!

It is also vital that the need for medication for the condition and whether or not there is hypertrophy or dilation is clearly recorded by the physician.

The basic rating system:

A 100% rating is given if an MET test results in 3.0 METs or less and causes symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, dizziness, heart palpitations, arrhythmia, or fainting.

A 60% rating is given if an MET test results in 3.1 to 5.0 METs and causes symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, dizziness, heart palpitations, arrhythmia, or fainting.

A 30% rating is given if there is one or more of the following:

1) An MET test results in 5.1 to 7.0 METs and causes symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, dizziness, heart palpitations, arrhythmia, or fainting.

2) Evidence (echocardiogram, multigated acquisition scan, MRI, etc.) of hypertrophy or dilatation. 

A 10% rating is given if there is one or more of the following:

1) An MET test results in 7.1 to 10.0 METs and causes symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, dizziness, heart palpitations, arrhythmia, or fainting.

2) Continuous medication is required.

The VA is proposing to adjust the Basic Heart Rating System by focusing mostly on MET test results and removing congestive heart failure and ejection fractions as rating options. This is because both congestive heart failure and ejection fractions can be affected by things unrelated to the heart condition itself. Instead, an MET test gives a more accurate reflection of the heart condition itself.

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