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I had some re-exams recently...


awgv001
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Question

Went to the re-exam today for PTSD. Standard questions and explanations, and very intently impersonal.

When I asked about getting a copy of the exam/results, they said that it's considered "forensic evidence" and I cannot obtain a copy of their details or recommendations.

(I've never had an examiner NOT share their opinion's/thoughts in regard to my claim at least verbally, even on negative exams... this is the first time that one declined to answer.

I most definitely want copies of my PTSD and Migraine exams/responses...otherwise, what chance would I have to stand on to fight in the event of an unfair C&P?

Ridiculous.

This is as simple as an FOIA request right? or perhaps in a few (weeks?) it will show up information on myhealth blue button?

Edited by awgv001
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I will say this examiner is way out of bounds.  You have the right to see the examination results.  It might not show up on your myhealth, especially if it is a contracted exam.  I would wait two weeks and file a FIOA request at your VA release of information office.  I would make sure that I acquire the results because this is usually a red flag when an examiner says you do not have the right to see exam results.  Keep us apprised.

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awgv001 I smell a rat! Of course you can see your own records; duh! Their YOUR records. Check the examiner's record and see his/her experience, degree(education), specialty, how long they have been practicing etc. My money is on 1) a very inexperience examiner; or 2) someone who just started working for the VA and doesn't want to rock the boat. I agree with vetquest. Go to the RO and get your own personnel medical record. I also would document and upload what the examiner said to you today!

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Wow, what a jerk. As they say in the Army, "That individual deserves corrective training." Was it at the VAMC C&P clinic or an off-site VA contractor?

If at the VAMC, I would contact the C&P clinic and ask to speak with the chief. You could describe the unprofessional experience you encountered. At minimum, they should all be able to direct you to the VAMC's Release of Information Office (RIO). As soon as they are entered into the system (sometimes days after the exam), they should be available to be printed out. Of course as vetquest indicated, they won't show on myhealth for a while (30 days from what I heard). My last C&P was around June 2019. I called RIO a couple of times a week until they showed up, then I drove down and got a copy.

If it a contractor, I honestly don't know who to call. No idea if those are farmed out from a specific location or not.

Either case, it is worth calling the White House VA hotline to complain.

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Will do @vetquest - I left out of there in a hurry after I heard that part (it was the end of the exam)

Reminded me of the "bad exam" I had just before I got SC'd for ptsd in the first place.

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7 minutes ago, Vync said:

Wow, what a jerk. As they say in the Army, "That individual deserves corrective training." Was it at the VAMC C&P clinic or an off-site VA contractor?

If at the VAMC, I would contact the C&P clinic and ask to speak with the chief. You could describe the unprofessional experience you encountered. At minimum, they should all be able to direct you to the VAMC's Release of Information Office (RIO). As soon as they are entered into the system (sometimes days after the exam), they should be available to be printed out. Of course as vetquest indicated, they won't show on myhealth for a while (30 days from what I heard). My last C&P was around June 2019. I called RIO a couple of times a week until they showed up, then I drove down and got a copy.

If it a contractor, I honestly don't know who to call. No idea if those are farmed out from a specific location or not.

Either case, it is worth calling the White House VA hotline to complain.

@VyncIt was offsite through VES --- I'm quite a distance from a RO (mine is Atlanta, GA) but there's a local clinic I regularly go to??

I have to physically go down there to get a copy? It's doable, but man, I may as well grab my whole C-File if I'm going to make that kind of trip, yikes.

Everything else about the exam seemed to par - and the examiner seemed to be equally as dead inside as I feel, until this question of information came up at the end.

Edited by awgv001
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8 minutes ago, GBArmy said:

awgv001 I smell a rat! Of course you can see your own records; duh! Their YOUR records. Check the examiner's record and see his/her experience, degree(education), specialty, how long they have been practicing etc. My money is on 1) a very inexperience examiner; or 2) someone who just started working for the VA and doesn't want to rock the boat. I agree with vetquest. Go to the RO and get your own personnel medical record. I also would document and upload what the examiner said to you today!

@GBArmy I have a copy of their information from VES - (Psychologist) 8 years of med, 5-10 years of C&P exams

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Before you'll go crazy in trying to help this veteran, there is a law that a physician can with hold mental health records from a patient and his/her representative if the physician believes that the results can harm the physician, the patient, the patients family or anyone. I forgot but the patient would have to legally obtain these records.  These records may or may not be in the VAMC system.  

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Seems like a strange thing, but I guess they have their reasons. I read up the HIPAA information on NOLO in regard to this...

Like...did my examiner feel threatened I wonder?

I realize I look like an angry Neanderthal.

Otherwise, I'm just waiting to see how this issue concludes, and if I have to go through the gauntlet again.

Edited by awgv001
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One thing that I have learned is that you will never know what is going through someone else mind.  It could be possible that you did everything right and their home was burglarized,  or maybe someone gave him/her a flat tire or maybe the patient before you threaten him, you may never know. Time will tell when your exam comes out.

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I learn years ago never ask the C&P EXAMINER FOR A COPY OF HIS/HER REPORT FROM THE EXAM.

.for some reason or another this pisses off some of these examiners  or the examiners don't know we are entitled to this report,  most examiners just send it back to the VA and then after a few days we can go get copies.

  the contracted Examiners are bad about it  so if they don't know we are entitled to their report   then they make up this ridiculous crap.

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I would not worry to much about it if this happen at the end of the exam  most examiners are writing this report as they talk to us,  he would need to go back and re do everything he said if it was a negative exam.

AND YOU CAN CONTEST THAT IF HE SAID DIFFERENT THINGS IN HIS REPORT  THAT HE DID MENTION TO YOU DURING THIS EXAM.

These contracted examiners have a time line to get their report in after they see the veteran.

  I believe within a 3 days or  week,  but most  send it in ASAP so the VA Pays them..

.I had a QTC forensic exam and the examiner had mention a lot of this to me  she was a private physiatrist in her own Private  Office Clinic.  but she did the exam on a professional level, ask me questions and was typing at the same time. 

she even put in the exam I was prescribe a c-pap Due to my stopped breathing and wife had to shake me wake me...I had mention tat to MH Dr's  so they VA sent me to a sleep study  because of what my spouse mention to one of the VA Phyistrist ,I need a c-pap to use due to the medications I take for PTSD and sleep.

anyway the examiner mention this in her report  I never ask her to....and I never filed a claim for OSA Anyway.....  some examiners will listen to us  and some won't period.

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32 minutes ago, Buck52 said:

I had a QTC forensic exam and the examiner had mention a lot of this to me  she was a private physiatrist in her own Private  Office Clinic.  but she did the exam on a professional level, ask me questions and was typing at the same time. 

she even put in the exam I was prescribe a c-pap Due to my stopped breathing and wife had to shake me wake me...I had mention tat to MH Dr's  so they VA sent me to a sleep study  because of what my spouse mention to one of the VA Phyistrist ,I need a c-pap to use due to the medications I take for PTSD and sleep.

anyway the examiner mention this in her report  I never ask her to....and I never filed a claim for OSA Anyway.....  some examiners will listen to us  and some won't period.

@Buck52 - Mine was also a private office clinic, outsourced to VES by the VA. Everything else was professional IMO, and her response could have very well been appropriate I guess. She paused at one point and had asked me about any other perticular conditions she may need to know about, and I explained to her about the TBI that I was diagnosed for, but even after diagnosis was erroneously shot down by raters AFTERWARD. Regardless of the SC for that, it still does weigh a significant impact on my well-being, which was more of the point, I believe that she was trying to make/understand for her response in the evaluations.

I have never had a sleep study, so I don't know if I have OSA (70% SC for PTSD currently, re-exam complete and awaiting further development ) - but I do have sleep disturbances and wake up at random hours of the night/morning often with dry mouth and headaches...but I also have migraines as attributed by TBI. (NSC yet, but WILL be.)

No doctor in the past had ever referred me to one, and I am still learning about "who to see for these conditions" because it seems that if I don't specifically request them, the exam doesn't happen, despite a mountain of injuries. I don't want sympathy, I need a doctor who will R/O other symptoms to primary injuries

To make matters worse I still haven't had a C&P for TBI and secondaries, and my claim now awaiting VLJ at BVA (had all caluza elements in tow before it was sent up there).

I'm getting treatment, some of my injuries have worsened while waiting for my appeals to resolve...but since it's not service connected...

How do we deal with (currently NSC, but will be some day) injuries pending adjudication that worsen while waiting for them to straighten out the first claim before proceeding? would it then become ANOTHER claim!?

I may answer my own question here, but it seems to me that the medical evidence would suggest that once service connected, the treatment records showing the criteria for the next higher rating would take place and should have a date effective to the month after such...In a perfect VA world

 

Edited by awgv001
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awgv001

As for as your TBI if I was you I would certainly get that seen about ASAP I am not certain on who you would see about the TBI  other  Than the VA MH Clinic Dr's

  We have some TBI veterans here on hadit that just went through the TBI Format from the VA ON  HOW THEY DO THE TESTING FOR TBI  SOME TYPE OF MRI...I AM NOT SURE?   OR IF THEY USE THE STROBE LIGHT TEST? TO TEST THE BRAIN WAVES OR SOME HOW SEE HOW THE BRAIN REACTS TO THIS TYPE OF TESTING?  I  DON'T KNOW?

but claims or no claims you need to be tested for the TBI  ASAP  if you have a diagnosis for TBI that's just the start...BECAUSE THE TBI is uncontested on all the different problems it may cause you years ahead  DEPENDING ON ALL YOUR SYMPTOMS HOW BAD THEY ARE ect,,ect,,,  HEADACHES ARE A MAIN CONCERN BUT THEY ARE OTHER MEDICAL PROBLEMS TO MANY TO MENTION THAT THE TBI CAN CAUSE.  AND THEY ARE SERIOUS  VERY SERIOUS.

SO YOU REALLY NEED TO GET THAT CHECKED  AS SOON AS YOU CAN.

 

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If you have a claim at the BVA for injuries that have been noted and they have worsened following the time it took to get them SC I would immediately refile with the BVA after your decision or remand.  Send your case directly back to the BVA with an IMO if you can afford one.  This case will be handled expeditiously and you should have a decision within months instead of years.  If they remand again as was done in my case you get stuck back at the RO and their monkey business.  I am currently in an NOD (old system) holding pattern for one such case.  The BVA SC my neuropathy and the remand was done on ten year old evidence.  

I agree with Buck that you need to get your TBI on board and SC.  Now is the time to fight this. 

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11 minutes ago, Buck52 said:

awgv001

As for as your TBI if I was you I would certainly get that seen about ASAP I am not certain on who you would see about the TBI  other  Than the VA MH Clinic Dr's

  We have some TBI veterans here on hadit that just went through the TBI Format from the VA ON  HOW THEY DO THE TESTING FOR TBI  SOME TYPE OF MRI...I AM NOT SURE?   OR IF THEY USE THE STROBE LIGHT TEST? TO TEST THE BRAIN WAVES OR SOME HOW SEE HOW THE BRAIN REACTS TO THIS TYPE OF TESTING?  I  DON'T KNOW?

but claims or no claims you need to be tested for the TBI  ASAP  if you have a diagnosis for TBI that's just the start...BECAUSE THE TBI is uncontested on all the different problems it may cause you years ahead  DEPENDING ON ALL YOUR SYMPTOMS HOW BAD THEY ARE ect,,ect,,,  HEADACHES ARE A MAIN CONCERN BUT THEY ARE OTHER MEDICAL PROBLEMS TO MANY TO MENTION THAT THE TBI CAN CAUSE.  AND THEY ARE SERIOUS  VERY SERIOUS.

SO YOU REALLY NEED TO GET THAT CHECKED  AS SOON AS YOU CAN.

 

@Buck52

From the other topics I posted, mainly in the TBI section, I recently spoke to my pcp and got a referral via Mission Act to see a new neuro very soon. I am hopeful, and yet worried about some details like....How many appointments with this person will I get? During evaluations and workups can I have them fill out a DBQ? Would they R/O or diagnose secondaries and provide a significant rationale with them to make my fight more bearable and less argumentive? Can a diagnosis of TBI be backdated to the day the injury occurred even if medical evidence is otherwise unremarkable (aside from the obvious secondaries?)

I remember doing a light test, or something of the sort, they lay you back on a table and you can close your eyes and are essentially "resting"? I had something like that done a long time ago (2012) - I barely remember if they hooked up sensors and stuff to me, but I think so..the fact still remains that the first neuro I saw didn't diagnose the TBI and had only reported the syncope.

Looking forward to getting more help, most importantly, the medical care.

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1 minute ago, vetquest said:

If you have a claim at the BVA for injuries that have been noted and they have worsened following the time it took to get them SC I would immediately refile with the BVA after your decision or remand.  Send your case directly back to the BVA with an IMO if you can afford one.  This case will be handled expeditiously and you should have a decision within months instead of years.  If they remand again as was done in my case you get stuck back at the RO and their monkey business.  I am currently in an NOD (old system) holding pattern for one such case.  The BVA SC my neuropathy and the remand was done on ten year old evidence.  

I agree with Buck that you need to get your TBI on board and SC.  Now is the time to fight this. 

All I'm waiting on is my hearing, I'm in NOD too (but AMA cause I ramped to DRO and got denied...)! April 2019 Docket! (and with new evidence most likely because of the new neuro workups and stuff I am fixing to get too!) I will try to get the new neuro to IMO if it is allowed since it is Mission Act approved, but I don't know what the limitations are to my visits with this specialist....

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Under the Mission Act you are eligible for about six months of care.  I have been going to an offsite neurologist now for eight months, if they request an extension they normally get it.  The doctor is able to do anything he is willing to do for you.  Mine has been attempting to justify a special medication.  The VA is denying it but he is trying to do right by me.  Hopefully you will get a good doctor.

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14 minutes ago, awgv001 said:

All I'm waiting on is my hearing, I'm in NOD too (but AMA cause I ramped to DRO and got denied...)! April 2019 Docket! (and with new evidence most likely because of the new neuro workups and stuff I am fixing to get too!) I will try to get the new neuro to IMO if it is allowed since it is Mission Act approved, but I don't know what the limitations are to my visits with this specialist....

if you are outsourced   then the CCP TAKES OVER FOR THAT SPECIFIC NEED FOR THAT DISABILITY. (ccp is community care program)

They use TRI WEST INSURANCE AND THEY SHOULD SEND YOU A LETTER DETAILING HOW MANY VISIT YOU CAN HAVE TO SEE THIS PRIVATE Dr 

so take advantage of this help  and I do believe these private Dr will fill out the DBQ's if you ask them to, but they need to examine you first and maybe start up some sort of tratment plan  ect,,ect,,

don't worry about the cost  the VA pays for everything but you do need to be approved..normally after your approved for the Mission Act  or the CCP then you find a Dr of your choice or let the CCP find you a Dr..I did the CCP  AT THE END OF 2019 and was in treatment 16 weeks  twice a week.

but note this was not for MENTAL HEALTH it was an issue I am having with my Hand to prevent surgery or amputation of my hand.

Your TBI is very serious and can get serious later on through the years  for some bad health problems that affect your entire body and especially your mind.

Edited by Buck52
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As vetquest mention  they usually argree to an extention if the Dr request it

and as Vetquest hope you get a good caring Dr.

so check around call around get the Dr  with  the  Experience in what you need 

..call the Dr's office and ask his clerical help up front these questions   about his expertise/experiences in years  ect,,ect,, and then you decide if you think he is the right Dr.....but we honestly never know until we seek treatment from these Dr's  I can say mine were a hell of a lot better than the VA D'rs

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12 hours ago, Buck52 said:

so check around call around get the Dr  with  the  Experience in what you need 

..call the Dr's office and ask his clerical help up front these questions   about his expertise/experiences in years  ect,,ect,, and then you decide if you think he is the right Dr.....but we honestly never know until we seek treatment from these Dr's  I can say mine were a hell of a lot better than the VA D'rs

@Buck52

I don't know anyone or have information on any specific doctor whom I would like to see, and I live in a very small area with pretty limited options unless they send me to Atlanta.

When TriWest called and asked for my preferences I was able to shed light on what I would like (It felt like a breath of fresh air to have a choice in the matter!)

So, I requested to be seen potentially within a week if available, and by a woman (I get tight lipped and lock up around male examiners, unfortunately both prior doctors were men.) - for neurology!

I'll be sure to get their professional info, and speak up about what I'll I'm looking to have done with my visits.

@vetquest

Thank you for the information! Looking forward to getting some help. I understand that they may order new scans etc, to which I would be happy to do. Guess we will wait just a tiny bit longer and see. Hoping something will come through next week

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