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LHI examiners


Whodat

Question

Who out there had bad experiences with LHI C&P examiners?

I would like to share my experience with LHI.

2019, I had filed a claim. A c&p exam was scheduled with LHI. Shortly afterwards, I received a Fedex packet will info to include the examiner info. I pulled up the examiner's info, 3 years of Nurse Practitioner, as well as 3 years with VA system.

I had already been diagnosed with migraines, and had an event or injury that would connect it. The diagnosis was from my Neurologist. 

During my exam with this NP, he kept saying that he doesn't think that my headaches aren't migraines, he thinks that I have cluster headaches.

I am unsure of how the report was written up but I do know that it wasn't good. Denied. 

So of course I had did a HLR. I had gotten  letter from VA duty to assist error and they are returning my claim to the RO for corrections. 

I get another letter from LHI for another c&p exam for migraines. Who do I see? The same examiner. Now things get ugly. He has remembered me and what comes out of his mouth, why are you here again. 

Started the exam, nowhere did he used the dbq, just basically telling me that I do not have migraines, that is clusters. Then he proceeded to tell me that ptsd does not cause headaches.  I feel another bad c&p exam.

Looks like the Department of Veterans affairs has done it again. They claimed to be backlogged,but what do they do? Hire sub contractors with little or no experience conducting bad exams knowing that the Vet is going to appeal. Job security for the contractors just like Brown &Root back in the days. 

The bad thing is that this NP is also a Vet. 

 

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20 minutes ago, Whodat said:

Looks like the Department of Veterans affairs has done it again. They claimed to be backlogged, but what do they do? Hire sub-contractors with little or no experience conducting bad exams knowing that the Vet is going to appeal. Job security for the contractors just like Brown &Root back in the days. 

All headaches fall under 8100 migraines headaches and there is no other regulation that covers them. Migraines-headaches-clusters-recurring-rebound-sinus-PTSD-tension and any other name you can produce. They all fall under the 8100 criteria, and you are going to have to appeal to the BVA. Keep in mind Clemons V Shinseki, it is not the diagnosis but the symptoms that veterans are claiming and the symptom with treatment wins out.

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Broncovet is spot on. All headaches are rated under the criteria for Migraines.  The best medical evidence as to the severity is prostrating.

 

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Thank you both. Great info. The good thing is that I knew all of that before I went to the exam. I even had the reg and the updated 2022 dbq with me for headaches. 

 

I was just mainly venting about LHI examiners. This particular one acts as if he is a Social Security examiner that looks for ways to perform unfavorable exams. Looks like that he is the only C&P examiner in Springfield Mo.

I really don't think that BVA is the best option right now being that it was at HLR and returned to RO for corrections which means that it should have went back to Supplemental status. 

I have an attorney at DLG and had them for over 4 years. 

My concern is with all of the inadequate exams, who is really suffering? Cost for the exam, Vets appeal, another exam is ordered, now BVA action, claim granted, backpay for the Vet and and c&p exams payments.  Lots of money. 

Who is holding these examiners feet to the fire if they perform incomplete/inadequate exams that could have been avoided. 

I am just waiting for the outcome, not too much worried, I had a strong IMO from a more qualified Specialist. 

 

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My exam with LHI was kind of comical.  It was in a medical van.  When they did the xrays with the "portable" xray machine, it was bobbing up and down about a half inch, from people walking in and out at the other end of the van.  I told the tech that that can't be good, and she said that they have/had been having a lot of problems with the machine.

So, about two weeks later, I had to go to a "civillan" hospital 2 hours away.  A half hour past the VA hospital I used to go to for my C&P exams, and have all the xrays redone.

I thought the exams went well, and it was with an NP.  However, I did win the "cut and paste" DBQ claims, but I was referred for the more compicated claim(s).  That claim went to a different 3rd party, who, did not physically exam me, but read my records and denied that claim.

My real complaint is, I have no copies of exams done by the 3rd party examiners and do not show up in myHealthyVet.  So, I won't know what actually happpened until I get my cfile.  I have until June to appeal, and will whether I have the records or not.  HLR first and then go from there.  Hopefully have the records for the appeal to the HLR if denied again.

Fun with the VA,

Hamslice

 

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My point hamslice.  These substandard exams but no one is being held accountable for the wasted time or money. 

Hopefully you completed a survey. They won't know how they are doing unless you tell them. 

 

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Some of those examiners will never admit that they are wrong. Then when you file an HLR, the claim goes back to that same examiner and he just doubles down and it becomes adversarial.

I had that happen to me but it was a NP at the VAMC. I was service connected for plantar fasciitis and right ankle and it was noted in my military exit exam that I had an abnormal gait. I claimed knees and back secondary to my feet and right ankle. They were all denied with the examiner first saying that I didn't have an abnormal gait. I appealed and brought attention to my exit exam showing my abnormal gait. Then the examiner came back and said my abnormal gait wasn't bad enough. Then she stated that the literature said the an abnormal gait cannot cause knee and back problems. After being remanded by BVA the judge basically went off on the examiner saying that my abnormal gait was being ignored and that the examiner mentioned literature but did not provide any. My claim ended up going back to the same examiner and she just doubled down. She even threw in that my age and weight were the cause and not my plantar fasciitis and right ankle even though when originally filed the claim I was in my 30s and wasn't overweight. 

I ended up asking my orthopedic surgeon if an abnormal gait could cause knee and back problems and he said of course it could because it throws everything out of alignment. He couldn't believe the VA was fighting me on it. He agreed to provide an IMO stating that it was more than likely that my knee and back issues were caused by my abnormal gait related to my service connected plantar fasciitis and right ankle. I wrote the IMO and he signed it with no issues. I submitted it as a supplemental claim. Exam were ordered again but it was finally taken away from the NP that kept denying. It was sent to LHI and that examiner was a bit mean and I was sure she was going to try to disagree with my surgeon. But how could a general practitioner NP disagree with and override an orthopedic surgeon who had been my doctor for about 6 years at that time and had already performed a couple of surgeries on my feet and ankle? Well, the examiner signed off on everything and my knees and back claims were finally granted. They even added in peripheral neuropathy due to my back. What's sad is that it took all of this and nearly 10 years to get these things granted. 

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