Tomah VA contacting patients whose neurological disorders may have been improperly dismissed


The Tomah VA Medical Middle is working to contact sufferers who might have had their neurological problems improperly dismissed by a former physician.

Minneapolis-based TV station KARE11 began reporting over a yr in the past that veterans being seen on the VA had their care and advantages decreased due to a Neurology Compensation and Pension, or C&P, examination accomplished by Dr. Mary Jo Lanska.

In accordance with the VA, the C&P examination is an administrative evaluation the place the examiner appears on the proof of an harm or situation and makes an opinion on whether or not the medical concern is expounded to the veteran’s navy service. That info is then supplied to the Veterans Advantages Administration for evaluation and might have an effect on a veteran’s incapacity standing.

For months, federal lawmakers together with Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Republican U.S. Rep. Derrick Van Orden have been calling on the VA to answer the stories of misdiagnoses and rethink the protocol for the way traumatic mind accidents and different situations are evaluated.

On April 21, the U.S. Division of Veterans Affairs introduced that the Tomah VA was reaching out to veterans after “an preliminary evaluation” of C&P exams carried out by Lanska “decided a few of these examinations had been thought of incomplete.” 

Within the press launch, officers introduced a cellphone line had been arrange for veterans who had been seen by Lanska to request a reexamination.

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The Tomah VA declined Wisconsin Public Radio’s request for an interview. In an electronic mail, a spokesperson mentioned greater than 25 veterans have referred to as the evaluation line thus far. The spokesperson mentioned the medical heart is working with the Veterans Advantages Administration to find out if every veteran is eligible for potential reexamination.

When requested whether or not the VA has an estimate for what number of veterans had been affected, VA Press Secretary Terrence Hayes replied solely that Lanska shouldn’t be seeing sufferers on the VA presently and that “plans are in place to make sure that Dr. Lanska’s reassignment doesn’t influence or interrupt” supply of care and well timed entry to advantages for veterans.

In a press launch final month, Van Orden mentioned he’s working with others on the Home Committee on Veterans’ Affairs to research the matter. A letter from Van Orden and the committee’s chair mentioned that VA officers reported {that a} evaluation of 72 C&P exams accomplished by Lanska discovered that 22 of them had been incomplete. It additionally criticized the VA for figuring out the errors “nearly three years after the supplier stopped finishing C&P exams, and solely after these considerations had been introduced ahead publicly.” The representatives questioned whether or not the issues had been restricted to Lanska or had been indicative of “a attainable systemic failure” to supply traumatic mind harm evaluations.

“As a retired U.S. Navy SEAL and 100% service-connected disabled veteran who receives care on the Tomah VA, these accusations are deeply troubling. Our veterans who’ve been injured within the line of obligation should obtain the advantages to which they’re entitled, plain and easy,” Van Orden mentioned in an announcement.

This isn’t the primary time the VA well being care system has confronted criticism for the way its docs establish traumatic mind accidents. In accordance with a letter from Baldwin final August, the VA’s Workplace of Inspector Basic present in 2019 that the division did not implement procedures to make sure veterans had been receiving satisfactory TBI — or traumatic mind harm — evaluations. Baldwin expressed considerations that the greater than 24,000 veterans affected by the inconsistencies might not have been in a position to entry new examinations and care by means of a request course of just like the one being supplied to Lanska’s sufferers.

The Tomah VA’s press launch from April identified that county veterans service officers raised considerations about Neurology C&P exams on the Tomah VA in 2018, however mentioned critiques carried out on the time didn’t establish any considerations. The medical heart mentioned further critiques of these exams are underway.