Veterans who are in need of benefits because of a traumatic brain injury have to undergo an exam with a qualified doctor. Not all Veterans’ Administration doctors are qualified to give this initial exam. In fact, only four types of specialists, including neurosurgeons and neurologists, are included in the list of qualified doctors according to the VA’s guidelines. It has recently come to light that some veterans who suffered from a TBI didn’t have the initial exam with a qualified doctor. That prompted one lawmaker to demand an inquiry into the ordeal.
Some veterans had their initial TBI exam done with nurse practitioners or doctors who shouldn’t have been handling their exams. In some cases, those veterans were denied benefits that they should have qualified for. Representative Tim Walz has asked that an investigation into the issue be done because he feels that this issue may occur “throughout the VA system.”
After fighting for our country, there is no reason why veterans shouldn’t be able to get the health care they need. Rep. Walz notes that he wants to know that all the veterans who come in for a TBI screening are getting appropriate screenings from a qualified person.
The VA that was affected by the issue confirmed that there was a problem. He notes that the affected veterans were being offered new screenings by qualified doctors. That, however, doesn’t change the fact that they were denied benefits based on the screening done by the unqualified medical professional.
Veterans deserve to get the benefits they qualify for. When they are improperly denied those benefits, they might opt to explore their options for appealing that decision.
Source: TwinCities.com, “Minnesota congressman calls for inquiry into VA brain exams,” Sep. 10, 2015