Malpractice investigations have been opened in Texas and Minnesota after it was discovered that unqualified doctors employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs were diagnosing severe brain injuries, breaking the VA’s own rules.
Thousands of veterans with post traumatic brain injury (TBI) have possibly been misdiagnosed due to lack of healthcare by doctors and nurses at VA hospitals across the country; most notably in Minneapolis, MN and Amarillo, TX. An investigation was opened on the matter by Rep. Tim Waltz (D-MN) in August of 2015 and proves the VA violated its own policy when diagnosing veterans with TBI.
According to VA guidelines, diagnosis of TBI is to be done by specialists: neurosurgeons, neurologists, psychiatrists and physiatrists. However, VA records show that some of these diagnoses were conducted by nurse practitioners. Such neglect could result in an even larger backlog in TBI treatments and benefits.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been criticized for underestimating the effects of TBI and not awarding benefits to many veterans suffering from TBI.
Under new guidelines the following diseases will be looked for in patients with TBI:
- Parkinson’s disease that is diagnosed following moderate or severe TBI
- Seizures for which no cause has been established following moderate or severe TBI
- Certain dementias if diagnosed within 15 years after moderate or severe TBI
- Hormone deficiency diseases that are diagnosed within 12 months of a diagnosis of moderate to severe TBI.
- Depression that is diagnosed either:
- Within three years of moderate or severe TBI
- Within one year of mild TBI
Have you noticed medical malpractice being carried out at a VA hospital near you? Share your story in the comments below.