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C&p Exam Gone Bad, Really Bad


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#1 USNDW

 
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Posted 27 April 2012 - 12:15 AM

After calling the Claims Management Office, and them getting the DRO who has my file for over 2 years working my NOD appeal, I finally get a C&P exam for inflammatory arthritis (SeroNegative). I think they doubled in the Housebound or Aid & Attendance exam at the same time.

My wife, who is my VA Caregiver, takes me down to the VA Hospital for my exam. We get there and my wife is freaked out about the number of Veterans there trying to get care. We were just on time, not early, and as soon as we sat down they called my name. We walked into the exam room and here we go.....

The doctor introduced himself to me, shook my hand and as my wife was walking in the room he asked "who are you and why are you here"? She said that she was my wife and was there because she was my caregiver. The doc asked what a caregiver was. I started to explain and he looked at me, cut me off, and asked my why I thought I had Rheumatoid arthritis? I started to explain that I don't think I have RA, but a Rheumayologist diagnosed me with Sero Neg RA, as I was still talking he told me to ge changed into a gown, so I did and he asked the exact same question. I can barely do one thing at a time so in the middle of taking my clothes off I stopped and said, "Once again, I don't think I have RA, I have doctros who" and he cut me off again and said continue getting undressed. So my wife started to explain the diagnosis and treatments and he asked her to be quiet saying that this was my exam, not hers, he was examining me and if he wanted her input he would ask her for it.

I have problems getting things over my feet, like socks, and a knee sleeve I wear under my brace. My wife stepped up to help me take off the sleeve and the doc pretty much yelled "stop touching him" she responded that I needed help getting this sleeve off and he again went on his little spiel that this was my exam and he had to determine whether I could get my self dressed. She looked at him and told him there were things I needed help with when getting dressed and undressed and that was one of the reasons she was my caregiver.

I was done undressing at this point and he asked to hop on the table. I don't do a whole lot of hopping anymore, so my wife helped me get on the table and the doc didn't like that either. I had to ask him to pull out the leg rest because I cannot leave my right leg hanging over the edge. He asked why not and I explained I had complex regional pain syndrome, Nerve damage, and that it would be very painful to hang it over. My wife explained that I had chronic pain. The doc looked at her like she was crazy. He started his exam which was pretty lame, no measuring instruments, no recording. He asked if I had swelling and I sad yes in my hands, and he said where in your hands, I said My whole hand, he said point to it so I pointed my right index finger at my knuckles on my left hand and showed him, then he said "use your finger like a pointer and show me" I had to yell "I AM"!!

So we were done with that part and he said get dressed. My wife stood up to help me with my knee sleeve and he again went ballistic on her. She turned around and told him that I needed help with certain items, the doc responded that he would be the judge of that not her and that he needed to examine me to see if I can do these things. Once again she said he cannot get this over his foot and we already know this I take care of him everyday. The doc asked her if she felt insulted and she said yes. He recommended she go to the waiting room. I was standing basically in disbelief. This examiner was treating both of us like idiots and wasn't listening to a freakin word we were telling him. She sat down in the chair and he asked her to go to the waiting room, I told her go ahead, knowing that this freakin crazy ass doc could make comments in a report that might hurt our benefits.
When she stepped out he asked if she was mad at him so I told him she was because you are not listening to us. He looked at me and said you did it though. I asked what did I do, and he said got dressed by yourself. I explained that no I hadn't my wife had placed the sleeve over my foot, and he said it again, "see, you did it all alone" so I raised my voice and said "did you hear me? I just told you that she helped me and you are not listening to what I am telling you". Apparently that finally got his attention and he began asking real medical questions. I told him to refer to my chart and records from my file. He said he didn't have a file, all he had was access to my VAMC records which are scant because I use private care.

I explained that the RO should have sent him my file to review and that in the file there were records to support the diagnosis of SeroNeg RA, and treatment records, along with all the testing, lab work, X-rays, MRI's and a Nuclear Bone scan that showed turnover in every joint. This really got his attention. He asked if I had any of those records and I began handing him the records I brought that verified all this and records from several other doctors who agreed with the diagnosis and treatment. He made copies and then started asking about my medical history and medications.

It wasn't until that point that he actuall acted like a doctor. He said he had not received any file on me but he would look for one. I went to the Nurse to get vital, BP 160/105, getting ready to stroke out. My wife is in the hallway crying with a couple of Veterans comforting her and telling her to go the patient advocate's office, which she did. While I went to X-ray and labs she went to speak with them.

I guess she got someones attention because the next morning the C&P Department Head physician called me and asked me what happened. I tried to retell the story as well as I could and she was shocked. She apologized more than once and then explained that this examiner was not even a C&P examiner, he worked in Rheumatology and she really didn't even know who he was, but she kept apologizing. Finally after much discussion we came to the conclusion that he did not know he was supposed to have my C file and the only thing he saw was the very few records the VAMC has which has nothing about arthritis and my other medical conditions. She informed me she would track down his report, find my C file, get the X-ray and lab reports, review my medical records to determine the question as whether I have SeroNeg RA and if I do need aid and attendance. I explained that my wife was approved to be mu caregiver and those qualifications are more strict than Aid and Attendance. She agreed and said she would let me know if she needed anything else.

So, the point is, if the doc hadn't been a jackass, and if he had just been polite and performed a routine exam, there is no way he would ever have saw my medical records, and there certainly is no way that the C&P Chief would have became involved in the case. I am not going to tell him thank you for being an A-hole to my wife, actually I filed a complaint with the Senators office and they were on top of that.

Beware of exams where the examiners don't have your records. Never assume they do, because they might not.

#2 boomer2

 
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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:27 AM

Sorry to hear you got a JERK for a Doc. Your wife did the right thing by going to the Patient Advocate and you filing a complaint with your Congressman. We need to do more of this and do it on a regular basis. In fact, we may just need to get the media involved as well. I would also consider filing a compaint with the VA's IG office.

#3 AFMedic09

 
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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:36 AM

I am just so sorry for your experience. My heart broke reading your post. Certainly it has turned out for the better, but to have to go through that - I can't even imagine. For your blood pressure to be that high after that exam speaks to the stressful situation and pain you were put through. What a nightmare. Some of these "specialists" have such a "god syndrome" that they forget to be freakin' doctors!!!!!!!!! Burns me up!

#4 carlie

 
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Posted 27 April 2012 - 12:39 PM

After calling the Claims Management Office, and them getting the DRO who has my file for over 2 years working my NOD appeal, I finally get a C&P exam for inflammatory arthritis (SeroNegative). I think they doubled in the Housebound or Aid & Attendance exam at the same time.

My wife, who is my VA Caregiver, takes me down to the VA Hospital for my exam. We get there and my wife is freaked out about the number of Veterans there trying to get care. We were just on time, not early, and as soon as we sat down they called my name. We walked into the exam room and here we go.....

The doctor introduced himself to me, shook my hand and as my wife was walking in the room he asked "who are you and why are you here"? She said that she was my wife and was there because she was my caregiver. The doc asked what a caregiver was. I started to explain and he looked at me, cut me off, and asked my why I thought I had Rheumatoid arthritis? I started to explain that I don't think I have RA, but a Rheumayologist diagnosed me with Sero Neg RA, as I was still talking he told me to ge changed into a gown, so I did and he asked the exact same question. I can barely do one thing at a time so in the middle of taking my clothes off I stopped and said, "Once again, I don't think I have RA, I have doctros who" and he cut me off again and said continue getting undressed. So my wife started to explain the diagnosis and treatments and he asked her to be quiet saying that this was my exam, not hers, he was examining me and if he wanted her input he would ask her for it.

I have problems getting things over my feet, like socks, and a knee sleeve I wear under my brace. My wife stepped up to help me take off the sleeve and the doc pretty much yelled "stop touching him" she responded that I needed help getting this sleeve off and he again went on his little spiel that this was my exam and he had to determine whether I could get my self dressed. She looked at him and told him there were things I needed help with when getting dressed and undressed and that was one of the reasons she was my caregiver.

I was done undressing at this point and he asked to hop on the table. I don't do a whole lot of hopping anymore, so my wife helped me get on the table and the doc didn't like that either. I had to ask him to pull out the leg rest because I cannot leave my right leg hanging over the edge. He asked why not and I explained I had complex regional pain syndrome, Nerve damage, and that it would be very painful to hang it over. My wife explained that I had chronic pain. The doc looked at her like she was crazy. He started his exam which was pretty lame, no measuring instruments, no recording. He asked if I had swelling and I sad yes in my hands, and he said where in your hands, I said My whole hand, he said point to it so I pointed my right index finger at my knuckles on my left hand and showed him, then he said "use your finger like a pointer and show me" I had to yell "I AM"!!

So we were done with that part and he said get dressed. My wife stood up to help me with my knee sleeve and he again went ballistic on her. She turned around and told him that I needed help with certain items, the doc responded that he would be the judge of that not her and that he needed to examine me to see if I can do these things. Once again she said he cannot get this over his foot and we already know this I take care of him everyday. The doc asked her if she felt insulted and she said yes. He recommended she go to the waiting room. I was standing basically in disbelief. This examiner was treating both of us like idiots and wasn't listening to a freakin word we were telling him. She sat down in the chair and he asked her to go to the waiting room, I told her go ahead, knowing that this freakin crazy ass doc could make comments in a report that might hurt our benefits.
When she stepped out he asked if she was mad at him so I told him she was because you are not listening to us. He looked at me and said you did it though. I asked what did I do, and he said got dressed by yourself. I explained that no I hadn't my wife had placed the sleeve over my foot, and he said it again, "see, you did it all alone" so I raised my voice and said "did you hear me? I just told you that she helped me and you are not listening to what I am telling you". Apparently that finally got his attention and he began asking real medical questions. I told him to refer to my chart and records from my file. He said he didn't have a file, all he had was access to my VAMC records which are scant because I use private care.

I explained that the RO should have sent him my file to review and that in the file there were records to support the diagnosis of SeroNeg RA, and treatment records, along with all the testing, lab work, X-rays, MRI's and a Nuclear Bone scan that showed turnover in every joint. This really got his attention. He asked if I had any of those records and I began handing him the records I brought that verified all this and records from several other doctors who agreed with the diagnosis and treatment. He made copies and then started asking about my medical history and medications.

It wasn't until that point that he actuall acted like a doctor. He said he had not received any file on me but he would look for one. I went to the Nurse to get vital, BP 160/105, getting ready to stroke out. My wife is in the hallway crying with a couple of Veterans comforting her and telling her to go the patient advocate's office, which she did. While I went to X-ray and labs she went to speak with them.

I guess she got someones attention because the next morning the C&P Department Head physician called me and asked me what happened. I tried to retell the story as well as I could and she was shocked. She apologized more than once and then explained that this examiner was not even a C&P examiner, he worked in Rheumatology and she really didn't even know who he was, but she kept apologizing. Finally after much discussion we came to the conclusion that he did not know he was supposed to have my C file and the only thing he saw was the very few records the VAMC has which has nothing about arthritis and my other medical conditions. She informed me she would track down his report, find my C file, get the X-ray and lab reports, review my medical records to determine the question as whether I have SeroNeg RA and if I do need aid and attendance. I explained that my wife was approved to be mu caregiver and those qualifications are more strict than Aid and Attendance. She agreed and said she would let me know if she needed anything else.

So, the point is, if the doc hadn't been a jackass, and if he had just been polite and performed a routine exam, there is no way he would ever have saw my medical records, and there certainly is no way that the C&P Chief would have became involved in the case. I am not going to tell him thank you for being an A-hole to my wife, actually I filed a complaint with the Senators office and they were on top of that.

Beware of exams where the examiners don't have your records. Never assume they do, because they might not.



USN,
Yea for stand your ground !

It's apparent that the exam instructions were either incomplete
in error, scheduled for and given by the wrong doctor, from the get-go.

I feel really sorry for what you and your wife had to endure
YET
I also feel a bit of empathy for this jerk of a doctor.
It does read like once he took a moment to hear you out, he changed his attitude
and began to admit something did not seem right, like not having your file/records.

I feel that both you and your wife responded appropriately and took swift action to
correct this mess that had been created.

Hopefully this C&P department head does a complete follow thru and gets some
positive results or at a minimum a correct C&P exam rescheduled in a
VERY TIMELY MANNER.

I do want to point out that isn some specific instances - examiner's are not
provided with medical records as a review of them does not relate to the issue at hand -
which I feel is not your case at all.

Hang in there, I hope for your best interest.
JMHO

#5 USNDW

 
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Posted 28 April 2012 - 04:50 PM

Thanks for your kind words.

After speaking with the C&P Doc I really did think about the examiner who is a Rheumatologist and based on my VAMC medical records was thinking WTF? are you doing here?

But his attitude from the very start towards my wife was just uncalled for. She didn't interrupt him and when he asked her a question, and she responded, he did the same thing to her, just cut her off. If he would have listened (2 ears 1 mouth) and let us answer his questions he probably would have realized he wasn't given my file.

I did explain to the C&P head that it appeared he did not have my file, but still, there is no call for that attitude towards a Veterans spouse, and she agreed.

While I was sitting in the waiting room waiting for my vitals to be taken there was another Veteran pissed off. Apparently he drove almost 2 hours, got to the VA 1/2 hour before his appointment at 0830. At 0830 a Veteran showed up who was supposed to be there at 0800. Instead of having him wait because he was late, the made the guy who was on time wait. He complained a little bit at first, but when I was sitting there over an hour later he said they had 2 other appointments go in before him. That whole trip was freakin crazy.

Beware to those who might end up in the same situation. I could see where some people could actually get violent in this scenario

#6 Slowlane

 
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Posted 24 May 2012 - 07:06 AM

Weird.... they wouldn't even let my wife come in with me for my CP.

#7 john999

 
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Posted 24 May 2012 - 09:58 AM

Were you accused of fraud because you have a college education? I was at a C&P. I was also told that my behavior while waiting for the exam differed greatly from the actual exam meaning I was faking it according to my C&P. I had another C&P where the doctor had a list of questions designed to ask "Have you stopped beating you wife yet" over and over until they could DX a PD. I had a C&P where the doctor said he could not determine if I was TDIU because I was unemployed at the time. This is the reason the IMO/IME is the most useful tool in the tool box. Really, you need doctors in private sector that work for you as advocates. Almost all private psychiatrists and psychologists will do this to a greater or lesser extent. I did have an IME that was so good that the VA just incorporated it directly into my rating decision word for word.

John

#8 tanker2

 
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Posted 24 May 2012 - 11:11 AM

usn...outstanding the way you handle this situation..senator etc..reiteration to the numb skull md examiner of how your body functions
or malfunctions . i have been in those situations and you want to go off but know that does not help and it could even be a sucker play?..too bad we can't request an immediate toxicology test on the examiner at the time.hehe...usn you did good it will work out for you. you are a tough guy
and will prevail