Tuesday, May 6, 2008

REP. BOB FILNER, D-Calif., CHAIRMAN HOUSE COMMITTEE ON VETERANS’ AFFAIRS ACCUSED VA OF CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE

I am not even sure where to begin. Tuesday I spent the day in bed as ordered by my doctor. It took the VA 7 years to diagnose a problem with my legs. We are not sure what happened but by the end of the day the physical therapy has left me in horrific pain in my right hip. So for now, I am staying off of it, although I really need to get to the gym for physical therapy for my myofascial pain.

The following are findings in medical reports generated by Valley Baptist Medical Center Harlingen, but never reported to the VA Harlingen.

Sinus Bradycardia, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonic regurgitation, mitral regurgitation, left subclavian steal. The reason for the tests was a probable TIA in March. A TIA is a ministroke. For reasons related to fighting the VA for my medicine, and then having to be off the medicine in anticipation of a colonoscopy, in a matter of minutes, I lost all of my passwords, and bank pin number. All wipe clean from my brain.

These reports were never sent by VBMC to VA Harlingen. They simply billed the VA for the procedures and then filed away the reports. This is not the first time. Over a year ago the VA Harlingen Administrator was ordered to correct this ongoing problem with VBMC. To know Larry Avila is to know he did nothing.

On Monday, I learned that my doctor in Harlingen could not communicate the results of the tests to the cardiologists in San Antonio because she never received them from VBMC. Adding to my frustration was the decision of Jane in medical records to insist I imagined being seen at VBMC because if she did not have a record of it, it never happened. She outright refused to call VBMC and request the records.

I immediately went across the street to see the CEO of VBMC, a Mr. Wesson. Based on my previous experience with the medical records people at VBMC, I was not going to make that mistake again. If you remember I was told the VA just loses everything and it is not their fault. In this case VMBC never sent the records to my doctor - but they did send the bill.

A Ms. Longoria, who oversees medical records for VBMC was summoned to Mr. Wesson’s office. Not having been debriefed by a lawyer first, she admitted that her records (she had the printout in her hand) did not indicate that the reports were ever sent to VA Harlingen. Now that I know a computer printout can be generated which shows the reports were never sent, it will be hard for them later on to deny the claim.

I complained about this problem over a year ago to their legal department. Nothing has been done to fix it. My question is, how many people have died because VBMC is not forwarding medical reports to not only VA doctors but to all of the doctors referring their patients to VBMC for cardiology testing?

I want every attorney to know this story. There is a wrongful death lawsuit out there, and my story will help them to prove the case. Someone will find this on the internet and it will help them to win their lawsuit.

It is not practical to expect every doctor at the VA Harlingen to follow-up on every report for every outside referral. The problem here is with the administration. It is for the administration to keep tract of these reports and provide the doctors the proper support. I am a strong advocate of the doctors and nurses at the VA Harlingen. The problem is with Larry Avila the administrator, and every doctor knows it. Until he is replaced, the vets are just screwed. He was told to address this problem over a year ago, and he has done nothing.

It only gets worse from there. Last week, I managed to have a set of the records sent directly to the cardiologist in SA. The cardiologist in SA sent a note to my doctor with recommendations. He never reviewed my file and I can prove it. He recommended one medication which causes sinus Bradycardia. He recommended another medication which my medical records clearly show I cannot take due to well documented side effects. He recommended another medication which I am already on. And he recommended a medication which is not to be given to someone with myofascitis. My medical records are clearly marked MYOFASCITIS.

I will not be taking any of the medications he has recommended. On Wednesday I am putting the VA lawyers on notice they have 3 weeks to assign me to a private cardiologist in the LRGV or I will ask a federal judge to declare this thing, cardiologist, a threat to veterans. I will also be asking that the VA cancel its contract with VBMC. They are not the only hospital in town. My experience teaches me veterans have to die before anything is done.

I know people get tired of these stories, but the internet is an important place to put them. People can find them doing google searches.

If you care call Solomon Ortiz and demand action on behalf of all veterans. I can assure you John Cornyn’s staff will just dismiss you as a problem child.

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