Letter: Delays in VA benefits part of a bigger problem
Regarding "VA to use IT to speed disability benefits," A prima facie "wrong" of the VA's
disability benefit rating system, is an intentional disregard of a basic tenet of medicine. The VA intentionally, refuses to recognize the basic fact that humans are a compilation of systems. This results in unconscionable delays in veterans receiving deserved benefits, a tactic that is repugnant to American values. The VA is the only "business" that looks solely at an individual
"part" within a system. When you bring your car to the mechanic for a complaint of backfiring does the mechanic only look at the exhaust system, and if no problem is found in th exhaust system, deny that there is a problem? If the mechanic worked as the VA does, that is exactly what would happen. How happy would you the customer be with that "ruling?"
Visiting a VA regional office's rating center on the East Coast, one is reminded of a 1980's medical records room in a Mexican hospital. Row after row of file cabinets, some with draws open, files stacked on the top, draws open, and VA employees sitting around the perimeter of these file cabinets staring at a computer screen. What are they staring at if the documents are not scanned in? If the VA were a private medical practice, the federal agents would have indicted the whole group for at minimum HIPAA violations. What the VA has done and is doing may not be legally wrong, but it is most definately morally wrong.
Gerald Unger, MD,JD,LL.M
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