Friday May 24, 2013
Hearing Loss and Tinnitus: VA Practicing Below International Diagnostic StandardsDr. Richard L. Matteoli Salem-News.com
What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say. - Emerson.
(MONTEREY, CA) - The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is willfully denying disability benefits with regard to Hearing Loss and Tinnitus. Veterans deserve the same standard of care used in civilian health care. To do otherwise is a violation of contractual Intent of health care promised for service. Before making any disability claim with the VA a veteran is best served obtaining a civilian diagnosis including the condition’s Federal Procedure Codes.
It is time to change the VA’s restrictive guidelines for diagnosing Hearing Loss and Tinnitus. Claims are handled by the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA). Treatment is provided by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).
The VA’s current standard diagnostic testing uses only the standard hearing aid test Hertz frequency levels (Hz). This is below the Usual and Customary Standard of Care for diagnosis of pathology both International and in the United States.
The standard hearing aid test only measures to 4000 Hz and the VA uses this test for all pathologic diagnosis for Hearing Loss and Tinnitus disability claims.
Military testing is usually to 6000 Hz and sometimes to the 8000 Hz International Standard.
The International Diagnostic Standard for determining pathology measures to 8000 Hz. The 8000 Hz level is used for diagnostics at other government agencies. This is true even for illegals, migrant workers and those receiving welfare.
Tinnitus cannot be tested for. Diagnosis depends on the patients stated symptoms. Occupation and history of service are helpful determinants.
Military personnel in many other occupations than those accepted by the VA, including dentists and Dental Technicians, suffer from occupational Tinnitus as well as Hearing Loss to high range levels of 6000Hz to 8000Hz.
Below standard VA Hearing Loss and Tinnitus full diagnosis are policy but hopefully administratively changeable per claim with civilian diagnosis.
They have and will even deny claims from their physician’s using improper diagnostic Federal Procedure Codes. The Code number will not be on the physician’s report. They will diagnose a similar condition, or close condition to confuse.
After a civilian diagnosis and a VA denial of benefits a second civilian diagnosis is appropriate to concur with the first civilian diagnosis.
Claims are initiated by local governmental agencies not associated with the VA. All California Counties have employees for Veterans coordinated at the State Department of Veterans Affairs. Other agencies as the American Legion assist.
Besides the County and State Representatives all Congressional Representatives have Aides to handle veteran’s issues. Your Aide has contact with other Aids and they communicate. In serious situations they are known to then go to their elected officials. The Representatives then have visited the Director of Veterans Affairs who may launch an investigation.
Such happened recently resulting with the loss of Oakland California’s Regional Director and her Aide. Previously the Finance Director left as a possible result of a Federal Claim against him and other more flagrant possibilities.
Consider your second claim a feint if denied and reapply with the second civilian diagnosis. Then maneuver behind from both sides with your Federal Congressional Representative on one side and both your Federal Senators to the other. Possibly a group like the American Legion could coordinate. Knowing you are not alone would be much easier than being alone.
(1984): Luther Glen McCall served 26 unbroken years in the United States Air Force. During his first Enlistment he had a procedure performed that required another procedure. The condition left was not life threatening and never done.
When McCall retired he applied to the VA for the benefit in 1979. He was denied. At that time the VA only treated claims arising from a last Enlistment.
This motivated McCall. Being the VA admitted the condition he obtained a letter from his doctor. The VA’s Dr. Foye then admitted from McCall’s doctor’s letter that they were in violation of contractual Intent, Patient Abandonment and when in service there was Dereliction of Duty. Also Dr. Foye suggested he contact his Congressman with instruction on what to do. A Dr. Foye is now a rarity.
It took 4 years and Congressman Robert Matsui of Sacramento, CA finally got a bill passed in Congress in 1984. This aided the VA to become as large as it is with the doctors and staff doing what they are able to do under Administration guidelines.
(2012): August 2012 Congress passed HR 1627 regarding toxic waste health issues for veterans who served at Camp Lejeune between 1957 throcugh1987. Kudos to Salem-News’s Robert O’Dowd and Tim King as well as many others. But, it is parsing benefits. The Bill does not address servicemen’s families, especially those who lived in base housing. No one should be expendable. Children are dying!
The VA is intransigent so much so they employ Actuaries. Part of their duties is to determine life expectancies. Standard practice is to put off as long as possible. A Complaint to the Department of Justice may help your claim representative or your Congressional Aide. Possible VA violations used against the Oakland VA personnel previously mentioned with criminally based Mandated Reports by a licensed Health Care Provider filed at the US Department of Justice, San Francisco, included in part:
Deliberate Indifference; Refusal to Diagnose; Failure to Diagnose; Patient Abandonment; Punitive Omission; Abandonment Agency Relationship; Denial Due Process; Breach of Duty; Neglect; Negligence: gross, concurrent, wanton and administrative; Improper Work Relationships: actual and constructive, quid pro qui to deny claims; Hostile Environment; Civil Conspiracy; Infliction Duress; and if over 65 – Elderly Abuse: financial and emotional.
What you are thunders so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary. - Emerson.
All articles are social Mandated Reports to the social body regarding socialized violence and abuse.
References web available:
 Dennis, Kyle C., JDVAC Compensation & Pension Workshop, VA Health Care, National A&SP Program Office.
.British Society of Audiology Recommended procedure: Pure tone air and bone conduction threshold audiometry with and without masking and determination of uncomfortable loudness levels, March 2004.
 The Illinois Division of Specialized Care for Children, Auditory Services, University of Illinois at Chicago, 17.14 (Rev.03/06).
 Moller, Aage R, Textbook of Tinnitus, Springer-Verlag, October 2010.
Richard Matteoli graduated from St. Mary's College of California in 1967 and Creighton University in 1971. He is retired from the US Navy where he spent most of his career attached to the United States Marine Corps and officially rated a Devil Doc. Other clinical experience outside private practice includes working for California Indian Health and California's Solano County Clinic for the poor as well as the Solano County Jail.
He is the author of the Handbook text references The Munchausen Complex: Socialization of Violence and Abuse and The Totemic Analogy in Bible Symbolism. Salem-News.com has carried several articles over the years. Dr. Matteoli has also been helpful in research for other articles we have carried, particularly with regard to military base contamination. We have been very pleased to have the honor of sharing his valuable writing with our readers.
You can write to Richard Matteoli at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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