Veterans with brain injuries not getting adequate care
AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune, January 31, 2008
Thousands of Iraq war veterans who could have suffered traumatic brain injury may be getting unnecessary or inadequate healthcare because Veterans Affairs officials have yet to determine whether their initial screening tests are reliable. A draft report by the Government Accountability Office reviews nine VA medical centers and found that months after former VA Secretary Jim Nicholson in April promoted new screenings for brain injury and pledged personal responsibility in seeing them through, the department was still struggling to determine how to best gauge the clinical accuracy of its screenings. In the report, the VA also acknowledged problems with follow-up appointments after veterans initially tested positive under the VA's screening tool. One medical center reported 27 cases in which their doctors failed to notify patients for additional evaluation because of glitches in the computerized program.