- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dear Sgt. Shaft:

I need your assistance with my VA claim for heart disease, which was denied by VA for reasons that are not at all clear to me. Thanks for whatever you can do.

Dennis K.
Via Internet

Dear Dennis:

By now you should have received the following reply from VA:

“The rating decision dated 2/1/11, denied ischemic heart disease because it was not diagnosed in the exam or medical evidence.

“You, the veteran filed a Notice of Disagreement on 2/16/11, and we subsequently received a letter from veteran with a medical statement and military hospital record on 4/23/12.

“The folder is presently under review by the DAV (Disabled American Veterans), and we have asked for the folder’s return.

“Once the folder is returned, it will be provided to a DRO (district regional office) for a decision. The anticipated date of completion is April 3, 2013.”

Staff notes

• Chairman Jeff Miller, Florida Republican, recently introduced the Veterans’ Privacy Act, which would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to obtain the personal consent of patients before installing cameras in VA medical center treatment rooms.

The bill comes in response to findings last year that officials at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa, Fla., installed a concealed camera in a patient’s room without his or his family’s consent.

“This type of behavior is as bizarre as it is outrageous. To think that some VA employees actually thought it a good idea to covertly record a patient with a video camera disguised as a smoke detector really just boggles the mind,” Mr. Miller said. “What’s worse is that when we questioned VA regarding the legality of these actions, department officials contended they had done nothing wrong. The Veterans Privacy Act will keep covert, Big Brother tactics out of VA medical centers and protect the sacred trust that should exist between VA and veteran patients and their families.”

A VA Office of Inspector General review of the Haley incident found that use of the camera was “reasonable.”

• The National Veteran Small Business Coalition wanted to find a way to honor and remember Gordon Mansfield, former Deputy Secretary of VA, WIA Vietnam Veteran, as a true American hero as well as a dedicated supporter of the veteran small business community.

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