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May 2014 VA Hep C Treatment Guidelines
UPDATE: Feb 26, 2016-
Funding and Prioritization Status Update

UPDATE: March 2016
VA Hep C Treatment Guidelines
VA to treat all vets in system
 

By Judith Graham
VA Extends New Hepatitis C Drugs to All Veterans in Its Health System

 
Orange Count Registry
Vietnam vets blame 'jet guns' for their hepatitis C
By Lily Leung Feb. 14, 2016 
 
CBS News Investigates
Congress outraged over hepatitis C treatment VA can't afford
Dr. Raymond Schinazi played a leading role developing a drug that cures hepatitis C while working seven-eighths of his time for the VA
 
ibtimes.com| By amynordrum
 


Hepatitis C drug costing VA, DoD millions
By Patricia Kime, Staff writer
We're looking at a company who is milking a cash cow for everything it's worth," Sanders said. 
 


VA to outsource care for 180,000 vets with hepatitis C
Dennis Wagner, The Arizona Republic 12:27 a.m. EDT June 21, 2015
 


VA to outsource care for 180,000 vets with hepatitis C
, The Republic | azcentral.com 11:51 a.m. MST June 19, 2015
Dr. David Ross, the VA's director public-health pathogens programs, resigned from the working group. "I cannot in good conscience continue to work on a plan for rationing care to veterans," he wrote.
 


VA Region Stops Referring Patients To Outside Hospitals Thanks To Budget Shortfall
Michael Volpe Contributor ...According to a memo — the entire region has been forced to stop all “non-VA care” referrals due to a budget shortfall.
 

DisabledVeterans.org
OIG INVESTIGATES VA CHOICE PROGRAM PROBLEMS
Sen. Mark Kirk admitted the VA Choice Program is a failed joke in a letter to Secretary Bob McDonald despite attempts to fix it.
 

 
Denied Hep C VA dental care?
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Dried Hepatitis C Blood Exposure 11/23/2013 Weeks later inconspicuous blood transmits virus and more likely to cause accidental exposures to Hep C
 

Lack of Standards for
Mass Vaccinations
1970 Jetgun Nursing Instructions
 

2014 AASLD Study Hepatitis C not an STD

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Info: Plan Backfires-
VBA Fast Letter Boost Claims
 
Legal- Fed Regs state:
Judge decision may be relied upon
Cotant v. Principi, 17 Vet.App. 116, 134 (2003),
 
Service Connected Claims
# 1 Conclusion of Law 
# 2 Conclusion of Law 
 
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Wrong Valve May Have Caused Infections
 

Posted: Feb 10, 2009 06:04 PM EST
http://www.newschannel5.com/Global/story.asp?S=9822458

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Over 6,400 veterans will be notified of a possible risk of infection, after a valve used for colonoscopies was determined to be faulty.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said thousands of Tennesseans will soon get a letter urging them to see their doctor.

A medical procedure apparently was not performed correctly. In December, doctors and nurses noticed the wrong valve on the tubing used in colonoscopies. Thousands of procedures are performed at the medical facility each year.

"It's an irrigation tube that feeds water during a colonoscopy. The incorrect valve allows for two way flow. The correct tube allows for one way flow," said Chris Conklin with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs.

VA doctors said the two-way flow could cause backflow issues which cause infections in patients.

"We cannot identify when this tube valve combination came into our facility," said Conklin.

Letters will go out to all 6,400 people who had colonoscopies performed at the facility between 2003 and 2008. The letter will advise patients of the valve issue and offer free infection screenings.

"It's very disturbing that this has gone on for five years. To me, that needs to be addressed," said veteran Bob Washsko from Franklin.

Washsko of Franklin said the matter warrants an investigation, but he did appreciate the proactive approach taken by the VA.

"The staff are dedicated people and dedicated to the veterans," he said.

Officials said none of the colonoscopy patients have complained about any symptoms, but to be safe, they would like everyone who receives one of these letters to schedule a screening to make sure all is well.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has set up a special hotline to make appointments and provide information. That number is 877-345-8555.

 

VA mum extent of equipment contamination

By Bill Poovey - The Associated Press
Posted : Thursday Mar 26, 2009 19:40:17 EDT

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Thousands of military veterans across the South are waiting to find out if they were exposed to infectious diseases by government clinics that performed colonoscopies and other procedures with equipment that wasn’t properly sterilized.

Veterans Affairs officials won’t say if mistakes that may have exposed patients to infections at medical centers in Tennessee and Florida and a clinic in Georgia have been discovered elsewhere.

The VA recently warned veterans who had colonoscopies as far back as five years ago at its hospitals in Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Miami that they may have been exposed to the body fluids of other patients and should undergo tests to make sure they haven’t contracted serious illnesses.

“What if you had to worry about giving your wife AIDS?” said 52-year-old Wayne Craig, a Navy veteran who lives in Elora and had a colonoscopy at the VA’s Alvin C. York Medical Center in Murfreesboro, near Nashville, about five years ago. “Why haven’t I been notified within five years?”

The VA declined to answer four Associated Press requests over the past week about the results of what the department described as a nationwide procedure and training review that was to end March 14. VA spokeswoman Laurie Tranter said the department planned to issue a response later Thursday.

The review of all VA medical centers and outpatient clinics followed reports in February that the department discovered “improperly reprocessed” endoscopic equipment used for colonoscopies in Murfreesboro and ear, nose and throat exams in Augusta, Ga.

Just this week, the VA acknowledged problems at a facility in Miami, too.

Veteran Gary Simpson, 57, of Spring City had a colonoscopy at the Murfreesboro clinic in 2007. He said his blood has tested negative for HIV and hepatitis, but he’s still worried because a nurse told him some diseases don’t show up for seven years.

“He talks about it every day,” said his wife, Janice. “It has really messed with him a lot. It is just too disturbing.”

Nashville lawyer Mike Sheppard said his firm is preparing to file claims on behalf of up to 15 colonoscopy patients, including several who have since tested positive for hepatitis B. He said an elderly man who had cancer when he had a colonoscopy died shortly afterward.

“We are investigating the death,” Sheppard said.

According to a VA e-mail, only about half of the Murfreesboro and Augusta patients notified by letter of a mistake that exposed them to “potentially infectious fluids” have requested appointments for follow-up blood tests offered by the department.

In February, the VA said it sent letters offering the tests to about 6,400 patients who had colonoscopies between April 23, 2003, and Dec. 1, 2008, at Murfreesboro and to about 1,800 patients treated over 11 months last year at Augusta.

The VA has now sent letters advising 3,260 patients who had colonoscopies between May 2004 and March 12 at the Miami Veterans Affairs Healthcare System that they also should get tests for HIV, hepatitis and other infectious diseases.

That revelation prompted two Florida lawmakers to demand an investigation by the VA Office of Inspector General.

The VA has declined an AP request for an explanation of why the time periods during which exposure could have occurred varied at the three locations.

Janice Simpson said an employee in U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp’s office in Chattanooga told her that the blood test notices sent to colonoscopy patients of the Murfreesboro clinic were timed to the date of a procedure on a patient with AIDS. A spokeswoman for Wamp said Simpson was mistaken.

The VA did say in an April 19 e-mail to AP that at the VA’s Murfreesboro colonoscopy facility “one of the tubes used for irrigation during the procedure had an incorrect valve.” The statement also said “tubing attached to the scope was processed at the end of each day instead of between each patient as required by the manufacturer’s instructions.”

The VA letter to Craig said he “could have been exposed to body fluids from a previous patient.” Craig said his follow-up test did not show any infection.

He said he thinks the VA was saving money by not cleaning the tubing between its use on each patient.

“What if this was a public hospital?” said Craig, who has six grandchildren. “There’s no reason in the world a veteran can’t file a suit against a veteran hospital the same as a public hospital. This is veterans you are talking about.”