VA denies new meds to vet-victim of Minot HCV outbreak


downloadAbout that serious HCV outbreak that ND’s health department wishes would go away (in 2013): The latest count is now 47 and one person was not a Manor Care resident (news video).

Unfortunately, the Fargo VHA (in VISN 23) is not stepping up to help one elderly veteran

…We wish Dad could start the oral medications he needs to combat the infection, hoping that it would help with his fatigue and weakness. He was denied coverage of the medications by the Veterans Administration and cannot afford them otherwise. For the 12-week regime of two pills a day, the cost is $160,000.

Age-discrimination at the VA? 

needle stick cartoon

“Employee A” ????

Manor Care has filed a federal suit against Trinity Health’s referencing “Employee A,” a phlebotomist.  Trinity denies any link or responsibility.  (I haven’t located Manor Care’s lawsuit filing yet.)   The first class action suit blames Manor Care, the nursing home, but appear to have added Trinity later.

Are Minot’s Airmen safe? Minot AFB (5,424 active duty, 6,189 family members) has a DOD  outpatient clinic (M-F) but use Trinity for off-hours care.  Therefore if Trinity Health’s phlebotomy practices were the source of this Hepatitis C infection, Minot’s Airman, their families etc. should get tested too.

For now, the Fargo VHA administrators don’t seem to be talking about Minot’s non-military related HCV epidemic which may shorten the lifespan of at least one of their veterans.

Update 10/6 from ND DoH.  The HCV outbreak victim count is now at 50 (last count was 47).  CDC just provides this

Skilled nursing
2013
ND
>500
46
Preliminary epidemiologic analysis suggested podiatry care, phlebotomy, and nail care performed at the skilled nursing facility were associated with HCV infection
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7 Responses to VA denies new meds to vet-victim of Minot HCV outbreak

  1. WGM says:

    It would be good to find a way to tell the Vet or his daughters to call vA Sec. Bob to get help getting the vA to give him treatment for his hcv.

    • Kiedove says:

      Gosh, you are so right! I’ll email this post to the source of the story in the morning. Thanks.

      • SquidlyOne says:

        He is elderly and has had a stroke….don’t think he wants to take ribavirin. If he just recently caught the bug, maybe better off to wait for a safer treatment anyway. The riba shot my immune system all to hell and I caught a severe infection that almost put me on the other side of the grass.

        • Kiedove says:

          Good advice. There is a possibility that HCV will injure him faster due to his age but the cure could hurt him worse. Obviously, all of these folks just want the dragon within to die–yesterday. One has to feel compassion since the elderly patients are already dealing with other serious illness–and now THIS horror which can exacerbate those other conditions. And the stigma attached to HCV is depressing.
          On the CDC website, the outbreak is noted in a chart but no report. And the ND Health Dept does seem to have issued a report but one staffer has said that this outbreak is not an accident–whatever that means is up to ones imagination. Very unprofessional.
          I would like to know how many veterans may have been hurt.

    • SquidlyOne says:

      VA has a priority of Care document for HCV patients. Basically the sickest Vets with cirrhosis or those who are interferon intolerant are given priority for the new Sovaldi treatment. I made a copy of that document and blotted yellow highlight with red circles and stars and gave it to my PCP and stated I need treatment right away. However it seems that no two VAMCs are alike in their policies or how they administer care.

  2. Michael Graham says:

    Ask Nod, Thank you for the informative information for all Veterans. The article about taking guns and financial control from a Veteran who has PTSD is disturbing. This should scare every patient at the VA, you must be conscience no information at the VA is private. They will use it against you later down the road. They will not confront you directly, the VA will stab you in the back.

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