Day 3,963 – Let the Referral Battle Begin

One of the first things that I did after returning from my trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons was to call UCLA Department of Nuclear Medicine to check to see if they had all of the necessary paperwork from the San Diego VA Medical Center to schedule the PSMA PET scan.

They did not.

Apparently, they were still missing my demographic information, my insurance information, and at least a 6 month medical history for me. Grrrr. 🤬

I emailed the VA and got some mealy-mouthed response back saying that I should be the one providing the demographics and insurance information and, that if I wanted my medical records released, I had to complete and submit a form giving them permission to do so. They could have told me that weeks ago.

The medical records thing is particularly annoying because, according to the VA website, the Veterans Health Information Exchange is set up to electronically share medical records with certain community providers that are providing care. UCLA Health is one of the approved community providers.

The only quirk that I can see in this is that the community provider has to be providing me care and, technically, UCLA is not yet doing that, so I suspect the VA will claim that, because I’m not under active care there, they can’t share the records. A classic Catch-22. The kicker is that I don’t have to do anything to opt in to the sharing. It should automatically happen.

My plan going forward is to ask the VA about the VHIE and see what they say. But as a back-up plan, I’m going to print my VA health record for the last year, my insurance information, and provide them my demographic information, and send the entire packet to UCLA myself, VA be damned.

More to come, I’m sure. In the meantime, I’ll do my best to not let my vacation wear off too quickly.

Be well!

5 thoughts on “Day 3,963 – Let the Referral Battle Begin

  1. Charles R Ford

    Hang in there Dan, just the usual gov. bureaucracy going on. Stay on top of it (like I know you will) and it will eventually get done. I really enjoyed your trip & the pictures to. A lot of it reminds me of when my husband and I used to live in Colorado many years ago. Hope you get over this little hump quickly.
    Take care, Charles F.


    1. Hi Charles. Yep. If there’s anything I can be, it’s persistent. It’s just unnecessary as far as I’m concerned, but I’ll go through all the wickets to make it happen.



    1. Hi Scott,

      Thanks for that tidbit. I may just do that. Virtually all of the residents at VAMC are UCSD residents, so that may streamline things.

      I hope you’re doing well.



      1. Max


        I have heard that the “read” is perhaps more important than who does the scan…might want a very high volume center that has had lots of experience (or get two reads). You might enjoy listening to the recent 2021 PCRI Conference lectures (especially day 1)…they mention imaging and targeting. The good news is that if they can see it – they can usually kill it…with current technology at your PSA level you might get very long term control. Might want to have them shoot whatever they find – and see what happens to your PSA without ADT. Luckily your PSA is rising slowly so you might have some time to try the “see it – shoot it” impact. I wish you the absolute best.



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