Veteranclaims’s Blog

November 19, 2009

GAO Report States VA Giving Priority PTSD Care to Veterans Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — veteranclaims @ 11:40 pm

Are older PTSD Veterans being sidelined, as new veterans are being treated first!

Officials at six of the seven VA medical facilities visited by GAO researchers reported that although “they are now able to keep up with the current number of veterans seeking PTSD services, they may not be able to meet an increase in demand for these services.”

They also expressed concern because the VA had directed them to give priority for PTSD care to veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Follow-up care for veterans now receiving PTSD treatment could be delayed as much as 90 days, they fear.”

Full Article at: GAO Questions VA’s Ability To Provide More PTSD Care

by Kate Mulligan

The VA is working hard to make certain that soldiers returning from Iraq benefit from lessons learned since Vietnam.

Will veterans returning home from Iraq receive prompt and effective treatment for their war-related mental health disorders?

Neither the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) nor the Department of Defense (DoD) can provide a definitive answer, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The report, released September 20, offered recommendations that would lead to improved data collection and coordination between the two governmental agencies.

The VA is working to implement the recommendations that call for the agency to combine data about veterans receiving treatment for PTSD at VA medical centers with data about those receiving treatment for PTSD at its veterans centers (Vet Centers).

(Vet Centers were established as entities separate from the medical centers because Vietnam veterans were reluctant to receive medical care for their war-related mental health disorders in a federal building.)

The combination of the data sets will give VA officials a better assessment of the current availability of treatment for PTSD and improved ability to project need for more services.

Officials at six of the seven VA medical facilities visited by GAO researchers reported that although “they are now able to keep up with the current number of veterans seeking PTSD services, they may not be able to meet an increase in demand for these services.”

They also expressed concern because the VA had directed them to give priority for PTSD care to veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Follow-up care for veterans now receiving PTSD treatment could be delayed as much as 90 days, they fear.”

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