IOM Report Faults VA, Pentagon On PTSD Care

USA Today (6/21, Zoroya) reported that according to a 300-page report released June 20 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs “are not ready for a potential flood of war-related post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD] among troops and veterans, particularly from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.” The IOM panel, which consisted of 16 experts and was chaired by physician Sandro Galea, MD, DrPH of Columbia University in New York, cited as a “key failure…delay in treating those who need therapy, a central element of the current wait-time scandal that led to the May 30 resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.”

According to the Los Angeles Times (6/21, Zarembo), the report found that the US “government spent $3 billion on PTSD treatments for veterans in 2012 and $294 million more for service members,” but neither the Pentagon “nor the VA have consistently collected data on how patients are faring or even what treatments they have received, making it impossible to assess the quality of care.”

What’s more, “the report described PTSD care in the military health system as ‘ad hoc, incremental and crisis driven’ and said the Department of Veterans Affairs had not hired mental health” professionals “fast enough to keep pace with the rising demand.”

Related Links:

— “Flood of PTSD cases coming, scientists warn,” Gregg Zoroya, USA Today, June 20, 2014.

Posted in In The News.