Cost of Mental Health Care for Veterans is Rising

Of all the veterans requiring health care, those veterans suffering from substance abuse disorders and mental illnesses are a large and growing population, according to an article in MedPage Today. The majority of the veterans with disabilities requiring care for mental health conditions suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Researchers who examined medical records and administrative data, in 2007, found an average cost of $12,337 for every patient being treated in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers for a mental illness or substance abuse issue. The cost of care for veterans without those issues was $4,579 in the same year.

At the time, veterans with mental health problems amounted to about 15.4% of the entire veteran population receiving treatment in the VA health care system. Their treatment, however, totaled 33% of the VA’s total healthcare cost for the year. The largest mental health issue facing veterans at the time was PTSD, which can require complex and layered treatments over extended periods of time.

Those costs do not end with medical treatment, however. For many of these veterans, employment is not a possibility, leading to “wider economic consequences.” To avoid those consequences, the VA is always attempting to do more to treat many of these issues as early and effectively as possible. Doing so, however, requires extensive research, planning, and implementation, all of which cost money.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from Veterans Help Group is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veterans disability rights firm today 1-855-855-8992.