Government Agencies Not Tracking Effectiveness of PTSD Treatment in Military Men and Women

According to a report from an Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee, government agencies are lacking when it comes to evaluating the effectiveness of PTSD treatment in our vets. In fact, Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) are not tracking whether treatments help vets.

Yet in 2012, the VA spent $3 billion and the DoD $294 million to provide care to vets those with PTSD. Without tracking and evaluating their effectiveness, it could be money wasted.

A committee from the IOM suggests these government agencies implement a system that keeps track of their progress and that they provide a way to follow up with patients long-term.

IOM’s report also indicates a lack of resources for treatment. With the growing number of vets suffering from PTSD, the government should provide more mental health professionals to meet the increased need for care.

Compared to the estimated 190,000 PTSD cases seeking treatment in 2003, 500,000 sought treatment in 2012. And of those who sought care for PTSD in 2012, close to 24 percent were vets who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. PTSD affects eight percent of service members who served in these wars. But it also affects about five percent of military men and women in general.

Those numbers appear to be rising. In 2013, more than 62,500 vets (who didn’t serve in Iraq and Afghanistan) received a diagnosis of PTSD. Vets from Vietnam also made up 34 percent of new cases involving PTSD. The military branch with the highest percentage of servicemembers with a PTSD diagnosis was the Army with 13.5 percent of soldiers diagnosed with the condition.

PTSD is a condition that can cause flashbacks and other troubling mental health effects. Those diagnosed may experience depression, fear and avoidance. The effects vary but if it’s connected to military service, it may qualify a veteran for disability benefits. For help with your claim, contact the Law Offices of Veterans Help Group at 855-855-8992.