New Program to Address Gaps in Mental Healthcare for Vets in 2014

Ensuring that veterans receive adequate medical care for mental health issues – such as post-traumatic stress disorder – has been an ongoing concern. On September 4, Veterans Affairs provided contracts to two companies geared at providing greater inpatient and outpatient care for vets who are unable to acquire necessary services through VA.

Although the VA does have a variety of programs geared toward helping vets with mental health issues, it may not be adequate enough due to the increasing number of vets who require them.

Health Net and TriWest will provide services when veterans are unable to get an appointment with a local VA hospital or when a VA facility is too far for travel. This will allow quicker medical care that is cost-effective.

This initiative is expected to be available by spring of 2014. Not only will this program provide vets with appropriate medical care, but these companies will also oversee medical documentation, tracking, claims and referral management.

A study published in Psychiatric Services in 2012 found that veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars did not receive initial treatment for an average of over two years from the time they returned from deployment. It also found an average seven-and-a-half year lapse between initial mental health appointments and the start of minimally adequate treatment. In the end, it was found that 75 percent of vets never received minimally adequate medical care.

Coping with a mental health issue can be difficult enough without also having the burden of filing a disability claim. One way to receive help collecting documentation and completing paperwork is with an attorney who handles these types of cases. Contact the Law Offices of Veterans Help Group at 855-855-8992 for help with an initial claim or to appeal a denied claim.