Monday, March 05, 2007

GAO testimony on DOD/VA care problems for injured soldiers, vets

GAO released the text of its testimony today before the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The witness list and links to testimony and related documents are here. What is fairly clearly emerging is a sense that the problems with outpatient care at Walter Reed Army Hospital -- described in a series of articles in The Washington Post last week -- are the tip of the iceberg. That's the gist of an article by Anne Hull and Dana Priest in today's Post.

It may be true, as Paul Krugman writes in today's op-ed (paid TimesSelect subscription required) in the N.Y. Times, that the worst of the worst in terms of quality care (or the lack thereof) is in the military hospitals, which are separate and distinct from the VA. And the VA may still be the exemplar of quality that it's been touted to be for the past 10 years (although that's not what I hear from the medical students who rotate through the VA hospital here, and that's not the message from vets in today's Post article by Hull and Priest). But the testimony of the GAO witness documents some of the ways that the care in the VA system breaks down when a patient is handed off from the military's hospital system to the VA's.
posted by tommayo, 12:35 PM

Health care law (including public health law, medical ethics, and life sciences), with digressions into constitutional law, poetry, and other things that matter