Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Congressional Reaction to Walter Reed Revelations

On Monday, March 5, 2007 Congress addressed problems revealed by the
Washington Post about the out-patient medical treatment of veterans with physical or psychological injuries. Representative McCarthy of New York proposed that implementing health information technology would prevent medical records from being lost and make transitioning from the hospital to out-patient care easier especially for brain-injured patients. Senator Dorgan expressed concern about the lack of resources for the Veterans Administration (VA) to which many patients are transitioned. He described the suicide of a veteran home from Iraq who had not been able to get immediate attention despite showing up at a VA hospital and admitting he was suicidal. To address these concerns, Senator Akaka recommended a $2.9 billion increase over figures submitted by the administration for the fiscal year 2008 Department of Veterans Affairs' budget. The increase includes an additional $300 million for the treatment of brain injury and and an additional $693 million for VA mental health programs.