Lawmaker looks outside VA to fill mental care gap

by Kevin Freking

(AP)—The head of the House panel that oversees veterans' issues says patients who have trouble getting timely mental health care from Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics should have another option: access to the thousands of health care providers who care for military personnel and their families.

The proposal by Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., borrows from the playbook of Republican Mitt Romney. He raised the idea of tapping into the military's Tricare network of providers during the presidential campaign.

Miller said the proposal would double overnight the number of psychologists and psychiatrists available to veterans who need .

Some veterans groups and a key senator say they're open to exploring the idea. However, they are wary of undercutting a VA system that health experts agree provides quality care.

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Agreement boosts access for American Indian vets

Dec 06, 2012

(AP)—Native American military veterans will be able to access health care closer to home thanks to an agreement between the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and the Indian Health Service.

Many veterans not getting enough treatment for PTSD

Feb 10, 2010

Although the Department of Veteran Affairs is rolling out treatments nationwide as fast as possible to adequately provide for newly diagnosed PTSD patients, there are still significant barriers to veterans getting a full ...

Recommended for you

Fun and games make for better learners

26 minutes ago

Four minutes of physical activity can improve behaviour in the classroom for primary school students, according to new research by Brendon Gurd.

Halloween at the ER is no treat

5 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating may seem like harmless fun, but Halloween injuries send many children to emergency rooms in the United States every year, experts say.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dalpayphred
not rated yet Jan 30, 2013
Rep. J. Miller fails to mention; these measures are not necessarily unselfish concern for the welfare of others .

The V.A. system of healthcare is a model for eligibility within patient centered healthcare products. After initial screening the veteran is consulted in each phase of therapy.

Behavioral Scientists and Psychologists, who are anything but "Altruistic", see access to veterans as a cash cow for billing hours. A Psychiatrist, on the other hand, is a medical doctor able to be able to join behavioral science with existing medical conditions.

Rep. J. Miller would better serve the public, by using the VA model to deliver healthcare to another sector of social need. The AMA and others are pushing for streamlined access to patient histories while still respecting the privacy measures demanded by H.I.P.A.A. This enrollment is often viewed as a Draconian measure. "Mental Hygiene", however, is often dependent on variables such as diet and living conditions, and physical hygiene

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.