KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

New Center Opens For Vets With Traumatic Brain Injuries And Psychological Issues

The Washington Post reports on a new center for veterans: "The $65 million medical center, which opened Thursday, is devoted exclusively to helping members of the military who suffer from traumatic brain injuries, PTSD and other psychological issues. Its opening comes on the heels of a flurry of congressional criticism and reports claiming that soldiers with traumatic brain injuries often do not have their conditions diagnosed and are forced to wade through the vast bureaucracy of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Help and Traumatic Brain Injury, which is charged with their treatment."

Military records indicate that about 115,000 troops have suffered mild traumatic brain injury in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.  According to The Post, "The Defense Centers of Excellence has 'made some serious management missteps that call into question its ability to properly administer such a large and important function,' Rep. Susan A. Davis (D-Calif.) told the House Armed Services Committee in April. Even during Thursday's ribbon-cutting at the Bethesda facility, called the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, the Pentagon's alleged negligence was brought up" (Sieff, 6/25).

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