Accession Number : AD1013566

Title :   Defense Health Care: DOD Is Meeting Most Mental Health Care Access Standards, but It Needs a Standard for Follow-up Appointments

Descriptive Note : Technical Report

Corporate Author : U.S. Government Accountability Office Washington United States

Personal Author(s) : Williamson,Randall B ; Achman,Lori ; Brown,Muriel ; Friday,Krister ; Hamilton,Jacquelyn ; Ranganathan,Dharani ; Ritchie,Christina ; Sauer,Helen

Full Text :

Report Date : 01 Apr 2016

Pagination or Media Count : 64

Abstract : Why GAO Did This Study.DOD reports that between 2005 and 2013, the number of individuals who received mental health care through DODs MHS grew by 32 percent. MHS mental health care is provided free to active duty servicemembers. Reservists and DOD civilians are eligible for MHS care under certain circumstances.The National Defense AuthorizationAct for Fiscal Year 2015 contains a provision for GAO to assess the availability and accessibility of mental health care in DODs MHS for military servicemembers. This report examines, among other things, (1) the mental health care DOD makes available to servicemembers domestically and overseas and (2) the accessibility of mental health care provided to servicemembers domestically and overseas. GAO analyzed recent, available data on MHS mental health utilization, staffing, and appointment access and compared access data to relevant DOD standards. GAO reviewed mental health data from several DOD surveys as well as documents related to MHS mental health care. GAO also interviewed DOD and service officials and representatives from servicemember and provider associations.What GAO Recommends.GAO recommends that DOD establish an access standard for mental health follow-up appointments and regularly monitor data on these appointments. DOD concurred with GAOs recommendation.

Descriptors :   department of defense , military medicine , mental health , medical care , standards , military personnel , auditing , utilization , psychotherapy , management , medication , therapy , health care , therapeutics , military hospitals

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE