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GAO Report: Medication Needs during Transitions for DOD Servicemembers

Posted on 11/15/2012 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

Yesterday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) - the independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress - released a report entitled DOD and VA Healthcare: Medication Needs during Transitions May Not Be Managed for All Servicemembers. The GAO was asked by the House Committee on Veteran Affairs to provide information on the process used by the DOD and VA to help servicemembers manage their psychiatric and pain medications during transitions.

The GAO reiterated the reason for the report by stating, “medication management is critical to effective continuity of care for servicemembers transitioning out of the military. Psychiatric and pain medications may be of particular concern because of potential adverse health effects if not taken as intended.”
The report examined the extent to which servicemembers transitioned out of the DOD health care system with psychiatric or pain medications and subsequently received care from VA, and surveyed efforts that the DOD and VA have in place to ensure servicemembers’ medication needs are met during transitions of care.  Ultimately, the GAO recommended that “the DOD develop a transition policy for medications that applies to all servicemembers and that DOD and VA identify and apply best practices for managing servicemembers’ medication needs during transitions of care. DOD and VA concurred with the recommendations.”  To view a summary of the report click here.  To view the full report click here.