Prior to 2007, The Walter Reed Army Medical Center was synonymous with high-end medical care. After a scandal in 2007 that detailed horrible conditions in which soldiers were forced to recover, the hospital’s image changed. Care will ideally be much improved at the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, which will in turn help veterans disability care.
The complaints were not focusing on the in-patient care soldiers were given while at Walter Reed. But as good as the in-patient care was, the out-patient care was just as poor. For many, out-patient care was simply not provided, and they were left to take care of themselves.
Once soldiers became out-patients, it was up to them to steer themselves through the bureaucratic maze at Walter Reed. Soliders had to ensure they had appointments with doctors or physical therapists, as their needs demanded. At the same time, they have to make sure their paperwork was in order and they were being given the proper medications.
The “influx” of injured soldiers requiring treatment from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan overwhelmed an already struggling system. The “antiquated bureaucracy” coupled with poor management and a general failure to understand the injuries affecting the young veterans seeking treatment culminated in horrible patient care.
There were more soldiers returning to the U.S. needing care than were anticipated. At the same time, there were not enough staff members trained adequately enough to handle those soldiers and the issues from which they suffered. Injures such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) caught the entire military health care system off guard.
The Army has implemented Warrior Transition Units (WTUs), which exist at Walter Reed and across the country. Now soldiers are overseen by a team of 3 people, a primary care manager, a nurse case manager, and a squad leader. These 3 handle all the administrative issues such as doctor’s appointments so the soldiers can recover. It is hoped the WTUs will help cut down on the prescription drug abuse so prevalent among recovery soldiers.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from LaVan & Neidenberg is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veterans disability rights firm today – 1-888-234-5758.