Federal Recovery Coordination Program Still Lacking Coordination
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the Subcommittee on Health held an oversight hearing on the Federal Recovery Coordination Program (FRCP) and uncovered a worsening problem of care coordination between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD). The hearing was in response to a previous oversight hearing in May that exposed significant issues with the FRCP, which is meant to coordinate the clinical and non-clinical care needs of severely wounded, ill, or injured servicemembers and veterans, and a similar program administered by DoD called the Recovery Coordination Program.
“The intended purposes of these programs – to better manage and facilitate care and services – may actually have the opposite effect,” said Debra Draper, Director of Health Care for the U.S. Government Accountability Office, “Moreover, the confusion this creates for recovering servicemembers, veterans, and their families may hamper their recovery.”
“Needless to say, the inability of the two departments to work together has added yet another burdensome bureaucratic maze for our wounded warriors and their families to navigate at a time when recovery and reintegration should be their only focus,” stated Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Health.
“It is clear to me that the FRCP is failing to meet its mission. It also clear to me that these families cannot wait any longer. They can no longer be party to bureaucratic in-fighting and turf battles. They can no longer be told that they have several ‘single points of contact.’ As the wounded warrior population in need of these services continues to grow, when answers are needed, we cannot keep considering our options,” stated Ms. Buerkle.
The Subcommittee once again requested a detailed plan from VA/DoD for implementing the recommendations of the GAO report and to provide an analysis for how the FRCP and the RCP could be integrated. This is the Subcommittee’s third request for such a plan.