In 2007, following reports that troops who had suffered devastating injuries were not receiving the care they needed, a commission recommended that every service member be assigned a federal recovery coordinator to serve as a single point of contact to help shepherd the patient through the hospital system and fight for the very best quality of care. Thus sprung up multiple programs from the Defense Department and Department of Veterans’ Affairs, which, sadly, have only served to further confuse patients and stand in the way of treatment. Duplication exists to such an extent that it’s not uncommon for a soldier to have eight coordinators assigned to his or her case; some have 25. Promisingly, officials from both the VA and the Pentagon agree that merging the services would be best and most efficient for patients, but there has been no agreement as to how to do this.
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