APA CEO Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, called upon Department of Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper (PDF, 128KB) and the chairmen and ranking members of both the House and Senate Armed Services Committees (PDF, 121KB) to immediately address the recommendations made in an August 2020 Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Inspector General (OIG) which detailed troubling data indicating that service members and their families were not receiving timely access to mental health services, either though DoD’s in-house care system or through the TRICARE purchased care network. The report found that 53% of active duty service members and their families who needed a referral to mental health care did not receive that care, and the department does not know why.
APA supports a series of OIG recommendations, including creating a system-wide staffing plan for behavioral health providers; maintaining a strong in-house Military Health System; and appropriately reimbursing psychologists in the TRICARE network, including telehealth reimbursements.
In Evans’ letter to Chairmen Inhofe and Smith and Ranking Members Reed and Thornberry, he called for oversight hearings on access to mental health care for our service members and their families, including the findings of the OIG report and TRICARE network adequacy.
For more information, please contact Sophie Friedl.