Treating veterans with PTSD costs more

March 14, 2012 at 12:54 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, March 14 (UPI) -- Treating U.S. combat veterans with post traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury or both costs more than treatments for other veterans, officials say.

A report by the Congressional Budget Office said the Veterans Health Administration spent about $2 billion in fiscal year 2010 to provide medical care to all recent combat veterans.

One-in-4 recent combat veterans treated at Veterans Health Administration from 2004 to 2009 had a diagnosis of PTSD; 7 percent had a diagnosis of traumatic brain injury, the report said.

Using data for recent veterans treated by Veterans Health Administration from 2004 to 2009, the report found:

-- 21 percent were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder but not traumatic brain injury.

-- 2 percent were diagnosed with traumatic brain injury but not PTSD.

-- An additional 5 percent had both PTSD and traumatic brain injury.

-- The remaining 72 percent had neither diagnosis.

The report also found the average cost for the first year of treatment:

-- Veterans With PTSD was $8,300.

-- With traumatic brain injury was $11,700.

-- With PTSD and traumatic brain injury was $13,800.

-- Recent veterans with neither condition was $2,400.

Those amounts do not include initial care provided by the Department of Defense or care by other providers outside of Veterans Health Administration. The results also exclude about 500 patients with severe multiple injuries that received treatment in Veterans Health Administration's polytrauma centers, whose costs were significantly higher, the report said.

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