May 13, 2011

Federal Recovery Coordination Program Fails to Deliver

For more information, contact: Amy K. Mitchell, (202) 225-3527

WASHINGTON, DC–Today, the Subcommittee on Health met to review the Federal Recovery Coordination Program. The Committee heard testimony that even though more than three years have elapsed since the program was implemented, systemic shortfalls persist including a lack of overall coordination and collaboration between the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

“It appears that rather than having the joint program envisioned by the Commission [Dole-Shalala] to advocate on behalf of wounded warriors and ensure comprehensive and seamless rehabilitation, recovery, and transition, we have two separate programs—a VA program that utilizes Federal Recovery Coordinators and a DoD program that utilizes Recovery Care Coordinators,” stated Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Health. “This was not the intent of the program and does a disservice to our wounded warriors and their families who are getting lost between two large bureaucracies.”

The Federal Recovery Coordination program was established in 2007 to create a single point of contact for wounded warriors and families, eliminate delays and gaps in treatment and services, and reach across federal agencies to ensure an efficient and smooth rehabilitation and transition back to military duty or civilian life.

“The intent was to streamline. The intent was to simplify. The intent was to serve the most seriously wounded, ill, and injured. But, instead, there is more duplication and there is more confusion,” Buerkle said. “Three years is more than enough time to get Federal Recovery Coordinators in place around the country and have one unified, coordinated program. It is time to produce. We will not accept any further progress reports or delays. Our military, veterans, and their families need results today.”

An additional hearing to follow-up on the concerns brought forth in the today’s hearing is being scheduled.