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Report to Congressional Addressees: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
GAO: 

November 2009: 

Defense Health Care: 

Post-Deployment Health Reassessment Documentation Needs Improvement: 

GAO-10-56: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-10-56, a report to congressional addressees. 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

The Department of Defense (DOD) implemented the post-deployment health 
reassessment (PDHRA), which is required to be administered to 
servicemembers 90 to 180 days after their return from deployment. DOD 
established the PDHRA program to identify and address servicemembersí 
health concerns that emerge over time following deployments. This 
report is the second in response to a Senate Armed Services Committee 
report directing GAO to review DODís administration of the PDHRA, and 
to additional congressional requests. In this report, GAO examined (1) 
the extent to which DODís central repository contains PDHRA 
questionnaires for active and Reserve component servicemembers who 
returned from deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan and (2) how DOD 
monitors the administration of the PDHRA to Reserve component 
servicemembers. To conduct this review, GAO performed a quantitative 
analysis using DOD deployment and PDHRA data, reviewed relevant PDHRA 
policies, and interviewed DOD officials. 

What GAO Found: 

DOD policy requires that the military services electronically submit 
PDHRA questionnaires to DODís central repository. Based on two separate 
queries to this repository in 2009, GAO did not find PDHRA 
questionnaires for a substantial percentage of the 319,000 active and 
Reserve component servicemembers who returned from deployment to Iraq 
or Afghanistan between January 1, 2007, and May 31, 2008. GAOís first 
query on April 15, 2009, showed that only 77 percent of this population 
of interest had questionnaires in the central repository, leaving 
approximately 74,000 servicemembers without questionnaires in the 
repository. On September 4, 2009, GAO queried DODís central repository 
again to update its April 2009 data and found that DODís central 
repository was still missing PDHRA questionnaires for about 72,000 
servicemembers, or 23 percent of the servicemembers in GAOís original 
population of interest. When PDHRA questionnaires are not in DODís 
central repository, DOD does not have reasonable assurance that 
servicemembers to whom the PDHRA requirement applies were given the 
opportunity to fill out the questionnaire and identify and address 
health concerns that could emerge over time following deployment. 

DOD uses four methods to monitor the contractor, Logistics Health, Inc. 
(LHI), that administers the PDHRA to Reserve component servicemembers. 
The four monitoring methods are: (1) reviews of periodic reports from 
LHI; (2) inspections of LHIís administration of the PDHRA; (3) feedback 
on LHIís administration of the PDHRA from military service officials; 
and (4) weekly telephone discussions with LHI staff. These methods are 
used to help ensure that the objective of the PDHRA program is being 
met for Reserve component servicemembers. Through these methods, DOD 
identified a number of potential problems that may pose risks to the 
PDHRA program objective and to the welfare and safety of Reserve 
component servicemembers. However, GAO found that when monitoring the 
administration of the PDHRA to Reserve component servicemembers, DOD 
does not maintain clear documentation that is consistent with federal 
internal control standards. GAO found that the documentation generated 
by DOD generally did not clearly describe the potential problems, the 
actions taken to address the problems, and whether these actions had 
resolved the problems. Overall, this lack of clear documentation does 
not allow DOD to have reasonable assurance that potential problems 
related to the administration of the PDHRA to Reserve component 
servicemembers have been addressed and resolved. 

What GAO Recommends: 

GAO recommends that DOD (1) ensure that PDHRA questionnaires for all 
servicemembers to whom the requirement applies are in DODís central 
repository and (2) require that the information obtained when 
monitoring the PDHRA program is documented in a manner consistent with 
internal control standards. DOD concurred with the recommendations. 

View [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-56] or key 
components. For more information, contact Randall B. Williamson at 
(202) 512-7114 or williamsonr@gao.gov. 

[End of section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Background: 

DOD's Central Repository Did Not Contain PDHRA Questionnaires for a 
Substantial Percentage of Servicemembers Who Returned from Deployment 
to Iraq or Afghanistan: 

DOD Uses Four Methods to Monitor the Administration of the PDHRA to 
Reserve Component Servicemembers, but Does Not Clearly Document Its 
Monitoring: 

Conclusions: 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

Appendix II: Sample Post-Deployment Health Reassessment Questionnaire 
(DD 2900), January 2008: 

Appendix III: Post-Deployment Health Reassessment Questionnaires in 
DOD's Central Repository and Services' Databases: 

Appendix IV: DOD's Documentation of Its Monitoring of the 
Administration of the Post-Deployment Health Reassessment: 

Appendix V: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Appendix VI: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Related GAO Products: 

Tables: 

Table 1: Servicemembers Who Returned from Deployment to Iraq or 
Afghanistan Between January 1, 2007, and May 31, 2008, without a PDHRA 
Questionnaire in DOD's Central Repository, as of September 4, 2009: 

Table 2: Servicemembers Who Returned from Deployment to Iraq or 
Afghanistan Between January 1, 2007, and May 31, 2008, without a PDHRA 
Questionnaire in DOD's Central Repository, as of April 15, 2009: 

Table 3: Number of Servicemembers Who Returned from Deployment to Iraq 
or Afghanistan between January 1, 2007, and May 31, 2008, with a PDHRA 
Questionnaire in Military Services' Databases That Was Not in DOD's 
Central Repository as of April 15, 2009, and Number of These 
Servicemembers with Questionnaire in Central Repository, as of 
September 4, 2009: 

Table 4: Fifteen Selected Potential Problems Related to the 
Administration of the PDHRA to Reserve Component Servicemembers, 
Identified by the DOD RHRP Office: 

Figure: 

Figure 1: Time Line of GAO's Quantitative Analysis: 

Abbreviations: 

AFHSC: Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center: 

CTS: Contingency Tracking System: 

DMDC: Defense Manpower Data Center: 

DMSS: Defense Medical Surveillance System: 

DOD: Department of Defense: 

LHI: Logistics Health, Inc. 

PDHRA: post-deployment health reassessment: 

RHRP: Reserve Health Readiness Program: 

[End of section] 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, DC 20548: 

November 19, 2009: 

Since September 2001, the Department of Defense (DOD) has relied on 
almost 2 million servicemembers to support ongoing contingency 
operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.[Footnote 1] Servicemembers deployed 
to Iraq and Afghanistan have engaged in intense and prolonged combat, 
placing them at risk for developing various physical and mental health 
conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. In many cases, 
mental health conditions do not emerge until months after 
servicemembers return from deployment. As a result, in 2005, DOD 
implemented the post-deployment health reassessment (PDHRA), which is 
required to be administered 90 to 180 days after servicemembers return 
from deployment.[Footnote 2] 

The PDHRA is one of three deployment health assessments that DOD uses 
to assess the physical and mental health condition of servicemembers 
before and after their overseas deployments to such locations as Iraq 
and Afghanistan.[Footnote 3] DOD established the PDHRA to identify 
servicemembers' health concerns, including mental health concerns, that 
may surface several months following their return from deployment and 
to assess whether servicemembers need referrals for a further 
evaluation to address these health concerns. The PDHRA questionnaire 
consists of a demographic section to be filled out by the 
servicemember, a medical section for self-reported medical information 
from the servicemember, and a third section for a health care provider 
to fill out and sign. 

A recent study found that latent mental health concerns may 
disproportionately affect Army Reserve and Army National Guard soldiers 
over their active component counterparts.[Footnote 4] This 2007 study 
on servicemembers deployed to Iraq found that when the PDHRA was 
administered 90 to 180 days following deployment, Army Reserve and Army 
National Guard servicemembers reported higher rates of mental health 
concerns and were referred at substantially higher rates than their 
active component counterparts.[Footnote 5] Researchers noted that Army 
Reserve and Army National Guard servicemembers, unlike their active 
component peers, typically transition back to civilian life after their 
deployments. They may be particularly at risk for developing mental 
health conditions, due to their lack of interaction with fellow 
servicemembers following their return from deployment and the added 
stress of transitioning back to civilian life. 

DOD's military services administer the PDHRA to active component 
servicemembers, and DOD contracts with Logistics Health, Inc. (LHI) to 
administer the PDHRA to servicemembers in the Reserve component. 
[Footnote 6],[Footnote 7] While filling out the entire PDHRA 
questionnaire is encouraged, part of it is voluntary. The military 
services require active and Reserve component servicemembers to fill 
out only the demographic section of the questionnaire;[Footnote 8] 
servicemembers are not required to answer questions concerning their 
physical and mental health. The PDHRA questionnaire is filled out 
electronically and DOD requires that the military services 
electronically submit the questionnaires for both active and Reserve 
component servicemembers to DOD's central repository.[Footnote 9] For 
Reserve component servicemembers who fill out the PDHRA questionnaire 
through LHI, LHI staff are responsible for verifying that the 
questionnaires are transferred to the appropriate military service so 
that the military service can submit them to DOD's central repository. 
The central repository contains information from various health 
assessments and is used for many purposes, including health 
surveillance. 

We previously identified problems with DOD's oversight of the PDHRA. In 
2008, we reported that DOD's deployment health quality assurance 
program, which DOD established to assess compliance with DOD's various 
deployment health assessments, lacked data that would allow the 
program--and therefore DOD--to accurately assess whether the military 
services ensure that servicemembers fill out the PDHRA 
questionnaire.[Footnote 10] DOD's quality assurance program uses data 
from DOD's central repository to monitor the extent to which active and 
Reserve component servicemembers fill out the PDHRA questionnaire and 
other DOD deployment health assessments, as required. However, DOD's 
quality assurance program does not monitor LHI's administration of the 
PDHRA to Reserve component servicemembers, and we did not include this 
in our 2008 report. The program also does not monitor whether separated 
servicemembers fill out the PDHRA questionnaire. 

In its report accompanying the National Defense Authorization Act for 
Fiscal Year 2008,[Footnote 11] the Senate Committee on Armed Services 
directed us to review DOD's implementation of the PDHRA to active 
component, Reserve component, and separated servicemembers. The House 
Committee on Armed Services and eight senators also expressed interest 
in this work. In this report, we examine: (1) the extent to which DOD's 
central repository contains PDHRA questionnaires for active and Reserve 
component servicemembers who returned from deployment to Iraq or 
Afghanistan and (2) how DOD monitors the administration of the PDHRA to 
Reserve component servicemembers. 

To determine the extent to which DOD's central repository contains 
PDHRA questionnaires for active and Reserve component servicemembers 
who returned from deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan, we conducted a 
quantitative analysis using DOD deployment and PDHRA data and reviewed 
our prior work on DOD's deployment health quality assurance program. We 
conducted our quantitative analysis using DOD data from two sources-- 
the Defense Manpower Data Center's (DMDC) Contingency Tracking System 
(CTS) and the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center's (AFHSC) Defense 
Medical Surveillance System (DMSS). DMDC's CTS contains data on 
servicemembers deployed in support of the Overseas Contingency 
Operations including servicemembers' deployment dates and location of 
deployment. AFHSC's DMSS is DOD's central repository for various health 
assessments and other health surveillance data, including PDHRA 
questionnaires. We used CTS data to identify a population of interest: 
active component, Reserve, and National Guard servicemembers who had 
returned from deployments of greater than 30 days to Iraq or 
Afghanistan from January 1, 2007, through May 31, 2008.[Footnote 12] 
(See figure 1.) 

Figure 1: Time Line of GAO's Quantitative Analysis: 

[Refer to PDF for image: time line illustration] 

January 1, 2007 to May 31, 2008: 
Servicemembers return from deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. 

Approximately April 1, 2007 to November 30, 2008: 
Servicemembers in this population fill out PDHRA questionnaire 90 to 
180 days after returning from deployment.[A] 

April 15, 2009: 
GAOís first query of DODís central repository. 

Late May and June, 2009: 
GAOís query of military servicesí databases. 

September 4, 2009: GAOís second query of DODís central repository. 

Source: GAO. 

[A] Servicemembers may have also filled out the questionnaire after the 
90-to 180-day reassessment period had elapsed. 

[End of figure] 

We determined the extent to which servicemembers in our population of 
interest had PDHRA questionnaires in DOD's central repository, AFHSC's 
DMSS, by asking AFHSC officials to query DMSS on two occasions--April 
2009 and September 2009.[Footnote 13] We made our second query to 
account for any PDHRA questionnaires incorporated into DMSS after our 
initial analysis. On both occasions, AFHSC officials matched PDHRA 
questionnaires to CTS data using servicemembers' personal identifying 
information and the beginning and end deployment dates of a 
servicemember's most recent return from deployment during our time 
period. 

If a PDHRA questionnaire could not be identified in AFHSC's DMSS for a 
servicemember in our population of interest during our April 2009 
query, we asked officials from the military services to query their own 
databases to identify PDHRA questionnaires for these servicemembers, as 
the military services collect PDHRA questionnaires in their own 
databases before transmitting them to DOD's central repository. 
Specifically, for this group of servicemembers, we asked military 
service officials to send us information from any questionnaires that 
they considered ready for transmission to DMSS that were filled out 
after the servicemember's end deployment date in CTS. We received these 
data from the military services in late May and June 2009. Next, using 
servicemembers' personal identifying information and end deployment 
dates, we matched the information from the PDHRA questionnaires the 
military services identified in their databases to our population of 
interest from CTS. Finally, we reviewed DOD policies, as well as those 
of the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, for submitting PDHRA 
questionnaires to DOD's central repository and interviewed DOD and 
military service officials knowledgeable about this process.[Footnote 
14] 

We conducted data reliability assessments for each DOD and military 
service data source we used by reviewing related documentation, 
interviewing knowledgeable agency officials, and performing electronic 
data testing for missing data, outliers, and obvious errors. We 
determined that these data sources were sufficiently reliable for our 
purposes. We determined only the extent to which PDHRA questionnaires 
could be identified in AFHSC's DMSS or the military services' databases 
for our population of interest, and not the extent to which the 
servicemembers may have actually filled out a PDHRA questionnaire. 

To determine how DOD monitors the administration of the PDHRA to 
Reserve component servicemembers, we reviewed DOD's policies for 
monitoring its contract with LHI and interviewed DOD and military 
service officials responsible for the administration of the PDHRA to 
Reserve component servicemembers. We also reviewed DOD's contract with 
LHI and obtained and analyzed required reports and other documentation 
on LHI's performance related to the PDHRA portion of DOD's contract 
with LHI.[Footnote 15] We visited LHI's headquarters in La Crosse, 
Wisconsin, where we interviewed LHI staff to confirm our understanding 
of how LHI staff administers the PDHRA to Reserve component 
servicemembers. We reviewed DOD's monitoring of the administration of 
the PDHRA to Reserve component servicemembers to determine the extent 
to which these monitoring efforts were consistent with GAO's Standards 
for Internal Control in the Federal Government.[Footnote 16] Internal 
controls include components of an organization's management that 
provide reasonable assurance that program objectives are being 
achieved.[Footnote 17] 

To obtain more in-depth information on how DOD documents the 
information it obtains through its monitoring efforts, we examined 
documentation maintained by DOD's Reserve Health Readiness Program 
(RHRP) office, which is responsible for monitoring DOD's contract with 
LHI. Specifically, from among the potential problems that the RHRP 
office had identified as possibly posing a risk to the objective of the 
PDHRA program, we judgmentally selected 15 to review in detail and 
obtained all readily available RHRP documentation on those problems. We 
selected these 15 potential problems because the subject of each of 
these may have involved welfare and safety concerns for Reserve 
component servicemembers. Our findings related to the documentation of 
the 15 potential problems are for illustrative purposes only and are 
not generalizable to other RHRP office documentation. 

We conducted this performance audit from October 2008 to October 2009 
in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 
Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain 
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our 
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that 
the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and 
conclusions based on our audit objectives. For more detailed 
information on our scope and methodology, see appendix I. 

Background: 

DOD policy[Footnote 18] states that each military service must 
administer the PDHRA to active component, Reserve component, and 
separated servicemembers 90 to 180 days following deployment if they 
meet the following conditions: 

* deployed for greater than 30 days, 

* deployed to locations outside the continental United States, and: 

* deployed to locations without permanent military treatment 
facilities.[Footnote 19],[Footnote 20] 

The military services, using service-specific databases, identify 
active and Reserve component servicemembers to whom the PDHRA 
requirement applies and notify these servicemembers via various 
methods, such as postcards, e-mail, telephone, and face-to-face 
contact. 

The DOD policy that initiated the PDHRA program stated that the 
military services should contact servicemembers who separate before or 
during the reassessment period to offer them the opportunity to fill 
out the PDHRA questionnaire. However, there is no mechanism in place to 
offer separated servicemembers the opportunity to fill out the PDHRA 
questionnaire. Once these servicemembers have separated from military 
service, they have no further obligation to the military services and 
accordingly, cannot be required to fill out the PDHRA questionnaire. It 
can also be difficult to locate and contact servicemembers after they 
separate. Instead, the military services, with the exception of the Air 
Force, implemented policies to administer the PDHRA to active and 
Reserve component servicemembers as part of the separation process from 
the military.[Footnote 21] Although the Army formally implemented its 
policy to administer the PDHRA to servicemembers before they separate 
in April 2008, the practice had been in effect as early as January 
2006. The Navy and Marine Corps implemented a similar policy in January 
2009. According to Air Force officials, there are plans to implement a 
policy by December 2009. 

The PDHRA involves two steps--active or Reserve component 
servicemembers fill out a PDHRA questionnaire and then discuss their 
questionnaire health concern responses with health care providers. The 
PDHRA questionnaire consists of a demographic section, a medical 
section, and a third section for a health care provider to fill out and 
sign. The demographic section asks for servicemembers to provide 
information such as date of birth, gender, and marital status. The 
medical section of the questionnaire asks servicemembers to self-report 
information on their current physical and mental health condition and 
concerns. DOD considers a PDHRA questionnaire complete when a health 
care provider reviews and signs the questionnaire, regardless of 
whether servicemembers fill out the entire PDHRA questionnaire or only 
the demographic section.[Footnote 22] (See appendix II for a sample 
PDHRA questionnaire.) 

Methods of PDHRA Administration: 

The Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps require active and Reserve 
component servicemembers to whom the PDHRA requirement applies to fill 
out at least the demographic section of the PDHRA questionnaire. 
Although filling out the medical section is voluntary, DOD officials 
estimate that less than 1 percent of servicemembers who fill out the 
PDHRA questionnaire decline to fill out the medical section, with the 
exception of the Air Force, which reported a higher declination rate. 
[Footnote 23] 

Active component servicemembers typically fill out the PDHRA 
questionnaire online either prior to PDHRA on-site events or during 
such events, which are usually held at military installations. 
Similarly, Reserve component servicemembers may fill out the PDHRA 
questionnaire--administered by the contractor, LHI--online, prior to or 
during on-site events. In addition, LHI maintains call centers to 
administer the PDHRA to Reserve component servicemembers.[Footnote 24] 
Reserve component servicemembers who use LHI's call centers may fill 
out the demographic and medical sections of the questionnaire online 
or, with the help of call center staff, may fill out both sections of 
the questionnaire through the call centers.[Footnote 25],[Footnote 26] 

Health Care Provider Review and Referral for Further Evaluation: 

DOD requires that a health care provider[Footnote 27] review and 
discuss active and Reserve component servicemembers' health concern 
responses on the PDHRA questionnaire, including any physical and mental 
health concerns that servicemembers self-identify on their 
questionnaires.[Footnote 28],[Footnote 29] Health care providers use 
professional judgment to decide whether a further evaluation is needed, 
based on servicemembers' responses and other information revealed from 
the discussions with servicemembers.[Footnote 30] If referrals for a 
further evaluation are recommended, health care providers offer 
servicemembers information on obtaining a referral appointment. For 
example, a health care provider may provide information on obtaining an 
appointment at a military treatment facility or a Vet Center.[Footnote 
31] 

Once a referral for a further evaluation is made, DOD does not require 
the military services to follow up to determine if active and Reserve 
component servicemembers have made or attended an appointment generated 
as a result of the health care provider's assessment. However, for 
Reserve component servicemembers, referral follow-up is part of LHI's 
administration of the PDHRA. LHI staff follow up within 72 hours with 
Reserve component servicemembers who have been issued a referral for a 
further evaluation through the call centers to ensure that these 
servicemembers have the information needed to obtain an appointment and 
to encourage servicemembers to schedule an appointment.[Footnote 32] In 
addition, LHI staff attempt to contact Reserve component servicemembers 
30 days after medical referrals are issued, whether issued through 
PDHRA on-site events or through the call centers, to ask whether they 
scheduled and attended an appointment.[Footnote 33] If servicemembers 
did not, LHI staff ask if assistance is needed in scheduling an 
appointment. 

Each of the military services is required to electronically submit 
PDHRA questionnaires for both active and Reserve component 
servicemembers to DOD's central repository.[Footnote 34] The central 
repository is the single source of DOD-level health surveillance 
information. The central repository contains data on diseases and 
medical events and longitudinal data on personnel and deployments, 
including information from DOD's various deployment health assessments, 
such as the PDHRA. For Reserve component servicemembers who fill out 
PDHRA questionnaires through LHI, LHI staff are responsible for 
verifying that the questionnaires are submitted to the appropriate 
military service's database. The military services are then responsible 
for submitting the questionnaires from their respective databases to 
DOD's central repository. 

DOD's Deployment Health Quality Assurance Program: 

DOD established a deployment health quality assurance program in 
January 2004 to assess whether DOD's deployment health assessments, 
including the PDHRA, are conducted as required.[Footnote 35] The 
deployment health quality assurance program relies on data from DOD's 
central repository, data from the military services, and site visits to 
military installations to monitor and report on the extent of 
compliance among the military services with DOD's deployment health 
requirements, such as the number of active and Reserve component 
servicemembers that filled out the PDHRA questionnaire.[Footnote 36] 
According to DOD's deployment health quality assurance program manager, 
the program performed a site visit to Reserve units to validate data 
provided by the military services for the first time in October 2008, 
as part of its oversight of deployment health assessments, including 
the PDHRA. Prior to that, the quality assurance program only performed 
site visits to active component sites.[Footnote 37] On a quarterly 
basis, the quality assurance program reports to the military services 
on each service's compliance with deployment health requirements. The 
quality assurance program also reports annually to the Armed Services 
Committees of the House of Representatives and Senate on site visit 
findings and on deployment health assessment data, including the number 
and percentage of servicemembers with PDHRA questionnaires in DOD's 
central repository. Through its monitoring and reporting, DOD's quality 
assurance program helps ensure that DOD's deployment health assessments 
are conducted for active and Reserve component servicemembers as 
required. 

DOD's Contract with LHI to Administer the PDHRA to Reserve Component 
Servicemembers: 

DOD contracts with LHI to administer the PDHRA to Reserve component 
servicemembers.[Footnote 38] Although LHI administers the PDHRA to 
Reserve component servicemembers on behalf of DOD, the military 
services are responsible for identifying and notifying servicemembers 
to whom the PDHRA requirement applies and for submitting questionnaires 
to DOD's central repository. DOD's RHRP office is responsible for 
monitoring DOD's contract with LHI, which includes the administration 
of the PDHRA to Reserve component servicemembers, as well as the 
provision of other health services for this population, such as 
immunizations, physical examinations, and dental examinations and X- 
rays.[Footnote 39],[Footnote 40] 

DOD's contract with LHI is a performance-based contract and, as such, 
establishes performance standards that the RHRP office uses in 
monitoring and assessing LHI's performance in providing services to 
Reserve component servicemembers, including the administration of the 
PDHRA. For example, under its contract with DOD, LHI call center staff 
are required to answer 80 percent of incoming calls within 120 seconds. 
In monitoring LHI's performance, DOD's RHRP office helps ensure that 
the objective of the PDHRA program--to identify and address 
servicemembers' health concerns, including mental health concerns, that 
emerge over time following deployments--is achieved for Reserve 
component servicemembers. 

DOD's Central Repository Did Not Contain PDHRA Questionnaires for a 
Substantial Percentage of Servicemembers Who Returned from Deployment 
to Iraq or Afghanistan: 

On the two occasions we queried DOD's central repository, we did not 
find PDHRA questionnaires for a substantial percentage of the active 
and Reserve component servicemembers in our population of interest. DOD 
policy requires that the military services electronically submit 
questionnaires to DOD's central repository, which DOD uses as a key 
source of health surveillance information. The first of our two queries 
of DOD's central repository occurred on April 15, 2009. On this date, 
we found that the central repository contained PDHRA questionnaires for 
only 77 percent of the roughly 319,000 active component, Reserve, and 
National Guard servicemembers who, according to DOD DMDC deployment 
data, returned from deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan between January 
1, 2007, and May 31, 2008.[Footnote 41],[Footnote 42] 

We could not identify PDHRA questionnaires in DOD's central repository 
on April 15, 2009, for a large number of servicemembers in our 
population--about 74,000 servicemembers--which represents the remaining 
23 percent of our population of interest. We made our query nearly 1 
year after the last servicemembers in our population returned from 
deployment.[Footnote 43] The percentage of PDHRA questionnaires absent 
from DOD's central repository for our population of interest varied by 
military service and component. For example, among military service 
components, this percentage ranged from a low of about 10 percent to a 
high of about 61 percent.[Footnote 44] (For more information on the 
extent to which servicemembers in our population of interest did not 
have PDHRA questionnaires in DOD's central repository as of April 15, 
2009, see appendix III.) 

After determining that about 74,000 servicemembers in our population of 
interest did not have questionnaires in DOD's central repository based 
on our first query, we asked the military services whether these 
servicemembers had PDHRA questionnaires that could be identified in the 
services' own databases.[Footnote 45] With the help of the services, we 
found that approximately 7,000 servicemembers--or about 9 percent of 
the 74,000 servicemembers--had questionnaires in their respective 
military services' databases, but not in DOD's central repository. 
[Footnote 46] The number of questionnaires identified in the military 
services' databases that were not in the central repository varied by 
military service--ranging from over 300 questionnaires for Air Force 
and Navy servicemembers to about 3,000 for Army and Marine Corps 
servicemembers.[Footnote 47] 

On September 4, 2009, we queried DOD's central repository again to 
update our April 2009 data and determine whether any progress had been 
made in reporting questionnaires to the central repository. On this 
second query--15 months after the last servicemembers in our population 
of interest returned from deployment--we found that DOD's central 
repository was missing the same percentage of PDHRA questionnaires as 
had been missing in April. As a result of our September 2009 query, we 
still found PDHRA questionnaires for only 77 percent of the 
approximately 319,000 servicemembers in our original population of 
interest.[Footnote 48],[Footnote 49] While we identified slightly more 
questionnaires than we identified in our April query, we were still 
unable to identify questionnaires in the central repository for about 
72,000 servicemembers.[Footnote 50],[Footnote 51] (See table 1.) 

Table 1: Servicemembers Who Returned from Deployment to Iraq or 
Afghanistan Between January 1, 2007, and May 31, 2008, without a PDHRA 
Questionnaire in DOD's Central Repository, as of September 4, 2009: 

Military service: Army; 
Component: Active component; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 132,247; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 27,789; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 21.01. 

Military service: Army; 
Component: Military service: National Guard; 
Number of returning servicemembers: Military service: 38,231; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: Military service: 6,018; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: Military service: 15.74. 

Military service: Army; 
Component: Military service: Reserve; 
Number of returning servicemembers: Military service: 15,817; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: Military service: 2,703; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: Military service: 17.09. 

Military service: Army; 
Component: Military service: Total; 
Number of returning servicemembers: Military service: 186,295; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: Military service: 36,510; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: Military service: 19.60. 

Military service: Air Force; 
Component: Active component; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 39,792; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 5,487; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 13.79. 

Military service: Air Force; 
Component: Military service: National Guard; 
Number of returning servicemembers: Military service: 8,583; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: Military service: 796; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: Military service: 9.27. 

Military service: Air Force; 
Component: Military service: Reserve; 
Number of returning servicemembers: Military service: 3,341; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: Military service: 1,879; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: Military service: 56.24. 

Military service: Air Force; 
Component: Military service: Total; 
Number of returning servicemembers: Military service: 51,716; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: Military service: 8,162; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: Military service: 15.78. 

Military service: Navy; 
Component: Active component; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 10,412; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 4,882; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 46.89. 

Military service: Navy; 
Component: Military service: Reserve; 
Number of returning servicemembers: Military service: 2,983; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: Military service: 1,056; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: Military service: 35.40. 

Military service: Navy; 
Component: Military service: Total; 
Number of returning servicemembers: Military service: 13,395; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: Military service: 5,938; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: Military service: 44.33. 

Military service: Marine Corps; 
Component: Active component; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 61,006; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 19,761; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 32.39. 

Military service: Marine Corps; 
Component: Military service: Reserve; 
Number of returning servicemembers: Military service: 6,644; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: Military service: 1,990; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: Military service: 29.95. 

Military service: Marine Corps; 
Component: Military service: Total; 
Number of returning servicemembers: Military service: 67,650; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: Military service: 21,751; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: Military service: 32.15. 

Military service: Total; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 243,457; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 57,919; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 23.79. 

Military service: Total; 
Component: Military service: Reserve component; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 75,599; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 14,442; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 19.10. 

Military service: Total; 
Component: Military service: Grand total; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 319,056; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 72,361; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 22.68. 

Source: GAO analysis of DOD data. 

Notes: This table displays information on servicemembers without a 
PDHRA questionnaire in DOD's central repository for a servicemember's 
most recent return from deployment from Iraq or Afghanistan between 
January 1, 2007, and May 31, 2008. We did not examine the extent to 
which a servicemember filled out a questionnaire for each return from 
deployment during this time period. DOD's Reserve components include 
servicemembers in the Army and Air National Guard, as well as the Army, 
Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps Reserves. 

[End of table] 

The absence of 72,000 PDHRA questionnaires from DOD's central 
repository for servicemembers who should have filled them out hinders 
DOD's deployment health quality assurance program from effectively 
assessing the military services' compliance with PDHRA requirements. 
The program, which DOD established to assess whether DOD's deployment 
health assessments are conducted as required, relies in part on the 
presence of PDHRA questionnaires in the central repository. These 
questionnaires document the extent to which servicemembers were given 
the opportunity to fill out the questionnaire, as required under DOD 
policy. DOD officials specifically cited the importance of this 
documentation for helping the quality assurance program ensure that 
servicemembers have the opportunity to have their health concerns 
identified and addressed. However, the absence of questionnaires from 
the central repository for servicemembers who should have filled them 
out suggests either that not all of these servicemembers filled out the 
questionnaire or that questionnaires were filled out, but were not 
incorporated into DOD's central repository. When questionnaires for 
servicemembers from our population of interest are not in the central 
repository, DOD does not have reasonable assurance that all members of 
this vulnerable population of active component, Reserve, and National 
Guard servicemembers that deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan were 
administered the PDHRA questionnaire, which is intended to help 
identify deployment-related health concerns that emerge over time and 
facilitate the opportunity for servicemembers to address these 
concerns. 

DOD Uses Four Methods to Monitor the Administration of the PDHRA to 
Reserve Component Servicemembers, but Does Not Clearly Document Its 
Monitoring: 

DOD's Reserve Health Readiness Program (RHRP) office uses four methods 
to monitor LHI's administration of the PDHRA to Reserve component 
servicemembers. However, in using these methods, DOD's RHRP office does 
not always clearly document its monitoring of the PDHRA program. The 
office's documentation does not allow DOD to have reasonable assurance 
that potential problems that may relate to the welfare and safety of 
servicemembers have been addressed and resolved. 

DOD Uses Four Methods to Monitor the Administration of the PDHRA to 
Reserve Component Servicemembers: 

DOD's RHRP office uses four methods to monitor LHI's performance in 
administering the PDHRA to Reserve component servicemembers. More 
broadly, the RHRP office also uses the four methods to monitor whether 
the objective of the PDHRA program--to identify and address 
servicemembers' health concerns that emerge over time following 
deployments--is being met for Reserve component servicemembers. The 
four methods, which are identified in DOD's contract with LHI, are the 
following: 

* Reviews of periodic reports.[Footnote 52] The RHRP office receives 
several periodic reports that DOD requires from LHI on LHI's 
administration of the PDHRA to Reserve component servicemembers. DOD 
requires LHI to report aggregate information on LHI's administration of 
the PDHRA, including reports on its compliance with performance 
standards. For instance, the RHRP office receives a report on LHI's 
compliance with the performance standard requiring that LHI call center 
staff answer 80 percent of incoming calls within 120 seconds.[Footnote 
53] In addition, LHI provides descriptive information on the number of 
Reserve component servicemembers administered the PDHRA, referred for a 
further evaluation, and contacted by LHI staff 30 days after receiving 
referrals.[Footnote 54] An RHRP official told us that the office 
reviews LHI's reports to examine data related to the administration of 
the PDHRA and identifies potential problems that could pose risks to 
servicemembers and the objective of the PDHRA program. For example, the 
number of servicemembers referred each month is compared against 
historical data to monitor any changes in the rate at which 
servicemembers receive referrals for physical and mental health 
concerns. 

* Inspections of the administration of PDHRA. The RHRP office also 
conducts inspections related to LHI's administration of the PDHRA to 
Reserve component servicemembers. The inspections have included 
observing PDHRA on-site events, at which servicemembers are 
administered the PDHRA, to assess the quality of LHI services delivered 
during the events. For instance, an RHRP official told us that he 
checks whether the events are staffed with a sufficient number of 
health care providers and administrative staff. In another instance, an 
RHRP official listened to LHI call center discussions between LHI staff 
and Reserve component servicemembers to examine how LHI staff 
administer the PDHRA.[Footnote 55] 

* Feedback on the administration of the PDHRA from military service 
officials. The RHRP office obtains informal feedback about how the 
PDHRA is being administered to Reserve component servicemembers through 
e-mail correspondence, telephone conversations, and in-person 
discussions with military service officials who are responsible for 
managing the PDHRA for their respective services. These officials told 
us that the RHRP office generally maintains open, informal 
communication channels through which they can and do express their 
concerns. 

* Weekly telephone discussions with LHI staff. An RHRP official said 
that weekly telephone discussions with LHI staff are held to obtain 
their feedback on the administration of the PDHRA to Reserve component 
servicemembers. In addition, during these discussions, an RHRP official 
and LHI staff discuss and address potential problems identified through 
the periodic reports, inspections, and military service feedback. The 
potential problems staff discuss may include those that could pose a 
risk to the PDHRA program objective and to the welfare and safety of 
Reserve component servicemembers. For example, some problems concerned 
how servicemembers were responding to questions on the PDHRA 
questionnaire. According to an RHRP official, these discussions serve 
as a forum to determine the actions DOD officials or LHI staff need to 
take to address identified problems and to verify that problems raised 
during previous discussions have been properly resolved. 

DOD Generally Does Not Clearly Document Its Monitoring of the PDHRA 
Program: 

When monitoring the administration of the PDHRA to Reserve component 
servicemembers, DOD does not maintain clear documentation that is 
consistent with good management practices outlined in federal internal 
control standards.[Footnote 56] According to these standards, internal 
control activities such as monitoring should be clearly documented in a 
manner that is accurate, timely, and helps provide reasonable assurance 
that program objectives are being achieved. Further, such documentation 
should be properly managed and maintained so that it is readily 
accessible and should allow someone other than the assigned officials 
to understand the identified potential problem, the actions taken to 
address the problem, and whether these actions have resolved the 
problem. 

Instead of adopting an approach that generated documentation consistent 
with management practices outlined in federal internal control 
standards, the RHRP office created an unsystematic, improvised approach 
for documenting potential problems that were identified through review 
of periodic reports, inspections, and feedback from military service 
officials and LHI staff. These problems may pose a risk to the PDHRA 
program objective. The RHRP office's approach solely relies on agendas 
and e-mail correspondence to document these potential problems and the 
actions taken to resolve them. 

* Weekly agendas with related notes. Prior to the weekly discussions 
with LHI staff, a typed agenda is prepared for discussion that lists 
the potential problems identified through monitoring activities. During 
these discussions, annotated brief handwritten notes are made on an 
agenda item and these notes are used to indicate that certain actions 
need to be taken by DOD officials or LHI staff to address an identified 
problem. When it appears that problems have been resolved, instead of 
documenting how the problem was resolved, the problem is not included 
on the agenda for the next week's discussion.[Footnote 57] A hard copy 
of the agenda is retained and filed in the RHRP office after each 
weekly discussion with LHI staff. 

* E-mail correspondence. The RHRP office receives and generates e-mail 
correspondence with LHI staff and military service officials that 
discusses potential problems identified through monitoring the 
administration of the PDHRA to Reserve component servicemembers. 

We found that the RHRP office's sole reliance on these agendas and e- 
mail correspondence did not always result in clear documentation--that 
is, documentation that is understandable and readily accessible to 
others outside the RHRP office. In particular, the agendas and e-mail 
correspondence we reviewed did not always clearly describe the 
decisions made and the actions taken to address identified problems in 
a manner that provides reasonable assurance that the problems have been 
resolved.[Footnote 58] An RHRP official acknowledged that he could not 
consistently rely on the agendas and e-mail correspondence to 
reconstruct information obtained through the office's internal control 
responsibility to monitor and address problems associated with the 
administration of the PDHRA to Reserve component servicemembers. 
Instead, this official relies on memory to recall such information. 

In our review of the documentation related to 15 potential problems we 
selected, we found that the RHRP office's documentation generally did 
not clearly describe the problem, the actions taken to address the 
problem, and whether these actions have resolved the problem.[Footnote 
59] For example, on two September 2008 agendas for the weekly 
discussions with LHI staff, the agendas include a potential problem 
identified by DOD officials that 25 to 30 percent of servicemembers 
were not responding to questions on the PDHRA questionnaire about the 
number of alcoholic drinks they consumed on a typical day, and 18 
percent were not responding to the questions about whether they were 
depressed. The RHRP office asked LHI staff if they were finding similar 
nonresponses to these questions from Reserve component servicemembers. 
However, the subsequent agendas--which the RHRP office relies on to 
track problems--do not contain any additional information about how 
this potential problem was resolved. There is no further information, 
including any related e-mail correspondence, on how this potential 
problem was addressed. This example raises questions about whether 
Reserve component servicemembers' mental health concerns--specifically 
those related to alcohol use and depression--are being consistently 
identified or whether any follow-up actions are needed to address this 
problem. 

We also reviewed e-mail correspondence related to the 15 selected 
potential problems, dated between March 4, 2008, and May 19, 2009, and 
found that it often contained vague information about the identified 
problems and the actions taken to resolve them.[Footnote 60] Some of 
these problems relate to the welfare and safety of servicemembers and 
require more information than is present in the available documentation 
to understand whether or how the problems were resolved. For example, 
we asked about an instance in which a military service official 
reported that an LHI health care provider failed to document on a 
Reserve component servicemember's PDHRA questionnaire why the 
servicemember with reported suicidal ideations did not get an immediate 
referral.[Footnote 61] The e-mail correspondence about this potential 
problem had gaps. For instance, while the e-mail correspondence 
indicates that the RHRP office asked LHI staff to look into the 
incident and contains a reply from LHI staff stating that they would 
investigate further, the e-mail correspondence does not document the 
final results of the LHI staff's investigation, including whether or 
how this potential problem was resolved. Although this potential 
problem is listed on several agendas, the agendas do not provide any 
more information about the problem or how it was resolved. Instead, an 
RHRP official told us that he relied on his memory to explain to us 
what happened and how it was resolved.[Footnote 62] This official told 
us he requested that LHI staff remind its health care providers to 
fully document the results of their physical and mental health 
assessments on Reserve component servicemembers' PDHRA questionnaires 
in the future. However, there is no documentation of this request to 
LHI staff or any documentation of plans to follow up to ensure that LHI 
staff carried out the request. (For more information on the 
documentation related to the 15 potential problems, see appendix IV.) 

In addition to being generally incomplete and unclear, the e-mail 
correspondence related to the potential problems is not readily 
accessible. E-mail correspondence about identified problems is placed 
into labeled folders within the office's e-mail system, but the labels 
are general and e-mail correspondence could appropriately be placed in 
a number of folders. An official told us that, as a result, he 
struggles in remembering into which folder a specific e-mail was 
placed. For example, e-mail correspondence about an identified problem 
about an Army Reserve servicemember's PDHRA questionnaire may be placed 
in either an Army PDHRA folder, a PDHRA complaints folder, or a 
standard operating procedures folder. Not having documentation that is 
readily accessible hinders the RHRP office's ability to promptly ensure 
that identified problems have been properly addressed. In addition, 
should LHI's performance diminish--for example, if LHI was not 
resolving identified problems--the lack of readily available 
documentation could compromise DOD's ability to take appropriate 
action. 

Conclusions: 

DOD established the PDHRA program in order to identify and address 
servicemembers' health concerns--including mental health concerns-- 
that emerge over time following deployments. The PDHRA questionnaire is 
a key tool in DOD's efforts to assess the physical and mental health 
condition of servicemembers who have returned from deployments to Iraq 
and Afghanistan, where exposure to intense combat can place 
servicemembers at risk for developing conditions, such as post- 
traumatic stress disorder. DOD's deployment health quality assurance 
program assesses the military services' compliance with the requirement 
to administer the PDHRA to active and Reserve component servicemembers 
to help ensure that servicemembers have the opportunity to have their 
health concerns identified and addressed through the PDHRA. 

However, our current findings show that the concerns we previously 
raised about DOD's quality assurance program remain. Specifically, the 
absence of PDHRA questionnaires in DOD's central repository for 
thousands of eligible active and Reserve component servicemembers 
continues to hinder the program's ability to assess the extent to which 
these servicemembers fill out the PDHRA questionnaire and have the 
opportunity to identify any health concerns that emerge over time 
following deployments. DOD officials have identified the presence of 
questionnaires in the central repository as important for the efforts 
of DOD's quality assurance program. Without this information, the 
program may not be able to accurately determine completion rates among 
the military services and thus provide reasonable assurance to DOD or 
to Congress that one of DOD's key health assessments is being 
administered as required. 

Ensuring that Reserve component servicemembers fill out the PDHRA 
questionnaire may be particularly important, as some evidence suggests 
that these servicemembers may be more likely to develop mental health 
conditions after returning from deployment when compared with their 
active component counterparts. Although DOD monitors the administration 
of the PDHRA to Reserve component servicemembers, documentation 
associated with this monitoring needs to be strengthened. The RHRP 
office has not always clearly documented--in a way that is consistent 
with federal internal control standards--information related to 
problems that may pose risks to the objective of the PDHRA program. 
Some of these potential problems also involve Reserve component 
servicemembers' welfare and safety. The office's improvised, 
unsystematic approach to documenting potential problems results in 
documentation that does not provide DOD with reasonable assurance that 
these problems have been resolved. 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

To help DOD obtain reasonable assurance that all active and Reserve 
component servicemembers to whom the PDHRA requirement applies are 
provided the opportunity to have their health concerns identified, we 
recommend that the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs 
and the military services take steps to ensure that PDHRA 
questionnaires are included in DOD's central repository for each of 
these servicemembers. 

To ensure adequate documentation of problems that may pose risks to the 
objective of the PDHRA program for Reserve component servicemembers, we 
recommend that the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs 
require the RHRP office to document the information obtained through 
monitoring the PDHRA program in a manner consistent with federal 
internal control standards. 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD concurred with our 
two recommendations. Specifically, DOD agreed with our recommendation 
that it take steps to ensure that PDHRA questionnaires are included in 
DOD's central repository for each servicemember to whom the PDHRA 
requirement applies. DOD stated that to implement this recommendation, 
it will take the following actions: work to correctly identify 
servicemembers who need to receive the PDHRA and work to identify and 
resolve any obstacles to transmission of data from the military 
services to AFHSC. Additionally, DOD stated that it sent a memorandum 
on October 15, 2009, to the military services' Surgeons General re- 
emphasizing the importance of deployment health requirements. DOD also 
agreed with our recommendation concerning documentation of problems 
that may pose risks to the objective of the PDHRA program for Reserve 
component servicemembers. DOD stated that during our engagement, the 
RHRP office recognized a need to improve documentation of its 
monitoring of the PDHRA program. DOD also stated in its response that 
the RHRP office established a more distinct and clear electronic filing 
system and began documenting not only potential problems with the PDHRA 
program, but also their resolution in a manner that DOD reports is 
sufficiently comprehensive, accessible, and understandable. We did not 
assess this new approach to documentation. DOD's written comments are 
included in their entirety in appendix V. DOD did not provide technical 
comments. 

We are sending copies of this report to the Secretary of the Department 
of Defense. The report will be available at no charge on GAO's Web site 
at [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. 

If you or your staff have questions about this report, please contact 
me at (202) 512-7114 or williamsonr@gao.gov. Contact points for our 
Office of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on 
the last page of this report. GAO staff who made major contributions to 
this report are listed in appendix VI. 

Signed by: 

Randall B. Williamson: 
Director, Health Care: 

List of Congressional Addressees: 

The Honorable Carl Levin: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable John McCain: 
Ranking Member: 
Committee on Armed Services: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Ike Skelton: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Howard P. McKeon: 
Ranking Member: 
Committee on Armed Services: 
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable Daniel K. Akaka: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Christopher S. Bond: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Barbara Boxer: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Tom Harkin: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Joseph I. Lieberman: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Claire McCaskill: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Patty Murray: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Bernard Sanders: 
United States Senate: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

To determine the extent to which post-deployment health reassessment 
(PDHRA) questionnaires are contained in the Department of Defense's 
(DOD) central repository for active and Reserve component[Footnote 63] 
servicemembers who returned from deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan, we 
conducted a quantitative analysis using DOD data from two sources--the 
Defense Manpower Data Center's (DMDC) Contingency Tracking System (CTS) 
and the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center's (AFHSC) Defense 
Medical Surveillance System (DMSS).[Footnote 64] DMDC's CTS contains 
data on servicemembers deployed in support of the Overseas Contingency 
Operations[Footnote 65]--including data on servicemembers' deployment 
dates and location of deployment. We used CTS data to identify a 
selected population of interest: active component, Reserve, and 
National Guard servicemembers who had returned from deployments of 
greater than 30 days to Iraq or Afghanistan between January 1, 2007, 
and May 31, 2008.[Footnote 66] DMDC officials identified this 
population for us using servicemembers' deployment dates and locations. 
If a servicemember had multiple deployments during this period, we 
received data on a servicemember's most recent return from deployment 
during this time period. Although DOD initiated the PDHRA program in 
March 2005, the military services implemented the program at different 
times, with full implementation across all services in late 2006. In 
addition, servicemembers are not eligible to fill out a PDHRA 
questionnaire until 90 to 180 days after they have returned from 
deployment. Thus, when we requested data from DMDC in late fall 2008, 
we needed to focus on a population of servicemembers who had returned 
from deployment at least 180 days prior to our data request. Therefore, 
we focused our analysis on servicemembers who returned from deployment 
on or after January 1, 2007, and on or before May 31, 2008. As a 
secondary check that this population of interest had, in fact, 
deployed, we sent our population of interest to AFHSC officials, who 
compared our population to two other deployment rosters. The results of 
this match identified our final population of interest of approximately 
319,000 servicemembers. 

AFHSC's DMSS is DOD's central repository for PDHRA questionnaires and 
the military services are required to submit questionnaires to this 
central repository. To determine the extent to which servicemembers in 
our population of interest had PDHRA questionnaires in DOD's central 
repository, we sent personal identifying information and beginning and 
end deployment dates from CTS for the servicemembers in our population 
of interest to AFHSC. AFHSC officials matched our population of 
interest to the PDHRA questionnaires in DMSS using a servicemember's 
personal identifying information and the beginning and end deployment 
dates as recorded in CTS and as reported by the servicemember on the 
PDHRA questionnaire.[Footnote 67] AFHSC officials then sent us data 
from identified questionnaires that had been incorporated into DMSS as 
of April 15, 2009. 

As the military services collect PDHRA questionnaires in their own 
databases before transmitting them to AFHSC's DMSS, we then asked 
officials from the military services to query their own databases to 
identify PDHRA questionnaires for servicemembers in our population of 
interest for which a PDHRA questionnaire could not be identified in 
DMSS. We provided the military services with a servicemember's personal 
identifying information and deployment end date from CTS and asked them 
to query their databases for any questionnaires that they would 
consider to be ready to transmit to AFHSC that were filled out after 
the deployment end date listed in CTS. The military services then 
queried their own databases and, for each servicemember that we sent to 
them for which they could identify a PDHRA questionnaire, returned to 
us the end deployment date listed on the PDHRA questionnaire and date 
of questionnaire completion. If a servicemember filled out multiple 
PDHRA questionnaires after the deployment end date listed in CTS, we 
received information from each of these questionnaires. We received 
these data from the military services in late May and June 2009. We 
then matched our population of interest to the information from the 
PDHRA questionnaires received from the military services' databases 
using a servicemember's personal identifying information and the end 
deployment date as recorded in CTS and as reported by the servicemember 
on the PDHRA questionnaire. 

Finally, in September 2009, we obtained additional data from AFHSC to 
update our April 2009 data. AFHSC officials matched information from 
the servicemembers in our population of interest without a 
questionnaire in DMSS as of April 15, 2009, to the PDHRA questionnaires 
in DMSS as of September 4, 2009, using a servicemember's personal 
identifying information and the beginning and end deployment dates as 
recorded in CTS and as reported by the servicemember on the PDHRA 
questionnaire. AFHSC officials then sent us data from identified 
questionnaires that had been incorporated into DMSS as of September 4, 
2009. 

We conducted data reliability assessments for each DOD and military 
service data source we used by reviewing related documentation, 
interviewing knowledgeable agency officials, and performing electronic 
data testing for missing data, outliers, and obvious errors. We 
determined that these data sources were sufficiently reliable for our 
purposes. We determined only the extent to which questionnaires could 
be identified in AFHSC's DMSS or the military services databases for 
our population of interest, and not the extent to which the 
servicemembers actually filled out a PDHRA questionnaire. 

We interviewed officials from DMDC and AFHSC, the DOD deployment health 
quality assurance program, and Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps 
officials involved in the collection and transfer of PDHRA 
questionnaires from the military services' databases to AFHSC. We also 
reviewed DOD policies, as well as those of the Army, Air Force, Navy, 
and Marine Corps, for submitting PDHRA questionnaires to DOD's central 
repository. Finally, we reviewed our prior work on DOD's deployment 
health quality assurance program. 

To determine how DOD monitors the administration of the PDHRA to 
Reserve component servicemembers, we reviewed DOD's policies for 
monitoring its contract with Logistics Health, Inc. (LHI), the 
contractor that administers the PDHRA to Reserve component 
servicemembers. We also interviewed officials with DOD's Reserve Health 
Readiness Program (RHRP)--the DOD office responsible for monitoring 
LHI--along with military service officials responsible for managing the 
administration of the PDHRA to Reserve component servicemembers. We 
reviewed DOD's contract with LHI and obtained and analyzed 
contractually required reports and other documentation on LHI's 
performance related to the PDHRA portion of DOD's contract with LHI. 
[Footnote 68] We visited LHI's headquarters in La Crosse, Wisconsin, 
where we interviewed LHI staff to confirm our understanding of how LHI 
staff administers the PDHRA to Reserve component servicemembers. We 
additionally interviewed officials with the U.S. Army Medical Research 
Acquisition Activity, which provides support to DOD for the contract 
with LHI. We reviewed DOD's monitoring of the administration of the 
PDHRA to Reserve component servicemembers to determine the extent to 
which these monitoring efforts met or were consistent with GAO's 
Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government.[Footnote 69] 
Internal controls include components of an organization's management 
that provide reasonable assurance that program objectives are being 
achieved.[Footnote 70] 

The RHRP office receives contractually required reports from LHI on its 
administration of the PDHRA and we obtained and reviewed monthly 
reports from May 2008 through April 2009 for the following four 
required reports: (1) the PDHRA monthly activity report, (2) the call 
center access report, (3) the data entry report, and (4) the PDHRA 
customer satisfaction survey report. We selected the PDHRA monthly 
activity and the call center access reports to review because the RHRP 
office told us that these reports provide information that is needed to 
monitor LHI's activities in administering the PDHRA to Reserve 
component servicemembers. The PDHRA monthly activity report provides 
aggregate information on LHI's PDHRA administration, such as the number 
of Reserve component servicemembers administered the PDHRA, referred 
for a further evaluation, and contacted by LHI 30 days after receiving 
referrals. The call center access report provides information on LHI's 
performance in operating its call center. In addition, we selected the 
data entry and PDHRA customer satisfaction survey reports to review 
because both reports provide information on performance standards 
associated with the PDHRA that LHI must meet to comply with the 
contract. The data entry report provides information on LHI's 
performance in entering PDHRA data into military services' databases, 
and the PDHRA customer satisfaction survey report provides information 
on whether LHI meets a performance standard associated with 
servicemember feedback on LHI's administration of the PDHRA. We also 
reviewed the documentation associated with the RHRP office's 
inspections of LHI's administration of the PDHRA from October 1, 2007, 
through May 6, 2009. We reviewed a list, provided by the RHRP office, 
of the feedback received from military service officials between 
January 1, 2008, and April 30, 2009. 

To obtain more in-depth information on how DOD documents the 
information it obtains through its monitoring efforts, we examined 
documentation maintained by the RHRP office on its monitoring. 
Specifically, we reviewed the RHRP office's agendas from the weekly 
telephone discussions with LHI staff and the office's e-mail 
correspondence, which the RHRP office uses to document its monitoring. 
We reviewed approximately 70 of the RHRP office's agendas for the 
period between October 1, 2007, and May 11, 2009. From the agendas and 
the provided list of military service feedback, we judgmentally 
selected 15 potential problems to review in further detail and asked 
the RHRP office to provide us with all of the documentation available 
on these problems, including any e-mail correspondence that related to 
the problem. We selected these 15 potential problems because the 
subject of each of these may have involved welfare and safety concerns 
for Reserve component servicemembers. The RHRP office provided us with 
e-mail correspondence dated between March 4, 2008, and May 19, 2009, 
related to the 15 potential problems. We reviewed the agendas and the 
available e-mail correspondence for the 15 selected problems to 
determine the actions taken to resolve the problems and how this 
information is documented and maintained. Our findings related to the 
documentation of the 15 potential problems are for illustrative 
purposes only and are not generalizable to other RHRP office 
documentation. 

We conducted this performance audit from October 2008 to October 2009 
in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 
Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain 
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our 
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that 
the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and 
conclusions based on our audit objectives. 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Sample Post-Deployment Health Reassessment Questionnaire 
(DD 2900), January 2008: 

Servicemembers fill out the post-deployment health reassessment (PDHRA) 
questionnaire electronically on form DD 2900, which was originally 
issued in June 2005. The Department of Defense (DOD) issued a revised 
form DD 2900 in January 2008. 

This form must be completed electronically. Handwritten forms will not 
be accepted. 

Post-Deployment Health Re-Assessment (PDHRA: 

Privacy Act Statement: 

Authority: 10 U.S.C. 136, 1074f, 3013, 5013, 8013 and E.O. 9397. 

Principal Purpose(s): To assess your state of health after deployment 
in support of military operations and to assist military healthcare 
providers in identifying and providing present and future medical care 
you may need. The information you provide may result in a referral for 
additional healthcare that may include medical, dental or behavioral 
healthcare or diverse community support services. 

Routine Use(s): In addition to those disclosures generally permitted 
under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b) of the Privacy Act, to other Federal and State 
agencies and civilian healthcare providers, as necessary, in order to 
provide necessary medical care and treatment. 

Disclosure: Voluntary. If not provided, healthcare will be furnished, 
but comprehensive care may not be possible. 

Instructions: Please read each question completely and carefully before 
entering your response or marking your selection. You are encouraged to 
answer each question. Withholding or providing inaccurate Information 
may Impair a healthcare provider's ability to identify health problems 
and refer you to appropriate sources for additional evaluation or 
treatment. If you do not understand a question, please ask for help. 
Please respond based on your most recent deployment. 

Demographics: 

Last Name: 
First Name: 
Middle Initial: 
Social Security Number:	
Date of Birth (dd/mmm/yyyy):	
Today's Date (dd/mmm/yyyy): 
Date arrived theater (dd/mmm/yyyy): 
Date departed theater (dd/mmm/yyyy): 

Gender: 
Male: 
Female: 

Service Branch: 
Air Force:
Army: 
Navy: 
Marine Corps:
Coast Guard: 
Civilian Employee:
Other: 

Marital Status: 
Never Married: 
Married
Separated: 
Divorced: 
Widowed: 

Status Prior to Deployment: 
Active Duty: 
Selected Reserves - Reserve - Unit: 
Selected Reserves - Reserve - AGR: 
Selected Reserves - Reserve - IMA: 
Selected Reserves - National Guard - Unit: 
Selected Reserves - National Guard - AGR: 
Ready Reserves - IRR: 
Ready Reserves - ING: 
Civilian Government Employee: 
Other: 

Pay Grade: 
E1: 
E2: 
E3: 
E4:
E5:
E6:
E7:
E8:
E9:
O1:
O2:
O3:
O4:
O5: 
O6: 
O7:
O8:
O9:
O10:
W1:
W2:
W3:
W4:
W5:
Other: 

Location of Operation: 
To what areas were you mainly deployed (land-based operations more than 
30 days)? Please mark all that apply, including the number of months 
spent at each location.
Country 1: 
Months: 
Country 2: 
Months: 
Country 3: 
Months: 
Country 4: 
Months: 
Country 5: 
Months: 

Since return from deployment I have: 
Maintained/returned to previous status: 
Transitioned to Selected Reserves:
Transitioned to IRR: 
Transitioned to ING:
Retired from Military Service:
Separated from Military Service: 

Current Contact Information:
Phone: Cell:
DSN:
Email: 
Address: 

Total Deployments in Past 5 Years:
OIF: 
1:
2:
3:
4:
5 or more: 

OEF: 
1:
2:
3:
4:
5 or more: 

Other: 
1:
2:
3:
4:
5 or more: 

Point of Contact who can always reach you: 
Name: 
Phone: 
Email: 
Mailing Address: 

This form must be completed electronically. Handwritten forms will not 
be accepted. 

Service Member's Social Security Number: 

1. Overall, how would you rate your health during the Past Month?
Excellent:
Very Good:
Good:
Fair: 
Poor: 

2. Compared to before your most recent deployment, how would you rate 
your health in general now? 
Much better now than before I deployed: 
Somewhat better now than before I deployed: 
About the same as before I deployed: 
Somewhat worse now than before I deployed: 
Much worse now than before I deployed: 

3. During the past 4 weeks, how difficult have physical health problems 
(illness or injury) made it for you to do your work or other regular 
daily activities? 
Not difficult at all: 
Very difficult: 
Somewhat difficult: 
Extremely difficult: 

4. During the past 4 weeks, how difficult have emotional problems (such 
as feeling depressed or anxious) made it for you to do your work, take 
care of things at home, or get along with other people? 
Not difficult at all: 
Very difficult: 
Somewhat difficult: 
Extremely difficult: 

5. Since you returned from deployment, about how many times have you 
seen a healthcare provider for any reason, such as in sick call, 
emergency room, primary care, family doctor, or mental health provider? 
No visits: 
1 visit: 
2-3 visits: 
4-5 visits: 

6. Since you returned from deployment, have you been hospitalized? 
Yes: 
No: 

7. During your deployment, were you wounded, injured, assaulted or 
otherwise physically hurt? If N0, skip to Question 8. 
Yes: 
No: 

7a. If Yes, are you still having problems related to this wound, 
assault, or injury? 
Yes: 
No: 
Unsure: 

8. In addition to wounds or injuries you listed in question 7., do you 
currently have a health concern or condition that you feel is related 
to your deployment? If No, skip to Question 9.
Yes: 
No: 
Unsure: 

8a. If Yes, mark the items) that best describe your deployment-related 
condition or concern: 
Fever: 
Dimming of vision, like the lights were going out:
Cough lasting more than 3 weeks: 
Chest pain or pressure:
Trouble breathing:
Dizzy, light headed, passed out:
Bad headaches:
Diarrhea, vomiting, or frequent indigestion/heartburn:
Generally feeling weak:
Problems sleeping or still feeling tired after sleeping:
Muscle aches:
Trouble concentrating, easily distracted:
Swollen, stiff or painful joints: 
Forgetful or trouble remembering things:
Back pain:
Hard to make up your mind or make decisions:
Numbness or tingling in hands or feet:
Increased irritability:
Trouble hearing:
Taking more risks such as driving faster:
Ringing in the ears:
Skin diseases or rashes:
Watery, red eyes:
Other (please list): 

9a. During this deployment, did you experience any of the to following 
events? (Mark all that apply): 

(1) Blast or explosion (IED, RPG, land mine, grenade, etc.)
Yes: 
No: 

(2) Vehicular accident/crash (any vehicle, including aircraft); 
Yes: 
No: 

(3) Fragment wound or bullet wound above your shoulders; 
Yes: 
No: 

(4) Fall; 
Yes: 
No: 

(5) Other event (for example, a sports injury to your head). Describe: 

9b. Did any of the following happen to you, or were you told happened 
to you, Immediately after any of the event(s) you just noted in 
question 9a.? (Mark all that apply) 

(1) Lost consciousness or got "knocked out:"
Yes: 
No: 

(2) Felt dazed, confused, or "saw stars:"
Yes: 
No: 

(3) Didn't remember the event:
Yes: 
No: 

(4) Had a concussion:
Yes: 
No: 

(5) Had a head injury:
Yes: 
No: 

9c. Did any of the following problems begin or get worse after the 
event(s) you noted in question 9a.? (Mark all that apply) 
(1) Memory problems or lapses: 
(2) Balance problems or dizziness:
(3) Ringing in the ears:
(4) Sensitivity to bright light:
(5) Irritability:
(6) Headaches:
(7) Sleep problems: 

9d. In the past week, have you had any of the symptoms you indicated	
in 9c.? (Mark all that apply): 
(1) Memory problems or lapses: 
(2) Balance problems or dizziness:
(3) Ringing in the ears:
(4) Sensitivity to bright light:
(5) Irritability:
(6) Headaches:
(7) Sleep problems: 

10. Do you have any persistent major concerns regarding the health 
effects of something you believe you may have been exposed to or 
encountered while deployed?
Yes: 
No: 
If No, skip to question 11. 

10a. If Yes, please mark the item(s) that best describe your concern:	
Animal bites:
Animal bodies (dead):
Chlorine gas:
Depleted uranium (If yes, explain):
Excessive vibration:
Fog oils (smoke screen):
Garbage:
Human blood, body fluids, body parts, or dead bodies:
Industrial pollution:
Insect bites:
Ionizing radiation:
JP8 or other fuels:	
Lasers:	
Loud noises:
Paints:
Pesticides:
Radar/Microwaves:
Sand/dust:
Smoke from burning trash or feces:
Smoke from oil fire:
Solvents:
Tent heater smoke:
Vehicle or truck exhaust fumes:
Other exposures to toxic chemicals or materials, such as ammonia, 
nitric acid, etc.: (If yes, explain): 

11. Since return from your deployment, have you had serious conflicts 
with your spouse, family members, close friends, or at work that cause 
you worry or concern? 
Yes: 
No: 
Unsure: 

12. Have you ever had any experience that was so frightening, horrible, 
or upsetting that, In The Past Month, you: 

a. Have had nightmares about it or thought about it when you did not 
want to?
Yes: 
No: 

b. Tried hard not to think about it or went out of your way to avoid 
situations that remind you of it?
Yes: 
No: 

c. Were constantly on guard, watchful, or easily startled?
Yes: 
No: 

d. Felt numb or detached from others, activities, or your surroundings? 
Yes: 
No: 

13a. In the Past Month, Did you use alcohol more than you meant to? 
Yes: 
No: 

b. In the Past Month, have you felt that you wanted to or needed to cut 
down on your drinking? 
Yes: 
No: 

c. How often do you have a drink containing alcohol?
Never: 
Monthly or less: 
2 to 4 times a month: 
2 to 3 times a week: 
4 or more times a week: 

d. How many drinks containing alcohol do you have on a typical day when 
you are drinking?
1 or 2: 
3 or 4:
5 or 6: 
7 to 9: 
10 or more: 

e. How often do you have six or more drinks on one occasion? 
Never: 
Less than monthly: 
Monthly: 
Weekly: 
Daily: 

14. Over the Past Month, have you been bothered by the following 
problems?			 

a. Little interest or pleasure in doing things: 
Not at all	
Few or several days: 
More than half the days: 
Nearly every day: 

b. Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless: 
Not at all	
Few or several days: 
More than half the days: 
Nearly every day: 

15. Would you like to schedule a visit with a healthcare provider to 
further discuss your health concern(s)? 
Yes: 
No: 

16. Are you currently interested in receiving information or assistance 
for a stress, emotional or alcohol concern? 
Yes: 
No: 

17. Are you currently interested in receiving assistance for a family 
or relationship concern? 
Yes: 
No: 

18. Would you like to schedule a visit with a chaplain or a community 
support counselor? 
Yes: 
No: 

Health Care Provider Only: 
Provider Review and Interview: 

1. Review symptoms and deployment concerns identified on form: 
Confirmed screening results as reported: 
Screening results modified, amended, clarified during interview: 

2. Ask behavioral risk questions. Conduct risk assessment. 

a. Over the Past Month, have you been bothered by thoughts that you 
would be better off dead or of hurting yourself in some way? 
Yes: 
No: 

If Yes, about how often have you been bothered by these thoughts? 	
Very few days: 
More than half of the time: 
Nearly every day: 
	
b. Since return from your deployment, have you had thoughts or concerns 
that you might hurt or lose control with someone? 
Yes: 
No: 
Unsure: 

3. If member reports positive or unsure response to 2a. or 2b., conduct 
risk assessment. 

a. Does member pose a current risk for harm to self or others?
No, not a current risk: 
Yes, poses a current risk: 
Unsure: 

b. Outcome of assessment: 
Immediate referral: 
Routine follow-up referral: 
Referral not indicated: 

4. Alcohol screening result: 
No evidence of alcohol related problems: 
Potential alcohol problem (positive response to either question 13a. or 
13b. and/or Audit-C (questions 13c.-e ) score of 4 or more for men or 3 
or more for women).
Refer to PCM for evaluation: 
Yes: 
No: 

5. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) risk assessment: 
No evidence of risk based on responses to questions 9a.-d: 
Potential risk with persistent symptoms, based on responses to question 
9d: 
Refer for additional evaluation: 
Yes: 
No: 

6. Record additional questions or concerns identified by patient during 
interview: 

Assessment and Referral: After my interview with the service member and 
review of this form, there is a need for further evaluation and follow-
up as indicated below. (More than one may be noted for patients with 
multiple concerns.) 

7. Identified Concerns: 

Physical Symptom(s): 
Minor Concern: 
Major Concern: 	
Already Under Care: Yes/No: 

Exposure Symptom(s): 	
Minor Concern: 
Major Concern: 	
Already Under Care: Yes/No: 

Depression symptoms: 
Minor Concern: 
Major Concern: 	
Already Under Care: Yes/No: 

PTSD symptoms: 
Minor Concern: 
Major Concern: 	
Already Under Care: Yes/No: 

Anger/Aggression: 
Minor Concern: 
Major Concern: 	
Already Under Care: Yes/No: 

Suicidal Ideation: 
Minor Concern: 
Major Concern: 	
Already Under Care: Yes/No: 

Social/Family Conflict: 
Minor Concern: 
Major Concern: 	
Already Under Care: Yes/No: 

Alcohol Use: 
Minor Concern: 
Major Concern: 	
Already Under Care: Yes/No: 

Other: 
Minor Concern: 
Major Concern: 	
Already Under Care: Yes/No: 

8. Referral Information: 

a. Primary Care, Family Practice: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

b. Behavioral Health in Primary Care: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

c. Mental Health Specialty Care: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

d. Other specialty care: 

Audiology: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

Cardiology: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

Dentistry: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

Dermatology: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

ENT: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

GI: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

Internal Medicine: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

Neurology: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

OB/GYN: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

Ophthalmology: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

Optometry: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

Orthopedics: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

Pulmonology: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

Urology: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

e. Case Manager, Care Manager: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

f. Substance Abuse Program: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

g. Health Promotion, Health Education: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

h. Chaplain: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

i. Family Support, Community Service: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

j. Military OneSource: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

k. Other: 
Within 24 hours: 
Within 7 days: 
Within 30 days: 

l. No referral made: 

9. Comments: 
		
I certify that this review process has been completed. 

10. Provider's signature and stamp: 

Ancillary Staff/Administrative Section: 

11. Member was provided the following:		
Health Education and Information: 
Health Care Benefits and Resources Information: 
Appointment Assistance: 
Service member declined to complete form: 
Service member declined to complete interview/assessment: 
Service member declined referral for services: 
LOD: 
Other: 

12. Referral was made to the following healthcare or support system:	
Military Treatment Facility: 
Division/Line-based medical resource: 
VA Medical Center or Community Clinic: 
Vet Center: 
TRICARE Provider: 
Contract Support:
Community Service:
Other: 
None: 

Source: DOD. 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: Post-Deployment Health Reassessment Questionnaires in 
DOD's Central Repository and Services' Databases: 

Department of Defense (DOD) policy requires that the military services 
electronically submit post-deployment health reassessment (PDHRA) 
questionnaires to DOD's central repository, which DOD uses as a key 
source of health surveillance information. We queried DOD's central 
repository on two occasions--April 2009 and September 2009. On April 
15, 2009, we found that for approximately 23 percent of the roughly 
319,000 servicemembers[Footnote 71] who, according to DOD deployment 
data, returned from deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan between January 
1, 2007, and May 31, 2008, we could not identify questionnaires in the 
central repository (see table 2). 

Table 2: Servicemembers Who Returned from Deployment to Iraq or 
Afghanistan Between January 1, 2007, and May 31, 2008, without a PDHRA 
Questionnaire in DOD's Central Repository, as of April 15, 2009: 

Military service: Army; 
Component: Active component; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 132,247; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 28,572; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 21.61. 

Military service: Army; 
Component: National Guard; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 38,231; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 6,083; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 15.91. 

Military service: Army; 
Component: Reserve; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 15,817; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 2,734; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 17.29. 

Military service: Army; 
Component: Total; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 186,295; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 37,389; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 20.07. 

Military service: Air Force; 
Component: Active component; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 39,792; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 5,622; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 14.13. 

Military service: Air Force; 
Component: National Guard; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 8,583; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 842; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 9.81. 

Military service: Air Force; 
Component: Reserve; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 3,341; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 2,024; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 60.58. 

Military service: Air Force; 
Component: Total; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 51,716; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 8,488; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 16.41. 

Military service: Navy; 
Component: Active component; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 10,412; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 4,968; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 47.71. 

Military service: Navy; 
Component: Reserve; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 2,983; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 1,066; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 35.74. 

Military service: Navy; 
Component: Total; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 13,395; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 6,034; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 45.05. 

Military service: Marine Corps; 
Component: Active component; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 61,006; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 20,203; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 33.12. 

Military service: Marine Corps; 
Component: Reserve; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 6,644; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 2,044; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 30.76. 

Military service: Marine Corps; 
Component: Total; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 67,650; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 22,247; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 32.89. 

Military service: Total; 
Component: Active component; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 243,457; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 59,365; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 24.38. 

Military service: Total; 
Component: Reserve component; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 75,599; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 14,793; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 19.57. 

Military service: Total; 
Component: Grand total; 
Number of returning servicemembers: 319,056; 
Number of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 74,158; 
Percentage of servicemembers without PDHRA questionnaire in central 
repository: 23.24. 

Source: GAO analysis of DOD data. 

Notes: This table displays information on servicemembers without a 
PDHRA questionnaire in DOD's central repository for a servicemember's 
most recent return from deployment from Iraq or Afghanistan between 
January 1, 2007, and May 31, 2008. We did not examine the extent to 
which a servicemember filled out a questionnaire for each return from 
deployment during this time period. DOD's Reserve components include 
servicemembers in the Army and Air National Guard, as well as the Army, 
Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps Reserve. 

[End of table] 

After determining that about 74,000 servicemembers in our population of 
interest did not have questionnaires in DOD's central repository based 
on our first query, we asked the military services whether these 
servicemembers had PDHRA questionnaires that could be identified in the 
services' own databases.[Footnote 72] With the help of the services, we 
found that approximately 7,000 servicemembers had questionnaires in 
their respective military services' databases, but not in DOD's central 
repository (see table 3).[Footnote 73] On our second query of the 
central repository, which occurred on September 4, 2009, questionnaires 
for about 1,000 of these 7,000 servicemembers were in the central 
repository. 

Table 3: Number of Servicemembers Who Returned from Deployment to Iraq 
or Afghanistan between January 1, 2007, and May 31, 2008, with a PDHRA 
Questionnaire in Military Services' Databases That Was Not in DOD's 
Central Repository as of April 15, 2009, and Number of These 
Servicemembers with Questionnaire in Central Repository, as of 
September 4, 2009: 

Military service: Army; 
Component: Active component; 
Number of servicemembers with PDHRA questionnaire in military services' 
database: 2,389; 
Number of these servicemembers with questionnaire in central repository 
as of September 4, 2009: 646. 

Military service: Army; 
Component: National Guard; 
Number of servicemembers with PDHRA questionnaire in military services' 
database: 198; 
Number of these servicemembers with questionnaire in central repository 
as of September 4, 2009: 9. 

Military service: Army; 
Component: Reserve; 
Number of servicemembers with PDHRA questionnaire in military services' 
database: 89; 
Number of these servicemembers with questionnaire in central repository 
as of September 4, 2009: 6. 

Military service: Army; 
Component: Total; 
Number of servicemembers with PDHRA questionnaire in military services' 
database: 2,676; 
Number of these servicemembers with questionnaire in central repository 
as of September 4, 2009: 661. 

Military service: Air Force; 
Component: Active component; 
Number of servicemembers with PDHRA questionnaire in military services' 
database: 281; 
Number of these servicemembers with questionnaire in central repository 
as of September 4, 2009: 3. 

Military service: Air Force; 
Component: National Guard; 
Number of servicemembers with PDHRA questionnaire in military services' 
database: 70; 
Number of these servicemembers with questionnaire in central repository 
as of September 4, 2009: 0. 

Military service: Air Force; 
Component: Reserve; 
Number of servicemembers with PDHRA questionnaire in military services' 
database: 3; 
Number of these servicemembers with questionnaire in central repository 
as of September 4, 2009: 0. 

Military service: Air Force; 
Component: Total; 
Number of servicemembers with PDHRA questionnaire in military services' 
database: 354; 
Number of these servicemembers with questionnaire in central repository 
as of September 4, 2009: 3. 

Military service: Navy; 
Component: Active component; 
Number of servicemembers with PDHRA questionnaire in military services' 
database: 284; 
Number of these servicemembers with questionnaire in central repository 
as of September 4, 2009: 8. 

Military service: Navy; 
Component: Reserve; 
Number of servicemembers with PDHRA questionnaire in military services' 
database: 71; 
Number of these servicemembers with questionnaire in central repository 
as of September 4, 2009: 9. 

Military service: Navy; 
Component: Total; 
Number of servicemembers with PDHRA questionnaire in military services' 
database: 355; 
Number of these servicemembers with questionnaire in central repository 
as of September 4, 2009: 17. 

Military service: Marine Corps; 
Component: Active component; 
Number of servicemembers with PDHRA questionnaire in military services' 
database: 2,938; 
Number of these servicemembers with questionnaire in central repository 
as of September 4, 2009: 380. 

Military service: Marine Corps; 
Component: Reserve; 
Number of servicemembers with PDHRA questionnaire in military services' 
database: 300; 
Number of these servicemembers with questionnaire in central repository 
as of September 4, 2009: 47. 

Military service: Marine Corps; 
Component: Total; 
Number of servicemembers with PDHRA questionnaire in military services' 
database: 3,238; 
Number of these servicemembers with questionnaire in central repository 
as of September 4, 2009: 427. 

Military service: Total; 
Component: Active component; 
Number of servicemembers with PDHRA questionnaire in military services' 
database: 5,892; 
Number of these servicemembers with questionnaire in central repository 
as of September 4, 2009: 1,037. 

Military service: Total; 
Component: Reserve component; 
Number of servicemembers with PDHRA questionnaire in military services' 
database: 731; 
Number of these servicemembers with questionnaire in central repository 
as of September 4, 2009: 71. 

Military service: Total; 
Component: Grand total; 
Number of servicemembers with PDHRA questionnaire in military services' 
database: 6,623; 
Number of these servicemembers with questionnaire in central repository 
as of September 4, 2009: 1,108. 

Source: GAO analysis of DOD and military services' data. 

Notes: DOD's Reserve components include servicemembers in the Army and 
Air National Guard, as well as the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine 
Corps Reserve. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix IV: DOD's Documentation of Its Monitoring of the 
Administration of the Post-Deployment Health Reassessment: 

The Department of Defense (DOD) contracts with Logistics Health, Inc. 
(LHI) to administer the post-deployment health reassessment (PDHRA) to 
Reserve component servicemembers.[Footnote 74] DOD's Reserve Health 
Readiness Program (RHRP) is responsible for monitoring LHI's 
administration of the PDHRA. To obtain more in-depth information on how 
the RHRP office documents the information it obtains through its 
monitoring of the administration of the PDHRA to Reserve component 
servicemembers, we examined documentation maintained by the RHRP office 
on its monitoring efforts. Specifically, from the potential problems 
that the RHRP office had identified as possibly posing a risk to the 
objective of PDHRA program, we judgmentally selected 15 to review in 
detail and obtained all available RHRP documentation from the RHRP 
office on those problems. We selected these 15 potential problems 
because the subject of each of these may have involved welfare and 
safety concerns for Reserve component servicemembers. 

We reviewed RHRP's documentation to determine the extent to which RHRP 
maintains documentation in a manner consistent with GAO's federal 
internal control standards.[Footnote 75] In particular, we examined the 
extent to which RHRP's documentation clearly documented any actions 
taken to address a problem and indicated whether the problem had been 
resolved. In general, the selected RHRP documentation we reviewed did 
not meet these standards. Nine of the 15 selected potential problems 
lacked documentation on the actions taken to address the problems and/ 
or lacked documentation of the problems' resolutions. Four of the 15 
problems had documentation of the actions taken and their resolutions, 
however, RHRP's documentation was not sufficiently clear to allow us to 
independently understand what actions had been taken to address the 
problem or the problems' resolutions. Rather, an RHRP official had to 
explain to us what had occurred. Two of the 15 problems had 
documentation that allowed us to understand the actions taken to 
address the problems and the problems' resolutions. Table 4 summarizes 
the results of our analysis of RHRP's documentation. 

Table 4: Fifteen Selected Potential Problems Related to the 
Administration of the PDHRA to Reserve Component Servicemembers, 
Identified by the DOD RHRP Office: 

Potential problems identified by the RHRP office: 1. An LHI health care 
provider insufficiently documented the nature of a servicemember's 
suicidal ideations on the PDHRA questionnaire.[A]; 
GAO analysis of RHRP documentation: For these potential problems, 
documentation was lacking on the actions taken to address the problem 
and/or the problem's resolution. 

Potential problems identified by the RHRP office: 2. Reserve component 
servicemembers may not have been responding to questions on the PDHRA 
questionnaire about their alcohol consumption and whether they were 
depressed; 
GAO analysis of RHRP documentation: [Empty]. 

Potential problems identified by the RHRP office: 3. An LHI report may 
have contained inaccurate data; 
GAO analysis of RHRP documentation: [Empty]. 

Potential problems identified by the RHRP office: 4. LHI staff had 
difficulties contacting Reserve component servicemembers in following 
up on those who received medical referrals; 
GAO analysis of RHRP documentation: [Empty]. 

Potential problems identified by the RHRP office: 5. A higher than 
normal percentage of servicemembers were referred for a further 
evaluation; 
GAO analysis of RHRP documentation: [Empty]. 

Potential problems identified by the RHRP office: 6. Reserve component 
servicemembers may have had difficulty accessing the PDHRA call center; 
GAO analysis of RHRP documentation: [Empty]. 

Potential problems identified by the RHRP office: 7. Reserve component 
servicemembers may have been told by a military service official not to 
answer questions in the medical section of the PDHRA questionnaire; 
GAO analysis of RHRP documentation: [Empty]. 

Potential problems identified by the RHRP office: 8. Reserve component 
servicemembers may have been refusing to speak with a health care 
provider and refusing to answer specific questions on the PDHRA 
questionnaire; 
GAO analysis of RHRP documentation: [Empty]. 

Potential problems identified by the RHRP office: 9. A Reserve 
component servicemember calling LHI's call center to be administered 
the PDHRA was initially denied LHI PDHRA services; 
GAO analysis of RHRP documentation: [Empty]. 

Potential problems identified by the RHRP office: 10. Reserve component 
servicemembers calling LHI's call center to be administered the PDHRA 
may have been denied LHI PDHRA services and not administered the PDHRA; 
GAO analysis of RHRP documentation: For these potential problems, the 
RHRP office had some available documentation, but this documentation 
was not sufficiently clear to allow us to independently determine the 
actions taken to address each problem and to determine the ultimate 
resolution of each problem. 

Potential problems identified by the RHRP office: 11. Servicemembers 
who should not have been called by LHI may have been inappropriately 
called by LHI; 
GAO analysis of RHRP documentation: [Empty]. 

Potential problems identified by the RHRP office: 12. A PDHRA event may 
have lacked sufficient staff; 
GAO analysis of RHRP documentation: [Empty]. 

Potential problems identified by the RHRP office: 13. Health care 
providers may not have been documenting needed referrals for further 
evaluations when servicemembers declined the referrals; 
GAO analysis of RHRP documentation: [Empty]. 

Potential problems identified by the RHRP office: 14. Reserve component 
servicemembers screened through the LHI call center were not receiving 
the same informational brochures as servicemembers administered the 
PDHRA at PDHRA on-site events; 
GAO analysis of RHRP documentation: For these potential problems, the 
RHRP office had documentation of the actions taken to address each 
problem and the problem's resolution. 

Potential problems identified by the RHRP office: 15. Reserve component 
servicemembers did not know what to do to set up an appointment for a 
further evaluation; 
GAO analysis of RHRP documentation: [Empty]. 

Source: GAO. 

[A] Suicidal ideations are thoughts of harming or killing oneself, the 
severity of which can be determined by an assessment of these thoughts. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix V: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Office Of The Assistant Secretary Of Defense: 
Health Affairs: 
Washington, DC 20301-1200: 

November 10, 2009: 

Randall Williamson: 
Director, Health Care: 
U.S. Government Accountability Office: 
441 G. Street, N.W. 
Washington, DC 20548: 

Dear Mr. Williamson, 

This is the Department of Defense (DoD) response to the Government 
Accountability Office (GAO) draft report, GAO-10-56, "Defense Health 
Care: Post-Deployment Health Reassessment Documentation Needs 
Improvement," October 19, 2009 (GAO Code 290734). 

Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment on the draft 
report. Overall, we concur with the draft report's findings and 
conclusions. DoD considers the Post-Deployment Health Reassessment 
(PDHRA) to be an important means to identify Service members physical 
and emotional deployment-related concerns and facilitate resolution of 
those concerns. We must become more aggressive to ensure all eligible 
Service members are correctly identified and offered the opportunity to 
complete the PDHRA, and that the resultant assessments are placed in 
the DoD central repository. Similarly, the Reserve Health Readiness 
Program needs to improve the documentation of its multiple PDHRA 
program monitoring activities. More specific comments on the report's 
two recommendations are attached. 

The points of contact on this audit are Dr. Brian Sugden (Functional), 
who can be reached at (703) 681-3279, extension 167, and Mr. Gunther 
Zimmerman (Audit Liaison), who can be reached at (703) 681-4360. 

Sincerely, 

Signed by: 

Ellen P. Embrey: 
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Force Health Protection and 
Readiness): 
Performing the Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Defense
(Health Affairs): 

Attachment: As stated: 

[End of letter] 

Government Accountability Office Draft Report: 
GAO-10-56/(GAO Code 290734): 

October 19, 2009: 

"Defense Health Care: Post-Deployment Health Reassessment Documentation 
Needs Improvement" 

Department Of Defense Comments To The Recommendations: 

Recommendation 1: "To help the Department of Defense (DoD) obtain 
reasonable assurance that all active and Reserve component Service 
members to whom the Post-Deployment Health Reassessment (PDHRA) 
requirement applies are provided the opportunity to have their health 
concerns identified, we recommend that the Assistant Secretary of 
Defense for Health Affairs and the military services take steps to 
ensure that PDHRA questionnaires are included in DoD's central 
repository for each of these Service members." 

DoD Response: Concur. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) draft 
report determined approximately 23 percent of the Post-Deployment 
Health Reassessment forms (DD Form 2900) that they expected to see in 
the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center central data repository 
were missing. DoD will take three actions in response to this 
recommendation. 

DoD will work to correctly identify Service members who need to receive 
the PDHRA and not identify Service members who do not need it. DoD 
Instruction (DoDI) 6490.03, "Deployment Health," August 11, 2006, 
requires that the PDHRA be accomplished for deployments of more than 30 
days to locations outside the continental United States with non-fixed 
U.S. medical treatment facilities, However, Service members who are 
shipboard and are not anticipated to be involved in operations ashore 
are exempt from the DoDI deployment assessments requirements. GAO 
populations of interest were those Service members who were identified 
within the Defense Manpower Data Center's (DMDC) Contingency Tracking 
System (CTS). The CTS database includes Service members in theater 
aboard ship who are exempt from the assessment requirement. The large 
percentage of Navy and Marine Corps personnel without a PDHRA in the 
central repository may partially explain the "missing" forms. The Navy 
is working with DMDC to accurately reflect deployment and subsequent 
assessment requirements. In addition, Service members who deployed 
again within the 90-180-day post-deployment window for the PDHRA, 
(i.e., approximately seven percent of the 74,000 Service members 
without a PDHRA in the central repository), would not be expected to 
have a PDHRA form at AFHSC. 

Second, the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Force Health 
Protection and Readiness, sent a memorandum on October I5, 2009, to the 
Service Surgeons General re-emphasizing the importance of compliance 
with the DoDI 6490.03 PDHRA requirements. Service line commanders are 
briefed on the compliance with PDHRA requirements. 

Finally, the Services and the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center 
(AFHSC) will work to identify and resolve the obstacles to transmission 
of data from the Services to AFHSC. To facilitate this work, DoD 
requests that GAO provide AFHSC the database of those Service members 
who were found to be in the Service database, but not the AFHSC 
repository as of the September 2009 query. 

Recommendation 2: "To ensure adequate documentation of problems that 
may pose risks to the objectives of the PDHRA program for Reserve 
component Service members, we recommend that the Assistant Secretary of 
Defense for Health Affairs require the Reserve Health Readiness Program 
(RHRP) office to document the information obtained through monitoring 
the PDHRA program in a manner consistent with federal internal control 
standards." 

DoD Response: Concur. DoD agrees that the RHRP's documentation of its 
monitoring of the PDHRA program needs improvement. Better documentation 
is needed to ensure continuity, as well as accomplishment of the PDHRA 
program objectives. The RHRP office recognized this during the GAO 
engagement and immediately began to better document their monitoring 
activities by (1) establishing a more distinct and clear electronic 
filing system, and (2) documenting not only the potential problems, but 
also their resolution in a manner that is sufficiently comprehensive, 
accessible, and understandable. 

[End of section] 

Appendix VI: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

Randall B. Williamson, (202) 512-7114, williamsonr@gao.gov: 

Staff Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the contact named above, Mary Ann Curran, Assistant 
Director; Katherine L. Amoroso; Helen T. Desaulniers; Michael Erhardt; 
Martha A. Fisher; Krister Friday; Martha Kelly; Carolyn Kirby; Carolina 
Morgan; Lisa A. Motley; Julie E. Pekowski; William Woods; and Suzanne 
Worth made key contributions to this report. 

[End of section] 

Related GAO Products: 

Federal Contractors: Better Performance Information Needed to Support 
Agency Contract Award Decisions. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-374]. Washington, D.C.: April 23, 
2009. 

Military Operations: DOD Needs to Address Contract Oversight and 
Quality Assurance Issues for Contracts Used to Support Contingency 
Operations. [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-1087]. 
Washington, D.C.: September 26, 2008. 

DOD Systems Modernization: Maintaining Effective Communication Is 
Needed to Help Ensure the Army's Successful Deployment of the Defense 
Integrated Military Human Resources System. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-927R]. Washington, D.C.: September 
8, 2008. 

Defense Health Care: Oversight of Military Services' Post-Deployment 
Health Reassessment Completion Rates Is Limited. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-1025R]. Washington, D.C.: September 
4, 2008. 

Electronic Health Records: DOD and VA Have Increased Their Sharing of 
Health Information, but More Work Remains. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-954]. Washington, D.C.: July 28, 
2008. 

VA and DOD Health Care: Administration of DOD's Post-Deployment Health 
Reassessment to National Guard and Reserve Servicemembers and VA's 
Interaction with DOD. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-181R]. Washington, D.C.: January 25, 
2008. 

Defense Health Care: Comprehensive Oversight Framework Needed to Help 
Ensure Effective Implementation of a Deployment Health Quality 
Assurance Program. [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-07-831]. 
Washington, D.C.: June 22, 2007. 

Military Personnel: DMDC Data on Officers' Commissioning Programs is 
Insufficiently Reliable and Needs to be Corrected. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-07-372R]. Washington, D.C.: March 8, 
2007. 

Military Personnel: Actions Needed to Strengthen Management of Imminent 
Danger Pay and Combat Zone Tax Relief Benefits. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-06-1011]. Washington, D.C.: September 
28, 2006. 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: DOD Needs to Identify the Factors its 
Providers Use to Make Mental Health Evaluation Referrals for 
Servicemembers. [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-06-397]. 
Washington, D.C.: May 11, 2006. 

Military Pay: Inadequate Controls for Stopping Overpayments of Hostile 
Fire and Hardship Duty Pay to Over 200 Sick or Injured Army National 
Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers Assigned to Fort Bragg. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-06-384R]. Washington, D.C.: April 27, 
2006. 

Contract Management: Opportunities to Improve Surveillance on 
Department of Defense Service Contracts. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-05-274]. Washington, D.C.: March 17, 
2005. 

VA and Defense Health Care: More Information Needed to Determine If VA 
Can Meet an Increase in Demand for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 
Services. [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-04-1069]. 
Washington, D.C.: September 20, 2004. 

Military Pay: Army Reserve Soldiers Mobilized to Active Duty 
Experienced Significant Pay Problems. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-04-911]. Washington, D.C.: August 20, 
2004. 

Defense Health Care: Quality Assurance Process Needed to Improve Force 
Health Protection and Surveillance. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-03-1041]. Washington, D.C.: September 
19, 2003. 

[End of section] 

FOOTNOTES: 

[1] After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the President 
announced a Global War on Terrorism, now known as the Overseas 
Contingency Operations which includes operations in Iraq and 
Afghanistan. 

[2] Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Memorandum, "Post-
Deployment Health Reassessment," (Mar. 10, 2005). The post-deployment 
health reassessment (PDHRA) is administered on Department of Defense 
(DOD) form DD 2900. 

[3] The other assessments are the pre-deployment health assessment, 
which is administered before deployment, and the post-deployment health 
assessment, which is administered about the time servicemembers return 
from deployment. 

[4] C.S. Milliken, J.L. Auchterlonie, and C.W. Hoge, "Longitudinal 
Assessment of Mental Health Problems Among Active and Reserve Component 
Soldiers Returning from the Iraq War," Journal of the American Medical 
Association, vol. 298, no. 18 (2007). 

[5] Milliken, Auchterlonie, and Hoge, "Longitudinal Assessment of 
Mental Health Problems Among Active and Reserve Component Soldiers 
Returning from the Iraq War," 2141. 

[6] DOD's Reserve components include servicemembers in the Army and Air 
National Guard, as well as the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps 
Reserves. As of May 2008, Reserve component servicemembers made up 
almost 28 percent of those deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. 

[7] Although Logistics Health, Inc. (LHI) administers the PDHRA to 
Reserve component servicemembers, the military services are responsible 
for identifying and notifying servicemembers to whom the PDHRA 
requirement applies. 

[8] Military service officials stated that they do not have 
requirements related to the PDHRA once servicemembers are separated 
from military service. For the purposes of our review, the term 
"separated servicemembers" includes active component, Reserve, and 
National Guard servicemembers who, following return from deployment, 
have separated from military service and have no further military 
service obligation. 

[9] DOD's central repository is the Armed Forces Health Surveillance 
Center's (AFHSC), formerly known as the Army Medical Surveillance 
Activity, Defense Medical Surveillance System. AFHSC is supported by 
the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine and 
performs comprehensive medical surveillance and reporting of rates of 
diseases and injuries among DOD servicemembers. 

[10] GAO, Defense Health Care: Oversight of Military Services' Post- 
Deployment Health Reassessment Completion Rates Is Limited, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-1025R] (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 4, 
2008). 

[11] S. Rep. No. 110-77, at 360 (2007). 

[12] DOD Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) data indicate that our 
population of interest returned from deployment between January 1, 
2007, and May 31, 2008. Given this timeframe, the last date on which 
servicemembers in our population could have filled out the PDHRA 
questionnaire within 180 days after their return from deployment, as 
required by DOD policy, was approximately November 30, 2008. However, 
servicemembers may have filled out the questionnaire after the 90-to 
180-day reassessment period had elapsed. 

[13] We considered servicemembers to have a PDHRA questionnaire if one 
could be identified in DOD's central repository, regardless of whether 
servicemembers filled out the entire questionnaire or only the 
demographic section. 

[14] The Coast Guard was excluded from our review because it is under 
the direction of the Department of Homeland Security and represents a 
very small portion of servicemembers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. 

[15] DOD also contracts with LHI for the provision of other health 
services to Reserve component servicemembers. 

[16] See GAO, Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, 
GAO/AIMD-00-21.3.1 (Washington, D.C.: November 1999). Internal control 
standards provide the overall framework for establishing and 
maintaining internal controls in the federal government. We reviewed 
the consistency of DOD's monitoring with a subset of these internal 
control standards, the monitoring and control activities standards. 

[17] In order to assess how DOD monitors the administration of the 
PDHRA to Reserve component servicemembers, we reviewed how DOD monitors 
LHI's administration of the PDHRA. We did not evaluate the sufficiency 
or appropriateness of the methods used by DOD to monitor LHI's 
compliance with the terms of the contract generally. 

[18] Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Memorandum, 
"Post-Deployment Health Reassessment," (Mar. 10, 2005), and Department 
of Defense Instruction 6490.03, "Deployment Health," (Aug. 11, 2006). 

[19] For active and Reserve component servicemembers who are frequent 
deployers--those who deploy for greater than 30 days more than once 
during any 365-day period--the military services maintain policies 
stating that these servicemembers will only have to fill out one PDHRA 
questionnaire in any 365-day period. The Army implemented a frequent 
deployer policy in May 2008, the Air Force in February 2006, and the 
Navy--whose medical policies also apply to the Marine Corps--in January 
2009. However, a post-deployment health assessment is still 
administered to these servicemembers about the time they return from 
each deployment. 

[20] Servicemembers whose deployments are primarily aboard ships and do 
not include onshore operations are exempt from filling out the PDHRA 
questionnaire. 

[21] Due to challenges of administering the PDHRA to separated 
servicemembers, DOD's PDHRA program manager stated that DOD encouraged 
the military services to administer the PDHRA as part of the separation 
process. 

[22] The Air Force does not require a review by a health care provider 
if the servicemember declines to fill out the medical section of the 
PDHRA questionnaire. In addition, for active component Air Force and 
Air Force Reserve servicemembers who fill out the PDHRA questionnaire, 
but do not respond positively to certain questions, the PDHRA 
questionnaire is electronically closed out and forwarded to DOD's 
central repository without a health care provider's review. 

[23] According to DOD's former PDHRA program manager, the Air Force 
declination rate is less than 5 percent. 

[24] LHI operates two call centers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: one 
in La Crosse, Wisconsin and one in Detroit, Michigan. LHI's call 
centers have the same phone number, so when servicemembers call in to 
the number, they are directed to one of the two call centers. 

[25] In certain circumstances, LHI may, through its call centers, 
administer the PDHRA questionnaire to remotely located active component 
servicemembers, such as remotely located military service recruiters, 
who are unable to attend PDHRA on-site events at military 
installations. 

[26] Servicemembers who are administered the PDHRA questionnaire before 
they separate from the military fill out the questionnaire either 
online or with LHI staff, along with their active or Reserve component 
counterparts. 

[27] Consistent with DOD policy, the four military services' health 
care providers include physicians, physician assistants, nurse 
practitioners, independent duty corpsmen (an enlisted person that has 
been trained to give first aid and basic medical treatment, especially 
in combat situations), and independent duty medical technicians (an 
enlisted person who receives advanced training to provide treatment and 
administer medication). LHI PDHRA health care providers include 
physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and licensed 
clinical social workers, according to LHI staff. 

[28] Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Memorandum, 
"Post-Deployment Health Reassessment," (Mar. 10, 2005). 

[29] As stated previously, the Air Force does not require a review by a 
health care provider if the servicemember declines to fill out the 
medical section of the PDHRA questionnaire. In addition, for active 
component Air Force and Air Force Reserve servicemembers who fill out 
the PDHRA questionnaire, but do not respond positively to certain 
questions, the PDHRA questionnaire is electronically closed out and 
forwarded to DOD's central repository without a health care provider's 
review. 

[30] Other information could include both verbal and nonverbal 
information servicemembers offer during the discussion with the health 
care provider. 

[31] Vet Centers are run by the Department of Veterans Affairs and 
offer mental health services, including readjustment counseling, to all 
veterans who served in any combat zone. 

[32] According to a DOD official, during PDHRA on-site events, LHI 
provides a similar service to ensure servicemembers who have been 
issued a referral for a further evaluation have the information needed 
to obtain an appointment. 

[33] LHI does not perform a 30-day follow-up on servicemembers who 
receive non-medical referrals, such as a referral to Military OneSource 
or to a chaplain. Military OneSource is a free resource that provides a 
wide variety of support and educational resources to servicemembers and 
their families, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

[34] DOD policy also requires that a copy be placed in each 
servicemember's medical record. 

[35] The quality assurance program was required by the National Defense 
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998, Pub. L. No. 105-85, ß 
765(a)(1), 111 Stat. 1629, 1826 (1997) (codified as amended at 10 
U.S.C. ß 1074f(d)). Although DOD's program predates the PDHRA, DOD uses 
the quality assurance program to monitor compliance with PDHRA 
requirements. The quality assurance program is overseen by the Office 
of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. 

[36] DOD receives quarterly reports from each of the military services 
containing information on the number of servicemembers who returned 
from deployment and the number of PDHRA questionnaires filled out. The 
Army and Marine Corps use data from the central repository in their 
quarterly reports to report the number of PDHRA questionnaires filled 
out. 

[37] Our previous report discussed DOD's deployment health quality 
assurance program, but at that time, the program largely focused on 
active component servicemembers. 

[38] DOD's Reserve components began using LHI for PDHRA services 
through pilot programs on the following dates: the Army Reserve and 
Army National Guard, November 2005; Air National Guard, February 2006; 
Marine Corps Reserve, March 2006; Navy Reserve, May 2006; and the Air 
Force Reserve, August 2008. The Air Force Reserve had been using its 
own resources to administer the PDHRA prior to August 2008. 

[39] DOD's contract with LHI is a 1-year contract with four 1-year 
option periods and a 2-month transition period. The dollar amount 
invoiced for the PDHRA portion of the contract for fiscal year 2008 was 
$9,438,137. For fiscal year 2009 through May 15, 2009, the invoiced 
amount for the PDHRA portion of the contract was $6,136,134. 

[40] DOD's Reserve Health Readiness Program (RHRP) office is staffed by 
a contracting officer's representative, who is responsible for 
verifying that LHI complies with contractual standards for all provided 
health services and for managing the RHRP program, and with other staff 
who work for the contracting officer's representative to monitor 
specific aspects of the RHRP program. The RHRP office is ultimately 
overseen by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health 
Affairs. 

[41] DOD policy states that the PDHRA should be administered to 
servicemembers 90 to 180 days following their return from a deployment 
of greater than 30 days, to a location outside the continental United 
States without permanent military treatment facilities, such as Iraq or 
Afghanistan. 

[42] While the majority of the roughly 319,000 servicemembers in our 
population of interest were required to fill out the questionnaire, our 
population includes about 19,000 servicemembers who, according to DOD 
DMDC data, had separated from military service between January 1, 2007, 
and May 31, 2008. As stated earlier, although DOD initially required 
the military services to contact servicemembers who separated before or 
during the reassessment period to offer them the opportunity to fill 
out the PDHRA questionnaire, implementation of this policy posed 
challenges. Once servicemembers have separated from military service, 
they cannot be required to fill out the PDHRA questionnaire. Instead, 
the military services implemented, or plan to implement, policies to 
administer the PDHRA to servicemembers as part of the separation 
process from the military. However, the Army was the only service that 
had this practice in effect for servicemembers who returned from 
deployment between January 1, 2007, and May 31, 2008. If the 19,000 
servicemembers in our population separated prior to or during the 
reassessment period, they may not have been required to fill out the 
questionnaire. Because we do not know the extent to which these 19,000 
servicemembers in our population of interest separated before or during 
the reassessment period, we include separated servicemembers in our 
analysis as part of the military service and component with which they 
were affiliated at the end of their deployment. If we had excluded 
these separated servicemembers from our analysis, as of April 15, 2009, 
DOD's central repository would have contained PDHRA questionnaires for 
78 percent of servicemembers in our population of interest, rather than 
77 percent. 

[43] DOD DMDC data indicate that our population of interest returned 
from deployment between January 1, 2007, and May 31, 2008. Given this 
time frame, the last date on which servicemembers in our population 
could have filled out the PDHRA questionnaire within 180 days after 
their return from deployment, as required by DOD policy, was 
approximately November 30, 2008. However, servicemembers may have 
filled out the questionnaire after the 90-to 180-day reassessment 
period had elapsed. 

[44] The Air National Guard had the lowest percentage of 
servicemembers--about 800 of 9,000--without a questionnaire in the 
central repository, while the Air Force Reserve had the highest 
percentage of servicemembers--about 2,000 of 3,000--without a 
questionnaire. 

[45] We received data in May 2009 from the Air Force, and in June 2009 
from the Army and Navy. As the Navy manages PDHRA data for the Marine 
Corps, the Navy data also included data for Marine Corps 
servicemembers. 

[46] The 7,000 questionnaires found in the military services' 
databases, but not in the central repository, were filled out by 
servicemembers prior to April 15, 2009--the date we first queried DOD's 
central repository. 

[47] The military services could not definitively tell us why these 
PDHRA questionnaires could be identified in the military services 
databases, but not in DOD's central repository. Some officials 
speculated that the questionnaires might not have been incorporated 
into DOD's central repository because they did not meet data rules. 
Questionnaires must meet data rules, such as the dates of deployment 
being filled out on the questionnaire, before the questionnaires are 
incorporated into DOD's central repository. 

[48] For more information on the extent to which the approximately 
7,000 questionnaires identified in the military services databases 
could later be identified in the central repository as of September 4, 
2009, see appendix III. 

[49] If we had excluded separated servicemembers from our analysis, as 
of September 4, 2009, DOD's central repository would have contained 
PDHRA questionnaires for 79 percent of servicemembers in our population 
of interest. 

[50] Of these 72,000 servicemembers without a PDHRA questionnaire in 
DOD's central repository, about 9,000 separated from military service 
between January 1, 2007, and May 31, 2008. About 10,000, or 53 percent 
of the 19,000 separated servicemembers in our original population of 
interest, had a PDHRA questionnaire in DOD's central repository. 

[51] Air Force officials also told us that a small subset of 
servicemembers in our population of interest may not have been required 
to fill out a PDHRA questionnaire for this deployment because of their 
status as frequent deployers (servicemembers who deploy for greater 
than 30 days more than once during a 365-day period only need to fill 
out one PDHRA questionnaire in any 365-day period). Although Air Force 
officials could not quantify the size of this population, they told us 
it is a small subset of the servicemembers who should fill out a PDHRA 
questionnaire. In addition, Army officials told us that a small 
population of Army servicemembers does not have a PDHRA questionnaire 
either in the Army database or in the central repository. The officials 
explained that out of concerns of being tracked, Army Special Forces 
can comply with Army PDHRA requirements by filling out a hard copy 
PDHRA questionnaire, blacking out all of their demographic information, 
and storing a copy of the questionnaire in their physical medical 
records. 

[52] DOD requires LHI to submit some reports on a monthly basis and 
some on a weekly basis. 

[53] The RHRP office also receives reports on other performance 
standards, such as a report detailing LHI's compliance with a standard 
that requires LHI to enter 95 percent of servicemembers' PDHRA 
information into the military services' databases within 5 days of 
administering the PDHRA. 

[54] The RHRP office provides the military services copies of LHI's 
periodic reports on the number of servicemembers administered the PDHRA 
and referred for a further evaluation. According to an RHRP official, 
the military services can compare information in the reports with the 
services' own data. Accordingly, the RHRP office relies, in part, on 
feedback from the military services to monitor and check the accuracy 
of the information presented in the reports. An RHRP official also 
compares weekly and monthly reports to check the consistency of the 
information presented in the reports. 

[55] LHI maintains its own quality assurance program to internally 
monitor the services being provided to servicemembers. The RHRP 
office's inspections have also involved reviews of LHI's internal 
quality assurance efforts related to the administration of PDHRA. 

[56] [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO/AIMD-00-21.3.1]. 

[57] Potential problems that have not been resolved are generally 
carried over to the following week's agenda. 

[58] The RHRP office was asked to provide documentation related to a 
sample of potential problems we selected. 

[59] The RHRP office's documentation for 9 of the 15 potential problems 
that we reviewed did not clearly describe the potential problem. In 
addition, for 13 of the 15 potential problems, documentation did not 
allow us to understand the actions taken to address the problems and 
the problems' resolutions. Documentation did, however, allow us to 
understand the nature of the actions taken to address the problems and 
the problems' resolution for the other 2 of the 15 potential problems. 

[60] The RHRP office did not have e-mail correspondence for 6 of the 15 
potential problems. 

[61] LHI is required to seek emergency care for Reserve component 
servicemembers indicating serious mental health concerns. 

[62] The RHRP official recalled that in this situation the LHI health 
care provider had determined the Reserve component servicemember's 
suicidal ideations--thoughts of harming or killing oneself, the 
severity of which can be determined by an assessment of these thoughts--
were not serious in nature and that the servicemember had no plans for 
self harm. This official also said the servicemember had been offered a 
referral to obtain a further evaluation and had refused the referral. 
However, the health care provider did not document this on the 
servicemember's PDHRA questionnaire, so anyone reviewing this 
questionnaire would assume, in error, that the servicemember should 
have been referred for immediate care. 

[63] The Department of Defense's (DOD) Reserve components include 
servicemembers in the Army and Air National Guard, as well as the Army, 
Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps Reserves. The Coast Guard was 
excluded from our review because it is under the direction of the 
Department of Homeland Security and represents a very small portion of 
servicemembers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. 

[64] The Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC), formerly 
known as the Army Medical Surveillance Activity, is supported by the 
U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine and 
performs comprehensive medical surveillance and reporting of rates of 
diseases and injuries among DOD servicemembers. 

[65] After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the President 
announced a Global War on Terrorism, now known as the Overseas 
Contingency Operations. Ongoing military and diplomatic operations 
overseas, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan, constitute a key part of 
the Overseas Contingency Operations. 

[66] While the majority of servicemembers in our population were 
required to fill out the questionnaire, our population also includes 
separated servicemembers--servicemembers who, following return from 
deployment, separated from military service and have no further 
military service obligation. Servicemembers are required to fill out 
the PDHRA questionnaire 90 to 180 days following their return from 
deployment. Although DOD initially required the military services to 
contact servicemembers who separated before or during the reassessment 
period to offer them the opportunity to fill out the PDHRA 
questionnaire, implementation of this policy posed challenges. Once 
servicemembers have separated from military service, they cannot be 
required to fill out the PDHRA questionnaire. Instead, the military 
services implemented policies to administer the PDHRA to servicemembers 
as part of the separation process from the military. However, the Army 
was the only service that had this practice in effect for 
servicemembers who returned from deployment between January 1, 2007, 
and May 31, 2008. If the servicemembers in our population separated 
prior to or during the reassessment period, they may not have been 
required to fill out the questionnaire. Because we do not know the 
extent to which servicemembers in our population separated before or 
during the reassessment period, we include separated servicemembers in 
our analysis as part of the military service and component with which 
they were affiliated at the end of their deployment. 

[67] We considered servicemembers to have a PDHRA questionnaire if one 
could be identified in DOD's central repository, regardless of whether 
servicemembers filled out the entire questionnaire or only the 
demographic section. 

[68] DOD's contract with LHI also includes the provision of other 
health services for Reserve component servicemembers, such as 
immunizations, physical examinations, and dental examinations and X- 
rays. 

[69] See GAO, Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO/AIMD-00-21.3.1] 
(Washington, D.C.: November 1999). We used the criteria in these 
standards, which provide the overall framework for establishing and 
maintaining internal control in the federal government. We reviewed the 
consistency of DOD's monitoring with a subset of these internal control 
standards, the monitoring and control activities standards. 

[70] In order to assess how DOD ensures that program objectives are 
being met, we reviewed how DOD monitors LHI's administration of the 
PDHRA to Reserve component servicemembers. We did not evaluate the 
sufficiency or appropriateness of the methods used by DOD to monitor 
LHI's compliance with the terms of the contract. 

[71] While the majority of servicemembers in our population of interest 
were required to fill out the questionnaire, our population includes 
about 19,000 servicemembers who, according to DOD Defense Manpower Data 
Center (DMDC) data, had separated from military service between January 
1, 2007, and May 31, 2008. Although DOD initially required the military 
services to contact servicemembers who separated before or during the 
reassessment period to offer them the opportunity to fill out the PDHRA 
questionnaire, implementation of this policy posed challenges. Once 
servicemembers have separated from military service, they cannot be 
required to fill out the PDHRA questionnaire. Instead, the military 
services implemented, or plan to implement, policies to administer the 
PDHRA to servicemembers as part of the separation process from the 
military. However, the Army was the only service that had this practice 
in effect for servicemembers who returned from deployment between 
January 1, 2007, and May 31, 2008. If the 19,000 servicemembers in our 
population separated prior to or during the reassessment period, they 
may not have been required to fill out the questionnaire. Because we do 
not know the extent to which these 19,000 servicemembers in our 
population of interest separated before or during the reassessment 
period, we include separated servicemembers in our analysis as part of 
the military service and component with which they were affiliated at 
the end of their deployment. If we had excluded these separated 
servicemembers from our analysis, as of April 15, 2009, DOD's central 
repository would have been missing PDHRA questionnaires for 22 percent 
of servicemembers in our population of interest, rather than 23 
percent. 

[72] We received data in May 2009 from the Air Force, and in June 2009 
from the Army and Navy. As the Navy manages post-deployment health 
reassessment data for the Marine Corps, the Navy data also included 
data for Marine Corps servicemembers. 

[73] The roughly 7,000 questionnaires found in the military services' 
databases, but not in the central repository, were filled out prior to 
April 15, 2009--the date we first queried DOD's central repository. 

[74] The Department of Defense's (DOD) Reserve components include 
servicemembers in the Army and Air National Guard, as well as the Army, 
Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps Reserves. 

[75] See GAO, Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO/AIMD-00-21.3.1] 
(Washington, D.C.: November 1999). We used the criteria in these 
standards, which provide the overall framework for establishing and 
maintaining internal control in the federal government. We reviewed the 
consistency of DOD's monitoring with a subset of these internal control 
standards, the monitoring and control activities standards. 

[End of section] 

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