May 24, 2016
The Veterans Choice program was designed to expedite veterans' access to health care and relieve pressure on the VA system. Before making the program permanent, the VA should better understand its effectiveness.
RAND analyses help policymakers understand how to recruit, train and educate civilian and military personnel and provide cost-effective health care for active and retired members and their families.
RAND research on military personnel, training, and health issues is conducted within each of RAND's national security research divisions and collaboratively across the RAND research community.
Key Research Centers:
Are Law and Policy Clear and Consistent? Roles and Responsibilities of the Defense Acquisition Executive and the Chief Information Officer — 2010
The roles and responsibilities of defense acquisition officers and Department of Defense (DoD) chief information officers are governed by U.S. laws and specified in more detail by a growing and complex body of DoD policy. The authors identify policy governing the design, acquisition, and integration of information technology (IT) and national security systems (NSS) that could lead to potential conflicts among these executives when they exercise their duties in the defense acquisition system. They examine the sources of these conflicts, and find that conflicts in the DoD acquisition process have occurred in the areas of setting IT standards and developing an IT architecture. Recent changes in DoD policy have reduced the potential for conflict in IT architecture development; however, the potential for conflict remains in the DoD standard-setting process. The authors recommend changes to DoD policy that can resolve these conflicts.
Reflecting Warfighter Needs in Air Force Programs: Prototype Analysis — 2010
A concern within the Air Force is that headquarters-level program decisions sometimes fail to give sufficient priority to requests important to meeting warfighter needs. This technical report documents a phase-one effort to develop new methods to help ensure that warfighter needs are adequately represented as the Air Force manages its programs and budget. Drawing on previous RAND work on capabilities-based planning and portfolio management, the authors outline a method that considers measures of combat effectiveness, as well as cost-effectiveness from multiple perspectives, to compare composite options — that is, options involving multiple platforms and capabilities — for accomplishing a given mission. The authors illustrate the method by applying it to the mission of close air support, using notional data.
Evaluating Navy’s Funded Graduate Education Program: A Return-on-Investment Framework — 2010
The U.S. military services send officers to graduate schools each year to pursue advanced degrees, primarily to fill billet requirements later. This can be costly, including such things as tuition, housing, and pay but also the opportunity cost of the officer not filling an operational billet. Participation in such a program incurs specific service requirements in return, but is that enough to recoup the service's investment? The U.S. Navy asked the researchers to assess the quantitative and qualitative returns on investment (ROI) for funded graduate education. The authors modeled the financial aspects for two sample communities within the Navy and discovered that ROI varies depending on how efficiently graduates are matched with billets and how often they are utilized in the related subspecialty. In some cases, it is simply not possible to recoup the costs financially because it would require extremely long service. On the other hand, soft skills and general knowledge that graduate education provides can increase productivity and improve decision quality. Such considerations might justify making graduate education competitive, with selection targeted toward those most likely to stay in the service and to advance to flag rank. In essence, the Navy would be broadly educating many to achieve future capabilities and an ROI from the few.