Almost a third of U.S. veterans live 40 miles or more from the nearest VA medical center, so the VA is trying to make it easier for them to use private providers closer to home. But it will take significant efforts to better prepare civilian doctors to deliver high-quality care to veterans.
John McCain's heroism will forever punctuate America's memory of the Vietnam War, reminding us both of the horrors of war and the human potential to transcend them. His heroism also stands out because of how it empowered him as a congressman and senator to do things others could not.
Millions of veterans and service members receive care from family and friends who need support as well. Military caregivers sacrifice their time, their jobs, and even their health to provide a service worth billions of dollars to the United States.
Too few of the veterans who experience mental health issues get the help they need. Even fewer get the right care. Closing these gaps will require raising awareness about the barriers to care, and changing how the mental health care system is organized and delivers services.
The number of returning veterans is expected to grow to 4.2 million over the next decade. This robust talent pool can be an asset to the civilian workforce. Investments in translating veterans' skills, certification and licensing, and comprehensive career counseling can improve this transition.
To help Hill staffers make the most of the Congressional recess, RAND has developed a list of must-read research and commentaries that will help ensure policymakers will return ready to hit the ground running.
The VA is considering expanding the role of nurse practitioners in order to provide veterans timely access to primary-care services. Research has shown that nurse practitioners working in collaborative settings can provide high-quality care.
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.
A stronger TRICARE program that provides greater value-based care in a more efficient manner could result from adopting innovations made in the private sector, while also recognizing the unique role of military treatment facilities.
Today, women represent approximately 15 percent of the U.S. military but research on their specific physical and psychological health issues has remained relatively sparse. A new book, Women at War, attempts to change that.
To understand trends in veteran employment, data must be collected on such factors as gender, race/ethnicity, military career field, and period and length of military service. In turn, this information will help policymakers tailor and adjust programs to target obvious gaps in career assistance efforts.
Americans who served during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continue to face higher jobless rates than nonveterans. A growing body of RAND research has sought to identify what can help get more of them back on the job.