RAND’s Role in the Veterans Choice Act Assessments

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Service members involved in physical therapy at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio wait for President Bush to visit

Photo by Gerald Herbert/AP

The Veteran Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 ("Choice Act") was signed into law on August 7, 2014. The law expanded the criteria through which veterans can access civilian providers for their health care and called for an independent assessment of the Veterans Health Administration across 12 topics related to the delivery of health care to veterans in facilities owned and operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as well as those under contract to VA.

The Choice Act specified that these assessments should be performed by private entities within 240 days. In late September 2014, the MITRE Corporation's federally funded research and development center (FFRDC), the Center on the Modernization of Healthcare (CAMH), was contracted to serve as the overall integrator for the 12 assessments. MITRE subcontracted with RAND to conduct three of the 12 assessments and to prepare reports on the findings and recommendations from these assessments.

RAND conducted the following independent assessments:

  1. Current and projected characteristics and unique health care needs of the patient population served by the Department.
  2. Current and projected health care capabilities and resources of the Department, including hospital care, medical services, and other health care furnished by non-Department facilities under contract with the Department, to provide timely and accessible care to veterans
  3. The authorities and mechanisms under which the Secretary may furnish hospital care, medical services, and other health care at non-Department facilities, including whether the Secretary should have the authority to furnish such care and services at such facilities through the completion of episodes of care.

RAND Assessment Reports

Project Director: Carrie Farmer
Co-Director: Susan Hosek

Current and Projected Characteristics and Unique Health Care Needs of the Patient Population Served by the Department of Veterans Affairs
Assessment Leads: Christine Eibner and Heather Krull

Resources and Capabilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs to Provide Timely and Accessible Care to Veterans
Assessment Leads: Jeanne Ringel and Peter Hussey

Authorities and Mechanisms for Purchased Care at the Department of Veterans Affairs
Assessment Leads: Michael Greenberg and Caroline Batka

Summary of RAND Assessment Reports

Factsheets and Details

For more information on the Veterans Choice Act or to access other assessment reports, please visit the Section 201 page on the Chief Strategy Office section of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs site.

RAND Veterans Choice Act Contacts

Media inquiries
Warren Robak
Kirsten Holguin

Congressional inquiries
Jayme Fuglesten

All other inquiries
Carrie Farmer

Other Inquiries

MITRE is responsible for carrying out other assessments. For additional information about these other assessments, contact:

MITRE, Public Affairs
Lauren Libitz