Feb 8, 2016
In response to concerns that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has faced about veterans' access to care and the quality of care delivered, Congress enacted the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 ("Veterans Choice Act") in August 2014. The law was passed to help address access issues by expanding the criteria through which veterans can seek care from civilian providers. In addition, the law called for a series of independent assessments of the VA health care system across a broad array of topics related to the delivery of health care services to veterans in VA-owned and -operated facilities, as well as those under contract to VA.
RAND conducted three of these assessments: Veteran demographics and health care needs (A), VA health care capabilities (B), and VA authorities and mechanisms for purchasing care (C).
This report summarizes the findings of our assessments and includes recommendations from the reports for improving the match between veterans' needs and VA's capabilities, including VA's ability to purchase necessary care from the private sector.
Demand: How Much Care Do Veterans Use?
Supply: What Is VA's Capacity to Deliver Health Care and How Might This Impact Veterans' Access?
What Should Policymakers Consider When Examining Changes to Purchased Care?