VA Health Care System Faces Significant Challenges, but Meets the Needs of Most Eligible Veterans
Feb 8, 2016
This summary presents results from RAND's assessments of veteran demographics and health care needs, the health care capabilities of the Veteran's Administration (VA), and authorities and mechanisms for purchasing care. It also 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.
A Summary of Three RAND Assessments Conducted Under the Veterans Choice Act
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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?
The analyses upon which this publication is based were performed under a contract for the Department of Veterans Affairs and conducted by RAND Health, a division of the RAND Corporation. The development and production of this summary volume was funded through a generous philanthropic gift from Charles Zwick.
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