Veterans Health Care

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As the largest integrated health care provider in the United States, the Department of Veterans Affairs faces significant challenges in ensuring access to high quality health care for military veterans. RAND has a wealth of expertise in health policy research, which informs its analyses related to the medical care needs of military veterans and their families, as well as the care systems intended to meet them.

  • A doctor looking at an x-ray next to an American flag

    Essay

    How Private Health Care Providers Could Better Serve Veterans

    Nov 7, 2018

    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.

  • A licensed clinical social worker listens to her client during a therapy session at the Bay Pines Veterans Administration Healthcare Center in Bay Pines, Florida, October 29, 2015, photo by EJ Hersom/DoD News

    Research Brief

    How to Improve Mental Health Care for Veterans

    Aug 13, 2019

    Veterans, especially those who deployed overseas, face elevated risks of mental health conditions. Those who have served since 9/11 are particularly vulnerable. About one in five experiences mental health problems. Are veterans getting the high-quality care that they need?

Explore Veterans Health Care

  • A man walks past the headquarters building at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, DC, May 23, 2014

    Commentary

    Improving the Experience of Veterans Seeking Mental Health and Substance Use Care

    Last week, President Obama signed a bill to overhaul care provided by the Veterans Health Administration. This is an important step, but attention to veterans' experiences receiving care, particularly veterans in need of mental health and substance use care, should be an essential component to ongoing efforts to improve quality.

    Aug 13, 2014

  • Journal Article

    Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT): VA's Journey to Implement Patient-Centered Medical Homes

    In 2010, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) launched national implementation of patient-centered medical homes (PCMH) through the Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT) initiative.

    Jun 30, 2014

  • The Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona June 11, 2014

    Commentary

    Private Mental Health Providers Must Stand Ready to Help Veterans

    Not all veterans wish to seek services at or through the VA, and many may not meet eligibility criteria. The VA is a critical component of the health care delivery system for former U.S. servicemembers, but it cannot and should not comprise the system alone.

    Jun 27, 2014

  • Multimedia

    How to Better Support Military Caregivers

    Caring for a current or former U.S. servicemember can take a toll on family, friends, and acquaintances. Changes are needed to both provide assistance to caregivers and to help them make plans for the future.

    Jun 24, 2014

  • Woman pushing a disabled man in a wheelchair

    Commentary

    One Military Caregiver's Story

    America shouldn't forget the sacrifices of those who care for the wounded. Rachel O'Hern tells the story of her life as a military caregiver, one of millions of spouses, family members, and friends who support service members and veterans with physical or emotional injuries or illnesses.

    May 23, 2014

  • Father in wheelchair with child on swing

    Report

    Health and Economic Outcomes Among the Alumni of the Wounded Warrior Project: 2013

    The authors use the Wounded Warrior Project's 2013 survey of its members to understand the physical, mental, and economic challenges that they face.

    May 21, 2014

  • Congressional Briefing Podcast

    Multimedia

    Hidden Heroes: America's Military Caregivers

    In this May 15th Congressional Briefing, Terri Tanielian and Rajeev Ramchand present the challenges today's military caregivers face, and what Congress and others can do to support them.

    May 15, 2014

  • Marine Corps Base Quantico hosts a spouse appreciation event every month at the Clubs at Quantico

    Commentary

    Finding a New Normal: A Military Caregiver's Perspective

    The landscape for caregivers remains very difficult. Many still need additional training on how to best provide care for their loved ones, respite so they can care for themselves, and other forms of support.

    May 6, 2014

  • serviceman and family

    Report

    RAND Military Caregivers Study: Key Facts and Statistics

    Although significant attention has been paid to servicemembers and veterans with service-related injuries and associated conditions, little is known about the needs of their caregivers or the resources that exist to meet them. This presentation highlights findings from the RAND Military Caregivers Study on caregiver activities, support, and services.

    Apr 16, 2014

  • Army husband and wife

    Commentary

    Four Ways to Help Military Caregivers

    As momentum continues to build, stakeholders across the board should keep in mind four broad recommendations for how to help military caregivers.

    Apr 15, 2014

  • sailor homecoming

    Commentary

    Military Caregivers Are Hidden Heroes

    Right now there are 5.5 million wives, husbands, siblings, parents, children and friends devoted to the care of those injured fighting America's wars. Theirs is an all-consuming, emotionally draining task, one that has been driven for too long by loyalty and love, but little support.

    Apr 2, 2014

  • wife welcoming soldier home on Army leave

    Commentary

    A World Without America's Military Caregivers

    A world without military caregivers would be a harsher one for all, particularly for those who have served. Caregivers' sacrifices improve the lives of wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans, more of whom would suffer without them.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • News Release

    1.1 Million Americans Providing Care to Military Members Who Served Since 9/11

    More than 1.1 million spouses, parents, and friends are caring for the injured and disabled who have served in the U.S. military since Sept. 11, 2001, often doing so without a formal support network and putting their own well-being at risk.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • young soldier with wife

    Report

    Hidden Heroes: America's Military Caregivers — Executive Summary

    This summary distills a longer report, Hidden Heroes: America's Military Caregivers . It describes the magnitude of military caregiving in the United States, identifies gaps in support services, and offers recommendations.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • soldier welcomed home from Afghanistan, photo by Capt. Charlie Dietz/U.S. Army

    Report

    Hidden Heroes: America's Military Caregivers

    There are 5.5 million military caregivers across the United States, with nearly 20 percent caring for someone who served since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Military caregivers experience more health problems, face greater strains in family relationships, and have more workplace issues than noncaregivers. Changes are needed to both provide assistance to caregivers and to help them make plans for the future.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • senior couple smiling

    Research Brief

    Who Are Military Caregivers? And Who Is Supporting Them?

    There are 5.5 million Americans caring for wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans, providing indispensable services and saving the nation millions in health and long-term care costs. Researchers describe who these caregivers are, the burden they bear, available programs and resources, and areas where they need more support.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • working in office with computer and phone

    Research Brief

    Military Caregivers in the Workplace

    The business community can support military caregivers in many ways: raise awareness by promoting messages that support military caregivers, offer support services, work with employees to accomodate their caregiver duties, and hire caregivers.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • husband and wife with doctor

    Research Brief

    Supporting Military Caregivers: The Role of Health Providers

    Health care providers can support military caregivers in many ways: acknowledge them as part of the health care team, routinely assess caregiving needs and the presence of caregiver support, integrate them into health providers' culture, and adopt appropriate caregiver documentation requirements to facilitate their engagement.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • U.S. Capitol in spring

    Research Brief

    Supporting Military Caregivers: Options for Congress

    Congress can support military caregivers in many ways: reconsider eligibility requirements for caregiver support programs, ensure health care coverage for military caregivers, promote the integration and coordination of programs and services, and fully fund the Lifespan Respite Care Act.

    Mar 31, 2014