The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs fulfills our nation’s promise to care for those who serve in the military and their families. The VA system provides medical and mental health care at 1,298 health care facilities, including 171 medical centers and 1,113 outpatient clinics. The VA serves more than 9 million people, making it our nation’s largest integrated health care system. It is consistently ranked as one of the top healthcare systems.
The Department of Veteran’s Affairs has the vision to provide veterans and their families with word class benefits and services. By its very nature, word class benefits must be individualized, and veteran centered. The health care needs of our veterans and their families are complex. Service personnel meet the challenges of deployment and mission, often serving in conditions that put their mental and physical health at risk. Following their service, treatment must focus on multiple priorities. To be effective, the care team must coordinate treatment. Veterans deserve access to high-quality treatment wherever they live. Creating system-wide quality standards requires the ability to coordinate treatment with local private healthcare providers.
The VA system is not only accountable to veterans and their families but also to taxpayers. Innovation and efficiency are essential for meeting the priorities of excellence in care while streamlining expensive and inefficient processes that do not add value to patients and their care team.
Strengthening Military-Veteran Healthcare Outcomes
VA commits to supporting veterans’ journies from their first days in military service throughout their entire life. To be truly effective, veterans must be able to easily access their healthcare, benefits, and services. Those who serve in the military have unique experiences that the rest of the population has never had. Customer service must be veteran centered and emotionally resonant.
Forty-five percent of veterans live in rural areas. Access to community providers is essential for meeting their physical and mental healthcare needs. In 2021, the VA expanded telehealth options. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) provided 9.4 million telehealth visits and the veteran satisfaction rates grew to 88.8%.
VA also partners with community providers and the private sector to optimize the workforce and fill service gaps. These partnerships foster organizational agility. Ensuring that there is a seamless transfer of medical records to community providers is essential to providing high-quality care. VA is upgrading to a modern, interoperable Electronic Health Record system which enhances communication between local providers and VA. By the end of 2020, VA migrated the records of 23.9 million veterans and encompassed 21 domains of essential clinical medical data. This is the same EHR system the Department of Defense uses, ensuring a gap-free medical record for each service member from active duty through discharge and beyond. New systems improve integration with other payers including Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers to reduce the complexity for veterans and their families.
VHA has improved care management and coordination. There is a greater emphasis on wellness and preventative care. Improving care management for long-term conditions has also been a priority. Increased support is available to address mental healthcare needs and prevent suicide. Veterans receive additional support at high-risk transitions. This continues to be a priority for VHA.
With the passage of the PACT act, VA expands and extends eligibility for veterans who have been exposed to toxins. This legislation adds more than new presumptive conditions for burn pits, adds more locations for agent orange and radiation, requires screening, and builds the capacity to serve these veterans through research and provider training. VA is expanding and enhancing care for those injured during service, including providing better support for veterans with toxic chemical exposure.
In the 2022-2028 Strategic Plan, VA gives us a road map of what’s to come. Goals are organized around the areas of Advocacy, Access, Outcomes, and Excellence. The VA has a goal to be the premier advocate for veterans, their families, and survivors.
The plan includes goals and objectives to increase access. Access can mean many things including meeting rural needs, and addressing the healthcare needs of our women veterans, veterans of color, and LGBTQ+ veterans.
Our veterans deserve the best outcomes, and the VA intends on providing world-class healthcare services. Caregivers, who have always been an important partner in meeting long-term medical needs, will now receive greater support and training. The special healthcare needs of veterans will be an area of focus. VA has high standards for employees and contractors. Analytics and metrics are used to monitor quality and drive improved outcomes. Veterans’ satisfaction, experience, and wellness will be measured, analyzed, and leveraged to monitor quality and document success.
The 2022-2028 strategic plan is ambitious and achievable.
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FSR has decades of experience partnering with the Veteran Administration to provide cost-effective, high-quality healthcare solutions for veterans and their families. FSR is an expert in healthcare staffing and is mission-driven to provide quality program management, solutions, and healthcare services to federal, state, and county government customers.
FSR delivers comprehensive services customized to each client’s unique needs. FSR’s dedicated people are driven to exceed customers’ expectations and that success is reflected in our stellar track record of customer satisfaction.
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