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Health Services Research & Development

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2017 HSR&D/QUERI National Conference Abstract

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2007 — The Future of VA Community Care

Lead/Presenter: Megan Vanneman, COIN - Salt Lake City
All Authors: Vanneman ME (VA Salt Lake City Health Care System / University of Utah School of Medicine) Greenstone CL (VHA Office of Community Care) Rosen AK (VA Boston Health Care System / Boston University School of Medicine) Mattocks KM (VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System / University of Massachusetts Medical School)

Brief description of panelists:
HSRD recently awarded planning grants on the Implementation and Evaluation of VHA Community Networks to three VA research teams, involving close collaboration from the VHA Office of Community Care (OCC). This partnered panel includes Dr. Greenstone, from OCC, and principal investigators from the three funded research teams -- 1) Drs. Wagner (Palo Alto); Rosen (Boston), and Vanneman (Salt Lake City); 2) Drs. Mattocks (Central Western Massachusetts) and Mengeling (Iowa City); and 3) Dr. Hynes (Hines).

Description of the question or issue that will be discussed:
Veterans' access to VA community care was recently expanded through the Veterans Choice Act of 2014. This partnered panel will highlight operations and research work to better understand how Veterans use VA community care. OCC and principal investigators from the three HSRD-funded research groups will discuss ongoing work related to the implementation of and Veterans' experiences with the timeliness and quality of VA care in the community. OCC will provide a framework for the discussion, and investigators will also share how early data on the Choice Program influenced the design of their current planning work on care management, network adequacy, and information exchange.

Significance—Description of why the issue is important for Veterans, VA, and the audience:
The VA is working to increase access, ensure receipt of high quality health care, and efficiently use limited resources. In order to address these issues, the VA received special funding to improve access to care both within VA and outside VA, with much of the funding allocated to cover healthcare services provided by community providers. A thorough evaluation of community care is needed in order to understand if Veterans are receiving high-quality care. This OCC and research partnered panel will provide audience members with information about available data and a reflection on data needs to assess community care and inform policymakers.