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Cordasco KM, Frayne SM, Kansagara D, Zulman DM, Asch SM, Burke RE, Post EP, Fihn SD, Klobucar T, Meyer LJ, Kirsh SR, Atkins D. Coordinating Care Across VA Providers and Settings: Policy and Research Recommendations from VA's State of the Art Conference. Journal of general internal medicine. 2019 May 1; 34(Suppl 1):11-17.
Abstract: Delivering well-coordinated care is essential for optimizing clinical outcomes, enhancing patient care experiences, minimizing costs, and increasing provider satisfaction. The Veterans Health Administration (VA) has built a strong foundation for internally coordinating care. However, VA faces mounting internal care coordination challenges due to growth in the number of Veterans using VA care, high complexity in Veterans' care needs, the breadth and depth of VA services, and increasing use of virtual care. VA's Health Services Research and Development service with the Office of Research and Development held a conference assessing the state-of-the-art (SOTA) on care coordination. One workgroup within the SOTA focused on coordination between VA providers for high-need Veterans, including (1) Veterans with multiple chronic conditions; (2) Veterans with high-intensity, focused, specialty care needs; (3) Veterans experiencing care transitions; (4) Veterans with severe mental illness; (5) and Veterans with homelessness and/or substance use disorders. We report on this workgroup's recommendations for policy and organizational initiatives and identify questions for further research. Recommendations from a separate workgroup on coordinating VA and non-VA care are contained in a companion paper. Leaders from research, clinical services, and VA policy will need to partner closely as they develop, implement, assess, and spread effective practices if VA is to fully realize its potential for delivering highly coordinated care to every Veteran.