What we support and stand for in Veterans Choice Program renewal legislation:
- The Veterans’ Health Administration (VHA) must be the first point of access and coordinator of care.
- Community care is used only in situations where it supplements services not readily available within local VHA.
- All VHA facilities are assured of sufficient staff, space, IT and financial resources to provide comprehensive, high quality care.
- Special efforts are made to permanently fund and fill vacancies in VHA facilities where wait lists exist due to demand outstripping capacity.
- There are sufficient IT resources and technical support to ensure that home telehealth is available to rural veterans.
- Choice providers must meet VHA’s high standards, use evidence-based treatments driven by measurement-based care, have knowledge of military culture and competence in veteran-specific problems, perform needed screenings and be subject to the same continuing education requirements as VHA providers.
- Community providers and VA employees receive mandatory training to improve coordination of care provided to veterans.
- Choice providers’ performance, timeliness of the provision of inpatient and ambulatory services, and promptness of providing medical documents are measured and publicly reported using the same metrics as VHA providers.
- All VHA employees receive market rate salaries, and strong incentives are offered to encourage hiring in rural areas.
- Congressional budgeting processes and plans for construction and renovation allow for future projections of utilization.
* An independent organization, not representing the Department of Veterans Affairs