VA’s goal is to ensure the Veterans Health Administration is the Nation’s most efficient and high-performing medical network for both its patients and its employees. Recently, Dr. David J. Shulkin, VHA Under Secretary for Health, discussed the steps VA is taking to achieve this goal. Primarily, the Veterans Health Administration must adapt to the evolving Veteran community and change to meet their needs.

“I believe that addressing Veterans’ needs requires a new model of care,” Dr. Shulkin said in his article published in the New England Journal of Medicine. His overall plan stems from the idea that VA should change from simply being a direct-care provider, to becoming an integrated provider and payer. To do this, VHA must work with the private sector to address current access issues. Dr. Shulkin’s plan is based on a three-network system:

  1. The core network would include all VA-run facilities, including hospitals, clinics and centers. These facilities are ideal for the Veterans who are in need of specialized care for any service-related conditions. By focusing on specific patients’ needs, these facilities could increase access to more remote areas.
  2. The second network would consist of private-sector delivery systems that meet specific performance criteria. Those criteria include clinical outcomes, appropriateness, access standards and service levels. Systems would have to go through a competitive acceptance process based on documented results.
  3. The third network will consist of private-sector providers, which are currently part of other networks. This will allow Veterans to visit one of their local clinics or hospitals, while still receiving the benefits they need. These providers would have to submit clinical data and documentation to VA health exchanges. This is where many of the issues VHA is facing will be resolved.

What Dr. Shulkin emphasizes throughout the article is how VA – despite its problems – still remains a top medical leader whose employees use best practices to improve the “quality, safety and consistency of Veterans’ experience regardless of the site of care.”

VA’s “whole health” model of care will also play an integral part of the plan. It involves multidisciplinary teams of health care professionals who focus on both physical and psychosocial care. Under the model, VA employees provide personalized and proactive care to Veterans and their families.

These are just some of the ways VHA is taking steps every day to improve the overall care of our Nation’s Veterans. If you want to help make a direct impact on the lives of Veterans and their families, Join us. Search for a career with VHA today.

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Published on Jun. 6, 2016

Estimated reading time is 2.1 min.

Views to date: 220


  1. Kenneth Standish June 10, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    I was denied the completion of dental work, after surgery to prepare me for a lower partial plate they ok d ‘two years ago. The dental people told me they had no record of this . Patient advocate searched records and the record shows they did, have record from an outside clinic they hired to do Vets dental work. Seems that the contracted clinic was dropped in my case, because the VA didn’t think they worked quickly enough. Therefore after visiting last week , I was told bluntly and without remorse on their part, that no lower plate would be forthcoming. I doubt this will be seen here, considering the site. I will put forth though, that this is the truth and is a big problem . If anything needs attention , these types of issues more than qualify. I now have 1/3 of jawbone missingand no partial. Just great , thanks a lot .Odd how certain records are ignored and the others are used to deny what should have been completed long ago. Now that I have procured all records, I will have paper to show to my state rep . Thank God that the rest of my medical team are good and caring people.

    • Kenneth Standish June 10, 2016 at 11:07 pm

      Talk to everyone starting with your doctor. Patient advocateb, social workers, etc. Takes some footwork , but , gets better results than a phone and the unhelpful. Good luck .

    • Frank Vermont June 13, 2016 at 8:07 pm

      You’ve nailed it… the politicians and the 1% that own them just don’t give a damn about this country!

  2. Ulysses G. Davis June 10, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    This is just another attempt to out source VA services rather than provide what is a national obligation to people that have served the nation in times of need. The last attempt (I can’t even remember the name) was a flop because veterans could not trust it. I live over forty miles from a VA Hospital. I am a Vietnam vet and have some AO issues. January 2015 I passed out and had to be taken to a local hospital. It is over a year and a half and the bills still have not been fully paid. I even called my congressman for help. So how is the VA going to enlist private healthcare suppliers when it takes 18 months to pay for emergency care?

    If the nation cannot provide the care for individuals that have sacrificed their health in the service of their country then the country should stop sending service men into duty! It is a national disgrace! We are evolving into a third world country. Special interests have stymied the government so that a national budget cannot be passed, it won’t even be considered because of partisan bickering.

    When I was a boy, the USA had the best infrastructure, the best schools and the healthiest population. Now we aren’t even in the top ten!

    The problem is that the people in charge no longer care about the country, they only care about themselves.

  3. Charles Racey June 10, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    When are the Politicians going to actually do something about this. Tried of everyone offering help but it leading nowhere because the VA is unresponsive.

  4. liz June 10, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    I personally have had better service with Choice Program, once implemented. It was the re authorization that was pulled out from under me from the VA Health System and denied any further treatment!! I have written to the Honorable Dr. David J. Shulkin, and asked him to address how Palo Alto, CA total disregard to his outline for Veteran’s and Community Care. I don’t get a response from anyone. My Primary care provider cannot help, not patient advocate, the Community Doctor has called the Director of Palo Alto and they don’t return phone calls. Even OIG leaves a ?? we might look into the matter in 5-6 weeks if it bears legitimate complaint.

  5. Louis Earl Mayo June 10, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    GET No assistance from VA in finding out how to be classified unemployable for dental care, please advise, anyone

  6. Louis Earl Mayo June 10, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    It is difficult to get any direct answers from VA. I was told that for dental care I met disability percent but must be classified as unemployable but could not find out how to accomplish this. Am 85 years old with pacemaker and diabetes. Have received No help to this date.

    • liz June 13, 2016 at 7:49 pm

      Mr. Kutz: Have you seen the most recent Budget allotment earmarked for VAHC? $128 M. With VA just saying NO to Veterans to pain medications alone, and telling them if they want Narcotics they will have to go buy their own Health Insurance or go on Medicare, which if you look at statistics is a vast majority of the Vietnam era. This alone has been mentioned in VA Conferences for PTSD and Chronic Pain (check out free iTunes podcast) as ways to save Billions of $$ in medications and visits to facilities. What this means bottom line, no meds for vets, looks like they are getting better=decrease their disability ratings=less $=less tax $ all around=win-win politicians, Bonuses for Administrators at VAHC that saved millions of $. Veterans paid on the battlefield, and will pay on the Battlefield in the halls of VAHC as we are turned away, or die from neglect.

  7. Richard Kutz June 10, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Lately I have felt LESS help from the VA health. What the hell is going on??? everything seems to be coming apart.
    Where are the people who care? On the lower level of VA and unable to change things.

  8. Eugene C. Wheeler June 10, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    The model described does not address one of the greater problems well, waiting to get firm appointment to see a doctor or specialist. Sometimes, administering the current problem correctly is a lot more effective, especially from the results standpoint, and financially, Having worked in the corporate environment after retiring from the Army, I’ve seen lots of attempts to develop a “new look”, only to mask the the core problems. Everyone lauds the change until they realize there is little or no change at all to these problems. Am for trying new approaches but don’t really see a change coming, look at attitude and qualifications of some of the professional and administrative personnel first.

    • Jerry Lee Tennant June 11, 2016 at 7:47 pm

      Mr Wheeler, I agree totally. The real problem is the management and medical “professionals” who spend more effort covering the VA and their own ASSets than treating vets. Our government and politicians give mouth service much more that doing anything but more lies.

  9. elmer sawyer June 10, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Anything got to be better than Veterans Choice program What a joke and waste of taxpayers money. It needs to be gone now

  10. Frank Vermont June 10, 2016 at 10:46 am

    This plan is plan is a blatant attempt to continue privatizing the VA!

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