State and National Policies Toward Helping Vets 4
Policies really need to focus around increasing accessibility for veterans who are desiring to receive health care. With many veterans still living excessive distances from VA providers as well as experiencing long wait times to access care, policies definitely need to ensure that those wanting care are able to receive it and in a timely manner. While Doyle & Streeter (2017), suggest that one way to increase access is by expanding the scope of practice for nurse practitioners, it seems that there are likely numerous possibilities to how access can be simplified. Access is crucial so that veterans are not simply addressing health issues that are unavoidable, but rather, they feel as though they can address minor concerns and have them taken care of.
I think competition in any business typically results in a higher quality product and elevated service. I am aware of the conversation about veterans being allowed the option to choose whether they want to receive care from the VA system or other organizations. According to Atkins & Clancy (2017), according to one study, VA hospitals performed better than non-VA hospitals for most outcomes that were measured. Some of these included: pressure ulcers, central line infections, 30 day readmission rates and heart failure (Atkins & Clancy, 2017). If the care is consistently more accessible and higher quality than other providers it seems as though it would not need to be privatized.
Atkins, D., & Clancy, C. M. (2017). Advancing High Performance in Veterans Affairs Health Care. JAMA: Journal Of The American Medical Association, 318(19), 1927-1928. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.17667
Doyle, J. M., & Streeter, R. A. (2017). Veterans’ Location in Health Professional Shortage Areas: Implications for Access to Care and Workforce Supply. Health Services Research, 52, 459-480. doi:10.1111/1475-6773.12633
Posted by Mary Beth
Veterans Health Administration has been facing unprecedented challenges such as a growing and increasingly complex patient population, problems and issues in providing timely access to services, diminished public trust, and new complexities introduced by legislative actions. According to Hoffman commentary in North Carolina Medical Journal (2015), “VHA has been in the spotlight since May 2014, this time not with accolades; instead, there have been disturbing stories of veterans experiencing significant delays in accessing care. These revelations have shaken the public’s trust in VA’s ability to fulfill its mission and have led to changes in leadership and new legislation to improve veterans’ access to health care through non-VA entities and providers.” VA is working to respond to this crisis in the context of several challenges like changes to US healthcare policy, including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Almost half a million veterans gained health care coverage during the first two years of the Affordable Care Act. State and National Policies Toward Helping Vets 4
Nationally, almost 9 million veterans are enrolled in the VHA system. Of recent enrollees, more than half received at least a provisional mental health diagnosis. The most common mental health illnesses in this population include the signature conditions of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depressive disorders ( Williams, 2015). There’s been commentaries and published issues about veterans not receiving enough care and easy access to care to address this issues. Although resources to serve veterans’ health care needs are expanding nationally, most veterans receive their healthcare outside of VA; thus health care providers in all settings should attuned to the special needs of veterans and the resources available for this population. Since the “Veterans Choice Act” of 2014 was passed, which allows veterans to get health care from private or civilian providers and was created to help improve access to timely care, private providers should have adequate knowledge about prevalent conditions and the special programs designed for veterans. Clinicians should also have an understanding of military culture, as this knowledge can enhance interpersonal relationships and context for clinical care, which can help our veterans assimilate back into society: body. mind, and spirit.
In regards to privatization of the VA system, I don’t completely advocate for it but VA need to improve their program to improve access and quality care by allowing more choices or providing better “purchased care” for our veterans so they can have access to care in the community especially if vets can’t easily access care in VA facilities. VA need to take significant steps to access to VA care. Several policy options identified are: increased numbers of VA physicians; formalized independent nursing practice; and expanding virtual access to care (Farmer, Hosek, & Adamson, 2016). I agree with social entitlement or supplementation of healthcare coverage such as Medicare or Medicaid, since most veterans have been identified as low income which further affect their access to quality care.
Farmer, C.M., Hosek, S.D., & Adamson, D.M., (2016). Balancing Demand & supply for Veterans’ Health Care. A summary of Three RAND Assessments Conducted Under Veterans choice act. Rand Health Q. 2016 Jun 20; 6(1): 12. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC51582…
Hoffmann, D.F. (2015). Health care for North Carolina’s Veterans. N C Med J. 2015; 76 (5):307-310
Williams, J.W. (2015). Utilizing Evidence to Address the Health and Health Care Needs of Veterans. North Carolina Medical Journal. November-December 2015 vol. 76 no.5 294-298. DOI:10.18043/ncm.76.5.294
This assignment should be at least two pages in length, double spaced, 12 points font, and the title page is not part of the page count. If you cite, be sure to include your sources within the essay, and at the end in a separate Reference List. However, because this assignment is more of an opportunity to opine, sources are not mandatory. Refer to the Evaluation Criteria below using APA format and reduce grammatical errors.
Share your perspective on the importance of “finding balance” between the roles of healthcare delivery providers, such as nurses and assorted clinicians in a hospital environment next to the business/financial component that drives variables such as costs, length of stay, discharge protocols, admit/surgical denials, and any others. Further consider that there is (or should be) a synergy among/between patient care providers and bean counters, yet it requires money to keep the beds open and salaries paid—just as it takes the care provided by trained professionals on the units. How effective is writing “policy” on matters such as these? State and National Policies Toward Helping Vets 4
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