A recently published study shows Veterans receiving outpatient care from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care facilities or community providers within VA’s network are pleased with their experience overall.
The study, Veterans’ Experiences with Outpatient Care: Comparing the Veterans Affairs System with Community-Based Care, compared survey responses from more than 1 million Veterans who received outpatient care from VA facilities or private providers within VA’s Choice Act network and found most rated their experiences highly.
The authors of the study, led by Megan Vanneman, Ph.D., research scientist at VA Salt Lake City Health Care System’s Informatics, Decision-Enhancement and Analytic Sciences Center, and the University of Utah School of Medicine, say the results are consistent with past studies showing where VA generally matches or outperforms care delivered in the private sector.
“Veterans now have increased options for where they get their medical care and VA is working to ensure they have a positive experience regardless of where that care is delivered,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This study helps affirm the quality of VA care and also suggests community providers are doing a good job of meeting Veterans’ needs.”
While the results of this survey analyzed Veterans’ experiences prior to the enactment of the Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018 (MISSION Act), the study authors say Veteran-reported experiences of VA and community care continue to be important indicators of health care quality and merit attention from researchers.
Recently, a Veterans Signals survey found Veterans’ trust in VA at an all-time high. A Veterans of Foreign Wars survey of nearly 7,000 members found that more than 9 in 10 respondents would recommend VA care to other Veterans. Studies in the medical literature have also validated VA’s quality regarding wait times and overall excellence, including reports from outside organizations such as the RAND Corporation and Dartmouth.