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  • GIM News
  • Donna L. Bishop, Editor
  • Next issue:
    December 18th, 2015
  • Submission deadline:
    December 11th, 2015
  • E-mail: Donna Bishop

Impact of Veterans Choice Program

The Veterans Choice Program (VCP) enables veterans to obtain care from eligible facilities and providers outside of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) if they reside more than 40 miles from the nearest Veterans Affairs (VA) or are unable to schedule appointments within 30 days of the appropriate date. However, it is unclear how receptive veterans are to obtaining care through the VCP, or what influences eligible veterans to enroll in the VCP while others do not.

Susan Zickmund, PhD, is leading a fast-track study to understand the impact of the Veterans Choice Program (VCP) on veterans’ satisfaction with VA Care, their Choice Act Care, and their Choice Act pharmacy benefits. Dr. Zickmund is joined by fellow Division of General Internal Medicine faculty members Michael Fine, MD, MSc; Sonya Borrero, MD, MS; Bernie Good, MD, MPH; Walid Gellad, MD, MPH; Leslie Hausmann, PhD; and Galen Switzer, PhD.

The proposed evaluation, guided by a Stakeholder Advisory Group and experts in implementation science, will provide the VA with: (1) detailed data collected from veterans who are VCP eligible regarding their satisfaction and experiences with key domains of care, including medication therapy, pharmacy benefits, and access to and continuity of care; (2) in-depth VA stakeholder insights regarding barriers and facilitators to successful VCP implementation; and (3) innovative development of information technology using machine learning algorithms to capture and code veteran satisfaction with the VCP and the development of a VCP pharmacy services database to ensure high-quality, safe, and cost-effective VA medication therapy.

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