In This Issue: Care Coordination
VA Care Coordination
In 2016, there were 25.5 million Veteran appointments with non-VA providers in the community, and this number is expected to rise with the recent extension of the Veterans Choice Program.1 Thus, coordinating care between VA and non-VA providers is critical. VA defines care coordination as the “umbrella” administrative process that facilitates integration of healthcare services and navigation through complex healthcare systems. Care coordination involves actions that facilitate optimal care delivery across care settings and/or multiple healthcare providers, including within VA and in the community, when appropriate. Care coordination is an attribute of responsible whole healthcare delivery that should be carried out by all healthcare providers. Improving care coordination has been identified as a priority for improving Veterans’ healthcare quality, safety, and efficiency. As part of these efforts, HSR&D held a state-of-the-art (SOTA) conference on Care Coordination from March 20-21, 2018 in Baltimore, MD. SOTA participants included a multidisciplinary group of VA and non-VA experts, who discussed care coordination in various areas that have a vital impact on Veterans, including mental health, homelessness, ambulatory and acute care coordination, as well as coordination of care from VA to non-VA care.
HSR&D’s Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) also works on enhancing care coordination. For example, Care Coordination QUERI works to improve patient-centered care coordination for high-risk Veterans in VA’s patient-aligned care teams (PACTs). In addition, HSR&D funds several studies focused related topics such as precision medicine, cancer care, maternity care, and coordination of care for Veterans with complex, chronic medical conditions. Read more about some specific studies below.