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Department of Veteran Affairs VA Pilot Program on the Integration of Complementary and Integrative Health and Well-being Programs

Zeliadt SB. Department of Veteran Affairs VA Pilot Program on the Integration of Complementary and Integrative Health and Well-being Programs. In accordance with the requirements of section 933 of Public Law 114-198, enclosed is the 30-month progress report on implementation of Complementary and Integrative Health (CIH) and Whole Health at the 18 flagship sites after 2 years of the pilot program. The required cost analysis is also enclosed.. Washington, DC: Department of Veterans Affairs; 2020 Mar 31. 1-29 p.


Background This report is submitted pursuant to the reporting requirements of § 933(g) of Subtitle C of Title IX of the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act (CARA), Public Law 114-198 (2016). Generally stated, § 933 requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to conduct a 3-year pilot program at no less than 15 geographically distributed Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers, to assess the feasibility and advisability of using complementary and integrative health (CIH) and well-being programs to complement the provision of pain management and related health care services, including mental health care services to Veterans. The law sets out a number of detailed requirements for the pilot program, which are set forth in Appendix F. VA is required to commence the pilot program not later than 180 days after VA receives the final report from the "Creating Options for Veterans' Expedited Recovery" (COVER) commission under § 931(e)(2) of the same Subtitle. The COVER Commission appointments were delayed, and the COVER charter was not signed until July 24, 2017. The final COVER report was released on January 24, 2020. To not delay the 3-year pilot, the program required under § 933 commenced in October 2017. The launch included the selection of 18 pilot sites.1 The pilot is scheduled to conclude in September 2020. As to the reporting requirement, § 933(g)(1) requires VA to submit a report on the pilot program 30 months from the date of the pilot program's commencement. In other words, the report is due 6 months before the pilot program terminates, making this report due to Congress in April 2020. Due to the pilot program's data generation cycles, unavoidable delays in reaching full operation at all the pilot sites, and the need for data analysis, VA has only 2 years of analyzed data to rely on for purposes of this report. Specifically, this report is based on data available through October 2019. Pursuant to § 933(g)(2), VA's report on the pilot program must include VA's findings and conclusions with respect to the mandated pilot program, including: The use and efficacy of CIH approaches established under the pilot program; The outreach conducted by VA to inform Veterans and community organizations about the pilot program; An assessment of the benefit of the pilot program to covered Veterans in mental health diagnoses, pain management, and treatment of chronic illness; Identification of any unresolved barriers that impede VA's ability to incorporate complementary and integrative health services with other VA health care services; and Such recommendations for the continuation or expansion of the pilot program as VA considers appropriate.

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