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February 9, 2016

Learning From the Past to Improve VA Health Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2016;315(6):560-561. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.0243

Two decades ago, the Veterans Health Administration within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was facing a crisis.1 Veterans were having difficulty accessing the services that they were entitled to, there were deep concerns about the quality of care veterans received, and questions about the inefficiency of the care delivery were widespread, and raised by veterans, Congressional members, and other stakeholders. In those ways, the VA health care system looked a lot like the US health care system, with problems of access, quality, and costs.

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