VA Conducts Market Area Health Systems Optimization

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates the largest integrated health care system in the country. As the U.S. Veteran population is changing, VA must adapt to continue caring for each of its enrollees and ensure the Veteran remains at the center of VA’s health care system. An important component of this effort includes adaptation of VA’s health care infrastructure, which requires modernization to provide care closer to where Veterans live and in line with their preferences. To help achieve these goals, the VA MISSION Act of 2018 established the market assessment process to inform and support an Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission, which will help VA modernize its infrastructure to increase Veteran access to care and improve Veteran outcomes well into the future.

The Market Area Health Systems Optimization (MAHSO) project is an initiative to conduct market assessments for VA health care markets. Market assessments use a variety of qualitative information and quantitative data to identify opportunities in each market. The market assessments and AIR Commission process prioritize input and review from a wide variety of stakeholders across the country, including Veterans, VSOs, local VA leaders, and Congress. The MISSION Act allows the AIR Commission a full year to review VA’s recommendations for alignment with the selection criteria. The AIR Commission will submit its recommendations to the President for approval, who will then submit the recommendations to Congress. Recommendations will not be enacted prior to congressional approval. The implementation timeline for approved recommendations is long-term, spanning changes that will occur over 10 to 20 years.

VA remains committed to delivering exceptional health care for Veterans. The VA health care system is here to stay. Veterans are and will always be at the center of VA’s health care services. VA remains committed to a core set of immutable values that empower, strengthen, and encourage a vibrant and healthy Veteran community. At the forefront of every decision VA makes is a commitment to serving as an integrated system to provide the coordinated, lifelong, world-class health care and services Veterans have earned and deserve. The Department will remain committed to its role as the primary provider and coordinator of Veteran care. “As Veteran needs, preferences, and demographics shift over the coming decades, VA’s top priority will be to design an integrated system of care and benefits that is outcomes-based, and values-driven, stated Chris Cauley, Medical Center Director. “We are proud to have the opportunity to continue serving our Veterans with all their health care needs. By performing the MAHSO, it puts VA ahead of most health care systems as we continue to modernize and stay Veteran-focused.”