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The Veterans Health Administration Essay

2270 words - 10 pages

The Veterans Health Administration

Abstract

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA), one of three departments within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), is the largest integrated health system in the United States. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the component of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that implements the medical assistance program of the VA through the administration and operation of numerous VA outpatient clinics, hospitals, medical centers and long-term healthcare facilities. In the 1990’s the system was tarnished with poor patient care, and unsafe practices. By the mid 1990’s, the veterans health-care system was in deep crisis. ...view middle of the document...

In 1946 The Department of Medicine & Surgery was established, succeeded in 1989 by the Veterans Health Services and Research Administration, and renamed the Veterans Health Administration in 1991. It is responsible for providing federal benefits to veterans and their families. Headed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the VA operates nationwide programs for health care, financial assistance and burial benefits. (www.va.gov) Veterans Health Administration (VHA) implements the medical assistance program of the VA through the administration and operation of numerous VA outpatient clinics, hospitals, medical centers and long-term healthcare facilities. (www.va.gov)
The mission of the Veterans Healthcare System is to serve the needs of America's veterans by providing primary care, specialized care, and related medical and social support services. From 54 hospitals in 1930, VA’s health care system now includes 155 medical centers, with at least one in each state, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. VA operates more than 1,400 sites of care, including 872 ambulatory care and community-based outpatient clinics, 135 nursing homes, 45 residential rehabilitation treatment programs, 209 Veterans Centers and 108 comprehensive home-care programs. VA health care facilities provide a broad spectrum of medical, surgical and rehabilitative care. During the last ten years, VA has put its health care facilities under 21 networks, which provide more medical services to more veterans and family members than at any time during VA’s long history. (www.va.gov)
Through the VA’s medical benefits package, it provides the following health care services to all enrolled veterans; preventative care such as immunizations, physical examinations, health care assessments, screening tests and health education programs; ambulatory and emergency diagnostic and treatment services such as; emergency outpatient care in VA facilities, medical, surgical, chiropractic care, mental health, bereavement counseling and substance abuse; medications and supplies such as prescription medications, over-the counter medications and medical and surgical supplies. (www.va.gov)
VA maintains an annual enrollment system to manage the provision of quality hospital and outpatient medical care and treatment to all enrolled veterans. To receive VA health care benefits most veterans must enroll. VA enrollment allows health care benefits to become portable throughout the entire VA system. (www.va.gov) Enrolled veterans who are traveling or who spend time away from their primary treatment facility may obtain care at any VA health care facility across the country without worry of having to reapply. The VA health care system had nearly 7.9 million veterans who were enrolled as of October 2006. When they enroll, they are placed in priority groups or categories that help VA manage health care services within budgetary constraints and ensure quality care for those...

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