Objective:To discuss the pros and cons of (VHA)and VHA’s mission and vision statements.
Thesis:VHA has helped veterans access quality care, but it has been accusedof being insensitive to the medical needs of women and using a stricteligibility criteria.
VHA is a public health care agency that offers quality care to the population of eligible veterans in the U.S. VHA has pros and cons in equal measures.
Preview of main points
VHA has the most comprehensive mental and PTSD program that targets veterans who are more vulnerable than other members of the public (Watkins & Pincus, 2011).
VHA scores the highest in terms of all measures of quality as compared to its alternatives (Jha, Perlin, Kizer & Dudley, 2003).
All enrolled persons are given unlimited access to standard health care services, such as geriatric evaluation, Adult Day Health Care, palliative care, and respite care (U.S. DVA, 2016).
Eligibility criteria leave out large number veterans (U.S. DVA, 2016).
Some of the critical services are offered to registered persons depending on the amount of resources available to the organization, instead of the medical needs of eligible veterans (U.S. DVA, 2016).
About 66.9 % of women who avoid VHA women services state that they are less convenient compared to those offered in the private sector, which means that female patients are disadvantaged (Watkins & Pincus, 2011).
About half (50 %) of the eligible patients are forced to enroll in the copayment programs as long as they do not sustain service related types of disabilities.
VHA’s mission is to “Honor American Veterans by offering exceptional health care that enhance their health and well-being” (U.S. DVA, 2016).
The VHA’s vision statement is “To continue to be the benchmark of excellence and value in health care and benefits by providing exemplary services that are both patient centered and evidence based”.
VHA offers the highest level of quality care to veterans than competitors.
However, improper public awareness measures and insensitivity to women medical needs discriminate against female veterans.
Prosfrom patients’ perspective
VHAhas a large number of programs that suit the needs of each eligibleperson. For example, all enrolled persons are given unlimited accessto standard health care services, such as geriatric evaluation, AdultDay Health Care, palliative care, and respite care (U.S. Departmentof Veterans Affairs, 2016).
Theorganization provides a mental and PTSD program that is morecomprehensive than any other program offered by other health agenciesin the U.S (Watkins & Pincus, 2011). VHA appreciate the fact thatmembers of the defense forces encounter a lot of traumatizing momentsthat affect their mental easily as compared to civilians. To thisend, the mental health care program and PTSD are made socomprehensive and include fully sponsored treatment, follow-up, andhome visits by qualified professionals.
VHAscores the highest in terms of all measures of quality as compared toits alternatives. For example, patients gave VHA a score of 85 interms of quality services compared to 77 scores for the privateagencies, and the highest score on 11 indicators of quality servicesas compared to all other health care agencies (Jha, Perlin, Kizer &Dudley, 2003).
Consfrom patients’ perspective
Eligibilitycriteria leave out large number veterans. The organization statesstrictly that eligible persons should have served in the activenaval, military, or air service ad became separated on other groundsother than being dishonest. In addition, those who entered the forcesactive duties after September 7, 1980 and October 16, 1981 arerequired to have served for at least 24 continuous months, whichmeans that all venetians who served less than 12 months are left outof the program (U.S. DVA, 2016).
Someof the critical services are offered to registered persons dependingon the amount of resources available to the organization, instead ofthe medical needs of eligible veterans. For example, VA offersdomiciliary care and nursing home care when the organization believesthat it has accumulated adequate resources, and not depending on theneeds of patients.
VHAprograms discriminate against women in several ways. The lack ofadequate reach out and publication has denied about 48.5 % ofotherwise eligible women the information they need to understandtheir eligibility and how to enroll (Washington, Yano, Simon &Sun, 2006). In addition, about 66.9 % of women who avoid VHA womenservices state that they are less convenient compared to thoseoffered in the private sector, which means that female patients aredisadvantaged (Washington etal.,2006). About half (50 %) of the eligible patients are forced toenroll in the copayment programs as long as they do not sustainservice related types of disabilities. Classifying priority groups onthe basis of service connected disabilities, instead of patientsfinancial as well as current medical condition is an indication of apoor eligibility system.
Missionand vision of VHA
Themission statement of is “HonorAmerican Veterans by offering exceptional health care that enhancetheir health and well-being” (U.S. DVA, 2016). This missionstatement indicates that, although VHA offer several services toeligible veterans, its main mission is to achieve the desired levelof quality that cannot be matched by competitors.
TheVHA’s vision statement is “To continue to be the benchmark ofexcellence and value in health care and benefits by providingexemplary services that are both patient centered and evidencebased”. The vision statement indicates that VHA achieve itsunmatched quality of care by basing its services on research,evidence-based practices, and patient-care models.
VHAis guided by several core values in pursuing its mission and visionstatements. Some of these core values include commitment, integrity,respect, advocacy, and excellence.
The is one of the major components of theU.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This agency is responsible forimplementing different medical assistance programs that are developedby Veteran Administration. VHA has both pros and cons when analyzedfrom the perspective of patients. Patients hold that VHA has threemajor pros. First, VHA offers a wide range of services that makes ita suitable health care destination for veterans with different typesof health care needs. Secondly, VHA has the best mental and PTSDprogram that addresses the mental illness needs of veterans, who aremore vulnerable than the general population. Third, VHA has thehighest score in all measures of quality care as compared to otherhealth care organizations.
However,VHA has four major cons from the perspective of patients. First, theorganization has been accused of leaving out a large number of needyveterans. For example, a requirement that an eligible veteran musthave served in the service for at least 24 continuous month leavesout those who served less than 24 months, but need medicalassistance. Secondly, VHA has been accused of delivering medicalneeds depending on its assessment of resources available instead offocusing on the medical needs of patients. Third, VHA servicesdiscriminate against women in several ways, such as the failure ofthe services to meet the quality standards of private organizations.Fourth, priority is based on service-connected disabilities, whichmeans that veterans with more medical needs may not be givenpriorities as long as they do not have service-connecteddisabilities.
TheVHA’s mission is “To continue to be the benchmark of excellenceand value in health care and benefits by providing exemplary servicesthat are both patient centered and evidence based”. The visionstatement indicates that VHA achieve its unmatched quality of care bybasing its services on research, evidence-based practices, andpatient-care models.
Jha,K., Perlin, B., Kizer, W., & Dudley, A. (2003). Effects of thetransportation of the veteran affairs health care systems on thequality of care. NewEngland Journal of Medicine,348, 2218-2227.
U.S.Department of Veterans Affairs (2016). Veterans HealthAdministration. U.S.Department of Veterans Affairs.Retrieved February 3, 2016, fromhttp://www.va.gov/health/aboutvha.asp
Washington,L., Yano, E., Simon, B., & Sun, S. (2006). To use or not use.Journalof General Internal Medicine,21 (3), 11-18.
Watkins,K., & Pincus, H. (2011). VeteransHealth Administration Mental Health Program Evaluation.California: RAND Corporation.