Document Type

Issue Brief

Publication Date



This paper provides an historical overview of the modern Veterans Administration (VA) healthcare system and describes the multiple missions of the VA — patient care, health professions education, research, and medical preparedness. The VA's reform plan, which addresses issues related to decentralization, management and oversight, resource allocation, eligibility reform, and primary/ambulatory care, is also described and discussed. Challenges facing the VA as it transitions to a greater focus on prevention, primary care, and care management are also addressed.


Issue brief no. 716.

Open Access




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