Critical Release Report

Independent Budget VSOs Release Critical Issue Report

By PVA National Staff

The IB recently issued The Independent Budget Veterans Agenda for the 116th Congress: Critical Issue Update. This follow-up to our 2019 report evaluates progress on 26 key recommendations concerning access to veterans health care, benefits, and transitional services, to help ensure the VA MISSION Act will be fully and faithfully implemented.

Since the majority of the reforms contained in the VA MISSION Act have only been in effect since last June, and others have not yet been implemented, it is still too soon to judge whether the law will achieve its intended purpose to improve veterans’ access to high-quality medical care. However, of the 26 recommendations we believe that only one has been fulfilled,

11 have not been fulfilled and 14 are considered “to be determined,” which indicates partial or no fulfillment, with aspects that cannot be fully evaluated at this time.

Among those recommendations that The IB rated as not fulfilled are: conducting an open, transparent process for developing market area assessments and strategic plans that actively engages veteran service organization and veteran stakeholders; the equal application of quality and competency standards across both VA and non-VA providers to ensure the highest level of care possible for veterans; and the creation of a tiered integrated network that places VA providers first, and DOD, federal partners and academic affiliates second when VA care is not accessible.

You can view the Critical Release here.

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