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Rural Veterans and Access to Healthcare – Resources

Selected recent or important resources focusing on Rural Veterans and Access to Healthcare.

Evaluating an Enterprise-Wide Initiative to Enhance Healthcare Coordination for Rural Women Veterans Using the RE-AIM Framework
Evaluates success of a program to expand access to cancer screenings and maternal healthcare for rural female Veterans in the areas of reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance in 14 Veterans Health Administration facilities.
Author(s): Mark R. Relyea, Rebecca L. Kinney, Eric C. DeRycke, et al
Citation: Frontiers in Health Services 3, 1237701
Date: 01/2024
Type: Document
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Veterans Health: VA Should Improve Its Monitoring of Severe Maternal Complications and Mental Health Screenings
Examines Veterans Administration (VA) data on deaths and severe maternal morbidity among pregnant and postpartum veterans from fiscal year 2011 through 2020. Explores actions the VA has taken to monitor maternal health outcomes among pregnant and postpartum veterans and the extent to which the VA facilitates mental health screenings for these veterans. Offers recommendations to the VA regarding monitoring trends in severe maternal morbidity by veteran characteristics and maternity care coordinators' screening of veterans for mental health conditions. Includes rural references throughout.
Additional links: Full Report
Date: 01/2024
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Government Accountability Office
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Full Committee Oversight Hearing: "Rural Access: Is VA Meeting All Veterans Where They Live?"
The House Committee on Veterans' Affairs full committee oversight hearing discusses rural veteran's access to healthcare through the VA. Features a discussion of the VA's role as both a healthcare provider and a payer via its Community Care Program. Highlights technological challenges related to telehealth, such as lack of broadband connections and technological literacy of older veterans. Presents testimony from the VA, the Government Accountability Office, the Navajo Nation, and veteran advocacy groups, among others.
Additional links: Witnesses' Testimonies
Date: 01/2024
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: House Committee on Veterans' Affairs
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VA Health Care: Office of Rural Health Efforts and Recommendations for Improvement
Presents an evaluation of the Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health (ORH). Discusses the methods the ORH uses to improve healthcare quality and access for rural veterans, such as initiatives to expand VHA services to rural veterans and funding research to improve the healthcare quality in rural areas. Evaluates the ORH's efforts and makes recommendations for improvement.
Additional links: Full Report
Date: 01/2024
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Government Accountability Office
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Improving the Maternity Care Safety Net: Establishing Maternal Mortality Surveillance for Non-Obstetric Providers and Institutions
Examines a quality improvement plan implemented by the Veterans Health Administration (VA) that utilizes system-level surveillance to monitor non-obstetric care for pregnant veterans. Examines maternal mortality of veterans using VA maternity care benefits, with 2011-2020 data broken down by age, race/ethnicity, and rural versus urban location.
Author(s): Joan L. Combellick, Bridget Basile Ibrahim, Aryan Esmaeili, et al.
Citation: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 21(1), 37
Date: 12/2023
Type: Document
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Fact Sheet: How to Define Rurality
Fact sheet defines rural in the context of the Veterans Health Administration. Discusses RUCA codes, Census tracts, and how the VA assigns rurality.
Date: 12/2023
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health
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Thrive 2022: Veterans Health Administration Office of Rural Health Annual Report
Details a report on the objectives and outcomes of the VA's Office of Rural Health's (ORH) mission to improve the health and well being of rural veterans. Presents the ORH's efforts to improve access and quality of care, as well as plans to address future challenges.
Date: 12/2023
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health
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VA Health Care: Actions Needed to Improve Information Reported on Mobile Medical Units
Describes how the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) utilizes mobile medical units to provide primary and specialty medical care to veterans in communities with veteran populations too small to support local facilities and in areas with limited access to specialty care, including rural areas. Examines VA's annual reports to Congress between 2018 and 2023 about mobile medical units' operations and performance. Offers recommendations to the VA to improve the reliability of the data and contextual information reported to Congress on mobile medical units.
Additional links: Full Report
Date: 12/2023
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Government Accountability Office
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Veterans With Blood Cancers: Clinical Trial Navigation and the Challenge of Rurality
Presents a study on the geographic barriers to accessing cancer trials faced by rural veterans. Explored the availability of cancer trials based on rurality and highlights clinical trial deserts. Breaks down demographic data by race, gender, cancer type, and rurality, among other measures.
Author(s): Daphne R. Friedman, Thomas D. Rodgers, Courtney Kovalick, et al.
Citation: Journal of Rural Health, 40(1), 114-120
Date: 12/2023
Type: Document
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VA Versus Non-VA Quality of Care: A Systematic Review
Presents a review of healthcare quality for veterans in VA and non-VA settings. Analyzes 42 studies of non-surgical care and 19 studies of surgical care. Highlights studies focusing on rural veterans and details rural veterans' reported satisfaction with the care they received.
Additional links: Executive Summary
Author(s): Paul Shekelle, Melinda Maggard-Gibbons, Mariah Blegen, et al.
Date: 12/2023
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Last Updated: 2/14/2024