An attempt to get long-stalled reforms to VA Choice in the spending omnibus bill broke down due to opposition from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, putting on hold legislation that would substantially open up private care to veterans.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David Shulkin Friday called on providers and health information technology vendors to commit to working on a set of standards aimed at breaking the interoperability logjam.
As lawmakers and the Trump administration try to reach a final agreement on VA Choice program reforms, VA Secretary David Shulkin announced a shakeup in leadership at medical centers and promised a sweeping overhaul of the VA health system.
Senators work toward a deal on the VA Choice program, and the Trump administration and a Koch-financed veterans group score a win with inclusion of a key provision that would let veterans opt for private providers if VA facilities don't meet certain access standards.
The Senate Veterans Affairs' Committee meets this week to discuss healthcare legislation and also hopes to hammer out compromise reforms of the VA Choice program that will expand private options for veterans.
President Donald Trump singled out high drug prices and the opioid epidemic during his first State of the Union address but offered no specific policy actions.
President Donald Trump's administration is aiming to curb the number of veteran suicides by improving mental health treatment for the high-risk group.
Between 2011 and 2016, the Veterans Affairs Department spent $1.1 billion on efforts that are seemingly for naught, as the agency is set to replace its existing systems with an EHR made by Cerner.
Earlier this year, lawmakers feared they would need to pass a VA Choice funding extension quickly as current funds dwindled. Now, Congress may hold off on the bill until funds run out in 2018.
As part of its effort to expand private healthcare, the VA is exploring merging its health system with the Pentagon's, a cost-saving measure that veterans groups say could threaten the viability of VA hospitals and clinics.
With the VA and Cerner set to finalize their new EHR contract, VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin assured lawmakers that the system will result in greater interoperability between the VA, Defense Department and community providers.
The Veterans Affairs Department wants to allow providers to conduct telehealth visits with patients without geographic barriers. The proposal complements recent efforts to expand technology use in veterans' healthcare.