Just as the "New Deal" aimed to elevate the "forgotten man" of the Great Depression through governmental relief and reform, so does the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system aim to improve the health of veterans with the invisible illness of chronic kidney disease through a concerted series of health care delivery reforms. Augmenting its primary care platform with advances in informatics and health service delivery initiatives targeting kidney disease, the VA is changing how nephrology care is provided to veterans with the goal of optimized population kidney health. As the largest provider of kidney health services in the country, the VA offers an instructive case study of the value of comprehensive health care coverage for people with chronic kidney disease. Recent reports of kidney health outcomes among veterans support the benefit of the VA's integrated health care delivery system. Suggestions to optimize veterans' kidney health further may be equally applicable to other health systems caring for people afflicted with kidney disease.
Keywords: Department of Veterans Affairs; VA; Veterans Health Administration; chronic kidney disease (CKD); health care; health care delivery; integrated health care system; kidney disease; nephrology care; population health; review; veterans.
Published by Elsevier Inc.