Completing the MISSION: a Blueprint for Helping Veterans Make the Most of New Choices

J Gen Intern Med. 2020 May;35(5):1567-1570. doi: 10.1007/s11606-019-05404-w. Epub 2019 Oct 24.

Abstract

The June 6, 2019, implementation of the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act commenced a new era in health care for Veterans in which the more than 9 million Veterans who use VA care can now choose community (i.e., non-VA) clinicians or facilities when certain new criteria are met. This expansion of Veterans' health care options could give many Veterans more freedom to decide which settings best meet their individual needs and expectations, and could also lead to unintended consequences for Veterans who do not have all of the information they need to make personalized decisions about VA and community care. In this Perspective article, we recommend initial steps that VA leaders and VA clinicians need to take, and community clinicians should be aware of, in order to ensure that Veterans' expanded health care options translate into improvements in their access and outcomes.