Choice Act Requires Third Party Assessment of Processes; Firm Will Serve as Program Integrator
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today, October 1, 2014, announced that the MITRE Corporation, a not-for-profit company that operates multiple federally funded research and development centers, has been awarded a contract to support the Independent Assessment of VA health care processes, as required by the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (“Choice Act”). MITRE Corporation will serve as program integrator.
Section 201 of the Choice Act directs VA to enter into one or more independent, third-party contracts for an assessment of the hospital care, medical services and other health care processes in VA medical facilities. The program integrator will be responsible for coordinating the outcomes of the assessments conducted by the third-party entities according to the scope of the contracts. The program integrator is required to report the independent assessment results to Congress within 60 days of the assessment’s conclusion.
“This independent assessment is a key element in our effort to rebuild trust with Veterans and our other stakeholders,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald. “It will provide the Department a way to transparently review our vital programs, organizations, and business practices to make us a better and more accountable VA for the Veterans we serve.”
Working with Congress, Veterans Service Organizations, and other stakeholders, VA has taken steps to implement Choice Act legislation, including:
- Establishing a Program Management office to oversee planning and implementation of the legislation across the Department.
- Putting in place the mechanisms to execute the outlined facilities with the authorization provided to carry out major medical facility leases.
- Working through the contracting process to extend the pilot program called Project ARCH to ensure the continued expanded access for Veterans in rural areas provided by that program.
- Holding Industry Day to seek input on how best to provide administrative support including issuing Veteran Choice Cards.