Veterans' Health Care:

Veterans' Perceptions of VA Services and Its Role in Health Care Reform

T-HEHS-94-150: Published: Apr 20, 1994. Publicly Released: Apr 20, 1994.

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GAO discussed the results of a series of focus groups meetings it held with 127 veterans regarding their perceptions of the current veterans health care system and the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) future role under health care reform. GAO noted that: (1) the veterans expressed a wide range of views about VA health care and the most appropriate role for VA under health care reform; (2) many veterans appeared to use VA only for certain services, such as service-connected disabilities, rather than relying on VA for all health and medical care; (3) veterans' satisfaction with VA health care varied by location, but focused mainly on poor customer service; (4) veterans expressed some misgivings about the quality of VA care; (5) veterans expressed concerns and apprehension about changes in VA health care and their possible impact on the special health care needs of veterans; (6) some veterans did not see a need to maintain separate veterans' health care facilities, as long as veterans had a viable alternative; and (7) veterans indicated that the health care needs of veterans with the most serious service-connected disabilities should be the highest priority.

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