On Wednesday, May 21, 2014, former Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary, Eric Shinseki, directed Veterans Health Administration (VHA) leadership to personally review their processes to ensure the VA is doing everything possible to schedule Veterans for their appointments.

Veterans Affairs has subsequently redoubled its efforts to provide quality care to Veterans and has taken steps at national and local levels to ensure timely access to care. The Veterans Health Administration has developed the Accelerating Care Initiative (ACI), a coordinated, system-wide initiative to accelerate care to Veterans. This action was promptly communicated to administrative leadership in the field on May 22, 2014. The implementation was launched the following day, on the morning of May 23rd.

The Accelerating Care Initiative allows VA providers to utilize non-VA medical care for eligible Veterans when the VA medical center cannot provide the care due to unavailability of the service because of a lack of timely capacity and/or capability. The purpose of the initiative is to strengthen access to care in the VA system, while also ensuring flexibility to use private sector care when needed in accordance with VA guidelines.

For additional information and details, see: http://www.nonvacare.va.gov/

– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com