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VA Announces Health Data Sharing Pledge to Boost Veteran Experience

VA and 13 healthcare systems, including Kaiser Permanente and Intermountain, have pledged to improve the Veteran experience through health data sharing.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced a pledge with 13 healthcare systems to share data to improve the Veteran experience regardless of where they seek care.

Through the pledge, VA will work with 13 healthcare systems to improve Veteran healthcare by seamlessly exchanging information about care provided and requested. The pledge is also set to help Veterans save money by ensuring that they are taking advantage of VA and community resources.

The healthcare systems partnering with VA in this effort are Emory Healthcare, Inova, Jefferson Health, Sanford Health, University of California Davis Health, Intermountain Health, Mass General Brigham, Rush Health, Tufts Medicine, Marshfield Clinic, Kaiser Permanente Health Plan and Hospitals, University of Pittsburg Medical Center, and Atrium Health.

“This pledge will improve Veteran healthcare by giving us seamless, immediate access to a patient’s medical history, which will help us make timely and accurate treatment decisions,” Shereef Elnahal, MD, VA Under Secretary for Health, said in a press release.

“It will also empower VA to send helpful information to our partner health systems that they can then offer to Veterans in their care — including information about new benefits we are offering under the PACT Act, no-cost emergency suicide care, and more,” Elnahal added.

The data sharing goals outlined in the pledge could greatly benefit Veteran patients and the providers who care for them while helping reduce financial burden. For example, information sharing could help inform a non-VA doctor that a Veteran experiencing an acute suicidal crisis should receive care at no cost as part of a new VA policy.

Additionally, data sharing could inform a non-VA doctor about how the PACT Act could help a Veteran patient.

As a part of the pledge, VA and the participating health systems will work to develop and provide capabilities that support three objectives:

  • Accurately identify Veterans when they seek care from community providers
  • Connect Veterans with VA and community resources that promote health and healthcare
  • Responsibly and reliably coordinate care for shared patients whether or not they are enrolled in VA health benefits, including the exchange of information about care requested and provided

VA encourages any health system or provider that supports the data sharing pledge’s objectives to participate. Organizations signing the pledge began their work in October, aiming to provide proof of concept in early 2024.

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