VA looks to revamp private care for veterans in ambitious plan

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VAThe Department of Veterans Affairs will unveil a wide-reaching plan to Congress Wednesday to merge and expand its unwieldy networks of private doctors, an acknowledgment that the government cannot address a surging demand from veterans for medical care alone.

The goal of the New Veterans Choice Program, which would combine seven of the agency’s existing private health-care arrangements into a single system, is to eliminate gaps in care created by a tangled bureaucracy that has inadvertently impeded rather than broadened veterans’ access to care.

“All of these programs have been layered on top of each other without someone saying, ‘How do we rationalize them?’” VA Secretary Robert McDonald said in an interview.

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