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VA to Expand Home- and Community-Based Services By 2026

VA to Expand Home- and Community-Based Services By 2026

Courtesy of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC)

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care is expanding its Home-Based Primary Care, Medical Foster Home, and Veteran-Directed Care programs to make them available at all VA medical centers (VAMC) by the end of fiscal year 2026.

VA will add 58 medical foster homes and 70 veteran-directed care programs to VAMCs across the nation and add 75 home-based primary care teams to areas with the highest unmet need.

“These evidence-based programs allow veterans to age-in-place, avoid or delay nursing home placement and choose the care environment that aligns most with their care needs, preferences, and goals,” said Executive Director of VA Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care Scotte Hartronft, M.D. “Veterans using these programs have experienced fewer hospitalizations and emergency department visits, reduced hospital and nursing home days, and fewer nursing home readmissions and inpatient complications.”

According to VA’s Policy Analysis and Forecasting Office, the number of veterans of all ages who are eligible for nursing home care is estimated to expand from approximately 2 million veterans in 2019 to more than 4 million by 2039. As this population grows, VA remains steadfast in providing the highest levels of care to veterans in the least-restrictive settings.

These programs provide an in-home or smaller care setting than traditional institutionalized long-term care. This smaller setting of care supports less risk of transmission of COVID and other infectious diseases. Many veterans have chosen these programs instead of institutionalized care during the pandemic for more flexibility in care preferences and less risk of COVID transmission.

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