VA is preparing to publicly release a report containing recommendations to invest in the most significant redesign of the VA health care system since the World War II era. The recommendations aim to realign and modernize VA health care facilities to improve Veteran health care access and outcomes.
The Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) report, to be released March 14, 2022, includes recommended investments that, if implemented, will see VA conduct a nationwide effort to build a VA health care network with the right facilities, in the right places, that provide the right care for Veterans in every part of the country.
The AIR report is part of VA’s commitment to keeping Veterans at the center of VA decision-making. It maximizes department resources to continually improve Veteran health care access and outcomes.
What’s in the report?
The recommended investments in the report include constructing new and modernizing existing VA health care facilities, as well as expanding VA partnerships with organizations that supplement VA’s own care delivery, such as the Department of Defense, Indian Health Service, academic institutions and community providers. The report also includes recommendations to close or relocate aged and underused VA health care facilities within some markets in a manner that will maintain the level of care VA currently offers and improve Veteran access in that market. Taken as a whole, the recommendations seek to maximize VA’s opportunities to provide Veterans a modern care experience; it also puts VA on a path to remain the primary, world-class provider and coordinator of Veterans health care for generations to come.
In the near-term, the AIR Report will have no significant impact on Veterans, VA employees and the VA facilities where Veterans receive care.
Who produced the report, and why?
To develop the report, VA conducted years of research and analysis, including interviews and collaboration with VA facility staff and leadership, as well as soliciting feedback from Veterans. Across its multiple volumes, the report presents an assessment of VA’s current infrastructure along with recommendations to keep VA on the leading edge of U.S. health care. It will ensure Veterans have convenient access to VA facilities in the areas where they live now and will live in the future. VA produced the report as required by the MISSION Act of 2018, which called for the nationwide study and accompanying recommendations for future investments.
As part of the AIR process, VA will publicly publish the report and submit it to the bipartisan, presidentially appointed and congressionally approved AIR Commission, which will review the recommendations.
During the AIR Commission’s review, the Commission will hold public hearings, visit VA facilities, meet with employees and VA partners – and, most important, listen to Veterans – to help them assess the recommendations. At the conclusion of that work, the AIR Commission will forward the recommendations, with any changes it deems necessary, to the President. The President will then determine whether or not to submit those recommendations to Congress. If the President does submit them, Congress can then accept those recommendations as a whole by inaction or reject those recommendations as a whole by passing a joint resolution of disapproval. If the recommendations are approved, VA must begin implementing them within three years. The timeline to complete implementation will vary within each market as VA works through a process to prioritize and fund projects.
VA is committed to maintaining transparency throughout this process and will provide timely updates on AIR-related news and events as this work continues through 2022 and beyond. More information, including the full AIR Report, will be available on www.va.gov on March 14.