VA Secretary David Shulkin: Goal is public, private health sector services integration

VA chief says he plans integration, not privatization

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Dr. David Shulkin, the Department of Veterans Affairs secretary, recently said he plans to integrate the best of the private health sector with the best of the VA to give veterans better care. 

Shulkin said the new strategy is not an effort to privatize the department, but a plan to integrate systems.

Shulkins said he wants the VA to focus on improving the services for veterans that the private sector doesn't offer. 

The system will work differently in different parts of the nation. The differences will depend on the health services offered in each area. 

The VA will not be in competition with the private sector. It will be complementary. Shulkin is working to update the Choice program, which expanded veterans' access to care outside of the VA in 2014, but is running low on funds.

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