VA AIR Commission Report

3.21.22 UPDATE

We understand that since the federal VA published the AIR Report, and we shared it with you, there are many concerned veterans, and citizens, in Alexandria/Central Louisiana. First and foremost, we want you to know that the federal VA is not leaving your area. Here are some specifics about what we do know:

  • The federal VA will work with community hospitals and providers to provide inpatient medical/surgical, inpatient mental health services and outpatient surgical services that were formerly offered at the Alexandria VA Medical Center.
  • Alexandria’s Community Living Center, primary care, outpatient mental health, outpatient specialty care and urgent care services will move to a new facility becoming a Multispecialty CBOC in the Alexandria area.
  • Additionally, services will be expanded at both the Lake Charles CBOC and the Lafayette CBOC.

Please know that LDVA will advocate for Louisiana’s 288,000 veterans, in concert with our federal VA partners. The AIR Commission’s recommendations reflect how the AIR Commission members feel is the very best way to care for our veterans, and providing the highest level of care remains our priority.

These recommendations still need the approval of both the President and Congress, and will also still need to be funded.  We understand that the AIR Commission will hold listening sessions for input between now and the end of this year.  We encourage you to remain tuned in to the federal VA as they announce dates and times for these listening sessions.

As we receive more information from the federal VA, we will pass it on to you.

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Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs released its Asset and Infrastructure Review report that includes recommendations by the VA Secretary to cement the department as the primary, world-class provider and coordinator of Veterans health care for generations to come. The AIR report and the Secretary’s final recommendations can be found at https://www.va.gov/aircommissionreport. Once at that page, you will notice links to Volumes I and II. To view the market recommendations (Volume II) for VISN 16 which Louisiana is included in, visit https://www.va.gov/AIRCOMMISSIONREPORT/docs/VISN16-Market-Recommendation.pdf. You will find northern Louisiana in the Central Market beginning on page 18 and southern Louisiana in the Southern Market beginning on page 32.

The VA MISSION Act requires Secretary McDonough to publish the AIR report in the Federal Register and submit it to Congress and a presidentially appointed AIR Commission. The AIR Commission will conduct public hearings as part of its review of VA’s recommendations before submitting its own recommendations to the president for further review in 2023.

AIR is an initiative to study the current and future health care needs of Veterans across America, and to evaluate VA’s health care infrastructure to ensure VA is ready and able to continue to provide Veterans with world-class access and outcomes. The Secretary’s recommendations and final submission fully complies with the requirements of the VA MISSION Act of 2018. VA’s recommendations will:

  • Cement VA as the primary, world-class provider and coordinator of Veterans health care for generations to come
  • Build a health care network with the right facilities, in the right places, to provide the right care for all Veterans, including underserved and at-risk Veteran populations in every part of the country—making sure that our facilities and services are where the Veterans are
  • Ensure that the infrastructure that makes up the Department of Veterans Affairs in the decades ahead reflects the needs of the 21st century Veterans—not the needs and challenges of a health care system that was built, in many cases, 80 years ago
  • Strengthen our roles as the leading health care researchers in America and with our academic partnerships to remain the leading health care training institution in America

Many of the potential changes to VA’s health care infrastructure may be several years away and are dependent on Commission, Presidential, and Congressional decisions, as well as robust stakeholder engagement and planning.

This information is for your awareness, and we will keep you updated as we receive more information from the federal VA.

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