Sidath Viranga Panangala
Specialist in Veterans Policy
In the early 1990s, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA)—one of the three administrations of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)—began developing a strategy to expand its capacity to provide outpatient primary care, especially for veterans who had to travel long distances to receive care at VA facilities. To facilitate access to primary care closer to where veterans reside, VHA began implementing a system for approving and establishing Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs).
A CBOC is a fixed health care site that is geographically distinct or separate from its parent VA medical facility. A CBOC can be either VA-owned and VA-staffed or contracted to Healthcare Management Organizations (HMO). Regardless of how it is administered, a CBOC must have the necessary professional medical staff, access to diagnostic testing and treatment capability, and the referral arrangements needed to ensure continuity of health care for current or eligible veteran patients. VA policies require all CBOCs to be operated in a manner that provides veterans with consistent, safe, high-quality health care.
CBOCs are managed at the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) level, and planning and development of a new CBOC is based on the VA's need, available resources, local market circumstances, and veteran preference.
In FY2010, VA expects to have a total of 833 operational CBOCs throughout the United States and its territories to serve over 2.8 million veteran patients. In addition to primary care, CBOCs provide mental health services, management of acute and chronic medical conditions, and pharmacy benefits, among other services. It should be noted that the type of medical services available at a CBOC can vary from clinic to clinic.
This report provides an overview of VA's rationale in establishing CBOCs, describes how they are managed and administered, discusses medical services provided at CBOCs, and summarizes what is known about the quality and cost of providing care in CBOCs compared to primary care clinics at VA Medical Centers. Lastly, it describes the process for developing a new CBOC.
Date of Report: February 22, 2010
Number of Pages: 17
Order Number: R41044
Document available electronically as a pdf file or in paper form.
To order, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 301-253-0881.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Sidath Viranga Panangala