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VA's demand projections effective in short, not long, term

A RAND study commissioned by the Department of Veterans Affairs explored the effectiveness of the complex model the VA uses to project future demand for its services and thus better allocate resources. The study found the VA's model to be effective in the short term but less accurate for longer-rate projections, especially in alternative policy environments.

The RAND team found that the VA's modeling system was designed in such a way that it will be possible to make it more effective without harming its current functionality. The model's greatest weakness spring from its limited view of the policy environment; should the cost model or scope of VA care change, the model's long-range projections will be rendered invalid.