HCM 320 Module Four Short Paper

Denise Vazquez

Southern New Hampshire University


Despite the complex healthcare needs of veterans, access to quality, safe and accountable care has been a significant challenge for this vulnerable population in the United States. Veterans are at higher risks of post-traumatic stress disorder, mental health disorders, traumatic brain injury, and substance use disorders than their civilian counterparts (Cheney et al., 2018). Improving this issue requires a multifaceted intervention approach that includes the integration of different socioeconomic factors affecting healthcare, such as the ability to pay for care, social support, and comorbidities.


Lack of steady employment is one of the major socioeconomic barriers to the proposed change. Most veterans are not employed because a large number of them deal with mental illness. This negatively affects their financial stability and access to quality care after retirement (Yee, Frakt & Pizer, 2016). As a result, veterans experience constraints in meeting their daily activities, including access to healthcare services (Cheney et al., 2018). Another barrier is the education gap. Veterans have limited knowledge of the processes required to obtain healthcare benefits once eligible, mainly due to a lack of information about what services are available (Cheney et al., 2018). As a result, this lack of knowledge impedes their initial enrollment into the VA healthcare system. 


Veterans in rural areas are at a higher risk of suffering from health complications than their urban peers because of the limited transportation means to access required care. However, under VHA, the federal agency that is responsible for the health and well-being of United States veterans, these veterans can benefit from low-income-targeted programs to assist veterans with problems of accessing care (Ofori, 2020). Another supporting factor is policies such as Medicare and Medicaid programs that benefit ethnic minorities as well as the majority populations in accessing affordable care (Ofori, 2020). These programs focus on refining and increasing access to care for all Americans, particularly children and senior citizens (Machikanti et al., 2017).


Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, mental health disorders, traumatic brain injury, and substance use disorders need continued physical and mental healthcare services. However, several socioeconomic factors have downplayed efforts to better access to care and subsequent recovery of this population, leading to poor quality of life for this population. Therefore, healthcare policies must be further focused on creating a solid and comprehensive multifaceted intervention to achieve long-term positive outcomes in healthcare access to veterans.


Cheney, A. M., Koenig, C. J., Miller, C. J., Zamora, K., Wright, P., Stanley, R., Fortney, J., Burgess, J. F., & Pyne, J. M. (2018). Veteran-centered barriers to VA mental healthcare services use. BMC Health Services Research, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-018-3346-9

Manchikanti, L., Helm li, S., Benyamin, R. M., & Hirsch, J. A. (2017). Evolution of United States health care reform. Europe PubMed Center Journal, vol. 20 (3) (107-110). https://europepmc.org/abstract/med/28339426

Ofori, W. K. A. (2020). Impact of social economic factors on U. S. Walden University. Retrieved January 31, 2022, from https://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=10100&context=dissertations

Yee, C., Frakt, A., & Pizer, S. (2016). Economic and policy effects on demand for VA care. Policy Brief. VA Quality Enhancement Research Initiative.

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