38 CFR § 17.4015 - Designated VA medical service lines.
(a) VA may identify VA medical service lines that are underperforming based on the timeliness of care when compared with the same medical service line at other VA facilities and based on data related to two or more distinct and appropriate quality measures of VA's standards for quality when compared with non- VA medical service lines.
(b) VA will make determinations regarding VA medical service lines under this section using data described in paragraph (a) of this section, VA standards for quality, and based on factors identified in paragraph (e) of this section.
(c) VA will announce annually any VA medical service lines identified under paragraph (a) of this section by publishing a document in the Federal Register. Such document will identify and describe the standards for quality VA used to inform the determination under paragraph (a), as well as how the data described in paragraph (a) and factors identified in paragraph (e) of this section were used to make the determinations. Such document will also identify limitations, if any, concerning when and where covered veterans can receive qualifying care and services at their election in the community based on this section. Such limitations may include a defined timeframe, a defined geographic area, and a defined scope of services. VA will also take reasonable steps to provide direct notice to covered veterans affected under this section.
(d) VA will identify no more than 3 VA medical services lines in a single VA facility under this section, and no more than 36 VA medical service lines nationally under this section.
(e) In determining whether a VA medical service line should be identified under paragraph (a) of this section, and to comply with paragraph (c) of this section, VA will consider:
(1) Whether the differences between performance of individual VA medical service lines, and between performance of VA medical service lines and non- VA medical service lines, is clinically significant.
(2) Likelihood and ease of remediation of the VA medical service line within a short timeframe.
(3) Recent trends concerning the VA medical service line or non-VA medical service line.
(4) The number of covered veterans served by the medical service line or that could be affected by the designation.
(5) The potential impact on patient outcomes.
(6) The effect that designating one VA medical service line would have on other VA medical service lines.