Treatment of Ineligible Veterans in VA Hospitals

HRD-77-149: Published: Sep 19, 1977. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 1977.

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Indebtedness referrals from two Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals were sent to GAO for collection of claims against persons who were ineligible for medical treatment.

Claims for 32 cases from the Houston, Texas, VA hospital and two cases from the Alexandria, Louisiana, VA hospital for the period from January 1970 to March 1977 totaled about $137,609. In 26 of these cases, the same patients had been admitted to the hospital or the outpatient clinic more than once, and in two cases the same patient had been treated in excess of 100 times. Of the 8 persons who had only a single incidence of hospital admission before being found ineligible, the shortest length of stay was 20 days. Two of the persons were treated in the hospital for over 100 days. Additionally, the time it took to determine eligibility of patients was excessive.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The admitting procedures for VA hospitals should be reviewed and changed to preclude readmission of persons previously determined to be ineligible for hospital or outpatient care. An evaluation should be conducted to determine how to reduce the length of time required to determine patient eligibility.

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