VA's Justification for the Number of Beds Planned for the Philadelphia Hospital and Nursing Home

HRD-85-69: Published: Jun 13, 1985. Publicly Released: Jul 15, 1985.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Veterans Administration's (VA) rationale and basis for determining that it needed a 538-bed hospital and 240-bed nursing home as part of its proposed modernization of the Philadelphia medical center.

GAO found that VA failed to adequately justify the adjustments it made to the computer model's results when it established its hospital bed requirement for 1990. Consequently, the hospital's size, which served as the requirement for both the conceptual design and preliminary planning contracts that VA awarded, appears to have been overstated. GAO also found that projected increases for some hospital bed sections were not offset by reductions in other sections, which resulted in a double counting of bed requirements for some sections. GAO was unable to assess whether other adjustments to the model's results were justified because VA officials could not locate documentation supporting those adjustments. Finally, the proposed construction of a 240-bed nursing home was justified because there is no space available at the medical center to renovate or convert space into a nursing home care unit, and the planners followed VA central office guidance and adequately considered local needs and resources as well as alternatives to new construction in their decision.

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