VA Health Care:

Few Veterans Denied Care at Florida Clinics

HRD-89-69: Published: May 31, 1989. Publicly Released: May 31, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed records of 388 applications for outpatient medical care at 4 of Florida's 14 Department of Veterans Affairs' clinics to determine: (1) how many veterans were denied care; and (2) why they were denied care.

GAO found that: (1) the 4 clinics denied care to 27 applicants, less than 1.4 percent of the sample; (2) the clinics typically denied care to applicants whose length of military service did not qualify them for clinic care or to applicants who required speciality services that the clinics did not provide; (3) only 13 veterans wrote to clinic officials about being denied care, primarily concerning dental conditions which the clinics had determined were not related to a service-connected disability; (4) four veterans' service organizations were not aware of veterans being inappropriately denied care at the clinics; and (5) the Florida Division of Veterans' Affairs had not identified any eligible veterans who were inappropriately denied medical care.

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