VA Health Care:

Medical Centers Need to Improve Collection of Veterans' Copayments

HRD-90-77: Published: Mar 28, 1990. Publicly Released: May 4, 1990.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

David P. Baine
(202) 512-7101
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed whether the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented a cost-effective copayment billing and collection process.

GAO found that: (1) in fiscal year (FY) 1988, 159 VA medical centers' collections exceeded costs, which yielded a return of $1.36 for each $1 spent; (2) the centers achieved a 174-percent inpatient care return rate, compared to a 108-percent return rate for outpatient care; (3) five medical centers collected only half of the owed copayments mostly due to their failure to bill veterans; (4) centers' collection difficulties were attributed to billing delays; and (5) in FY 1988, VA centers collected about $9.9 million, with a net return of $2.6 million.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: VA has mandated that medical centers collect copayments for outpatient care provided to veterans, has developed a manual of procedures, and is training all relevant staff on identifying and billing veterans. Billing procedure software was shipped to each VA facility in August and September 1992.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Veterans Affairs should require VA medical centers to collect copayments from veterans or make payment arrangements while veterans are still at the centers.

    Agency Affected: Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Oct 18, 2017

Oct 4, 2017

Oct 3, 2017

Sep 29, 2017

Sep 13, 2017

Sep 12, 2017

Sep 8, 2017

Sep 7, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here