VA Health Care:

Closure and Replacement of the Medical Center in Martinez, California

HRD-93-15: Published: Dec 1, 1992. Publicly Released: Dec 1, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reported on the closure and planned replacement of a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center, focusing on (1) the medical center's past site selection analyses; and (2) site selection and the sharing of medical facilities and services.

GAO found that: (1) the cost data VA used in its initial site selection analysis was imprecise; (2) VA cost estimates for renovating the medical center were too high in the original site selection analysis because they were based on the assumption that the renovations would be done while the building was occupied; (3) an architectural firm under contract with VA estimated that it would cost $15 million to seismically upgrade the medical center; (4) partially renovating the medical center to correct the seismic and life safety deficiencies and most serious functional limitations should be considered as a long-term solution; (5) adding a wing to the David Grant Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base, would likely be less expensive than constructing a new hospital; (6) two smaller medical centers might best meet the needs of veterans in the two major population centers; (7) the potential for medical school affiliations appeared to be the strongest for sites in Davis, Sacramento, and Travis Air Force Base which are close to the University of California at Davis; (8) VA did not consider the environmental impact of the alternative sites in its site selection analysis; (9) a joint venture would allow VA to offer services and programs that would not be available in a stand-alone medical center; (10) Department of Defense (DOD) medical facilities in the Bay Area and in Sacramento that serve active and retired military needed repair; and (11) a joint venture with DOD and VA might be a cost-effective way to meet the health care demands of veterans.

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