VA and Defense Health Care:

Rethinking of Resource Sharing Strategies is Needed

T-HEHS-00-117: Published: May 17, 2000. Publicly Released: May 17, 2000.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the Department of Veterans Affairs'(VA) and the Department of Defense's (DOD) sharing of federal health care resources.

GAO noted that: (1) while VA and DOD partners are sharing resources and have reported a number of benefits from this exchange, the majority of sharing is occurring under a few agreements and at a few facilities; (2) certain barriers have created confusion about the status of current sharing agreements and presented challenges for future collaboration; (3) both VA and DOD face changes in their health care delivery systems that are likely to alter the potential for sharing; and (4) to provide stability to the current sharing program and to have VA and DOD jointly assess the most cost-effective ways to share health care resources in the future, GAO has made several recommendations.

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