VA Health Care:

Issues and Concerns for VA Nursing Home Programs

HRD-86-111BR: Published: Aug 8, 1986. Publicly Released: Aug 8, 1986.

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GAO identified issues Congress may want to address in reviewing the Veterans Administration's (VA) proposal to increase resources for VA-supported state and community nursing home programs since they are less costly than the VA-owned nursing home program.

GAO found several issues which would have an effect on VA ability to deliver nursing home care in fiscal year 1987 and beyond, including: (1) whether the VA use of national goals is realistic in view of differing local needs and resources; (2) whether VA has access to needed beds in state veterans' nursing homes and contract nursing homes; (3) whether VA can obtain comparable information on patients' medical and nursing needs in the three nursing home programs and whether it would be useful for short-term and long-range planning; (4) whether VA would save the anticipated amount of money by using state and community nursing homes; (5) whether VA per diem payments to contract community nursing homes are higher than necessary; (6) how a veteran's disability status affects his nursing home placement and length of stay, and whether VA practices circumvent intended policy; (7) whether VA could identify and correct potential and actual problems in the delivery of contract nursing home care; and (8) the benefits and drawbacks of each of the VA nursing home programs for veterans, community nursing home operators, and VA.

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