East Central Florida VA Medical Center

HRD-93-23R: Published: Jun 2, 1993. Publicly Released: Jun 2, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) east central Florida site selection for a VA medical center, focusing on the potential effects of national health care financing reform and the proposed closure of the Orlando Naval Hospital on the need to construct a VA medical center in east central Florida. GAO found that: (1) no one has developed evidence to change its finding or conclusions in regard to the VA medical center site selection; (2) it has been unable to develop data on veteran populations in the counties surrounding the alternative sites; (3) a universal health insurance system may reduce the demand for VA medical care by almost 50 percent because many veterans would not use VA care if they have an alternative; (4) although the VA medical center might be delayed, VA can provide needed care through demonstration projects using community hospitals; (5) east central Florida is a good venue to test alternative health care delivery systems, since its veteran population is dispersed with three main population centers and it has considerable unused private sector hospital capacity; and (6) the proposed closure of the Orlando Naval Hospital can make it available for use as either a VA hospital or nursing home, which will make building a VA medical center in the Orlando area unnecessary.

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