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Since fiscal year 1997, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has relied primarily on its 21 health care networks to allocate resources to its medical centers. VA headquarters also directly allocates some resources to the medical centers. In addition, medical centers collect resources from third-party insurance payments and other sources. VA provides general guidance to\ networks for resource allocation to medical centers, but permits variation in networks' allocation methodologies. Representatives from veterans groups and others have expressed concerns regarding resource allocations to medical centers in Network 9 (Nashville) known as the Mid South Healthcare Network. GAO was asked to report for fiscal year 2002 (1) the amount of resources medical centers in the network received and the source of those resources and (2) the basis on which medical centers in the network received these resources. GAO was also asked to supplement findings for fiscal year 2002 with information for fiscal years 1997 through 2003.

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