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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO addressed a series of questions related to the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) acquisition and intended use of the Naval Hospital in Orlando, Florida. GAO noted that: (1) the VA Integrated Planning Model is based upon veterans' ages, average lengths of hospital stays, and number of patients treated in selected medical services; (2) VA used its model to project veterans' inpatient, outpatient, and nursing home needs for the year 2005; (3) VA did not consider the number of VA hospitals per square mile per capita in making its construction planning decisions for Central Florida and significantly overestimated the number of hospital beds it would need in 1995; (4) it is unclear why Florida's hospital utilization rates are far below the national rates; (5) the veteran population is expected to decline in Florida and the nation over the next 15 years, while the total population in these areas is expected to increase; (6) there are waiting periods for certain elective medical treatments in Central Florida VA hospitals due to staffing reductions; and (7) the VA Integrated Planning Model adequately accounts for the aging nature of the veteran population.

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