VA Clinic Funding

Gao ID: HEHS-95-273R September 19, 1995

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on how two Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers financed their new free-standing primary care clinics to improve veterans' access to health care services. GAO noted that: (1) the two centers have financed their four new clinics from savings derived from local management initiatives to improve operating efficiency; (2) the centers plan to open 10 more clinics over the next several years that will also be financed from other cost-saving initiatives; (3) the centers have contracted with predominantly rural clinics to provide primary care to veterans; (4) the yearly contract costs for the current and future clinics are expected to be less than $2 million; (5) cost savings have been derived from inpatient ward consolidations, patient utilization reviews, health education classes, service contract modifications, and staff reductions; and (6) the new clinics are expected to reduce veterans' use of fee-for-service private care and reimbursements for travel expenses to VA medical facilities.

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