VA Long-Term CareThe Availability of Noninstitutional Services Is Uneven Gao ID: GAO-02-652T April 25, 2002
Noninstitutional long-term care services are delivered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to veterans in their own homes and other community locations. The Veterans Millennium Health Care and Benefits Act requires VA to offer long-term care services to eligible veterans, including services provided in noninstitutional settings. More than two years after the act's passage, VA has yet to offer eligible veterans adult day health care, geriatric evaluation, or respite care. Although VA published proposed regulations that would make these services available in noninstitutional settings to eligible veterans, the regulations had not been finalized as of April 17, 2002. To be responsive before its draft regulations were made final, VA issued a policy directive requiring that these three services be available in noninstitutional settings. GAO found, however, that both the services required by the act and VA's other noninstitutional services were unevenly available across the VA system.