Boxer Urges Department of Veterans Affairs To Maintain Services at Livermore Hospital
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) on Thursday sent a letter to Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi in support of a federal recommendation to keep the Livermore VA hospital open, but she also urged the VA to maintain outpatient and short-term care services at the facility, the Contra Costa Times reports (Brewer, Contra Costa Times, 2/20). The federal Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services Commission, which was appointed to review proposed reforms to the VA health system, last week recommended that the department keep open its facility in Livermore. The Livermore facility had been scheduled for closure. The commission also recommended that the VA close outpatient services at the Livermore hospital and transfer 30 sub-acute hospital beds from the facility to a hospital in Palo Alto (California Healthline, 2/17). In the letter, Boxer wrote that she was disappointed with the recommendation for outpatient services and the short-term care beds in part because in the last decade the VA has spent millions of dollars to renovate and retrofit the Livermore facility to meet new state seismic requirements. "Considering the significant investment in the facility and need in the veteran community, it is shocking that the commission agreed to close the remainder of the Livermore Division," Boxer wrote. Principi is expected to make a final decision on the recommendations in March (Contra Costa Times, 2/20). The text of the letter is available online.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.