VA Commission Recommends Closure of Three Hospitals
A federal commission appointed to review proposed reforms to the Department of Veterans Affairs health system on Friday recommended that the VA close hospitals in Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Gulfport, Miss., but said that facilities scheduled for closure in Canandaigua, N.Y.; Lexington, Ky.; and Livermore, Calif.; should remain open, the AP/Philadelphia Inquirer reports (Gamboa, AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/14). In August, the VA announced a proposal to close seven hospitals, construct some new facilities and move some services closer to areas where veterans live. The Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services Commission was appointed to review the proposal and make recommendations to VA Secretary Anthony Principi (California Healthline, 12/17/03). In addition to the hospital closures, the 16-member commission recommended that the VA move many services from a facility in Waco, Texas (AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/14). The commission 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, Calif. (Hallissy, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/14). The commission also recommended that the VA construct a new hospital in Orlando but said that the department should not construct a new facility in Las Vegas. Principi, who plans to decide whether to accept the recommendations within 30 days, had no comment (AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/14).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.