A House report on a committee-passed bill (HR-4243) to conduct a review of VA facilities argues that many of them are out of date and don’t match the way the department currently delivers health care to veterans.
The report cites testimony from VA officials that “most of VA’s infrastructure portfolio is dated, in need of repair/replacement, and requires considerable investment” and that the majority “have out-lived their useful life-cycle, raising serious questions about VA’s continued ability to meet the needs of veteran patients and beneficiaries.”
The average Veterans Health Administration building is approaching 60 years old, more than five times older than the average building age of a not-for-profit hospital system, it says “These buildings were designed to meet an older, primarily inpatient, model of care. Thus, they are not well suited to provide care in accordance with modern, primarily outpatient, care models or to meet the contemporary ambulatory care needs of veteran patients.”
VA meanwhile has “acquired an ancillary mission” of taking care of mothballed buildings, diverting millions of dollars annually that could be better used, it added, while the VA has identified more than $50 billion in upcoming needs to modernize and maintain its facilities in operation.