VA troubles mount: Audit reveals department failed to spend $1.9B on healthcare

A new government report reveals that the Veterans Health Administration (VHA)  failed to spend $1.9 billion of obligated funds designated for outside medical care for veterans in fiscal 2013.  The Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General report indicates that from Oct. 1, 2013 through March 31 2015, VHA medical facility overestimated the funds needed to pay for outside care for veterans by about $543 million. The report indicates the problem is due to the failure of administrators to provide medical directors with necessary tools to estimate costs. In addition, medical center staff were not required to adjust estimated costs routinely to reflect actual costs. The Inspector General report recommended that the administration improve cost estimation tools, update system software to "deobligate" unused funds and require facilities to adjust cost estimates. Report (.pdf)