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VA Nursing Homes: Reporting More Complete Data on Workload and Expenditures Could Enhance Oversight


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In fiscal year 2012, about $4.9 billion of VA's $54 billion health care services budget was spent on nursing home care. To inform Congress of its budgeting priorities, VA prepares a budget justification, which is reviewed by OMB, that includes data on nursing home workload and expenditures in the three settings. VA also collects data on length of stay (long- and short-stay) and resident characteristics, including eligibility status, as VA is required to pay for mandatory veterans nursing home care and may pay for discretionary care as resources permit. These data are important for Congress to understand how funding is allocated for long- and short-stay care and for residents in each setting. GAO was asked to examine VA's nursing home program. Among other things, GAO examined (1) VAs nursing home workload in each setting, by length of stay and resident characteristics; and (2) VA's expenditures for nursing home care in each setting, by length of stay and resident characteristics. GAO analyzed VA nursing home workload and expenditure data, including fiscal year 2012, by setting, length of stay, and resident characteristics; and interviewed VA officials.



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