VA proposes consolidation of some health centers | Headlines | insidenova.com – Inside NoVA

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Updated: April 3, 2022 @ 3:57 am
Veterans Administration Building, Washington, D.C.

Veterans Administration Building, Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is proposing consolidation and change in its Northern Virginia healthcare operations, following a multi-year, nationwide review that evaluated facility quality and geographic distribution relative to the veteran population.
In Northern Virginia, the Fredericksburg Health Care Center, currently under development, will consolidate primary care and outpatient mental health services from the existing Fredericksburg community-based outpatient clinic and the Spotsylvania County outpatient clinic.
Moving services to the planned Fredericksburg health care center will allow for the closing of the Fredericksburg outpatient clinic, the study said, because the new facility is only 5.2 miles from the existing outpatient clinic. This is also based on projections that enrollees in Fredericksburg are expected to increase by more than 17.8% between 2019 and 2029.
The Spotsylvania community-based outpatient clinic is less than two miles from the planned Fredericksburg Health Care Center, so it also will be consolidated within the new facility.
The VA study noted that the age of the existing Fredericksburg center makes building a new facility more affordable, and a “better stewardship of taxpayer dollars,” because new construction will be less expensive than trying to modernize existing centers.
The report will be reviewed by the VA’s national Asset and Infrastructure Review Commission. The commission will also consider evaluation and comments from stakeholders, veterans and members of the community, hold public hearings, visit VA facilities and meet with employees and VA partners before submitting recommendations to President Joe Biden. If Biden signs off on the final recommendations, Congress will have 45 days to reject or accept the entire slate of recommendations.
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said in written remarks about the sweeping VA analysis that the study is a preliminary but notable step in realigning healthcare under the VA Mission Act of 2018 that he supported.
“For years, I’ve pushed to make sure that Virginia’s veterans have access to quality and timely health care that they have earned through years of service to our country. … I look forward to engaging with veterans and communities around Virginia to make sure that these recommendations would live up to their stated aim of effectively meeting the future health care demands of our growing veteran population here in the commonwealth.”
The report notes that the VA based its presentation to the AIR Commission on the question: What is best for the veterans we serve? The study said the recommendations will help the VA cement its role as the primary, world-class provider and coordinator of veterans’ health care for generations to come.
Paul Lara covers the military beat. Reach him at plara@insidenova.com
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