VA Surgical Implants: Purchase Requirements Were Not Always Followed at Selected Medical Centers and Oversight Needs Improvement

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Clinicians at the four Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMC) GAO visited said that patient need and their clinical expertise were the main factors influencing their decisions of which surgical implants to use. Also, clinicians in certain specialties said they typically used one of the implants available on VA-negotiated national committed-use contracts, which generally establish a fixed price for several models of nine types of surgical implants that the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) commits to using nationally. VHA recognizes the need for expanding items covered ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. January 13, 2014.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Clinicians at the four Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMC) GAO visited said that patient need and their clinical expertise were the main factors influencing their decisions of which surgical implants to use. Also, clinicians in certain specialties said they typically used one of the implants available on VA-negotiated national committed-use contracts, which generally establish a fixed price for several models of nine types of surgical implants that the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) commits to using nationally. VHA recognizes the need for expanding items covered under these contracts to fully leverage its purchasing power but, as of October 2013, had not identified additional implants to include on such contracts or established timelines for doing so. GAO also found that the availability of implants on VA-negotiated federal supply schedule (FSS) contracts rarely influenced clinicians' decisions on which implant to use. Clinicians were often not aware of the availability of surgical implants on FSS contracts, which are negotiated by one of VA's contracting offices, but for which VHA clinicians have little or no input. Clinicians told GAO that in some cases they may avoid implants on FSS contracts due to their concerns about the quality of these items."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • January 13, 2014

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. VA Surgical Implants: Purchase Requirements Were Not Always Followed at Selected Medical Centers and Oversight Needs Improvement, report, January 13, 2014; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc298906/: accessed May 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.