Veterans Administration hospitals: An economic analysis of government enterprise

  • Title:

    Veterans Administration hospitals: An economic analysis of government enterprise
  • Paperback ISBN:

    0-8447-3185-4

Veterans Administration Hospitals: An Economic Analysis of Government Enterprise by Cotton M. Lindsay (1975) concludes that VA hospitals have long outlived their purpose of caring for the war-wounded and that veterans could be provided with better quality hospital care more conveniently and at lower cost through the use of proprietary hospitals.

Lindsay notes that only 15 percent of all veterans hospitalized enter VA hospitals and that, of these, only 21 percent have service-connected injuries. Most of the patients treated in VA hospitals today have chronic conditions associated with aging, alcoholism and mental illness, a fact which suggests that VA hospital capacity is far in excess of what is actually needed.

The author analyzes the constraints placed on VA administrators to explain how well-intentioned people make decisions that result in misuse of resources. He identifies several of these inefficiencies and inequities, and concludes that, if subsidized medical care for veterans is desired, if would be more efficient to develop a system of government indemnity insurance. This would help do away with geographic and administrative inequities and would also help control cost.

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