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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Houston VA Commended During Recent Inspector General Visit

July 23, 2003

Houston VA Commended During Recent Inspector General Visit

Released: 2003/07/23

HOUSTON, TX - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently conducted a Combined Assessment Program (CAP) review of the Houston VA Medical Center (HVAMC). The purpose of the review was to evaluate selected operations, focusing on quality of care and management controls.

CAP reviews are part of the OIG's effort to ensure that high quality health care and benefits services are provided to our Nation's veterans. CAP reviews combine the knowledge and skills of the OIG's Offices of Healthcare Inspections, Audit, and Investigations to provide collaborative assessments of Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) medical facilities and regional offices on a cyclical basis.

CAP review teams perform independent and objective evaluations of key facility programs, activities, and controls. The team evaluates how well the facility is accomplishing its mission of providing quality care and improving access to care, with high patient satisfaction; reviews selected financial and administrative activities to ensure that management controls are effective; and conducts fraud and integrity awareness briefings to improve employee awareness of fraudulent activities that can occur in VA programs. In addition to this typical coverage, a CAP review may examine issues or allegations that have been referred to the OIG by facility employees, patients, members of Congress, or others.

Review of the HVAMC affirmed that this medical center provides high quality health care to veterans. Also significant are the high levels of patient and employee satisfaction that were noted by the CAP review team. Patient care, quality management, financial, and administrative controls were found to be generally operating satisfactorily. The review team noted a few opportunities for improvement such as the reduction of excess medical, prosthetic, and engineering supply inventories and strengthening of inventory management controls.

In a congratulatory letter to HVAMC Director Edgar L. Tucker, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi said, "Please accept my sincerest congratulations on the IG's comments on your recent CAP preparation. I was very impressed with the audit manager's appraisal of a high level of professionalism at all levels throughout the VA Medical Center. Most notable was her comment that your management and staff were thoroughly prepared for the CAP review - more prepared than any other VA Medical Center the IG has visited in the past two years."

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Point of Contact: VHAHOU Public Affairs

04/21/04 08:25