OIG Seal
Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General
Michael J. Missal, Inspector General

Report Summary

Title: Vet Center Contracted Care Program Review
Report Number: 12-00040-268 Download
Issue Date: 8/16/2013
VA Office: Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
Report Author: Office of Healthcare Inspections
Report Type: Healthcare Inspections
Release Type: Unrestricted

OIG completed an evaluation of Vet Center contracted counseling services. The purpose of the evaluation was to: (1) determine if VA required contractors to complete specific components of client documentation in accordance with Readjustment Counseling Service (RCS) policy, (2) determine if managers provided appropriate oversight for the contracted clinicians’ required client documentation, (3) assess the management and oversight of contracted care based on compliance with the contract, and (4) determine if invoicing practices complied with RCS contract requirements. OIG conducted onsite and remote reviews for a random sample of 30 Vet Centers during the weeks of June 11 and 18, 2012, and reviewed psychosocial assessments and initial treatment plans for clients who received contracted counseling services during the study period from April 1, 2011, through March 31, 2012.

We identified six areas where Vet Centers needed improvement. OIG recommended that team leaders (1) receive, review, and approve psychosocial assessments and counseling plans prior to authorizing contracted counseling services; (2) conduct and document client assessments after 1 year of eligibility for contracted client services; (3) conduct annual onsite quality reviews for contractors who participate in the Contract for Fee Program; and (4) authorize contracted counseling services in accordance with RCS and VHA policy. We also recommended that RCS uses a standard template that includes terms and conditions that are consistent with those in the RCS policy and maintains and monitors counseling service contracts in accordance with RCS and VHA policy.