Report 2012-119 Recommendations and Responses in 2014-041

Report 2012-119: California Department of Veterans Affairs: It Has Initiated Plans to Serve Veterans Better and More Cost-Efficiently, but Further Improvements Are Needed

Department Number of Years Reported As Not Fully Implemented Total Recommendations to Department Not Implemented After One Year Not Implemented as of 2013-041 Response Not Implemented as of Most Recent Response
California Department of Veterans Affairs 1 17 7 n/a 7

Recommendation To: Veterans Affairs, Department of

To ensure that it maximizes its ability to generate revenue at all the veterans homes and better cover the costs of providing care to its members, CalVet should analyze its cost-recovery model, including an evaluation of the state laws that limit the amount of revenue that CalVet can collect for the care it provides to its members at the veterans homes.

Response

CalVet has entered into a partnership with the State Library to gather data from veterans homes across the nation on their cost recovery models, to help CalVet determine best practices. Results are expected by December 1, 2014. Also, CalVet has started the process to establish income verification through the Social Security Administration to ensure the correct fees are being assessed. Finally, CalVet has entered into a collections contract to assist in the pursuit of unpaid fees.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: January 2016
  • Response Date: October 2014

Recommendation To: Veterans Affairs, Department of

To ensure it is maximizing its ability to serve veterans in the State's veterans homes, CalVet should follow through with its plan to assess the bed capacity of the homes for veterans' needs after the homes in Fresno and Redding are licensed, to determine the most appropriate number of beds for the different levels of care offered at each home.

Response

The Fresno and Redding homes are still completing their licensing and certification processes. As this occurs, in order to maintain responsiveness to veterans' long-term care needs, CalVet has assessed all eight veterans homes' management of admission applications to ensure that those individuals who apply are apprised of availability at all eight homes in the system. This effort enables CalVet to reduce the amount of time an applicant must wait for space to become available in a particular home, and it ensures the space and resources the homes offer are used most effectively.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: July 2015
  • Response Date: October 2014

Recommendation To: Veterans Affairs, Department of

To better utilize unused space at the veterans homes, and to serve more veterans within legal restrictions, CalVet should use the information in the Yountville veterans home master plan to develop a plan for using unused space at that home to generate revenue and/or serve more veterans.

Response

The master plan has been evaluated internally. To date the following actions have been taken; a new SNF building has been included in the Department's five year capital outlay plan. A pre-application for a new SNF Building has been submitted to the USDVA Construction Grant Program. A site-wide historic evaluation has been conducted by the State Historic Preservation Office. The evaluation provides guidance when renovation activities occur to protect the site's historic value. In addition a water management plan is underway for the Rector Dam to include water management strategies as well as an evaluation of any potential new customers that can be accommodated within the current permit. Completion of the water management plan is anticipated for December 31, 2014.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: December 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

Recommendation To: Veterans Affairs, Department of

To ensure that it is providing the highest quality of services to veterans, CalVet should improve its tracking system policy by developing oversight controls so that the system is used consistently by all of the veterans homes.

Response

CalVet has developed an oversight schedule to ensure that each home has implemented the tracking system. As of September 2014, the Homes Division had conducted initial reviews of all eight homes and had begun following up with homes that showed need for improvement. The Homes Division is in the process of implementing a revised policy to reflect its review schedule. The revised policy specifies that, in order to provide ongoing oversight, the Homes Division will conduct annual reviews of those homes that were fully successful in the initial reviews, and quarterly reviews of those homes that initially showed need for improvement, based on the development of correction plans.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

Recommendation To: Veterans Affairs, Department of

To allow for public input and to prevent any legal challenges that its policy of capping members' fees, its $165 monthly income-retention policy for members, and its age and admission policy are unenforceable underground regulations, CalVet should adopt these policies as regulations in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

Response

CalVet Homes Division has reorganized its structure and created a dedicated Chief of Research and Program Review. This position was filled in May 2014. The staff member in the position has been enrolled in a rulemaking class that will be offered by the state Office of Administrative Law.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: January 2016
  • Response Date: October 2014

Recommendation To: Veterans Affairs, Department of

To more effectively and efficiently meet state purchasing and procurement requirements, CalVet should continue implementing quality assurance policies to strengthen its oversight of its purchasing practices, including conducting on-site reviews of the purchasing practices of the veterans homes.

Response

CalVet recently conducted four training sessions in person and by video teleconference for staff in headquarters and the Veterans Homes on contracting procedures. CalVet will be providing training on the procurement process the first week of November 2014. In addition, the third Wednesday of each month CalVet has an ongoing training session on contracting issues. CalVet updated its procurement procedures and is in the process of finalizing and revamping its contracting procedures. In addition, headquarters staff is also conducting quarterly visits to the Veterans Homes to provide training and to pull sample contracts and purchase orders for auditing. CalVet is also relooking the purchasing model for the Department. CalVet expects to complete this evaluation by December 2014.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: December 2016
  • Response Date: October 2014

Recommendation To: Veterans Affairs, Department of

To more effectively and efficiently meet state purchasing and procurement requirements, CalVet should analyze its current purchasing model to ensure that it is the most efficient and cost-effective to use when purchasing non-IT goods and services for the veterans homes.

Response

CalVet's analysis of our current purchasing model indicates we follow all purchasing guidelines and procurement laws and regulations. These laws are intended to ensure efficiency and cost effectiveness over all state procurements. CalVet continues to improve our compliance procedures and ensure purchasing and contracting staff at the Veterans Homes receive bi-annual training in all procurement processes. We are also relooking the purchasing model for the Department.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: December 2016
  • Response Date: October 2014

Current Status of Recommendations

All Recommendations in 2014-041