Sunday, February 10, 2008

VA FY 2009 Budget Request

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Dr. James B. Peake, reported that the President is seeking $93.7 billion in FY 2009 for the Department. The budget requests $2.4 billion for the Department’s IT program. This is $389 million (19% above the 2008 budget) and reflects the realignment of all IT operations under the control of the Chief Information Officer. The VA will expand the telehealth program to improve access to healthcare for veterans living in rural and remote areas. In 2009, the Department expects to treat 5.8 million patients which is an increase of 1.6% over 2008.

Highlights for the FY 2009 budget request include:

  • $26,260 billion for acute care which includes inpatient acute hospital care, ambulatory care, and pharmacy services. The VA is expecting to fill 126 million prescriptions in 2009
  • $3,861 billion for mental health to support inpatient and outpatient mental health programs
  • $1,455 billion for the purchase and repair of prosthetics and sensory aids
  • $4,820 billion for long term care to provide care in the least restrictive and clinically appropriate setting and to provide veterans with care closer to where they live. The VA is requesting $762 million or a 27.6% increase in non-institutional care
  • $1 million for the Office of Rural Health to do studies on the current status of VA rural health programs and to develop policies and programs to meet the needs of rural health veterans
  • $93 million to support the cyber security program to enhance data security
  • $284 million to develop and implement the Veterans Health Information systems and Technology Architecture. This includes a health data repository, a patient scheduling system, and a reengineered pharmacy application. These applications are directly tied to programs which are intended to enhance or replace existing programs