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Avoiding Cost Overruns for Your VA Hospital Building Project

By Cindy Juhas | April 13, 2016

Constructing or retrofitting Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals is a complicated process with many parts and people to organize.  The right medical and non-medical equipment, furnishings, along with installers, and knowledgeable personnel must be in place and operate under strict deadlines.

Adherence to government as well as local regulations is a must.  Knowledge, efficiency and pricing are the primary keys for successful project planning, implementation and on-time completion. Without them, medical facility construction can be a financial disaster.

Take, for example, the Aurora VA Hospital.  This project ran hundreds of millions over initially projected cost and years of delay, according to the Denver Post's February 10, 2016 article titled, "House approves bill to tighten control on VA construction."  Cost and time overruns were due to various miscalculations, including the following:

  • various planning changes including design changes
  • incomprehensible contract process misunderstood by VA administration
  • slow or non-payment of subcontractors
  • scarcity of available or willing subcontractors forcing higher bids acceptance
  • entire project underfunded
  • disorganization
  • over-spending on non-essentials

As a result of this debacle and another in Tampa, Florida, the House of Representatives introduced the H.R. 3106 bill "to increase efficiency and prevent cost overruns."  The bill requires the Army Corps of Engineers to manage VA projects in excess of $100 million. Additionally, Congress requires notification of any design and planning costs.  In this way, Congress hopes to avoid the huge cost overruns, additional funds requests, and delays like those in Aurora and Tampa.

Other features of H.R. 3106 require the VA to "use industry standards and certain management for medical facility construction projects... and creates a new position with the VA, the Assistant Inspector General for Construction, to oversee the construction of VA facilities and infrastructure."

In light of this new measure, VA Hospital construction processes, including equipment procurement, are under heightened scrutiny.  It is now even more important than ever before, that proper management and knowledgeable providers are in place from the start of any project, to assure proper equipment procurement and pricing as well as timely delivery and set up.

Additionally, the process of establishing medical facilities for the military, what the government calls IO&T (Initial Outfitting and Transition) must be carefully established with the expertise of a qualified IO&T contractor.

At CME, we provide custom turn-key solutions and support to the process of equipping medical facilities through our Direct-To-Site services.  We provide both medical and non-medical equipment, as well as planning and logistics services that may be easily implemented in any VA construction project.

Expertise means efficiency in saving money, time and stress.  Ample, wide-range knowledge and resources make our solutions viable and therefore valuable to meeting our customers' goals.  Our aim is to keep our customers on track, on time and within budget.  Contact us or call us today at 800-338-2372 to see how we can help you meet your VA hospital IO&T needs.

About CME: CME Corp is the nation’s premier source for healthcare equipment, turnkey logistics, and biomedical services, representing 2 million+ products from more than 2,000 manufacturers.

With two corporate offices and 35+ service centers, our mission is to help healthcare facilities nationwide reduce the cost of the equipment they purchase, make their equipment specification, delivery, installation, and maintenance processes more efficient, and help them seamlessly launch, renovate and expand on schedule.

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