The Lovell FHCC offers a number of lessons learned about what works well—and what does not—that would be useful to future FHCC decision makers and planners. The mergers of private-sector health care organizations do not provide adequate models for integration of federal health care organizations because they are narrowly based on increasing market share and revenue and usually do not involve clinical integration, only administrative consolidation. Published studies demonstrate substantial variation in performance after private-sector collaborative ventures. Nonetheless, lessons learned from private-sector mergers and pertinent data would be useful for both the Lovell FHCC and future endeavors (Appendix D contains a paper commissioned by the committee on the experiences of joint ventures and private-scector health care mergers).
RECOMMENDATION 6. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) should fund studies to address the key findings and questions raised by the experiences of the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center merger and other VA/DoD collaborative arrangements. These studies should address the implementation issues involved in establishing collaborative arrangements, including leadership, governance, communication, organizational culture, coordination, incentives, and related factors associated with improved access, quality, slowing of the increase in the cost of care, and military readiness.
Filippi, D. 2011. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center IT informational brief. Presentation by the director of the DoD/VA Interagency Program Office to the IOM Committee on Evaluation of the Lovell Federal Health Care Center Merger at its first meeting, Washington, DC, February 25.
GAO (Government Accountability Office). 2012. VA/DoD Federal Health Care Center: Costly information technology delays continue and evaluation plan lacking. GAO-12-669. Washington, DC: GAO. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-669 (accessed September 21, 2012).