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Health Services Research & Development

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HERC Health Economics Seminar

Forecasting Collections for the Veterans Health Administration

by George Miller, Ph.D.
Seminar date: 8/18/2010

Description: Funds collected through insurance reimbursements and copayments constitute a growing portion of the operating revenue of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). If VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) do not achieve their collections targets, they must find alternative sources of funding to meet their budgets. To help establish accurate collections targets, the VHA’s Chief Business Office has developed a new methodology to forecast future collections. Econometric models project collections as a function of forecasted local workload, patient demographics, and economic conditions. These projections are adjusted to reflect anticipated improvements in collections using estimates of the extent to which historical collections represent best practice and the pace by which the gap between historical experience and best practice is anticipated to be reduced. We describe the methodology and illustrate its use.

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