Use and Oversight of the Emergency Caches Were Limited During the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic [open pdf - 2MB]
From the Executive Summary: "The COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic has had a major impact on VA's [Department of Veterans Affairs] ability to carry out its missions of providing health care for veterans through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and for nonveterans from local communities when needed. The pandemic has increased veterans' need for healthcare services while disrupting the national supply of personal protective equipment that healthcare workers require when treating veterans. To cope with the challenges, VA created and has followed a COVID-19 response plan, which includes drawing on emergency caches (stored reserves) at medical facilities nationwide to address shortages of drugs and medical supplies. [...] The VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted this review to determine how effectively VA managed its emergency caches during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which emerged in the United States in early 2020. Specifically, the team examined to what degree VA used cache contents and whether the caches were ready to activate. This is an area of particular concern given a 2018 OIG audit of VA's management of the emergency cache program that as part of its findings determined that not all caches were ready to activate if needed because expired or missing drugs hindered the mission readiness of the caches."
Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of the Inspector General, Report No. VA OIG 20-03326-124