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Study Backs Up Proposal For VA Changes In SD



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A Veterans Affairs economic analysis concludes that the department's plan to restructure its Black Hills Health Care System in western South Dakota would be cheaper and more efficient than trying to fix aging VA facilities in Hot Springs.
 
Hot Springs Mayor Don De Vries tells the Rapid City Journal that he's not surprised the study backs up the VA's proposal. He says the Save the VA organization will soon release its alternative plan.
 
The VA's proposal unveiled late last year includes closing the VA hospital in Hot Springs, adding a clinic there and rebuilding facilities in Rapid City. The study estimates an annual net savings of $26 million. It also predicts a reduction of the equivalent of 263 full-time workers. A VA official says the emphasis would be natural attrition.
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