December 12, 2019

Senators Hassan, Ernst, Sinema Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Ensure VA Is Sufficiently Vetting Health Providers

Bill Addresses Problems Raised in Recent Report on VA Hiring Providers With History of Misconduct

WASHINGTON – Following a Government Accountability Office report that Veterans Health Administration facilities are hiring providers with a history of misconduct, U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) today introduced a bipartisan bill to address the problems raised in the report. In October, the Senators sent an oversight letter to the VA requesting detailed information about the steps it will take to implement the report’s recommendations, but the Senators have yet to receive a response.

“Our nation’s veterans have earned the right to the very best care, and it is outrageous that the VA is not sufficiently vetting its health care providers,” said Senator Hassan. “Following the VA’s failure to even respond to a letter asking how it will remedy the issues raised in the Government Accountability Office report, my colleagues and I are introducing bipartisan legislation to ensure that the VA takes action so that veterans are not cared for by providers with a history of misconduct.”

“We should expect, and demand, the highest standard of care for Iowa’s veterans and those across the nation. This bipartisan bill builds on my effort to ensure the VA is held accountable for who they’re hiring to provide treatment and care to our nation’s veterans,” said Senator Ernst, the first female combat veteran elected to the Senate.   

“Arizona veterans rely on the VA for critical health care. Our bipartisan legislation ensures VA medical professionals are qualified to provide the high standard of care Arizona veterans have earned,” said Senator Sinema

The bipartisan Veterans Health Administration Caregiver Retention and Eligibility Determination (VHA CRED) Act of 2019 addresses the problems raised in the Government Accountability Office report by:

 

  • Requiring the VA Under Secretary for Health to prescribe regulations and guidance to improve the credentialing process for providers who work at Veterans Health Administration facilities;
  • Ensuring that those responsible for credentialing providers receive thorough training;
  • Requiring the Under Secretary for Health to develop and implement a program to continuously monitor credentialed providers to ensure that they still meet the requirements; and
  • Requiring the Under Secretary for Health to conduct an audit of all providers with adverse actions and the effect those actions have on their employment eligibility and submit the report to Congress.

Read the text of the bill here

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