Lawmakers Demand Accountability Following Worrying VA Report

Lawmakers Demand Accountability Following Worrying VA Report

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
|
April 30, 2024

The recently published findings of a two-year investigation into the Veterans’ Affairs’ Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has revealed the VHA failed to properly identify and exclude ineligible health care providers.

The investigation was executed by the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) following concerns regarding the VHA’s capacity to remove healthcare providers failing to meet the VHA’s minimum quality standards.

According to the report, VHA’s process for identifying such healthcare providers is completely deficient, as it currently “fails to identify all healthcare providers” identified as ineligible.

Additionally, the VHA’s process also fails to surveil all medical occupations offering healthcare to VHA members, capturing only 19% of all medical occupations.

Moreover, the report also determined VHA’s process fails to identify healthcare providers removed “for violating policies relating to delivery of safe and appropriate care.”

Strikingly, the VHA also incorrectly identified healthcare providers as ineligible when they had done no wrongdoing while failing to identify others that had, according to the report.

“The OIG remains concerned about VHA’s inability to exclude and prevent ineligible healthcare providers from delivering care to veterans,” states the report.

Lawmakers have requested answers regarding how the VA will resolve the VHA’s failures.

US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) led these efforts, sending a public letter to VA Secretary Denis McDonough.

Senator Rubio asked for an immediate response from Secretary McDonough on the situation, requesting information on how the VA plans to respond to the reports findings.

Rubio emphasized his belief that “veterans across the country deserve to know that when they are referred to a community care provider that the VA has ensured that the provider is one that will provide the safe, appropriate, reliable, and necessary care that the veteran deserves.”

Specifically, Rubio referred to a specific example of VHA negligence in Florida, where a surgeon whose medical license was revoked was nonetheless permitted to provide care by the VHA.

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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