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Ernst, Grassley introduce bill to ensure quality care for veterans



This news story was published on September 29, 2018.
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WASHINGTON – Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley of Iowa, along with Sens. John Boozman of Arkansas and Orrin Hatch of Utah, introduced the Ensuring Quality Care for Our Veterans Act this week.

Joni Ernst

“It should go without saying that those hired to treat and care for our veterans should have a proven record of providing quality health care. The Ensuring Quality Care for Our Veterans bill makes sure that a third party reviews each case where any veteran was treated by a VA provider who was later found to have a revoked license,” Ernst said.

Charles Grassley

“Our nation’s veterans answered the call of duty when we needed them and have earned high quality health care. Ensuring that providers are thoroughly vetted, and that veterans and their families have the information needed to make informed decisions, is crucial to ensuring that the VA delivers the world-class care veterans deserve,” Grassley said.

Following a December 2017 report in USA Today by Donovan Slack that the VA hired providers with revoked licenses, the VA took corrective action by taking appropriate human resources action and issuing new guidance to prevent health care providers with revoked licenses from being hired in the future.

While the VA is taking corrective action, the Act goes one step further by ensuring that every health care provider that was hired by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with a revoked license undergo a third party clinical review of that provider’s care. If the review determines that a competent practitioner would have managed the veteran’s care differently, the veteran will be notified.

Background:

The USA Today story found that the VA—including the one in Iowa City—knowingly hired providers who had their licenses revoked or had misconduct allegations. Grassley and Ernst wrote a letter to the VA asking for answers on these hiring practices, specifically about the provider in Iowa City. The VA responded to their letter stating that they were doing a national review of this process to ensure compliance under current law.

On December 21, 2017, Grassley and Ernst again pushed for additional information from the VA about the process of the national review, including when results would be made public and if families of veterans treated by these unqualified providers would be notified. In January 2018, the VA responded, indicating that they are still working through their national review of VA providers.

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One Response to Ernst, Grassley introduce bill to ensure quality care for veterans

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    October 1, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    This is all a song and dance. Ive been dealing with VA lies since I was a kid. The VA does bare minimums. Don’t dare go to a local hospital if you are dying. The VA will approve the emergency treatment just to refuse to pay the hospital, and stick you with the bill. Try to contact someone to fix it, and get tossed around for six months with no answers. Finally talk with someone who can do something, just to be told they couldn’t find proof my dad was approved for treatment in the first place. Denied again, and the bills had been sent to collection by then. Destroyed my dads credit, and made it so I had to take out a loan myself to dig him out of the hole he was in. Mix in taking a 69 year old man off of his pain and sleeping pills cold turkey with no prior warning other than a letter saying they would be changing the dosages, not taking them away completely. My dad went into shock, and ended up getting very sick from the whole situation. Our government officials only use vets as pawns for votes. They go back to not caring once elections are over.