Sep 26 2018
WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, helped introduce the Ensuring Quality Care for Our Veterans Act.
“The VA is undertaking a full review of the care any veteran has received by a physician who previously had their license revoked by a state medical board. I’m pleased to join my colleagues in introducing this bill to ensure that the VA maintains a focus on this critically important issue. This is a commonsense measure to protect the health and wellbeing of our nation’s veterans. After working with the VA as it reviews records of a physician removed for cause in Arkansas, I can attest to the hard work, keen focus and determined effort the VA is making to understand the full impact on patients so it can provide the appropriate care,” Boozman said.
The legislation was introduced by Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA). In addition to Boozman, original cosponsors include Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
“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.
“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.
“Caring for our veterans is among my top priorities. That’s why today I am pleased to join Senators Ernst, Grassley and Boozman on the Ensuring Quality Care for Our Veterans Act.This commonsense legislation improves care for our veterans by mandating third-party clinical reviews of providers whose licenses have been revoked. It also holds the VA accountable for the quality of care the agency provides. This bill seeks to protect our veterans, just as they have protected us and our way of life," Hatch said.
Following a December 2017 report in USA Today that the VA hired providers with revoked licenses, Boozman led a bipartisan group of Senators in a letter to then-VA Secretary David Shulkin, calling on the Department to conduct a nationwide review of its providers. In addition to beginning the nationwide review, the VA took appropriate, corrective human resources action and issued new guidance to prevent health care providers with revoked licenses from being hired in the future.
The Ensuring Quality Care for our Veterans Act goes one step further by ensuring that every VA health care provider with a revoked license undergoes a third party clinical review of their patient care. If the review determines that a standard of care was not met, the veteran will be notified.