"The release of these reports will allow Americans, the press, Congress and veterans to see what the VA knew, when they knew it and what they did about it."
May 29 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, today called on the Senate to pass legislation to make public all past reports by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of the Medical Inspector (OMI) on their investigations into wrongdoing at VA facilities. On May 21, Sen. Moran introduced S. 2401, legislation to require the VA to submit routine Reports to Congress on the findings and recommendations stemming from any OMI report, including all OMI reports from the last four years.
S. 2401 mirrors an amendment offered by Sen. Moran that same day to the Fiscal Year 2015 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The amendment was unanimously accepted in mark-up by the full Senate Appropriations Committee.
“As the proof of systemic dysfunction and lack of leadership at the VA continues to mount, we do not need more damage control – we need to eliminate the damage being done to our nation’s veterans,” Sen. Moran said. “Veterans and the public demand full accountability and transparency from the VA and Congress should fall in line with the Appropriations Committee by passing legislation to publically release OMI reports on access and quality of health care at VA facilities. The release of these reports will allow Americans, the press, Congress and veterans to see what the VA knew, when they knew it and what they did about it. This is a critical step toward resolving the problems at the VA so that veterans have a Department of Veterans Affairs worthy of their service.”
Unlike reports from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), such as the interim report on the Phoenix VA released Wednesday, OMI reports are not made public or released to Congress. Because OMI reports are not available for review, it is impossible to know whether the VA has taken any action to implement the OMI’s recommendations for improvement in each case of wrongdoing.
The initial Report to Congress would cover Medical Inspector reports over the last four years detailing the findings, recommendations and legal or administrative actions resulting from the investigation. Sen. Moran’s legislation will require the VA to detail any legal or administrative action taken against employees identified in these investigations, who should not be serving veterans and whether such action was followed through. Sen. Moran’s bill is coauthored by U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.).
Click below to read the full text of S.2401, which would:
- Require OMI to review the quality of health care provided to veterans by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and by the VA through contracts with non-VA health care providers;
- Require review of VHA offices that have an impact on the quality of veteran’s health care and the performance of the Department in providing such care;
- Require OMI to review offices and facilities of the VHA to make certain that policies and procedures of the VA and the VHA are applied consistently;
- Require OMI to investigate any systemic issues that arise within the VHA, including the following: improper issuance of credentials and privileges to health care providers, impediments to access to VA health care for veterans, wait times for appointments by veterans at VA medical facilities in excess of established wait-time goals, and intentional falsification by VA employees of information or data with respect to wait times for appointments;
- Allow OMI to form investigative teams as needed in order to carry out reviews or investigations, including investigations that require site visits, surveys, the collection of data, or the analysis of VA databases;
- Allow OMI to recommend policies to promote economy and efficiency in the administration of, and to prevent and detect criminal activity, waste, abuse and mismanagement in programs and operations of the VHA; and
- Require OMI to make each investigation report available to the public on a VA website, and for those reports to be submitted to Congress, the VA Secretary, and the Under Secretary for Health.
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- S.2401, Increasing Medical Oversight in the VA Act - (31.0 KBs)