Rep. Gallego Introduces Bipartisan VA Accountability Bill
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH), Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA), Rep. John Joyce, M.D. (R-PA), and Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) introduced the VA Quality Health Care Accountability and Transparency Act in order to improve the VA’s disclosure of the quality of service it is providing to veterans.
The bill was introduced in response to a Government Accountability Office report which found that the VA was failing to disclose wait time, patient safety, and quality of care information in an accessible and usable manner.
“I am proud to work with a bipartisan group of members to ensure every veteran, every family member, and every American can easily access information on how well the VA is performing,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego. “This bipartisan legislation increases transparency, holds the VA accountable for the care it provides, and ensures veterans have the information they need to make informed health care decisions.”
The bill requires the VA to streamline how it displays information that it is already required by law to disclose. It requires the VA work with veteran service organizations to display staffing and vacancy information, patient wait times, and patient safety and quality of care measures and outcomes on one website in an accessible and easily understandable manner to patients and consumers.
It will also require the VA to annually audit the data that it releases to the public to ensure that it is accurate and complete. The GAO found that the VA does not systematically assess the completeness and accuracy of the information it uses to calculate health care quality measures.
“Our nation’s veterans have sacrificed so much to defend our country and our freedoms – we owe it to them to provide them with the best possible care once they return home,” said Rep. Dave Joyce. “All VA medical facilities need to be efficient, the care they deliver must be of the highest quality and the veterans they serve should be easily able to access and understand the information they need to make informed decisions about their health. I am proud to introduce the VA Quality Health Care Accountability and Transparency Act alongside my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and look forward to working with them to continue the ultimate bipartisan cause – taking care of the brave men and women who have served our great nation.”
“Our nation’s veterans have earned the highest quality care,” said Rep. Conor Lamb. “This bipartisan bill will allow veterans and their families to manage that care for themselves, with all of the information they need.”
“As a physician, I understand that accurate information regarding medical services and facilities is critical to ensuring that our veterans are able to make informed decisions about their care,” said Rep. John Joyce, M.D. “The VA Quality Health Care Accountability and Transparency Act will take an important step in improving transparency across the VA, and I am grateful to my friends on both sides of the aisle for their dedication to addressing the needs of our nation’s heroes.”
“There is never enough we can do to thank America’s veterans for their service to our country, but ensuring they have the best possible care, and access to information about that care, is a good place to start,” said Rep. Anthony Gonzalez. “I am proud to introduce this bill alongside my colleagues to ensure transparency in the VA health care process.”
Rep. Ruben Gallego is a Marine Corps combat veteran. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee.