Last week, Congressmen Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16), Dave Joyce (OH-14), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Conor Lamb (PA-17), and John Joyce, M.D. (PA-13) introduced the VA Quality Health Care Accountability and Transparency Act. This important legislation aims to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) disclosure of the quality of service it provides to veterans. The congressmen introduced the bill in response to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) 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.
“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 Congressman Anthony Gonzalez. “I am proud to introduce this bill alongside my colleagues to ensure transparency in the VA health care process."
The bill requires the VA to streamline how it displays information that it is already required by law to disclose. Specifically, it would require the VA to work with veteran service organizations to display staffing and vacancy information, patient wait times, as well as patient safety and quality of care measures and outcomes on one website in an accessible and easily understandable manner for patients and consumers. It would also require the VA to annually audit all of the data it provides, as the GAO previously found that the VA does not systematically assess the completeness and accuracy of the information it uses to measure health care quality.
“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,” said Congressman 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 was proud to introduce this bill 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.”
“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 Congressman 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.”
“Our nation’s veterans have earned the highest quality care,” said Congressman 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 Congressman 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.”