Bipartisan VA Reform Passes Senate, Prevents Doctors Once Fired or Suspended by VA from Treating Veterans
Bipartisan amendment authored by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin, Jerry Moran and Thom Tillis closes loophole
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bipartisan VA reform to ensure veterans receive care from trusted doctors in their communities passed the U.S. Senate today. U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) introduced the amendment to protect veterans seeking care though VA community care programs, like the Choice Program, from being treated by doctors who have been fired or who are suspended from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The amendment, based on the Veterans Acquiring Community Care Expect Safe Services (ACCESS) Act, was included in a larger VA funding bill passed today by a vote of 89-8.
“No matter where our veterans are receiving their care, we should do our best to ensure that they are receiving the best care possible,” said Senator Baldwin. “It’s commonsense that if a doctor is suspended or has been fired from the VA, they shouldn’t be able to serve veterans seeking care within their own communities, and certainly shouldn’t be doing so with taxpayer dollars. I’m proud to work across the aisle on this bipartisan reform to help ensure our veterans receive the quality health care they need, deserve and have earned.”
“Health care providers who are unfit to treat veterans at VA facilities should not be allowed to continue their practice in VA community care programs,” said Senator Tillis. “This commonsense, bipartisan amendment will close that loophole and help ensure that veterans using the Choice Program are receiving care from trusted providers.”
Currently, there is nothing explicitly in law or VA regulation that stops fired or suspended VA providers from participating in VA-administered community care programs. To close this dangerous loophole, the amendment requires the VA Secretary to deny or revoke the eligibility of a healthcare provider to participate in community programs if that provider was removed from employment with VA, violated his or her medical license, had a Department certification revoked, or broke the law.
In addition, the bipartisan reforms would ensure that when a provider is suspended from VA care, the provider is also suspended from non-VA care. The amendment would also give VA the ability under certain circumstances to deny, revoke, or suspend a provider’s eligibility if that action is necessary to immediately protect the health, safety, or welfare of veterans.
Press Releases by Tammy Baldwin
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Calls on Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel to Get the Job Done on Wisconsin’s Longstanding Rape Kit BacklogOct 5th, 2016 by Tammy Baldwin
More than one year after Wisconsin Justice Department received federal investments, reports show state still has 6,000 kit backlog
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Statement on Investigations into Madison and Milwaukee Social Security OfficesSep 21st, 2016 by Tammy Baldwin
For the past year, Baldwin has worked on behalf of whistleblowers and raised questions about wrongdoing, harassment and retaliation
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Pushes for Economic Growth in Wisconsin with Small Business Innovation ActSep 21st, 2016 by Tammy Baldwin
National reform will support Wisconsin, which ranks last nationally in startup activity and entrepreneurship growth
We Must Do More to Provide Debt Relief & Support to Students, Veterans Suffering from Wide-Ranging Impacts of ITT Tech ClosureSep 17th, 2016 by Tammy Baldwin
Senators now call on ED to “use its existing legal authority” to increase total debt relief and support available to former ITT Tech students
Baldwin, McCain, Schakowsky Introduce Reform Requiring Transparency in Prescription Drug Price IncreasesSep 15th, 2016 by Tammy Baldwin
The bipartisan and bicameral FAIR Drug Pricing Act takes the first step to address skyrocketing prescription drug costs
Patient assistance program allows company to increase drug prices while passing costs onto insurance companies and consumers