U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Press Release

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

By - May 20th, 2016 10:11 am

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.”‎

“This is a common-sense principle – VA healthcare providers who have failed to provide quality care for our veterans should not be given another opportunity to participate in a community healthcare program that would still give them access to veterans,” said Senator Moran. “Those who put veterans’ health at risk and were fired from the VA, violated state license requirements or broke the law are clearly unable to provide the very best care our nation has to offer veterans, which is what they deserve.”

“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.

Mentioned in This Press Release

Recent Press Releases by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin

American Manufacturers Applaud U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin for Getting the Job Done to Improve Buy American Standards in National Defense Legislation

The legislation also includes measures Senator Baldwin fought for to support Made in Wisconsin manufacturing and shipbuilding.

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Seeks Answers from PNC Bank on Closing of Appleton Coated, Lost Jobs

Senator Baldwin: “I want to know why the bank appears to have chosen a short-term profit at the expense of Appleton Coated, its workers and their families.”

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Secures Funding for Wisconsin’s Great Lakes

Senate Appropriations Committee includes $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *