Walorski Reintroduces VA Scheduling Accountability Bill

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Walorski Reintroduces VA Scheduling Accountability Bill

Legislation Blocks VA from Waiving Scheduling Rules; Passed House Unanimously in Last Congress

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today reintroduced legislation to protect veterans from scheduling manipulations at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities. The VA Scheduling Accountability Act (H.R. 467) would increase accountability at the VA by requiring facilities to comply with all standard practices and directives for scheduling veterans’ health care appointments.

“Veterans risked life and limb to keep America safe and free, but too often the VA has let them down and failed to provide the quality, timely care they earned,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “Ensuring every facility follows the VA’s scheduling rules is an important, common-sense step as Congress and the incoming administration get to work fixing the VA so it works for veterans.”

BACKGROUND

Walorski originally introduced the VA Scheduling Accountability Act last year in response to the nationwide VA wait times scandal. In May 2016, the House unanimously passed the legislation as part of a broader VA reform bill.

A 2014 report issued by the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that a senior VA official in May 2013 waived a requirement that medical facility directors annually certify their compliance with the VA’s scheduling policies. Waiving this requirement reduces accountability for facilities charged with caring for veterans and damages the integrity of wait time data.

H.R. 467 would reinstate the annual requirement for each facility director to certify compliance with VA scheduling practices and prohibit any future waivers of the requirement. It also would require the Secretary of the VA to submit an annual report to Congress listing facilities that have not certified compliance and providing an explanation for each.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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