CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Wednesday, December 7, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 6435, to authorize the Directors of VA Veterans Integrated Service Networks to enter into contracts with appropriate civilian accreditation entities or appropriate health care evaluation entities to investigate VA medical centers, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 6435 was introduced on December 5, 2016, by Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
H.R. 6435 authorizes Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) Directors to contract with certain independent medical auditors to investigate any Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) for the purposes of assessing and reporting deficiencies. Prior to entering into such contract, the VISN Director would be required to notify the VA Secretary, the VA Inspector General, and GAO for the purpose of coordinating any such investigations.
The Veterans Integrated Services Networks (VISNs) are responsible for the planning, budgeting, and service delivery in the provision of healthcare to veterans within a geographic region that stretches across 10 states. Overall there are 18 VISNs in the Veterans Health Administration.
Under current law, VISNs are not able to contract with independent outside medical auditors. H.R. 6435 authorizes them to use existing budgetary resources to contract with outside entities to conduct audits and investigations of VA medical facilities to equip them with the additional information needed to drive improvements in care.To prevent unnecessarily duplicative investigations, the bill also requires VISN directors to inform the VA Secretary and VA IG of the investigation prior to starting it.
A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate is currently not available.
For questions or further information please contact John Huston with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 6-5539.