The Veterans ACCESS Act would prevent doctors once fired or suspended by the VA from treating our veterans again
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) this week introduced bipartisan legislation to ensure our veterans receive care from trusted doctors in their communities. The Veterans Acquiring Community Care Expect Safe Services (ACCESS) Act would protect veterans seeking care through 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).
“VA healthcare providers who have been removed from the VA should never be allowed to continue treating our nation’s veterans,” Senator Moran said. “This commonsense legislation would help protect veterans from those who put their health at risk – whether at a VA hospital or outside the VA – and keeps our veterans out of harm’s way.”
Currently, a loose patchwork of VA regulations are intended to stop fired or suspended VA providers from participating in VA-administered community care programs. However, the VA's continued failure to consistently implement national standards at the local level demonstrates that Congress must act and not leave veterans' health and safety to chance. The Veterans ACCESS Act would require 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, this bipartisan reform would ensure that when a provider is suspended from VA care, the provider is also suspended from non-VA care. The legislation 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.