Bipartisan bill would require VA hospitals to report serious medical errors

Sens. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., introduced a bipartisan bill Thursday to prevent the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs from concealing medical mistakes made by providers at its VA hospitals.

The VA Provider Accountability Act would require the VA to report all major adverse actions to the National Practitioner Data Bank and state licensing boards. The legislation would also bar the VA from forming settlements with former VA employees that allow the VA to hide serious medical mistakes or remove negative records from personnel files.

The bill follows an investigative report USA Today released Oct. 11, highlighting numerous instances of concealed medical errors at VA hospitals.

“The investigation’s findings are downright shameful, and we need action immediately to ensure that the VA does not hide medical mistakes or inadequate care,” said Mr. Heller, who is also a senior member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “That’s why Senator Manchin and I introduced legislation that demands transparency and accountability from the VA and puts a stop to concealing serious medical errors through settlements with fired or dismissed VA employees."

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