Coats Supports Bill to Give Veterans More Choiceby Coats for Senator Press Release on June 4, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC – In response to recent allegations about patient backlogs and unreasonable delays at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care facilities, Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) today supported legislation to give veterans more options for where to receive care.
The Veterans Choice Act was introduced by Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) and is cosponsored by Coats and 22 other senators.
“Given the horrific reports about inexcusable delays and mismanagement at many VA facilities, we need to give veterans the choice of where to seek health care,” said Coats. “Our country has a duty to ensure every one of these heroes receive the best health care our country can offer. This bill is one way we can start to earn back the trust of our veterans.”
Among many reforms to the existing VA system, the Veterans Choice Act would:
Allow veterans to receive care from the doctor or provider of their choice if the VA cannot schedule an appointment for a veteran within their wait time performance metrics or if the veteran resides more than 40 miles from any VA medical center.
Enable all veterans enrolled for care at a VA facility to receive a choice card allowing them to receive care from a non-VA medical provider.
Direct the VA to report to the Department of Health and Human Services the same patient quality and outcome information as other non-VA hospitals.
Require the VA to establish disciplinary procedures should an employee knowingly falsify data pertaining to wait times and quality measures.