Congressman David Joyce : Dave In the News : Rep. Dave Joyce among sponsors of VA accountability bill

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Rep. Dave Joyce among sponsors of VA accountability bill

A bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives, including Bainbridge Township Republican Dave Joyce, have introduced a bill they say requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to “streamline how it displays information that it is already required by law to disclose.”

The congressmen said they introduced the bill in response to a 2017 Government Accountability Office report that found that the VA was failing to disclose wait time, patient safety, and quality of care information in an accessible and usable manner.

“(While) VA’s primary Access and Quality webpage provides generally accessible and understandable information on the quality of VA health care, the breadth of information it provides is too limited for veterans to make informed choice about their care,” the GAO report states.

The report further states the VA intends the website to be veterans’ primary source of of information on the quality of care at VA medical centers, “but the 15 measures reported on the webpage represent only a small subset of the 110 measures and only a few of the measure categories VA makes available elsewhere on its website.”

“Until VA can provide information on a broader range of health care measures and services, highlight key differences in the quality of clinical care at (VA medical centers), and present this information in a way that is easily accessible and understandable, VA cannot ensure that its website is functioning as intended in helping veterans make informed choices about their care,” the report states.

The congressmen said their bill -- the VA Quality Health Care Accountability and Transparency Act -- requires the VA to work with veteran service organizations to display staffing and vacancy information, patient wait times, as well as patient safety and quality of care measures and outcomes on one website in an “accessible and easily understandable manner for patients and consumers.”

The bill also requires the VA to annually audit all of the data it provides. The GAO found that the VA does not systematically assess the completeness and accuracy of the information it uses to measure health care quality, the congressmen said.

“Our nation’s veterans have sacrificed so much to defend our country and our freedoms. We owe it to them to provide them with the best possible care,” Joyce said in a statement. “All VA medical facilities need to be efficient. The care they deliver must be of the highest quality, and the veterans they serve should be easily able to access and understand the information they need to make informed decisions about their health.”

Read the article online here.