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S. 1266 (115th): Enhancing Veteran Care Act

S. 1266 would authorize the VA to contract with a nonprofit organization that accredits U.S. health care organizations/programs to investigate and assess/report deficiencies at VA medical centers (VAMCs).

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 include multiple VAMCs and may stretch across multiple states. Overall, there are 18 VISNs in the Veterans Health Administration.

S. 1266 authorizes VISN or VAMC directors 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 or VAMC directors to inform the VA Secretary, the VA IG, and GAO of the investigation prior to starting it.

Last updated Dec 4, 2017. Source: Republican Policy Committee

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Dec 21, 2017.

Enhancing Veteran Care Act

(Sec. 2) This bill authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to contract with a nonprofit organization that accredits health care organizations and programs in the United States to investigate a VA medical center to assess and report deficiencies of the center's facilities.

The VA shall delegate such authority to the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) in which the medical center is located or to the director of such medical center.

Before entering into a contract, a VISN director or a medical center director shall notify the VA, the VA Inspector General, and the Government Accountability Office in order to coordinate an investigation conducted pursuant to such contract with any other ongoing investigations.