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.