Rep. Cloud introduces “Improving Confidence in Veterans’ Care Act”

Congressman Michael Cloud introduced legislation Thursday to improve the quality of healthcare that veterans receive from the Veterans Healthcare Administration.

The Improving Confidence in Veterans’ Care Act (H.R. 3530) will help foster veterans’ confidence specifically in VA physicians.

A recent report found that some Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities had hired unqualified doctors whose medical licenses had been revoked or suspended, some for reasons like patient neglect or other serious offenses.

The main reason the VHA overlooked the status of certain medical licenses and permitted unlicensed doctors to practice was because VHA employees were not properly trained on the resources available to check the status of these licenses.

If the VHA checked, for example, the National Practitioner Data Bank, an online record of doctors’ licenses, they would discover that these doctors are unqualified before hiring them.

The Improving Confidence in Veterans’ Care Act would ensure that any doctor whose license was taken away or suspended could not practice medicine for the VA.

In addition, any VA employee who interviews and hires doctors would have to receive training on how to check and make sure the doctors have licenses.

“Doctors with revoked medical licenses should not be providing care for our veterans. My bill would ensure that the VA doesn’t employ them,” said Congressman Cloud. “As of now, these simple standards are not law. I am working to change that so that veterans can better rely on the VA for quality care. The liberty we enjoy in the United States is not without cost. And many of our veterans continue to pay the price with scars they bought back from war. Our nation owes it to our veterans to deliver on the promises we made to them – because exceptional Americans like our veterans deserve exceptional healthcare.”

Co-leading the effort to pass the Improving Confidence in Veterans’ Care Act are Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Congressman Jack Bergman (R-MI), a member of the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs and a former Three-Star General in the Marine Corps.

“I am proud to join Representative Cloud in introducing this important legislation,” said Congressman Bergman. “Failure to hire properly trained and credentialed practitioners at the VA is a troubling issue that puts Veterans at risk. After learning more about this particular issue over the past few months, it’s time to put an end to this broken VA hiring practice.”