This past week, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Jack Bergman sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs, urging VA to remedy ongoing flaws in its Choice Program contracts.
“While the collapse of last month’s agreement to enact community care consolidation legislation was extremely disappointing, there are nonetheless steps VA can take right now to improve the Choice Program,”said Bergman. “It is inexcusable that veterans still encounter delays and health care providers face mountains of unpaid bills because of administrative dysfunction. If VA fails to fix these contractual problems, the new community care program may repeat the same failures that continue to plague the Choice Program.”
Read the full text of O&I Chairman Bergman’s letter here.
Background: The Office of Inspector General attributed many of the Choice Program’s difficulties to contracting decisions during its implementation. VA recently announced its intent to end its contract with Health Net Federal Services in September 2018 while continuing its contract with TriWest Healthcare Alliance into 2019. Meanwhile, VA is attempting to put in place replacement contracts reflecting an improved, consolidated community care program, but this effort has stalled.