|On Capitol Hill, lawmakers resume work this week to resolve differences over legislation aimed at alleviating long wait times for medical care at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics after reports that s me veterans may have died awaiting appointment sand that some VA staff falsified records to cover up excessive wait times. Five senior VA leaders – including former department secretary Eric Shinseki – have resigned in the past six weeks.|
Dr. Kenneth Kizer
Both the House and Senate have passed bills that would allow veterans to seek medical care outside of the VA system if they meet certain conditions, including living more than 40 miles from a VA medical facility.
Dr. Kenneth Kizer, a former VA undersecretary for health, spoke recently with KHN’s Mary Agnes Carey about the issue of the VA contracting with outsideproviders for medical care. Kizer, the founding chief executive officer and president of the National Quality Forum, is now director of the Institute for Population Health Improvement at the University of California, Davis.
An edited transcript of that interview follows.
Q: Both the House and Senate bills include a provision allowing the VA to contract with non–VA medical providers to ease waiting lists. What are some of the challenges the VA faces in creating new outside networks of providers.
A: The challenges in creating new networks...