A small group of senators says the Veterans Health Administration should have its own chief information officer, who would report to the department’s undersecretary for health and would oversee all management and procurement decisions related to the health administration’s IT systems. It’s one of a few specific recommendations from the VA Commission on Care that are beginning to appear in new pieces of legislation.
The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee took on the recommendations from the VA Commission on Care’s recent report on veterans health care.
The House Veterans Affairs Committee also discussed several of the recommendations from the VA Commission on Care’s report. Lawmakers generally agreed with the majority of the 18 suggestions, but issues of leadership at the Veterans Health Administration will likely be the sticking point in future debates over VA transformation.
The Obama administration said it agreed with most of the VA Commission on Care’s recommendations to improve veterans health care, adding that the department had started efforts to implement many of them already. President Barack Obama said he disagreed with three of the 18 suggestions.
Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) said the Veterans First Act, which the department itself is actively supporting, has hit a few roadblocks. He hasn’t yet been able to bring the omnibus to a vote in the full Senate but said he is optimistic Congress will pass new veterans legislation this year.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is pushing for better integration and communication between the VA and Defense Department in her veterans policy plan. She proposes restructuring the Veterans Health Administration but specifically opposes efforts to privatize VA health care.
In today’s Top Federal Headlines, the House passes a bill to extend Veterans Affairs’ expedited removal process for senior executives to all SES members and the VA Commission on Care releases its long list of recommendations for the agency….
The Veterans Affairs Department says it’s earning back trust and confidence from the veterans it serves, and employee engagement within the department is also improving. This comes roughly 10 days before the VA Commission on Care is expected to pitch a major overhaul to the department’s health care and personnel systems.
The congressionally-appointed VA Commission on Care suggested a major overhaul to the Veterans Health Administration. According to the commission’s draft report, due to Congress by the end of the month, VHA employees should have their own personnel system.