This bill would establish an Office of Failing Medical Center Recovery headed by an Under Secretary within the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA). The Office would assume managerial and day-to-day operational control of each failing VA medical center, deploying teams of medical professionals to take charge of and improve standards at failing centers. These teams would have unique legal tools at their disposal, including direct hiring, enhanced personnel accountability, and simplified contracting authorities.
The VA would be directed to:
Publish a compilation of key health metrics for each VA medical center in the Federal Register and on a publicly available VA website;
Certify twice per year that each failing VA medical center is under the control of the Office;
Revoke the “failing” classification of a VA medical center if it achieves a ranking of “satisfactory” or better for three consecutive fiscal quarters;
Submit to Congress a quarterly report on the Office, including actions taken by the Under Secretary regarding covered failing medical centers;
Transfer each failing medical center from the control of the relevant Veterans Integrated Service Network to the direct control of the Under Secretary.
The Inspector General of the VA would prioritize investigations related to failing medical centers, and the Office of Accountability Review would prioritize whistleblower investigations from those centers.
Employees of the Office would be included in the VA education tuition reimbursement program.