Holding the VA Accountable

Senator Dean Heller
2017-06-10 12:17:09
Week in Review During this week’s telephone town hall meeting in Northern Nevada, callers sent a clear message to me: the VA needs to do a better job. As a senior member of the U.S. Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I am always bringing Nevadans’ concerns to Washington and working to find solutions to fix them.  This week, the U.S. Senate took positive action to address Nevadans’ issues with the VA. For example, I introduced the Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act with several of my colleagues and I’m proud to report that the U.S. Senate passed it this week. This bipartisan bill will increase accountability at the VA by making it easier to fire bad employees and ensuring appropriate protections for whistleblowers. The legislation also stops the VA from awarding bonuses to employees who have been found guilty of wrongdoing. If you’re not doing your job, then you shouldn’t be paid, and if there is anywhere that this should be enforced – it’s the VA. Our bill ensures that the VA’s employees are working on behalf of the veterans they’re employed to serve, and I’ll continue to work to see that it is signed into law. This news came on the heels of another positive step for Nevada veterans. The VA announced that it will adopt the Department of Defense’s Electronic Health Record system to allow for the seamless transition of veteran patient data between the two agencies and to improve the quality and timeliness of care and benefits for veterans. As the Co-Chair of the bipartisan Senate VA Backlog Working Group, I have urged the VA to do just that to help facilitate the VA’s processing of veterans’ disability claims and help reduce the claims backlog. The move will also provide the VA a more robust and accurate account of veterans’ medical history, allowing the VA to provide a higher quality of care in a more efficient and timely manner. This week, I also introduced two pieces of legislation to address doctor shortages in the state of Nevada. According to reports, Nevada will need to increase its number of physicians by more than 40 percent to keep pace with the national average for the doctor/patient population ratio. In an effort to close the gap of that shortage and keep graduates from Nevada’s medical schools in Nevada, I introduced the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act, a bipartisan bill that would increase the number of Medicare-supported hospital residency positions and keep graduates from Nevada’s medical schools in Nevada. By increasing the total number of Medicare-supported hospital residency slots available, Nevada will be equipped to grow our physician workforce to ensure we have the necessary physicians available to care for Nevadans, particularly in rural and underserved communities. In closing, I encourage you to visit my social media pages and stay up to date on my work in Nevada and Washington. As always, let us know how we can be of help.  In the News Heller issues warning to Trump administration over Yucca Mountain Senate backs bill making it easier to fire VA employees Douglas High School seniors bound for West Point VIDEO: Heller Commemorates 50th Anniversary of the Reunification of Jerusalem Click here or above to watch
Senator Dean Heller e-Newsletter
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Week in Review

During this week’s telephone town hall meeting in Northern Nevada, callers sent a clear message to me: the VA needs to do a better job. As a senior member of the U.S. Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I am always bringing Nevadans’ concerns to Washington and working to find solutions to fix them.  This week, the U.S. Senate took positive action to address Nevadans’ issues with the VA.

For example, I introduced the Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act with several of my colleagues and I’m proud to report that the U.S. Senate passed it this week. This bipartisan bill will increase accountability at the VA by making it easier to fire bad employees and ensuring appropriate protections for whistleblowers. The legislation also stops the VA from awarding bonuses to employees who have been found guilty of wrongdoing. If you’re not doing your job, then you shouldn’t be paid, and if there is anywhere that this should be enforced – it’s the VA. Our bill ensures that the VA’s employees are working on behalf of the veterans they’re employed to serve, and I’ll continue to work to see that it is signed into law.

This news came on the heels of another positive step for Nevada veterans. The VA announced that it will adopt the Department of Defense’s Electronic Health Record system to allow for the seamless transition of veteran patient data between the two agencies and to improve the quality and timeliness of care and benefits for veterans. As the Co-Chair of the bipartisan Senate VA Backlog Working Group, I have urged the VA to do just that to help facilitate the VA’s processing of veterans’ disability claims and help reduce the claims backlog. The move will also provide the VA a more robust and accurate account of veterans’ medical history, allowing the VA to provide a higher quality of care in a more efficient and timely manner.

This week, I also introduced two pieces of legislation to address doctor shortages in the state of Nevada. According to reports, Nevada will need to increase its number of physicians by more than 40 percent to keep pace with the national average for the doctor/patient population ratio. In an effort to close the gap of that shortage and keep graduates from Nevada’s medical schools in Nevada, I introduced the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act, a bipartisan bill that would increase the number of Medicare-supported hospital residency positions and keep graduates from Nevada’s medical schools in Nevada. By increasing the total number of Medicare-supported hospital residency slots available, Nevada will be equipped to grow our physician workforce to ensure we have the necessary physicians available to care for Nevadans, particularly in rural and underserved communities.

In closing, I encourage you to visit my social media pages and stay up to date on my work in Nevada and Washington. As always, let us know how we can be of help. 


In the News

VIDEO: Heller Commemorates 50th Anniversary of the Reunification of Jerusalem


Click here or above to watch

It was great to hear from UNLV, UNR, and Great Basin College about their latest initiatives and how we can best ensure student success.

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Senator Dean Heller
324 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510

Phone: 202-224-6244
Fax: 202-228-6753