New York Congressman Bill Owens is calling on VA officials to review incidents and to expand veterans access to community hospitals. A Full review of allegations, he says, would rebuild public confidence, and open the door to better policies…
In an email to WNBZ, Congressman Owens says “Caring for our veterans has to be the top priority of the Department of Veterans Affairs,” and he continues by saying “In light of recent testimony and disclosures, particularly regarding the Phoenix veterans’ healthcare system, the death of patients and the recent disclosures about the inappropriate handling of appointment requests for veterans in Colorado, the Department of Veterans Affairs needs to take appropriate steps.” Owens also believes the VA should review its approach to patient care including granting veterans’ access to care through local community hospitals.
“Giving veterans access to local community hospitals would be a major step toward making quality of care the top priority of the VA,” Owens said. “This would significantly reduce travel times and other logistical burdens for many rural veterans, especially in areas where a trip to the nearest VA hospital can take as much as a whole day.”
Granting local hospital access to veterans could also add to the long-term viability of local community hospitals by increasing the number of people they can serve and adding a source of revenue through VA reimbursement.