Kennedy, Warnock introduce bill to bring transparency to VA health care process

WASHINGTON – Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) today introduced the Patient Advocate Tracker Act to increase transparency and accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for veterans who report concerns they experience with VA health care services.

“Veterans have risked their lives on behalf of our country, and they deserve efficient, effective health care from the VA. The Patient Advocate Tracker Act would ensure the VA is more transparent and responsive to American service members by allowing them to file and track the status of their complaints. Bureaucracy shouldn’t keep veterans in the dark,” said Kennedy. 

“Our veterans have given so much to defend our freedoms, and I’m proud to join Senator Kennedy in introducing this bill that takes important steps toward making sure we have a transparent VA system that works for our veterans. Not only do we need to work to ensure every veteran has timely and effective access to care, we also must ensure that when there is an issue with their care, their concerns are addressed promptly and transparently,” Warnock said.

Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) introduced the bill in the House of Representatives.

“The Patient Advocate Tracker Act is commonsense legislation that will make the VA more transparent and cause less frustrations for our veterans. Veterans deserve the best healthcare possible, and when they receive subpar care, they need to be able to easily report complaints to their patient advocate, track it and get the best outcome possible. This bill will simplify the process and help them track their complaint,” said McClain.

The VA uses the patient advocate tracking system (PATS) to track and report complaints from veterans. The Patient Advocate Tracker Act would allow veterans to access PATS in order to file complaints and view the status of those health care concerns, including interim and final actions that the VA has taken to resolve issues facing individual veterans. 

By granting veterans access to PATS, VA employees could more effectively route veterans’ concerns to the appropriate department within the VA, avoiding unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles. 

Text of the Patient Advocate Tracker Act is available here.

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