VA Becoming Temp Agency for Private Hospitals
Another article from The American Prospect
The VA Is Becoming a Temp Agency for Private Hospitals
A VA facility in Las Vegas is preparing to ‘embed’ nurses in private hospitals, filling the gap in veteran patient care on the taxpayer’s dime.
January 30, 2020
The VA Mission Act of 2018 was sold as a panacea that would address the perceived ills of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Boosters claimed that, by offering veterans a permanent path to private-sector treatment through the VA Community Care Network (CCN), veterans would receive timely, high-quality care, which they argued is too often unavailable at just the VHA.
Since the implementation of the law in June 2019, the press and federal watchdogs have documented significant struggles in matching this promise. The Prospect has heard from VHA doctors, nurses, psychologists, and other staff from across the country who shared concerns about the private sector’s competence in caring for veteran patients.
One of the most troubling cases highlighting these problems recently emerged in Las Vegas. Three private hospitals that have contracted with the CCN to treat veterans requested that nurses from the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System “work” in their facilities to complete routine activities that would ordinarily be performed by the hospitals’ own employees at the hospitals’ expense. The situation suggests that private hospitals aren’t equipped to handle veteran patients, and can only do so with government employees filling the gap on the taxpayer’s dime.