By Russell Lemle, The Washington Monthly
For four decades, the Office of Inspector General at the Department of Veterans Affairs has played an indispensable watchdog role, helping to ensure that veterans receive high-quality healthcare. Its investigators have repeatedly identified deficiencies in VA patient care and recommended corrections. The Inspector General’s office’s diligence is one reason that the quality of VA’s healthcare consistently outperforms the private sector’s.
However, the Inspector General’s office does not scrutinize private providers with whom the VA contracts nearly as rigorously as it does VA facilities. The gap is highly consequential because private sector providers now deliver over a third of all healthcare services for the nation’s nine million enrolled veterans. Few other transformations in public healthcare delivery have been so speedy with such little oversight.
To read how the watchdog can improve its role, read the entire piece over at the Washington Monthly.