Lance, Meng reintroduce VA Regional Office Accountability Act

U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) partnered with colleague Grace Meng (D-NY) to reintroduce the VA Regional Office Accountability Act on Wednesday.

Under the leadership of Lance and Meng, the legislation was passed by the House on two different occasions during the previous Congress, only to fall short in the Senate. With the reintroduction, new items have been included to help create a culture of accountability regarding management of claims with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

“Our legislation is another important step in the much-needed transformation of the Veterans Administration,” Lance explained. “By holding VA managers accountable, we will institute strict metrics by which we will better understand why individual regional offices are not performing as well as needed, and outline what tools and resources can better adjudicate claims. The brave men and women who have stepped forward to serve our nation deserve our continued dedication to fixing the VA and ensuring they receive the services they have earned in our defense.”

Under the terms of the bill, a VA regional office must execute claim adjudication within 125 days and with 98 percent accuracy. If an office fails to meet the 125-day requirement, it must submit a detailed report containing a full explanation, along with reasoning and self-imposed solutions for improvement. It must also contain a description of any additional staff, equipment or policy changes necessary for the office to reach its goals. 

“We must continue our progress in reforming the VA so it may regain the trust and confidence of our nation’s heroes,” Lance added. “By holding executives to account, we will identify and diagnose the persisting problems preventing the delivery of high-quality care.”