Moolenaar is part of efforts to increase patient advocates for veterans


U.S. Representatives John Moolenaar, Debbie Dingell, Lisa McClain and Elissa Slotkin introduced the bipartisan Veterans Patient Advocacy Act and the bipartisan Patient Advocate Tracker Act to improve essential elements of VA care programs . Both bills are supported by Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Student Veterans of America (SVA).

The Veterans Patient Advocacy Act, led by Moolenaar and Dingell, will require the VA to appropriately staff its patient advocacy programs by increasing the number of patient advocates for veterans.

The Patient Advocate Tracker Act, led by McClain and Slotkin, will create an online portal where veterans can track the status of formal complaints they file through the VA.

“Our veterans deserve to have better service from the VA, and I’ve heard from many veterans that there just aren’t enough patient advocates at the VA,” said Moolenaar, R- Midland, in a statement Wednesday. “The legislation we are introducing today will increase the number of patient advocates and improve accountability, so our veterans receive better care and attention from VA staff. My Michigan colleagues and I have worked across the aisle to present these important solutions to our veterans, and we are proud to have the support of the VFW, SVA and their members for our legislation. today.

“The veterans of this country are putting their lives at risk for us and we must give them the care they deserve,” said Dingell, D-Dearborn. “Currently, VA patient advocates are posted to multiple medical centers at once, resulting in a lack of quality care for veterans. This bipartisan legislation would address this challenge by ensuring that every veteran has easy access to a patient advocate and that patient advocates have the bandwidth to perform their duties. “

“The Patient Advocate Tracker Act is common sense legislation that will make the VA more transparent and cause less frustration for our veterans,” said McClain, a Republican from Bruce Township. “Veterans deserve the best health care possible, and when they receive substandard care, they need to be able to easily report complaints to their Patient Advocate, follow them up and achieve the best possible outcome. This bill will simplify the process and help them track their complaint. “

“I hear from Mid-Michigan veterans who struggled to access the care and benefits they earned,” Slotkin said, D-Holly. certainly the needs of our veterans are being met. These two bills will increase the transparency of the department and help it operate as effectively as possible on behalf of our veterans community. “

“This legislation will save lives and make a dramatic leap forward in the quality of care our veterans receive across the country,” said VFW State Commander Kevin Conklin. “The teamwork seen with Representatives Moolenaar, Dingell, McClain and Slotkin alongside Foreign War Veterans and Veteran Student America shows the importance of strengthening and streamlining the VA Patient Advocacy Program. . We are proud that the idea for this legislation came from SVA and VFW member Cameron Zbikowski, and we will continue to seek solutions from end users of VA care and programs. “

The Veterans Patient Advocacy Act “offers a substantial solution to this problem by requiring no less than one PA for every 13,500 veterans registered in the system. With this requirement, we believe the Patient Advocacy program will benefit from better performance and greater representation from veterans seeking help. , “Jared Lyon, president and CEO of Student Veterans of America, wrote in a letter of support for both laws.

Lyon also wrote the “Patient Advocate Tracker Act, obliges VA to create an electronic system that allows veterans to file complaints and track the status of those complaints in real time. It is important to note that this filing system and tracking already exists for VA, they just don’t provide this information to Veterans. With this solution in hand, Veterans will have access to up-to-date and timely information regarding their complaints, which will lead to less frustration and experience. better quality transparency from VA.

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