Alabama Republican Congresswoman Martha Roby introduced new legislation that would allow protection and advocacy agencies to investigate the quality of mental health or substance abuse treatment of veterans who are being treated through the V.A.
“Their agents have the authority to inspect medical records and take legal action on behalf of patients when necessary,” said Roby.
Roby noted protection and advocacy agencies already monitor the quality of care for state-operated hospitals, clinics, and other facilities. Congress
boosted funding in recent years to make it easier for the V.A. to attract more mental health professionals.
Roby’s bill joins other legislation aimed at making it easier for veterans to find care from private doctors and hospitals. The ‘True Choice for Veterans Act’ was sponsored by lower Alabama Congressman Bradley Byrne. It would be particularly helpful to Mobile area veterans who would be able to seek specialized care from private healthcare providers, rather than travel to V.A. facilities in Biloxi and Pensacola.