A report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office discovered that the Veterans Health Administration had overlooked or missed adverse actions that were reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) while hiring physicians and other healthcare providers. The GAO analyzed healthcare providers at the VHA as of September 2016 who were recorded in NPDB, and found that VHA facilities did not consistently act within VHA employment policies and hired providers with various disqualifying adverse actions.
Staff that were involved in the credentialing and hiring process in at least 5 facilities did not have knowledge of the VHA policy regarding hiring providers with revoked or surrendered licenses due to misconduct or incompetence. VHA officials have stated that they are developing improved processes to verify credentials of providers and ensure they meet all requirements. In December 2017, the VHA conducted a review of all licensed providers and removed 11 that did not meet the licensure requirements, but these reviews are infrequent.
The GAO made seven recommendations on how the VHA can better their reviewing and hiring process. The recommendations included that the VHA should implement mandatory training periodically for facility staff that is responsible for verifying credentialing and hiring.
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