Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the relationship between problem identification and problem resolution in the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) physician peer review process, focusing on: (1) how the results of VA peer review are being used in disciplining physicians with performance problems; (2) the impediments to effective peer review; and (3) whether VA is taking action against physicians who are not performing in accordance with professional standards.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Veterans Affairs||1. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs should direct the Under Secretary for Health to require service chiefs to fully document all discussions held with practitioners involved in cases that peer reviewers conclude that most experienced, competent practitioners might or would have handled differently.|
|Department of Veterans Affairs||2. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs should direct the Under Secretary of Health to revise the criteria now being used by medical centers to report VA practitioners to the National Practitioner Data Bank so that they are more consistent with the reporting practices now used in the private sector.|