At the end of last week, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., sent a letter to U.S. Veterans Affairs (VA) Sec. Denis McDonough outlining his priorities for the VA and the importance of providing excellent care and service to those who have served our nation, while ensuring the best possible return on investment for American taxpayers.
The letter was as follows:
Dear Secretary McDonough,
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me last month about your priorities for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the importance of providing excellent care and service to those who have served our nation, while ensuring the best possible return on investment for American taxpayers. The men and women who have honorably served our nation have made incredible sacrifices. We owe them nothing less than our finest service and care in return.
As we discussed prior to your confirmation, I spent most of my business career in healthcare, building one of the most successful hospital corporations in America which employed hundreds of thousands of Americans and cared for millions of patients. In my experience, the key to improving customer and patient experience is a dedication to constantly measuring outcomes and collecting feedback from those you serve.
I have yet to see a plan from the Biden administration for gathering feedback directly from veterans to improve the VA. The value in hearing directly from your patients cannot be overstated and allows leadership to make the very most of its capital investments – in this case the hard-earned tax dollars of American families. I believe particular attention should be paid to patient and family satisfaction with care and cost.
It would also be valuable to understand how Veterans Services Organizations (VSO) perceive the VA through regular surveys. These groups serve a variety of needs to create communities for our veterans across the nation. They play an important role in the overall service of our veterans and should be heard from regularly. Therefore, to ensure that the VA has the support it needs, I respectfully request that you work with my office to provide a briefing within 90 days on the Department’s plans for surveying patients, families and VSO’s. These surveys must then lead to tangible actions for the VA to take to address any issues it identifies based on veteran and stakeholder feedback.
As governor of Florida, I directed significant resources to make certain that my state, which is proudly home to more than 1.5 million veterans, is the most veteran-friendly in the nation. Now, as Florida’s U.S. senator, I remain dedicated to ensuring our veterans have every resource they need to live their dreams after faithfully serving our nation. I look forward to working together to ensure that the VA provides the very best care to our heroes and remains accountable to the American people.