Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Representing the 2nd District of New Hampshire
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Kuster Applauds Committee Passage of VA Prescription Data Accountability Act

May 17, 2017
Press Release

(Washington, DC) – Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) applauded passage of her legislation, the VA Prescription Data Accountability Act, in the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. The legislation will next go to the full House of Representatives for Consideration.

“I’m pleased that the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs has come together behind this commonsense proposal to improve prescription drug monitoring within the Department of Veterans Affairs,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “The VA is one of the largest prescribers of narcotics in the country and any effective prescription drug monitoring program must include the VA in its entirety. There is strong bipartisan appreciation for the role that prescription opioids have played in the spread of the opioid epidemic, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this bill passed and signed into law.”

The VA Prescription Data Accountability Act, led by Rep. Kuster, would clarify current law to stipulate that the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is required to disclose information to state-controlled substance monitoring programs for anyone – veteran or non-veteran – who is prescribed these medications through VA.

Under current law, when VHA providers prescribe a controlled substance, VHA is required to disclose that information to the appropriate state-controlled substance monitoring program. Due to VistA’s inability to differentiate between dependents and other non-veterans, VHA is currently only transmitting data for veteran patients, leaving out approximately 10% of VHA’s patient population who are dependents or other non-veterans who meet certain qualifications to receive prescriptions from VHA.