There is now a bill from the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs on legislation about disease reporting at veterans’ hospitals. Sen. Bob Casey introduced the bill in May in response to the deadly Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at the Pittsburgh VA Health System that resulted in at least five fatalities and 16 illnesses.
Casey also recognized, however, that “No one piece of legislation can bring back a loved one or fully account for the pain that these families experienced in the last few years. What this legislation will do is take significant steps toward reforming VA policies so what occurred at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System never happens again.”
Under this bipartisan agreement, called the Improving Quality of Care Within the Department of Veterans Affairs Act of 2013, VA hospitals would be required to report Legionniares’ disease and many other infectious disease cases to state health officials within 24 hours of diagnosis.