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Washington, July 25, 2018 | comments
Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Reps. Charlie Crist (D-FL), Jeff Denham (R-CA), Ann Kuster (D-NH), and Mike Bost (R-IL). The VA COST SAVINGS Enhancements Act enacts common-sense reforms making the VA's hazardous medical waste procedures safer and more efficient, saving the department millions of dollars annually that can be redirected to improve care for veterans. 

"This is how Congress should work – coming together to pass common-sense measures to save taxpayer dollars, enhance safety, and better serve those who have served us," said Crist. "I am hopeful that this smart policy soon becomes law and encourages more progress on bipartisan efforts to improve care for our veterans."

The VA COST SAVINGS Enhancements Act would require the VA to install on-site medical waste treatment systems in all facilities if it will result in a cost-savings within 5 years. On-site sterilization machines compact medical “red bag” waste and destroy microbial life, rendering hazardous bio-waste safe. Otherwise, this infectious waste is loaded into trucks and driven to regional disposal centers – a process that is dangerous, costly, and inefficient. System wide, this bill will save the VA millions of dollars each year and improve care for our veterans.

This technology improves crisis-readiness and is safer, more efficient, more cost-effective, and more environmentally friendly than traditional medical waste disposal. Implementing this technology will align the VA with Centers for Disease Control best practices for infection control, and VA hospitals will no longer need to truck millions of pounds of hazardous waste to far-away disposal centers.
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