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FOX59 investigation into Marion VA’s prescribing practices sparks new legislation in Washington

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 16, 2015)-- New legislation was filed Wednesday on Capitol Hill following a FOX59 investigation into the prescribing practices at the Marion Veteran Affairs Medical Center.

Representative Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), will speak on the house floor Thursday morning and introduce the bill. She is also a member of the Veteran Affairs Committee.

If passed, the new bill will hold all VA facilities in Indiana accountable for their prescribing. In November, the DEA spent a week targeting doctor and patient files at the VA facility in Marion.

Court documents reveal that no other facility in northern Indiana prescribes more powerful and addictive opioid pain medications.

Walorski's legislation would require all VA facilities to report prescribing practices to a statewide substance monitoring program. Currently, VA facilities aren't required to report to state monitoring systems because they are federally funded and operated.

Indiana doctors report to INSPECT, a system designed to control prescription drug abuse while holding doctors accountable.

Although the law is being introduced on the federal level, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller supports the legislation.

"The VA has long been outside of this system and I think this bill that Jackie Walorski is introducing is long, long overdue," said Zoeller.

Zoeller says he has previously pushed the VA to use INSPECT.

"The VA has not really been the best in collaborating with the rest of our medical community," said Zoeller.

FOX59 reporter Charlie De Mar is in Washington, D.C. and will be on the house floor as Rep. Walorski introduces the legislation Thursday.  He will sit down one-on-one with the congresswoman following her speech to discuss the needs of Hoosier veterans.

FOX59 will bring you the latest throughout the day on Thursday.

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