Summary: H.R.4759 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.4759. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (06/26/2000)

Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel Act of 2000 - Title I: Personnel Matters - Revises pay adjustment authority for nurses employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs to require the director of such Department health-care facility to use third-party industry wage surveys in making such adjustments. Prohibits any adjustment from reducing the rate of basic pay applicable to any nurse grade. Prohibits a director, in determining whether to carry out an adjustment, from considering the absence of a current recruitment or retention problem for personnel in that position. Authorizes the Department's Under Secretary for Health to modify any adjustment determination made by a facility director. Makes annual (currently terminated in 1993) a reporting requirement from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to the congressional veterans' committees regarding such pay adjustments.

Requires the Under Secretary to ensure that: (1) the director of a geographic service area, in formulating policy for the provision of patient care, consult regularly with a senior nurse executive(s); and (2) the director of a health-care facility include a registered nurse on any committee providing recommendations or decisions on medical center operations or policies affecting clinical services, clinical outcomes, budget, or resources.

(Sec. 102) Increases the special pay for dentists for: (1) full-time status; (2) completing a post-graduate year of accredited hospital-based training; (3) length-of-service pay; (4) scarce specialty pay; (5) service in a geographic location in which there exists extraordinary difficulties in the recruitment and retention of qualified dentists; and (6) service in certain executive positions. Credits toward civil service retirement calculations 25 percent of the special pay for length-of-service pay for each two years that the dentist completes as a dentist in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

(Sec. 103) Exempts VHA pharmacists from a required ceiling on special salary rates for certain VHA health professionals.

(Sec. 104) Requires a physician assistant with appropriate experience to advise the Under Secretary on all matters relating to the utilization and employment of VHA physician assistants.

(Sec. 105) Revises generally provisions regarding the temporary appointment of graduates of physician assistant training programs.

Title II: Construction Authorization - Authorizes the Secretary to carry out major medical facility projects at Department medical centers in Palo Alto, California, Miami, Florida, and Long Beach, California.

(Sec. 202) Authorizes appropriations for FY 2001 and 2002 for the Construction, Major Projects, account for such projects.

Title III: Military Service Issues - Directs the Secretary to ensure that: (1) a protocol is used in any clinical evaluation of a patient to identify pertinent military experiences and exposures that may contribute to the health of the patient; and (2) such information is included in the patient's medical records. Requires a report from the Secretary to the veterans' committees on the feasibility and desirability of using a computer-based system in conducting such evaluations.

(Sec. 302) Directs the Secretary to contract with an appropriate entity to conduct a follow-up study on post-traumatic stress disorder in Vietnam veterans. Requires a report to the veterans' committees.

Title IV: Medical Administration Matters - Authorizes the Secretary to carry out a program in not more than four geographically dispersed areas to improve access to and coordination of inpatient care of eligible veterans. Authorizes the Secretary, under such program to pay the cost of hospital care and medical services furnished on an inpatient basis in a non-Department hospital to a veteran participant. Makes eligible for the program a veteran who: (1) is enrolled to receive medical services from a nearby Department outpatient clinic; (2) requires such care and services for a non-service-connected condition and could not receive such care and services from a Department clinic; and (3) elects to receive such care and services under an entitled health plan. Requires two report from the Secretary to the veterans' committees on program implementation and operation.

(Sec. 402) Authorizes the payment of veterans' disability compensation for veterans who are disabled during participation in a compensated work therapy program.

(Sec. 403) Extends through December 31, 2005, the authority of the Secretary to establish nonprofit research and education corporations.

(Sec. 404) Authorizes the Secretary to furnish temporary lodging in Fisher houses (guest houses) or other appropriate facilities, in connection with the examination, care, and treatment of a veteran, to: (1) a veteran who must travel a significant distance to receive such care and treatment; and (2) a family member and others who accompany such veteran and provide familial support. Authorizes the Secretary to establish charges for such lodging.

(Sec. 405) Extends through 2004 an annual reporting requirement describing activities of the Committee on Care of Severely Chronically Mentally Ill Veterans.

(Sec. 406) Excludes from the right of the Department to recover certain costs from a State for veterans' care facilities not so used for at least 20 years the establishment and operation of an outpatient clinic at such a facility.

(Sec. 407) Prohibits the Secretary from entering into an enhanced-use lease of Department property until 90 days after notifying the veterans' committees of the intention to designate property for such use.

(Sec. 409) Designates the outpatient clinic in Rome, New York, as the Donald J. Mitchell Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic.

(Sec. 410) Directs the Secretary to release a reversionary interest in certain real property in Johnson City, Tennessee, previously transferred to the State of Tennessee.