Text: H.R.6339 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (09/29/2010)


111th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 6339


To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a program to assist military medics and corpsmen in making transitions to civilian physician assistant jobs.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 29, 2010

Ms. Herseth Sandlin (for herself and Mr. Boozman) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs


A BILL

To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a program to assist military medics and corpsmen in making transitions to civilian physician assistant jobs.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Veteran Medic Corpsmen Physician Assistant Demonstration Program Act of 2010”.

SEC. 2. Physician assistant military pathways program.

(a) In general.—Subject to the availability of appropriations provided for such purpose, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in collaboration with the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall establish a program in accordance with this section to examine methods of enabling eligible individuals to build on medical skills gained through military jobs by entering into the physician assistant workforce to meet the demand for physician assistants.

(b) Study.—In carrying out the program, the Secretary shall conduct a study that includes examination of the following:

(1) Whether the demonstration projects carried out under subsection (c) are effective in improving the ability of eligible individuals to become licensed physician assistants, and what modifications to the demonstration projects are necessary to meet that goal.

(2) Ways of bringing the demonstration projects carried out under subsection (c) to the attention of eligible individuals, including through information provided to eligible individuals by—

(A) the Department of Defense transition program known as the Transition Assistance Program, carried out under section 1144 of title 10, United States Code; and

(B) the Department of Labor veterans transition program carried out under chapter 41 of title 38, United States Code.

(3) Whether eligible individuals participating in a demonstration project carried out under subsection (c) are receiving the educational support services they need in order to complete their physician assistant education and obtain certification, and what further steps the Secretary should take in order to ensure that those eligible individuals have access to such support services.

(4) Whether the program established under this section could serve as a model for new programs to assist eligible individuals in obtaining certification in other health care fields.

(c) Grants for demonstration projects.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall award grants, on a competitive basis, to eligible entities to carry out demonstration programs in accordance with this subsection.

(2) USE OF FUNDS.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—An eligible entity receiving a grant under this subsection shall use funds from such grant to establish a demonstration program that enables eligible individuals to receive academic credit from an accredited physician assistant program based on the military credentials and medical skills experience of the eligible individual.

(B) PRIORITY ADMISSION.—In admitting eligible individuals into a demonstration program carried out with funds received under this subsection, an eligible entity shall give priority to eligible individuals who serve or have served as a paramedic or other similar medical support position in the Armed Forces.

(C) EXAMINATION ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENT.—An eligible entity shall ensure that an eligible individual participating in a demonstration program carried out with funds received under this section is eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants upon completion of the program.

(3) APPLICATION.—To be eligible to receive a grant under this subsection, an eligible entity shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require, including—

(A) information demonstrating—

(i) the capability of the eligible entity to work with eligible individuals;

(ii) a history of effective collaboration between the eligible entity and—

(I) health care employers; and

(II) State medical licensing boards, as appropriate; and

(B) an assurance that the eligible entity will participate in any evaluations by the Secretary of the demonstration program carried out with funds received under this subsection, including participating in reporting as required by the Secretary.

(4) SELECTION CRITERIA.—The Secretary shall establish selection criteria for eligible entities consistent with this subsection, and shall ensure that the criteria give priority to eligible entities showing the ability to sustain a demonstration program developed under this subsection after the expiration of the grant period.

(d) Technical assistance.—The Secretary shall provide technical assistance to eligible entities receiving grants under this subsection.

(e) Report.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act, and each year thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress and Federal agencies a report on the findings and outcomes of the program carried out under this section.

(2) CONTENTS.—The Secretary shall include in each report submitted under this subsection—

(A) the results of the study conducted under subsection (b); and

(B) information pertaining to each eligible entity receiving a grant under subsection (c) regarding the number of eligible individuals referred to, accepted into, and graduating from, the demonstration program carried out by the eligible entity.

(3) DISTRIBUTION.—The Secretary shall distribute a report submitted under this subsection to veterans’ service organizations and State medical licencing boards.

SEC. 3. Definitions.

In this Act, the following definitions apply:

(1) ELIGIBLE INDIVIDUAL.—The term “eligible individual” means an individual with medical or health professional experience gained while serving in the Armed Forces who—

(A) has received a certificate, associate degree, baccalaureate degree, master's degree, or post-baccalaureate training in a science relating to health care;

(B) has participated in the delivery of health care services or related medical services, including participation in military training relating to the identification, evaluation, treatment, and prevention of disease and disorders; and

(C) does not have—

(i) a degree of doctor of medicine;

(ii) a degree of doctor of osteopathy; or

(iii) a degree of doctor of dentistry.

(2) ELIGIBLE ENTITY.—The term “eligible entity” means an institution of higher education with a physician assistant program that is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant.

SEC. 4. Authorization of appropriations.

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act $4,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2012 through 2016.