Text: H.R.2088 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (05/22/2013)


113th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 2088

To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a pilot program to establish claims adjudication centers of excellence.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
May 22, 2013

Mr. Michaud (for himself, Mr. McIntyre, Ms. Kuster, Ms. Brownley of California, Mrs. McCarthy of New York, Ms. Frankel of Florida, Ms. Lee of California, Mr. Heck of Nevada, Ms. Brown of Florida, Mrs. Bustos, Mr. Bishop of New York, and Mr. Kilmer) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs


A BILL

To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a pilot program to establish claims adjudication centers of excellence.

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

SECTION 1. Department of Veterans Affairs pilot program on claims adjudication centers of excellence.

(a) Pilot program.—The Secretary shall carry out a three-year pilot program under which the Secretary shall establish in the Department of Veterans Affairs 12 claims adjudication centers of excellence in accordance with this section.

(b) Selection of locations.—The Secretary shall select the three highest performing regional offices in each of the four areas of the Veterans Benefits Administration as the locations of the centers of excellence. To determine which of the regional offices are the three highest performing, the Secretary shall evaluate the quality and accuracy ratings of each of the regional offices and the average number of days a claim submitted to each of the regional offices is pending.

(c) Focus of centers.—

(1) SELECTION OF MEDICAL CONDITIONS.—Each center of excellence established under this section shall focus on adjudicating claims relating to one medical condition selected by the Secretary. The Secretary shall select medical conditions for such purpose that are among the most complex and time consuming, for purposes of adjudication, and that occur commonly enough to support the work of the centers.

(2) ADJUDICATION OF OTHER CLAIMS.—If no claims relating to the medical condition which is the focus of a center are pending adjudication, employees of the center shall adjudicate claims relating to other medical conditions.

(d) Employees.—

(1) EMPLOYEE TRAINING.—Each employee of a center of excellence established under this section shall—

(A) receive specific training related to the medical condition on which the center where the employee is employed is focused;

(B) be required to pass an examination designed to certify the employee’s ability to adjudicate claims relating to such medical condition to a high performing standard; and

(C) work primarily, to the extent practicable, adjudicating claims for which the employee has received specialized training.

(2) EMPLOYMENT AT MORE THAN ONE CENTER.—

(A) CONCURRENT EMPLOYMENT.—No employee may be employed concurrently at more than one center established under this section.

(B) SUBSEQUENT EMPLOYMENT.—If the Secretary determines appropriate, an employee may move from one center to another as long as the employee receives specialized training appropriate for the center to which the employee moves.

(3) ADDITIONAL FULL TIME EMPLOYEES AUTHORIZED.—The Secretary may assign additional full-time employees to a regional office designated as a center of excellence under this section as the Secretary determines necessary. For any full-time employee of a regional office who is assigned to a center of excellence under this section, the director of the regional office shall hire an additional full-time employee at the regional office.

(e) Deadline for selection of medical conditions.—The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall select the medical conditions on which the claims adjudication centers of excellence established under this section shall focus by not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.