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

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Introduced in House (05/22/2013)

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[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 2088 Introduced in House (IH)]

  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.



                              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,


    (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.