Text: H.R.1725 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 115-130 (03/09/2018)

 
[115th Congress Public Law 130]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



[[Page 132 STAT. 332]]

Public Law 115-130
115th Congress

                                 An Act


 
 To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to submit certain reports 
relating to medical evidence submitted in support of claims for benefits 
     under the laws administered by the Secretary. <<NOTE: Mar. 9, 
                         2018 -  [H.R. 1725]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. REPORT ON PROGRESS OF DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 
                              ACCEPTABLE CLINICAL EVIDENCE 
                              INITIATIVE.

    (a) In General.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on 
Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs 
of the House of Representatives a report on the progress of the 
Acceptable Clinical Evidence initiative of the Department of Veterans 
Affairs in reducing the necessity for in-person disability examinations 
and other efforts to comply with the provisions of section 5125 of title 
38, United States Code.
    (b) Contents of Report.--The report required by subsection (a) shall 
include the following:
            (1) The number of claims eligible for the Acceptable 
        Clinical Evidence initiative during the period beginning on the 
        date of the commencement of the initiative and ending on the 
        date of the submittal of the report, disaggregated by fiscal 
        year.
            (2) The total number of claims eligible for the Acceptable 
        Clinical Evidence initiative that required a medical examiner of 
        the Department to supplement the evidence with information 
        obtained during a telephone interview with a claimant.
            (3) Information on any other initiatives or efforts of the 
        Department to further encourage the use of private medical 
        evidence and reliance upon reports of a medical examination 
        administered by a private physician if the report is 
        sufficiently complete to be adequate for the purposes of 
        adjudicating a claim.
            (4) The anticipated impact on the timeline and accuracy of a 
        decision on a claim for benefits under chapter 11 or 15 of title 
        38, United States Code, if the Secretary were prohibited from 
        requesting a medical examination in the case of a claim in 
        support of which a claimant submits medical evidence and a 
        medical opinion provided by a private physician that is 
        competent, credible, probative, and otherwise adequate for the 
        purpose of making a decision on that claim.
            (5) Recommendations on how the Department can measure, 
        track, and prevent the ordering of unnecessary medical 
        examinations when the provision by a claimant of a medical

[[Page 132 STAT. 333]]

        examination administered by a private physician in support of a 
        claim for benefits under chapter 11 or 15 of title 38, United 
        States Code, is adequate for the purpose of making a decision on 
        that claim.
SEC. 2. ANNUAL REPORT ON SUBMITTAL OF PRIVATE MEDICAL EVIDENCE IN 
                    SUPPORT OF CLAIMS FOR DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS 
                    AFFAIRS BENEFITS.

    Not later than March 1 of fiscal years 2018 through 2024, the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to Congress a report that 
includes, for the calendar year preceding the year in which the report 
is submitted, the following for each regional office of the Department 
of Veterans Affairs:
            (1) The number of times a veteran who submitted private 
        medical evidence in support of a claim for compensation or 
        pension under the laws administered by the Secretary was 
        scheduled for an examination performed by Department personnel 
        because the private medical evidence submitted was determined to 
        be unacceptable.
            (2) The most common reasons why private medical evidence 
        submitted in support of claims for benefits under the laws 
        administered by the Secretary was determined to be unacceptable.
            (3) The types of disabilities for which claims for benefits 
        under the laws administered by the Secretary were mostly 
        commonly denied when private medical evidence was submitted.

    Approved March 9, 2018.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 1725:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 115-133 (Comm. on Veterans' Affairs).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD:
                                                        Vol. 163 (2017):
                                    May 23, considered and passed House.
                                                        Vol. 164 (2018):
                                    Feb. 15, considered and passed 
                                        Senate.

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