Summary: H.R.1848 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (07/24/2017)

Veterans Affairs Medical Scribe Pilot Act of 2017

(Sec. 2) This bill directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to carry out a two-year pilot program under which it shall increase the use of medical scribes at VA medical centers.

The bill defines "medical scribe" as an unlicensed individual hired to enter information into the electronic health record or chart at the direction of a physician or licensed independent practitioner whose responsibilities include:

  • assisting the physician or practitioner in navigating the electronic health record; and
  • responding to various messages and entering information into such record, as directed by the physician or practitioner.

The VA shall carry out the program at four VA medical centers located in rural areas, four located in urban areas, and two located in areas with need for increased access or increased efficiency.

The VA shall: (1) hire 20 new VA term employees as medical scribes and seek to enter into contracts for the employment of 20 additional scribes, (2) assign four scribes to each VA medical center where the program is conducted, (3) assign two scribes to each of two physicians, (4) employ 30% of the scribes in the provision of emergency care, and (5) employ 70% of the scribes in the provision of care in specialties with the longest patient wait times or lowest efficiency ratings.

(Sec. 3) The bill replaces a provision authorizing the VA to furnish tobacco to veterans receiving hospital or domiciliary care with provisions prohibiting any person from smoking: (1) indoors in any Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facility, (2) indoors in a VHA community living center on or after December 31, 2018, and (3) outdoors at any VHA facility on or after October 1, 2021.