Summary: S.114 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 115-46 (08/12/2017)

VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017

TITLE I--APPROPRIATION OF AMOUNTS FOR VETERANS CHOICE PROGRAM

(Sec. 101) This bill provides funding for the Veterans Choice Program.

TITLE II--PERSONNEL MATTERS

(Sec. 201) The annual determination of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) staff shortages shall include shortages for a minimum of five clinical and five nonclinical occupations for each network. (Such determination currently includes the five occupations for which there are the largest Department of Veterans Affairs [VA]-wide shortages.)

(Sec. 202) The bill establishes in the VA an executive management fellowship program to provide Veterans Benefits Administration and VHA employees with training and experience in the private sector and private sector employees training and experience in the VA. Employees shall be selected in a manner that reflects veteran demographics and provides a preference for rural employees.

(Sec. 203) The VA shall conduct an annual performance plan for each political appointee that is similar to the plan conducted for VA career senior executive employees.

(Sec. 204) The VA may noncompetitively appoint a qualified former employee to any VA position within the competitive service that is one grade or equivalent higher than the person's most recent position.

(Sec. 205) The VA shall establish a promotional track system for employees who are technical experts to advance without being required to transition to management positions.

(Sec. 206) The VA shall prescribe regulations to allow for excepted service appointments of qualifying students and recent graduates leading to career employment.

(Sec. 207) The VA shall establish a program to encourage service members with a military health care specialty to seek postmilitary employment with the VHA.

(Sec. 208) The VA shall establish a single database that lists each vacant VA position that is: (1) critical, difficult to fill, or both; or (2) for a mental health professional. A qualified applicant for a position in the database who is not selected may elect to be considered by the VA for similar positions in the database.

(Sec. 209) The VA shall provide VHA human resources professionals with recruitment and retention training.

(Sec. 210) The VA shall develop and implement a plan to hire qualified directors for VA medical centers without a permanent director.

(Sec. 211) The VA shall develop a standardized exit survey for employees and executives who voluntarily separate from the VA.

(Sec. 212) Physician assistants are included in the list of VA health care personnel who must receive pay that is competitive with non-VA health care facilities.

(Sec. 213) The VA may appoint highly qualified candidates without regard to competitive service provisions if there is a severe shortage of highly qualified candidates.

(Sec. 214) The Government Accountability Office shall assess the VA's succession planning policies.

TITLE III--MAJOR MEDICAL FACILITY LEASES

(Sec. 301) The VA may carry out major medical facility leases in specified amounts at certain locations.

TITLE IV--OTHER MATTERS

(Sec. 401) The bill extends through FY2027: (1) the $90 monthly limit on a VA pension paid to veterans residing in nursing homes when their nursing costs are paid through title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act; (2) VA authority to collect certain fees at current levels for housing loans made, insured, or guaranteed by the VA; and (3) VA authority to obtain veterans' income verification information from the Social Security Administration or the Department of the Treasury.