Summary: S.1711 — 94th Congress (1975-1976)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (07/23/1975)

(Reported to Senate from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs with amendment, S. Rept. 94-325)

Veterans' Administration Physician Pay Comparability Act - Declares as a Congressional finding that the recruitment and retention of qualified physicians at the Department of Medicine and Surgery has been hampered by: (1) the $36,000 statutory ceiling on the salary of physicians employed by the Department; and (2) the noncomparability of physician salaries in the Department relative to the salaries of physicians in other Federal agencies.

Designates salary levels for specified officers of the Department. Provides a salary of $49,700 for the Chief Medical Director, $48,500 for Deputy Chief Medical Director and $47,300 for Associate Deputy Chief Medical Director.

Provides an incentive bonus of up to $13,500 annually to eligible physicians in the Department who agree to complete a specified number of year's service in the Department.

Permits exclusion from eligibility for special pay of those professional (not administrative) categories of physicians as to which, as determined by the Chief Medical Director pursuant to the Administrator's regulations, there is no significant recruitment and retention problem in securing the services of highly qualified physicians.

Authorizes the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs to provide additional special pay, not to exceed 55 percent of the maximum amount of special pay, to all eligible full-time and part-time physicians in the Department. Provides that the award of such pay shall be made within guidelines specified in this Act. Specifies that the agreement shall provide a requirement that the physician refund to the Department the total amount of special pay received in the event that the physician fails to complete at least 1 year of service.

Requires the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs to submit an annual report to the Senate and House Committees on Veterans' Affairs regarding the operation of the special pay program.

Directs the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, after consultation with the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of HEW, the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, and the heads of other appropriate Federal departments and agencies, to submit to the appropriate Congressional Committees, not later than March 1, 1976, a report proposing a permanent legislative solution to the problem of attracting and retaining the services of highly qualified physicians and other health care personnel in the Veterans' Administration, in other non-uniformed Federal service, and in the uniformed services, along with the justification for such a proposal.

Provides for the appointment of physicians' assistants and expanded-duty dental auxiliaries utilizing the nurse pay schedules. Provides for the payment of overtime and premium pay to licensed practical nurses, licensed vocational nurses, nursing assistants and other health care personnel, employed by the Veterans' Administration under the General Schedule (as well as to physicians' assistants and expanded-duty dental auxiliaries) whose responsibilities relate directly to the provision of patient care. Allows voluntarily requested compensatory time for VA nurses in lieu of overtime and premium pay. Gives the Administrator authority to increase within grade the maximum pay rates authorized for dentists, nurses, physicians' assistants, expanded-duty dental auxiliaries, nursing personnel, and other health care personnel when necessary to meet competitive pay practices, provide for internal alignment of salaries, or to meet staffing requirements.

Entitles physicians' assistants and expanded-duty dental auxiliaries to compensation under the Nurse Schedule grade titles and related pay ranges. Allows overtime pay for such employees.

Directs the Administrator to raise entry pay to the maximum permissible levels within grade, and to make commensurate adjustments for within grade steps for VA health care personnel on a nationwide basis in order to recruit and retain their services.