Summary: H.R.7102 — 96th Congress (1979-1980)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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House agreed to Senate amendment with amendment (07/31/1980)

(House agreed to Senate amendments with amendments)

Veterans' Administration Health-Care Amendments of 1980 - =Title I: Health Care Personnel Amendments= - Amends the Veterans' Administration Physician and Dentist Pay Comparability Act of 1975 to authorize the payment of special pay to physicians and dentists in the Department of Medicine and Surgery (DM&S) of the Veterans' Administration (VA) who are employed full-time intermittently or less than half-time, occupy internship or residency positions, or are retired annuitants.

Authorizes the Administrator to increase the rates of pay, within specified limits, for certain physicians and dentists in specified geographic areas where there are recruitment and retention difficulties for such personnel.

Provides that special pay to DM&S physicians and dentists with at least 15 years of service shall be treated as basic pay for civil service retirement purposes. Allows such personnel to compute amounts of special pay in determining the amount of Federal life insurance they are eligible to purchase.

Directs the Administrator to report biennially to the President, beginning not later than December 31, 1982, on recommended amounts of special pay for VA physicians and dentists to be comparable with other such government and non-government personnel. Requires the President to include in the budget, transmitted to Congress after each report, recommendations with respect to exact rates of such special pay. Directs the Administrator to report to the congressional committees on Veterans' Affairs not later than April 30, each year on the implementation and administration of the special pay provisions of this Act. Repeals provisions of the Veterans' Administration Physician and Dentist Pay Comparability Act of 1975 requiring such annual report.

Exempts physicians, dentists, nurses, and other health-care professionals employed by the Department from the Senior Executive Service. Converts VA non-physician hospital directors into the VA medical personnel system and exempts them from the Senior Executive Service. Stipulates that such directors shall remain eligible for bonus awards provided by the Service.

Sets forth conditions under which a DM&S nurse shall be compensated for officially ordered or approved travel away from such nurse's duty station.

Authorizes the Administrator to increase the premium pay of nurses in certain geographic areas in order to retain the services of such nurses.

Authorizes the Administrator to increase pay under the basic pay schedules for: (1) employees of the Office of the Chief Medical Director; (2) physicians and dentists; (3) nurses; (4) nursing support; (5) clinical podiatrists and optometrists; and (6) nurse anesthetists. Provides for special pay and additional pay under special guidelines for such personnel.

Provides that such increases shall not take effect if the President disapproves and submits an explanation for such disapproval to the appropriate congressional committees.

Permits the Chief of staff of a VA medical center serving on a less than full-time basis to continue to receive remuneration from an outside source. Allows such employee to receive increases in special pay. Requires such Chiefs of Staff to be appointed on a full-time basis after enactment of this Act.

Directs that the personnel of the Department of Medicine and Surgery serving on less than full-time basis shall receive civil service retirement credit for such service only on a pro-rata basis.

Provides that VA representatives on deans' committees at affiliated medical schools shall include full-time staff members at the VA facility.

Directs the Administrator to study the need for and impact on personnel needs of converting certain employees to the pay schedules and other administrative provisions of Federal law dealing with veterans' benefits. Requires that such report be submitted to the Veterans' Affairs Committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives within 18 months of enactment.

Requires the Administrator to conduct a pilot program and study for a specified period of time on the difficulties of recruitment and retention of nursing and nursing support personnel in at least six geographic regions. Requires the submission of the results of such study to Congress.

=Title II: Veterans' Administration Health Professional Scholarship Program= - Establishes the Veterans' Administration Health Professional Scholarship Program.

Sets forth eligibility, contract, obligated service, and application provisions for such program.

Exempts such scholarship payments from taxation.

Makes physicians or dentists ineligible for incentive special pay during the first three years of obligated service under such program.

Directs the Administrator to report to the appropriate congressional committees, not later than six months after enactment of this Act, on the formulation of regulations and status of implementation of such program.

=Title III: Geriatric Research and Care= - Declares that the purposes of this title are: (1) to improve and expand the capability of VA health care facilities; and (2) to advance scientific knowledge regarding the needs of an increasing number of older veterans and the methods of meeting such needs.

Directs the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs, upon the recommendation of the Chief Medical Director, to designate up to 15 VA health-care facilities as centers of geriatric research, education, and clinical activities. Directs the Administrator, in designating locations for such centers: (1) to designate each qualifying facility which is operating a geriatric research, education, and clinical center; (2) to assure appropriate geographic distribution of such facilities; and (3) to limit the designation of any such facility to those which conform to specified criteria.

Directs the Administrator to establish a Geriatrics and Gerontology Advisory Committee within the Department of Medicine and Surgery. Sets forth the membership and functions of such Committee. Requires the Committee to submit a report to the Administrator, through the Chief Medical Director, not later than April 1, 1983. Directs the Administrator to transmit such report to the appropriate congressional committees.

Authorizes appropriations for fiscal years 1981 through 1984 for the purposes of this Act.

Requires that one Assistant Chief Medical be a qualified physician trained or experienced in geriatrics who shall be directly responsible to the Chief Medical Director for all geriatric research, education, and clinical health-care policy and evaluation in the Department.

=Title IV: Miscellaneous Amendments= - Sets forth standards for: (1) a presumption of inability to defray the expenses of medical care provided by the Veterans' Administration; (2) the supervision of real property transactions by the Congressional Committees on Veterans' Affairs; (3) the number of beds required to provide adequate nursing home care in State home facilities.

Repeals the requirement that recipients of health-care personnel training grants increase the number of individuals receiving training.

Extends the time for submission of reports on hospital care and medical services furnished in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Allows VA revolving supply fund reimbursements to be based on the cost of recent significant purchases of the items involved. Provides for return to the Treasury at the end of each fiscal year of only such amounts as the Administrator determines to be in excess of supply fund needs.

Prohibits, after the date of enactment of this Act, any restriction on the availability of funds for the travel and transportation of officers and employees of the executive branch to be applicable to eligible veterans, dependents, or survivors, unless such provisions of law are expressly made applicable to such veterans.