94th Congress > Senate > Vote 376

Date: 1975-08-01

Result: 83-6

Vote Subject Matter: Social Welfare / Domestic Social Policy

Bill number: HR8240

Description: TO PASS H.R. 8240, PROVIDING SPECIAL PAY AND OTHER INCENTIVES TO ENHANCE RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION OF MEDICAL AND OTHER HEALTH CARE PERSONNEL OF THE VA, AFTER STRIKING ALL AFTER ENACTING CLAUSE AND INSERTING TEXT OF S. 1711.

Bill summary: (House agreed to Senate amendments with amendments) Veterans' Administration Physician Pay Comparability Act - Declares as a Congressional finding that the recruitment and rentention 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 (...show more) agencies. Designates salary levels for specified officers of the Department. Provides a salary of $54,000 for the Chief Medical Director, $52,000 for Deputy Chief Medical Director and $50,000 for Associate Deputy Chief Medical Director. Sets forth a pay schedule for Veterans' Administration physicians and dentists. Provides an incentive bonus of up to $13,500 annually to eligible physicians and $6,750 to dentists in the Department who agree to complete a specified number of years service in the Department. Permits exclusion from eligibility for special pay of those categories of physicians and dentists as to which, as determined by the Chief Medical Director pursuant to the Administrator's regulations, there is no significant recruitment and retention problem. Authorizes the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs to provide additional special pay of $5,000 to full-time physicians and $2,500 to full-time dentists, and such amounts proportionally to part-time physicians and dentists. Authorizes payment of incentive special pay to eligible full-time physicians of up to $2,000 and to eligible full-time dentists of up to $1,000 per year. Limits the total possible basic and special pay of part-time physicians to $42,000 per year and of part-time dentists to $37,000 per year. Specifies that the agreement shall provide a requirement that the physician or dentist 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. Awards such special pay to physicians and dentists as of the effective date of this Act if they enter into a one-year service agreement within 45 days of such enactment. 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. Provides that no later than August 31, 1976, the Comptroller General of the United States and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall complete the following activities and shall each submit a report thereon to the Congress: (1) an investigation of the short-term and long-term problems facing the departments and agencies of the Federal Government (including the uniformed services) in recruiting and retaining qualified physicians and dentists; and (2) an identification of appropriate alternative suggested courses of legislative or administrative action (including proposed legislation) and cost estimates therefor, which in the judgment of the Comptroller General or Director will solve such recruitment and retention problems. Requires such reports to include a comparision of the remuneration received by physicians and dentists employed by such departments and agencies with the remuneration received by physicians and dentists in private practice or academic medicine who have equivalent professional or administrative qualifications. Provides that no later than March 1, 1977, the Comptroller General shall complete, and shall submit a report thereon to the Congress, a comprehensive investigation and analysis of recruitment and retention problems, both nationwide and geographically, of health care personnel other than physicians and dentists in the Department of Medicine and Surgery with respect to basic pay and premium and overtime pay rates. Requires the Administrator to respond to the Congress on such reports. 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. 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.

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Bill titles: A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide special pay and incentive pay for certain physicians and dentists employed by the Department of Medicine and Surgery of the Veterans' Administration in order to enhance the recruitment and retention of such personnel, and for other purposes.

Original source documents: Digest of the Congressional Record vol. 121-126, p. S14910;

Links for more info on the vote: congress.gov

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