- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The senate has not voted
Committee on Veterans' Affairs
- senate Committees
- The house Passed July 24th, 2017Passed by Voice Vote
HealthCommittee on Veterans' AffairsIntroducedApril 3rd, 2017
- house Committees
Bill DetailsOfficial information provided by the Congressional Research Service. Learn more or make a suggestion.
The Congressional Research Service writes summaries for most legislation. These summaries are listed here. Countable will update some legislation with a revised summary, title or other key elements.
Veterans Affairs Medical Scribe Pilot Act of 2017
To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a pilot program on the use of medical scribes in Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers, and for other purposes.
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.
To quote the bill a medical scribe is, "an unlicensed individual hired to enter information into the electronic health record or chart at the direction of a physician or licensed independent practitioner". What this bill primarily does is create a two-year pilot program, led by the VA secretary, to increase the use of medical scribes in VA medical facilities. This would also require a report from the VA secretary after 180 days, and every 180 days after, on the success of the program to be submitted to Congress. This has the potential to improve healthcare for veterans, however we also need to assess the current use of VA funds before substantially increasing it.