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Senate Committee on Veterans' AffairsIntroducedNovember 20th, 2013
- senate Committees
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A bill to improve authorities for performance of medical disabilities examinations by contract physicians for benefits under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.
Amends the Veterans Benefits Act of 2003 to extend until December 31, 2016, the authority of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide for persons other than VA employees (i.e., contract physicians) to conduct medical disability examinations of applicants for benefits under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Permits licensed, VA-contracted physicians to conduct such examinations at any location in any state, the District of Columbia, or a Commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States, so long as the examination is authorized under the contract. Amends the Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 1996 to provide similar authorities with respect to permissible examination locations to licensed physicians under the pilot program authorizing the VA to use contract physicians to perform medical disability examinations of applicants for benefits under laws carried out through the Under Secretary for Benefits. Expands from 10 to 15 the maximum number of VA regional offices through which the Secretary is authorized to carry out such pilot program. Sets forth criteria for the selection of such regional offices. Directs the Secretary to conduct an annual data analysis (including an analysis of backlogged claims, pending workloads, and the timeliness of completed cases) to determine the regional offices requiring support.