Thursday, October 8, 2015

VA Provider Equity Act S. 2175 introduced in the Senate by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)

S.2175 -- Department of Veterans Affairs Provider Equity Act (Introduced in Senate - IS)

114th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 2175
To amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify the role of podiatrists in the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

October 8, 2015

Mr. TESTER introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs

A BILL
To amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify the role of podiatrists in the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.
    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Department of Veterans Affairs Provider Equity Act'.

SEC. 2. ROLE OF PODIATRISTS IN DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) Inclusion as Physician-
      (1) IN GENERAL- Subchapter I of chapter 74 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

`Sec. 7413. Treatment of podiatrists

    `For purposes of this chapter, the term `physician' includes a podiatrist.'.
      (2) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 74 of such title is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 7412 the following new item:
      `7413. Treatment of podiatrists.'.
      (3) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 7401(1) of such title is amended by striking `Physicians, dentists, podiatrists,' and inserting `Physicians, dentists,'.
    (b) Qualifications- Section 7402(b) of such title is amended--
      (1) in paragraph (1)--
        (A) in subparagraph (A), by striking `or of doctor of osteopathy' and inserting `, doctor of osteopathy, or doctor of podiatric medicine'; and
        (B) in subparagraph (C), by inserting `podiatry,' after `surgery,';
      (2) by striking paragraph (5); and
      (3) by redesignating paragraphs (6) through (14) as paragraphs (5) through (13), respectively.
    (c) Period of Appointment- Section 7403(a)(2) of such title is amended--
      (1) by striking subparagraph (C); and
      (2) by redesignating subparagraphs (D) through (H) as subparagraphs (C) through (G), respectively.
    (d) Modification of Pay Grade-
      (1) GRADE- The list in section 7404(b) of such title is amended by striking `PODIATRIST, CHIROPRACTOR,' and inserting `CHIROPRACTOR'.
      (2) APPLICATION- The amendment made by paragraph (1) shall apply with respect to any pay period of the Department of Veterans Affairs beginning on or after the date that is 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
    (e) Contracts for Scarce Services- Section 7409(a) of such title is amended by striking `podiatrists,'.
    (f) Personnel Administration- Section 7421(b) of such title is amended--
      (1) by striking paragraph (3); and
      (2) by redesignating paragraphs (4) through (8) as paragraphs (3) through (7), respectively.
    (g) Medical Directors- Section 7306(a)(4) of such title is amended--
      (1) by striking `either'; and
      (2) by inserting `, a qualified doctor of podiatric medicine,' after `doctor of medicine'.
    (h) Application- The amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to podiatrists who are employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs as of the date of the enactment of this Act or who are appointed on or after such date.

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