David P. Roe (Republican – Tennessee) introduced H.R. 1848 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 center, and for other purposes.”
The bill was introduced on April 3, 2017 and sent to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. The title of the amendment was changed to include “and for other purposes” on July 24, 2017. The bill was brought to the floor and passed by a voice vote in the House on July 24, 2017.
The bill directs the Secretary of the VA to carry out a test program on using medical scribes in the VA medical program. The bill orders the program to be carried out in 10 medical centers: four (4) in rural areas, four (4) in urban areas, and two (2) in areas with need for increased access or efficiency.
The bill orders the hiring of twenty (20) medical scribes. Two scribes shall be assigned to each of two physicians in each medical center. 30% of the scribes will be employed in the emergency care sector. 70% will be employed in the specialty care sector. They’ll be placed in the specialty care areas with the longest patient waiting times or lowest efficiency ratings.
180 days after the trial program starts, the VA will submit a report on the program. The report will include a comparison of: -provider efficiency; – patient satisfaction; – average wait time; – number of patients seen each day by the practitioner; – amount of time required to hire and train the scribe under the test program. Data in these areas shall be evaluated prior to the hiring of the scribe for comparison purposes.
90 days after the program ends the Comptroller General of the United States will be required to submit a report to Congress on the test program. This report will compare the VA program with similar programs carried out in the private sector.
Greg Walden (Republican – Oregon)
Clay Higgins (Republican – Louisiana)
David Young (Republican – Iowa)