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H.R. 8175 (95th): An Act to amend the Veterans’ Administration Physician and Dentist Pay Comparability Act of 1975, as amended, in order to extend the authority to enter into special-pay agreements with physicians and dentists; to amend title 38 of the United States Code to modify certain provisions relating to special-pay agreements; and for other purposes.


The text of the bill below is as of Nov 23, 1977 (Passed Congress).


PUBLIC LAW 95-201—NOV. 23, 1977                                    91 STAT. 1429

Public Law 95-201
95th Congress
                                   An Act
To amend the Veterans' Administration Physician and Dentist Pay Compara-               Nov. 23, 1977
  bility Act of 1975, as amended, in order to extend tlie autliority to enter into      [H.R. 8175]
  special-pay agreements with physicians and dentists; to amend title 38 of the
  United States Code to modify certain provisions relating to special-pay agree-
  ments ; and for other purposes.

  Be it enacted hy the Senate and House of Representatives         of the
United States of America in Congress assembled^ T h a t this Act may                  Veterans'
be cited as the "Veterans' Administration Physician and Dentist P a y                 Administration
Comparability Amendments of 1977".                                                    Physician and
                                                                                      Dentist Pay
  SEC. 2. Section 6 ( a ) (2) of the Veterans* Administration Physician               Comparability
and Dentist P a y Comparability Act of 1975 (Public Law 94-123;                       Amendments of
89 Stat. 069), as amended, is amended by striking out "September 30,                  1977.
1977" and inserting in lieu thereof "September 30,1978".                              38 u s e 101 note.
  SEC. 3. (a) Section 4118 of title 38, United States Code, is amended                38 u s e 4118
by—                                                                                   note.
        (1) amending subsection (a) (1) by—
             (A) striking out " h e " and inserting in lieu thereof "the
          Administrator";
             ( B ) striking out "of," after "duration" and inserting in
          lieu thereof a comma and "of"; and
             (C) striking out "number of years" after "specified" and
          inserting in lieu thereof "period" ;
        (2) striking out in subsection (a) (3) "pursuant t o " and                    Redetermination.
     inserting in lieu thereof "in accordance with", and inserting at the
     end thereof the following new sentence: "Not later than one
     year after making any such recruitment and retention deter-
     mination and each year thereafter, the Chief Medical Director
     shall make a redetermination in accordance with such regula-
     tions, and, in the event any such determination was made more
     than one year prior to the date of enactment of this sentence,
     the Chief Medical Director shall make such redetermination not
     later than ninety days after such enactment date.";
        (3) inserting at the end of subsection (e) (1) the following new              Eligibility.
     sentences: "Any physician or dentist who entered into an
     agreement under this section and has not failed to refund any
     amount which such physician or dentist became obligated to
     refund under any such agreement shall be eligible to enter into
     a subsequent agreement under this section. Notwithstanding
     the provisions of the preceding two sentences, no agreement
     entered into under this section shall extend beyond September 30,
     1981, and any agreement entered into under this section after
     September 30, 1980, may be for a period of less than one year if
     the expiration date thereof is September 30, 1981."; and
        (4) amending subsection (e) (2) (A) by—
             ( A ) inserting a comma and "or such lesser period of
          service as provided for in the final sentence of p a r a g r a p h
           (1) of this subsection." after "service"; and
             ( B ) striking out "the Chief Medical Director, pursuant
          to the regulations prescribed under this section, determines"
          and inserting in lieu thereof "the Chief Medical Director

91 STAT. 1430 PUBLIC LAW 95-201—NOV. 23, 1977 determines, in accordance with regulations prescribed under subsection (a) of this section,". Special-pay (b) P r i o r to the execution after A p r i l 30, 1978, of any written agreements, agreement entered into with a physician or dentist under section 4118 ree valuation. of title 38, United States Code (as amended by subsection (a) of Report to this section), (1) the Chief Medical Director of the Veterans' Congress. 38 u s e 4118 Administration shall reevaluate, in view of the executive level pay note. increase made pursuant to section 225 of the Federal Salary Act of Ante, p. 1429. 1967, ett'ective F e b r u a r y 27, 1977, with respect to the Veterans' 2 u s e 351 et seq. Administration, the need for special-pay agreements, as authorized in such section 4118, in order to recruit and retain highly qualified physicians or dentists in each category of positions in the Department of Medicine and Surgery, and report to Congress not later t h a n A p r i l 30, 1978, on the results of such reevaluation with respect to each such category; and (2) notwithstanding such section 4118, the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs, upon the recommendation of the Chief Medical Director and based upon such reevaluations, may promulgate a regulation reducing the amount of p r i m a r y special pay for any such category to the extent the Administrator finds such primary special pay is not necessary to recruit and retain highly Publication in qualified physicians or dentists in such category. If a determination Federal Register. is made to reduce the amount of such primary special pay for any such category, the regulation promulgating the reduction shall be published in the Federal Register not less t h a n t h i r t y days prior to its effective date. 38 u s e 4118 (c) The Administrator, not later than t h i r t y days after the date of note. enactment of this Act, may enter into, under section 4118 of title 38, United States Code (as amended by subsection (a) of this section), with any otherwise eligible physician or dentist who was appointed to a position in the Department of Medicine and Surgery in the Veterans' Administration during the period beginning on October 1, 1977, and ending on the date of enactment of this Act, a special-pay agreement providing for the payment of special pay to such physician or dentist retroactive to the date such physician or dentist was appointed to such position. English SEC. 4. ( a ) ( 1 ) Section 4105 of title 38. United States Code, is proficiency amended by inserting at the end thereof the following new subsection: requirement. " ( c ) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person may be appointed under section 4104(1) of this title after the effective date of this subsection to serve in the Department of Medicine and Surgery in any direct patient-care capacity unless the Chief Medical Director determines, in accordance with regulations w^hich the Administrator shall prescribe, t h a t such person possesses such basic proficiency in spoken and written English as will permit such degree of communica- tion with patients and other health-care personnel as will enable such person to carry out such person's health-care responsibilities satisfactorily.". (2) Section 4114 of title 38, LTnited States Code, is amended by inserting at the end thereof the following new subsection: " ( f ) No person may be appointed under this section after the effective date of this subsection to an occupational category described in section 4104(1) of this title or in subsection (b) of this section unless such person meets the requirements established in section 4105(c) of this title and regulations prescribed thereunder.". 38 u s e 4105 (3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, with respect to note. persons other t h a n those described in subsection (c) of section 4105 Supra. and subsection (f) of section 4114 of title 38, United States Code (as added by p a r a g r a p h s (1) and (2) of this subsection), who are
PUBLIC LAW 95-201—NOV. 23, 1977 91 STAT. 1431 appointed after the date of enactment of this Act in the Department of Medicine and Surgery in the Veterans" Administration in any direct patient-care capacity, and with respect to persons described in such subsections who are appointed after such enactment date and prior to January 1,1978, the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs, upon the recommendation of the Chief Medical Director, shall take appropriate steps to provide reasonable assurance that such persons possess such basic proficiency in spoken and written English as will permit such degree of communication with patients and other health-care per- sonnel as will enable such persons to carry out their health-care responsibilities satisfactorily. (4) The amendments made by paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Effective date. subsection shall be effective on January 1, 1978. 38 use 4105 (b) Not later than April 1, 1978, the Administrator of Veterans' note. Affairs shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Report to congressional House of Representatives and the Senate a report (1) describing activi- committees. ties undertaken and the persons affected in order to carry out sub- 38 use 4105 section (c) of section 4105 and subsection (f) of section 4114 of title note. 38, United States Code (as added by paragraphs (1) and (2) of sub- Ante, p. 1430. section (a) of this section), and subsections (a)(3) and (c) of this section, and (2) providing— (A) a description of the extent to which there are persons employed by the Veterans' Administration, on or prior to the date of enactment of this Act, in any direct patient-care capacity in the Department of Medicine and Surgery, who do not possess such basic proficiency in spoken and written English as produces the degree of comnmnication with patients and other health-care personnel as is necessary to enable such persons to carry out their health-care responsibilities satisfactorily; (B) data describing the characteristics and categories of positions of any such persons; and (C) if, in the opinion of the Administrator, the description and data being provided pursuant to subclauses (A) and (B) of clause (2) of this subsection indicate that there is a problem with respect to the satisfactory performance of such health-care responsibilities arising from such lack of proficiency, a plan to promote the achievement of such proficiency as will enable the persons involved to carry out their health-care responsibilities satisfactorily as well as to deal with any need which the Admin- istrator believes will exist to promote such proficiency on the part of persons appointed after such enactment date who the Admin- istrator has reason to believe do not, in fact, possess such proficiency, including (i) the cost of implementing such plan in each of the succeeding five fiscal years, and (ii) the time periods in which such proficiency on the part of such persons (broken down by appropriate categories and characteristics) can be expected to be achieved. (c) Section 5001 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by Dual language inserting at the end thereof the following new subsection: speaking staff "(h) When the Administrator determines, in accordance with regu- members, identification. lations which the Administrator shall prescribe, that a Veterans' Administration facility serves a substantial number of veterans with limited English-speaking ability, the Administrator shall establish and implement procedures, upon the recommendation of the Chief Medical Director, to ensure the identification of sufficient numbers of individuals on such facility's staff who are fluent in both the
91 STAT. 1432 PUBLIC LAW 95-201—NOV. 23, 1977 language most appropriate to such veterans and in Englisli and whose responsibilities shall include providing guidance to such veterans and to appropriate Veterans' Administration staff members with respect to cultural sensitivities and bridging linguistic and cultural differ- ences,". Podiatrists and SEC. 5. (a) (1) The salary schedule under the heading "SKCTION 4 1 0 3 optometrists. SCHEDULE" in section 4107 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by sti'iking out "$36,338 minimum to $46,026 maximum"' after "Direc- tor of Podiatric Service,"" and inserting in lieu thereof "$39,629 minimum to $50,197 maximum.". (2) T h e salary schedule under the h e a d i n g "CLINICAL PODIATRIST AND OPTOMETRIST SCHEDULE"' in scctiou 4107 of title 38, United States Code, is amended to read as follows: "Chief grade, $33,789 minimuui to $43,923 nuiximum. "Senior grade. $28,725 minimum to $37,347 nuiximum. "Intermediate grade, $24,308 minimmn to $31,598 maximum. "Full grade, $20,442 minimum to $26,571 maximum. "Associate grade, $17,056 minimum to $22,177 maximujn.". Effective date. (3) T h e amendments made by p a r a g r a p h s (1) and (2) of this 38 u s e 4107 subsection shall be effective retroactive to the period beginning on note. October 21, 1976, and ending on October 8, 1977. Notwithstanding any other provision of hnv, the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs shall establish retroactively for such period intermediate rates of basic pay between the nunimum and maximum pay ranges prescribed in the salary schedule u n d e r t h e heading "SECTION 4 I O 3 SCHEDULE" for the Director of P o d i a t r i c Service and in t h e "CLINICAL PODIATRIST AND OPTOMETRIST SCHEDULE" in sectiou 4107 of title 38, United States Code. Employment (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, each person conversion, employed in the Department of Medicine and Surgery in t h e effective date. Veterans' Administration as a podiatrist or optometrist shall be 38 u s e 4107 converted f I'om employment under p a r t I I I of title 5, United States note. Code, to full-time employment under section 4104(1), or temporary full-time employment or part-time employment under section 4114(a)(1) ( A ) , "of title 38, United States "Code, a n d each such conversion (including application of the applicable rates of basic pay provided for in the amendments made by subsection (a) of this section) shall be effective retroactive to October 21, 1976, or t h e most recent date of appointment in the Department of Medicine and Surgery of t h e employee concerned under such p a r t I I I , whichever is the later. Approved November 2 3 , 1977. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: HOUSE REPORT No. 95-585 (Comm. on Veterans'Affairs). eONGRESSIONAL REeORD, Vol 123 (1977): Sept. 12, considered and passed House. Nov. 3, considered in Senate. Nov. 4, considered and passed Senate, amended; House concurred in Senate amendments.