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House unanimously approves Roe’s legislation to create Medical Scribe Program Pilot

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) released the following statement after the House unanimously approved H.R. 1848, the Veterans Affairs Medical Scribe Pilot Act of 2017, Monday evening:

“As Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (VA), and as a physician, I am committed to ensuring veterans have access to the health care they have earned and deserve. Since the VA waitlist scandal broke three years ago, I’ve examined several ways to improve patient care for veterans, and one that came up repeatedly in discussions was cutting down on the time physicians spend entering data. Many private-sector physicians report the use of medical scribes has a positive and meaningful impact on their ability to see patients. Scribes can help input patient data and allow physicians to focus on patient care and use their time more efficiently. That’s why I introduced legislation to start a pilot program to examine whether or not the use of medical scribes would have similar positive effects in the VA. It is imperative that VA physicians are focused on providing high-quality care in a timely manner, and I am proud the House unanimously approved this important legislation.”

 Background: The Veterans Affairs Medical Scribe Pilot Act of 2017 would create a two-year medical scribes pilot program under which VA will increase the use of medical scribes at ten VA medical centers. Under this legislation, VA would be required to report to Congress every 180 days regarding the effects the pilot program has had on provider satisfaction, provider productivity, patient satisfaction, average wait time and the number of patients seen per day. The bill requires the Secretary to select at least four medical centers located in rural areas, at least four medical centers located in urban areas and two located in areas where a need for increased access exists. Additionally, it requires four scribes be assigned to each medical center, with two scribes assigned to each of two physicians. 30 percent of scribes will be employed in emergency care and 70 percent of scribes will be employed in specialties with the longest patient wait times or lowest efficiency ratings. It also requires VA to hire 20 new VA employees as medical scribes, and to enter into contracts with outside entities in order to employ 20 additional scribes


Click here for more information. Read the bill here.