Senators Moran and King Introduce Legislation to Expand Veterans’ Access to Disability Exams: Aiming to Alleviate VA Backlog and Enhance Care

By Trish Svoboda

Today, March 21, legislation to broaden veterans’ access to essential exams required for disability claims was introduced by U.S. Senators Jerry Moran and Angus King, Members of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

This legislation aims to institutionalize a pilot program, initiated by Congress in 2020, that extends license portability prerequisites. This would empower licensed medical practitioners to conduct medical disability examinations for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) across state boundaries.

“Veterans deserve access to timely, high-quality care and a greater ability to choose when, where and how to use the benefits they earned through their service,” said Sen. Moran. “VA is facing an increasing backlog of benefit claims decisions, and this legislation will help alleviate the exam backlog by creating a permanent solution to allow more veterans to receive care and benefits in a timely manner.”

Initially introduced under the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020, this pilot program granted the VA and its contract vendors the power to allow specific medical providers to conduct medical disability exams outside their licensing states. The proposed legislation would permit any healthcare professional who is eligible for a position within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), holds an unrestricted license to practice, and is fulfilling the responsibilities agreed upon in the contract between the VA and the vendor.

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