AFGE applauds the introduction of the “VA Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Modernization Act,” H.R. 3693, which increases the amount of money clinical employees can be reimbursed for CPE. This critical investment in the VA workforce would help keep our VA health care system on the cutting edge, providing top quality care to our nation’s veterans.
The current program only allows for reimbursements to be made to board-certified physicians and dentists. If enacted, all VA clinicians including physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, and psychologists would be eligible to take advantage of this program.
AFGE is proud to endorse this legislation. Improving and updating programs such as this is a crucial component to recruiting and retaining top talent to care for America’s heroes. Too many times, VA health care providers have left the federal service due to better pay and benefits in the private sector, resulting in thousands of critical positions being left unfilled for years.
The bipartisan legislation would also increase the reimbursement limit for physicians and dentists from $1,000 per year to $4,000 per year and eliminate the requirement that they be board certified. All other VA clinicians for the first time would be allowed to receive up to $2,000 in continuing professional education reimbursements.
“Thank you, Chairwoman Brownley and Dr. Miller-Meeks, for fighting to update the CPE allowance for the first time in 30 years,” said AFGE National VA Council President Alma Lee. “For years the federal government, especially the VA, has been hollowed out. We saw firsthand during the COVID-19 pandemic the impact understaffing has on our workforce and the veterans we care for. In order to entice clinicians to pursue and make a career at the VA, expanding continuing education benefits is a must.”