A bill (HR-6087) pending a House vote could result in injured federal employees becoming eligible for Federal Employees Compensation Act benefits but also could result in them returning to work sooner, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis.
The measure recently passed by the House Education and Labor Committee would allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants to diagnose, prescribe treatment, and certify an injury and extent of disability for purposes of compensating federal employees under the FECA program.
The CBO said it expects that those providers “would be compensated at the same rate as physicians and that total benefits provided to injured federal workers would not significantly change. Some people may receive treatment more quickly under the bill . . . on the other hand, if injured workers receive treatment faster, they may return to work more quickly, which could reduce costs for some FECA cases.”
The latter is a consideration for agency management, since FECA costs are charged back to the employing agency’s salary accounts.
The CBO projected that the net budgetary effect of enacting the bill would be a wash.