Amends Federal veterans' benefits provisions to require (currently, authorizes) the Administrator of Veterans Affairs to furnish, on an outpatient or ambulatory basis, needed medical services to a veteran for any service-connected disability, or for any disability of a veteran having a service-connected disability rating of 50 percent or more.
Requires the Administrator to provide such services to any veteran receiving benefits due to being disabled during treatment or vocational rehabilitation.
Repeals provisions authorizing the Administrator to provide necessary home health services to such veterans.
Directs the Administrator to furnish (on an outpatient or ambulatory basis) medical services to any veteran who:
(1) has a service-connected disability rating of either 30 or 40 percent; and
(2) is eligible for hospital care and whose annual income does not exceed the maximum annual rate of pension that would be applicable to the veteran if the veteran were currently eligible for such pension.
Authorizes the Administrator to furnish, on an ambulatory or outpatient basis, needed medical services to any veteran:
(1) who is in receipt of increased pension or additional compensation based on the need of regular aid and attendance or by reason of being permanently housebound;
(2) who is a former prisoner of war;
(3) of the Mexican border period or of World War I; or
(4) who is eligible for hospital care under current veterans' benefits provisions.
Defines medical services as those reasonably necessary in preparation for hospital admission or to obviate the need of hospital admission.
Defines medical services for purposes of veterans who have been furnished hospital, nursing home, or domiciliary care.
Prohibits such services from being provided for a period in excess of 12 months after the veteran is discharged from such care.
Revises the priority among specified veterans for the receipt of outpatient services.
Authorizes the Administrator to furnish such home health services, as part of necessary outpatient or ambulatory services, as deemed necessary or appropriate for the effective and economical treatment of the veterans' disabilities.
Authorizes home improvements and structural alterations to be provided as part of such home services as necessary, while specifically limiting the maximum cost of such alterations or improvements.
Limits the eligibility for domiciliary care to veterans who have:
(1) incomes at or below the pension aid-and-attendance level; or
(2) no adequate means of support.
Revises the definition of "nursing home care" to include nursing care delivered in skilled, intermediate, and combined facilities and to exclude the provision of domiciliary care.
Authorizes the Veterans Administration (VA) to contract, on an inpatient or outpatient basis, for emergency care for veterans who have been placed in community nursing homes at VA expense, and for diagnostic services to determine eligibility for a VA benefit.
Authorizes the VA to furnish medical care outside the United States for the service-connected disability of a veteran who is in Canada, the Philippines, or, at the discretion of the Administrator, elsewhere.
Reduces from six months to 90 days the minimum internment period required for former prisoners of war to be eligible for outpatient dental care.
Repeals the current mandatory requirement for the transition from the provision of veterans' readjustment counseling services in facilities primarily set apart from health-care facilities operated by the VA to the provision of such services primarily through VA-operated facilities.
Requires the Administrator, after considering the recommendations of the Chief Medical Director of the VA, to submit to the Congress a national plan which sets forth plans with respect to each veterans center in existence on January 1, 1988, for not less than the next year as to its relocation to another VA facility, movement to another location, or closure, and which includes an evaluation of the ways in which decisions about each center would ensure the continued availability of readjustment counseling to persons eligible and needing such services in the geographical area served by such center.
Requires the national plan to also include plans to open any new centers.
Prohibits any action from being taken with respect to any existing center prior to receipt of the national plan and for 120 days thereafter.
Specifies that, after the national plan is submitted, if the VA wishes to change its plans as to one or more centers, the Administrator must submit a revision of the national plan for centers in accordance with the same type of reporting requirements as apply to the initial plan, and to explain the basis for the changes in the plan.
Provides that no action outlined in any such revision may be implemented prior to 60 days after such plan revision.
Provides that, once the plan is submitted, action may be taken as to the centers covered in the plan only in the way described in the plan or the plan revision.
Prohibits delegation of the Chief Medical Director's responsibility relating to the national plan.
Postpones by one year the due date of a report from the Administrator on the effectiveness of the readjustment counseling program in meeting the readjustment needs of the Vietnam-era veterans.
Provides that payments shall be made to eligible veterans traveling to or from a VA facility or other place for the following purposes:
(1) scheduled care or examination;
(2) outpatient care or admission to an inpatient health-care facility;
(3) VA examination, treatment, or care; or
(4) vocational rehabilitation.
Provides that the following categories of veterans are eligible for such payments:
(1) veterans traveling for care in connection with a service-connected disability;
(2) veterans with a service-connected disability rated at 30 percent or more;
(3) veterans whose annual income does not exceed the maximum annual rate of pension which would be payable if the veterans were eligible for such pension;
(4) veterans who are determined by the Administrator to be unable to defray the expenses of such travel;
(5) veterans receiving a pension; and
(6) veterans traveling for the purpose of a compensation and pension examination.
Limits the amount that the Administrator may deduct from payments to a person required to make six or more one-way trips during any month.
Prohibits a deduction to be taken from payments made to a person using a special mode of transportation previously authorized.
Authorizes the Administrator to waive such deduction in the case of any person for whom the imposition of such deduction would cause severe financial hardship.
Directs the Administrator to adjust proportionately the deduction taken whenever the rates of travel expense payments are increased or decreased.
Requires the Administrator, in consultation and coordination with the Secretary of Transportation and veterans' organizations, to take all appropriate steps to facilitate the establishment and maintenance of local transportation networks under which the organization, or individuals who are volunteering their services to the VA, would take responsibility for the transportation of veterans to VA facilities without reimbursement from the VA. Directs the Administrator, no later than six months after the enactment of this Act, to report to the Senate and House Veterans' Affairs Committees (veterans' committees) on the implementation of such requirement.