< Back to S. 3095 (110th Congress, 2007–2009)

Text of the Relief for Rural Veterans in Crisis Act of 2008

This bill was introduced on June 5, 2008, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jun 5, 2008 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

II

110th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3095

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 5, 2008

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance

A BILL

To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to expand the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program to increase the delivery of mental health services and other health services to veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom and to other residents of rural areas, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Relief for Rural Veterans in Crisis Act of 2008.

2.

Expansion and extension of the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program

(a)

In general

Section 1820(g) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395i–4(g)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(6)

Providing mental health services and other health services to veterans and other residents of rural areas

(A)

Grants to states

The Secretary may award grants to States that have submitted applications in accordance with subparagraph (B) for increasing the delivery of mental health services or other health care services deemed necessary to meet the needs of veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom living in rural areas (as defined for purposes of section 1886(d) and including areas that are rural census tracks, as defined by the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration), including for the provision of crisis intervention services and the detection of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and other signature injuries of veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and for referral of such veterans to medical facilities operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for the delivery of such services to other residents of such rural areas.

(B)

Application

(i)

In general

An application is in accordance with this subparagraph if the State submits to the Secretary at such time and in such form as the Secretary may require an application containing the assurances described in subparagraphs (A)(ii) and (A)(iii) of subsection (b)(1).

(ii)

Consideration of regional approaches, networks, or technology

The Secretary may, as appropriate in awarding grants to States under subparagraph (A), consider whether the application submitted by a State under this subparagraph includes 1 or more proposals that utilize regional approaches, networks, health information technology, telehealth, or telemedicine to deliver services described in subparagraph (A) to individuals described in that subparagraph. For purposes of this clause, a network may, as the Secretary determines appropriate, include Federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics, home health agencies, community mental health clinics and other providers of mental health services, pharmacists, local government, and other providers deemed necessary to meet the needs of veterans.

(iii)

Coordination at local level

The Secretary shall require, as appropriate, a State to demonstrate consultation with the hospital association of such State, rural hospitals located in such State, providers of mental health services, or other appropriate stakeholders for the provision of services under a grant awarded under this paragraph.

(iv)

Special consideration of certain applications

In awarding grants to States under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall give special consideration to applications submitted by States in which veterans make up a high percentage (as determined by the Secretary) of the total population of the State. Such consideration shall be given without regard to the number of veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom living in the areas in which mental health services and other health care services would be delivered under the application.

(C)

Coordination with VA

The Secretary shall, as appropriate, consult with the Director of the Office of Rural Health of the Department of Veterans Affairs in awarding grants to States under subparagraph (A).

(D)

Use of funds

A State awarded a grant under this paragraph may, as appropriate, use the funds to reimburse providers of services described in subparagraph (A) to individuals described in that subparagraph.

(E)

Limitation on use of grant funds for administrative expenses

A State awarded a grant under this paragraph may not expend more than 15 percent of the amount of the grant for administrative expenses.

(F)

Final report

Not later than 1 year after the date on which the last grant is awarded to a State under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall submit a report to Congress on the grants awarded under such subparagraph. Such report shall include an assessment of the impact of such grants on increasing the delivery of mental health services and other health services to veterans of the United States Armed Forces living in rural areas (as so defined and including such areas that are rural census tracks), with particular emphasis on the impact of such grants on the delivery of such services to veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and to other individuals living in such rural areas.

.

(b)

Use of funds for federal administrative expenses

Section 1820(g)(5) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395i–4(g)(5)) is amended—

(1)

by striking beginning with fiscal year 2005 and inserting for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2008; and

(2)

by inserting and, of the total amount appropriated for grants under paragraphs (1), (2), and (6) for a fiscal year (beginning with fiscal year 2009) after 2005).

(c)

Extension of authorization for FLEX grants

Section 1820(j) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395i–4(j)) is amended—

(1)

by striking and for and inserting for; and

(2)

by inserting , for making grants to all States under paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (g), $55,000,000 in each of fiscal years 2009 and 2010, and for making grants to all States under paragraph (6) of subsection (g), $50,000,000 in each of fiscal years 2009 and 2010, to remain available until expended before the period at the end.