H. R. 1863
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
May 12, 2011
Mr. Guinta (for himself and Mr. Bass of New Hampshire) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
To amend title 38, United States Code, to ensure that veterans in each of the 48 contiguous States are able to receive services in at least one full-service Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in the State or receive comparable services provided by contract in the State, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Veterans Health Equity Act of
Availability of full-service Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers in certain States or provision of comparable services through contract with other health care providers in the State
Chapter 17 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 1706 the following new section:
Management of health care: access to full-service Department medical centers in certain States or comparable services through contract
With respect to each of the 48 contiguous States, the Secretary shall ensure that veterans in the State eligible for hospital care and medical services under section 1710 of this title have access—
to at least one full-service Department medical center in the State; or
to hospital care and medical services comparable to the services typically provided by full-service Department medical centers through contract with other health care providers in the State.
Rule of construction
Nothing in subsection (a) shall be construed to limit the ability of the Secretary to provide enhanced care to an eligible veteran who resides in one State in a Department medical center in another State.
Limitation on requirement
Subsection (a) shall be effective in any fiscal year only to the extent and in the amount provided in advance in appropriations Acts.
Full-Service Department medical center defined
In this section, the term full-service Department medical center means a facility of the Department that provides medical services, including hospital care, emergency medical services, and surgical care rated by the Secretary as having a surgical complexity level of standard.
The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1706 the following new item:
1706A. Management of health care: access to full-service Department medical centers in certain States or comparable services through contract.
Report on implementation
Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to Congress a report describing the extent to which the Secretary has complied with the requirement imposed by section 1706A of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), including the effect of such requirement on improving the quality and standards of care provided to veterans.