H. R. 396
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
January 24, 2011
Mr. Sessions (for himself, Mr. Platts, and Mr. Pascrell) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services, and in addition to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned
To direct the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a pilot program under which the Secretaries make payments for certain treatments of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.
This Act may be cited as the
Pilot program on payment for treatment of members of the Armed Forces and veterans for traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder
The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall carry out a five-year pilot program under which each such Secretary shall establish a process through which each Secretary shall provide payment for treatments (including diagnostic testing) of traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder received by members of the Armed Forces and veterans in health care facilities other than military treatment facilities or Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities. Such process shall provide that payment be made directly to the health care facility furnishing the treatment.
Conditions for payment
The approval by a Secretary for payment for a treatment pursuant to subsection (a) shall be subject to the following conditions:
Any drug or device used in the treatment must be approved or cleared by the Food and Drug Administration for any purpose.
The treatment must have been approved by an institutional review board operating in accordance with regulations issued by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
The treatment (including any patient disclosure requirements) must be used by the health care provider delivering the treatment.
The patient receiving the treatment must demonstrate an improvement as a result of the treatment on one or more of the following:
Standardized independent pre-treatment and post-treatment neuropsychological testing.
Accepted survey instruments.
The patient receiving the treatment must be receiving the treatment voluntarily.
The patient receiving the treatment may not be a retired member of the uniformed services or of the Armed Forces who is over the age of 65 and entitled to benefits under part A, or eligible to enroll under part B, of title XVIII of the Social Security Act.
Additional restrictions prohibited
Except as provided in this subsection (b), no restriction or condition for reimbursement may be placed on any health care provider that is operating lawfully under the laws of the State in which the provider is located with respect to the receipt of payment under this Act.
The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall make a payment for a treatment pursuant to subsection (a) not later than 30 days after a member of the Armed Forces or veteran (or health care provider on behalf of such member or veteran) submits to the Secretary documentation regarding the treatment. The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall ensure that the documentation required under this subsection may not be an undue burden on the member of the Armed Forces or veteran or on the health care provider.
Department of Defense
The Secretary of Defense shall make payments under this section for treatments received by members of the Armed Forces using the authority in subsection (c)(1) of section 1074 of title 10, United States Code.
Department of Veterans Affairs
The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall make payments under this section for treatments received by veterans using the authority in section 1728 of title 38, United States Code.
A payment under this Act shall be made at the equivalent Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reimbursement rate in effect for appropriate treatment codes for the State or territory in which the treatment is received. If no such rate is in effect, payment shall be made at a fair market rate, as determined by the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, with respect to a patient who is a member of the Armed Forces or the Secretary of Veterans Affairs with respect to a patient who is a veteran.
Data collection and availability
The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall jointly develop and maintain a database containing data from each patient case involving the use of a treatment under this section. The Secretaries shall ensure that the database preserves confidentiality and be made available only—
for third-party payer examination;
to the appropriate congressional committees and employees of the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services, and appropriate State agencies; and
to the primary investigator of the institutional review board that approved the treatment, in the case of data relating to a patient case involving the use of such treatment.
Enrollment in Institutional Review Board Study
In the case of a patient enrolled in a registered institutional review board study, results may be publically distributable in accordance with the regulations prescribed pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (Public Law 104–191) and other regulations and practices in effect as of the date of the enactment of this Act.
Qualified institutional review boards
The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall each ensure that the Internet Web site of their respective departments includes a list of all civilian institutional review board studies that have received a payment under this Act.
Assistance for members To obtain treatment
Assignment to temporary duty
The Secretary of a military department may assign a member of the Armed Forces under the jurisdiction of the Secretary to temporary duty or allow the member a permissive temporary duty in order to permit the member to receive treatment for traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder, for which payments shall be made under subsection (a), at a location beyond reasonable commuting distance of the member’s permanent duty station.
Payment of per diem
A member who is away from the member’s permanent station may be paid a per diem in lieu of subsistence in an amount not more than the amount to which the member would be entitled if the member were performing travel in connection with a temporary duty assignment.
Gift rule waiver
Notwithstanding any rule of any department or agency with respect to ethics or the receipt of gifts, any assistance provided to a member of the Armed Forces with a service-connected injury or disability for travel, meals, or entertainment incidental to receiving treatment under this Act, or for the provision of such treatment, shall not be subject to or covered by any such rule.
No retaliation may be made against any member of the Armed Forces or veteran who receives treatment as part of registered institutional review board study carried out by a civilian health care practitioner.
Treatment of university and nationally accredited institutional review boards
For purposes of this Act, a university-affiliated or nationally accredited institutional review board shall be treated in the same manner as a Government institutional review board.
Memoranda of understanding
The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall seek to expeditiously enter into memoranda of understandings with civilian institutional review boards described in subsection (j) for the purpose of providing for members of the Armed Forces and veterans to receive treatment carried out by civilian health care practitioners under a treatment approved by and under the oversight of civilian institutional review boards that would qualify for payment under this Act.
Outreach to veterans
The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall notify each veteran with a service-connected injury or disability of the opportunity to receive treatment pursuant to this Act.
Outreach to members of the Armed Forces
The Secretary of Defense shall notify each member of the Armed Forces with a service-connected injury or disability of the opportunity to receive treatment pursuant to this Act.
Report to Congress
Not later than 30 days after the last day of each fiscal year during which the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs are authorized to make payments under this Act, the Secretaries shall jointly submit to Congress an annual report on the implementation of this Act. Such report shall include each of the following for that fiscal year:
The number of individuals for whom the Secretary has provided payments under this Act.
The condition for which each such individual receives treatment for which payment is provided under this Act and the success rate of each such treatment.
Treatment methods that are used by entities receiving payment provided under this Act and the respective rate of success of each such method.
The recommendations of the Secretaries with respect to the integration of treatment methods for which payment is provided under this Act into facilities of the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs.
The authority to make a payment under this Act shall terminate on the date that is five years after the date of the enactment of this Act.
Authorization of appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act $10,000,000 for each fiscal year during which the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Defense are authorized to make payments under this Act.