skip to main content

S. 875 (113th): Department of Veterans Affairs Disease Reporting and Oversight Act of 2013

The text of the bill below is as of May 7, 2013 (Introduced).


II

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 875

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 7, 2013

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs

A BILL

To amend title 38, United States Code, to require the reporting of cases of infectious diseases at facilities of the Veterans Health Administration, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Department of Veterans Affairs Disease Reporting and Oversight Act of 2013 .

2.

Requirement that Veterans Health Administration report cases of infectious diseases at facilities of the Administration

(a)

In general

Subchapter II of chapter 73 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

7330B.

Reporting of infectious diseases

(a)

Reporting

(1)

Except as provided in paragraph (2), not later than 24 hours after the director of a Veterans Integrated Service Network confirms the presence of a notifiable infectious disease at a facility under the jurisdiction of the director, the director shall submit notice of such presence to the following:

(A)

The Central Office of the Department.

(B)

The Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

(C)

The State in which the facility is located and if the State has an agency or department that handles matters relating to such notifiable infectious disease, the head of such agency or department.

(D)

The county in which the facility is located and if the county has an agency or department that handles matters relating to such notifiable infectious disease, the head of such agency or department.

(E)

For each individual who has contracted the notifiable infectious disease at the facility or is at risk of contracting such notifiable infectious disease—

(i)

the individual and the individual's next of kin;

(ii)

the individual's primary health care provider; and

(iii)

the county in which the individual resides and if the county has an agency or department that handles matters relating to such notifiable infectious disease, the head of such agency or department.

(F)

Each employee of the Department who is employed at such facility.

(2)

If the State in which a facility described in paragraph (1) is located requires that a notifiable infectious disease confirmed at such facility be reported to the State more quickly than required under paragraph (1) or requires that a suspected presence of a notifiable infectious disease at such facility be reported before waiting for confirmation of such presence, the director concerned shall comply with such State requirement.

(3)

Not later than 24 hours after submitting a notice under paragraph (1), the director concerned shall confirm that such notice is received.

(b)

Notifiable infectious disease

For purposes of this section, a notifiable infectious disease is any infectious disease that is—

(1)

on the list of nationally notifiable diseases published by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; or

(2)

covered by a provision of law of a State that requires the reporting of infectious diseases.

(c)

Plan To prevent spread

(1)

Not later than seven days after the director of a Veterans Integrated Service Network confirms the presence of a notifiable infectious disease at a facility under the jurisdiction of such director, the director shall develop and implement an action plan to manage and control the potential spread of the notifiable infectious disease.

(2)

The plan developed and implemented under paragraph (1) shall also provide details on the role of partnering Federal, State, and local government entities in the management and control of the potential spread of the notifiable infectious disease.

(d)

Recordkeeping

The director of each Veterans Integrated Service Network shall keep records of each notice submitted under subsection (a)(1) for a period of not less than 10 years.

(e)

Annual reports by Inspector General

Not less frequently than once each year, the Inspector General of the Department shall submit to Congress a report on the compliance of the directors of the Veterans Integrated Service Networks with the requirements of this section.

(f)

Enforcement and disciplinary action

(1)

In any case in which the Inspector General of the Department suspects that a director of a Veterans Integrated Service Network has failed to comply with an applicable provision of this section, the Inspector General shall conduct an investigation to determine whether such director failed to comply with an applicable provision of this section.

(2)

If the Inspector General determines under paragraph (1) that a director has failed to comply with a provision of this section, the Secretary shall suspend such director for such period as the Secretary considers appropriate under subchapter I or subchapter II of chapter 75 of title 5, as the case may be.

(3)

Paragraph (2) shall not be construed to prevent the Secretary from imposing, in addition to suspension under paragraph (2), such other disciplinary action on the director as the Secretary considers appropriate and for which the Secretary is otherwise authorized.

.

(b)

Internal communication

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Under Secretary for Health of the Veterans Health Administration shall issue a directive to the Pathology Team, the Infection Prevention Team, and the Facilities Management Team of the Veterans Health Administration and such other groups within the Administration as the Under Secretary considers appropriate on the actions that should be taken in any case in which a notifiable infectious disease (as such term is used in section 7330B of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a)) is discovered in a facility of the Veterans Health Administration.

(c)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 73 of such title is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 7330A the following new item:

7330B. Reporting of infectious diseases.

.