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H.R. 6064: To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to seek to enter into an agreement with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for a review of examinations, furnished by the Secretary, to individuals who submit claims to the Secretary for compensation under chapter 11 of title 38, United States Code, for mental and physical conditions linked to military sexual trauma.


The text of the bill below is as of May 19, 2022 (Referred to Senate Committee).


IIB

117th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 6064

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 19 (legislative day, May 17), 2022

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs

AN ACT

To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to seek to enter into an agreement with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for a review of examinations, furnished by the Secretary, to individuals who submit claims to the Secretary for compensation under chapter 11 of title 38, United States Code, for mental and physical conditions linked to military sexual trauma.


1.

Independent review of assessments by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs of mental and physical conditions linked to military sexual trauma for purposes of awarding disability compensation

(a)

Agreement

Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall seek to enter into an agreement with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (in this Act referred to as the National Academies) to perform the services covered by this section.

(b)

Comprehensive review

Under an agreement between the Secretary and the National Academies under this section, the National Academies shall conduct a comprehensive review of examinations, furnished by the Secretary to individuals who submit claims to the Secretary for compensation under chapter 11 of title 38, United States Code, for mental and physical conditions linked to military sexual trauma (in this Act referred to as MST), for the purpose of assessing the impairments of such individuals arising from MST. The review carried out pursuant to paragraph (1) shall include the following elements:

(1)

A determination of the adequacy of tools and protocols used by the Secretary to provide examinations described in this subsection, including—

(A)

the Disability Benefits Questionnaires;

(B)

the Department’s schedule of rating disabilities;

(C)

consideration of whether certain conditions linked to MST should require referral for both a mental health examination and a physical health examination; and

(D)

the necessity of internal pelvic examinations to diagnose certain conditions linked to MST, and whether alternatives to such examinations could be considered if a veteran objects to or cannot complete such examination.

(2)

A determination of what credentials and training are necessary for a health care specialist or provider to perform such examinations related to physical conditions linked to MST, for men and for women, including—

(A)

sexual dysfunction;

(B)

pelvic pain;

(C)

pelvic dysfunction;

(D)

musculoskeletal disabilities; and

(E)

cardiovascular conditions (including stroke).

(3)

A determination of what credentials and training are necessary for a health care specialist or provider to perform such examinations related to mental health conditions linked to MST, for men and for women.

(4)

An assessment of the quality of MST training for individuals who perform such examinations, including recommendations for improvements to such training.

(c)

Reports

(1)

Report of the National Academies

Not later than 540 days after the date on which the Secretary enters into an agreement under subsection (a), the National Academies shall submit to the Committees on Veterans’ Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a report on the comprehensive review conducted under subsection (b). Such report shall include the following elements:

(A)

The findings of the National Academies under subsection (b).

(B)

Recommendations of the National Academies regarding legislative or administrative action to improve of the adjudication of claims described in subsection (b).

(2)

Report of the Secretary

Not later than 90 days after submission of the report under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Veterans’ Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Senate a report on the plans of the Secretary to carry out any action based on the findings and recommendations of the National Academies.

Passed the House of Representatives May 18, 2022.

Cheryl L. Johnson,

Clerk.