Summary: H.R.5192 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (10/01/1992)

Veterans Health-Care Amendments of 1992 - Extends permanently (currently expires September 30, 1992) the authority of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to furnish respite care to veterans eligible for hospital, nursing home, and domiciliary care. Extends through: (1) FY 1996 the authorization of appropriations for the construction of State home facilities; and (2) FY 1994 the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Professional Scholarship Program.

Expands the list of matters which may not be considered by the Secretary as a basis for the denial or discontinuance of a rating of total disability for purposes of compensation or pension received by a veteran and based on such veterans' inability to secure or follow substantially gainful employment to include a veteran's participation in activities, or receipt of a distribution of funds, related to therapeutic and rehabilitative services and programs.

Includes a veterans' eligible survivor or dependent as a person for whom the United States has the right to recover from a third party (the person's insurer) the cost of care provided to such person by the Department that otherwise would have been provided or paid by the third party.

Includes a Medicare supplemental insurance policy as a health-plan contract under which the United States has the right to recover the reasonable cost of care or services provided to a veteran for certain non-service-connected disabilities to the extent that such veteran would be eligible to receive payment under the health-plan contract for such care or services had they not been provided by a department or agency of the United States.

Directs the Secretary to compile a list of each person that issues or has issued a Medicare supplemental insurance policy and from which the Secretary has recovered the cost of care and services furnished to veterans for certain non-service-connected disabilities before June 1, 1992. Directs the Secretary to submit such list to the Senate and House Veterans' Affairs Committees (veterans' committees) as expeditiously as possible after enactment of this Act. Prohibits recovery from a third party health-plan contract for the furnishing of such care or services furnished after September 30, 1993, with respect to a Medicare supplemental insurance policy from a person that is not named on such list. Allows funds so recovered from such third parties to be used for: (1) the purchase of needed medical equipment; and (2) such other purposes as may be specifically authorized by law. Prohibits any payments from being made after September 30, 1993. Directs the Secretary to prescribe regulations for the allocation to Department medical centers of funds collected for such purposes, requiring incentives to be provided under such regulations to medical center directors to increase their recoveries and collections from such third parties. Limits the total amount authorized to be spent for needed medical equipment and legally authorized purposes for FY 1993 and the first quarter of FY 1994. Makes any amount spent in the first quarter of FY 1994 attributable to collections and recoveries during FY 1993. Prohibits the expenditure of funds for such purposes during FY 1994 and 1995.

Directs the Assistant Chief Medical Director of the Department in charge of geriatrics to establish a panel to assess the scientific and clinical merit of proposals submitted to the Secretary for the establishment of new geriatric research, education, and clinical centers in the United States.

Provides a new Assistant Director grade in the nurse pay grade schedule in the Department.

Authorizes the Secretary to increase up to a specified limit the rate of basic pay for a nurse serving in a chief nurse position at a Department facility. Authorizes the Secretary to pay a nurse transferred to another facility at the request of the Secretary up to the applicable rate paid to such employee before such transfer for one year if necessary to fill the position.

Directs the Secretary to conduct a review of the qualification standards applicable to nursing personnel at Department health-care facilities and the relationship between such standards and the compression of nursing personnel in the intermediate and senior pay grades. Requires a revision of such qualification standards after such review by either April 1, 1993, or six months after enactment of this Act, whichever is later. Directs the Secretary to submit a report on the review's findings to the veterans' committees. Directs the Secretary to conduct a review of the process used for determining the rate of basic pay applicable to the Chief Nurse position at Department facilities and to report to the veterans' committees the results of such review.

Requires the Secretary to include in a certain report to the veterans' committees: (1) the number of nurses per facility who are on pay retention or in the top step of any grade; and (2) whether extensions of such pay grades were sought and granted.

Empowers each person who is a patient or resident in a Department medical facility with the right, consistent with medical requirements and limitations, to use tobacco products. Directs the Secretary, in implementing such right, to ensure that each Department facility maintains a suitable patient indoor smoking area and provides access to such area for patients and residents desiring to use tobacco products.

Directs the Secretary to ensure that procurements authorized under this Act are conducted in compliance with the Buy American Act. Directs the Secretary to report to the Congress on procurements of products that are not domestic products.

Prohibits any person from intentionally affixing a "Made in America" label to any product sold in or shipped to the United States if such product is not a domestic product. Makes ineligible for procurement contracts with amounts authorized under this Act any person who violates such prohibition.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that any recipient of a grant under this Act should purchase only American-made equipment and products when expending grant funds. Directs the Secretary, in administering such grants, to notify each grant recipient of such preference.