Summary: S.2973 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (10/01/1992)

Women Veterans Health Programs Act of 1992 - Title I: Sexual Trauma Services - Requires a woman veteran who is diagnosed by a Department of Veterans Affairs health professional to be in need of counseling or treatment for sexual trauma to be furnished such care and services by the Department. Authorizes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into contracts with appropriate non-Department facilities in order to furnish such care and services. Directs the Secretary to report to the Senate and House Veterans' Affairs Committees (veterans' committees) on the use of such contracting authority. Prohibits any such contracts after September 30, 1994.

Directs the Secretary to commence the provision of information and referrals by means of a toll-free telephone number of such available care and services in both Department and non-Department facilities. Requires the telephone information system to be confidential and to be operated 24 hours a day by Department personnel trained in providing information and referrals to sexual trauma victims.

Directs the Secretary to study and report to the Congress on the needs of men and women veterans for counseling, medical care, and other services for sexual trauma.

Directs the Secretary, during FY 1993 through 1997, to report to the veterans' committees on the care and services provided by the Department to all veterans who have experienced sexual trauma.

Directs the Secretary and the Secretary of Defense to carry out a program to ensure that women who are being separated from active duty are provided information on the counseling, medical care, and other services and assistance relating to sexual trauma that are available under programs carried out by the Department.

Directs the Secretary to report to the veterans' committees the Secretary's: (1) assessment of the difficulties women veterans encounter in obtaining Department determinations that medical conditions relating to sexual trauma are service-connected, as well as the extent to which Department personnel fail to make such determinations; and (2) recommendation of actions to be taken to respond to such difficulties and eliminate such failures.

Title II: Health Care for Women Veterans - Adds well-women care services to the services authorized to be provided to veterans through the Department. Defines such services as health care services for women outside the maternity cycle, including counseling and services relating to pap smears, breast examinations and mammography, general reproductive health care and infertility services, menopause, and physical or psychological conditions arising out of acts of sexual violence. Excludes most pregnancy care and abortion from such authorized services. Authorizes the Secretary to enter into contracts for the provision of well-women care services for veterans on an ambulatory or outpatient basis, as long as such contracts expire no later than December 31, 1994. Directs the Secretary, during each of FY 1993 through 1997, to report to the Congress on the provision of health care services to women veterans for the prior fiscal year.

Directs the Secretary, in carrying out the medical research program of the Department authorized under current law, to foster and encourage the initiation and expansion of research on the following matters as they relate to women veterans: (1) breast cancer; (2) gynecological and hormonal matters; (3) cancer in reproductive organs; (4) Alzheimer's disease; (5) osteoporosis; (6) post-traumatic stress disorder; (7) substance abuse; and (8) sexual violence.

Directs the Comptroller General to carry out a study with respect to the admission of men and women to Department facilities that are based on psychotic illness and the differences in the percentages of such admissions between the two genders. Authorizes appropriations.

Directs the Secretary to take actions to ensure that medical research carried out by the Secretary gives sufficient consideration to issues relating to the health of the general population of adult women in the United States, with particular emphasis on health conditions: (1) that affect large numbers of such women and therefore are likely to be prevalent among women veterans; and (2) for which risk and treatment factors of women veterans may differ from those of the general U.S. population of adult women.

Directs the Secretary to conduct an ongoing study to determine the needs of women veterans for health-care services. Requires such study to include the medical, biopsychosocial, and demographic histories of an appropriate sample of women veterans and women members of the armed forces serving on active duty. Requires certain reports to the veterans' committees after such study. Authorizes appropriations.

Directs the Secretary, during each of FY 1993 through 1996, to report to the veterans' committees a description of the status of any research relating to women veterans being carried out under the Secretary's jurisdiction and a recommendation as to future research relating to women veterans.

Directs the Secretary to take appropriate action to ensure that women veterans coordinators at Department facilities are properly funded and supported.

Directs the Secretary to appoint a regional women veterans coordinator to serve in each regional office of the Veterans Health Administration.

Directs the Secretary to provide, from the Department, funds to be used for the members of the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans for travel and appropriate meetings.