Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended, 2nd occurrence (07/26/1994)


Title I: Women Veterans

Title II: General Health Care Services

Title III: Miscellaneous

Subtitle A: Education Debt Reduction Program

Subtitle B: Other Provisions

Veterans Health Programs Improvement Act of 1994 - Title I: Women Veterans - Amends the Veterans Health Care Act of 1992 and Federal veterans' benefits provisions to: (1) authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide appropriate care and services to a veteran for sexual trauma; (2) direct the Secretary to give priority to the establishment and operation of a sexual trauma services program to provide care and services (currently, limited to counseling) for such trauma; (3) authorize the Secretary to provide care and services to a veteran pursuant to a contract with a qualified non-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health professional or facility if VA facilities are incapable of furnishing such care and services to that veteran economically because of geographic inaccessibility; (4) extend through December 31, 1998, the authority of the VA to provide sexual trauma counseling, care, and services (counseling) at VA facilities, as well as through non-VA providers; (5) remove a requirement that veterans seek such counseling within a specified period after discharge; (6) remove the current one-year limit on the length of such counseling; (7) make the provision of such counseling equal in priority to the provision of VA outpatient services; (8) authorize the VA to provide such counseling to all veterans (currently, only women); and (9) require (currently, authorizes) a 24-hour toll-free telephone number for the provision of sexual trauma crisis counseling.

Modifies responsibilities of VA coordinators of women's services. Requires the Secretary to ensure that such coordinators are provided sufficient resources to carry out such responsibilities.

Incorporates specified "women's health services" into the definition of "medical services" provided by VA health-care facilities.

Authorizes the Secretary to enter into contracts to furnish women's health services on an outpatient basis. Requires the Secretary to include specified information in the VA's annual report to the Congress on health care and research relating to women veterans.

Directs the Secretary to foster research on specified matters as they relate to women, including breast cancer, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, depression, sexual violence, and exposure to toxic chemicals.

Prohibits mammograms from being performed at VA facilities not accredited for that purpose by a private nonprofit organization designated by the Secretary. Requires the Secretary to: (1) prescribe quality assurance and control standards relating to the performance and interpretation of mammograms and the use of mammogram equipment and facilities by VA personnel; (2) annually inspect the equipment and facilities utilized by and in VA health-care facilities; and (3) ensure that mammograms performed for the VA under contract with any non-VA facility or provider conform to such standards.

Title II: General Health Care Services - Extends the period of eligibility for medical care to veterans exposed to a toxic substance or radiation through December 31, 2003. Includes exposure to environmental hazards under such provision.

Makes Persian Gulf war veterans who were exposed during such service to a toxic substance or environmental hazard eligible for both inpatient and outpatient medical care for any disability through September 30, 2003.

Requires the Secretary to conduct a pilot program to: (1) assess the feasibility and desirability of furnishing hospice care services to terminally ill veterans; and (2) determine the most efficient and effective means of furnishing such services to such veterans. Authorizes appropriations.

Directs the Secretary to conduct a rural health-care clinic pilot program in States where significant numbers of veterans reside in areas geographically remote from existing health-care facilities. Authorizes appropriations.

Authorizes the VA to provide: (1) per diem payments to State homes for adult day health care services furnished to veterans who are eligible for such care under laws administered by the Secretary; and (2) grants to States for construction, remodeling, or expansion of State home facilities for purposes of furnishing adult day health care.

Amends the Veterans Health Care Act of 1992 to authorize (current law requires) each VA medical facility to establish and maintain a suitable indoor smoking area for patients and residents.

Title III: Miscellaneous - Subtitle A: Education Debt Reduction Program - Department of Veterans Affairs Health Professionals Education Debt Reduction Act - Directs the Secretary to carry out a Department of Veterans Affairs Education Debt Reduction Program to assist VA health-care personnel in reducing the amount of debt incurred in completing educational programs that qualify them for their positions. Sets forth program requirements. Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle B: Other Provisions - Extends the VA's: (1) Veterans' Advisory Committee on Education through December 31, 1997; and (2) authority to maintain a regional office in the Philippines through September 30, 1995.