Summary: H.R.3376 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (06/04/1996)


Title I: Construction Authorization

Title II: Strategic Planning for Health Care Resources

Title III: Other Matters

Title I: Construction Authorization - Authorizes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to: (1) carry out eight specified ambulatory care addition major medical facility projects; (2) carry out ten specified environmental improvement major medical facility projects; (3) carry out three specified seismic correction major medical facility projects; and (4) enter into six leases for specified medical facilities.

(Sec. 103) Authorizes appropriations to the Secretary for FY 1997 for the Construction, Major Projects, account and for the Medical Care account.

(Sec. 104) Directs the Secretary to report to the Senate and House Veterans' Affairs Committees on the health care needs of veterans in east central Florida. Prohibits the obligation of funds (other than for design work) for the conversion of the former Orlando Naval Training Center Hospital in Orlando, Florida, to a nursing home care unit until 45 days after such report is submitted.

Title II: Strategic Planning for Health Care Resources - Replaces an annual reporting requirement regarding operational and construction plans for VA medical facilities with a requirement that the Secretary report annually to the veterans' committees: (1) regarding long-range health planning of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), including a five-year strategic plan for the provision of medical care to eligible veterans through coordinated networks of medical facilities; and (2) showing the current VA priorities (listing the top 20) for proposed major medical construction projects.

(Sec. 202) Specifies additional information required to be included in a prospectus submitted by the Secretary to the veterans' committees in connection with proposed medical facilities, including data on demographics, projected workload and utilization, operating costs, funding priority, and alternatives to facility construction.

(Sec. 203) Revises the definition of "major medical facility project" for purposes of provisions governing medical facility acquisition to mean a project involving a total expenditure of more than $5 million (currently, $3 million).

Repeals a provision of the Veterans' Medical Programs Amendments of 1992 which makes inapplicable to projects for which funds were appropriated prior to the enactment of such Act a prohibition on the appropriation, obligation, or expenditure of funds for any major medical facility project unless funds for such project have been specifically authorized by law.

Prohibits the Secretary from obligating funds in excess of $500,000 from the VA's Advance Planning Fund toward design or development of a major medical facility project until the Secretary reports to the veterans' committees.

(Sec. 205) Repeals provisions setting forth required clinical services of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Requires the VHA to include the Office of the Under Secretary for Health and necessary professional and auxiliary services. Requires the Under Secretary to ensure that the Office is staffed to provide expertise in the treatment and rehabilitation of disabled veterans and in appropriate clinical care disciplines. Repeals the requirements that: (1) the Associate Deputy Under Secretary for Health be a qualified doctor of medicine; (2) such Office include Directors of Nursing Service, Pharmacy Service, Dietetic Service, Podiatric Service, and Optometric Service; and (3) one Assistant Under Secretary for Health be a qualified doctor of dental surgery or dental medicine and another be a qualified physician trained in geriatrics.

Title III: Other Matters - Designates: (1) the VA medical center in Jackson, Mississippi, as the G.V. Sonny Montgomery Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center; (2) the Mountain Home Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in Johnson City, Tennessee, as the James H. Quillen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center; and (3) the VA nursing care center at the VA medical center in Aspinwall, Pennsylvania, as the H. John Heinz, III Department of Veterans Affairs Nursing Care Center.

(Sec. 304) Restores and extends through December 31, 2000, the Secretary's authority to establish at any VA medical center a nonprofit corporation to provide for conducting approved research.