Summary: H.R.3713 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.3713. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (06/25/1996)

Women Veterans Health Equity Act of 1996 - Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to ensure that each Department of Veterans Affairs health-care facility is able to provide timely and appropriate women's health services. Requires such services to be provided directly (rather than by contract or other agreement) when cost-effective. Requires the Secretary to ensure that each such facility is provided appropriate equipment, facilities, and staff for such services and that the quality of such care meets professional standards.

(Sec. 4) Specifies the services to be included as women's health services in the Department. Allows such services provided on an ambulatory or outpatient basis to be procured by contract when Department facilities are not capable of furnishing economical hospital care or medical services because of geographical inaccessibility or are not capable of furnishing the care or services required.

(Sec. 5) Directs the Secretary to ensure that Department primary care physicians are trained and prepared to appropriately question a woman patient who may have experienced sexual assault or trauma while in active military service. Requires pregnancy care to be provided to any pregnant veteran who has a service-connected disability.

(Sec. 6) Directs the Secretary to ensure that homeless women veterans are included in homeless veterans' outreach programs, and that such programs include specified counseling and outreach assistance and follow-up and after-care treatment.

(Sec. 7) Requires women veterans to receive safe Department psychiatric treatment which recognizes their privacy needs. Requires strict confidentiality concerning such treatment. Requires such services to include private counseling and a comprehensive medical examination and evaluation. Directs the Secretary to establish partnerships with nonprofit entities to provide temporary housing for homeless women veterans until their mental condition is stabilized.

(Sec. 8) Prohibits a mammogram from being performed at a Department facility unless such facility is accredited for such purpose by a private nonprofit organization designated by the Secretary. Directs the Secretary to prescribe quality assurance standards for such mammograms as well as for mammogram equipment and facilities. Requires an annual inspection of such equipment and facilities. Requires contracted mammogram services to conform to such standards. Requires: (1) the standards to be prescribed within 120 days after the enactment of this Act; and (2) a report from the Secretary to the congressional veterans' committees on the implementation of this section.

(Sec. 9) Amends the Women Veterans Health Programs Act of 1992 to require each coordinator of women's services established under such Act to serve in such capacity on a full-time basis. Directs the Secretary to ensure that sufficient resources are provided to coordinators to carry out their functions.

(Sec. 10) Directs the Secretary to conduct a survey of, and report to the veterans' committees in each of 1997 through 2000 on, each Department medical center to identify deficiencies relating to patient privacy afforded to women patients which may interfere with appropriate treatment. Requires the correction of any deficiencies discovered.

(Sec. 11) Directs the Secretary to carry out a program of advertising in mass media to inform women veterans of the health services available through the Department.