Text: H.R.3447 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 107-135 (01/23/2002)

 
[107th Congress Public Law 135]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


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[DOCID: f:publ135.107]


[[Page 2445]]

 DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS HEALTH CARE PROGRAMS ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 
                                  2001

[[Page 115 STAT. 2446]]

Public Law 107-135
107th Congress

                                 An Act


 
 To amend title 38, United States Code, to enhance the authority of the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs to recruit and retain qualified nurses for 
 the Veterans Health Administration, to provide an additional basis for 
 establishing the inability of veterans to defray expenses of necessary 
medical care, to enhance certain health care programs of the Department 
     of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes. <<NOTE: Jan. 23, 
                         2002 -  [H.R. 3447]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Department of 
Veterans Affairs Health Care Programs Enhancement Act of 2001.>> 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) <<NOTE: 38 USC 101 note.>> Short Title.--This Act may be cited 
as the ``Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Programs Enhancement 
Act of 2001''.

    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. References to title 38, United States Code.

   TITLE I--ENHANCEMENT OF NURSE RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION AUTHORITIES

                   Subtitle A--Recruitment Authorities

Sec. 101. Enhancement of employee incentive scholarship program.
Sec. 102. Enhancement of education debt reduction program.
Sec. 103. Report on requests for waivers of pay reductions for 
           reemployed annuitants to fill nurse positions.

                    Subtitle B--Retention Authorities

Sec. 121. Additional pay for Saturday tours of duty for additional 
           health care professionals in the Veterans Health 
           Administration.
Sec. 122. Unused sick leave included in annuity computation of 
           registered nurses within the Veterans Health Administration.
Sec. 123. Evaluation of Department of Veterans Affairs nurse managed 
           clinics.
Sec. 124. Staffing levels for operations of medical facilities.
Sec. 125. Annual report on use of authorities to enhance retention of 
           experienced nurses.
Sec. 126. Report on mandatory overtime for nurses and nursing assistants 
           in Department of Veterans Affairs facilities.

                      Subtitle C--Other Authorities

Sec. 131. Organizational responsibility of the Director of the Nursing 
           Service.
Sec. 132. Computation of annuity for part-time service performed by 
           certain health-care professionals before April 7, 1986.
Sec. 133. Modification of nurse locality pay authorities.

              Subtitle D--National Commission on VA Nursing

Sec. 141. Establishment of Commission.
Sec. 142. Duties of Commission.
Sec. 143. Reports.
Sec. 144. Powers.
Sec. 145. Personnel matters.

[[Page 115 STAT. 2447]]

Sec. 146. Termination of Commission.

                         TITLE II--OTHER MATTERS

Sec. 201. Authority for Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide service 
           dogs for veterans with certain disabilities.
Sec. 202. gement of health care for certain low-income veterans.
Sec. 203. Maintenance of capacity for specialized treatment and 
           rehabilitative needs of disabled veterans.
Sec. 204. Program for provision of chiropractic care and services to 
           veterans.
Sec. 205. nds for field offices of the Office of Research Compliance and 
           Assurance.
Sec. 206. Major medical facility construction.
Sec. 207. Sense of Congress on special telephone services for veterans.
Sec. 208. Recodification of bereavement counseling authority and certain 
           other health-related authorities.
Sec. 209. Extension of expiring collections authorities.
Sec. 210. Personal emergency response system for veterans with service-
           connected disabilities.
Sec. 211. One-year extension of eligibility for health care of veterans 
           who served in Southwest Asia during the Persian Gulf War.

SEC. 2. REFERENCES TO TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE.

    Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this Act an 
amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to, or repeal 
of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to 
be made to a section or other provision of title 38, United States Code.

   TITLE I--ENHANCEMENT OF NURSE RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION AUTHORITIES

                   Subtitle A--Recruitment Authorities

SEC. 101. ENHANCEMENT OF EMPLOYEE INCENTIVE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM.

    (a) Permanent Authority.--(1) Section 7676 <<NOTE: 38 USC 7676.>>  
is repealed.

    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 76 is amended 
by striking the item relating to section 7676.
    (b) Minimum Period of Department Employment for Eligibility.--
Section 7672(b) is amended by striking ``2 years'' and inserting ``one 
year''.
    (c) Scholarship Amount.--Subsection (b) of section 7673 is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``for any 1 year'' and 
        inserting ``for the equivalent of one year of full-time 
        coursework''; and
            (2) by striking paragraph (2) and inserting the following 
        new paragraph (2):
            ``(2) in the case of a participant in the Program who is a 
        part-time student, shall bear the same ratio to the amount that 
        would be paid under paragraph (1) if the participant were a 
        full-time student in the course of education or training being 
        pursued by the participant as the coursework carried by the 
        participant to full-time coursework in that course of education 
        or training.''.

    (d) Limitation on Payment.--Subsection (c) of section 7673 is 
amended to read as follows:
    ``(c) Limitations on Period of Payment.--(1) The maximum number of 
school years for which a scholarship may be paid under

[[Page 115 STAT. 2448]]

subsection (a) to a participant in the Program shall be six school 
years.
    ``(2) A participant in the Program may not receive a scholarship 
under subsection (a) for more than the equivalent of three years of 
full-time coursework.''.
    (e) Full-Time Coursework.--Section 7673 <<NOTE: 38 USC 7673.>> is 
further amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ``(e) Full-Time Coursework.--For purposes of this section, full-time 
coursework shall consist of the following:
            ``(1) In the case of undergraduate coursework, 30 semester 
        hours per undergraduate school year.
            ``(2) In the case of graduate coursework, 18 semester hours 
        per graduate school year.''.

    (f) Annual Adjustment of Maximum Scholarship Amount.--Section 7631 
is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)(1), by striking ``and the maximum 
        Selected Reserve member stipend amount'' and inserting ``the 
        maximum Selected Reserve member stipend amount, the maximum 
        employee incentive scholarship amount,''; and
            (2) in subsection (b)--
                    (A) by redesignating paragraph (4) as paragraph (6); 
                and
                    (B) by inserting after paragraph (3) the following 
                new paragraph (4):
            ``(4) The term `maximum employee incentive scholarship 
        amount' means the maximum amount of the scholarship payable to a 
        participant in the Department of Veterans Affairs Employee 
        Incentive Scholarship Program under subchapter VI of this 
        chapter, as specified in section 7673(b)(1) of this title and as 
        previously adjusted (if at all) in accordance with this 
        section.''.

    (g) Technical Amendments.--Section 7631(b) is further amended by 
striking ``this subsection'' each place it appears and inserting ``this 
section''.

SEC. 102. ENHANCEMENT OF EDUCATION DEBT REDUCTION PROGRAM.

    (a) Permanent Authority.--(1) Section 7684 is repealed.
    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 76 is amended 
by striking the item relating to section 7684.
    (b) Eligible Individuals.--Subsection (a)(1) of section 7682 is 
amended--
            (1) by striking ``under an appointment under section 7402(b) 
        of this title in a position'' and inserting ``in a position (as 
        determined by the Secretary) providing direct-patient care 
        services or services incident to direct-patient care services''; 
        and
            (2) by striking ``(as determined by the Secretary)'' and 
        inserting ``(as so determined)''.

    (c) Maximum Debt Reduction Amount.--Section 7683(d)(1) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``for a year''; and
            (2) by striking ``exceed--'' and all that follows through 
        the end of the paragraph and inserting ``exceed $44,000 over a 
        total of five years of participation in the Program, of which 
        not more than $10,000 of such payments may be made in each of 
        the fourth and fifth years of participation in the Program.''.

[[Page 115 STAT. 2449]]

    (d) Annual Adjustment of Maximum Debt Reduction Payments Amount.--
(1) Section 7631, as amended by section 101(f) of this Act, is further 
amended--
            (A) in subsection (a)(1), by inserting before the period at 
        the end of the first sentence the following: ``and the maximum 
        education debt reduction payments amount''; and
            (B) in subsection (b), by inserting after paragraph (4) the 
        following new paragraph (5):
            ``(5) The term `maximum education debt reduction payments 
        amount' means the maximum amount of education debt reduction 
        payments payable to a participant in the Department of Veterans 
        Affairs Education Debt Reduction Program under subchapter VII of 
        this chapter, as specified in section 7683(d)(1) of this title 
        and as previously adjusted (if at all) in accordance with this 
        section.''.

    (2) <<NOTE: 38 USC 7631 note.>> Notwithstanding section 7631(a)(1) 
of title 38, United States Code, as amended by paragraph (1), the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall not increase the maximum education 
debt reduction payments amount under that section in calendar year 2002.

    (e) <<NOTE: 38 USC 7682 note.>> Temporary Expansion of Individuals 
Eligible for Participation in Program.--(1) Notwithstanding section 
7682(c) of title 38, United States Code, the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs may treat a covered individual as being a recently appointed 
employee in the Veterans Health Administration under section 7682(a) of 
that title for purposes of eligibility in the Education Debt Reduction 
Program if the Secretary determines that the participation of the 
individual in the Program under this subsection would further the 
purposes of the Program.

    (2) For purposes of this subsection, a covered individual is any 
individual otherwise described by section 7682(a) of title 38, United 
States Code, as in effect on the day before the date of the enactment of 
this Act, who--
            (A) was appointed as an employee in a position described in 
        paragraph (1) of that section, as so in effect, between January 
        1, 1999, and December 31, 2001; and
            (B) is an employee in such position, or in another position 
        described in paragraph (1) of that section, as so in effect, at 
        the time of application for treatment as a covered individual 
        under this subsection.

    (3) The Secretary shall make determinations regarding the exercise 
of the authority in this subsection on a case-by-case basis.
    (4) <<NOTE: Expiration date.>> The Secretary may not exercise the 
authority in this subsection after June 30, 2002. The expiration of the 
authority in this subsection shall not affect the treatment of an 
individual under this subsection before that date as a covered 
individual for purposes of eligibility in the Education Debt Reduction 
Program.

    (5) In this subsection, the term ``Education Debt Reduction 
Program'' means the Department of Veterans Affairs Education Debt 
Reduction Program under subchapter VII of chapter 76 of title 38, United 
States Code.

[[Page 115 STAT. 2450]]

SEC. 103. <<NOTE: 38 USC 7451 note.>> REPORT ON REQUESTS FOR WAIVERS OF 
            PAY REDUCTIONS FOR REEMPLOYED ANNUITANTS TO FILL NURSE 
            POSITIONS.

    (a) <<NOTE: Deadline.>> Report.--Not later than March 28 of each of 
2002 and 2003, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to the 
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the House of 
Representatives and to the National Commission on VA Nursing established 
under subtitle D a report describing each request of the Secretary, 
during the fiscal year preceding such report, to the Director of the 
Office of Personnel Management for the following:
            (1) A waiver under subsection (i)(1)(A) of section 8344 of 
        title 5, United States Code, of the provisions of such section 
        in order to meet requirements of the Department of Veterans 
        Affairs for appointments to nurse positions in the Veterans 
        Health Administration.
            (2) A waiver under subsection (f)(1)(A) of section 8468 of 
        title 5, United States Code, of the provisions of such section 
        in order to meet requirements of the Department for appointments 
        to such positions.
            (3) A grant of authority under subsection (i)(1)(B) of 
        section 8344 of title 5, United States Code, for the waiver of 
        the provisions of such section in order to meet requirements of 
        the Department for appointments to such positions.
            (4) A grant of authority under subsection (f)(1)(B) of 
        section 8468 of title 5, United States Code, for the waiver of 
        the provisions of such section in order to meet requirements of 
        the Department for appointments to such positions.

    (b) Information on Responses to Requests.--The report under 
subsection (a) shall specify for each request covered by the report--
            (1) the response of the Director to such request; and
            (2) if such request was granted, whether or not the waiver 
        or authority, as the case may be, assisted the Secretary in 
        meeting requirements of the Department for appointments to nurse 
        positions in the Veterans Health Administration.

                    Subtitle B--Retention Authorities

SEC. 121. ADDITIONAL PAY FOR SATURDAY TOURS OF DUTY FOR ADDITIONAL 
            HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS IN THE VETERANS HEALTH 
            ADMINISTRATION.

    (a) In General.--Section 7454(b) <<NOTE: 38 USC 7454.>> is amended--
            (1) by inserting ``(1)'' after ``(b)''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    ``(2) Health care professionals employed in positions referred to in 
paragraph (1) shall be entitled to additional pay on the same basis as 
provided for nurses in section 7453(c) of this title.''.
    (b) <<NOTE: 38 USC 7454 note.>> Applicability.--The amendments made 
by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to pay periods beginning on 
or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

[[Page 115 STAT. 2451]]

SEC. 122. UNUSED SICK LEAVE INCLUDED IN ANNUITY COMPUTATION OF 
            REGISTERED NURSES WITHIN THE VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION.

    (a) Annuity Computation.--Section 8415 of title 5, United States 
Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(i) In computing an annuity under this subchapter, the total 
service of an employee who retires from the position of a registered 
nurse with the Veterans Health Administration on an immediate annuity, 
or dies while employed in that position leaving any survivor entitled to 
an annuity, includes the days of unused sick leave to the credit of that 
employee under a formal leave system, except that such days shall not be 
counted in determining average pay or annuity eligibility under this 
subchapter.''.
    (b) Deposit Not Required.--Section 8422(d) of such title is 
amended--
            (1) by inserting ``(1)'' before ``Under such regulations''; 
        and
            (2) by adding at the end the following:

    ``(2) Deposit may not be required for days of unused sick leave 
credited under section 8415(i).''.
    (c) <<NOTE: Applicability. 5 USC 8415 note.>> Effective Date.--The 
amendments made by this section shall take effect 60 days after the date 
of the enactment of this Act and shall apply to individuals who separate 
from service on or after that effective date.

SEC. 123. <<NOTE: 38 USC 7311 note.>> EVALUATION OF DEPARTMENT OF 
            VETERANS AFFAIRS NURSE MANAGED CLINICS.

    (a) Evaluation.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall carry out 
an evaluation of the efficacy of the nurse managed health care clinics 
of the Department of Veterans Affairs. <<NOTE: Deadline.>> The Secretary 
shall complete the evaluation not later than 18 months after the date of 
the enactment of this Act.

    (b) Clinics To Be Evaluated.--(1) In carrying out the evaluation 
under subsection (a), the Secretary shall consider nurse managed health 
care clinics, including primary care clinics and geriatric care clinics, 
located in three different geographic service areas of the Department.
    (2) If there are not nurse managed health care clinics located in 
three different geographic service areas as of the commencement of the 
evaluation, the Secretary shall--
            (A) establish nurse managed health care clinics in 
        additional geographic service areas such that there are nurse 
        managed health care clinics in three different geographic 
        service areas for purposes of the evaluation; and
            (B) include such clinics, as so established, in the 
        evaluation.

    (c) Matters To Be Evaluated.--In carrying out the evaluation under 
subsection (a), the Secretary shall address the following:
            (1) Patient satisfaction.
            (2) Provider experiences.
            (3) Cost of care.
            (4) Access to care, including waiting time for care.
            (5) The functional status of patients receiving care.
            (6) Any other matters the Secretary considers appropriate.

    (d) <<NOTE: Deadline.>> Report.--Not later than 18 months after the 
date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the 
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the House of 
Representatives a report on the evaluation carried out under subsection 
(a). The

[[Page 115 STAT. 2452]]

report shall address the matters specified in subsection (c) and include 
any other information, and any recommendations, that the Secretary 
considers appropriate. <<NOTE: Records.>> The Secretary shall provide a 
copy of the report to the National Commission on VA Nursing established 
under subtitle D.

SEC. 124. STAFFING LEVELS FOR OPERATIONS OF MEDICAL FACILITIES.

    (a) In General.--Section 8110(a) <<NOTE: 38 USC 8110.>> is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1), by inserting after ``complete care of 
        patients,'' in the fifth sentence the following: ``and in a 
        manner consistent with the policies of the Secretary on 
        overtime,''; and
            (2) in paragraph (2)--
                    (A) by inserting ``, including the staffing required 
                to maintain such capacities,'' after ``all Department 
                medical facilities'';
                    (B) by striking ``and to minimize'' and inserting 
                ``, to minimize''; and
                    (C) by inserting before the period the following: 
                ``, and to ensure that eligible veterans are provided 
                such care and services in an appropriate manner''.

    (b) Nationwide Policy on Staffing.--Paragraph (3) of that section is 
amended--
            (1) in subparagraph (A), by inserting ``the adequacy of 
        staff levels for compliance with the policy established under 
        subparagraph (C),'' after ``regarding''; and
            (2) by inserting after subparagraph (B) the following new 
        subparagraph:

    ``(C) <<NOTE: Policy>> The Secretary shall, in consultation with the 
Under Secretary for Health, establish a nationwide policy on the 
staffing of Department medical facilities in order to ensure that such 
facilities have adequate staff for the provision to veterans of 
appropriate, high-quality care and services. The policy shall take into 
account the staffing levels and mixture of staff skills required for the 
range of care and services provided veterans in Department 
facilities.''.

SEC. 125. ANNUAL REPORT ON USE OF AUTHORITIES TO ENHANCE RETENTION OF 
            EXPERIENCED NURSES.

    (a) Annual Report.--(1) Subchapter II of chapter 73 is amended by 
adding at the end the following new section:

``Sec. 7324. Annual report on use of authorities to enhance retention of 
                        experienced nurses

    ``(a) <<NOTE: Deadline.>> Annual Report.--Not later than January 31 
each year, the Secretary, acting through the Under Secretary for Health, 
shall submit to Congress a report on the use during the preceding year 
of authorities for purposes of retaining experienced nurses in the 
Veterans Health Administration, as follows:
            ``(1) The authorities under chapter 76 of this title.
            ``(2) The authority under VA Directive 5102.1, relating to 
        the Department of Veterans Affairs nurse qualification standard, 
        dated November 10, 1999, or any successor directive.
            ``(3) Any other authorities available to the Secretary for 
        those purposes.

    ``(b) Report Elements.--Each report under subsection (a) shall 
specify for the period covered by such report, for each Department

[[Page 115 STAT. 2453]]

medical facility and for each geographic service area of the Department, 
the following:
            ``(1) The number of waivers requested under the authority 
        referred to in subsection (a)(2), and the number of waivers 
        granted under that authority, to promote to the Nurse II grade 
        or Nurse III grade under the Nurse Schedule under section 
        7404(b)(1) of this title any nurse who has not completed a 
        baccalaureate degree in nursing in a recognized school of 
        nursing, set forth by age, race, and years of experience of the 
        individuals subject to such waiver requests and waivers, as the 
        case may be.
            ``(2) The programs carried out to facilitate the use of 
        nursing education programs by experienced nurses, including 
        programs for flexible scheduling, scholarships, salary 
        replacement pay, and on-site classes.''.

    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 73 is amended 
by inserting after the item relating to section 7323 the following new 
item:

``7324. Annual report on use of authorities to enhance retention of 
           experienced nurses.''.

    (b) <<NOTE: 38 USC 7324 note.>> Initial Report.--The initial report 
required under section 7324 of title 38, United States Code, as added by 
subsection (a), shall be submitted to the National Commission on VA 
Nursing established under subtitle D as well as to Congress.

SEC. 126. REPORT ON MANDATORY OVERTIME FOR NURSES AND NURSING ASSISTANTS 
            IN DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS FACILITIES.

    (a) <<NOTE: Deadline.>> Report.--Not later than 180 days after the 
date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs 
shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and 
the House of Representatives and to the National Commission on VA 
Nursing established under subtitle D a report on the mandatory overtime 
required of licensed nurses and nursing assistants providing direct 
patient care at Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities during 
2001.

    (b) Mandatory Overtime.--For purposes of the report under subsection 
(a), mandatory overtime shall consist of any period in which a nurse or 
nursing assistant is mandated or otherwise required, whether directly or 
indirectly, to work or be in on-duty status in excess of--
            (1) a scheduled workshift or duty period;
            (2) 12 hours in any 24-hour period; or
            (3) 80 hours in any period of 14 consecutive days.

    (c) Elements.--The report under subsection (a) shall include the 
following:
            (1) A description of the amount of mandatory overtime 
        described in that subsection at each Department medical facility 
        during the period covered by the report.
            (2) A description of the mechanisms employed by the 
        Secretary to monitor overtime of the nurses and nursing 
        assistants referred to in that subsection.
            (3) An assessment of the effects of the mandatory overtime 
        of such nurses and nursing assistants on patient care, including 
        any reported association with medical errors.

[[Page 115 STAT. 2454]]

            (4) Recommendations regarding mechanisms for preventing 
        mandatory overtime in other than emergency situations by such 
        nurses and nursing assistants.
            (5) Any other matters that the Secretary considers 
        appropriate.

                      Subtitle C--Other Authorities

SEC. 131. ORGANIZATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE NURSING 
            SERVICE.

    Section 7306(a)(5) <<NOTE: 38 USC 7306.>> is amended by inserting 
``, and report directly to,'' after ``responsible to''.

SEC. 132. COMPUTATION OF ANNUITY FOR PART-TIME SERVICE PERFORMED BY 
            CERTAIN HEALTH-CARE PROFESSIONALS BEFORE APRIL 7, 1986.

    Section 7426 is amended by adding at the end the following new 
subsection:
    ``(c) The provisions of subsection (b) shall not apply to the part-
time service before April 7, 1986, of a registered nurse, physician 
assistant, or expanded-function dental auxiliary. In computing the 
annuity under the applicable provision of law specified in that 
subsection of an individual covered by the preceding sentence, the 
service described in that sentence shall be credited as full-time 
service.''.

SEC. 133. MODIFICATION OF NURSE LOCALITY PAY AUTHORITIES.

    Section 7451 is amended--
            (1) in subsection (d)(3)--
                    (A) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``beginning 
                rates of'' each place it appears;
                    (B) in subparagraph (B), by striking ``beginning 
                rates of'' the first place it appears; and
                    (C) in subparagraph (C)(i), by striking ``beginning 
                rates of'' each place it appears;
            (2) in subsection (d)(4)--
                    (A) by striking ``or at any other time that an 
                adjustment in rates of pay is scheduled to take place 
                under this subsection'' in the first sentence; and
                    (B) by striking the second sentence; and
            (3) in subsection (e)(4)--
                    (A) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``grade in a'';
                    (B) in subparagraph (B)--
                          (i) by striking ``grade of a''; and
                          (ii) by striking ``that grade'' and inserting 
                      ``that position''; and
                    (C) in subparagraph (D), by striking ``grade of a''.

              Subtitle D--National Commission on VA Nursing

SEC. 141. <<NOTE: 38 USC 7451 note.>> ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMISSION.

    (a) Establishment.--There is hereby established in the Department of 
Veterans Affairs a commission to be known as the ``National

[[Page 115 STAT. 2455]]

Commission on VA Nursing'' (hereinafter in this subtitle referred to as 
the ``Commission'').
    (b) Composition.--The Commission shall be composed of 12 members 
appointed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs as follows:
            (1) At least two shall be recognized representatives of 
        employees (including nurses) of the Department of Veterans 
        Affairs.
            (2) At least one shall be a representative of professional 
        associations of nurses of the Department or similar 
        organizations affiliated with the Department's health care 
        practitioners.
            (3) At least one shall be a nurse from a nursing school 
        affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
            (4) At least two shall be representatives of veterans.
            (5) At least one shall be an economist.
            (6) The remainder shall be appointed in such manner as the 
        Secretary considers appropriate.

    (c) Chair of Commission.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall 
designate one of the members of the Commission to chair the Commission.
    (d) Period of Appointment; Vacancies.--Members shall be appointed 
for the life of the Commission. Any vacancy in the Commission shall be 
filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
    (e) <<NOTE: Deadlines.>> Initial Organization Requirements.--All 
appointments to the Commission shall be made not later than 60 days 
after the date of the enactment of this Act. The Commission shall 
convene its first meeting not later than 60 days after the date as of 
which all members of the Commission have been appointed.

SEC. 142. <<NOTE: 38 USC 7451 note.>> DUTIES OF COMMISSION.

    (a) Assessment.--The Commission shall--
            (1) consider legislative and organizational policy changes 
        to enhance the recruitment and retention of nurses and other 
        nursing personnel by the Department of Veterans Affairs; and
            (2) assess the future of the nursing profession within the 
        Department.

    (b) Recommendations.--The Commission shall recommend legislative and 
organizational policy changes to enhance the recruitment and retention 
of nurses and other nursing personnel in the Department.

SEC. 143. <<NOTE: 38 USC 7451 note.>> REPORTS.

    (a) <<NOTE: Deadline.>> Commission Report.--The Commission shall, 
not later than two years after the date of its first meeting, submit to 
Congress and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs a report on the 
Commission's findings and recommendations.

    (b) <<NOTE: Deadline.>> Secretary of Veterans Affairs Report.--Not 
later than 60 days after the date of the Commission's report under 
subsection (a), the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report--
            (1) providing the Secretary's views on the Commission's 
        findings and recommendations; and
            (2) explaining what actions, if any, the Secretary intends 
        to take to implement the recommendations of the Commission and 
        the Secretary's reasons for doing so.

SEC. 144. <<NOTE: 38 USC 7451 note.>> POWERS.

    (a) Hearings.--The Commission or, at its direction, any panel or 
member of the Commission, may, for the purpose of carrying

[[Page 115 STAT. 2456]]

out the provisions of this subtitle, hold hearings and take testimony to 
the extent that the Commission or any member considers advisable.
    (b) Information.--The Commission may secure directly from any 
Federal department or agency information that the Commission considers 
necessary to enable the Commission to carry out its responsibilities 
under this subtitle.

SEC. 145. <<NOTE: 38 USC 7451 note.>> PERSONNEL MATTERS.

    (a) Pay of Members.--Members of the Commission shall serve without 
pay by reason of their work on the Commission.
    (b) Travel Expenses.--The members of the Commission shall be allowed 
travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates 
authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of chapter 57 of 
title 5, United States Code, while away from their homes or regular 
places of business in the performance of services for the Commission.
    (c) Staff.--(1) The Secretary may, without regard to the provisions 
of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the 
competitive service, appoint a staff director and such additional 
personnel as may be necessary to enable the Commission to perform its 
duties.
    (2) The Secretary may fix the pay of the staff director and other 
personnel appointed under paragraph (1) without regard to the provisions 
of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States 
Code, relating to classification of positions and General Schedule pay 
rates, except that the rate of pay fixed under this paragraph for the 
staff director may not exceed the rate payable for level V of the 
Executive Schedule under section 5316 of such title and the rate of pay 
for other personnel may not exceed the maximum rate payable for grade 
GS-15 of the General Schedule.
    (d) Detail of Government Employees.--Upon request of the Secretary, 
the head of any Federal department or agency may detail, on a 
nonreimbursable basis, any personnel of that department or agency to the 
Commission to assist it in carrying out its duties.

SEC. 146. <<NOTE: 38 USC 7451 note.>> TERMINATION OF COMMISSION.

    The Commission shall terminate 90 days after the date of the 
submission of its report under section 143(a).

                         TITLE II--OTHER MATTERS

SEC. 201. AUTHORITY FOR SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS TO PROVIDE SERVICE 
            DOGS FOR VETERANS WITH CERTAIN DISABILITIES.

    (a) Authority.--Section 1714 <<NOTE: 38 USC 1714.>> is amended--
            (1) in subsection (b)--
                    (A) by striking ``seeing-eye or'' the first place it 
                appears;
                    (B) by striking ``who are entitled to disability 
                compensation'' and inserting ``who are enrolled under 
                section 1705 of this title'';
                    (C) by striking ``, and may pay'' and all that 
                follows through ``such seeing-eye or guide dogs''; and
                    (D) by striking ``handicap'' and inserting 
                ``disability''; and

[[Page 115 STAT. 2457]]

            (2) by adding at the end the following new subsections:

    ``(c) The Secretary may, in accordance with the priority specified 
in section 1705 of this title, provide--
            ``(1) service dogs trained for the aid of the hearing 
        impaired to veterans who are hearing impaired and are enrolled 
        under section 1705 of this title; and
            ``(2) service dogs trained for the aid of persons with 
        spinal cord injury or dysfunction or other chronic impairment 
        that substantially limits mobility to veterans with such injury, 
        dysfunction, or impairment who are enrolled under section 1705 
        of this title.

    ``(d) In the case of a veteran provided a dog under subsection (b) 
or (c), the Secretary may pay travel and incidental expenses for that 
veteran under the terms and conditions set forth in section 111 of this 
title to and from the veteran's home for expenses incurred in becoming 
adjusted to the dog.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendments.--(1) The heading for such section is 
amended to read as follows:

``Sec. 1714. Fitting and training in use of prosthetic appliances; guide 
                        dogs; service dogs''.

    (2) The item relating to such section in the table of sections at 
the beginning of chapter 17 is amended to read as follows:

``1714. Fitting and training in use of prosthetic appliances; guide 
           dogs; service dogs.''.

SEC. 202. MANAGEMENT OF HEALTH CARE FOR CERTAIN LOW-INCOME VETERANS.

    (a) Priority of Enrollment in Patient Enrollment System.--Section 
1705(a) <<NOTE: 38 USC 1705.>> is amended by striking paragraph (7) and 
inserting the following new paragraphs:
            ``(7) Veterans described in section 1710(a)(3) of this title 
        who are eligible for treatment as a low-income family under 
        section 3(b) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 
        1437a(b)) for the area in which such veterans reside, regardless 
        of whether such veterans are treated as single person families 
        under paragraph (3)(A) of such section 3(b) or as families under 
        paragraph (3)(B) of such section 3(b).
            ``(8) Veterans described in section 1710(a)(3) of this title 
        who are not covered by paragraph (7).''.

    (b) Reduced Copayments for Care.--Subsection (f) of section 1710 is 
amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1), by inserting ``or (4)'' after 
        ``paragraph (2)'';
            (2) by redesignating paragraph (4) as paragraph (5); and
            (3) by inserting after paragraph (3) the following new 
        paragraph (4):

    ``(4) In the case of a veteran covered by this subsection who is 
also described by section 1705(a)(7) of this title, the amount for which 
the veteran shall be liable to the United States for hospital care under 
this subsection shall be an amount equal to 20 percent of the total 
amount for which the veteran would otherwise be liable for such care 
under subparagraphs (2)(B) and (3)(A) but for this paragraph.''.
    (c) <<NOTE: 38 USC 1705 note.>> Effective Date.--The amendments made 
by this section shall take effect on October 1, 2002.

[[Page 115 STAT. 2458]]

SEC. 203. MAINTENANCE OF CAPACITY FOR SPECIALIZED TREATMENT AND 
            REHABILITATIVE NEEDS OF DISABLED VETERANS.

    (a) Maintenance of Capacity on a Geographic Service Area Basis.--
Section 1706(b) <<NOTE: 38 USC 1706.>> is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1)--
                    (A) in the first sentence, by inserting ``(and each 
                geographic service area of the Veterans Health 
                Administration)'' after ``ensure that the Department''; 
                and
                    (B) in clause (B), by inserting ``(and each 
                geographic service area of the Veterans Health 
                Administration)'' after ``overall capacity of the 
                Department'';
            (2) by redesignating paragraphs (2) and (3) as paragraphs 
        (5) and (6), respectively; and
            (3) by inserting after paragraph (1) the following new 
        paragraphs;

    ``(2) For purposes of paragraph (1), the capacity of the Department 
(and each geographic service area of the Veterans Health Administration) 
to provide for the specialized treatment and rehabilitative needs of 
disabled veterans (including veterans with spinal cord dysfunction, 
traumatic brain injury, blindness, prosthetics and sensory aids, and 
mental illness) within distinct programs or facilities shall be measured 
for seriously mentally ill veterans as follows (with all such data to be 
provided by geographic service area and totaled nationally):
            ``(A) For mental health intensive community-based care, the 
        number of discrete intensive care teams constituted to provide 
        such intensive services to seriously mentally ill veterans and 
        the number of veterans provided such care.
            ``(B) For opioid substitution programs, the number of 
        patients treated annually and the amounts expended.
            ``(C) For dual-diagnosis patients, the number treated 
        annually and the amounts expended.
            ``(D) For substance-use disorder programs--
                    ``(i) the number of beds (whether hospital, nursing 
                home, or other designated beds) employed and the average 
                bed occupancy of such beds;
                    ``(ii) the percentage of unique patients admitted 
                directly to outpatient care during the fiscal year who 
                had two or more additional visits to specialized 
                outpatient care within 30 days of their first visit, 
                with a comparison from 1996 until the date of the 
                report;
                    ``(iii) the percentage of unique inpatients with 
                substance-use disorder diagnoses treated during the 
                fiscal year who had one or more specialized clinic 
                visits within three days of their index discharge, with 
                a comparison from 1996 until the date of the report;
                    ``(iv) the percentage of unique outpatients seen in 
                a facility or geographic service area during the fiscal 
                year who had one or more specialized clinic visits, with 
                a comparison from 1996 until the date of the report; and
                    ``(v) the rate of recidivism of patients at each 
                specialized clinic in each geographic service area of 
                the Veterans Health Administration.
            ``(E) For mental health programs, the number and type of 
        staff that are available at each facility to provide specialized 
        mental health treatment, including satellite clinics, outpatient

[[Page 115 STAT. 2459]]

        programs, and community-based outpatient clinics, with a 
        comparison from 1996 to the date of the report.
            ``(F) The number of such clinics providing mental health 
        care, the number and type of mental health staff at each such 
        clinic, and the type of mental health programs at each such 
        clinic.
            ``(G) The total amounts expended for mental health during 
        the fiscal year.

    ``(3) For purposes of paragraph (1), the capacity of the Department 
(and each geographic service area of the Veterans Health Administration) 
to provide for the specialized treatment and rehabilitative needs of 
disabled veterans within distinct programs or facilities shall be 
measured for veterans with spinal cord dysfunction, traumatic brain 
injury, blindness, or prosthetics and sensory aids as follows (with all 
such data to be provided by geographic service area and totaled 
nationally):
            ``(A) For spinal cord injury and dysfunction specialized 
        centers and for blind rehabilitation specialized centers, the 
        number of staffed beds and the number of full-time equivalent 
        employees assigned to provide care at such centers.
            ``(B) For prosthetics and sensory aids, the annual amount 
        expended.
            ``(C) For traumatic brain injury, the number of patients 
        treated annually and the amounts expended.

    ``(4) In carrying out paragraph (1), the Secretary may not use 
patient outcome data as a substitute for, or the equivalent of, 
compliance with the requirement under that paragraph for maintenance of 
capacity.''.
    (b) Extension of Annual Report Requirement.--Paragraph (5) of such 
section, as so redesignated, is amended--
            (1) by inserting ``(A)'' before ``Not later than'';
            (2) by striking ``April 1, 1999, April 1, 2000, and April 1, 
        2001'' and inserting ``April 1 of each year through 2004'';
            (3) by adding at the end of subparagraph (A), as designated 
        by paragraph (1), the following new sentence: ``Each such report 
        shall include information on recidivism rates associated with 
        substance-use disorder treatment.''; and
            (4) by adding at the end of such paragraph the following new 
        subparagraphs:

    ``(B) In preparing each report under subparagraph (A), the Secretary 
shall use standardized data and data definitions.
    ``(C) <<NOTE: Certification.>> Each report under subparagraph (A) 
shall be audited by the Inspector General of the Department, who shall 
submit to Congress a certification as to the accuracy of each such 
report.''.

SEC. 204. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1710 note.>> PROGRAM FOR PROVISION OF 
            CHIROPRACTIC CARE AND SERVICES TO VETERANS.

    (a) Requirement for Program.--Subject to the provisions of this 
section, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall carry out a program to 
provide chiropractic care and services to veterans through Department of 
Veterans Affairs medical centers and clinics.
    (b) Eligible Veterans.--Veterans eligible to receive chiropractic 
care and services under the program are veterans who are enrolled in the 
system of patient enrollment under section 1705 of title 38, United 
States Code.
    (c) Location of Program.--The program shall be carried out at sites 
designated by the Secretary for purposes of the program.

[[Page 115 STAT. 2460]]

The Secretary shall designate at least one site for such program in each 
geographic service area of the Veterans Health 
Administration. <<NOTE: Urban and rural areas.>> The sites so designated 
shall be medical centers and clinics located in urban areas and in rural 
areas.

    (d) Care and Services Available.--The chiropractic care and services 
available under the program shall include a variety of chiropractic care 
and services for neuro-musculoskeletal conditions, including subluxation 
complex.
    (e) Other Administrative Matters.--(1) <<NOTE: Contacts.>> The 
Secretary shall carry out the program through personal service contracts 
and by appointment of licensed chiropractors in Department medical 
centers and clinics.

    (2) As part of the program, the Secretary shall provide training and 
materials relating to chiropractic care and services to Department 
health care providers assigned to primary care teams for the purpose of 
familiarizing such providers with the benefits of chiropractic care and 
services.
    (f) Regulations.--The Secretary shall prescribe regulations to carry 
out this section.
    (g) <<NOTE: Establishment.>> Chiropractic Advisory Committee.--(1) 
The Secretary shall establish an advisory committee to provide direct 
assistance and advice to the Secretary in the development and 
implementation of the chiropractic health program.

    (2) The membership of the advisory committee shall include members 
of the chiropractic care profession and such other members as the 
Secretary considers appropriate.
    (3) Matters on which the advisory committee shall assist and advise 
the Secretary shall include the following:
            (A) Protocols governing referral to chiropractors.
            (B) Protocols governing direct access to chiropractic care.
            (C) Protocols governing scope of practice of chiropractic 
        practitioners.
            (D) Definition of services to be provided.
            (E) Such other matters the Secretary determines to be 
        appropriate.

    (4) <<NOTE: Termination date.>> The advisory committee shall cease 
to exist on December 31, 2004.

SEC. 205. FUNDS FOR FIELD OFFICES OF THE OFFICE OF RESEARCH COMPLIANCE 
            AND ASSURANCE.

    (a) In General.--Section 7303 <<NOTE: 38 USC 7303.>> is amended by 
adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ``(e) Amounts for the activities of the field offices of the Office 
of Research Compliance and Assurance of the Department shall be derived 
from amounts appropriated for the Veterans Health Administration for 
Medical Care (rather than from amounts appropriated for the Veterans 
Health Administration for Medical and Prosthetic Research).''.
    (b) <<NOTE: 38 USC 7303 note.>> Applicability to Fiscal Year 2002.--
In order to carry out subsection (e) of section 7303 of title 38, United 
States Code, as added by subsection (a), for fiscal year 2002, the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall transfer such sums as necessary for 
that purpose from amounts appropriated for the Veterans Health 
Administration for Medical and Prosthetic Research for fiscal year 2002 
to amounts appropriated for the Veterans Health Administration for 
Medical Care for that fiscal year.

[[Page 115 STAT. 2461]]

SEC. 206. MAJOR MEDICAL FACILITY CONSTRUCTION.

    (a) Project Authorized.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may carry 
out a major medical facility project for the renovation from electrical 
fire of the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Miami, 
Florida, in an amount not to exceed $28,300,000.
    (b) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for the Construction, 
Major Projects Account, for fiscal year 2002, $28,300,000 for the 
project authorized by subsection (a).
    (c) Limitation.--The project authorized by subsection (a) may only 
be carried out using--
            (1) funds appropriated for fiscal year 2002 pursuant to the 
        authorization of appropriations in subsection (b);
            (2) funds appropriated for Construction, Major Projects, for 
        a fiscal year before fiscal year 2002 that remain available for 
        obligation; and
            (3) funds appropriated for Construction, Major Projects, for 
        fiscal year 2002 for a category of activity not specific to a 
        project.

SEC. 207. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON SPECIAL TELEPHONE SERVICES FOR VETERANS.

    It is the sense of Congress that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs 
should conduct an assessment of all special telephone services for 
veterans (such as help lines and hotlines) that are provided by the 
Department of Veterans Affairs and that any such assessment, if 
conducted, should include assessment of the geographical coverage, 
availability, utilization, effectiveness, management, coordination, 
staffing, and cost of those services and should include a survey of 
veterans to measure their satisfaction with current special telephone 
services and the demand for additional services.

SEC. 208. RECODIFICATION OF BEREAVEMENT COUNSELING AUTHORITY AND CERTAIN 
            OTHER HEALTH-RELATED AUTHORITIES.

    (a) Statutory Reorganization.--Subchapter I of chapter 17 is 
amended--
            (1) in section 1701(6)-- <<NOTE: 38 USC 1701.>> 
                    (A) by striking subparagraph (B) and the sentence 
                following that subparagraph;
                    (B) by striking ``services--'' in the matter 
                preceding subparagraph (A) and inserting ``services, the 
                following:''; and
                    (C) by striking subparagraph (A) and inserting the 
                following:
            ``(A) Surgical services.
            ``(B) Dental services and appliances as described in 
        sections 1710 and 1712 of this title.
            ``(C) Optometric and podiatric services.
            ``(D) Preventive health services.
            ``(E) In the case of a person otherwise receiving care or 
        services under this chapter--
                    ``(i) wheelchairs, artificial limbs, trusses, and 
                similar appliances;
                    ``(ii) special clothing made necessary by the 
                wearing of prosthetic appliances; and

[[Page 115 STAT. 2462]]

                    ``(iii) such other supplies or services as the 
                Secretary determines to be reasonable and necessary.
            ``(F) Travel and incidental expenses pursuant to section 111 
        of this title.''; and
            (2) in section 1707-- <<NOTE: 38 USC 1707.>> 
                    (A) by inserting ``(a)'' at the beginning of the 
                text of the section; and
                    (B) by adding at the end the following:

    ``(b) The Secretary may furnish sensori-neural aids only in 
accordance with guidelines prescribed by the Secretary.''.
    (b) Consolidation of Provisions Relating to Persons Other Than 
Veterans.--Such chapter is further amended by adding at the end the 
following new subchapter:

      ``SUBCHAPTER VIII--HEALTH CARE OF PERSONS OTHER THAN VETERANS

``Sec. 1782. Counseling, training, and mental health services for 
                        immediate family members

    ``(a) Counseling for Family Members of Veterans Receiving Service-
Connected Treatment.--In the case of a veteran who is receiving 
treatment for a service-connected disability pursuant to paragraph (1) 
or (2) of section 1710(a) of this title, the Secretary shall provide to 
individuals described in subsection (c) such consultation, professional 
counseling, training, and mental health services as are necessary in 
connection with that treatment.
    ``(b) Counseling for Family Members of Veterans Receiving Non-
Service-Connected Treatment.--In the case of a veteran who is eligible 
to receive treatment for a non-service-connected disability under the 
conditions described in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of section 1710(a) of 
this title, the Secretary may, in the discretion of the Secretary, 
provide to individuals described in subsection (c) such consultation, 
professional counseling, training, and mental health services as are 
necessary in connection with that treatment if--
            ``(1) those services were initiated during the veteran's 
        hospitalization; and
            ``(2) the continued provision of those services on an 
        outpatient basis is essential to permit the discharge of the 
        veteran from the hospital.

    ``(c) Eligible Individuals.--Individuals who may be provided 
services under this subsection are--
            ``(1) the members of the immediate family or the legal 
        guardian of a veteran; or
            ``(2) the individual in whose household such veteran 
        certifies an intention to live.

    ``(d) Travel and Transportation Authorized.--Services provided under 
subsections (a) and (b) may include, under the terms and conditions set 
forth in section 111 of this title, travel and incidental expenses of 
individuals described in subsection (c) in the case of any of the 
following:
            ``(1) A veteran who is receiving care for a service-
        connected disability.
            ``(2) A dependent or survivor receiving care under the last 
        sentence of section 1783(b) of this title.

[[Page 115 STAT. 2463]]

``Sec. 1783. Bereavement counseling

    ``(a) Deaths of Veterans.--In the case of an individual who was a 
recipient of services under section 1782 of this title at the time of 
the death of the veteran, the Secretary may provide bereavement 
counseling to that individual in the case of a death--
            ``(1) that was unexpected; or
            ``(2) that occurred while the veteran was participating in a 
        hospice program (or a similar program) conducted by the 
        Secretary.

    ``(b) Deaths In Active Service.--The Secretary may provide 
bereavement counseling to an individual who is a member of the immediate 
family of a member of the Armed Forces who dies in the active military, 
naval, or air service in the line of duty and under circumstances not 
due to the person's own misconduct.
    ``(c) Bereavement Counseling Defined.--For purposes of this section, 
the term `bereavement counseling' means such counseling services, for a 
limited period, as the Secretary determines to be reasonable and 
necessary to assist an individual with the emotional and psychological 
stress accompanying the death of another individual.

``Sec. 1784. Humanitarian care

    ``The Secretary may furnish hospital care or medical services as a 
humanitarian service in emergency cases, but the Secretary shall charge 
for such care and services at rates prescribed by the Secretary.''.
    (c) Transfer of CHAMPVA Section.--Section 1713 is--
            (1) transferred to subchapter VIII of chapter 17 of title 
        38, United States Code, as added by subsection (b), and inserted 
        after the subchapter heading;
            (2) redesignated as section 1781; and
            (3) <<NOTE: 38 USC 1781.>> amended by adding at the end of 
        subsection (b) the following new sentence: ``A dependent or 
        survivor receiving care under the preceding sentence shall be 
        eligible for the same medical services as a veteran, including 
        services under sections 1782 and 1783 of this title.''.

    (d) Repeal of Recodified Authority.--Section 1711 is amended by 
striking subsection (b).
    (e) Cross Reference Amendments.--Title 38, United States Code, is 
further amended as follows:
            (1) Section 103(d)(5)(B) is amended by striking ``1713'' and 
        inserting ``1781''.
            (2) Section 1701(5) is amended by striking ``1713(b)'' in 
        subparagraphs (B) and (C)(i) and inserting ``1781(b)''.
            (3) Section 1712A(b) is amended--
                    (A) in the last sentence of paragraph (1), by 
                striking ``section 1711(b)'' and inserting ``section 
                1784''; and
                    (A) in paragraph (2), by striking ``section 
                1701(6)(B)'' and inserting ``sections 1782 and 1783''.
            (4) Section 1729(f) is amended by striking ``section 
        1711(b)'' and inserting ``section 1784''.
            (5) Section 1729A(b) is amended--
                    (A) by redesignating paragraph (7) as paragraph (8); 
                and
                    (B) by inserting after paragraph (6) the following 
                new paragraph (7):
            ``(7) Section 1784 of this title.''.

[[Page 115 STAT. 2464]]

            (6) Section 8111(g) <<NOTE: 38 USC 8111.>> is amended--
                    (A) in paragraph (4), by inserting ``services under 
                sections 1782 and 1783 of this title'' after ``of this 
                title,''; and
                    (B) in paragraph (5), by striking ``section 1711(b) 
                or 1713'' and inserting ``section 1782, 1783, or 1784''.
            (7) Section 8111A(a)(2) is amended by inserting ``, and the 
        term `medical services' includes services under sections 1782 
        and 1783 of this title'' before the period at the end.
            (8) Section 8152(1) is amended by inserting ``services under 
        sections 1782 and 1783 of this title,'' after ``of this 
        title),''.
            (9) Sections 8502(b), 8520(a), and 8521 are amended by 
        striking ``the last sentence of section 1713(b)'' and inserting 
        ``the penultimate sentence of section 1781(b)''.

    (f) Clerical Amendments.--
            (1) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter 
        is amended--
                    (A) by striking the item relating to section 1707 
                and inserting the following:

``1707. Limitations.'';

                    (B) by striking the item relating to section 1713; 
                and
                    (C) by adding at the end the following:

      ``subchapter viii--health care of persons other than veterans

``1781. Medical care for survivors and dependents of certain veterans.
``1782. Counseling, training, and mental health services for immediate 
           family members.
``1783. Bereavement counseling.
``1784. Humanitarian care.''.

            (2) The heading for section 1707 is amended to read as 
        follows:

``Sec. 1707. Limitations''.

SEC. 209. EXTENSION OF EXPIRING COLLECTIONS AUTHORITIES.

    (a) Health Care Copayments.--Section 1710(f)(2)(B) is amended by 
striking ``September 30, 2002'' and inserting ``September 30, 2007''.
    (b) Medical Care Cost Recovery.--Section 1729(a)(2)(E) is amended by 
striking ``October 1, 2002'' and inserting ``October 1, 2007''.

SEC. 210. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1710 note.>> PERSONAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE SYSTEM 
            FOR VETERANS WITH SERVICE-CONNECTED DISABILITIES.

    (a) Evaluation and Study.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall 
carry out an evaluation and study of the feasibility and desirability of 
providing a personal emergency response system to veterans who have 
service-connected disabilities. <<NOTE: Deadline.>> The evaluation and 
study shall be commenced not later than 60 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act.

    (b) <<NOTE: Deadline.>> Report.--Not later than 180 days after the 
date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the 
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of 
Representatives a report on the evaluation and study under subsection 
(a). The Secretary shall include in the report the Secretary's findings 
resulting from the evaluation and study and the Secretary's conclusion 
as to whether the Department of Veterans Affairs should

[[Page 115 STAT. 2465]]

provide a personal emergency response system to veterans with service-
connected disabilities.

    (c) Authority To Provide System.--If the Secretary concludes in the 
report under subsection (b) that a personal emergency response system 
should be provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs to veterans 
with service-connected disabilities--
            (1) the Secretary may provide such a system, without charge, 
        to any veteran with a service-connected disability who is 
        enrolled under section 1705 of title 38, United States Code, and 
        who submits an application for such a system under subsection 
        (d); and
            (2) the Secretary may contract with one or more vendors to 
        furnish such a system.

    (d) Application.--A personal emergency response system may be 
provided to a veteran under subsection (c)(1) only upon the submission 
by the veteran of an application for the system. Any such application 
shall be in such form and manner as the Secretary may require.
    (e) Definition.--For purposes of this section, the term ``personal 
emergency response system'' means a device--
            (1) that can be activated by an individual who is 
        experiencing a medical emergency to notify appropriate emergency 
        medical personnel that the individual is experiencing a medical 
        emergency; and
            (2) that provides the individual's location through a Global 
        Positioning System indicator.

SEC. 211. ONE-YEAR EXTENSION OF ELIGIBILITY FOR HEALTH CARE OF VETERANS 
            WHO SERVED IN SOUTHWEST ASIA DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR.

    Section 1710(e)(3)(B) <<NOTE: 38 USC 1710.>> is amended by striking 
``December 31, 2001'' and inserting ``December 31, 2002''.

    Approved January 23, 2002.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 3447:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 147 (2001):
            Dec. 11, considered and passed House.
            Dec. 20, considered and passed Senate.

                                  <all>