Text: H.R.3777 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (02/04/2004)

 
[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 3777 Introduced in House (IH)]






108th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 3777

  To amend title 38, United States Code, to require the Secretary of 
  Veterans Affairs to enter into contracts with community health care 
providers to improve access to health care for veterans in highly rural 
                     areas, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            February 4, 2004

    Mr. McInnis (for himself, Mr. Walden of Oregon, Mr. Peterson of 
 Pennsylvania, Mr. Pickering, Mr. Istook, Mr. Isakson, Mr. Frost, Mr. 
Case, Mr. Goode, Mr. Simpson, Mr. Sandlin, Mr. Hastings of Washington, 
  Mr. Green of Wisconsin, Mr. Peterson of Minnesota, Mrs. Capito, Mr. 
 King of Iowa, Mr. Pearce, Mr. Filner, Mrs. Musgrave, Mr. Boucher, Mr. 
   Paul, and Mr. Marshall) introduced the following bill; which was 
             referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To amend title 38, United States Code, to require the Secretary of 
  Veterans Affairs to enter into contracts with community health care 
providers to improve access to health care for veterans in highly rural 
                     areas, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Help Establish Access to Local 
Timely Healthcare for Your Vets (HEALTHY Vets) Act of 2004''.

SEC. 2. ENHANCED CONTRACT CARE AUTHORITY FOR HEALTH CARE NEEDS OF 
              VETERANS IN HIGHLY RURAL AREAS.

    (a) Rural Veterans.--Section 1703 of title 38, United States Code, 
is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(d)(1) In the case of a veteran for whom Department facilities 
are geographically inaccessible (as provided in paragraph (2)), the 
Secretary shall use the contract authority provided in subsection (a) 
for the following care:
            ``(A) Primary care.
            ``(B) Acute or chronic symptom management.
            ``(C) Nontherapeutic medical services.
            ``(D) Other medical services as determined appropriate by 
        the director of the appropriate geographic service region of 
        the Department, after consultation with the Department 
        physician responsible for primary care of the veteran.
    ``(2) Department facilities shall be deemed to be geographically 
inaccessible for purposes of paragraph (1) in the case of a veteran 
whose residence meets any of the following criteria:
            ``(A) The residence is in a county with a population 
        density of less than 7.0 people per square mile and is more 
        than 75 miles from the nearest Department health care facility.
            ``(B) The residence is in a county with a population 
        density of more than 7.0 and less than 8.0 people per square 
        mile and is more than 100 miles from the nearest Department 
        health care facility.
            ``(C) The residence is in a county with a population 
        density of more than 8.0 and less than 9.0 people per square 
        mile and is more than 125 miles from the nearest Department 
        health care facility.
            ``(D) The residence is more than 150 miles from the nearest 
        Department health care facility.
    ``(3) The Secretary may waive the requirement in paragraph (1) in 
the case of a particular veteran if the Secretary demonstrates on an 
individual basis through a cost-benefit analysis that the costs to the 
Department of providing care to that veteran pursuant to paragraph (1) 
significantly outweigh the benefits of localized health care for the 
individual veteran.
    ``(4) For purposes of paragraph (2), a distance in miles shall be 
determined on the basis of the most convenient highway route that is 
available to the veteran, as determined by the Secretary.''.
    (b) Effective Date.--Subsection (d) of section 1703 of title 38, 
United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall take effect at 
the end of the 120-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of 
this Act.
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