Text: H.R.3936 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 108-422 (11/30/2004)

 
[108th Congress Public Law 422]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


<DOC>
[DOCID: f:publ422.108]


[[Page 118 STAT. 2379]]

Public Law 108-422
108th Congress

                                 An Act


 
To amend title 38, United States Code, to increase the authorization of 
   appropriations for grants to benefit homeless veterans, to improve 
 programs for management and administration of veterans' facilities and 
     health care programs, and for other purposes. <<NOTE: Nov. 30, 
                         2004 -  [H.R. 3936]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Veterans Health 
Programs Improvement Act of 2004.>> 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) <<NOTE: 38 USC 101 note.>> Short Title.--This Act may be cited 
as the ``Veterans Health Programs Improvement Act of 2004''.

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

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

                TITLE I--ASSISTANCE TO HOMELESS VETERANS

Sec. 101. Authorization of appropriations.

               TITLE II--VETERANS LONG-TERM CARE PROGRAMS

Sec. 201. Assistance for hiring and retention of nurses at State 
           veterans' homes.
Sec. 202. Treatment of Department of Veterans Affairs per diem payments 
           to state homes for veterans.
Sec. 203. Extension of authority to provide care under long-term care 
           pilot programs.
Sec. 204. Prohibition on collection of copayments for hospice care.

                         TITLE III--MEDICAL CARE

Sec. 301. Sexual trauma counseling program.
Sec. 302. Centers for research, education, and clinical activities on 
           complex multi-trauma associated with combat injuries.
Sec. 303. Enhancement of medical preparedness of Department of Veterans 
           Affairs.

       TITLE IV--MEDICAL FACILITIES MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION

                Subtitle A--Major Medical Facility Leases

Sec. 401. Major medical facility leases.
Sec. 402. Authorization of appropriations.
Sec. 403. Authority for long-term lease of certain lands of University 
           of Colorado.

                    Subtitle B--Facilities Management

Sec. 411. Department of Veterans Affairs Capital Asset Fund.
Sec. 412. Annual report to Congress on inventory of Department of 
           Veterans Affairs historic properties.
Sec. 413. Authority to acquire and transfer real property for use for 
           homeless veterans.
Sec. 414. Limitation on implementation of mission changes for specified 
           Veterans Health Administration facilities.
Sec. 415. Authority to use project funds to construct or relocate 
           surface parking incidental to a construction or nonrecurring 
           maintenance project.
Sec. 416. Inapplicability of limitation on use of advance planning funds 
           to authorized major medical facility projects.

[[Page 118 STAT. 2380]]

Sec. 417. Improvements to enhanced-use lease authority.
Sec. 418. First option for Commonwealth of Kentucky on Department of 
           Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Louisville, Kentucky.
Sec. 419. Transfer of jurisdiction, General Services Administration 
           property, Boise, Idaho.

                  Subtitle C--Designation of Facilities

Sec. 421. Thomas E. Creek Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Sec. 422. James J. Peters Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Sec. 423. Bob Michel Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic.
Sec. 424. Charles Wilson Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient 
           Clinic.
Sec. 425. Thomas P. Noonan, Jr. Department of Veterans Affairs 
           Outpatient Clinic.

                    TITLE V--PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATION

Sec. 501. Pilot program to study innovative recruitment tools to address 
           nursing shortages at Department of Veterans Affairs health 
           care facilities.
Sec. 502. Technical correction to listing of certain hybrid positions in 
           Veterans Health Administration.
Sec. 503. Under Secretary for Health.

                         TITLE VI--OTHER MATTERS

Sec. 601. Extension and codification of authority for recovery audits.
Sec. 602. Inventory of medical waste management activities at Department 
           of Veterans Affairs health care facilities.
Sec. 603. Inclusion of all enrolled veterans among persons eligible to 
           use canteens operated by Veterans' Canteen Service.
Sec. 604. Annual reports on waiting times for appointments for specialty 
           care.
Sec. 605. Technical clarification.

SEC. 2. REFERENCE 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--ASSISTANCE TO HOMELESS VETERANS

SEC. 101. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    Section 2013 is amended in paragraph (4) by striking ``$75,000,000'' 
and inserting ``$99,000,000''.

               TITLE II--VETERANS LONG-TERM CARE PROGRAMS

SEC. 201. ASSISTANCE FOR HIRING AND RETENTION OF NURSES AT STATE 
            VETERANS' HOMES.

    (a) In General.--(1) Chapter 17 is amended by inserting after 
section 1743 the following new section:

``Sec. 1744. Hiring and retention of nurses: payments to assist States

    ``(a) Payment Program.--The Secretary shall make payments to States 
under this section for the purpose of assisting State homes in the 
hiring and retention of nurses and the reduction of nursing shortages at 
State homes.
    ``(b) Eligible Recipients.--Payments to a State for a fiscal year 
under this section shall, subject to submission of an application, be 
made to any State that during that fiscal year--

[[Page 118 STAT. 2381]]

            ``(1) receives per diem payments under this subchapter for 
        that fiscal year; and
            ``(2) has in effect an employee incentive scholarship 
        program or other employee incentive program at a State home 
        designed to promote the hiring and retention of nursing staff 
        and to reduce nursing shortages at that home.

    ``(c) Use of Funds Received.--A State may use an amount received 
under this section only to provide funds for a program described in 
subsection (b)(2). Any program shall meet such criteria as the Secretary 
may prescribe. In prescribing such criteria, the Secretary shall take 
into consideration the need for flexibility and innovation.
    ``(d) Limitations on Amount of Payment.--(1) A payment under this 
section may not be used to provide more than 50 percent of the costs for 
a fiscal year of the employee incentive scholarship or other employee 
incentive program for which the payment is made.
    ``(2) The amount of the payment to a State under this section for 
any fiscal year is, for each State home in that State with a program 
described in subsection (b)(2), the amount equal to 2 percent of the 
amount of payments estimated to be made to that State, for that State 
home, under section 1741 of this title for that fiscal year.
    ``(e) Applications.--A payment under this section for any fiscal 
year with respect to any State home may only be made based upon an 
application submitted by the State seeking the payment with respect to 
that State home. Any such application shall describe the nursing 
shortage at the State home and the employee incentive scholarship 
program or other employee incentive program described in subsection (c) 
for which the payment is sought.
    ``(f) Source of Funds.--Payments under this section shall be made 
from funds available for other payments under this subchapter.
    ``(g) Disbursement.--Payments under this section to a State home 
shall be made as part of the disbursement of payments under section 1741 
of this title with respect to that State home.
    ``(h) Use of Certain Receipts.--The Secretary shall require as a 
condition of any payment under this section that, in any case in which 
the State home receives a refund payment made by an employee in breach 
of the terms of an agreement for employee assistance that used funds 
provided under this section, the payment shall be returned to the State 
home's incentive program account and credited as a non-Federal funding 
source.
    ``(i) Annual Report From Payment Recipients.--Any State home 
receiving a payment under this section for any fiscal year, shall, as a 
condition of the payment, be required to agree to provide to the 
Secretary a report setting forth in detail the use of funds received 
through the payment, including a descriptive analysis of how effective 
the incentive program has been on nurse staffing in the State home 
during that fiscal year. The report for any fiscal year shall be 
provided to the Secretary within 60 days of the close of the fiscal year 
and shall be subject to audit by the Secretary. Eligibility for a 
payment under this section for any later fiscal year is contingent upon 
the receipt by the Secretary of the annual report under this subsection 
for the previous fiscal year in accordance with this subsection.

[[Page 118 STAT. 2382]]

    ``(j) Regulations.--The Secretary shall prescribe regulations to 
carry out this section. The regulations shall include the establishment 
of criteria for the award of payments under this section.''.
    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is 
amended by inserting after section 1743 the following new item:

``1744. Hiring and retention of nurses: payments to assist States.''.

    (b) <<NOTE: 38 USC 1744 note.>> Implementation.--The Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs shall implement section 1744 of title 38, United States 
Code, as added by subsection (a), as expeditiously as 
possible. <<NOTE: Procedures. Deadline.>> The Secretary shall establish 
such interim procedures as necessary so as to ensure that payments are 
made to eligible States under that section commencing not later than 
June 1, 2005, notwithstanding that regulations under subsection (j) of 
that section may not have become final.

SEC. 202. TREATMENT OF DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS PER DIEM PAYMENTS 
            TO STATE HOMES FOR VETERANS.

    Section 1741 is amended by adding at the end the following new 
subsection:
    ``(e) Payments to States pursuant to this section shall not be 
considered a liability of a third party, or otherwise be used to offset 
or reduce any other payment made to assist veterans.''.

SEC. 203. EXTENSION OF AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE CARE UNDER LONG-TERM CARE 
            PILOT PROGRAMS.

    Subsection (h) of section 102 of the Veterans Millennium Health Care 
and Benefits Act (38 U.S.C. 1710B note) is amended--
            (1) by inserting ``(1)'' before ``The authority of''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    ``(2) In the case of a veteran who is participating in a pilot 
program under this section as of the end of the three-year period 
applicable to that pilot program under paragraph (1), the Secretary may 
continue to provide to that veteran any of the services that could be 
provided under the pilot program. <<NOTE: Applicability.>> The authority 
to provide services to any veteran under the preceding sentence applies 
during the period beginning on the date specified in paragraph (1) with 
respect to that pilot program and ending on December 31, 2005.''.

SEC. 204. PROHIBITION ON COLLECTION OF COPAYMENTS FOR HOSPICE CARE.

    Section 1710B(c)(2) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``or'' at the end of subparagraph (A);
            (2) by redesignating subparagraph (B) as subparagraph (C); 
        and
            (3) by inserting after subparagraph (A) the following new 
        subparagraph (B):
            ``(B) to a veteran being furnished hospice care under this 
        section; or''.

                         TITLE III--MEDICAL CARE

SEC. 301. SEXUAL TRAUMA COUNSELING PROGRAM.

    (a) Permanent Authority for Program.--Section 1720D(a) is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``During the period 
        through December 31, 2004, the'' and inserting ``The''; and

[[Page 118 STAT. 2383]]

            (2) in paragraph (2), by striking ``, during the period 
        through December 31, 2004,''.

    (b) Extension to Cover Active Duty for Training.--Such section is 
further amended by inserting ``or active duty for training'' in 
paragraph (1) before the period at the end.

SEC. 302. CENTERS FOR RESEARCH, EDUCATION, AND CLINICAL ACTIVITIES ON 
            COMPLEX MULTI-TRAUMA ASSOCIATED WITH COMBAT INJURIES.

    (a) In General.--(1) Subchapter II of chapter 73 of title 38, United 
States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

``Sec. 7327. Centers for research, education, and clinical activities on 
                        complex multi-trauma associated with combat 
                        injuries

    ``(a) Purpose.--The purpose of this section is to provide for the 
improvement of the provision of health care services and related 
rehabilitation and education services to eligible veterans suffering 
from complex multi-trauma associated with combat injuries through--
            ``(1) the development of improved models and systems for the 
        furnishing by the Department of health care, rehabilitation, and 
        education services to veterans;
            ``(2) the conduct of research to support the provision of 
        such services in accordance with the most current evidence on 
        multi-trauma injuries; and
            ``(3) the education and training of health care personnel of 
        the Department with respect to the provision of such services.

    ``(b) Designation of Centers.--(1) The Secretary shall designate an 
appropriate number of cooperative centers for clinical care, 
consultation, research, and education activities on combat injuries.
    ``(2) Each center designated under paragraph (1) shall function as a 
center for--
            ``(A) research on the long-term effects of injuries 
        sustained as a result of combat in order to support the 
        provision of services for such injuries in accordance with the 
        most current evidence on complex multi-trauma;
            ``(B) the development of rehabilitation methodologies for 
        treating individuals with complex multi-trauma; and
            ``(C) the continuous and consistent coordination of care 
        from the point of referral throughout the rehabilitation process 
        and ongoing follow-up after return to home and community.

    ``(3) The Secretary shall designate one of the centers designated 
under paragraph (1) as the lead center for activities referred to in 
that paragraph. As the lead center for such activities, such center 
shall--
            ``(A) develop and provide periodic review of research 
        priorities, and implement protocols, to ensure that projects 
        contribute to the activities of the centers designated under 
        paragraph (1);
            ``(B) oversee the coordination of the professional and 
        technical activities of such centers to ensure the quality and 
        validity of the methodologies and statistical services for 
        research project leaders;

[[Page 118 STAT. 2384]]

            ``(C) develop and ensure the deployment of an efficient and 
        cost-effective data management system for such centers;
            ``(D) develop and distribute educational materials and 
        products to enhance the evaluation and care of individuals with 
        combat injuries by medical care providers of the Department who 
        are not specialized in the assessment and care of complex multi-
        trauma;
            ``(E) develop educational materials for individuals 
        suffering from combat injuries and for their families; and
            ``(F) serve as a resource for the clinical and research 
        infrastructure of such centers by disseminating clinical 
        outcomes and research findings to improve clinical practice.

    ``(4) The Secretary shall designate centers under paragraph (1) upon 
the recommendation of the Under Secretary for Health.
    ``(5) The Secretary may designate a center under paragraph (1) only 
if the center meets the requirements of subsection (c).
    ``(c) Requirements for Centers.--To be designated as a center under 
this section, a facility shall--
            ``(1) be a regional lead center for the care of traumatic 
        brain injury;
            ``(2) be located at a tertiary care medical center and have 
        on-site availability of primary and subspecialty medical 
        services relating to complex multi-trauma;
            ``(3) have, or have the capacity to develop, the capability 
        of managing impairments associated with combat injuries;
            ``(4) be affiliated with a school of medicine;
            ``(5) have, or have experience with, participation in 
        clinical research trials;
            ``(6) provide amputation care and rehabilitation;
            ``(7) have pain management programs;
            ``(8) provide comprehensive brain injury rehabilitation; and
            ``(9) provide comprehensive general rehabilitation.

    ``(d) Additional Resources.--The Secretary shall provide each center 
designated under this section such resources as the Secretary determines 
to be required by such center to achieve adequate capability of managing 
individuals with complex multi-trauma, including--
            ``(1) the upgrading of blind rehabilitation services by 
        employing or securing the services of blind rehabilitation 
        specialists;
            ``(2) employing or securing the services of occupational 
        therapists with blind rehabilitation training;
            ``(3) employing or securing the services of additional 
        mental health services providers; and
            ``(4) employing or securing additional rehabilitation 
        nursing staff to meet care needs.

    ``(e) Cooperation With Department of Defense.--(1) The Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs may assist the Secretary of Defense in the care of 
members of the Armed Forces with complex multi-trauma at military 
treatment facilities by--
            ``(A) making available, in a manner that the Secretary of 
        Veterans Affairs considers appropriate, certified rehabilitation 
        registered nurses of the Department of Veterans Affairs to such 
        facilities to assess and coordinate the care of such members; 
        and
            ``(B) making available, in a manner that the Secretary of 
        Veterans Affairs considers appropriate, blind rehabilitation

[[Page 118 STAT. 2385]]

        specialists of the Department of Veterans Affairs to such 
        facilities to consult with the medical staff of such facilities 
        on the special needs of such members who have visual impairment 
        as a consequence of combat injury.

    ``(2) Assistance shall be provided under this subsection through 
agreements for the sharing of health-care resources under section 8111 
of this title.
    ``(f) Award of Funding.--Centers designated under this section may 
compete for the award of funding from amounts appropriated for the 
Department for medical and prosthetics research.
    ``(g) Dissemination of Information.--(1) The Under Secretary for 
Health shall ensure that information produced by the centers designated 
under this section that may be useful for other activities of the 
Veterans Health Administration is disseminated throughout the 
Administration.
    ``(2) Information shall be disseminated under this subsection 
through publications, through programs of continuing medical and related 
education provided through regional medical education centers under 
subchapter VI of chapter 74 of this title, and through other means.
    ``(h) National Oversight.--The Under Secretary for Health shall 
designate an appropriate officer to oversee the operation of the centers 
designated under this section and provide for periodic evaluation of the 
centers.
    ``(i) Authorization of Appropriations.--(1) There are authorized to 
be appropriated to the Department of Veterans Affairs for the centers 
designated under this section amounts as follows:
            ``(A) $7,000,000 for fiscal year 2005.
            ``(B) $8,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2008.

    ``(2) In addition to amounts authorized to be appropriated by 
paragraph (1) for a fiscal year, the Under Secretary for Health may 
allocate to each center designated under this section, from other funds 
authorized to be appropriated for such fiscal year for the Department 
generally for medical and for medical and prosthetic research, such 
amounts as the Under Secretary for Health determines appropriate to 
carry out the purposes of this section.''.
    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 73 is amended 
by inserting after the item relating to section 7326 the following new 
item:

``7327. Centers for research, education, and clinical activities on 
           complex multi-trauma associated with combat injuries.''.

    (b) <<NOTE: Deadline. 38 USC 7327 note.>> Designation of Centers.--
The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall designate the centers for 
research, education, and clinical activities on complex multi-trauma 
associated with combat injuries required by section 7327 of title 38, 
United States Code (as added by subsection (a)), not later than 120 days 
after the date of the enactment of this Act.

    (c) Annual Reports.--(1) Not later than eighteen months after the 
date of the designation of centers for research, education, and clinical 
activities on complex multi-trauma associated with combat injuries 
required by section 7327 of title 38, United States Code (as so added), 
and annually thereafter through 2008, the Secretary shall submit to the 
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of 
Representatives a report on the status and activities of such centers 
during the one-year period beginning on the date of such designation, 
for the first such report, and for successive one-year periods, for 
subsequent reports.

[[Page 118 STAT. 2386]]

    (2) Each such report shall include, for the period covered by such 
report, the following:
            (A) A description of the activities carried out at each 
        center, and the funding provided for such activities.
            (B) A description of any advances made in the participating 
        programs of each center in research, education, training, and 
        clinical activities on complex multi-trauma associated with 
        combat injuries.
            (C) A description of the actions taken by the Under 
        Secretary for Health pursuant to subsection (g) of that section 
        (as so added) to disseminate throughout the Veterans Health 
        Administration information derived from such activities.

SEC. 303. ENHANCEMENT OF MEDICAL PREPAREDNESS OF DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS 
            AFFAIRS.

    (a) <<NOTE: Establishment. 38 USC 7328 note.>> Peer Review Panel.--
In order to assist the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in selecting 
facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs to serve as sites for 
centers under section 7328 of title 38, United States Code, as added by 
subsection (c), the Secretary shall establish a peer review panel to 
assess the scientific and clinical merit of proposals that are submitted 
to the Secretary for the selection of such 
facilities. <<NOTE: Deadline.>> The panel shall be established not later 
than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act and shall 
include experts in the fields of toxicological research, infectious 
diseases, radiology, clinical care of veterans exposed to such hazards, 
and other persons as determined appropriate by the Secretary. Members of 
the panel shall serve as consultants to the Department of Veterans 
Affairs. Amounts available to the Secretary for Medical Care may be used 
for purposes of carrying out this subsection. The panel shall not be 
subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.).

    (b) <<NOTE: Deadlines. 38 USC 7328 note.>> Proposals.--The Secretary 
shall solicit proposals for designation of facilities as described in 
subsection (a). The announcement of the solicitation of such proposals 
shall be issued not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment 
of this Act, and the deadline for the submission of proposals in 
response to such solicitation shall be not later than 90 days after the 
date of such announcement. The peer review panel established under 
subsection (a) shall complete its review of the proposals and submit its 
recommendations to the Secretary not later than 60 days after the date 
of the deadline for the submission of proposals. The Secretary shall 
then select the four sites for the location of such centers not later 
than 45 days after the date on which the peer review panel submits its 
recommendations to the Secretary.

    (c) Revised Section.--(1) Subchapter II of chapter 73 is amended by 
inserting after section 7327, as added by section 302(a)(1) of this Act, 
a new section with--
            (A) a heading as follows:

``Sec. 7328. Medical preparedness centers''; and

            (B) a text consisting of the text of subsections (a) through 
        (h) of section 7325 of title 38, United States Code, and a 
        subsection (i) at the end as follows:

    ``(i) Funding.--(1) There are authorized to be appropriated for the 
centers under this section $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2005 
through 2007.

[[Page 118 STAT. 2387]]

    ``(2) In addition to any amounts appropriated for a fiscal year 
specifically for the activities of the centers pursuant to paragraph 
(1), the Under Secretary for Health shall allocate to the centers from 
other funds appropriated for that fiscal year generally for the 
Department medical care account and the Department medical and 
prosthetic research account such amounts as the Under Secretary 
determines necessary in order to carry out the purposes of this 
section.''.
    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 73 is amended 
by inserting after the item relating to section 7327, as added by 
section 302(a)(2) of this Act, the following new item:

``7328. Medical preparedness centers.''.

       TITLE IV--MEDICAL FACILITIES MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION

                Subtitle A--Major Medical Facility Leases

SEC. 401. MAJOR MEDICAL FACILITY LEASES.

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may enter into contracts for major 
medical facility leases at the following locations, in an amount for 
each facility lease not to exceed the amount shown for that location:
            (1) Wilmington, North Carolina, Outpatient Clinic, 
        $1,320,000.
            (2) Greenville, North Carolina, Outpatient Clinic, 
        $1,220,000.
            (3) Norfolk, Virginia, Outpatient Clinic, $1,250,000.
            (4) Summerfield, Florida, Marion County Outpatient Clinic, 
        $1,230,000.
            (5) Knoxville, Tennessee, Outpatient Clinic, $850,000.
            (6) Toledo, Ohio, Outpatient Clinic, $1,200,000.
            (7) Crown Point, Indiana, Outpatient Clinic, $850,000.
            (8) Fort Worth, Texas, Tarrant County Outpatient Clinic, 
        $3,900,000.
            (9) Plano, Texas, Collin County Outpatient Clinic, 
        $3,300,000.
            (10) San Antonio, Texas, Northeast Central Bexar County 
        Outpatient Clinic, $1,400,000.
            (11) Corpus Christi, Texas, Outpatient Clinic, $1,200,000.
            (12) Harlingen, Texas, Outpatient Clinic, $650,000.
            (13) Denver, Colorado, Health Administration Center, 
        $1,950,000.
            (14) Oakland, California, Outpatient Clinic, $1,700,000.
            (15) San Diego, California, North County Outpatient Clinic, 
        $1,300,000.
            (16) San Diego, California, South County Outpatient Clinic, 
        $1,100,000.

SEC. 402. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs for fiscal year 2005 for the Medical Care account, $24,420,000 
for the leases authorized in section 401.

[[Page 118 STAT. 2388]]

SEC. 403. AUTHORITY FOR LONG-TERM LEASE OF CERTAIN LANDS OF UNIVERSITY 
            OF COLORADO.

    Notwithstanding section 8103 of title 38, United States Code, the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs may enter into a lease for real property 
located at the Fitzsimmons Campus of the University of Colorado for 
purposes of a medical facility (as that term is defined in section 8101 
of title 38, United States Code) for a period of up to 75 years.

                    Subtitle B--Facilities Management

SEC. 411. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS CAPITAL ASSET FUND.

    (a) Establishment of Fund.--(1) Subchapter I of chapter 81 is 
amended by adding at the end the following new section:

``Sec. 8118. Authority for transfer of real property; Department of 
                        Veterans Affairs Capital Asset Fund

    ``(a)(1) The Secretary may transfer real property under the 
jurisdiction or control of the Secretary (including structures and 
equipment associated therewith) to another department or agency of the 
United States, to a State (or a political subdivision of a State), or to 
any public or private entity, including an Indian tribe. Such a transfer 
may be made only if the Secretary receives compensation of not less than 
the fair market value of the property, except that no compensation is 
required, or compensation at less than fair market value may be 
accepted, in the case of a transfer to a grant and per diem provider (as 
defined in section 2002 of this title). When a transfer is made to a 
grant and per diem provider for less than fair market value, the 
Secretary shall require in the terms of the conveyance that if the 
property transferred is used for any purpose other than a purpose under 
chapter 20 of this title, all right, title, and interest to the property 
shall revert to the United States.
    ``(2) The Secretary may exercise the authority provided by this 
section notwithstanding sections 521, 522, and 541 through 545 of title 
40. Any such transfer shall be in accordance with this section and 
section 8122 of this title.
    ``(3) The authority provided by this section may not be used in a 
case to which section 8164 of this title applies.
    ``(4) The Secretary may enter into partnerships or agreements with 
public or private entities dedicated to historic preservation to 
facilitate the transfer, leasing, or adaptive use of structures or 
properties specified in subsection (b)(3)(D).
    ``(5) <<NOTE: Expiration date.>> The authority of the Secretary 
under paragraph (1) expires on the date that is seven years after the 
date of the enactment of this section.

    ``(b)(1) There is established in the Treasury of the United States a 
revolving fund to be known as the Department of Veterans Affairs Capital 
Asset Fund (hereinafter in this section referred to as the `Fund'). 
Amounts in the Fund shall remain available until expended.
    ``(2) Proceeds from the transfer of real property under this section 
shall be deposited into the Fund.
    ``(3) To the extent provided in advance in appropriations Acts, 
amounts in the Fund may be expended for the following purposes:
            ``(A) Costs associated with the transfer of real property 
        under this section, including costs of demolition, environmental

[[Page 118 STAT. 2389]]

        remediation, maintenance and repair, improvements to facilitate 
        the transfer, and administrative expenses.
            ``(B) Costs, including costs specified in subparagraph (A), 
        associated with future transfers of property under this section.
            ``(C) Costs associated with enhancing medical care services 
        to veterans by improving, renovating, replacing, updating, or 
        establishing patient care facilities through construction 
        projects to be carried out for an amount less than the amount 
        specified in 8104(a)(3)(A) for a major medical facility project.
            ``(D) Costs, including costs specified in subparagraph (A), 
        associated with the transfer, lease, or adaptive use of a 
        structure or other property under the jurisdiction of the 
        Secretary that is listed on the National Register of Historic 
        Places.

    ``(c) The Secretary shall include in the budget justification 
materials submitted to Congress for any fiscal year in support of the 
President's budget for that fiscal year for the Department specification 
of the following:
            ``(1) The real property transfers to be undertaken in 
        accordance with this section during that fiscal year.
            ``(2) All transfers completed under this section during the 
        preceding fiscal year and completed and scheduled to be 
        completed during the fiscal year during which the budget is 
        submitted.
            ``(3) The deposits into, and expenditures from, the Fund 
        that are incurred or projected for each of the preceding fiscal 
        year, the current fiscal year, and the fiscal year covered by 
        the budget.''.

    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is 
amended by inserting after the item relating to section 8117 the 
following new item:

``8118. Authority for transfer of real property; Department of Veterans 
           Affairs Capital Asset Fund.''.

    (b) Initial Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to 
be appropriated to the Department of Veterans Affairs Capital Asset Fund 
established under section 8118 of title 38, United States Code (as added 
by subsection (a)), the amount of $10,000,000.
    (c) Termination of Nursing Home Revolving Fund.--(1) Section 8116 is 
repealed.
    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 81 is amended 
by striking the item relating to section 8116.
    (d) <<NOTE: 38 USC 8118 note.>> Transfer of Unobligated Balances to 
Capital Asset Fund.--Any unobligated balances in the nursing home 
revolving fund under section 8116 of title 38, United States Code, as of 
the date of the enactment of this Act shall be deposited in the 
Department of Veterans Affairs Capital Asset Fund established under 
section 8118 of title 38, United States Code (as added by subsection 
(a)).

    (e) Procedures Applicable to Transfers.--(1) Paragraph (2) of 
section 8122(a) is amended to read as follows:
    ``(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), the Secretary may not 
during any fiscal year transfer to any other department or agency of the 
United States or to any other entity real property that is owned by the 
United States and administered by the Secretary unless the proposed 
transfer is described in the budget submitted to Congress pursuant to 
section 1105 of title 31 for that fiscal year.''.

[[Page 118 STAT. 2390]]

    (2) Section 8122(d) is amended--
            (A) by inserting ``(1)'' before ``Real property''; and
            (B) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    ``(2) <<NOTE: Notices.>> The Secretary may transfer real property 
under this section, or under section 8118 of this title, if the 
Secretary--
            ``(A) <<NOTE: Newspapers. Federal 
        Register, publication.>> places a notice in the real estate 
        section of local newspapers and in the Federal Register of the 
        Secretary's intent to transfer that real property (including 
        land, structures, and equipment associated with the property);
            ``(B) holds a public hearing;
            ``(C) provides notice to the Administrator of General 
        Services of the Secretary's intention to transfer that real 
        property and waits for 30 days to elapse after providing that 
        notice; and
            ``(D) after such 30-day period has elapsed, notifies the 
        congressional veterans' affairs committees of the Secretary's 
        intention to dispose of the property and waits for 60 days to 
        elapse from the date of that notice.''.

    (3) Section 8164(a) is amended by inserting ``8118 or'' after 
``rather than under section''.
    (4) Section 8165(a)(2) is amended by striking ``nursing home 
revolving fund'' and inserting ``Department of Veterans Affairs Capital 
Asset Fund established under section 8118 of this title''.
    (f) Contingent Effectiveness.--Subsection 
(d) <<NOTE: Certification. Effective date. 38 USC 1710B note.>> and the 
amendments made by subsection (c) shall take effect at the end of the 
30-day period beginning on the date on which the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs certifies to Congress that the Secretary is in compliance with 
subsection (b) of section 1710B of title 38, United States Code.

    (g) Annual Update.--Following <<NOTE: 38 USC 1710B note.>> a 
certification under subsection (f), the Secretary shall submit to 
Congress an annual update on that certification.

SEC. 412. ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS ON INVENTORY OF DEPARTMENT OF 
            VETERANS AFFAIRS HISTORIC PROPERTIES.

    (a) In General.--Not later than December 15 of 2005, 2006, and 2007, 
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to the Committees on 
Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a report on 
the historic properties administered or controlled by the Secretary.
    (b) Initial Report.--In the initial report under subsection (a), the 
Secretary shall set forth a complete inventory of the historic 
structures and property under the jurisdiction of the Secretary. The 
report shall include a description and classification of each such 
property based upon historical nature, current physical condition, and 
potential for transfer, leasing, or adaptive use.
    (c) Subsequent Reports.--In reports under subsection (a) after the 
initial report, the Secretary shall provide an update of the status of 
each property identified in the initial report, with the proposed and 
actual disposition, if any, of each property. Each such report shall 
include any recommendation of the Secretary for legislation to enhance 
the transfer, leasing, or adaptive use of such properties.

SEC. 413. AUTHORITY TO ACQUIRE AND TRANSFER REAL PROPERTY FOR USE FOR 
            HOMELESS VETERANS.

    (a) Authority.--Upon identification of a parcel of real property 
meeting the description in subsection (b), the Secretary of Veterans

[[Page 118 STAT. 2391]]

Affairs may acquire that property (with the structures and improvements 
thereon) or, in the case of property owned by the United States and 
administered by another Federal department or agency, may accept 
administrative jurisdiction over that property, with the expectation of 
promptly transferring that property to a homeless assistance provider 
identified under paragraph (2) of subsection (b), subject to the 
condition that the primary purpose for which the property shall be used 
is to provide housing for homeless veterans.
    (b) Specified Property.--A parcel of real property referred to in 
subsection (a) is a parcel in the District of Columbia--
            (1) that the Secretary determines to be suitable for use for 
        housing for homeless veterans; and
            (2) for which there is an identified homeless assistance 
        provider that is prepared to acquire the property for such 
        purpose from the Secretary promptly upon the acquisition of the 
        property by the Secretary.

    (c) Transfer of Property.--Upon acquiring real property under 
subsection (a), the Secretary shall immediately transfer all right, 
title, and interest of the United States (other than the reversionary 
interest retained under subsection (e)) to the homeless assistance 
provider identified under subsection (b)(2). Such transfer shall be for 
such consideration as the Secretary determines appropriate.
    (d) Terms and Conditions.--The acquisition and transfer of real 
property under this section shall be made upon such terms and conditions 
as the Secretary may specify not inconsistent with other applicable 
provisions of law.
    (e) Reverter.--The terms of the transfer shall provide that if the 
property is no longer used for the purpose for which conveyed by the 
Secretary, title to the property shall revert to the United States.

SEC. 414. LIMITATION ON IMPLEMENTATION OF MISSION CHANGES FOR SPECIFIED 
            VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION FACILITIES.

    (a) Limitation.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may not implement 
a mission change for a medical facility of the Department of Veterans 
Affairs specified in subsection (c) until--
            (1) <<NOTE: Notice.>> the Secretary submits to the 
        Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of 
        Representatives a written notice of the mission change; and
            (2) the period prescribed by subsection (b) has elapsed.

    (b) Congressional Review Period.--(1) The period referred to in 
subsection (a)(2) is the period beginning on the date of the receipt of 
the notice under subsection (a)(1) by the committees specified in that 
subsection and ending on the later of--
            (A) the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date on 
        which the notice is received by those committees; or
            (B) the end of a period of 30 days of continuous session of 
        Congress beginning on the date on which the notification is 
        received by those committees or, if either House of Congress is 
        not in session on such date, the first day after such date that 
        both Houses of Congress are in session.

    (2) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(B)--
            (A) the continuity of a session of Congress is broken only 
        by an adjournment of Congress sine die; and

[[Page 118 STAT. 2392]]

            (B) any day on which either House is not in session because 
        of an adjournment of more than three days to a day certain is 
        excluded in the computation of any period of time in which 
        Congress is in continuous session.

    (c) Specified Facilities.--A facility referred to in subsection (a) 
as being specified in this subsection is any of the following facilities 
of the Department of Veterans Affairs:
            (1) The Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers in 
        Boston, Massachusetts.
            (2) The Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers in 
        New York City, New York.
            (3) The Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in Big 
        Spring, Texas.
            (4) The Carl Vinson Department of Veterans Affairs Medical 
        Center, Dublin, Georgia.
            (5) The Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in 
        Montgomery, Alabama.
            (6) The Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in 
        Louisville, Kentucky.
            (7) The Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in 
        Muskogee, Oklahoma, and the outpatient clinic in Tulsa, 
        Oklahoma.
            (8) The John J. Pershing Department of Veterans Affairs 
        Medical Center, Poplar Bluff, Missouri.
            (9) The Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in Ft. 
        Wayne, Indiana.
            (10) The Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in 
        Waco, Texas.
            (11) The Jonathan M. Wainwright Department of Veterans 
        Affairs Medical Center, Walla Walla, Washington.

    (d) Covered Mission Changes.--For purposes of this section, a 
mission change for a medical facility shall consist of any of the 
following:
            (1) Closure of the facility.
            (2) Consolidation of the facility.
            (3) An administrative reorganization of the facility covered 
        by section 510(b) of title 38, United States Code.

    (e) Required Content of Notice of Mission Change.--Written notice of 
a mission change for a medical facility under subsection (a) shall 
include the following:
            (1) An assessment of the effect of the mission change on the 
        population of veterans served by the facility.
            (2) A description of the availability and quality of health 
        care, including long-term care, mental health care, and 
        substance abuse programs, available in the area served by the 
        facility.
            (3) An assessment of the effect of the mission change on the 
        economy of the community in which the facility is located.
            (4) An analysis of any alternatives to the mission change 
        proposed by--
                    (A) the community in which the facility is located;
                    (B) organizations recognized by the Secretary under 
                section 5902 of title 38, United States Code;
                    (C) organizations that represent Department 
                employees in such community; or
                    (D) the Department.

[[Page 118 STAT. 2393]]

    (f) Medical Facility Consolidation.--For the purposes of subsection 
(d)(2), the term ``consolidation'' means an action that closes one or 
more medical facilities within a geographic service area for the purpose 
of relocating those activities to another medical facility or 
facilities.
    (g) <<NOTE: Applicability.>> Coordination of Provisions.--In the 
case of a mission change covered by subsection (a) that is also an 
administrative reorganization covered by section 510(b) of title 38, 
United States Code, both this section and such section 510(b) shall 
apply with respect to the implementation of that mission change.

SEC. 415. AUTHORITY TO USE PROJECT FUNDS TO CONSTRUCT OR RELOCATE 
            SURFACE PARKING INCIDENTAL TO A CONSTRUCTION OR NONRECURRING 
            MAINTENANCE PROJECT.

    Section 8109 is amended by adding at the end the following new 
subsection:
    ``(j) Funds in a construction account or capital account that are 
available for a construction project or a nonrecurring maintenance 
project may be used for the construction or relocation of a surface 
parking lot incidental to that project.''.

SEC. 416. INAPPLICABILITY OF LIMITATION ON USE OF ADVANCE PLANNING FUNDS 
            TO AUTHORIZED MAJOR MEDICAL FACILITY PROJECTS.

    Section 8104 is amended by adding at the end the following new 
subsection:
    ``(g) The limitation in subsection (f) does not apply to a project 
for which funds have been authorized by law in accordance with 
subsection (a)(2).''.

SEC. 417. IMPROVEMENTS TO ENHANCED-USE LEASE AUTHORITY.

    Section 8166(a) is amended by inserting ``land use,'' in the second 
sentence after ``relating to''.

SEC. 418. FIRST OPTION FOR COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY ON DEPARTMENT OF 
            VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTER, LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY.

    (a) Requirement.--Upon determining to convey, lease, or otherwise 
dispose of the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 
Louisville, Kentucky, or any portion thereof, the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs shall engage in negotiations for the conveyance, lease, or other 
disposal of the Medical Center or portion thereof solely with the 
Commonwealth of Kentucky.
    (b) Duration of Requirement.--The requirement for negotiations under 
subsection (a) shall remain in effect for one year after the date of the 
determination referred to in that subsection.
    (c) Scope of Negotiations.--The negotiations under subsection (a) 
shall address the use of the medical center referred to in subsection 
(a), or portion thereof, by the Commonwealth of Kentucky for the primary 
purpose of the provision of services for veterans and related 
activities, including use for a State veterans' home.

SEC. 419. TRANSFER OF JURISDICTION, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION 
            PROPERTY, BOISE, IDAHO.

    (a) Transfer.--The Administrator of General Services shall transfer 
to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, under such terms

[[Page 118 STAT. 2394]]

and conditions as the Administrator and the Secretary agree, 
jurisdiction, custody, and control over the parcel of real property, 
including any improvements thereon, consisting of approximately 2.3 
acres located at the General Services Administration facility 
immediately north of the Army Reserve facility in Boise, Idaho.
    (b) Utilization.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall utilize 
the property transferred under subsection (a) for purposes relating to 
the delivery of benefits to veterans.

                  Subtitle C--Designation of Facilities

SEC. 421. <<NOTE: Texas.>> THOMAS E. CREEK DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS 
            AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTER.

    (a) In General.--The Department of Veterans Affairs medical center 
in Amarillo, Texas, shall after the date of the enactment of this Act be 
known and designated as the ``Thomas E. Creek Department of Veterans 
Affairs Medical Center''.
    (b) References.--Any reference in any law, regulation, map, 
document, record, or other paper of the United States to the medical 
center referred to in subsection (a) shall be considered to be a 
reference to the Thomas E. Creek Department of Veterans Affairs Medical 
Center.

SEC. 422. <<NOTE: New York.>> JAMES J. PETERS DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS 
            AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTER.

    (a) In General.--The Department of Veterans Affairs medical center 
in the Bronx, New York, shall after the date of the enactment of this 
Act be known and designated as the ``James J. Peters Department of 
Veterans Affairs Medical Center''.
    (b) References.--Any reference in any law, regulation, map, 
document, record, or other paper of the United States to the medical 
center referred to in subsection (a) shall be considered to be a 
reference to the James J. Peters Department of Veterans Affairs Medical 
Center.

SEC. <<NOTE: Illinois.>> 423. BOB MICHEL DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 
            OUTPATIENT CLINIC.

    (a) In General.--The Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient 
clinic located in Peoria, Illinois, shall after the date of the 
enactment of this Act be known and designated as the ``Bob Michel 
Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic''.
    (b) References.--Any reference in any law, regulation, map, 
document, record, or other paper of the United States to the outpatient 
clinic referred to in subsection (a) shall be considered to be a 
reference to the Bob Michel Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient 
Clinic.

SEC. 424. <<NOTE: Texas.>> CHARLES WILSON DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 
            OUTPATIENT CLINIC.

    (a) In General.--The Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient 
clinic located in Lufkin, Texas, shall after the date of the enactment 
of this Act be known and designated as the ``Charles Wilson Department 
of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic''.
    (b) References.--Any reference in any law, regulation, map, 
document, record, or other paper of the United States to the outpatient 
clinic referred to in subsection (a) shall be considered to

[[Page 118 STAT. 2395]]

be a reference to the Charles Wilson Department of Veterans Affairs 
Outpatient Clinic.

SEC. 425. <<NOTE: New York.>> THOMAS P. NOONAN, JR. DEPARTMENT OF 
            VETERANS AFFAIRS OUTPATIENT CLINIC.

    (a) In General.--The Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient 
clinic in Sunnyside, Queens, New York, shall after the date of the 
enactment of this Act be known and designated as the ``Thomas P. Noonan, 
Jr. Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic''.
    (b) References.--Any reference in any law, map, regulation, 
document, paper, or other record of the United States to the outpatient 
clinic referred to in subsection (a) shall be considered to be a 
reference to the Thomas P. Noonan, Jr. Department of Veterans Affairs 
Outpatient Clinic.

                    TITLE V--PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATION

SEC. 501. <<NOTE: 38 USC 7451 note.>> PILOT PROGRAM TO STUDY INNOVATIVE 
            RECRUITMENT TOOLS TO ADDRESS NURSING SHORTAGES AT DEPARTMENT 
            OF VETERANS AFFAIRS HEALTH CARE FACILITIES.

    (a) <<NOTE: Deadline.>> Pilot Program.--(1) Not later than 90 days 
after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs shall designate a health care service region, or a section 
within such a region, in which health care facilities of the Department 
of Veterans Affairs are adversely affected by a shortage of qualified 
nurses.

    (2) The Secretary shall conduct a pilot program in the region or 
section designated under paragraph (1) to determine the effectiveness of 
the use of innovative human capital tools and techniques in the 
recruitment of qualified nurses for positions at Department health care 
facilities in such region or section and for the retention of nurses at 
such facilities. In carrying out the pilot program, the Secretary shall 
enter into a contract with a private sector entity for services under 
the pilot program for recruitment of qualified nurses.
    (b) Private Sector Recruitment Practices.--For purposes of the pilot 
program under this section, the Secretary shall identify and use 
recruitment practices that have proven effective for placing qualified 
individuals in positions that are difficult to fill due to shortages of 
qualified individuals or other factors. Recruitment practices to be 
reviewed by the Secretary for use in the pilot program shall include--
            (1) employer branding and interactive advertising 
        strategies;
            (2) Internet technologies and automated staffing systems; 
        and
            (3) the use of recruitment, advertising, and communication 
        agencies.

    (c) Streamlined Hiring Process.--In carrying out the pilot program 
under this section, the Secretary shall, at health care facilities of 
the Department in the region or section in which the pilot program is 
conducted, revise procedures and systems for selecting and hiring 
qualified nurses to reduce the length of the hiring process. If the 
Secretary identifies measures to streamline

[[Page 118 STAT. 2396]]

and automate the hiring process that can only be implemented if 
authorized by law, the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on 
Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives 
recommendations for such changes in law as may be necessary to enable 
such measures to be implemented.
    (d) Report.--Not later than one year 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 
extent to which the pilot program achieved the goal of improving the 
recruitment and retention of nurses in Department of Veterans Affairs 
health care facilities.

SEC. 502. TECHNICAL CORRECTION TO LISTING OF CERTAIN HYBRID POSITIONS IN 
            VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION.

    Section 7401(3) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``and dental technologists'' and inserting 
        ``technologists, dental hygienists, dental assistants''; and
            (2) by striking ``technicians, therapeutic radiologic 
        technicians, and social workers'' and inserting ``technologists, 
        therapeutic radiologic technologists, social workers, blind 
        rehabilitation specialists, and blind rehabilitation outpatient 
        specialists''.

SEC. 503. UNDER SECRETARY FOR HEALTH.

    Section 305(a)(2) is amended--
            (1) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking 
        ``shall be a doctor of medicine and''; and
            (2) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``and in health-care'' 
        and inserting ``or in health-care''.

                         TITLE VI--OTHER MATTERS

SEC. 601. EXTENSION AND CODIFICATION OF AUTHORITY FOR RECOVERY AUDITS.

    Section 1703 is amended by adding at the end the following new 
subsection:
    ``(d)(1) <<NOTE: Contracts.>> The Secretary shall conduct a program 
of recovery audits for fee basis contracts and other medical services 
contracts for the care of veterans under this section, and for 
beneficiaries under sections 1781, 1782, and 1783 of this title, with 
respect to overpayments resulting from processing or billing errors or 
fraudulent charges in payments for non-Department care and services. The 
program shall be conducted by contract.

    ``(2) Amounts collected, by setoff or otherwise, as the result of an 
audit under the program conducted under this subsection shall be 
available for the purposes for which funds are currently available to 
the Secretary for medical care and for payment to a contractor of a 
percentage of the amount collected as a result of an audit carried out 
by the contractor.
    ``(3) The Secretary shall allocate all amounts collected under this 
subsection with respect to a designated geographic service area of the 
Veterans Health Administration, net of payments to the contractor, to 
that region.
    ``(4) <<NOTE: Termination date.>> The authority of the Secretary 
under this subsection terminates on September 30, 2008.''.

[[Page 118 STAT. 2397]]

SEC. 602. <<NOTE: 38 USC 8110 note.>> INVENTORY OF MEDICAL WASTE 
            MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES AT DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 
            HEALTH CARE FACILITIES.

    (a) Inventory.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall establish 
and maintain a national inventory of medical waste management activities 
in the health care facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The 
inventory shall include the following:
            (1) A statement of the current national policy of the 
        Department on managing and disposing of medical waste, including 
        regulated medical waste in all its forms.
            (2) A description of the program of each geographic service 
        area of the Department to manage and dispose of medical waste, 
        including general medical waste and regulated medical waste, 
        with a description of the primary methods used in those programs 
        and the associated costs of those programs, with cost 
        information shown separately for in-house costs (including full-
        time equivalent employees) and contract costs.

    (b) Report.--Not later than June 30, 2005, the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the 
Senate and House of Representatives a report on medical waste management 
activities in the facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The 
report shall include the following:
            (1) The inventory established under subsection (a), 
        including all the matters specified in that subsection.
            (2) A listing of each violation of medical waste management 
        and disposal regulations reported at any health care facility of 
        the Department over the preceding five years by any Federal or 
        State agency, along with an explanation of any remedial or other 
        action taken by the Secretary in response to each such reported 
        violation.
            (3) A description of any plans to modernize, consolidate, or 
        otherwise improve the management of medical waste and disposal 
        programs at health care facilities of the Department, including 
        the projected costs associated with such plans and any barriers 
        to achieving goals associated with such plans.
            (4) An assessment or evaluation of the available methods of 
        disposing of medical waste and identification of which of those 
        methods are more desirable from an environmental perspective in 
        that they would be least likely to result in contamination of 
        air or water or otherwise cause future cleanup problems.

SEC. 603. INCLUSION OF ALL ENROLLED VETERANS AMONG PERSONS ELIGIBLE TO 
            USE CANTEENS OPERATED BY VETERANS' CANTEEN SERVICE.

    The text of section 7803 is amended to read as follows:
    ``(a) Primary Beneficiaries.--Canteens operated by the Service shall 
be primarily for the use and benefit of--
            ``(1) veterans hospitalized or domiciled at the facilities 
        at which canteen services are provided; and
            ``(2) other veterans who are enrolled under section 1705 of 
        this title.

    ``(b) Other Authorized Users.--Service at such canteens may also be 
furnished to--
            ``(1) personnel of the Department and recognized veterans' 
        organizations who are employed at a facility at which canteen 
        services are provided and to other persons so employed;

[[Page 118 STAT. 2398]]

            ``(2) the families of persons referred to in paragraph (1) 
        who reside at the facility; and
            ``(3) relatives and other persons while visiting a person 
        specified in this section.''.

SEC. 604. ANNUAL REPORTS ON WAITING TIMES FOR APPOINTMENTS FOR SPECIALTY 
            CARE.

    (a) Annual Reports.--Not later than January 31 each year through 
2007, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to the Committees 
on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the House of Representatives a 
report on waiting times for appointments for specialty health care from 
the Department of Veterans Affairs under chapter 17 of title 38, United 
States Code, during the preceding year.
    (b) Report Elements.--Each report under subsection (a) shall 
specify, for the year covered by the report, the following:
            (1) A tabulation of the number of veterans whose appointment 
        for specialty health care furnished by the Department was more 
        than three months after the date of the scheduling of such 
        appointment, and the waiting times of such veterans for such 
        appointments, for each category of specialty care furnished by 
        the Department, broken out by Veterans Integrated Service 
        Network.
            (2) An identification of the categories of specialty care 
        furnished by the Department for which there were delays of more 
        than three months between the scheduling date of appointments 
        and appointments in each Veterans Integrated Service Network.
            (3) A discussion of the reasons for the delays identified 
        under paragraph (2) for each category of care for each Veterans 
        Integrated Service Network so identified, including lack of 
        personnel, financial resources, or other resources.

    (c) Certification on Report Information.--The Comptroller General of 
the United States shall certify to the committees of Congress referred 
to in subsection (a) whether or not each report under this section is 
accurate.

[[Page 118 STAT. 2399]]

SEC. 605. TECHNICAL CLARIFICATION.

    Section 8111(d)(2) is amended by inserting before the period at the 
end of the last sentence the following: ``and shall be available for any 
purpose authorized by this section''.

    Approved November 30, 2004.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 3936 (S. 2485):
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 108-574, Pt. 1 (Comm. on Veterans' Affairs).
SENATE REPORTS: No. 108-358 accompanying S. 2485 (Comm. on Veterans' 
Affairs).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 150 (2004):
            July 20, considered and passed House.
            Oct. 9, considered and passed Senate, amended, in lieu of S. 
                2485.
            Nov. 17, House concurred in Senate amendments.
WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS, Vol. 40 (2004):
            Dec. 1, Presidential statement.

                                  <all>