H.R.6445 - Veterans' Health Care Policy Enhancement Act of 2008110th Congress (2007-2008)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Cazayoux, Donald J., Jr. [D-LA-6] (Introduced 07/09/2008)|
|Committees:||House - Veterans' Affairs | Senate - Veterans' Affairs|
|Committee Reports:||H. Rept. 110-786|
|Latest Action:||Senate - 07/31/2008 Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs. (All Actions)|
|Roll Call Votes:||There has been 1 roll call vote|
This bill has the status Passed House
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Text: H.R.6445 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)
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Referred in Senate (07/31/2008)
[Congressional Bills 110th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 6445 Referred in Senate (RFS)] 2d Session H. R. 6445 _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES July 31, 2008 Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs _______________________________________________________________________ AN ACT To amend title 38, United States Code, to prohibit the Secretary of Veterans Affairs from collecting certain copayments from veterans who are catastrophically disabled, 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 ``Veterans' Health Care Policy Enhancement Act of 2008''. SEC. 2. PROHIBITION ON COLLECTION OF CERTAIN COPAYMENTS FROM VETERANS WHO ARE CATASTROPHICALLY DISABLED. (a) Prohibition on Collection of Copayments and Other Fees for Hospital or Nursing Home Care.--Section 1710 of title 38, United States Code, is amended-- (1) by redesignating subsection (h) as subsection (i); and (2) by inserting after subsection (g) the following new subsection (h): ``(h) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a veteran who is catastrophically disabled shall not be required to make any payment otherwise required under subsection (f) or (g) for the receipt of hospital care or nursing home care under this section.''. (b) Effective Date.--Subsection (h) of section 1710 of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall apply with respect to hospital care or nursing home care provided after the date of the enactment of this Act. SEC. 3. EXPANSION OF AUTHORITY OF SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS TO PROVIDE COUNSELING FOR FAMILY MEMBERS OF VETERANS RECEIVING NONSERVICE-CONNECTED TREATMENT. Section 1782(b) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by striking ``if--'' and all that follows and inserting a period. SEC. 4. COMPREHENSIVE POLICY ON PAIN MANAGEMENT. (a) Comprehensive Policy Required.--Not later than October 1, 2008, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall develop and implement a comprehensive policy on the management of pain experienced by veterans enrolled for health care services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. (b) Scope of Policy.--The policy required by subsection (a) shall cover each of the following: (1) The systemwide management of acute and chronic pain experienced by veterans. (2) The standard of care for pain management to be used throughout the Department. (3) The consistent application of pain assessments to be used throughout the Department. (4) The assurance of prompt and appropriate pain care treatment and management by the Department, systemwide, when medically necessary. (5) The Department's program of research related to acute and chronic pain suffered by veterans, including pain attributable to central and peripheral nervous system damage characteristic of injuries incurred in modern warfare. (6) The Department's program of pain care education and training for health care personnel of the Department. (7) The Department's program of patient education for veterans suffering from acute or chronic pain and their families. (c) Updates.--The Secretary shall revise the policy developed under subsection (a) on a periodic basis in accordance with experience and evolving best practice guidelines. (d) Consultation.--The Secretary shall develop the policy developed under subsection (a), and revise such policy under subsection (c), in consultation with veterans service organizations and organizations with expertise in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and management of pain. (e) Annual Report.-- (1) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the completion and initial implementation of the policy under subsection (a) and on October 1 of every fiscal year thereafter through fiscal year 2018, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives a report on the implementation of the policy developed under subsection (a). (2) Contents.--The report required by paragraph (1) shall include the following: (A) A description of the policy developed and implemented under subsection (a) and any revisions to such policy under subsection (c). (B) A description of the performance measures used to determine the effectiveness of such policy in improving pain care for veterans systemwide. (C) An assessment of the adequacy of the Department's pain management services based on a survey of patients managed in Department clinics. (D) An assessment of the Department's research programs relevant to the treatment of the types of acute and chronic pain suffered by veterans. (E) An assessment of the training provided to Department health care personnel with respect to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of acute and chronic pain. (F) An assessment of the Department's pain care- related patient education programs. (f) Veterans Service Organization Defined.--In this section, the term ``veterans service organization'' means any organization recognized by the Secretary for the representation of veterans under section 5902 of title 38, United States Code. SEC. 5. ESTABLISHMENT OF CONSOLIDATED PATIENT ACCOUNTING CENTERS. (a) Establishment of Centers.--Chapter 17 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 1729A the following: ``Sec. 1729B. Consolidated patient accounting centers ``(a) In General.--Not later than 5 years after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall establish not more than seven consolidated patient accounting centers for conducting industry-modeled regionalized billing and collection activities of the Department. ``(b) Functions.--The centers shall carry out the following functions: ``(1) Reengineer and integrate all business processes of the revenue cycle of the Department. ``(2) Standardize and coordinate all activities of the Department related to the revenue cycle for all health care services furnished to veterans for nonservice-connected medical conditions. ``(3) Apply commercial industry standards for measures of access, timeliness, and performance metrics with respect to revenue enhancement of the Department. ``(4) Apply other requirements with respect to such revenue cycle improvement as the Secretary may specify.''. (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1729A the following: ``1729B. Consolidated patient accounting centers.''. SEC. 6. SIMPLIFYING AND UPDATING NATIONAL STANDARDS TO ENCOURAGE TESTING OF THE HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS. Section 124 of the Veterans' Benefits and Services Act of 1988 (38 U.S.C. 7333 note; 102 Stat. 505) and the item relating to such section in the table of contents of such Act (102 Stat. 487) are repealed. Passed the House of Representatives July 30, 2008. Attest: LORRAINE C. MILLER, Clerk.