Text: H.R.5059 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Received in Senate (12/10/2014)

 
[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 5059 Received in Senate (RDS)]

113th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 5059


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                           December 10, 2014

                                Received

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide for the conduct 
  of annual evaluations of mental health care and suicide prevention 
  programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs, to require a pilot 
 program on loan repayment for psychiatrists who agree to serve in the 
 Veterans Health Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs, 
                        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 ``Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for 
American Veterans Act'' or the ``Clay Hunt SAV Act''.

SEC. 2. EVALUATIONS OF MENTAL HEALTH CARE AND SUICIDE PREVENTION 
              PROGRAMS OF DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) Evaluations.--
            (1) In general.--Not less frequently than once each year, 
        the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall provide for the conduct 
        of an evaluation of the mental health care and suicide 
        prevention programs carried out under the laws administered by 
        the Secretary.
            (2) Elements.--Each evaluation conducted under paragraph 
        (1) shall--
                    (A) use metrics that are common among and useful 
                for practitioners in the field of mental health care 
                and suicide prevention;
                    (B) identify the most effective mental health care 
                and suicide prevention programs conducted by the 
                Secretary, including such programs conducted at a 
                Center of Excellence;
                    (C) identify the cost-effectiveness of each program 
                identified under subparagraph (B);
                    (D) measure the satisfaction of patients with 
                respect to the care provided under each such program; 
                and
                    (E) propose best practices for caring for 
                individuals who suffer from mental health disorders or 
                are at risk of suicide, including such practices 
                conducted or suggested by other departments or agencies 
                of the Federal Government, including the Substance 
                Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the 
                Department of Health and Human Services.
            (3) Third party.--Each evaluation conducted under paragraph 
        (1) shall be conducted by an independent third party 
        unaffiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Such 
        third party shall submit to the Secretary each such evaluation.
    (b) Annual Submission.--Not later than December 1 of each year, 
beginning in 2015, 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 that contains the following:
            (1) The most recent evaluations submitted to the Secretary 
        under subsection (a)(3) that the Secretary has not previously 
        submitted to such Committees.
            (2) Any recommendations the Secretary considers 
        appropriate.

SEC. 3. PUBLICATION OF INTERNET WEBSITE TO PROVIDE INFORMATION 
              REGARDING MENTAL HEALTH CARE SERVICES.

    (a) In General.--Using funds made available to the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs to publish the Internet websites of the Department of 
Veterans Affairs, the Secretary shall survey the existing Internet 
websites and information resources of the Department to publish an 
Internet website that serves as a centralized source to provide 
veterans with information regarding all of the mental health care 
services provided by the Secretary.
    (b) Elements.--The Internet website published under subsection (a) 
shall provide to veterans information regarding all of the mental 
health care services available in the Veteran Integrated Service 
Network that the veteran is seeking such services, including, with 
respect to each medical center, Vet Center (as defined in section 1712A 
of title 38, United States Code), and community-based outpatient center 
in the Veterans Integrated Service Network--
            (1) the name and contact information of each social work 
        office;
            (2) the name and contact information of each mental health 
        clinic;
            (3) a list of appropriate staff; and
            (4) any other information the Secretary determines 
        appropriate.
    (c) Updated Information.--The Secretary shall ensure that the 
information described in subsection (b) that is published on the 
Internet website under subsection (a) is updated not less than once 
every 90 days.
    (d) Outreach.--In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall 
ensure that the outreach conducted under section 1720F(i) of title 38, 
United States Code, includes information regarding the Internet website 
published under subsection (a).

SEC. 4. PILOT PROGRAM FOR REPAYMENT OF EDUCATIONAL LOANS FOR CERTAIN 
              PSYCHIATRISTS OF VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION.

    (a) Establishment.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall carry 
out a pilot program to repay loans of individuals described in 
subsection (b) that--
            (1) were used by such individuals to finance education 
        relating to psychiatric medicine, including education leading 
        to--
                    (A) a degree of doctor of medicine; or
                    (B) a degree of doctor of osteopathy; and
            (2) were obtained from any of the following:
                    (A) A governmental entity.
                    (B) A private financial institution.
                    (C) A school.
                    (D) Any other authorized entity as determined by 
                the Secretary.
    (b) Eligible Individuals.--
            (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), an individual 
        eligible for participation in the pilot program is an 
        individual who--
                    (A) either--
                            (i) is licensed or eligible for licensure 
                        to practice psychiatric medicine in the 
                        Veterans Health Administration of the 
                        Department of Veterans Affairs; or
                            (ii) is enrolled in the final year of a 
                        residency program leading to a specialty 
                        qualification in psychiatric medicine that is 
                        approved by the Accreditation Council for 
                        Graduate Medical Education; and
                    (B) demonstrates a commitment to a long-term career 
                as a psychiatrist in the Veterans Health 
                Administration, as determined by the Secretary.
            (2) Prohibition on simultaneous eligibility.--An individual 
        who is participating in any other program of the Federal 
        Government that repays the educational loans of the individual 
        is not eligible to participate in the pilot program.
    (c) Selection.--The Secretary shall select not less than 10 
individuals described in subsection (b) to participate in the pilot 
program for each year in which the Secretary carries out the pilot 
program.
    (d) Period of Obligated Service.--The Secretary shall enter into an 
agreement with each individual selected under subsection (c) in which 
such individual agrees to serve a period of 2 or more years of 
obligated service for the Veterans Health Administration in the field 
of psychiatric medicine, as determined by the Secretary.
    (e) Loan Repayments.--
            (1) Amounts.--Subject to paragraph (2), a loan repayment 
        under this section may consist of payment of the principal, 
        interest, and related expenses of a loan obtained by an 
        individual who is participating in the pilot program for all 
        educational expenses (including tuition, fees, books, and 
        laboratory expenses) of such individual relating to education 
        described in subsection (a)(1).
            (2) Limit.--For each year of obligated service that an 
        individual who is participating in the pilot program agrees to 
        serve under subsection (d), the Secretary may pay not more than 
        $30,000 in loan repayment on behalf of such individual.
    (f) Breach.--
            (1) Liability.--An individual who participates in the pilot 
        program and fails to satisfy the period of obligated service 
        under subsection (d) shall be liable to the United States, in 
        lieu of such obligated service, for the amount that has been 
        paid or is payable to or on behalf of the individual under the 
        pilot program, reduced by the proportion that the number of 
        days served for completion of the period of obligated service 
        bears to the total number of days in the period of obligated 
        service of such individual.
            (2) Repayment period.--Any amount of damages that the 
        United States is entitled to recover under this subsection 
        shall be paid to the United States not later than 1 year after 
        the date of the breach of the agreement.
    (g) Report.--
            (1) Initial report.--Not later than 2 years after the date 
        on which the pilot program under subsection (a) commences, 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 pilot program.
            (2) Elements.--The report required by paragraph (1) shall 
        include the following:
                    (A) The number of individuals who participated in 
                the pilot program, including the number of new hires.
                    (B) The locations in which such individuals were 
                employed by the Department, including how many such 
                locations were rural or urban locations.
                    (C) An assessment of the quality of the work 
                performed by such individuals in the course of such 
                employment, including the performance reviews of such 
                individuals.
                    (D) The number of psychiatrists the Secretary 
                determines is needed by the Department in the future.
            (3) Final report.--Not later than 90 days before the date 
        on which the pilot program terminates under subsection (i), the 
        Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of 
        the Senate and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House 
        of Representatives an update to the report submitted under 
        paragraph (1) and any recommendations that the Secretary 
        considers appropriate.
    (h) Regulations.--The Secretary shall prescribe regulations to 
carry out this section, including standards for qualified loans and 
authorized payees and other terms and conditions for the making of loan 
repayments.
    (i) Termination.--The authority to carry out the pilot program 
shall expire on the date that is 3 years after the date on which the 
Secretary commences the pilot program.

SEC. 5. PILOT PROGRAM ON COMMUNITY OUTREACH.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall establish 
a pilot program to assist veterans transitioning from serving on active 
duty and to improve the access of veterans to mental health services.
    (b) Locations.--The Secretary shall carry out the pilot program 
under subsection (a) at not less than five Veterans Integrated Service 
Networks that have a large population of veterans who--
            (1) served in the reserve components of the Armed Forces; 
        or
            (2) are transitioning into communities with an established 
        population of veterans after having recently separated from the 
        Armed Forces.
    (c) Functions.--The pilot program at each Veterans Integrated 
Service Network described in subsection (b) shall include the 
following:
            (1) A community oriented veteran peer support network, 
        carried out in partnership with an appropriate entity with 
        experience in peer support programs, that--
                    (A) establishes peer support training guidelines;
                    (B) develops a network of veteran peer support 
                counselors to meet the demands of the communities in 
                the Veterans Integrated Service Network;
                    (C) conducts training of veteran peer support 
                counselors;
                    (D) with respect to one medical center selected by 
                the Secretary in each such Veterans Integrated Service 
                Network, has--
                            (i) a designated peer support specialist 
                        who acts as a liaison to the community oriented 
                        veteran peer network; and
                            (ii) a certified mental health professional 
                        designated as the community oriented veteran 
                        peer network mentor; and
                    (E) is readily available to veterans, including 
                pursuant to the Veterans Integrated Service Network 
                cooperating and working with State and local 
                governments and appropriate entities.
            (2) A community outreach team for each medical center 
        selected by the Secretary pursuant to paragraph (1)(D) that--
                    (A) assists veterans transitioning into 
                communities;
                    (B) establishes a veteran transition advisory group 
                to facilitate outreach activities;
                    (C) includes the participation of appropriate 
                community organizations, State and local governments, 
                colleges and universities, chambers of commerce and 
                other local business organizations, and organizations 
                that provide legal aid or advice; and
                    (D) coordinates with the Veterans Integrated 
                Service Network regarding the Veterans Integrated 
                Service Network carrying out an annual mental health 
                summit to assess the status of veteran mental health 
                care in the community and to develop new or innovative 
                means to provide mental health services to veterans.
    (d) Reports.--
            (1) Initial report.--Not later than 18 months after the 
        date on which the pilot program under subsection (a) commences, 
        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 pilot program. 
        With respect to each Veterans Integrated Service Network 
        described in subsection (b), the report shall include--
                    (A) a full description of the peer support model 
                implemented under the pilot program, participation 
                data, and data pertaining to past and current mental 
                health related hospitalizations and fatalities;
                    (B) recommendations on implementing peer support 
                networks throughout the Department;
                    (C) whether the mental health resources made 
                available under the pilot program for members of the 
                reserve components of the Armed Forces is effective; 
                and
                    (D) a full description of the activities and 
                effectiveness of community outreach coordinating teams 
                under the pilot program, including partnerships that 
                have been established with appropriate entities.
            (2) Final report.--Not later than 90 days before the date 
        on which the pilot program terminates under subsection (e), the 
        Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of 
        the Senate and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House 
        of Representatives an update to the report submitted under 
        paragraph (1).
    (e) Construction.--This section may not be construed to authorize 
the Secretary to hire additional employees of the Department to carry 
out the pilot program under subsection (a).
    (f) Termination.--The authority of the Secretary to carry out the 
pilot program under subsection (a) shall terminate on the date that is 
3 years after the date on which the pilot program commences.

SEC. 6. COLLABORATION ON SUICIDE PREVENTION EFFORTS BETWEEN DEPARTMENT 
              OF VETERANS AFFAIRS AND NON-PROFIT MENTAL HEALTH 
              ORGANIZATIONS.

    (a) Collaboration.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may 
collaborate with non-profit mental health organizations to prevent 
suicide among veterans as follows:
            (1) To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of suicide 
        prevention efforts carried out by the Secretary and non-profit 
        mental health organizations.
            (2) To assist non-profit mental health organizations with 
        the suicide prevention efforts of such organizations through 
        the use of the expertise of employees of the Department of 
        Veterans Affairs.
            (3) To jointly carry out suicide prevention efforts.
    (b) Exchange of Resources.--In carrying out any collaboration under 
subsection (a), the Secretary and any non-profit mental health 
organization with which the Secretary is collaborating under such 
subsection shall exchange training sessions and best practices to help 
with the suicide prevention efforts of the Department and such 
organization.
    (c) Director of Suicide Prevention Coordination.--The Secretary 
shall select within the Department a Director of Suicide Prevention 
Coordination to undertake any collaboration with non-profit mental 
health organizations under this section or any other provision of law.

SEC. 7. ADDITIONAL PERIOD OF ELIGIBILITY FOR HEALTH CARE FOR CERTAIN 
              VETERANS OF COMBAT SERVICE DURING CERTAIN PERIODS OF 
              HOSTILITIES AND WAR.

    Paragraph (3) of section 1710(e) of title 38, United States Code, 
is amended to read as follows:
    ``(3) In the case of care for a veteran described in paragraph 
(1)(D), hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care may be 
provided under or by virtue of subsection (a)(2)(F) only during the 
following periods:
            ``(A) Except as provided by subparagraph (B), with respect 
        to a veteran described in paragraph (1)(D) who is discharged or 
        released from the active military, naval, or air service after 
        January 27, 2003, the five-year period beginning on the date of 
        such discharge or release.
            ``(B) With respect to a veteran described in paragraph 
        (1)(D) who is discharged or released from the active military, 
        naval, or air service after January 1, 2009, and before January 
        1, 2011, but did not enroll to receive such hospital care, 
        medical services, or nursing home care pursuant to such 
        paragraph during the five-year period described in subparagraph 
        (A), the one-year period beginning on January 1, 2015.
            ``(C) With respect to a veteran described in paragraph 
        (1)(D) who is discharged or released from the active military, 
        naval, or air service on or before January 27, 2003, and did 
        not enroll in the patient enrollment system under section 1705 
        of this title on or before such date, the three-year period 
        beginning on January 27, 2008.''.

SEC. 8. PROHIBITION ON NEW APPROPRIATIONS.

    No additional funds are authorized to be appropriated to carry out 
this Act and the amendments made by this Act, and this Act and such 
amendments shall be carried out using amounts otherwise made available 
for such purposes.

            Passed the House of Representatives December 9, 2014.

            Attest:

                                                 KAREN L. HAAS,

                                                                 Clerk.

Share This