Text: S.1411 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (07/31/2013)


113th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 1411


To specify requirements for the next update of the current strategic plan for the Office of Rural Health of the Department of Veterans Affairs for improving access to, and the quality of, health care services for veterans in rural areas.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

July 31, 2013

Mr. Franken (for himself and Mr. Boozman) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs


A BILL

To specify requirements for the next update of the current strategic plan for the Office of Rural Health of the Department of Veterans Affairs for improving access to, and the quality of, health care services for veterans in rural areas.

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 “Rural Veterans Health Care Improvement Act of 2013”.

SEC. 2. Requirements in connection with next update of current strategic plan for Office of Rural Health of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

(a) Requirements.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The first update of the Strategic Plan Refresh for Fiscal Years 2012 through 2014 of the Office of Rural Health of the Department of Veterans Affairs after the date of the enactment of this Act, whether an update or refresh of such Strategic Plan Refresh or a strategic plan to supersede such Strategic Plan Refresh, shall be prepared in accordance with this section.

(2) CONSULTATION.—The Director of the Office of Rural Health shall prepare the update in consultation with the following:

(A) The Director of the Health Care Retention and Recruitment Office of the Department.

(B) The Director of the Office of Quality and Performance of the Department.

(C) The Director of the Office of Care Coordination Services of the Department.

(b) Elements.—The update described in subsection (a) shall include, for the period covered by the update, the following:

(1) Goals and objectives for the recruitment and retention by the Veterans Health Administration of health care personnel in rural areas.

(2) Goals and objectives for ensuring timeliness and improving quality in the delivery of health care services by the Veterans Health Administration in rural areas through contract and fee-basis providers.

(3) Goals and objectives for the implementation, expansion, and enhanced use of telemedicine services by the Veterans Health Administration in rural areas, including through coordination with other appropriate offices of the Department.

(4) Goals and objectives for ensuring the full and effective use of mobile outpatient clinics by the Veterans Health Administration for the provision of health care services in rural areas, including goals and objectives for the use of such clinics on a fully mobile basis and for encouraging health care providers who provide services through such clinics to do so in rural areas.

(5) Procedures for soliciting from each Veterans Health Administration facility that serves a rural area the following:

(A) A statement of the clinical capacity of such facility.

(B) The procedures of such facility in the event of a medical, surgical, or mental health emergency outside the scope of the clinical capacity of such facility.

(C) The procedures and mechanisms of such facility for the provision and coordination of health care for women veterans, including procedures and mechanisms for coordination with local hospitals and health care facilities, oversight of primary care and fee-basis care, and management of specialty care.

(6) Goals and objectives for the modification of the funding allocation mechanisms of the Office of Rural Health in order to ensure that the Office distributes funds to components of the Department to best achieve the goals and objectives of the Office and in a timely manner.

(7) Goals and objectives for the coordination of, and sharing of resources with respect to, the provision of health care services to veterans in rural areas between the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, the Indian Health Service of the Department of Health and Human Services, and other Federal agencies, as appropriate and prudent.

(8) Specific milestones for the achievement of the goals and objectives developed for the update.

(9) Procedures for ensuring the effective implementation of the update.

(c) Transmittal to Congress.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the issuance of the update described in subsection (a), the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall transmit the update to Congress, together with such comments and recommendations in connection with the update as the Secretary considers appropriate.