Summary: S.2633 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.2633. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (03/03/2016)

Improving Veterans Access to Care in the Community Act

This bill directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to enter into contracts or agreements with eligible providers to furnish hospital care and medical services to electing, eligible veterans, which include veterans who are unable to schedule an appointment with a VA health care provider within a specified time frame or who do not reside within 40 miles of a VA medical facility. Such provisions may be referred to as the Veterans Choice Program.

VA reimbursement of veterans for emergency treatment in a non-VA facilities is expanded to include urgent care.

If the VA is not able to furnish hospital care, medical services, or extended care at VA facilities or under contracts or sharing agreements, the VA may furnish such care and services by entering into Veterans Care Agreements with certified eligible providers. The VA shall: (1) establish a system to monitor the quality of care and services provided under such Agreements, and (2) review Agreements exceeding $1 million annually at least once every two years.

The bill allows VA agreements with state homes to provide nursing home care for veterans with a service-connected disability to be entered into without the use of competitive procedures.

The bill requires advance appropriations for the Care in the Community Account of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 is amended to direct the VA to annually transfer to the VHA an amount estimated to be needed to furnish hospital care, medical services, and other health care through non-VA providers.

The requirement that the VA act as a secondary payer for certain non-service connected disability care is eliminated.

Veterans Choice Fund amounts may be used to: (1) carry out certain disability examinations by non-VA providers; and (2) provide hospital, nursing home, and domiciliary care at non-VA facilities.

The VA may record as a U.S. obligation amounts owed for hospital care or medical services furnished at non-VA facilities on the date the payment claim is approved.

The bill requires the VA to be treated as a participating provider for purposes of allowing recovery of costs incurred in providing care to a veteran for a non-service connected disability that is covered under the veteran's health plan contract.

The VA shall assign each veteran enrolled in the annual patient enrollment system a full-time primary care provider using specified distance and travel criteria.