Text: H.R.2123 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (11/08/2017)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 2123 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

<DOC>
115th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 2123


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                            November 8, 2017

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the ability of health 
 care professionals to treat veterans through the use of telemedicine, 
                        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 E-Health and Telemedicine 
Support Act of 2017'' or the ``VETS Act of 2017''.

SEC. 2. LICENSURE OF HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF 
              VETERANS AFFAIRS PROVIDING TREATMENT VIA TELEMEDICINE.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 17 of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended by inserting after section 1730A the following new section:
``Sec. 1730B. Licensure of health care professionals providing 
              treatment via telemedicine
    ``(a) In General.--Notwithstanding any provision of law regarding 
the licensure of health care professionals, a covered health care 
professional may practice the health care profession of the health care 
professional at any location in any State, regardless of where the 
covered health care professional or the patient is located, if the 
covered health care professional is using telemedicine to provide 
treatment to an individual under this chapter.
    ``(b) Property of Federal Government.--Subsection (a) shall apply 
to a covered health care professional providing treatment to a patient 
regardless of whether the covered health care professional or patient 
is located in a facility owned by the Federal Government during such 
treatment.
    ``(c) Construction.--Nothing in this section may be construed to 
remove, limit, or otherwise affect any obligation of a covered health 
care professional under the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et 
seq.).
    ``(d) Covered Health Care Professional Defined.--In this section, 
the term `covered health care professional' means a health care 
professional who--
            ``(1) is an employee of the Department appointed under the 
        authority under sections 7306, 7401, 7405, 7406, or 7408 of 
        this title, or title 5;
            ``(2) is authorized by the Secretary to provide health care 
        under this chapter;
            ``(3) is required to adhere to all quality standards 
        relating to the provision of telemedicine in accordance with 
        applicable policies of the Department; and
            ``(4) has an active, current, full, and unrestricted 
        license, registration, or certification in a State to practice 
        the health care profession of the health care professional.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
chapter 17 of such title is amended by inserting after the item 
relating to section 1730A the following new item:

``1730B. Licensure of health care professionals providing treatment via 
                            telemedicine.''.
    (c) Report on Telemedicine.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
        the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs 
        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 effectiveness of the use of 
        telemedicine by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
            (2) Elements.--The report required by paragraph (1) shall 
        include an assessment of the following:
                    (A) The satisfaction of veterans with telemedicine 
                furnished by the Department.
                    (B) The satisfaction of health care providers in 
                providing telemedicine furnished by the Department.
                    (C) The effect of telemedicine furnished by the 
                Department on the following:
                            (i) The ability of veterans to access 
                        health care, whether from the Department or 
                        from non-Department health care providers.
                            (ii) The frequency of use by veterans of 
                        telemedicine.
                            (iii) The productivity of health care 
                        providers.
                            (iv) Wait times for an appointment for the 
                        receipt of health care from the Department.
                            (v) The reduction, if any, in the use by 
                        veterans of in-person services at Department 
                        facilities and non-Department facilities.
                    (D) The types of appointments for the receipt of 
                telemedicine furnished by the Department that were 
                provided during the 1-year period preceding the 
                submittal of the report.
                    (E) The number of appointments for the receipt of 
                telemedicine furnished by the Department that were 
                requested during such period, disaggregated by Veterans 
                Integrated Service Network.
                    (F) Savings by the Department, if any, including 
                travel costs, of furnishing health care 


              

                through the use of telemedicine during such period.

            Passed the House of Representatives November 7, 2017.

            Attest:

                                                 KAREN L. HAAS,

                                                                 Clerk.

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