Text: S.2372 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 115-182 (06/06/2018)

 
[115th Congress Public Law 182]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



[[Page 132 STAT. 1393]]

Public Law 115-182
115th Congress

                                 An Act


 
    To establish a permanent community care program for veterans, to 
    establish a commission for the purpose of making recommendations 
regarding the modernization or realignment of facilities of the Veterans 
  Health Administration, to improve construction of the Department of 
Veterans Affairs, to make certain improvements in the laws administered 
 by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs relating to the home loan program 
          of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other 
             purposes. <<NOTE: June 6, 2018 -  [S. 2372]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: John S. McCain 
III, Daniel K. Akaka, and Samuel R. Johnson VA Maintaining Internal 
Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018.>> 
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.-- <<NOTE: 38 USC 101 note.>> This Act may be cited 
as the ``John S. McCain III, Daniel K. Akaka, and Samuel R. Johnson VA 
Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside 
Networks Act of 2018'' or the ``VA MISSION Act of 2018''.

    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

                    TITLE I--CARING FOR OUR VETERANS

Sec. 100. Short title; references to title 38, United States Code.

      Subtitle A--Developing an Integrated High-Performing Network

             Chapter 1--Establishing Community Care Programs

Sec. 101. Establishment of Veterans Community Care Program.
Sec. 102. Authorization of agreements between Department of Veterans 
           Affairs and non-Department providers.
Sec. 103. Conforming amendments for State veterans homes.
Sec. 104. Access standards and standards for quality.
Sec. 105. Access to walk-in care.
Sec. 106. Strategy regarding the Department of Veterans Affairs High-
           Performing Integrated Health Care Network.
Sec. 107. Applicability of Directive of Office of Federal Contract 
           Compliance Programs.
Sec. 108. Prevention of certain health care providers from providing 
           non-Department health care services to veterans.
Sec. 109. Remediation of medical service lines.

          Chapter 2--Paying Providers and Improving Collections

Sec. 111. Prompt payment to providers.
Sec. 112. Authority to pay for authorized care not subject to an 
           agreement.
Sec. 113. Improvement of authority to recover the cost of services 
           furnished for non-service-connected disabilities.
Sec. 114. Processing of claims for reimbursement through electronic 
           interface.

               Chapter 3--Education and Training Programs

Sec. 121. Education program on health care options.
Sec. 122. Training program for administration of non-Department of 
           Veterans Affairs health care.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1394]]

Sec. 123. Continuing medical education for non-Department medical 
           professionals.

Chapter 4--Other Matters Relating to Non-Department of Veterans Affairs 
                                Providers

Sec. 131. Establishment of processes to ensure safe opioid prescribing 
           practices by non-Department of Veterans Affairs health care 
           providers.
Sec. 132. Improving information sharing with community providers.
Sec. 133. Competency standards for non-Department of Veterans Affairs 
           health care providers.
Sec. 134. Department of Veterans Affairs participation in national 
           network of State-based prescription drug monitoring programs.

           Chapter 5--Other Non-Department Health Care Matters

Sec. 141. Plans for Use of Supplemental Appropriations Required.
Sec. 142. Veterans Choice Fund flexibility.
Sec. 143. Sunset of Veterans Choice Program.
Sec. 144. Conforming amendments.

    Subtitle B--Improving Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care 
                                Delivery

Sec. 151. Licensure of health care professionals of the Department of 
           Veterans Affairs providing treatment via telemedicine.
Sec. 152. Authority for Department of Veterans Affairs Center for 
           Innovation for Care and Payment.
Sec. 153. Authorization to provide for operations on live donors for 
           purposes of conducting transplant procedures for veterans.

                      Subtitle C--Family Caregivers

Sec. 161. Expansion of family caregiver program of Department of 
           Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 162. Implementation of information technology system of Department 
           of Veterans Affairs to assess and improve the family 
           caregiver program.
Sec. 163. Modifications to annual evaluation report on caregiver program 
           of Department of Veterans Affairs.

              TITLE II--VA ASSET AND INFRASTRUCTURE REVIEW

               Subtitle A--Asset and Infrastructure Review

Sec. 201. Short title.
Sec. 202. The Commission.
Sec. 203. Procedure for making recommendations.
Sec. 204. Actions regarding infrastructure and facilities of the 
           Veterans Health Administration.
Sec. 205. Implementation.
Sec. 206. Department of Veterans Affairs Asset and Infrastructure Review 
           Account.
Sec. 207. Congressional consideration of Commission report.
Sec. 208. Other matters.
Sec. 209. Definitions.

                Subtitle B--Other Infrastructure Matters

Sec. 211. Improvement to training of construction personnel.
Sec. 212. Review of enhanced use leases.
Sec. 213. Assessment of health care furnished by the Department to 
           veterans who live in the Pacific territories.

   TITLE III--IMPROVEMENTS TO RECRUITMENT OF HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS

Sec. 301. Designated scholarships for physicians and dentists under 
           Department of Veterans Affairs Health Professional 
           Scholarship Program.
Sec. 302. Increase in maximum amount of debt that may be reduced under 
           Education Debt Reduction Program of Department of Veterans 
           Affairs.
Sec. 303. Establishing the Department of Veterans Affairs Specialty 
           Education Loan Repayment Program.
Sec. 304. Veterans healing veterans medical access and scholarship 
           program.
Sec. 305. Bonuses for recruitment, relocation, and retention.
Sec. 306. Inclusion of Vet Center employees in Education Debt Reduction 
           Program of Department of Veterans Affairs.

               TITLE IV--HEALTH CARE IN UNDERSERVED AREAS

Sec. 401. Development of criteria for designation of certain medical 
           facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs as 
           underserved facilities and plan to address problem of 
           underserved facilities.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1395]]

Sec. 402. Pilot program to furnish mobile deployment teams to 
           underserved facilities.
Sec. 403. Pilot program on graduate medical education and residency.

                         TITLE V--OTHER MATTERS

Sec. 501. Annual report on performance awards and bonuses awarded to 
           certain high-level employees of the department.
Sec. 502. Role of podiatrists in Department of Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 503. Definition of major medical facility project.
Sec. 504. Authorization of certain major medical facility projects of 
           the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 505. Department of Veterans Affairs personnel transparency.
Sec. 506. Program on establishment of peer specialists in patient 
           aligned care team settings within medical centers of 
           Department of Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 507. Department of Veterans Affairs medical scribe pilot program.
Sec. 508. Extension of requirement to collect fees for housing loans 
           guaranteed by Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 509. Extension of reduction in amount of pension furnished by 
           Department of Veterans Affairs for certain veterans covered 
           by Medicaid plans for services furnished by nursing 
           facilities.
Sec. 510. Appropriation of amounts.
Sec. 511. Technical correction.
Sec. 512. Budgetary effects.

TITLE I-- <<NOTE: Caring for Our Veterans Act of 2018.>> CARING FOR OUR 
VETERANS
SEC. 100. SHORT TITLE; REFERENCES TO TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE.

    (a) Short Title. <<NOTE: 38 USC 101 note.>> --This title may be 
cited as the ``Caring for Our Veterans Act of 2018''.

    (b) References to Title 38, United States Code.--Except as otherwise 
expressly provided, whenever in this title an amendment or repeal is 
expressed in terms of an amendment to, or repeal of, a section or other 
provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or 
other provision of title 38, United States Code.

      Subtitle A--Developing an Integrated High-Performing Network

             CHAPTER 1--ESTABLISHING COMMUNITY CARE PROGRAMS

SEC. 101. ESTABLISHMENT OF VETERANS COMMUNITY CARE PROGRAM.

    (a) Establishment of Program.--
            (1) In general.--Section 1703 is amended to read as follows:
``Sec. 1703. Veterans Community Care Program

    ``(a) In General.--(1) There is established a program to furnish 
hospital care, medical services, and extended care services to covered 
veterans through health care providers specified in subsection (c).
    ``(2) <<NOTE: Coordination.>>  The Secretary shall coordinate the 
furnishing of hospital care, medical services, and extended care 
services under this section to covered veterans, including coordination 
of, at a minimum, the following:

[[Page 132 STAT. 1396]]

            ``(A) Ensuring the scheduling of medical appointments in a 
        timely manner and the establishment of a mechanism to receive 
        medical records from non-Department providers.
            ``(B) Ensuring continuity of care and services.
            ``(C) Ensuring coordination among regional networks if the 
        covered veteran accesses care and services in a different 
        network than the regional network in which the covered veteran 
        resides.
            ``(D) Ensuring that covered veterans do not experience a 
        lapse in care resulting from errors or delays by the Department 
        or its contractors or an unusual or excessive burden in 
        accessing hospital care, medical services, or extended care 
        services.

    ``(3) A covered veteran may only receive care or services under this 
section upon the authorization of such care or services by the 
Secretary.
    ``(b) Covered Veterans.--For purposes of this section, a covered 
veteran is any veteran who--
            ``(1) is enrolled in the system of annual patient enrollment 
        established and operated under section 1705 of this title; or
            ``(2) is not enrolled in such system but is otherwise 
        entitled to hospital care, medical services, or extended care 
        services under subsection (c)(2) of such section.

    ``(c) Health Care Providers Specified.--Health care providers 
specified in this subsection are the following:
            ``(1) Any health care provider that is participating in the 
        Medicare program under title XVIII of the Social Security Act 
        (42 U.S.C. 1395 et seq.), including any physician furnishing 
        services under such a program.
            ``(2) The Department of Defense.
            ``(3) The Indian Health Service.
            ``(4) Any Federally-qualified health center (as defined in 
        section 1905(l)(2)(B) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 
        1396d(l)(2)(B))).
            ``(5) <<NOTE: Criteria.>>  Any health care provider not 
        otherwise covered under any of paragraphs (1) through (4) that 
        meets criteria established by the Secretary for purposes of this 
        section.

    ``(d) Conditions Under Which Care Is Required To Be Furnished 
Through Non-Department Providers.--(1) The Secretary shall, subject to 
the availability of appropriations, furnish hospital care, medical 
services, and extended care services to a covered veteran through health 
care providers specified in subsection (c) if--
            ``(A) the Department does not offer the care or services the 
        veteran requires;
            ``(B) the Department does not operate a full-service medical 
        facility in the State in which the covered veteran resides;
            ``(C)(i) the covered veteran was an eligible veteran under 
        section 101(b)(2)(B) of the Veterans Access, Choice, and 
        Accountability Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-146; 38 U.S.C. 1701 
        note) as of the day before the date of the enactment of the 
        Caring for Our Veterans Act of 2018;
            ``(ii) continues to reside in a location that would qualify 
        the veteran for eligibility under such section; and
            ``(iii) either--
                    ``(I) resides in one of the five States with the 
                lowest population density as determined by data from the 
                2010 decennial census; or

[[Page 132 STAT. 1397]]

                    ``(II) resides in a State not described in subclause 
                (I) and--
                          ``(aa) received care or services under this 
                      title in the year preceding the enactment of the 
                      Caring for Our Veterans Act of 2018; and
                          ``(bb) is seeking care or services within 2 
                      years of the date of the enactment of the Caring 
                      for Our Veterans Act of 2018;
            ``(D) the covered veteran has contacted the Department to 
        request care or services and the Department is not able to 
        furnish such care or services in a manner that complies with 
        designated access standards developed by the Secretary under 
        section 1703B of this title; or
            ``(E) <<NOTE: Criteria.>>  the covered veteran and the 
        covered veteran's referring clinician agree that furnishing care 
        and services through a non-Department entity or provider would 
        be in the best medical interest of the covered veteran based 
        upon criteria developed by the Secretary.

    ``(2) The Secretary shall ensure that the criteria developed under 
paragraph (1)(E) include consideration of the following:
            ``(A) The distance between the covered veteran and the 
        facility that provides the hospital care, medical services, or 
        extended care services the veteran needs.
            ``(B) The nature of the hospital care, medical services, or 
        extended care services required.
            ``(C) The frequency that the hospital care, medical 
        services, or extended care services needs to be furnished.
            ``(D) The timeliness of available appointments for the 
        hospital care, medical services, or extended care services the 
        veteran needs.
            ``(E) Whether the covered veteran faces an unusual or 
        excessive burden to access hospital care, medical services, or 
        extended care services from the Department medical facility 
        where a covered veteran seeks hospital care, medical services, 
        or extended care services, which shall include consideration of 
        the following:
                    ``(i) Whether the covered veteran faces an excessive 
                driving distance, geographical challenge, or 
                environmental factor that impedes the access of the 
                covered veteran.
                    ``(ii) Whether the hospital care, medical services, 
                or extended care services sought by the veteran is 
                provided by a medical facility of the Department that is 
                reasonably accessible to a covered veteran.
                    ``(iii) Whether a medical condition of the covered 
                veteran affects the ability of the covered veteran to 
                travel.
                    ``(iv) Whether there is compelling reason, as 
                determined by the Secretary, that the veteran needs to 
                receive hospital care, medical services, or extended 
                care services from a medical facility other than a 
                medical facility of the Department.
                    ``(v) Such other considerations as the Secretary 
                considers appropriate.

    ``(3) If the Secretary has determined that the Department does not 
offer the care or services the covered veteran requires under 
subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1), that the Department does not operate 
a full-service medical facility in the State in which the covered 
veteran resides under subparagraph (B) of such paragraph,

[[Page 132 STAT. 1398]]

that the covered veteran is described under subparagraph (C) of such 
paragraph, or that the Department is not able to furnish care or 
services in a manner that complies with designated access standards 
developed by the Secretary under section 1703B of this title under 
subparagraph (D) of such paragraph, the decision to receive hospital 
care, medical services, or extended care services under such 
subparagraphs from a health care provider specified in subsection (c) 
shall be at the election of the veteran.
    ``(e) Conditions Under Which Care Is Authorized To Be Furnished 
Through Non-Department Providers.--(1)(A) The Secretary may furnish 
hospital care, medical services, or extended care services through a 
health care provider specified in subsection (c) to a covered veteran 
served by a medical service line of the Department that the Secretary 
has determined is not providing care that complies with the standards 
for quality the Secretary shall establish under section 1703C.
    ``(B) In carrying out subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall--
            ``(i) measure timeliness of the medical service line at a 
        facility of the Department when compared with the same medical 
        service line at different Department facilities; and
            ``(ii) measure quality at a medical service line of a 
        facility of the Department by comparing it with two or more 
        distinct and appropriate quality measures at non-Department 
        medical service lines.

    ``(C)(i) The Secretary may not concurrently furnish hospital care, 
medical services, or extended care services under subparagraph (A) with 
respect to more than three medical service lines described in such 
subparagraph at any one health care facility of the Department.
    ``(ii) The Secretary may not concurrently furnish hospital care, 
medical services, or extended care services under subparagraph (A) with 
respect to more than 36 medical service lines nationally described in 
such subparagraph.
    ``(2) The Secretary may limit the types of hospital care, medical 
services, or extended care services covered veterans may receive under 
paragraph (1) in terms of the length of time such care and services will 
be available, the location at which such care and services will be 
available, and the clinical care and services that will be available.
    ``(3)(A) Except as provided for in subparagraph (B), the hospital 
care, medical services, and extended care services authorized under 
paragraph (1) with respect to a medical service line shall cease when 
the remediation described in section 1706A with respect to such medical 
service line is complete.
    ``(B) <<NOTE: Coordination.>>  The Secretary shall ensure continuity 
and coordination of care for any veteran who elects to receive care or 
services under paragraph (1) from a health care provider specified in 
subsection (c) through the completion of an episode of care.

    ``(4) <<NOTE: Federal Register, publication. Notice. Time 
period. Regulations.>>  The Secretary shall publish in the Federal 
Register, and shall take all reasonable steps to provide direct notice 
to covered veterans affected under this subsection, at least once each 
year stating the time period during which such care and services will be 
available, the location or locations where such care and services will 
be available, and the clinical services available at each location under 
this subsection in accordance with regulations the Secretary shall 
prescribe.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1399]]

    ``(5) When the Secretary exercises the authority under paragraph 
(1), the decision to receive care or services under such paragraph from 
a health care provider specified in subsection (c) shall be at the 
election of the covered veteran.
    ``(f) Review of Decisions.--The review of any decision under 
subsection (d) or (e) shall be subject to the Department's clinical 
appeals process, and such decisions may not be appealed to the Board of 
Veterans' Appeals.
    ``(g) <<NOTE: Criteria.>>  Tiered Network.--(1) To promote the 
provision of high-quality and high-value hospital care, medical 
services, and extended care services under this section, the Secretary 
may develop a tiered provider network of eligible providers based on 
criteria established by the Secretary for purposes of this section.

    ``(2) In developing a tiered provider network of eligible providers 
under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall not prioritize providers in a 
tier over providers in any other tier in a manner that limits the choice 
of a covered veteran in selecting a health care provider specified in 
subsection (c) for receipt of hospital care, medical services, or 
extended care services under this section.
    ``(h) Contracts To Establish Networks of Health Care Providers.--(1) 
The Secretary shall enter into consolidated, competitively bid contracts 
to establish networks of health care providers specified in paragraphs 
(1) and (5) of subsection (c) for purposes of providing sufficient 
access to hospital care, medical services, or extended care services 
under this section.
    ``(2)(A) The Secretary shall, to the extent practicable, ensure that 
covered veterans are able to make their own appointments using advanced 
technology.
    ``(B) To the extent practicable, the Secretary shall be responsible 
for the scheduling of appointments for hospital care, medical services, 
and extended care services under this section.
    ``(3)(A) <<NOTE: Notification.>>  The Secretary may terminate a 
contract with an entity entered into under paragraph (1) at such time 
and upon such notice to the entity as the Secretary may specify for 
purposes of this section, if the Secretary notifies the appropriate 
committees of Congress that, at a minimum--
            ``(i) the entity--
                    ``(I) failed to comply substantially with the 
                provisions of the contract or with the provisions of 
                this section and the regulations prescribed under this 
                section;
                    ``(II) failed to comply with the access standards or 
                the standards for quality established by the Secretary;
                    ``(III) is excluded from participation in a Federal 
                health care program (as defined in section 1128B(f) of 
                the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320a-7b(f))) under 
                section 1128 or 1128A of the Social Security Act (42 
                U.S.C. 1320a-7 and 1320a-7a);
                    ``(IV) is identified as an excluded source on the 
                list maintained in the System for Award Management, or 
                any successor system; or
                    ``(V) has been convicted of a felony or other 
                serious offense under Federal or State law and the 
                continued participation of the entity would be 
                detrimental to the best interests of veterans or the 
                Department;
            ``(ii) it is reasonable to terminate the contract based on 
        the health care needs of veterans; or

[[Page 132 STAT. 1400]]

            ``(iii) it is reasonable to terminate the contract based on 
        coverage provided by contracts or sharing agreements entered 
        into under authorities other than this section.

    ``(B) Nothing in subparagraph (A) may be construed to restrict the 
authority of the Secretary to terminate a contract entered into under 
paragraph (1) under any other provision of law.
    ``(4) <<NOTE: Reports.>>  Whenever the Secretary provides notice to 
an entity that the entity is failing to meet contractual obligations 
entered into under paragraph (1), 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 such 
failure. Such report shall include the following:
            ``(A) An explanation of the reasons for providing such 
        notice.
            ``(B) A description of the effect of such failure, including 
        with respect to cost, schedule, and requirements.
            ``(C) A description of the actions taken by the Secretary to 
        mitigate such failure.
            ``(D) A description of the actions taken by the contractor 
        to address such failure.
            ``(E) A description of any effect on the community provider 
        market for veterans in the affected area.

    ``(5)(A) <<NOTE: Effective date.>>  The Secretary shall instruct 
each entity awarded a contract under paragraph (1) to recognize and 
accept, on an interim basis, the credentials and qualifications of 
health care providers who are authorized to furnish hospital care and 
medical services to veterans under a community care program of the 
Department in effect as of the day before the date of the enactment of 
the Caring for Our Veterans Act of 2018, including under the Patient-
Centered Community Care Program and the Veterans Choice Program under 
section 101 of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 
2014 (Public Law 113-146; 38 U.S.C. 1701 note), as qualified providers 
under the program established under this section.

    ``(B) <<NOTE: Determination. Criteria.>>  The interim acceptance 
period under subparagraph (A) shall be determined by the Secretary based 
on the following criteria:
            ``(i) With respect to a health care provider, when the 
        current certification agreement for the health care provider 
        expires.
            ``(ii) Whether the Department has enacted certification and 
        eligibility criteria and regulatory procedures by which non-
        Department providers will be authorized under this section.

    ``(6) The Secretary shall establish a system or systems for 
monitoring the quality of care provided to covered veterans through a 
network under this subsection and for assessing the quality of hospital 
care, medical services, and extended care services furnished through 
such network before the renewal of the contract for such network.
    ``(i) Payment Rates for Care and Services.--(1) Except as provided 
in paragraph (2), and to the extent practicable, the rate paid for 
hospital care, medical services, or extended care services under any 
provision in this title may not exceed the rate paid by the United 
States to a provider of services (as defined in section 1861(u) of the 
Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395x(u))) or a supplier (as defined in 
section 1861(d) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1395x(d))) under the Medicare 
program under title XI or title XVIII of the Social Security Act (42 
U.S.C. 1301 et seq.), including section 1834 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 
1395m), for the same care or services.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1401]]

    ``(2)(A) A higher rate than the rate paid by the United States as 
described in paragraph (1) may be negotiated with respect to the 
furnishing of care or services to a covered veteran who resides in a 
highly rural area.
    ``(B) <<NOTE: Definition.>>  In this paragraph, the term `highly 
rural area' means an area located in a county that has fewer than seven 
individuals residing in that county per square mile.

    ``(3) <<NOTE: Alaska.>>  With respect to furnishing care or services 
under this section in Alaska, the Alaska Fee Schedule of the Department 
of Veterans Affairs shall be followed, except for when another payment 
agreement, including a contract or provider agreement, is in effect.

    ``(4) With respect to furnishing hospital care, medical services, or 
extended care services under this section in a State with an All-Payer 
Model Agreement under section 1814(b)(3) of the Social Security Act (42 
U.S.C. 1395f(b)(3)) that became effective on or after January 1, 2014, 
the Medicare payment rates under paragraph (2)(A) shall be calculated 
based on the payment rates under such agreement.
    ``(5) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the Secretary may incorporate, 
to the extent practicable, the use of value-based reimbursement models 
to promote the provision of high-quality care.
    ``(6) With respect to hospital care, medical services, or extended 
care services for which there is not a rate paid under the Medicare 
program as described in paragraph (1), the rate paid for such care or 
services shall be determined by the Secretary.
    ``(j) Treatment of Other Health Plan Contracts.--In any case in 
which a covered veteran is furnished hospital care, medical services, or 
extended care services under this section for a non-service-connected 
disability described in subsection (a)(2) of section 1729 of this title, 
the Secretary shall recover or collect reasonable charges for such care 
or services from a health plan contract described in section 1729 in 
accordance with such section.
    ``(k) Payment by Veteran.--A covered veteran shall not pay a greater 
amount for receiving care or services under this section than the amount 
the veteran would pay for receiving the same or comparable care or 
services at a medical facility of the Department or from a health care 
provider of the Department.
    ``(l) Transplant Authority for Improved Access.--(1) In the case of 
a covered veteran described in paragraph (2), the Secretary shall 
determine whether to authorize an organ or bone marrow transplant for 
that covered veteran at a non-Department facility.
    ``(2) A covered veteran described in this paragraph--
            ``(A) requires an organ or bone marrow transplant; and
            ``(B) has, in the opinion of the primary care provider of 
        the veteran, a medically compelling reason to travel outside the 
        region of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, 
        established under section 372 of the National Organ 
        Transplantation Act (Public Law 98-507; 42 U.S.C. 274), in which 
        the veteran resides, to receive such transplant.

    ``(m) <<NOTE: Deadlines. Review.>>  Monitoring of Care Provided.--
(1)(A) Not later than 540 days after the date of the enactment of the 
Caring for Our Veterans Act of 2018, and not less frequently than 
annually thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to appropriate 
committees of Congress a review of the types and frequency of care 
sought under subsection (d).

[[Page 132 STAT. 1402]]

    ``(B) <<NOTE: Assessment.>>  The review submitted under subparagraph 
(A) shall include an assessment of the following:
            ``(i) The top 25 percent of types of care and services most 
        frequently provided under subsection (d) due to the Department 
        not offering such care and services.
            ``(ii) The frequency such care and services were sought by 
        covered veterans under this section.
            ``(iii) <<NOTE: Analysis.>>  An analysis of the reasons the 
        Department was unable to provide such care and services.
            ``(iv) Any steps the Department took to provide such care 
        and services at a medical facility of the Department.
            ``(v) The cost of such care and services.

    ``(2) <<NOTE: Assessments.>>  In monitoring the hospital care, 
medical services, and extended care services furnished under this 
section, the Secretary shall do the following:
            ``(A) With respect to hospital care, medical services, and 
        extended care services furnished through provider networks 
        established under subsection (i)--
                    ``(i) <<NOTE: Data.>>  compile data on the types of 
                hospital care, medical services, and extended care 
                services furnished through such networks and how many 
                patients used each type of care and service;
                    ``(ii) identify gaps in hospital care, medical 
                services, or extended care services furnished through 
                such networks;
                    ``(iii) identify how such gaps may be fixed through 
                new contracts within such networks or changes in the 
                manner in which hospital care, medical services, or 
                extended care services are furnished through such 
                networks;
                    ``(iv) assess the total amounts spent by the 
                Department on hospital care, medical services, and 
                extended care services furnished through such networks;
                    ``(v) assess the timeliness of the Department in 
                referring hospital care, medical services, and extended 
                care services to such networks; and
                    ``(vi) assess the timeliness of such networks in--
                          ``(I) accepting referrals; and
                          ``(II) scheduling and completing appointments.
            ``(B) <<NOTE: Reports.>>  Report the number of medical 
        service lines the Secretary has determined under subsection 
        (e)(1) not to be providing hospital care, medical services, or 
        extended care services that comply with the standards for 
        quality established by the Secretary.
            ``(C) Assess the use of academic affiliates and centers of 
        excellence of the Department to furnish hospital care, medical 
        services, and extended care services to covered veterans under 
        this section.
            ``(D) Assess the hospital care, medical services, and 
        extended care services furnished to covered veterans under this 
        section by medical facilities operated by Federal agencies other 
        than the Department.

    ``(3) <<NOTE: Reports.>>  Not later than 540 days after the date of 
the enactment of the Caring for Our Veterans Act of 2018 and not less 
frequently than once each year thereafter, 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 
information gathered under paragraph (2).

[[Page 132 STAT. 1403]]

    ``(n) Prohibition on Certain Limitations.--(1) The Secretary shall 
not limit the types of hospital care, medical services, or extended care 
services covered veterans may receive under this section if it is in the 
best medical interest of the veteran to receive such hospital care, 
medical services, or extended care services, as determined by the 
veteran and the veteran's health care provider.
    ``(2) No provision in this section may be construed to alter or 
modify any other provision of law establishing specific eligibility 
criteria for certain hospital care, medical services, or extended care 
services.
    ``(o) Definitions.--In this section:
            ``(1) The term `appropriate committees of Congress' means--
                    ``(A) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the 
                Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and
                    ``(B) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the 
                Committee on Appropriations of the House of 
                Representatives.
            ``(2) The term `medical service line' means a clinic within 
        a Department medical center.''.
            (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of chapter 17 <<NOTE: 38 USC 1701 prec.>>  is amended 
        by striking the item relating to section 1703 and inserting the 
        following new item:

``1703. Veterans Community Care Program.''.

    (b) <<NOTE: 38 USC 1703 note.>>  Effective Date.--Section 1703 of 
title 38, United States Code, as amended by subsection (a), shall take 
effect on the later of--
            (1) the date that is 30 days after the date on which the 
        Secretary of Veterans Affairs submits the report required under 
        section 101(q)(2) of the Veterans Access, Choice, and 
        Accountability Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-146; 38 U.S.C. 1701 
        note); or
            (2) the date on which the Secretary promulgates regulations 
        pursuant to subsection (c).

    (c) Regulations.--
            (1) In general.-- <<NOTE: Deadline.>> Not later than 1 year 
        after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of 
        Veterans Affairs shall promulgate regulations to carry out 
        section 1703 of title 38, United States Code, as amended by 
        subsection (a) of this section.
            (2) Updates.--
                    (A) Periodic.--Before promulgating the regulations 
                required under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall 
                provide to the appropriate committees of Congress 
                periodic updates to confirm the progress of the 
                Secretary toward developing such regulations.
                    (B) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  First update.--The first 
                update under subparagraph (A) shall occur no later than 
                120 days from the date of the enactment of this Act.
                    (C) Appropriate committees of congress defined.--In 
                this paragraph, the term ``appropriate committees of 
                Congress'' means--
                          (i) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the 
                      Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and
                          (ii) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and 
                      the Committee on Appropriations of the House of 
                      Representatives.

    (d) Continuity of Existing Agreements.--

[[Page 132 STAT. 1404]]

            (1) In general.--Notwithstanding section 1703 of title 38, 
        United States Code, as amended by subsection (a), the Secretary 
        of Veterans Affairs shall continue all contracts, memorandums of 
        understanding, memorandums of agreements, and other arrangements 
        that were in effect on the day before the date of the enactment 
        of this Act between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the 
        American Indian and Alaska Native health care systems as 
        established under the terms of the Department of Veterans 
        Affairs and Indian Health Service Memorandum of Understanding, 
        signed October 1, 2010, the National Reimbursement Agreement, 
        signed December 5, 2012, arrangements under section 405 of the 
        Indian Health Care Improvement Act (25 U.S.C. 1645), and 
        agreements entered into under sections 102 and 103 of the 
        Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (Public 
        Law 113-146).
            (2) Modifications.--Paragraph (1) shall not be construed to 
        prohibit the Secretary and the parties to the contracts, 
        memorandums of understanding, memorandums of agreements, and 
        other arrangements described in such paragraph from making such 
        changes to such contracts, memorandums of understanding, 
        memorandums of agreements, and other arrangements as may be 
        otherwise authorized pursuant to other provisions of law or the 
        terms of the contracts, memorandums of understanding, 
        memorandums of agreements, and other arrangements.
SEC. 102. AUTHORIZATION OF AGREEMENTS BETWEEN DEPARTMENT OF 
                        VETERANS AFFAIRS AND NON-DEPARTMENT 
                        PROVIDERS.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter I of chapter 17 is amended by inserting 
after section 1703 the following new section:
``Sec. 1703A. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1703A.>>  Agreements with eligible 
                    entities or providers; certification processes

    ``(a) Agreements Authorized.--(1)(A) When hospital care, a medical 
service, or an extended care service required by a veteran who is 
entitled to such care or service under this chapter is not feasibly 
available to the veteran from a facility of the Department or through a 
contract or sharing agreement entered into pursuant to another provision 
of law, the Secretary may furnish such care or service to such veteran 
through an agreement under this section with an eligible entity or 
provider to provide such hospital care, medical service, or extended 
care service.
    ``(B) An agreement entered into under this section to provide 
hospital care, a medical service, or an extended care service shall be 
known as a `Veterans Care Agreement'.
    ``(C) For purposes of subparagraph (A), hospital care, a medical 
service, or an extended care service may be considered not feasibly 
available to a veteran from a facility of the Department or through a 
contract or sharing agreement described in such subparagraph when the 
Secretary determines the veteran's medical condition, the travel 
involved, the nature of the care or services required, or a combination 
of these factors make the use of a facility of the Department or a 
contract or sharing agreement described in such subparagraph 
impracticable or inadvisable.
    ``(D) A Veterans Care Agreement may be entered into by the Secretary 
or any Department official authorized by the Secretary.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1405]]

    ``(2)(A) <<NOTE: Reviews. Determination.>>  Subject to subparagraph 
(B), the Secretary shall review each Veterans Care Agreement of material 
size, as determined by the Secretary or set forth in paragraph (3), for 
hospital care, a medical service, or an extended care service to 
determine whether it is feasible and advisable to provide such care or 
service within a facility of the Department or by contract or sharing 
agreement entered into pursuant to another provision of law and, if so, 
take action to do so.

    ``(B)(i) <<NOTE: Time periods.>>  The Secretary shall review each 
Veterans Care Agreement of material size that has been in effect for at 
least 6 months within the first 2 years of its taking effect, and not 
less frequently than once every 4 years thereafter.

    ``(ii) If a Veterans Care Agreement has not been in effect for at 
least 6 months by the date of the review required by subparagraph (A), 
the agreement shall be reviewed during the next cycle required by 
subparagraph (A), and such review shall serve as its review within the 
first 2 years of its taking effect for purposes of clause (i).
    ``(3)(A) <<NOTE: Time periods.>>  In fiscal year 2019 and in each 
fiscal year thereafter, in addition to such other Veterans Care 
Agreements as the Secretary may determine are of material size, a 
Veterans Care Agreement for the purchase of extended care services that 
exceeds $5,000,000 annually shall be considered of material size.

    ``(B) From time to time, the Secretary may publish a notice in the 
Federal Register to adjust the dollar amount specified in subparagraph 
(A) to account for changes in the cost of health care based upon 
recognized health care market surveys and other available data.
    ``(b) Eligible Entities and Providers.--For purposes of this 
section, an eligible entity or provider is--
            ``(1) any provider of services that has enrolled and entered 
        into a provider agreement under section 1866(a) of the Social 
        Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395cc(a)) and any physician or other 
        supplier who has enrolled and entered into a participation 
        agreement under section 1842(h) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 
        1395u(h));
            ``(2) any provider participating under a State plan under 
        title XIX of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.);
            ``(3) an Aging and Disability Resource Center, an area 
        agency on aging, or a State agency (as defined in section 102 of 
        the Older Americans Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3002));
            ``(4) a center for independent living (as defined in section 
        702 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 796a)); or
            ``(5) any entity or provider not described in paragraph (1) 
        or (2) of this subsection that the Secretary determines to be 
        eligible pursuant to the certification process described in 
        subsection (c).

    ``(c) <<NOTE: Regulations.>>  Eligible Entity or Provider 
Certification Process.--The Secretary shall establish by regulation a 
process for the certification of eligible entities or providers or 
recertification of eligible entities or providers under this section. 
Such a process shall, at a minimum--
            ``(1) establish deadlines for actions on applications for 
        certification;
            ``(2) set forth standards for an approval or denial of 
        certification, duration of certification, revocation of an 
        eligible entity

[[Page 132 STAT. 1406]]

        or provider's certification, and recertification of eligible 
        entities or providers;
            ``(3) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  require the denial of 
        certification if the Secretary determines the eligible entity or 
        provider is excluded from participation in a Federal health care 
        program under section 1128 or section 1128A of the Social 
        Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320a-7 or 1320a-7a) or is currently 
        identified as an excluded source on the System for Award 
        Management Exclusions list described in part 9 of title 48, Code 
        of Federal Regulations, and part 180 of title 2 of such Code, or 
        successor regulations;
            ``(4) <<NOTE: Procedures.>>  establish procedures for 
        screening eligible entities or providers according to the risk 
        of fraud, waste, and abuse that are similar to the standards 
        under section 1866(j)(2)(B) of the Social Security Act (42 
        U.S.C. 1395cc(j)(2)(B)) and section 9.104 of title 48, Code of 
        Federal Regulations, or successor regulations; and
            ``(5) incorporate and apply the restrictions and penalties 
        set forth in chapter 21 of title 41 and treat this section as a 
        procurement program only for purposes of applying such 
        provisions.

    ``(d) Rates.--To the extent practicable, the rates paid by the 
Secretary for hospital care, medical services, and extended care 
services provided under a Veterans Care Agreement shall be in accordance 
with the rates paid by the United States under section 1703(i) of this 
title.
    ``(e) Terms of Veterans Care Agreements.--(1) Pursuant to 
regulations promulgated under subsection (k), the Secretary may define 
the requirements for providers and entities entering into agreements 
under this section based upon such factors as the number of patients 
receiving care or services, the number of employees employed by the 
entity or provider furnishing such care or services, the amount paid by 
the Secretary to the provider or entity, or other factors as determined 
by the Secretary.
    ``(2) To furnish hospital care, medical services, or extended care 
services under this section, an eligible entity or provider shall 
agree--
            ``(A) to accept payment at the rates established in 
        regulations prescribed under this section;
            ``(B) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  that payment by the Secretary 
        under this section on behalf of a veteran to a provider of 
        services or care shall, unless rejected and refunded by the 
        provider within 30 days of receipt, constitute payment in full 
        and extinguish any liability on the part of the veteran for the 
        treatment or care provided, and no provision of a contract, 
        agreement, or assignment to the contrary shall operate to 
        modify, limit, or negate this requirement;
            ``(C) to provide only the care and services authorized by 
        the Department under this section and to obtain the prior 
        written consent of the Department to furnish care or services 
        outside the scope of such authorization;
            ``(D) to bill the Department in accordance with the 
        methodology outlined in regulations prescribed under this 
        section;
            ``(E) to not seek to recover or collect from a health plan 
        contract or third party, as those terms are defined in section 
        1729 of this title, for any care or service that is furnished or 
        paid for by the Department;

[[Page 132 STAT. 1407]]

            ``(F) to provide medical records to the Department in the 
        time frame and format specified by the Department; and
            ``(G) to meet such other terms and conditions, including 
        quality of care assurance standards, as the Secretary may 
        specify in regulation.

    ``(f) <<NOTE: Notices.>> Discontinuation or Nonrenewal of a Veterans 
Care Agreement.--(1) An eligible entity or provider may discontinue a 
Veterans Care Agreement at such time and upon such notice to the 
Secretary as may be provided in regulations prescribed under this 
section.

    ``(2) <<NOTE: Determinations.>>  The Secretary may discontinue a 
Veterans Care Agreement with an eligible entity or provider at such time 
and upon such reasonable notice to the eligible entity or provider as 
may be specified in regulations prescribed under this section, if an 
official designated by the Secretary--
            ``(A) has determined that the eligible entity or provider 
        failed to comply substantially with the provisions of the 
        Veterans Care Agreement, or with the provisions of this section 
        or regulations prescribed under this section;
            ``(B) has determined the eligible entity or provider is 
        excluded from participation in a Federal health care program 
        under section 1128 or section 1128A of the Social Security Act 
        (42 U.S.C. 1320a-7 or 1320a-7a) or is identified on the System 
        for Award Management Exclusions list as provided in part 9 of 
        title 48, Code of Federal Regulations, and part 180 of title 2 
        of such Code, or successor regulations;
            ``(C) has ascertained that the eligible entity or provider 
        has been convicted of a felony or other serious offense under 
        Federal or State law and determines the eligible entity or 
        provider's continued participation would be detrimental to the 
        best interests of veterans or the Department; or
            ``(D) has determined that it is reasonable to terminate the 
        agreement based on the health care needs of a veteran.

    ``(g) <<NOTE: Assessments.>>  Quality of Care.--The Secretary shall 
establish a system or systems for monitoring the quality of care 
provided to veterans through Veterans Care Agreements and for assessing 
the quality of hospital care, medical services, and extended care 
services furnished by eligible entities and providers before the renewal 
of Veterans Care Agreements.

    ``(h) <<NOTE: Procedures.>>  Disputes.--(1) The Secretary shall 
promulgate administrative procedures for eligible entities and providers 
to present all disputes arising under or related to Veterans Care 
Agreements.

    ``(2) Such procedures constitute the eligible entities' and 
providers' exhaustive and exclusive administrative remedies.
    ``(3) Eligible entities or providers must first exhaust such 
administrative procedures before seeking any judicial review under 
section 1346 of title 28 (known as the `Tucker Act').
    ``(4) Disputes under this section must pertain to either the scope 
of authorization under the Veterans Care Agreement or claims for payment 
subject to the Veterans Care Agreement and are not claims for the 
purposes of such laws that would otherwise require application of 
sections 7101 through 7109 of title 41, United States Code.
    ``(i) Applicability of Other Provisions of Law.--(1) A Veterans Care 
Agreement may be authorized by the Secretary or any Department official 
authorized by the Secretary, and such action shall not be treated as--

[[Page 132 STAT. 1408]]

            ``(A) an award for the purposes of such laws that would 
        otherwise require the use of competitive procedures for the 
        furnishing of care and services; or
            ``(B) a Federal contract for the acquisition of goods or 
        services for purposes of any provision of Federal law governing 
        Federal contracts for the acquisition of goods or services 
        except section 4706(d) of title 41.

    ``(2)(A) Except as provided in the agreement itself, in subparagraph 
(B), and unless otherwise provided in this section or regulations 
prescribed pursuant to this section, an eligible entity or provider that 
enters into an agreement under this section is not subject to, in the 
carrying out of the agreement, any law to which providers of services 
and suppliers under the Medicare program under title XVIII of the Social 
Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395 et seq.) are not subject.
    ``(B) An eligible entity or provider that enters into an agreement 
under this section is subject to--
            ``(i) all laws regarding integrity, ethics, or fraud, or 
        that subject a person to civil or criminal penalties; and
            ``(ii) all laws that protect against employment 
        discrimination or that otherwise ensure equal employment 
        opportunities.

    ``(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2)(B)(i), an eligible entity or 
provider that enters into an agreement under this section shall not be 
treated as a Federal contractor or subcontractor for purposes of chapter 
67 of title 41 (commonly known as the `McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract 
Act of 1965').
    ``(j) Parity of Treatment.--Eligibility for hospital care, medical 
services, and extended care services furnished to any veteran pursuant 
to a Veterans Care Agreement shall be subject to the same terms as 
though provided in a facility of the Department, and provisions of this 
chapter applicable to veterans receiving such care and services in a 
facility of the Department shall apply to veterans treated under this 
section.
    ``(k) Rulemaking.--The Secretary shall promulgate regulations to 
carry out this section.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter <<NOTE: 38 USC 1701 prec.>>  is amended by inserting after 
the item relating to section 1703 the following new item:

``1703A. Agreements with eligible entities or providers; certification 
           processes.''.

SEC. 103. CONFORMING AMENDMENTS FOR STATE VETERANS HOMES.

    (a) In General.--Section 1745(a) is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``(or agreement under 
        section 1720(c)(1) of this title)'' and inserting ``(or an 
        agreement)''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    ``(4)(A) An agreement under this section may be authorized by the 
Secretary or any Department official authorized by the Secretary, and 
any such action is not an award for purposes of such laws that would 
otherwise require the use of competitive procedures for the furnishing 
of hospital care, medical services, and extended care services.
    ``(B)(i) Except as provided in the agreement itself, in clause (ii), 
and unless otherwise provided in this section or regulations prescribed 
pursuant to this section, a State home that enters into an agreement 
under this section is not subject to, in the carrying out of the 
agreement, any provision of law to which providers

[[Page 132 STAT. 1409]]

of services and suppliers under the Medicare program under title XVIII 
of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395 et seq.) are not subject.
    ``(ii) A State home that enters into an agreement under this section 
is subject to--
            ``(I) all provisions of law regarding integrity, ethics, or 
        fraud, or that subject a person to civil or criminal penalties;
            ``(II) all provisions of law that protect against employment 
        discrimination or that otherwise ensure equal employment 
        opportunities; and
            ``(III) all provisions in subchapter V of chapter 17 of this 
        title.

    ``(iii) Notwithstanding subparagraph (B)(ii)(I), a State home that 
enters into an agreement under this section may not be treated as a 
Federal contractor or subcontractor for purposes of chapter 67 of title 
41 (known as the `McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act of 1965').''.
    (b) <<NOTE: 38 USC 1745 note.>>  Effective Date.--The amendment made 
by subsection (a) shall apply to care provided on or after the effective 
date of regulations issued by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry 
out this section.
SEC. 104. ACCESS STANDARDS AND STANDARDS FOR QUALITY.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter I of chapter 17, as amended by section 
102, is further amended by inserting after section 1703A the following 
new sections:
``Sec. 1703B. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1703B.>>  Access standards

    ``(a)(1) The Secretary shall establish access standards for 
furnishing hospital care, medical services, or extended care services to 
covered veterans for the purposes of section 1703(d).
    ``(2) The Secretary shall ensure that the access standards 
established under paragraph (1) define such categories of care to cover 
all care and services within the medical benefits package of the 
Department of Veterans Affairs.
    ``(b) The Secretary shall ensure that the access standards provide 
covered veterans, employees of the Department, and health care providers 
in the network established under section 1703(h) with relevant 
comparative information that is clear, useful, and timely, so that 
covered veterans can make informed decisions regarding their health 
care.
    ``(c) <<NOTE: Consultation.>>  The Secretary shall consult with all 
pertinent Federal entities (including the Department of Defense, the 
Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Medicare & 
Medicaid Services), entities in the private sector, and other 
nongovernmental entities in establishing access standards.

    ``(d)(1) <<NOTE: Deadlines. Reports.>>  Not later than 270 days 
after the date of the enactment of the Caring for Our Veterans Act of 
2018, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of 
Congress a report detailing the access standards.

    ``(2)(A) Before submitting the report required under paragraph (1), 
the Secretary shall provide periodic updates to the appropriate 
committees of Congress to confirm the Department's progress towards 
developing the access standards required by this section.
    ``(B) The first update under subparagraph (A) shall occur no later 
than 120 days from the date of the enactment of the Caring for Our 
Veterans Act of 2018.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1410]]

    ``(3) Not later than 540 days after the date on which the Secretary 
implements the access standards established under subsection (a), the 
Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a 
report detailing the implementation of and compliance with such access 
standards by Department and non-Department entities or providers.
    ``(e) <<NOTE: Deadline. Time period.>>  Not later than 3 years after 
the date on which the Secretary establishes access standards under 
subsection (a) and not less frequently than once every 3 years 
thereafter, the Secretary shall--
            ``(1) <<NOTE: Review.>>  conduct a review of such standards; 
        and
            ``(2) <<NOTE: Reports.>>  submit to the appropriate 
        committees of Congress a report on the findings and any 
        modification to the access standards with respect to the review 
        conducted under paragraph (1).

    ``(f) <<NOTE: Compliance.>>  The Secretary shall ensure health care 
providers specified under section 1703(c) are able to comply with the 
applicable access standards established by the Secretary.

    ``(g) <<NOTE: Federal Register, publication. Web posting.>>  The 
Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register and on an internet 
website of the Department the designated access standards established 
under this section for purposes of section 1703(d)(1)(D).

    ``(h)(1) <<NOTE: Compliance.>>  Consistent with paragraphs (1)(D) 
and (3) of section 1703(d), covered veterans may contact the Department 
at any time to request a determination regarding whether they are 
eligible to receive care and services from a non-Department entity or 
provider based on the Department being unable to furnish such care and 
services in a manner that complies with the designated access standards 
established under this section.

    ``(2) <<NOTE: Review process.>>  The Secretary shall establish a 
process to review such requests from covered veterans to determine 
whether--
            ``(A) the requested care is clinically necessary; and
            ``(B) <<NOTE: Compliance.>>  the Department is able to 
        provide such care in a manner that complies with designated 
        access standards established under this section.

    ``(3) The Secretary shall promptly respond to any such request by a 
covered veteran.
    ``(i)(1) <<NOTE: Definitions.>>  The term `appropriate committees of 
Congress' means--
            ``(A) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the Committee 
        on Appropriations of the Senate; and
            ``(B) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the Committee 
        on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

    ``(2) The term `covered veterans' refers to veterans described in 
section 1703(b) of this title.
``Sec. 1703C. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1703C.>>  Standards for quality

    ``(a) In General.--(1) The Secretary shall establish standards for 
quality regarding hospital care, medical services, and extended care 
services furnished by the Department pursuant to this title, including 
through non-Department health care providers pursuant to section 1703 of 
this title.
    ``(2) In establishing standards for quality under paragraph (1), the 
Secretary shall consider existing health quality measures that are 
applied to public and privately sponsored health care systems with the 
purpose of providing covered veterans relevant comparative information 
to make informed decisions regarding their health care.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1411]]

    ``(3) <<NOTE: Data.>>  The Secretary shall collect and consider data 
for purposes of establishing the standards under paragraph (1). Such 
data collection shall include--
            ``(A) <<NOTE: Consultation. Survey. Time period.>>  after 
        consultation with veterans service organizations and other key 
        stakeholders on survey development or modification of an 
        existing survey, a survey of veterans who have used hospital 
        care, medical services, or extended care services furnished by 
        the Veterans Health Administration during the most recent 2-year 
        period to assess the satisfaction of the veterans with service 
        and quality of care; and
            ``(B) datasets that include, at a minimum, elements relating 
        to the following:
                    ``(i) Timely care.
                    ``(ii) Effective care.
                    ``(iii) Safety, including, at a minimum, 
                complications, readmissions, and deaths.
                    ``(iv) Efficiency.

    ``(4) <<NOTE: Consultation.>>  The Secretary shall consult with all 
pertinent Federal entities (including the Department of Defense, the 
Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Medicare & 
Medicaid Services), entities in the private sector, and other 
nongovernmental entities in establishing standards for quality.

    ``(5)(A) <<NOTE: Deadlines. Reports.>>  Not later than 270 days 
after the date of the enactment of the Caring for Our Veterans Act of 
2018, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of 
Congress a report detailing the standards for quality.

    ``(B)(i) Before submitting the report required under subparagraph 
(A), the Secretary shall provide periodic updates to the appropriate 
committees of Congress to confirm the Department's progress towards 
developing the standards for quality required by this section.
    ``(ii) The first update under clause (i) shall occur no later than 
120 days from the date of the enactment of the Caring for Our Veterans 
Act of 2018.
    ``(b) <<NOTE: Deadlines.>>  Publication and Consideration of Public 
Comments.--(1) <<NOTE: Web posting.>>  Not later than 1 year after the 
date on which the Secretary establishes standards for quality under 
subsection (a), the Secretary shall publish the quality rating of 
medical facilities of the Department in the publicly available Hospital 
Compare website through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for 
the purpose of providing veterans with information that allows them to 
compare performance measure information among Department and non-
Department health care providers.

    ``(2) Not later than 2 years after the date on which the Secretary 
establishes standards for quality under subsection (a), the Secretary 
shall consider and solicit public comment on potential changes to the 
measures used in such standards to ensure that they include the most up-
to-date and applicable industry measures for veterans.
    ``(c)(1) <<NOTE: Definitions.>>  The term `appropriate committees of 
Congress' means--
            ``(A) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the Committee 
        on Appropriations of the Senate; and
            ``(B) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the Committee 
        on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

    ``(2) The term `covered veterans' refers to veterans described in 
section 1703(b) of this title.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
chapter 17, as amended by section 102, <<NOTE: 38 USC 1701 prec.>> is 
further amended

[[Page 132 STAT. 1412]]

by inserting after the item relating to section 1703A the following new 
items:

``1703B. Access standards.
``1703C. Standards for quality.''.

SEC. 105. ACCESS TO WALK-IN CARE.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 17 is amended by inserting after section 
1725 the following new section:
``Sec. 1725A. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1725A.>>  Access to walk-in care

    ``(a) Procedures To Ensure Access to Walk-In Care.--The Secretary 
shall develop procedures to ensure that eligible veterans are able to 
access walk-in care from qualifying non-Department entities or 
providers.
    ``(b) Eligible Veterans.--For purposes of this section, an eligible 
veteran is any individual who--
            ``(1) is enrolled in the health care system established 
        under section 1705(a) of this title; and
            ``(2) has received care under this chapter within the 24-
        month period preceding the furnishing of walk-in care under this 
        section.

    ``(c) Qualifying Non-Department Entities or Providers.--For purposes 
of this section, a qualifying non-Department entity or provider is a 
non-Department entity or provider that has entered into a contract or 
other agreement with the Secretary to furnish services under this 
section.
    ``(d) Federally-Qualified Health Centers.--Whenever practicable, the 
Secretary may use a Federally-qualified health center (as defined in 
section 1905(l)(2)(B) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 
1396d(l)(2)(B))) to carry out this section.
    ``(e) Continuity of Care.--The Secretary shall ensure continuity of 
care for those eligible veterans who receive walk-in care services under 
this section, including through the establishment of a mechanism to 
receive medical records from walk-in care providers and provide 
pertinent patient medical records to providers of walk-in care.
    ``(f) Copayments.--(1)(A) The Secretary may require an eligible 
veteran to pay the United States a copayment for each episode of 
hospital care or medical services provided under this section if the 
eligible veteran would be required to pay a copayment under this title.
    ``(B) An eligible veteran not required to pay a copayment under this 
title may access walk-in care without a copayment for the first two 
visits in a calendar year. For any additional visits, a copayment at an 
amount determined by the Secretary may be required.
    ``(C) An eligible veteran required to pay a copayment under this 
title may be required to pay a regular copayment for the first two walk-
in care visits in a calendar year. For any additional visits, a higher 
copayment at an amount determined by the Secretary may be required.
    ``(2) After the first two episodes of care furnished to an eligible 
veteran under this section, the Secretary may adjust the copayment 
required of the veteran under this subsection based upon the priority 
group of enrollment of the eligible veteran, the number of episodes of 
care furnished to the eligible veteran during a year,

[[Page 132 STAT. 1413]]

and other factors the Secretary considers appropriate under this 
section.
    ``(3) <<NOTE: Regulations.>>  The amount or amounts of the 
copayments required under this subsection shall be prescribed by the 
Secretary by rule.

    ``(4) Section 8153(c) of this title shall not apply to this 
subsection.
    ``(g) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  Regulations.--Not later than 1 year after 
the date of the enactment of the Caring for Our Veterans Act of 2018, 
the Secretary shall promulgate regulations to carry out this section.

    ``(h) Walk-In Care Defined.--In this section, the term `walk-in 
care' means non-emergent care provided by a qualifying non-Department 
entity or provider that furnishes episodic care and not longitudinal 
management of conditions and is otherwise defined through regulations 
the Secretary shall promulgate.''.
    (b) <<NOTE: 38 USC 1725A note.>>  Effective Date.--Section 1725A of 
title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a) shall take 
effect on the date upon which final regulations implementing such 
section take effect.

    (c) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter <<NOTE: 38 USC 1701 prec.>> is amended by inserting after 
the item relating to section 1725 the following new item:

``1725A. Access to walk-in care.''.

SEC. 106. STRATEGY REGARDING THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 
                        HIGH-PERFORMING INTEGRATED HEALTH CARE 
                        NETWORK.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter II of chapter 73 is amended by inserting 
after section 7330B the following new section:
``Sec. 7330C. <<NOTE: 38 USC 7330C.>> Quadrennial Veterans Health 
                    Administration review

    ``(a) Market Area Assessments.--(1) <<NOTE: Time period.>>  Not less 
frequently than every 4 years, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall 
perform market area assessments regarding the health care services 
furnished under the laws administered by the Secretary.

    ``(2) Each market area assessment established under paragraph (1) 
shall include the following:
            ``(A) An assessment of the demand for health care from the 
        Department, disaggregated by geographic market areas as 
        determined by the Secretary, including the number of requests 
        for health care services under the laws administered by the 
        Secretary.
            ``(B) <<NOTE: Inventory.>>  An inventory of the health care 
        capacity of the Department of Veterans Affairs across the 
        Department's system of facilities.
            ``(C) An assessment of the health care capacity to be 
        provided through contracted community care providers and 
        providers who entered into a provider agreement with the 
        Department under section 1703A of title 38, as added by section 
        102, including the number of providers, the geographic location 
        of the providers, and categories or types of health care 
        services provided by the providers.
            ``(D) An assessment obtained from other Federal direct 
        delivery systems of their capacity to provide health care to 
        veterans.
            ``(E) An assessment of the health care capacity of non-
        contracted providers where there is insufficient network supply.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1414]]

            ``(F) An assessment of the health care capacity of academic 
        affiliates and other collaborations of the Department as it 
        relates to providing health care to veterans.
            ``(G) An assessment of the effects on health care capacity 
        of the access standards and standards for quality established 
        under sections 1703B and 1703C of this title.
            ``(H) The number of appointments for health care services 
        under the laws administered by the Secretary, disaggregated by--
                    ``(i) appointments at facilities of the Department 
                of Veterans Affairs; and
                    ``(ii) appointments with non-Department health care 
                providers.

    ``(3)(A) The Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of 
Congress the market area assessments established in paragraph (1).
    ``(B) <<NOTE: Effective date.>>  The Secretary also shall submit to 
the appropriate committees of Congress the market area assessments 
completed by or being performed on the day before the date of the 
enactment of the Caring for Our Veterans Act of 2018.

    ``(4)(A) The Secretary shall use the market area assessments 
established under paragraph (1) to--
            ``(i) determine the capacity of the health care provider 
        networks established under section 1703(h) of this title;
            ``(ii) inform the Department budget, in accordance with 
        subparagraph (B); and
            ``(iii) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions.>>  inform and assess the 
        appropriateness of the access standards established under 
        section 1703B of this title and standards for quality under 
        section 1703C and to make recommendations for any changes to 
        such standards.

    ``(B) The Secretary shall ensure that the Department budget for any 
fiscal year (as submitted with the budget of the President under section 
1105(a) of title 31) reflects the findings of the Secretary with respect 
to the most recent market area assessments under paragraph (1) and 
health care utilization data from the Department and non-Department 
entities or providers furnishing care and services to covered veterans 
as described in section 1703(b).
    ``(b) <<NOTE: Deadlines. Time period.>>  Strategic Plan To Meet 
Health Care Demand.--(1) Not later than 1 year after the date of the 
enactment of the Caring for Our Veterans Act of 2018 and not less 
frequently than once every 4 years thereafter, the Secretary shall 
submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a strategic plan that 
specifies a 4-year forecast of--
            ``(A) the demand for health care from the Department, 
        disaggregated by geographic area as determined by the Secretary;
            ``(B) the health care capacity to be provided at each 
        medical center of the Department; and
            ``(C) the health care capacity to be provided through 
        community care providers.

    ``(2) In preparing the strategic plan under paragraph (1), the 
Secretary shall--
            ``(A) <<NOTE: Assessment.>>  assess the access standards and 
        standards for quality established under sections 1703B and 1703C 
        of this title;
            ``(B) <<NOTE: Assessment.>>  assess the market area 
        assessments established under subsection (a);

[[Page 132 STAT. 1415]]

            ``(C) <<NOTE: Assessment.>>  assess the needs of the 
        Department based on identified services that provide management 
        of conditions or disorders related to military service for which 
        there is limited experience or access in the national market, 
        the overall health of veterans throughout their lifespan, or 
        other services as the Secretary determines appropriate;
            ``(D) <<NOTE: Consultation.>>  consult with key stakeholders 
        within the Department, the heads of other Federal agencies, and 
        other relevant governmental and nongovernmental entities, 
        including State, local, and tribal government officials, members 
        of Congress, veterans service organizations, private sector 
        representatives, academics, and other policy experts;
            ``(E) identify emerging issues, trends, problems, and 
        opportunities that could affect health care services furnished 
        under the laws administered by the Secretary;
            ``(F) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions.>>  develop recommendations 
        regarding both short- and long-term priorities for health care 
        services furnished under the laws administered by the Secretary;
            ``(G) <<NOTE: Survey. Time period.>>  after consultation 
        with veterans service organizations and other key stakeholders 
        on survey development or modification of an existing survey, 
        consider a survey of veterans who have used hospital care, 
        medical services, or extended care services furnished by the 
        Veterans Health Administration during the most recent 2-year 
        period to assess the satisfaction of the veterans with service 
        and quality of care;
            ``(H) <<NOTE: Examination.>>  conduct a comprehensive 
        examination of programs and policies of the Department regarding 
        the delivery of health care services and the demand of health 
        care services for veterans in future years;
            ``(I) <<NOTE: Assessment.>>  assess the remediation of 
        medical service lines of the Department as described in section 
        1706A in conjunction with the utilization of non-Department 
        entities or providers to offset remediation; and
            ``(J) consider such other matters as the Secretary considers 
        appropriate.

    ``(c) Responsibilities.--The Secretary shall be responsible for--
            ``(1) overseeing the transformation and organizational 
        change across the Department to achieve such high performing 
        integrated health care network;
            ``(2) developing the capital infrastructure planning and 
        procurement processes, whether minor or major construction 
        projects or leases; and
            ``(3) developing a multi-year budget process that is capable 
        of forecasting future year budget requirements and projecting 
        the cost of delivering health care services under a high-
        performing integrated health care network.

    ``(d) Appropriate Committees of Congress Defined.--In this section, 
the term `appropriate committees of Congress' means--
            ``(1) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the Committee 
        on Appropriations of the Senate; and
            ``(2) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the Committee 
        on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.''.

    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter <<NOTE: 38 USC 7301 prec.>>  is amended by inserting after 
the item relating to section 7330B the following new item:

``7330C. Quadrennial Veterans Health Administration review.''.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1416]]

SEC. 107. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1703A note.>>  APPLICABILITY OF DIRECTIVE 
                        OF OFFICE OF FEDERAL CONTRACT COMPLIANCE 
                        PROGRAMS.

    (a) In General.--Notwithstanding the treatment of certain laws under 
subsection (i) of section 1703A of title 38, United States Code, as 
added by section 102 of this title, Directive 2014-01 of the Office of 
Federal Contract Compliance Programs of the Department of Labor 
(effective as of May 7, 2014) shall apply to any entity entering into an 
agreement under such section 1703A or section 1745 of such title, as 
amended by section 103, in the same manner as such directive applies to 
subcontractors under the TRICARE program for the duration of the 
moratorium provided under such directive.
    (b) Applicability Period.--The directive described in subsection 
(a), and the moratorium provided under such directive, shall not be 
altered or rescinded before May 7, 2019.
    (c) TRICARE Program Defined.--In this section, the term ``TRICARE 
program'' has the meaning given that term in section 1072 of title 10, 
United States Code.
SEC. 108. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1701 note.>>  PREVENTION OF CERTAIN 
                        HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS FROM PROVIDING NON-
                        DEPARTMENT HEALTH CARE SERVICES TO 
                        VETERANS.

    (a) In General. <<NOTE: Effective date. Determinations.>> --On and 
after the date that is 1 year after the date of the enactment of this 
Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall deny or revoke the 
eligibility of a health care provider to provide non-Department health 
care services to veterans if the Secretary determines that the health 
care provider--
            (1) was removed from employment with the Department of 
        Veterans Affairs due to conduct that violated a policy of the 
        Department relating to the delivery of safe and appropriate 
        health care; or
            (2) violated the requirements of a medical license of the 
        health care provider that resulted in the loss of such medical 
        license.

    (b) Permissive Action. <<NOTE: Effective date.>> --On and after the 
date that is 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the 
Secretary may deny, revoke, or suspend the eligibility of a health care 
provider to provide non-Department health care services if the Secretary 
determines such action is necessary to immediately protect the health, 
safety, or welfare of veterans and the health care provider is under 
investigation by the medical licensing board of a State in which the 
health care provider is licensed or practices.

    (c) Suspension.--The Secretary shall suspend the eligibility of a 
health care provider to provide non-Department health care services to 
veterans if the health care provider is suspended from serving as a 
health care provider of the Department.
    (d) Comptroller General Report.--Not later than 2 years after the 
date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United 
States shall submit to Congress a report on the implementation by the 
Secretary of this section, including the following:
            (1) The aggregate number of health care providers denied or 
        suspended under this section from participation in providing 
        non-Department health care services.
            (2) <<NOTE: Evaluation.>>  An evaluation of any impact on 
        access to health care for patients or staffing shortages in 
        programs of the Department providing non-Department health care 
        services.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1417]]

            (3) An explanation of the coordination of the Department 
        with the medical licensing boards of States in implementing this 
        section, the amount of involvement of such boards in such 
        implementation, and efforts by the Department to address any 
        concerns raised by such boards with respect to such 
        implementation.
            (4) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions.>>  Such recommendations as 
        the Comptroller General considers appropriate regarding 
        harmonizing eligibility criteria between health care providers 
        of the Department and health care providers eligible to provide 
        non-Department health care services.

    (e) Non-Department Health Care Services Defined.--In this section, 
the term ``non-Department health care services'' means services--
            (1) provided under subchapter I of chapter 17 of title 38, 
        United States Code, at non-Department facilities (as defined in 
        section 1701 of such title);
            (2) provided under section 101 of the Veterans Access, 
        Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-146; 38 
        U.S.C. 1701 note);
            (3) purchased through the Medical Community Care account of 
        the Department; or
            (4) purchased with amounts deposited in the Veterans Choice 
        Fund under section 802 of the Veterans Access, Choice, and 
        Accountability Act of 2014.
SEC. 109. REMEDIATION OF MEDICAL SERVICE LINES.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter I of chapter 17 is amended by inserting 
after section 1706 the following new section:
``Sec. 1706A. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1706A.>>  Remediation of medical 
                    service lines

    ``(a) In 
General <<NOTE: Deadline. Assessment. Determination. Plan.>> .--Not 
later than 30 days after determining under section 1703(e)(1) that a 
medical service line of the Department is providing hospital care, 
medical services, or extended care services that does not comply with 
the standards for quality established by the Secretary, the Secretary 
shall submit to Congress an assessment of the factors that led the 
Secretary to make such determination and a plan with specific actions, 
and the time to complete them, to be taken to comply with such standards 
for quality, including the following:
            ``(1) Increasing personnel or temporary personnel 
        assistance, including mobile deployment teams.
            ``(2) Special hiring incentives, including the Education 
        Debt Reduction Program under subchapter VII of chapter 76 of 
        this title and recruitment, relocation, and retention 
        incentives.
            ``(3) Utilizing direct hiring authority.
            ``(4) Providing improved training opportunities for staff.
            ``(5) Acquiring improved equipment.
            ``(6) Making structural modifications to the facility used 
        by the medical service line.
            ``(7) Such other actions as the Secretary considers 
        appropriate.

    ``(b) Responsible Parties.--In each assessment submitted under 
subsection (a) with respect to a medical service line, the Secretary 
shall identify the individuals at the Central Office of the Veterans 
Health Administration, the facility used by the medical service line, 
and the central office of the relevant Veterans

[[Page 132 STAT. 1418]]

Integrated Service Network who are responsible for overseeing the 
progress of that medical service line in complying with the standards 
for quality established by the Secretary.
    ``(c) <<NOTE: Compliance.>> Interim Reports.--Not later than 180 
days after submitting an assessment under subsection (a) with respect to 
a medical service line, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report 
on the progress of that medical service line in complying with the 
standards for quality established by the Secretary and any other 
measures the Secretary will take to assist the medical service line in 
complying with such standards for quality.

    ``(d) Annual Reports.--Not less frequently than once each year, the 
Secretary shall--
            ``(1) <<NOTE: Analysis. Compliance.>>  submit to Congress an 
        analysis of the remediation actions and costs of such actions 
        taken with respect to each medical service line with respect to 
        which the Secretary submitted an assessment and plan under 
        paragraph (1) in the preceding year, including an update on the 
        progress of each such medical service line in complying with the 
        standards for quality and timeliness established by the 
        Secretary and any other actions the Secretary is undertaking to 
        assist the medical service line in complying with standards for 
        quality as established by the Secretary; and
            ``(2) <<NOTE: Web posting.>>  publish such analysis on the 
        internet website of the Department.''.

    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter <<NOTE: 38 USC 1701 prec.>> is amended by inserting after 
the item relating to section 1706 the following new item:

``1706A. Remediation of medical service lines.''.

          CHAPTER 2--PAYING PROVIDERS AND IMPROVING COLLECTIONS

SEC. 111. PROMPT PAYMENT TO PROVIDERS.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter I of chapter 17 is amended by inserting 
after section 1703C, as added by section 104 of this title, the 
following new section:
``Sec. 1703D. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1703D.>>  Prompt payment standard

    ``(a) <<NOTE: Deadlines.>>  In General.--(1) Notwithstanding any 
other provision of this title or of any other provision of law, the 
Secretary shall pay for hospital care, medical services, or extended 
care services furnished by health care entities or providers under this 
chapter within 45 calendar days upon receipt of a clean paper claim or 
30 calendar days upon receipt of a clean electronic claim.

    ``(2) <<NOTE: Notification.>>  If a claim is denied, the Secretary 
shall, within 45 calendar days of denial for a paper claim and 30 
calendar days of denial for an electronic claim, notify the health care 
entity or provider of the reason for denying the claim and what, if any, 
additional information is required to process the claim.

    ``(3) Upon the receipt of the additional information, the Secretary 
shall ensure that the claim is paid, denied, or otherwise adjudicated 
within 30 calendar days from the receipt of the requested information.
    ``(4) This section shall only apply to payments made on an invoice 
basis and shall not apply to capitation or other forms of periodic 
payment to entities or providers.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1419]]

    ``(b) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  Submittal of Claims by Health Care 
Entities and Providers.--A health care entity or provider that furnishes 
hospital care, a medical service, or an extended care service under this 
chapter shall submit to the Secretary a claim for payment for furnishing 
the hospital care, medical service, or extended care service not later 
than 180 days after the date on which the entity or provider furnished 
the hospital care, medical service, or extended care service.

    ``(c) <<NOTE: Applicability.>>  Fraudulent Claims.--(1) Sections 
3729 through 3733 of title 31 shall apply to fraudulent claims for 
payment submitted to the Secretary by a health care entity or provider 
under this chapter.

    ``(2) <<NOTE: Regulations.>>  Pursuant to regulations prescribed by 
the Secretary, the Secretary shall bar a health care entity or provider 
from furnishing hospital care, medical services, and extended care 
services under this chapter when the Secretary determines the entity or 
provider has submitted to the Secretary fraudulent health care claims 
for payment by the Secretary.

    ``(d) Overdue Claims.--(1) Any claim that has not been denied with 
notice, made pending with notice, or paid to the health care entity or 
provider by the Secretary shall be overdue if the notice or payment is 
not received by the entity provider within the time periods specified in 
subsection (a).
    ``(2)(A) If a claim is overdue under this subsection, the Secretary 
may, under the requirements established by subsection (a) and consistent 
with the provisions of chapter 39 of title 31 (commonly referred to as 
the `Prompt Payment Act'), require that interest be paid on clean 
claims.
    ``(B) <<NOTE: Federal Register, publication.>>  Interest paid under 
subparagraph (A) shall be computed at the rate of interest established 
by the Secretary of the Treasury under section 3902 of title 31 and 
published in the Federal Register.

    ``(3) <<NOTE: Time period. Reports.>>  Not less frequently than 
annually, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on payment of 
overdue claims under this subsection, disaggregated by paper and 
electronic claims, that includes the following:
            ``(A) The amount paid in overdue claims described in this 
        subsection, disaggregated by the amount of the overdue claim and 
        the amount of interest paid on such overdue claim.
            ``(B) The number of such overdue claims and the average 
        number of days late each claim was paid, disaggregated by 
        facility of the Department and Veterans Integrated Service 
        Network region.

    ``(e) Overpayment.--(1) The Secretary shall deduct the amount of any 
overpayment from payments due a health care entity or provider under 
this chapter.
    ``(2) <<NOTE: Notification.>>  Deductions may not be made under this 
subsection unless the Secretary has made reasonable efforts to notify a 
health care entity or provider of the right to dispute the existence or 
amount of such indebtedness and the right to request a compromise of 
such indebtedness.

    ``(3) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  The Secretary shall make a 
determination with respect to any such dispute or request prior to 
deducting any overpayment unless the time required to make such a 
determination before making any deductions would jeopardize the 
Secretary's ability to recover the full amount of such indebtedness.

    ``(f) Information and Documentation Required.--(1) The Secretary 
shall provide to all health care entities and providers

[[Page 132 STAT. 1420]]

participating in a program to furnish hospital care, medical services, 
or extended care services under this chapter a list of information and 
documentation that is required to establish a clean claim under this 
section.
    ``(2) <<NOTE: Consultation.>>  The Secretary shall consult with 
entities in the health care industry, in the public and private sector, 
to determine the information and documentation to include in the list 
under paragraph (1).

    ``(3) <<NOTE: Notification. Deadline.>>  If the Secretary modifies 
the information and documentation included in the list under paragraph 
(1), the Secretary shall notify all health care entities and providers 
described in paragraph (1) not later than 30 days before such 
modifications take effect.

    ``(g) Processing of Claims.--(1) In processing a claim for 
compensation for hospital care, medical services, or extended care 
services furnished by a non-Department health care entity or provider 
under this chapter, the Secretary may act through--
            ``(A) a non-Department entity that is under contract or 
        agreement for the program established under section 1703(a) of 
        this title; or
            ``(B) a non-Department entity that specializes in such 
        processing for other Federal agency health care systems.

    ``(2) <<NOTE: Contracts. Review.>>  The Secretary shall seek to 
contract with a third party to conduct a review of claims described in 
paragraph (3) that includes--
            ``(A) <<NOTE: Assessment.>>  a feasibility assessment to 
        determine the capacity of the Department to process such claims 
        in a timely manner; and
            ``(B) <<NOTE: Analysis.>>  a cost benefit analysis comparing 
        the capacity of the Department to a third party entity capable 
        of processing such claims.

    ``(3) <<NOTE: Applicability.>>  The review required under paragraph 
(2) shall apply to claims for hospital care, medical services, or 
extended care services furnished under section 1703 of this Act, as 
amended by the Caring for Our Veterans Act of 2018, that are processed 
by the Department.

    ``(h) Report on Encounter Data System.--(1) Not later than 90 days 
after the date of the enactment of the Caring for Our Veterans Act of 
2018, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of 
Congress a report on the feasibility and advisability of adopting a 
funding mechanism similar to what is utilized by other Federal agencies 
to allow a contracted entity to act as a fiscal intermediary for the 
Federal Government to distribute, or pass through, Federal Government 
funds for certain non-underwritten hospital care, medical services, or 
extended care services.
    ``(2) The Secretary may coordinate with the Department of Defense, 
the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of the 
Treasury in developing the report required by paragraph (1).
    ``(i) Definitions.--In this section:
            ``(1) The term `appropriate committees of Congress' means--
                    ``(A) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the 
                Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and
                    ``(B) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the 
                Committee on Appropriations of the House of 
                Representatives.
            ``(2) The term `clean electronic claim' means the 
        transmission of data for purposes of payment of covered health 
        care expenses that is submitted to the Secretary which contains 
        substantially all of the required data elements necessary for

[[Page 132 STAT. 1421]]

        accurate adjudication, without obtaining additional information 
        from the entity or provider that furnished the care or service, 
        submitted in such format as prescribed by the Secretary in 
        regulations for the purpose of paying claims for care or 
        services.
            ``(3) The term `clean paper claim' means a paper claim for 
        payment of covered health care expenses that is submitted to the 
        Secretary which contains substantially all of the required data 
        elements necessary for accurate adjudication, without obtaining 
        additional information from the entity or provider that 
        furnished the care or service, submitted in such format as 
        prescribed by the Secretary in regulations for the purpose of 
        paying claims for care or services.
            ``(4) The term `fraudulent claims' means the knowing 
        misrepresentation of a material fact or facts by a health care 
        entity or provider made to induce the Secretary to pay a claim 
        that was not legally payable to that provider.
            ``(5) The term `health care entity or provider' includes any 
        non-Department health care entity or provider, but does not 
        include any Federal health care entity or provider.''.

    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter <<NOTE: 38 USC 1701 prec.>>  is amended by inserting after 
the item relating to section 1703C, as added by section 104 of this 
title, the following new item:

``1703D. Prompt payment standard.''.

SEC. 112. AUTHORITY TO PAY FOR AUTHORIZED CARE NOT SUBJECT TO AN 
                        AGREEMENT.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter IV of chapter 81 is amended by adding at 
the end the following new section:
``Sec. 8159. <<NOTE: 38 USC 8159.>>  Authority to pay for services 
                  authorized but not subject to an agreement

    ``(a) In General.--If, in the course of furnishing hospital care, a 
medical service, or an extended care service authorized by the Secretary 
and pursuant to a contract, agreement, or other arrangement with the 
Secretary, a provider who is not a party to the contract, agreement, or 
other arrangement furnishes hospital care, a medical service, or an 
extended care service that the Secretary considers necessary, the 
Secretary may compensate the provider for the cost of such care or 
service.
    ``(b) New Contracts and Agreements.--The Secretary shall take 
reasonable efforts to enter into a contract, agreement, or other 
arrangement with a provider described in subsection (a) to ensure that 
future care and services authorized by the Secretary and furnished by 
the provider are subject to such a contract, agreement, or other 
arrangement.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter <<NOTE: 38 USC 8101 prec.>>  is amended by inserting after 
the item relating to section 8158 the following new item:

``8159. Authority to pay for services authorized but not subject to an 
           agreement.''.

SEC. 113. IMPROVEMENT OF AUTHORITY TO RECOVER THE COST OF SERVICES 
                        FURNISHED FOR NON-SERVICE-CONNECTED 
                        DISABILITIES.

    (a) Broadening Scope of Applicability.--Section 1729 is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)--

[[Page 132 STAT. 1422]]

                    (A) in paragraph (2)(A)--
                          (i) by striking ``the veteran's'' and 
                      inserting ``the individual's''; and
                          (ii) by striking ``the veteran'' and inserting 
                      ``the individual''; and
                    (B) in paragraph (3)--
                          (i) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), 
                      by striking ``the veteran'' and inserting ``the 
                      individual''; and
                          (ii) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``the 
                      veteran's'' and inserting ``the individual's'';
            (2) in subsection (b)--
                    (A) in paragraph (1)--
                          (i) by striking ``the veteran'' and inserting 
                      ``the individual''; and
                          (ii) by striking ``the veteran's'' and 
                      inserting ``the individual's''; and
                    (B) in paragraph (2)--
                          (i) in subparagraph (A)--
                                    (I) by striking ``the veteran'' and 
                                inserting ``the individual''; and
                                    (II) by striking ``the veteran's'' 
                                and inserting ``the individual's''; and
                          (ii) in subparagraph (B)--
                                    (I) in clause (i), by striking ``the 
                                veteran'' and inserting ``the 
                                individual''; and
                                    (II) in clause (ii)--
                                            (aa) by striking ``the 
                                        veteran'' and inserting ``the 
                                        individual''; and
                                            (bb) by striking ``the 
                                        veteran's'' each place it 
                                        appears and inserting ``the 
                                        individual's'';
            (3) in subsection (e), by striking ``A veteran'' and 
        inserting ``An individual''; and
            (4) in subsection (h)--
                    (A) in paragraph (1)--
                          (i) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), 
                      by striking ``a veteran'' and inserting ``an 
                      individual'';
                          (ii) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``the 
                      veteran'' and inserting ``the individual''; and
                          (iii) in subparagraph (B), by striking ``the 
                      veteran'' and inserting ``the individual''; and
                    (B) in paragraph (2)--
                          (i) by striking ``A veteran'' and inserting 
                      ``An individual'';
                          (ii) by striking ``a veteran'' and inserting 
                      ``an individual''; and
                          (iii) by striking ``the veteran'' and 
                      inserting ``the individual''.

    (b) Modification of Authority.--Subsection (a)(1) of such section is 
amended by striking ``(1) Subject'' and all that follows through the 
period and inserting the following: ``(1) Subject to the provisions of 
this section, in any case in which the United States is required by law 
to furnish or pay for care or services under this chapter for a non-
service-connected disability described in paragraph (2) of this 
subsection, the United States has the right to recover or collect from a 
third party the reasonable charges of care or services so furnished or 
paid for to the extent that

[[Page 132 STAT. 1423]]

the recipient or provider of the care or services would be eligible to 
receive payment for such care or services from such third party if the 
care or services had not been furnished or paid for by a department or 
agency of the United States.''.
    (c) Modification of Eligible Individuals.--Subparagraph (D) of 
subsection (a)(2) of such section is amended to read as follows:
            ``(D) that is incurred by an individual who is entitled to 
        care (or payment of the expenses of care) under a health-plan 
        contract.''.
SEC. 114. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1703D note.>>  PROCESSING OF CLAIMS FOR 
                        REIMBURSEMENT THROUGH ELECTRONIC 
                        INTERFACE.

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may enter into an agreement with a 
third-party entity to process, through the use of an electronic 
interface, claims for reimbursement for health care provided under the 
laws administered by the Secretary.

               CHAPTER 3--EDUCATION AND TRAINING PROGRAMS

SEC. 121. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1701 note.>>  EDUCATION PROGRAM ON HEALTH 
                        CARE OPTIONS.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall develop and 
administer an education program that teaches veterans about their health 
care options through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
    (b) Elements.--The program under subsection (a) shall--
            (1) teach veterans about--
                    (A) eligibility criteria for care from the 
                Department set forth under sections 1703, as amended by 
                section 101 of this title, and 1710 of title 38, United 
                States Code;
                    (B) priority groups for enrollment in the system of 
                annual patient enrollment under section 1705(a) of such 
                title;
                    (C) the copayments and other financial obligations, 
                if any, required of certain individuals for certain 
                services; and
                    (D) how to utilize the access standards and 
                standards for quality established under sections 1703B 
                and 1703C of such title;
            (2) teach veterans about the interaction between health 
        insurance (including private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, the 
        TRICARE program, the Indian Health Service, tribal health 
        programs, and other forms of insurance) and health care from the 
        Department; and
            (3) provide veterans with information on what to do when 
        they have a complaint about health care received from the 
        Department (whether about the provider, the Department, or any 
        other type of complaint).

    (c) Accessibility.--In developing the education program under this 
section, the Secretary shall ensure that materials under such program 
are accessible--
            (1) to veterans who may not have access to the internet; and
            (2) <<NOTE: Compliance.>>  to veterans in a manner that 
        complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 
        U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).

    (d) Annual Evaluation and Report.--
            (1) Evaluation.--The Secretary shall develop a method to 
        evaluate the effectiveness of the education program under

[[Page 132 STAT. 1424]]

        this section and evaluate the program using the method not less 
        frequently than once each year.
            (2) Report.--Not less frequently than once each year, the 
        Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on the findings of 
        the Secretary with respect to the most recent evaluation 
        conducted by the Secretary under paragraph (1).

    (e) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) Medicaid.--The term ``Medicaid'' means the Medicaid 
        program under title XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 
        1396 et seq.).
            (2) Medicare.--The term ``Medicare'' means the Medicare 
        program under title XVIII of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1395 et seq.).
            (3) Tricare program.--The term ``TRICARE program'' has the 
        meaning given that term in section 1072 of title 10, United 
        States Code.
SEC. 122. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1701 note.>>  TRAINING PROGRAM FOR 
                        ADMINISTRATION OF NON-DEPARTMENT OF 
                        VETERANS AFFAIRS HEALTH CARE.

    (a) Establishment of Program.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs 
shall develop and implement a training program to train employees and 
contractors of the Department of Veterans Affairs on how to administer 
non-Department health care programs, including the following:
            (1) Reimbursement for non-Department emergency room care.
            (2) The Veterans Community Care Program under section 1703 
        of such title, as amended by section 101.
            (3) Management of prescriptions pursuant to improvements 
        under section 131.

    (b) Annual Evaluation and Report.--The Secretary shall--
            (1) develop a method to evaluate the effectiveness of the 
        training program developed and implemented under subsection (a);
            (2) evaluate such program not less frequently than once each 
        year; and
            (3) not less frequently than once each year, submit to 
        Congress the findings of the Secretary with respect to the most 
        recent evaluation carried out under paragraph (2).
SEC. 123. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1701 note.>>  CONTINUING MEDICAL 
                        EDUCATION FOR NON-DEPARTMENT MEDICAL 
                        PROFESSIONALS.

    (a) Establishment of Program.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall 
        establish a program to provide continuing medical education 
        material to non-Department medical professionals.
            (2) Education provided.--The program established under 
        paragraph (1) shall include education on the following:
                    (A) Identifying and treating common mental and 
                physical conditions of veterans and family members of 
                veterans.
                    (B) The health care system of the Department of 
                Veterans Affairs.
                    (C) Such other matters as the Secretary considers 
                appropriate.

    (b) Material Provided.--The continuing medical education material 
provided to non-Department medical professionals under the program 
established under subsection (a) shall be the same material provided to 
medical professionals of the Department to

[[Page 132 STAT. 1425]]

ensure that all medical professionals treating veterans have access to 
the same materials, which supports core competencies throughout the 
community.
    (c) Administration of Program.--
            (1) <<NOTE: Website.>>  In general.--The Secretary shall 
        administer the program established under subsection (a) to 
        participating non-Department medical professionals through an 
        internet website of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
            (2) Curriculum and credit provided.--The Secretary shall 
        determine the curriculum of the program and the number of hours 
        of credit to provide to participating non-Department medical 
        professionals for continuing medical education.
            (3) Accreditation.--The Secretary shall ensure that the 
        program is accredited in as many States as practicable.
            (4) Consistency with existing rules.--The Secretary shall 
        ensure that the program is consistent with the rules and 
        regulations of the following:
                    (A) The medical licensing agency of each State in 
                which the program is accredited.
                    (B) Such medical credentialing organizations as the 
                Secretary considers appropriate.
            (5) User cost.--The Secretary shall carry out the program at 
        no cost to participating non-Department medical professionals.
            (6) Monitoring, evaluation, and report.--The Secretary shall 
        monitor the utilization of the program established under 
        subsection (a), evaluate its effectiveness, and report to 
        Congress on utilization and effectiveness not less frequently 
        than once each year.

    (d) Non-Department Medical Professional Defined.--In this section, 
the term ``non-Department medical professional'' means any individual 
who is licensed by an appropriate medical authority in the United States 
and is in good standing, is not an employee of the Department of 
Veterans Affairs, and provides care to veterans or family members of 
veterans under the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs.

CHAPTER 4--OTHER MATTERS RELATING TO NON-DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 
                                PROVIDERS

SEC. 131. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1701 note.>>  ESTABLISHMENT OF PROCESSES 
                        TO ENSURE SAFE OPIOID PRESCRIBING 
                        PRACTICES BY NON-DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS 
                        AFFAIRS HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS.

    (a) <<NOTE: Certification.>> Receipt and Review of Guidelines.--The 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall ensure that all covered health care 
providers are provided a copy of and certify that they have reviewed the 
evidence-based guidelines for prescribing opioids set forth by the 
Opioid Safety Initiative of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    (b) Inclusion of Medical History and Current Medications.--The 
Secretary shall implement a process to ensure that, if care of a veteran 
by a covered health care provider is authorized under the laws 
administered by the Secretary, the document authorizing such care 
includes the available and relevant medical history of the veteran and a 
list of all medications prescribed to the veteran as known by the 
Department.
    (c) Submittal of Medical Records and Prescriptions.--

[[Page 132 STAT. 1426]]

            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall, consistent with 
        section 1703(a)(2)(A), as amended by section 101 of this title, 
        and section 1703A(e)(2)(F), as added by section 102 of this 
        title, require each covered health care provider to submit 
        medical records of any care or services furnished, including 
        records of any prescriptions for opioids, to the Department in 
        the timeframe and format specified by the Secretary.
            (2) Responsibility of department for recording and 
        monitoring.--In carrying out paragraph (1) and upon the receipt 
        by the Department of the medical records described in paragraph 
        (1), the Secretary shall--
                    (A) ensure the Department is responsible for the 
                recording of the prescription in the electronic health 
                record of the veteran; and
                    (B) enable other monitoring of the prescription as 
                outlined in the Opioid Safety Initiative of the 
                Department.
            (3) Report.--Not less frequently than annually, 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 evaluating the compliance of covered 
        health care providers with the requirements under this section.

    (d) Use of Opioid Safety Initiative Guidelines.--
            (1) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  In general.--If the Secretary 
        determines that the opioid prescribing practices of a covered 
        health care provider, when treating covered veterans, satisfy a 
        condition described in paragraph (3), the Secretary shall take 
        such action as the Secretary considers appropriate to ensure the 
        safety of all veterans receiving care from that health care 
        provider, including removing or directing the removal of any 
        such health care provider from provider networks or otherwise 
        refusing to authorize care of veterans by such health care 
        provider in any program authorized under the laws administered 
        by the Secretary.
            (2) Inclusion in contracts.--The Secretary shall ensure that 
        any contracts, agreements, or other arrangements entered into by 
        the Secretary with third parties involved in administering 
        programs that provide care in the community to veterans under 
        the laws administered by the Secretary specifically grant the 
        authority set forth in paragraph (1) to such third parties and 
        to the Secretary, as the case may be.
            (3) Conditions for exclusion or limitation.--The Secretary 
        shall take such action as is considered appropriate under 
        paragraph (1) when the opioid prescribing practices of a covered 
        health care provider when treating covered veterans--
                    (A) conflict with or are otherwise inconsistent with 
                the standards of appropriate and safe care;
                    (B) violate the requirements of a medical license of 
                the health care provider; or
                    (C) may place at risk the veterans receiving health 
                care from the provider.

    (e) Covered Health Care Provider Defined.--In this section, the term 
``covered health care provider'' means a non-Department of Veterans 
Affairs health care provider who provides health care to veterans under 
the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, but does not 
include a health care provider employed by another agency of the Federal 
Government.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1427]]

SEC. 132. IMPROVING INFORMATION SHARING WITH COMMUNITY PROVIDERS.

    Section 7332(b)(2) is amended by striking subparagraph (H) and 
inserting the following new subparagraphs:
            ``(H)(i) To a non-Department entity (including private 
        entities and other Federal agencies) for purposes of providing 
        health care, including hospital care, medical services, and 
        extended care services, to patients or performing other health 
        care-related activities or functions.
            ``(ii) An entity to which a record is disclosed under this 
        subparagraph may not disclose or use such record for a purpose 
        other than that for which the disclosure was made or as 
        permitted by law.
            ``(I) To a third party in order to recover or collect 
        reasonable charges for care furnished to, or paid on behalf of, 
        a patient in connection with a non-service connected disability 
        as permitted by section 1729 of this title or for a condition 
        for which recovery is authorized or with respect to which the 
        United States is deemed to be a third party beneficiary under 
        the Act entitled `An Act to provide for the recovery from 
        tortiously liable third persons of the cost of hospital and 
        medical care and treatment furnished by the United States' 
        (Public Law 87-693; 42 U.S.C. 2651 et seq.; commonly known as 
        the `Federal Medical Care Recovery Act').''.
SEC. 133. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1701 note.>>  COMPETENCY STANDARDS FOR 
                        NON-DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS HEALTH 
                        CARE PROVIDERS.

    (a) Establishment of Standards and Requirements.--The Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs shall establish standards and requirements for the 
provision of care by non-Department of Veterans Affairs health care 
providers in clinical areas for which the Department of Veterans Affairs 
has special expertise, including post-traumatic stress disorder, 
military sexual trauma-related conditions, and traumatic brain injuries.
    (b) Condition for Eligibility To Furnish Care.--(1) Each non-
Department of Veterans Affairs health care provider shall, to the extent 
practicable as determined by the Secretary or otherwise provided for in 
paragraph (2), meet the standards and requirements established pursuant 
to subsection (a) before furnishing care pursuant to a contract, 
agreement, or other arrangement with the Department of Veterans Affairs. 
Non-Department of Veterans Affairs health care providers furnishing care 
pursuant to a contract, agreement, or other arrangement shall, to the 
extent practicable as determined by the Secretary, fulfill training 
requirements established by the Secretary on how to deliver evidence-
based treatments in the clinical areas for which the Department of 
Veterans Affairs has special expertise.
    (2) <<NOTE: Contracts. Deadline.>>  Each non-Department of Veterans 
Affairs health care provider who enters into a contract, agreement, or 
other arrangement after the effective date identified in subsection (c) 
shall, to the extent practicable, meet the standards and requirements 
established pursuant to subsection (a) within 6 months of the contract, 
agreement, or other arrangement taking effect.

    (c) Effective Date.--This section shall take effect on the day that 
is 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1428]]

SEC. 134. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS PARTICIPATION IN NATIONAL 
                        NETWORK OF STATE-BASED PRESCRIPTION DRUG 
                        MONITORING PROGRAMS.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 17 is amended by inserting after section 
1730A the following new section:
``Sec. 1730B. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1730B.>>  Access to State 
                    prescription drug monitoring programs

    ``(a) Access to Programs.--(1) Any licensed health care provider or 
delegate of such a provider shall be considered an authorized recipient 
or user for the purpose of querying and receiving data from the national 
network of State-based prescription drug monitoring programs to support 
the safe and effective prescribing of controlled substances to covered 
patients.
    ``(2) Under the authority granted by paragraph (1)--
            ``(A) licensed health care providers or delegates of such 
        providers shall query such network in accordance with applicable 
        regulations and policies of the Veterans Health Administration; 
        and
            ``(B) notwithstanding any general or specific provision of 
        law, rule, or regulation of a State, no State may restrict the 
        access of licensed health care providers or delegates of such 
        providers from accessing that State's prescription drug 
        monitoring programs.

    ``(3) No State shall deny or revoke the license, registration, or 
certification of a licensed health care provider or delegate who 
otherwise meets that State's qualifications for holding the license, 
registration, or certification on the basis that the licensed health 
care provider or delegate queried or received data, or attempted to 
query or receive data, from the national network of State-based 
prescription drug monitoring programs under this section.
    ``(b) Covered Patients.--For purposes of this section, a covered 
patient is a patient who--
            ``(1) receives a prescription for a controlled substance; 
        and
            ``(2) is not receiving palliative care or enrolled in 
        hospice care.

    ``(c) Definitions.--In this section:
            ``(1) The term `controlled substance' has the meaning given 
        such term in section 102(6) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 
        U.S.C. 802(6)).
            ``(2) The term `delegate' means a person or automated system 
        accessing the national network of State-based prescription 
        monitoring programs at the direction or under the supervision of 
        a licensed health care provider.
            ``(3) The term `licensed health care provider' means a 
        health care provider employed by the Department who is licensed, 
        certified, or registered within any State to fill or prescribe 
        medications within the scope of his or her practice as a 
        Department employee.
            ``(4) The term `national network of State-based prescription 
        monitoring programs' means an interconnected nation-wide system 
        that facilitates the transfer to State prescription drug 
        monitoring program data across State lines.
            ``(5) The term `State' means a State, as defined in section 
        101(20) of this title, or a political subdivision of a State.''.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1429]]

    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
chapter 17 of such title <<NOTE: 38 USC 1701 prec.>> is amended by 
inserting after the item relating to section 1730A the following new 
item:

``1730B. Access to State prescription drug monitoring programs.''.

           CHAPTER 5--OTHER NON-DEPARTMENT HEALTH CARE MATTERS

SEC. 141. <<NOTE: Deadline. Certification. 38 USC 303 note.>>  
                        PLANS FOR USE OF SUPPLEMENTAL 
                        APPROPRIATIONS REQUIRED.

    Whenever the Secretary submits to Congress a request for 
supplemental appropriations or any other appropriation outside the 
standard budget process to address a budgetary issue affecting the 
Department of Veterans Affairs, the Secretary shall, not later than 45 
days before the date on which such budgetary issue would start affecting 
a program or service, submit to Congress a justification for the 
request, including a plan that details how the Secretary intends to use 
the requested appropriation and how long the requested appropriation is 
expected to meet the needs of the Department and certification that the 
request was made using an updated and sound actuarial analysis.
SEC. 142. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1701 note.>>  VETERANS CHOICE FUND 
                        FLEXIBILITY.

    Section 802 of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act 
of 2014 (Public Law 113-146; 38 U.S.C. 1701 note) is amended--
            (1) in subsection (c)--
                    (A) in paragraph (1), by striking ``by paragraph 
                (3)'' and inserting ``in paragraphs (3) and (4)''; and
                    (B) by adding at the end the following new 
                paragraph:
            ``(4) <<NOTE: Effective date.>>  Permanent authority for 
        other uses.--Beginning on March 1, 2019, amounts remaining in 
        the Veterans Choice Fund may be used to furnish hospital care, 
        medical services, and extended care services to individuals 
        pursuant to chapter 17 of title 38, United States Code, at non-
        Department facilities, including pursuant to non-Department 
        provider programs other than the program established by section 
        101. Such amounts shall be available in addition to amounts 
        available in other appropriations accounts for such purposes.''; 
        and
            (2) in subsection (d)(1), by striking ``to subsection 
        (c)(3)'' and inserting ``to paragraphs (3) and (4) of subsection 
        (c)''.
SEC. 143. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1701 note.>>  SUNSET OF VETERANS CHOICE 
                        PROGRAM.

    Subsection (p) of section 101 of the Veterans Access, Choice, and 
Accountability Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-146; 38 U.S.C. 1701 note) is 
amended to read as follows:
    ``(p) Authority To Furnish Care and Services.--The Secretary may not 
use the authority under this section to furnish care and services after 
the date that is 1 year after the date of the enactment of the Caring 
for Our Veterans Act of 2018.''.
SEC. 144. CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.

    (a) In General.--
            (1) Title 38.--Title 38, United States Code, is amended--
                    (A) in section 1712(a)--
                          (i) in paragraph (3), by striking ``under 
                      clause (1), (2), or (5) of section 1703(a) of this 
                      title'' and inserting ``or entered an agreement''; 
                      and

[[Page 132 STAT. 1430]]

                          (ii) in paragraph (4)(A), by striking ``under 
                      the provisions of this subsection and section 1703 
                      of this title'';
                    (B) in section 1712A(e)(1)--
                          (i) by inserting ``or agreements'' after 
                      ``contracts''; and
                          (ii) by striking ``(under sections 1703(a)(2) 
                      and 1710(a)(1)(B) of this title)''; and
                    (C) in section 2303(a)(2)(B)(i), by striking ``with 
                section 1703'' and inserting ``with sections 1703A, 
                8111, and 8153''.
            (2) Social security act.--Section 1866(a)(1)(L) of the 
        Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395cc(a)(1)(L)) is amended by 
        striking ``under section 603'' and inserting ``under chapter 
        17''.
            (3) Veterans' benefits improvements act of 1994.--Section 
        104(a)(4)(A) of the Veterans' Benefits Improvements Act of 1994 
        (Public Law 103-446; 38 U.S.C. 1117 note) is amended by striking 
        ``in section 1703'' and inserting ``in sections 1703A, 8111, and 
        8153''.

    (b) <<NOTE: 38 USC 1712 note.>>  Effective Date.--The amendments 
made by subsection (a) shall take effect on the date described in 
section 101(b).

    Subtitle B--Improving Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care 
                                Delivery

SEC. 151. LICENSURE OF HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS OF THE DEPARTMENT 
                        OF VETERANS AFFAIRS PROVIDING TREATMENT 
                        VIA TELEMEDICINE.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 17 is amended by inserting after section 
1730B, as added by section 134, the following new section:
``Sec. 1730C. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1730C.>>  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) <<NOTE: Definition.>>  Covered Health Care Professionals.--For 
purposes of this section, a covered health care professional is any 
health care professional who--
            ``(1) is an employee of the Department appointed under the 
        authority under section 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 standards for quality 
        relating to the provision of medicine 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.

    ``(c) Property of Federal Government.--Subsection (a) shall apply to 
a covered health care professional providing treatment

[[Page 132 STAT. 1431]]

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.
    ``(d) Relation to State Law.--(1) The provisions of this section 
shall supersede any provisions of the law of any State to the extent 
that such provision of State law are inconsistent with this section.
    ``(2) No State shall deny or revoke the license, registration, or 
certification of a covered health care professional who otherwise meets 
the qualifications of the State for holding the license, registration, 
or certification on the basis that the covered health care professional 
has engaged or intends to engage in activity covered by subsection (a).
    ``(e) Rule of 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.).
    ``(f) State Defined.--In this section, the term `State' means a 
State, as defined in section 101(20) of this title, or a political 
subdivision of a State.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
chapter 17 of such title <<NOTE: 38 USC 1701 prec.>> is amended by 
inserting after the item relating to section 1730B, as added by section 
134, the following new item:

``1730C. Licensure of health care professionals providing treatment via 
           telemedicine.''.

    (c) Report on Telemedicine.--
            (1) <<NOTE: Regulations.>>  In general.--Not later than 1 
        year after the earlier of the date on which services provided 
        under section 1730B of title 38, United States Code, as added by 
        subsection (a), first occur or regulations are promulgated to 
        carry out such section, 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) <<NOTE: Assessment.>>  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 use by veterans of in-person services 
                      at Department facilities and non-Department 
                      facilities.
                    (D) <<NOTE: Time period.>>  The types of 
                appointments for the receipt of telemedicine furnished 
                by the Department that were provided

[[Page 132 STAT. 1432]]

                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 medical 
                facility.
                    (F) Savings by the Department, if any, including 
                travel costs, from furnishing health care through the 
                use of telemedicine during such period.
SEC. 152. AUTHORITY FOR DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS CENTER FOR 
                        INNOVATION FOR CARE AND PAYMENT.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter I of chapter 17, as amended by this 
title, is further amended by inserting after section 1703D, as added by 
section 111, the following new section:
``Sec. 1703E. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1703E.>>  Center for Innovation for 
                    Care and Payment

    ``(a) In General.--(1) There is established within the Department a 
Center for Innovation for Care and Payment (in this section referred to 
as the `Center').
    ``(2) The Secretary, acting through the Center, may carry out such 
pilot programs the Secretary determines to be appropriate to develop 
innovative approaches to testing payment and service delivery models in 
order to reduce expenditures while preserving or enhancing the quality 
of care furnished by the Department.
    ``(3) The Secretary, acting through the Center, shall test payment 
and service delivery models to determine whether such models--
            ``(A) improve access to, and quality, timeliness, and 
        patient satisfaction of care and services; and
            ``(B) create cost savings for the Department.

    ``(4)(A) The Secretary shall test a model in a location where the 
Secretary determines that the model will addresses deficits in care 
(including poor clinical outcomes or potentially avoidable expenditures) 
for a defined population.
    ``(B) The Secretary shall focus on models the Secretary expects to 
reduce program costs while preserving or enhancing the quality of care 
received by individuals receiving benefits under this chapter.
    ``(C) The models selected may include those described in section 
1115A(b)(2)(B) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1315a(b)(2)(B)).
    ``(5) In selecting a model for testing, the Secretary may consider, 
in addition to other factors identified in this subsection, the 
following factors:
            ``(A) Whether the model includes a regular process for 
        monitoring and updating patient care plans in a manner that is 
        consistent with the needs and preferences of individuals 
        receiving benefits under this chapter.
            ``(B) Whether the model places the individual receiving 
        benefits under this chapter (including family members and other 
        caregivers of such individual) at the center of the care team of 
        such individual.
            ``(C) Whether the model uses technology or new systems to 
        coordinate care over time and across settings.
            ``(D) Whether the model demonstrates effective linkage with 
        other public sector payers, private sector payers, or statewide 
        payment models.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1433]]

    ``(6)(A) Models tested under this section may not be designed in 
such a way that would allow the United States to recover or collect 
reasonable charges from a Federal health care program for care or 
services furnished by the Secretary to a veteran under pilot programs 
carried out under this section.
    ``(B) <<NOTE: Definition.>>  In this paragraph, the term `Federal 
health care program' means--
            ``(i) an insurance program described in section 1811 of the 
        Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395c) or established by section 
        1831 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1395j);
            ``(ii) a State plan for medical assistance approved under 
        title XIX of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.); or
            ``(iii) a TRICARE program operated under sections 1075, 
        1075a, 1076, 1076a, 1076c, 1076d, 1076e, or 1076f of title 10.

    ``(b) Duration.--Each pilot program carried out by the Secretary 
under this section shall terminate no later than 5 years after the date 
of the commencement of the pilot program.
    ``(c) Location.--The Secretary shall ensure that each pilot program 
carried out under this section occurs in an area or areas appropriate 
for the intended purposes of the pilot program. To the extent 
practicable, the Secretary shall ensure that the pilot programs are 
located in geographically diverse areas of the United States.
    ``(d) Budget.--Funding for each pilot program carried out by the 
Secretary under this section shall come from appropriations--
            ``(1) provided in advance in appropriations acts for the 
        Veterans Health Administration; and
            ``(2) provided for information technology systems.

    ``(e) Notice.--The Secretary shall--
            ``(1) <<NOTE: Federal Register, publication.>>  publish 
        information about each pilot program under this section in the 
        Federal Register; and
            ``(2) take reasonable actions to provide direct notice to 
        veterans eligible to participate in such pilot programs.

    ``(f) Waiver of Authorities.--(1) Subject to reporting under 
paragraph (2) and approval under paragraph (3), in implementing a pilot 
program under this section, the Secretary may waive such requirements in 
subchapters I, II, and III of this chapter as the Secretary determines 
necessary solely for the purposes of carrying out this section with 
respect to testing models described in subsection (a).
    ``(2) <<NOTE: Reports.>>  Before waiving any authority under 
paragraph (1), the Secretary shall submit to the Speaker of the House of 
Representatives, the minority leader of the House of Representatives, 
the majority leader of the Senate, the minority leader of the Senate, 
and each standing committee with jurisdiction under the rules of the 
Senate and of the House of Representatives to report a bill to amend the 
provision or provisions of law that would be waived by the Department, a 
report on a request for waiver that describes in detail the following:
            ``(A) The specific authorities to be waived under the pilot 
        program.
            ``(B) The standard or standards to be used in the pilot 
        program in lieu of the waived authorities.
            ``(C) The reasons for such waiver or waivers.
            ``(D) A description of the metric or metrics the Secretary 
        will use to determine the effect of the waiver or waivers upon

[[Page 132 STAT. 1434]]

        the access to and quality, timeliness, or patient satisfaction 
        of care and services furnished through the pilot program.
            ``(E) The anticipated cost savings, if any, of the pilot 
        program.
            ``(F) The schedule for interim reports on the pilot program 
        describing the results of the pilot program so far and the 
        feasibility and advisability of continuing the pilot program.
            ``(G) The schedule for the termination of the pilot program 
        and the submission of a final report on the pilot program 
        describing the result of the pilot program and the feasibility 
        and advisability of making the pilot program permanent.
            ``(H) <<NOTE: Budget estimate.>>  The estimated budget of 
        the pilot program.

    ``(3)(A) <<NOTE: Reports.>>  Upon receipt of a report submitted 
under paragraph (2), each House of Congress shall provide copies of the 
report to the chairman and ranking member of each standing committee 
with jurisdiction under the rules of the House of Representatives or the 
Senate to report a bill to amend the provision or provisions of law that 
would be waived by the Department under this subsection.

    ``(B) The waiver requested by the Secretary under paragraph (2) 
shall be considered approved under this paragraph if there is enacted 
into law a joint resolution approving such request in its entirety.
    ``(C) <<NOTE: Definition.>>  For purposes of this paragraph, the 
term `joint resolution' means only a joint resolution which is 
introduced within the period of five legislative days beginning on the 
date on which the Secretary transmits the report to the Congress under 
such paragraph (2), and--
            ``(i) which does not have a preamble; and
            ``(ii) the matter after the resolving clause of which is as 
        follows: `that Congress approves the request for a waiver under 
        section 1703E(f) of title 38, United States Code, as submitted 
        by the Secretary on ___', the blank space being filled with the 
        appropriate date.

    ``(D)(i) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  Any committee of the House of 
Representatives to which a joint resolution is referred shall report it 
to the House without amendment not later than 15 legislative days after 
the date of introduction thereof. If a committee fails to report the 
joint resolution within that period, the committee shall be discharged 
from further consideration of the joint resolution.

    ``(ii) It shall be in order at any time after the third legislative 
day after each committee authorized to consider a joint resolution has 
reported or has been discharged from consideration of a joint 
resolution, to move to proceed to consider the joint resolution in the 
House. All points of order against the motion are waived. Such a motion 
shall not be in order after the House has disposed of a motion to 
proceed on a joint resolution addressing a particular submission. The 
previous question shall be considered as ordered on the motion to its 
adoption without intervening motion. The motion shall not be debatable. 
A motion to reconsider the vote by which the motion is disposed of shall 
not be in order.
    ``(iii) The joint resolution shall be considered as read. All points 
of order against the joint resolution and against its consideration are 
waived. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the 
joint resolution to its passage without intervening motion except two 
hours of debate equally divided and controlled by the

[[Page 132 STAT. 1435]]

proponent and an opponent. A motion to reconsider the vote on passage of 
the joint resolution shall not be in order.
    ``(E)(i) A joint resolution introduced in the Senate shall be 
referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
    ``(ii) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  Any committee of the Senate to which a 
joint resolution is referred shall report it to the Senate without 
amendment not later than 15 session days after the date of introduction 
of a joint resolution described in paragraph (C). If a committee fails 
to report the joint resolution within that period, the committee shall 
be discharged from further consideration of the joint resolution and the 
joint resolution shall be placed on the calendar.

    ``(iii)(I) Notwithstanding Rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the 
Senate, it is in order at any time after the third session day on which 
the Committee on Veterans' Affairs has reported or has been discharged 
from consideration of a joint resolution described in paragraph (C) 
(even though a previous motion to the same effect has been disagreed to) 
to move to proceed to the consideration of the joint resolution, and all 
points of order against the joint resolution (and against consideration 
of the joint resolution) are waived. The motion to proceed is not 
debatable. The motion is not subject to a motion to postpone. A motion 
to reconsider the vote by which the motion is agreed to or disagreed to 
shall not be in order. If a motion to proceed to the consideration of 
the resolution is agreed to, the joint resolution shall remain the 
unfinished business until disposed of.
    ``(II) Consideration of the joint resolution, and on all debatable 
motions and appeals in connection therewith, shall be limited to not 
more than two hours, which shall be divided equally between the majority 
and minority leaders or their designees. A motion further to limit 
debate is in order and not debatable. An amendment to, or a motion to 
postpone, or a motion to proceed to the consideration of other business, 
or a motion to recommit the joint resolution is not in order.
    ``(III) If the Senate has voted to proceed to a joint resolution, 
the vote on passage of the joint resolution shall occur immediately 
following the conclusion of consideration of the joint resolution, and a 
single quorum call at the conclusion of the debate if requested in 
accordance with the rules of the Senate.
    ``(IV) Appeals from the decisions of the Chair relating to the 
application of the rules of the Senate, as the case may be, to the 
procedure relating to a joint resolution shall be decided without 
debate.
    ``(F) A joint resolution considered pursuant to this paragraph shall 
not be subject to amendment in either the House of Representatives or 
the Senate.
    ``(G)(i) <<NOTE: Procedures. Applicability.>>  If, before the 
passage by one House of the joint resolution of that House, that House 
receives the joint resolution from the other House, then the following 
procedures shall apply:
            ``(I) The joint resolution of the other House shall not be 
        referred to a committee.
            ``(II) With respect to the joint resolution of the House 
        receiving the joint resolution--
                          ``(aa) the procedure in that House shall be 
                      the same as if no joint resolution had been 
                      received from the other House; but
                          ``(bb) the vote on passage shall be on the 
                      joint resolution of the other House.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1436]]

            ``(ii) If the Senate fails to introduce or consider a joint 
        resolution under this paragraph, the joint resolution of the 
        House shall be entitled to expedited floor procedures under this 
        subparagraph.
            ``(iii) If, following passage of the joint resolution in the 
        Senate, the Senate then receives the companion measure from the 
        House of Representatives, the companion measure shall not be 
        debatable.

    ``(H) This subparagraph is enacted by Congress--
            ``(i) as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the Senate 
        and House of Representatives, respectively, and as such it is 
        deemed a part of the rules of each House, respectively, but 
        applicable only with respect to the procedure to be followed in 
        that House in the case of a joint resolution, and it supersedes 
        other rules only to the extent that it is inconsistent with such 
        rules; and
            ``(ii) with full recognition of the constitutional right of 
        either House to change the rules (so far as relating to the 
        procedure of that House) at any time, in the same manner, and to 
        the same extent as in the case of any other rule of that House.

    ``(g) Limitations.--(1) The Secretary may not carry out more than 10 
pilot programs concurrently.
    ``(2)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B), the Secretary may not expend 
more than $50,000,000 in any fiscal year from amounts under subsection 
(d).
    ``(B) The Secretary may expend more than the amount in subparagraph 
(A) if--
            ``(i) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  the Secretary determines 
        that the additional expenditure is necessary to carry out pilot 
        programs under this section;
            ``(ii) <<NOTE: Reports.>>  the Secretary submits to the 
        Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the House of 
        Representatives a report setting forth the amount of the 
        additional expenditure and a justification for the additional 
        expenditure; and
            ``(iii) the Chairmen of the Committees on Veterans' Affairs 
        of the Senate and the House of Representatives transmit to the 
        Secretary a letter approving of the additional expenditure.

    ``(3) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  The waiver provisions in subsection (f) 
shall not apply unless the Secretary, in accordance with the 
requirements in subsection (f), submits the first proposal for a pilot 
program not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of the 
Caring for Our Veterans Act of 2018.

    ``(4) Notwithstanding section 502 of this title, decisions by the 
Secretary under this section shall, consistent with section 511 of this 
title, be final and conclusive and may not be reviewed by any other 
official or by any court, whether by an action in the nature of mandamus 
or otherwise.
    ``(5)(A) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  If the Secretary determines that 
a pilot program is not improving the quality of care or producing cost 
savings, the Secretary shall--
            ``(i) <<NOTE: Reports.>>  propose a modification to the 
        pilot program in the interim report that shall also be 
        considered a report under subsection (f)(2) and shall be subject 
        to the terms and conditions of subsection (f)(2); or
            ``(ii) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  terminate such pilot program not 
        later than 30 days after submitting the interim report to 
        Congress.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1437]]

    ``(B) If the Secretary terminates a pilot program under subparagraph 
(A)(ii), for purposes of subparagraphs (F) and (G) of subsection (f)(2), 
such interim report will also serve as the final report for that pilot 
program.
    ``(h) <<NOTE: Analysis.>>  Evaluation and Reporting Requirements.--
(1) The Secretary shall conduct an evaluation of each model tested, 
which shall include, at a minimum, an analysis of--
            ``(A) the quality of care furnished under the model, 
        including the measurement of patient-level outcomes and patient-
        centeredness criteria determined appropriate by the Secretary; 
        and
            ``(B) the changes in spending by reason of that model.

    ``(2) <<NOTE: Public information.>>  The Secretary shall make the 
results of each evaluation under this subsection available to the public 
in a timely fashion and may establish requirements for other entities 
participating in the testing of models under this section to collect and 
report information that the Secretary determines is necessary to monitor 
and evaluate such models.

    ``(i) Coordination and Advice.--(1) The Secretary shall obtain 
advice from the Under Secretary for Health and the Special Medical 
Advisory Group established pursuant to section 7312 of this title in the 
development and implementation of any pilot program operated under this 
section.
    ``(2) <<NOTE: Consultation.>>  In carrying out the duties under this 
section, the Secretary shall consult representatives of relevant Federal 
agencies, and clinical and analytical experts with expertise in medicine 
and health care management. The Secretary shall use appropriate 
mechanisms to seek input from interested parties.

    ``(j) <<NOTE: Regulations. Determination.>>  Expansion of Successful 
Pilot Programs.--Taking into account the evaluation under subsection 
(f), the Secretary may, through rulemaking, expand (including 
implementation on a nationwide basis) the duration and the scope of a 
model that is being tested under subsection (a) to the extent determined 
appropriate by the Secretary, if--
            ``(1) the Secretary determines that such expansion is 
        expected to--
                    ``(A) reduce spending without reducing the quality 
                of care; or
                    ``(B) improve the quality of patient care without 
                increasing spending; and
            ``(2) the Secretary determines that such expansion would not 
        deny or limit the coverage or provision of benefits for 
        individuals receiving benefits under this chapter.''.

    (b) Conforming Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter, as amended by this title, is <<NOTE: 38 USC 1701 
prec.>> further amended by inserting after the item relating to section 
1703D the following new item:

``1703E. Center for Innovation for Care and Payment.''.

SEC. 153. AUTHORIZATION TO PROVIDE FOR OPERATIONS ON LIVE DONORS 
                        FOR PURPOSES OF CONDUCTING TRANSPLANT 
                        PROCEDURES FOR VETERANS.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter VIII of chapter 17 is amended by adding 
at the end the following new section:

[[Page 132 STAT. 1438]]

``Sec. 1788. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1788.>>  Transplant procedures with 
                  live donors and related services

    ``(a) In General.--Subject to subsections (b) and (c), in a case in 
which a veteran is eligible for a transplant procedure from the 
Department, the Secretary may provide for an operation on a live donor 
to carry out such procedure for such veteran, notwithstanding that the 
live donor may not be eligible for health care from the Department.
    ``(b) Other Services.--Subject to the availability of appropriations 
for such purpose, the Secretary shall furnish to a live donor any care 
or services before and after conducting the transplant procedure under 
subsection (a) that may be required in connection with such procedure.
    ``(c) Use of Non-Department Facilities.--In carrying out this 
section, the Secretary may provide for the operation described in 
subsection (a) on a live donor and furnish to the live donor the care 
and services described in subsection (b) at a non-Department facility 
pursuant to an agreement entered into by the Secretary under this 
chapter. The live donor shall be deemed to be an individual eligible for 
hospital care and medical services at a non-Department facility pursuant 
to such an agreement solely for the purposes of receiving such 
operation, care, and services at the non-Department facility.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
chapter 17 <<NOTE: 38 USC 1701 prec.>>  is amended by inserting after 
the item relating to section 1787 the following new item:

``1788. Transplant procedures with live donors and related services.''.

                      Subtitle C--Family Caregivers

SEC. 161. EXPANSION OF FAMILY CAREGIVER PROGRAM OF DEPARTMENT OF 
                        VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) Family Caregiver Program.--
            (1) Expansion of eligibility.--
                    (A) In general.--Subparagraph (B) of subsection 
                (a)(2) of section 1720G is amended to read as follows:
            ``(B) <<NOTE: Certification. Time periods.>>  for assistance 
        provided under this subsection--
                    ``(i) before the date on which the Secretary submits 
                to Congress a certification that the Department has 
                fully implemented the information technology system 
                required by section 162(a) of the Caring for Our 
                Veterans Act of 2018, has a serious injury (including 
                traumatic brain injury, psychological trauma, or other 
                mental disorder) incurred or aggravated in the line of 
                duty in the active military, naval, or air service on or 
                after September 11, 2001;
                    ``(ii) during the 2-year period beginning on the 
                date on which the Secretary submitted to Congress the 
                certification described in clause (i), has a serious 
                injury (including traumatic brain injury, psychological 
                trauma, or other mental disorder) incurred or aggravated 
                in the line of duty in the active military, naval, or 
                air service--
                          ``(I) on or before May 7, 1975; or
                          ``(II) on or after September 11, 2001; or

[[Page 132 STAT. 1439]]

                    ``(iii) after the date that is 2 years after the 
                date on which the Secretary submits to Congress the 
                certification described in clause (i), has a serious 
                injury (including traumatic brain injury, psychological 
                trauma, or other mental disorder) incurred or aggravated 
                in the line of duty in the active military, naval, or 
                air service; and''.
                    (B) Publication in federal 
                register <<NOTE: Deadline. 38 USC 1720G note.>> .--Not 
                later than 30 days after the date on which the Secretary 
                of Veterans Affairs submits to Congress the 
                certification described in subsection (a)(2)(B)(i) of 
                section 1720G of such title, as amended by subparagraph 
                (A) of this paragraph, the Secretary shall publish the 
                date specified in such subsection in the Federal 
                Register.
            (2) Expansion of needed services in eligibility criteria.--
        Subsection (a)(2)(C) of such section is amended--
                    (A) in clause (ii), by striking ``; or'' and 
                inserting a semicolon;
                    (B) by redesignating clause (iii) as clause (iv); 
                and
                    (C) by inserting after clause (ii) the following new 
                clause (iii):
                    ``(iii) a need for regular or extensive instruction 
                or supervision without which the ability of the veteran 
                to function in daily life would be seriously impaired; 
                or''.
            (3) Expansion of services provided.--Subsection 
        (a)(3)(A)(ii) of such section is amended--
                    (A) in subclause (IV), by striking ``; and'' and 
                inserting a semicolon;
                    (B) in subclause (V), by striking the period at the 
                end and inserting ``; and''; and
                    (C) by adding at the end the following new 
                subclause:
                    ``(VI) through the use of contracts with, or the 
                provision of grants to, public or private entities--
                          ``(aa) financial planning services relating to 
                      the needs of injured veterans and their 
                      caregivers; and
                          ``(bb) legal services, including legal advice 
                      and consultation, relating to the needs of injured 
                      veterans and their caregivers.''.
            (4) Modification of stipend calculation.--Subsection 
        (a)(3)(C) of such section is amended--
                    (A) by redesignating clause (iii) as clause (iv); 
                and
                    (B) by inserting after clause (ii) the following new 
                clause (iii):

    ``(iii) In determining the amount and degree of personal care 
services provided under clause (i) with respect to an eligible veteran 
whose need for personal care services is based in whole or in part on a 
need for supervision or protection under paragraph (2)(C)(ii) or regular 
instruction or supervision under paragraph (2)(C)(iii), the Secretary 
shall take into account the following:
            ``(I) The assessment by the family caregiver of the needs 
        and limitations of the veteran.
            ``(II) The extent to which the veteran can function safely 
        and independently in the absence of such supervision, 
        protection, or instruction.
            ``(III) The amount of time required for the family caregiver 
        to provide such supervision, protection, or instruction to the 
        veteran.''.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1440]]

            (5) Periodic evaluation of need for certain services.--
        Subsection (a)(3) of such section is amended by adding at the 
        end the following new subparagraph:

    ``(D) In providing instruction, preparation, and training under 
subparagraph (A)(i)(I) and technical support under subparagraph 
(A)(i)(II) to each family caregiver who is approved as a provider of 
personal care services for an eligible veteran under paragraph (6), the 
Secretary shall periodically evaluate the needs of the eligible veteran 
and the skills of the family caregiver of such veteran to determine if 
additional instruction, preparation, training, or technical support 
under those subparagraphs is necessary.''.
            (6) Use of primary care teams.--Subsection (a)(5) of such 
        section is amended, in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by 
        inserting ``(in collaboration with the primary care team for the 
        eligible veteran to the maximum extent practicable)'' after 
        ``evaluate''.
            (7) Assistance for family caregivers.--Subsection (a) of 
        such section is amended by adding at the end the following new 
        paragraph:

    ``(11)(A) In providing assistance under this subsection to family 
caregivers of eligible veterans, the Secretary may enter into contracts, 
provider agreements, and memoranda of understanding with Federal 
agencies, States, and private, nonprofit, and other entities to provide 
such assistance to such family caregivers.
    ``(B) The Secretary may provide assistance under this paragraph only 
if such assistance is reasonably accessible to the family caregiver and 
is substantially equivalent or better in quality to similar services 
provided by the Department.
    ``(C) The Secretary may provide fair compensation to Federal 
agencies, States, and other entities that provide assistance under this 
paragraph.''.
    (b) Modification of Definition of Personal Care Services.--
Subsection (d)(4) of such section is amended--
            (1) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``independent'';
            (2) by redesignating subparagraph (B) as subparagraph (D); 
        and
            (3) by inserting after subparagraph (A) the following new 
        subparagraphs:
                    ``(B) Supervision or protection based on symptoms or 
                residuals of neurological or other impairment or injury.
                    ``(C) Regular or extensive instruction or 
                supervision without which the ability of the veteran to 
                function in daily life would be seriously impaired.''.
SEC. 162. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1720G note.>>  IMPLEMENTATION OF 
                        INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SYSTEM OF 
                        DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS TO ASSESS 
                        AND IMPROVE THE FAMILY CAREGIVER PROGRAM.

    (a) Implementation of New System.--
            (1) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  In general.--Not later than October 
        1, 2018, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall implement an 
        information technology system that fully supports the Program 
        and allows for data assessment and comprehensive monitoring of 
        the Program.
            (2) Elements of system.--The information technology system 
        required to be implemented under paragraph (1) shall include the 
        following:
                    (A) The ability to easily retrieve data that will 
                allow all aspects of the Program (at the medical center 
                and

[[Page 132 STAT. 1441]]

                aggregate levels) and the workload trends for the 
                Program to be assessed and comprehensively monitored.
                    (B) The ability to manage data with respect to a 
                number of caregivers that is more than the number of 
                caregivers that the Secretary expects to apply for the 
                Program.
                    (C) The ability to integrate the system with other 
                relevant information technology systems of the Veterans 
                Health Administration.

    (b) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  Assessment of Program.--Not later than 180 
days after implementing the system described in subsection (a), the 
Secretary shall, through the Under Secretary for Health, use data from 
the system and other relevant data to conduct an assessment of how key 
aspects of the Program are structured and carried out.

    (c) Ongoing Monitoring of and Modifications to Program.--
            (1) Monitoring.--The Secretary shall use the system 
        implemented under subsection (a) to monitor and assess the 
        workload of the Program, including monitoring and assessment of 
        data on--
                    (A) the status of applications, appeals, and home 
                visits in connection with the Program; and
                    (B) the use by caregivers participating in the 
                Program of other support services under the Program such 
                as respite care.
            (2) Modifications.--Based on the monitoring and assessment 
        conducted under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall identify and 
        implement such modifications to the Program as the Secretary 
        considers necessary to ensure the Program is functioning as 
        intended and providing veterans and caregivers participating in 
        the Program with services in a timely manner.

    (d) Reports.--
            (1) Initial report.--
                    (A) In general.--Not later than 90 days after the 
                date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall 
                submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the 
                Senate, the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House 
                of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the 
                United States a report that includes--
                          (i) the status of the planning, development, 
                      and deployment of the system required to be 
                      implemented under subsection (a), including any 
                      changes in the timeline for the implementation of 
                      the system; and
                          (ii) an assessment of the needs of family 
                      caregivers of veterans described in subparagraph 
                      (B), the resources needed for the inclusion of 
                      such family caregivers in the Program, and such 
                      changes to the Program as the Secretary considers 
                      necessary to ensure the successful expansion of 
                      the Program to include such family caregivers.
                    (B) Veterans described.--Veterans described in this 
                subparagraph are veterans who are eligible for the 
                Program under clause (ii) or (iii) of section 
                1720G(a)(2)(B) of title 38, United States Code, as 
                amended by section 161(a)(1) of this title, solely due 
                to a serious injury (including traumatic brain injury, 
                psychological trauma, or other mental disorder) incurred 
                or aggravated in the line of duty in

[[Page 132 STAT. 1442]]

                the active military, naval, or air service before 
                September 11, 2001.
            (2) <<NOTE: Review.>>  Notification by comptroller 
        general.--The Comptroller General shall review the report 
        submitted under paragraph (1) and notify the Committee on 
        Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans' 
        Affairs of the House of Representatives with respect to the 
        progress of the Secretary in--
                    (A) fully implementing the system required under 
                subsection (a); and
                    (B) implementing a process for using such system to 
                monitor and assess the Program under subsection (c)(1) 
                and modify the Program as considered necessary under 
                subsection (c)(2).
            (3) Final report.--
                    (A) In general.--Not later than October 1, 2019, the 
                Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Veterans' 
                Affairs of the Senate, the Committee on Veterans' 
                Affairs of the House of Representatives, and the 
                Comptroller General a report on the implementation of 
                subsections (a) through (c).
                    (B) Elements.--The report required by subparagraph 
                (A) shall include the following:
                          (i) <<NOTE: Certification.>>  A certification 
                      by the Secretary that the information technology 
                      system described in subsection (a) has been 
                      implemented.
                          (ii) A description of how the Secretary has 
                      implemented such system.
                          (iii) A description of the modifications to 
                      the Program, if any, that were identified and 
                      implemented under subsection (c)(2).
                          (iv) A description of how the Secretary is 
                      using such system to monitor the workload of the 
                      Program.

    (e) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) Active military, naval, or air service.--The term 
        ``active military, naval, or air service'' has the meaning given 
        that term in section 101 of title 38, United States Code.
            (2) Program.--The term ``Program'' means the program of 
        comprehensive assistance for family caregivers under section 
        1720G(a) of title 38, United States Code, as amended by section 
        161 of this title.
SEC. 163. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1720G note.>>  MODIFICATIONS TO ANNUAL 
                        EVALUATION REPORT ON CAREGIVER PROGRAM OF 
                        DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) Barriers to Care and Services.--Subparagraph (A)(iv) of section 
101(c)(2) of the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 
2010 (Public Law 111-163; 38 U.S.C. 1720G note) is amended by inserting 
``, including a description of any barriers to accessing and receiving 
care and services under such programs'' before the semicolon.
    (b) Sufficiency of Training for Family Caregiver Program.--
Subparagraph (B) of such section is amended--
            (1) in clause (i), by striking ``; and'' and inserting a 
        semicolon;
            (2) in clause (ii), by striking the period at the end and 
        inserting ``; and''; and

[[Page 132 STAT. 1443]]

            (3) by adding at the end the following new clause:
                          ``(iii) an evaluation of the sufficiency and 
                      consistency of the training provided to family 
                      caregivers under such program in preparing family 
                      caregivers to provide care to veterans under such 
                      program.''.

              TITLE II--VA ASSET AND INFRASTRUCTURE REVIEW

 Subtitle A <<NOTE: VA Asset and Infrastructure Review Act of 2018. 38 
USC 8122 note.>> --Asset and Infrastructure Review
SEC. 201. SHORT TITLE.

    This subtitle may be cited as the ``VA Asset and Infrastructure 
Review Act of 2018''.
SEC. 202. THE COMMISSION.

    (a) Establishment.--There is established an independent commission 
to be known as the ``Asset and Infrastructure Review Commission'' (in 
this subtitle referred to as the ``Commission'').
    (b) Duties.--The Commission shall carry out the duties specified for 
it in this subtitle.
    (c) <<NOTE: President.>>  Appointment.--
            (1) In general.--
                    (A) Appointment.--The Commission shall be composed 
                of nine members appointed by the President, by and with 
                the advice and consent of the Senate.
                    (B) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  Transmission of 
                nominations.--The President shall transmit to the Senate 
                the nominations for appointment to the Commission not 
                later than May 31, 2021.
            (2) Consultation in selection process.--In selecting 
        individuals for nominations for appointments to the Commission, 
        the President shall consult with--
                    (A) the Speaker of the House of Representatives;
                    (B) the majority leader of the Senate;
                    (C) the minority leader of the House of 
                Representatives;
                    (D) the minority leader of the Senate; and
                    (E) congressionally chartered, membership based 
                veterans service organizations concerning the 
                appointment of three members.
            (3) Designation of chair.--At the time the President 
        nominates individuals for appointment to the Commission under 
        paragraph (1)(B), the President shall designate one such 
        individual who shall serve as Chair of the Commission and one 
        such individual who shall serve as Vice Chair of the Commission.
            (4) Member representation.--In nominating individuals under 
        this subsection, the President shall ensure that--
                    (A) veterans, reflecting current demographics of 
                veterans enrolled in the system of annual patient 
                enrollment under section 1705 of title 38, United States 
                Code, are adequately represented in the membership of 
                the Commission;

[[Page 132 STAT. 1444]]

                    (B) at least one member of the Commission has 
                experience working for a private integrated health care 
                system that has annual gross revenues of more than 
                $50,000,000;
                    (C) at least one member has experience as a senior 
                manager for an entity specified in clause (ii), (iii), 
                or (iv) of section 101(a)(1)(B) of the Veterans Access, 
                Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-
                146; 38 U.S.C. 1701 note);
                    (D) at least one member--
                          (i) has experience with capital asset 
                      management for the Federal Government; and
                          (ii) is familiar with trades related to 
                      building and real property, including 
                      construction, engineering, architecture, leasing, 
                      and strategic partnerships; and
                    (E) at least three members represent congressionally 
                chartered, membership-based, veterans service 
                organizations.

    (d)Meetings.--
            (1) In general. <<NOTE: Time period.>>  --The Commission 
        shall meet only during calendar years 2022 and 2023.
            (2) Public nature of meetings and proceedings.--
                    (A) Public meetings.--Each meeting of the Commission 
                shall be open to the public.
                    (B) Open participation.--All the proceedings, 
                information, and deliberations of the Commission shall 
                be available for review by the public.

    (e) Vacancies.--A vacancy in the Commission shall be filled in the 
same manner as the original appointment, but the individual appointed to 
fill the vacancy shall serve only for the unexpired portion of the term 
for which the individual's predecessor was appointed.
    (f) Pay.--
            (1) In general.--Members of the Commission shall serve 
        without pay.
            (2) Officers or employees of the united states.--Each member 
        of the Commission who is an officer or employee of the United 
        States shall serve without compensation in addition to that 
        received for service as an officer or employee of the United 
        States.
            (3) Travel expenses.--Members shall receive travel expenses, 
        including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with 
        sections 5702 and 5703 of title 5, United States Code.

    (g) Director of Staff.--
            (1) Appointment.--The Commission shall appoint a Director 
        who--
                    (A) <<NOTE: Time period.>>  has not served as an 
                employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs during 
                the 1-year period preceding the date of such 
                appointment; and
                    (B) is not otherwise barred or prohibited from 
                serving as Director under Federal ethics laws and 
                regulations, by reason of post-employment conflict of 
                interest.
            (2) Rate of pay.--The Director shall be paid at the rate of 
        basic pay payable for level IV of the Executive Schedule under 
        section 5315 of title 5, United States Code.

    (h) Staff.--

[[Page 132 STAT. 1445]]

            (1) Pay of personnel.--Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), 
        the Director, with the approval of the Commission, may appoint 
        and fix the pay of additional personnel.
            (2) Exemption from certain requirements.--The Director may 
        make such appointments without regard to the provisions of title 
        5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive 
        service, and any personnel so appointed may be paid without 
        regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of 
        chapter 53 of that title relating to classification and General 
        Schedule pay rates, except that an individual so appointed may 
        not receive pay in excess of the annual rate of basic pay 
        payable for GS-15 of the General Schedule.
            (3) Detailees.--
                    (A) Limitation on number.--Not more than two-thirds 
                of the personnel employed by or detailed to the 
                Commission may be on detail from the Department of 
                Veterans Affairs.
                    (B) Professional analysts.--Not more than half of 
                the professional analysts of the Commission staff may be 
                persons detailed from the Department of Veterans Affairs 
                to the Commission.
                    (C) Prohibition on detail of certain 
                personnel. <<NOTE: Time period.>> --A person may not be 
                detailed from the Department of Veterans Affairs to the 
                Commission if, within 6 months before the detail is to 
                begin, that person participated personally and 
                substantially in any matter within the Department of 
                Veterans Affairs concerning the preparation of 
                recommendations regarding facilities of the Veterans 
                Health Administration.
            (4) Authority to request detailed personnel.--Subject to 
        paragraph (3), the head of any Federal department or agency, 
        upon the request of the Director, may detail any of the 
        personnel of that department or agency to the Commission to 
        assist the Commission in carrying out its duties under this 
        subtitle.
            (5) Information from federal agencies.--The Commission may 
        secure directly from any Federal agency such information the 
        Commission considers necessary to carry out this subtitle. Upon 
        request of the Chair, the head of such agency shall furnish such 
        information to the Commission.

    (i) Other Authority.--
            (1) Temporary and intermittent services.--The Commission may 
        procure by contract, to the extent funds are available, the 
        temporary or intermittent services of experts or consultants 
        pursuant to section 3109 of title 5, United States Code.
            (2) Leasing and acquisition of property.-- 
        <<NOTE: Consultation.>> To the extent funds are available, the 
        Commission may lease real property and acquire personal property 
        either of its own accord or in consultation with the General 
        Services Administration.

    (j) Termination.--The Commission shall terminate on December 31, 
2023.
    (k) Prohibition Against Restricting Communications.--
            (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), no 
        person may restrict an employee of the Department of Veterans 
        Affairs in communicating with the Commission.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1446]]

            (2) Unlawful communications.--Paragraph (1) does not apply 
        to a communication that is unlawful.
SEC. 203. PROCEDURE FOR MAKING RECOMMENDATIONS.

    (a) Selection Criteria.--
            (1) Publication.--The Secretary shall, not 
        later <<NOTE: Deadline. Consultation. Federal Register, 
        publication.>>  than February 1, 2021, and after consulting with 
        veterans service organizations, publish in the Federal Register 
        and transmit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the 
        Senate and the House of Representatives the criteria proposed to 
        be used by the Department of Veterans Affairs in assessing and 
        making recommendations regarding the modernization or 
        realignment of facilities of the Veterans Health Administration 
        under this subtitle. Such criteria shall include the preferences 
        of veterans regarding health care furnished by the Department.
            (2) <<NOTE: Time period. Notice.>>  Public comment.--The 
        Secretary shall provide an opportunity for public comment on the 
        proposed criteria under paragraph (1) for a period of at least 
        90 days and shall include notice of that opportunity in the 
        publication required under such paragraph.
            (3) <<NOTE: Deadline. Federal Register, publication.>>  
        Publication of final criteria.--The Secretary shall, not later 
        than May 31, 2021, publish in the Federal Register and transmit 
        to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the 
        House of Representatives the final criteria to be used in making 
        recommendations regarding the closure, modernization, or 
        realignment of facilities of the Veterans Health Administration 
        under this subtitle.

    (b) Recommendations of the Secretary.--
            (1) <<NOTE: Deadline. Consultation. Reports.>>  Publication 
        in federal register.--The Secretary shall, not later than 
        January 31, 2022, and after consulting with veterans service 
        organizations, publish in the Federal Register and transmit to 
        the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the House 
        of Representatives and to the Commission a report detailing the 
        recommendations regarding the modernization or realignment of 
        facilities of the Veterans Health Administration on the basis of 
        the final criteria referred to in subsection (a)(2) that are 
        applicable.
            (2) Factors for consideration.--In making recommendations 
        under this subsection, the Secretary shall consider each of the 
        following factors:
                    (A) The degree to which any health care delivery or 
                other site for providing services to veterans reflect 
                the metrics of the Department of Veterans Affairs 
                regarding market area health system planning.
                    (B) The provision of effective and efficient access 
                to high-quality health care and services for veterans.
                    (C) The extent to which the real property that no 
                longer meets the needs of the Federal Government could 
                be reconfigured, repurposed, consolidated, realigned, 
                exchanged, outleased, replaced, sold, or disposed.
                    (D) The need of the Veterans Health Administration 
                to acquire infrastructure or facilities that will be 
                used for the provision of health care and services to 
                veterans.
                    (E) The extent to which the operating and 
                maintenance costs are reduced through consolidating, 
                colocating, and reconfiguring space, and through 
                realizing other operational efficiencies.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1447]]

                    (F) The extent and timing of potential costs and 
                savings, including the number of years such costs or 
                savings will be incurred, beginning with the date of 
                completion of the proposed recommendation.
                    (G) The extent to which the real property aligns 
                with the mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
                    (H) The extent to which any action would impact 
                other missions of the Department (including education, 
                research, or emergency preparedness).
                    (I) Local stakeholder inputs and any factors 
                identified through public field hearings.
                    (J)The assessments under paragraph (3)..
                    (K) <<NOTE: Determinations.>>  The extent to which 
                the Veterans Health Administration has appropriately 
                staffed the medical facility, including determinations 
                whether there has been insufficient resource allocation 
                or deliberate understaffing.
                    (L) Any other such factors the Secretary determines 
                appropriate.
            (3) Capacity and commercial market assessments.--
                    (A) Assessments.--The Secretary shall assess the 
                capacity of each Veterans Integrated Service Network and 
                medical facility of the Department to furnish hospital 
                care or medical services to veterans under chapter 17 of 
                title 38, United States Code. Each such assessment 
                shall--
                          (i) identify gaps in furnishing such care or 
                      services at such Veterans Integrated Service 
                      Network or medical facility;
                          (ii) identify how such gaps can be filled by--
                                    (I) <<NOTE: Contracts.>>  entering 
                                into contracts or agreements with 
                                network providers under this section or 
                                with entities under other provisions of 
                                law;
                                    (II) making changes in the way such 
                                care and services are furnished at such 
                                Veterans Integrated Service Network or 
                                medical facility, including--
                                            (aa) extending hours of 
                                        operation;
                                            (bb) adding personnel; or
                                            (cc) expanding space through 
                                        the construction, leasing, or 
                                        sharing of health care 
                                        facilities; and
                                    (III) the building or realignment of 
                                Department resources or personnel;
                          (iii) forecast, based on future projections 
                      and historical trends, both the short- and long-
                      term demand in furnishing care or services at such 
                      Veterans Integrated Service Network or medical 
                      facility and assess how such demand affects the 
                      needs to use such network providers;
                          (iv) include a commercial health care market 
                      assessment of designated catchment areas in the 
                      United States conducted by a non-governmental 
                      entity; and
                          (v) consider the unique ability of the Federal 
                      Government to retain a presence in an area 
                      otherwise devoid of commercial health care 
                      providers or from which such providers are at risk 
                      of leaving.
                    (B) Consultation.--In carrying out the assessments 
                under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall consult with

[[Page 132 STAT. 1448]]

                veterans service organizations and veterans served by 
                each such Veterans Integrated Service Network and 
                medical facility.
                    (C) <<NOTE: Public information.>>  Submittal.--The 
                Secretary shall submit such assessments to the 
                Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the House of 
                Representatives and the Senate with the recommendations 
                of the Secretary under this subsection and make the 
                assessments publicly available.
            (4) Summary of selection process.--The Secretary shall 
        include, with the list of recommendations published and 
        transmitted pursuant to paragraph (1), a summary of the 
        selection process that resulted in the recommendation for each 
        facility of the Veterans Health Administration, including a 
        justification for each recommendation. <<NOTE: Deadline.>> The 
        Secretary shall transmit the matters referred to in the 
        preceding sentence not later than 7 days after the date of the 
        transmittal to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate 
        and the House of Representatives and the Commission of the 
        report referred to in paragraph (1).
            (5) Treatment of facilities.--In assessing facilities of the 
        Veterans Health Administration, the Secretary shall consider all 
        such facilities equally without regard to whether the facility 
        has been previously considered or proposed for reuse, closure, 
        modernization, or realignment by the Department of Veterans 
        Affairs.
            (6) Availability of information to congress.--In addition to 
        making all information used by the Secretary to prepare the 
        recommendations under this subsection available to Congress 
        (including any committee or Member of Congress), the Secretary 
        shall also make such information available to the Commission and 
        the Comptroller General of the United States.
            (7) Certification of accuracy.--
                    (A) In general.--Each person referred to in 
                subparagraph (B), when submitting information to the 
                Secretary or the Commission concerning the modernization 
                or realignment of a facility of the Veterans Health 
                Administration, shall certify that such information is 
                accurate and complete to the best of that person's 
                knowledge and belief.
                    (B) Covered persons.--Subparagraph (A) applies to 
                the following persons:
                          (i) Each Under Secretary of the Department of 
                      Veterans Affairs.
                          (ii) Each director of a Veterans Integrated 
                      Service Network.
                          (iii) Each director of a medical center of the 
                      Department of Veterans Affairs.
                          (iv) Each director of a program office of the 
                      Department of Veterans Affairs.
                          (v) Each person who is in a position the 
                      duties of which include personal and substantial 
                      involvement in the preparation and submission of 
                      information and recommendations concerning the 
                      modernization or realignment of facilities of the 
                      Veterans Health Administration.

    (c) Review and Recommendations by the Commission.--
            (1) Public hearings.--

[[Page 132 STAT. 1449]]

                    (A) In general.--After receiving the recommendations 
                from the Secretary pursuant to subsection (b), the 
                Commission shall conduct public hearings on the 
                recommendations.
                    (B) Locations.--The Commission shall conduct public 
                hearings in regions affected by a recommendation of the 
                Secretary to close a facility of the Veterans Health 
                Administration. To the greatest extent practicable, the 
                Commission shall conduct public hearings in regions 
                affected by a recommendation of the Secretary to 
                modernize or realign such a facility.
                    (C) Required witnesses.--Witnesses at each public 
                hearing shall include at a minimum--
                          (i) a veteran--
                                    (I) enrolled under section 1705 of 
                                title 38, United States Code; and
                                    (II) identified by a local veterans 
                                service organization; and
                          (ii) a local elected official.
            (2) Transmittal to president.--
                    (A) In general.--The 
                Commission <<NOTE: Deadline. Reports. Analysis.>> shall, 
                not later than January 31, 2023, transmit to the 
                President a report containing the Commission's findings 
                and conclusions based on a review and analysis of the 
                recommendations made by the Secretary, together with the 
                Commission's recommendations, for modernizations and 
                realignments of facilities of the Veterans Health 
                Administration.
                    (B) <<NOTE: Determinations.>>  Authority to make 
                changes to recommendations.--Subject to subparagraph 
                (C), in making its recommendations, the Commission may 
                change any recommendation made by the Secretary if the 
                Commission--
                          (i) determines that the Secretary deviated 
                      substantially from the final criteria referred to 
                      in subsection (a)(2) in making such 
                      recommendation;
                          (ii) determines that the change is consistent 
                      with the final criteria referred to in subsection 
                      (a)(2);
                          (iii) <<NOTE: Notice. Federal Register, 
                      publication. Time period.>>  publishes a notice of 
                      the proposed change in the Federal Register not 
                      less than 45 days before transmitting its 
                      recommendations to the President pursuant to 
                      subparagraph (A); and
                          (iv) conducts public hearings on the proposed 
                      change.
            (3) Justification for changes. <<NOTE: Reports.>> --The 
        Commission shall explain and justify in its report submitted to 
        the President pursuant to paragraph (2) any recommendation made 
        by the Commission that is different from the recommendations 
        made by the Secretary pursuant to subsection (b). The Commission 
        shall transmit a copy of such report to the Committees on 
        Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the House of Representatives 
        on the same date on which it transmits its recommendations to 
        the President under paragraph (2).
            (4) Provision of information to congress.--After the 
        Commission transmits its report to the President, the Commission 
        shall promptly provide, upon request, to any Member of Congress, 
        information used by the Commission in making its 
        recommendations.

    (d) Review by the President.--

[[Page 132 STAT. 1450]]

            (1) Report.--The President shall, not later than February 
        15, 2023, transmit to the Commission and to the Congress a 
        report containing the President's approval or disapproval of the 
        Commission's recommendations.
            (2) <<NOTE: Certification.>>  Presidential approval.--If the 
        President approves all the recommendations of the Commission, 
        the President shall transmit a copy of such recommendations to 
        the Congress, together with a certification of such approval.
            (3) <<NOTE: Deadlines.>>  Presidential disapproval.--If the 
        President disapproves the recommendations of the Commission, in 
        whole or in part, the President shall transmit to the Commission 
        and the Congress, not later than March 1, 2023, the reasons for 
        that disapproval. <<NOTE: Consideration. Reports.>> The 
        Commission, after consideration of the President's reasons for 
        disapproval, shall then transmit to the President, not later 
        than March 15, 2023, a report containing--
                    (A) the Commission's findings and conclusions based 
                on a review and analysis of those reasons for 
                disapproval provided by the President; and
                    (B) recommendations that the Commission determines 
                are appropriate for modernizations and realignments of 
                facilities of the Veterans Health Administration.
            (4) <<NOTE: Certification.>>  Transmittal of recommendations 
        to congress.--If the President approves all recommendations of 
        the Commission transmitted to the President under paragraph (3), 
        the President shall transmit a copy of such recommendations to 
        the Congress, together with a certification of such approval.
            (5) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  Failure to transmit.--If the 
        President does not transmit to the Congress an approval and 
        certification described in paragraph (2) or (4) by March 30, 
        2023, the process by which facilities of the Veterans Health 
        Administration may be selected for modernization or realignment 
        under this subtitle shall be terminated.
SEC. 204. ACTIONS REGARDING INFRASTRUCTURE AND FACILITIES OF THE 
                        VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION.

    (a) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  In General.--Subject to subsection (b), the 
Secretary shall begin to implement the recommended modernizations and 
realignments in the report under section 203(d) not later than 3 years 
after the date on which the President transmits such report to Congress. 
In any fiscal year, such implementation includes--
            (1) the planning of modernizations and realignments of 
        facilities of the Veterans Health Administration as recommended 
        in such report; and
            (2) providing detailed information on the budget for such 
        modernizations or realignments in documents submitted to 
        Congress by the Secretary in support of the President's budget 
        for that fiscal year.

    (b) Congressional Disapproval.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary may not carry out any 
        modernization or realignment recommended by the Commission in a 
        report transmitted from the President pursuant to section 203(d) 
        if a joint resolution is enacted, in accordance with the 
        provisions of section 207, disapproving such recommendations of 
        the Commission before the earlier of--
                    (A) <<NOTE: Time period.>>  the end of the 45-day 
                period beginning on the date on which the President 
                transmits such report; or

[[Page 132 STAT. 1451]]

                    (B) the adjournment of Congress sine die for the 
                session during which such report is transmitted.
            (2) Computation of period.--For purposes of paragraph (1) 
        and subsections (a) and (c) of section 207, the days on which 
        either House of Congress is not in session because of an 
        adjournment of more than three days to a day certain shall be 
        excluded in the computation of a period.
SEC. 205. IMPLEMENTATION..

    (a) In General.--
            (1) Modernizing and realigning facilities.--In modernizing 
        or realigning any facility of the Veterans Health Administration 
        under this subtitle, the Secretary may--
                    (A) take such actions as may be necessary to 
                modernize or realign any such facility, including the 
                alteration of such facilities, the acquisition of such 
                land, the leasing or construction of such replacement 
                facilities, the disposition of such land or facilities, 
                the performance of such activities, and the conduct of 
                such advance planning and design as may be required to 
                transfer functions from a facility of the Veterans 
                Health Administration to another such facility, and may 
                use for such purpose funds in the Account or funds 
                appropriated to the Department of Veterans Affairs for 
                such purposes;
                    (B) carry out activities for the purposes of 
                environmental mitigation, abatement, or restoration at 
                any such facility, and shall use for such purposes funds 
                in the Account;
                    (C) <<NOTE: Reimbursement.>>  reimburse other 
                Federal agencies for actions performed at the request of 
                the Secretary with respect to any such closure or 
                realignment, and may use for such purpose funds in the 
                Account or funds appropriated to the Department of 
                Veterans Affairs and available for such purpose; and
                    (D) exercise the authority of the Secretary under 
                subchapter V of chapter 81 of title 38, United States 
                Code.
            (2) Environmental restoration; historic preservation.--In 
        carrying out any closure or realignment under this subtitle, the 
        Secretary, with regards to any property made excess to the needs 
        of the Department of Veterans Affairs as a result of such 
        closure or realignment, shall carry out, as soon as possible 
        with funds available for such purpose, any of the following for 
        which the Secretary is responsible:
                    (A) Environmental mitigation.
                    (B) Environmental abatement.
                    (C) Environmental restoration.
                    (D) Compliance with historic preservation 
                requirements.

    (b) Management and Disposal of Property.--
            (1) Existing disposal authorities.--To transfer or dispose 
        of surplus real property or infrastructure located at any 
        facility of the Veterans Health Administration that is 
        modernized or realigned under this title, the Secretary may 
        exercise the authorities of the Secretary under subchapters I 
        and II of chapter 81 of title 38, United States Code, or the 
        authorities delegated to the Secretary by the Administrator of 
        General

[[Page 132 STAT. 1452]]

        Services under subchapter III of chapter 5 of title 40, United 
        States Code.
            (2) Effects on local communities.--
                    (A) Consultation with state and local government.--
                Before any action may be taken with respect to the 
                disposal of any surplus real property or infrastructure 
                located at any facility of the Veterans Health 
                Administration to be closed or realigned under this 
                subtitle, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall 
                consult with the Governor of the State and the heads of 
                the local governments concerned for the purpose of 
                considering any plan for the use of such property by the 
                local community concerned.
                    (B) Treatment of roads.--If infrastructure or a 
                facility of the Veterans Health Administration to be 
                closed or realigned under this subtitle includes a road 
                used for public access through, into, or around the 
                facility, the Secretary--
                          (i) <<NOTE: Consultation.>>  shall consult 
                      with the Government of the State and the heads of 
                      the local governments concerned for the purpose of 
                      considering the continued availability of the road 
                      for public use after the recommended action is 
                      complete; and
                          (ii) may exercise the authority of the 
                      Secretary under section 8108 of title 38, United 
                      States Code.
            (3) Leases; cercla.--
                    (A) Lease authority.--
                          (i) Transfer to redevelopment authority for 
                      lease.--The Secretary may transfer title to a 
                      facility of the Veterans Health Administration 
                      approved for closure or realignment under this 
                      subtitle (including property at a facility of the 
                      Veterans Health Administration approved for 
                      realignment which will be retained by the 
                      Department of Veterans Affairs or another Federal 
                      agency after realignment) to the redevelopment 
                      authority for the facility if the redevelopment 
                      authority agrees to lease, directly upon transfer, 
                      one or more portions of the property transferred 
                      under this subparagraph to the Secretary or to the 
                      head of another department or agency of the 
                      Federal Government.
                          (ii) Term of lease.--A lease under clause (i) 
                      shall be for a term of not to exceed 50 years, but 
                      may provide for options for renewal or extension 
                      of the term by the department or agency concerned.
                          (iii) Limitation.--A lease under clause (i) 
                      may not require rental payments by the United 
                      States.
                          (iv) Treatment of remaindered lease terms.--A 
                      lease under clause (i) shall include a provision 
                      specifying that if the department or agency 
                      concerned ceases requiring the use of the leased 
                      property before the expiration of the term of the 
                      lease, the remainder of the lease term may be 
                      satisfied by the same or another department or 
                      agency of the Federal Government using the 
                      property for a use similar to the use under the 
                      lease. <<NOTE: Consultation.>> Exercise of the 
                      authority provided by this clause shall be made in 
                      consultation with the redevelopment authority 
                      concerned.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1453]]

                          (v) Facility services.--Notwithstanding clause 
                      (iii), if a lease under clause (i) involves a 
                      substantial portion of the facility, the 
                      department or agency concerned may obtain facility 
                      services for the leased property and common area 
                      maintenance from the redevelopment authority or 
                      the redevelopment authority's assignee as a 
                      provision of the lease. The facility services and 
                      common area maintenance shall be provided at a 
                      rate no higher than the rate charged to non-
                      Federal tenants of the transferred property. 
                      Facility services and common area maintenance 
                      covered by the lease shall not include--
                                    (I) municipal services that a State 
                                or local government is required by law 
                                to provide to all landowners in its 
                                jurisdiction without direct charge; or
                                    (II) firefighting or security-guard 
                                functions.
                    (B) Application of cercla.--The provisions of 
                section 120(h) of the Comprehensive Environmental 
                Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 
                U.S.C. 9620(h)) shall apply to any transfer of real 
                property under this paragraph.
                    (C) Additional terms and conditions.--The Secretary 
                may require any additional terms and conditions in 
                connection with a transfer under this paragraph as such 
                Secretary considers appropriate to protect the interests 
                of the United States.
            (4) Application of mckinney-vento homeless assistance act.--
        Nothing in this subtitle shall limit or otherwise affect the 
        application of the provisions of the McKinney-Vento Homeless 
        Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11301 et seq.) to facilities of the 
        Veterans Health Administration closed under this subtitle.

    (c) Applicability of National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.--
            (1) In general.--The provisions of the National 
        Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) shall 
        not apply to the actions of the President, the Commission, and, 
        except as provided in paragraph (2), the Department of Veterans 
        Affairs in carrying out this subtitle.
            (2) Department of veterans affairs.--
                    (A) Covered activities.--The provisions of the 
                National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 shall apply to 
                actions of the Department of Veterans Affairs under this 
                subtitle--
                          (i) during the process of property disposal; 
                      and
                          (ii) during the process of relocating 
                      functions from a facility of the Veterans Health 
                      Administration being closed or realigned to 
                      another facility after the receiving facility has 
                      been selected but before the functions are 
                      relocated.
                    (B) Other activities.--In applying the provisions of 
                the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to the 
                processes referred to in subparagraph (A), the Secretary 
                shall not have to consider--
                          (i) the need for closing or realigning the 
                      facility of the Veterans Health Administration as 
                      recommended by the Commission;

[[Page 132 STAT. 1454]]

                          (ii) the need for transferring functions to 
                      any facility of the Veterans Health Administration 
                      which has been selected as the receiving facility; 
                      or
                          (iii) facilities of the Veterans Health 
                      Administration alternative to those recommended or 
                      selected.

    (d) Waiver.--
            (1) Restrictions on use of funds.--The Secretary may close 
        or realign facilities of the Veterans Health Administration 
        under this subtitle without regard to any provision of law 
        restricting the use of funds for closing or realigning 
        facilities of the Veterans Health Administration included in any 
        appropriation or authorization Act.
            (2) Restrictions on authorities.--The Secretary may close or 
        realign facilities of the Veterans Health Administration under 
        this subtitle without regard to the restrictions of section 8110 
        of title 38, United States Code.

    (e) Transfer Authority in Connection With Payment of Environmental 
Remediation Costs.--
            (1) In general.--
                    (A) Transfer by deed.--Subject to paragraph (2) of 
                this subsection and section 120(h) of the Comprehensive 
                Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act 
                of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9620(h)), the Secretary may enter 
                into an agreement to transfer by deed a facility of the 
                Veterans Health Administration with any person who 
                agrees to perform all environmental restoration, waste 
                management, and environmental compliance activities that 
                are required for the property or facilities under 
                Federal and State laws, administrative decisions, 
                agreements (including schedules and milestones), and 
                concurrences.
                    (B) Additional terms or conditions.--The Secretary 
                may require any additional terms and conditions in 
                connection with an agreement authorized by subparagraph 
                (A) as the Secretary considers appropriate to protect 
                the interests of the United States.
            (2) <<NOTE: Certification.>>  Limitation.--A transfer of a 
        facility of the Veterans Health Administration may be made under 
        paragraph (1) only if the Secretary certifies to Congress that--
                    (A) the costs of all environmental restoration, 
                waste management, and environmental compliance 
                activities otherwise to be paid by the Secretary with 
                respect to the facility of the Veterans Health 
                Administration are equal to or greater than the fair 
                market value of the property or facilities to be 
                transferred, as determined by the Secretary; or
                    (B) if such costs are lower than the fair market 
                value of the facility of the Veterans Health 
                Administration, the recipient of such transfer agrees to 
                pay the difference between the fair market value and 
                such costs.
            (3) Payment by the secretary for certain transfers.--In the 
        case of a facility of the Veterans Health Administration covered 
        by a certification under paragraph (2)(A), the Secretary may pay 
        the recipient of such facility an amount equal to the lesser 
        of--
                    (A) the amount by which the costs incurred by the 
                recipient of the facility of the Veterans Health 
                Administration for all environmental restoration, waste, 
                management,

[[Page 132 STAT. 1455]]

                and environmental compliance activities with respect to 
                such facility exceed the fair market value of such 
                property as specified in such certification; or
                    (B) the amount by which the costs (as determined by 
                the Secretary) that would otherwise have been incurred 
                by the Secretary for such restoration, management, and 
                activities with respect to such facility of the Veterans 
                Health Administration exceed the fair market value of 
                property as so specified.
            (4) Disclosure.--As part of an agreement under paragraph 
        (1), the Secretary shall disclose to the person to whom the 
        facility of the Veterans Health Administration will be 
        transferred any information of the Secretary regarding the 
        environmental restoration, waste management, and environmental 
        compliance activities described in paragraph (1) that relate to 
        the facility of the Veterans Health Administration. The 
        Secretary shall provide such information before entering into 
        the agreement.
            (5) Applicability of certain environmental laws.--Nothing in 
        this subsection shall be construed to modify, alter, or amend 
        the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and 
        Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.) or the Solid 
        Waste Disposal Act (42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.).
SEC. 206. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ASSET AND INFRASTRUCTURE 
                        REVIEW ACCOUNT.

    (a) Establishment.--There is hereby established in the ledgers of 
the Treasury an account to be known as the ``Department of Veterans 
Affairs Asset and Infrastructure Review Account'' which shall be 
administered by the Secretary as a single account.
    (b) Credits to Account.--There shall be credited to the Account the 
following:
            (1) Funds authorized for and appropriated to the Account.
            (2) Proceeds received from the lease, transfer, or disposal 
        of any property at a facility of the Veterans Health 
        Administration closed or realigned under this subtitle.

    (c) Use of Account.--The Secretary may use the funds in the Account 
only for the following purposes:
            (1) To carry out this subtitle.
            (2) To cover property management and disposal costs incurred 
        at facilities of the Veterans Health Administration closed, 
        modernized, or realigned under this subtitle.
            (3) To cover costs associated with supervision, inspection, 
        overhead, engineering, and design of construction projects 
        undertaken under this subtitle, and subsequent claims, if any, 
        related to such activities.
            (4) Other purposes that the Secretary determines support the 
        mission and operations of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    (d) Consolidated Budget Justification Display for Account.--
            (1) Consolidated budget information required.--The Secretary 
        shall establish a consolidated budget justification display in 
        support of the Account that for each fiscal year--
                    (A) details the amount and nature of credits to, and 
                expenditures from, the Account during the preceding 
                fiscal year;

[[Page 132 STAT. 1456]]

                    (B) separately details the environmental remediation 
                costs associated with facility of the Veterans Health 
                Administration for which a budget request is made;
                    (C) specifies the transfers into the Account and the 
                purposes for which these transferred funds will be 
                further obligated, to include caretaker and environment 
                remediation costs associated with each facility of the 
                Veterans Health Administration; and
                    (D) details any intra-budget activity transfers 
                within the Account that exceeded $1,000,000 during the 
                preceding fiscal year or that are proposed for the next 
                fiscal year and will exceed $1,000,000.
            (2) Submission.--The Secretary shall include the information 
        required by paragraph (1) in the materials that the Secretary 
        submits to Congress in support of the budget for a fiscal year 
        submitted by the President pursuant to section 1105 of title 31, 
        United States Code.

    (e) Closure of Account; Treatment of Remaining Funds.--
            (1) Closure.--The Account shall be closed at the time and in 
        the manner provided for appropriation accounts under section 
        1555 of title 31, United States Code, except that unobligated 
        funds which remain in the Account upon closure shall be held by 
        the Secretary of the Treasury until transferred to the Secretary 
        of Veterans Affairs by law after the Committees on Veterans' 
        Affairs of the Senate and the House of Representatives receive 
        the final report transmitted under paragraph (2).
            (2) Final report.--No later than 60 days after the closure 
        of the Account under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall transmit 
        to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the 
        House of Representatives and the Committees on Appropriations of 
        the House of Representatives and the Senate a report containing 
        an accounting of--
                    (A) all the funds credited to and expended from the 
                Account or otherwise expended under this subtitle; and
                    (B) any funds remaining in the Account.
SEC. 207. CONGRESSIONAL CONSIDERATION OF COMMISSION REPORT.

    (a) <<NOTE: Definition. Time period.>>  Disapproval Resolution.--For 
purposes of this subtitle, the term ``joint resolution'' means only a 
joint resolution which is introduced within the 5-day period beginning 
on the date on which the President transmits the report to the Congress 
under section 203(d), and--
            (1) which does not have a preamble;
            (2) the matter after the resolving clause of which is as 
        follows: ``that Congress disapproves the recommendations of the 
        VHA Asset and Infrastructure Review Commission as submitted by 
        the President on ___'', the blank space being filled with the 
        appropriate date; and
            (3) the title of which is as follows: ``Joint resolution 
        disapproving the recommendations of the VHA Asset and 
        Infrastructure Review Commission.''.

    (b) Consideration in the House of Representatives.--
            (1) Reporting and discharge.--Any committee of the House of 
        Representatives to which a joint resolution is referred shall 
        report it to the House without amendment not later than 15 
        legislative days after the date of introduction thereof. If a 
        committee fails to report the joint resolution within that

[[Page 132 STAT. 1457]]

        period, the committee shall be discharged from further 
        consideration of the joint resolution.
            (2) Proceeding to consideration.--It shall be in order at 
        any time after the third legislative day after each committee 
        authorized to consider a joint resolution has reported or has 
        been discharged from consideration of a joint resolution, to 
        move to proceed to consider the joint resolution in the House. 
        All points of order against the motion are waived. Such a motion 
        shall not be in order after the House has disposed of a motion 
        to proceed on a joint resolution addressing a particular 
        submission. The previous question shall be considered as ordered 
        on the motion to its adoption without intervening motion. The 
        motion shall not be debatable. A motion to reconsider the vote 
        by which the motion is disposed of shall not be in order.
            (3) Consideration.--The joint resolution shall be considered 
        as read. All points of order against the joint resolution and 
        against its consideration are waived. The previous question 
        shall be considered as ordered on the joint resolution to its 
        passage without intervening motion except 2 hours of debate 
        equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent. 
        A motion to reconsider the vote on passage of the joint 
        resolution shall not be in order.

    (c) Consideration in the Senate.--
            (1) Referral.--A joint resolution introduced in the Senate 
        shall be referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
            (2) Reporting and discharge.--Any committee of the Senate to 
        which a joint resolution is referred shall report it to the 
        Senate without amendment not later than 15 session days after 
        the date of introduction of a joint resolution described in 
        subsection (a). If a committee fails to report the joint 
        resolution within that period, the committee shall be discharged 
        from further consideration of the joint resolution and the joint 
        resolution shall be placed on the calendar.
            (3) Floor consideration.--
                    (A) In general.--Notwithstanding Rule XXII of the 
                Standing Rules of the Senate, it is in order at any time 
                after the third session day on which the Committee on 
                Veterans' Affairs has reported or has been discharged 
                from consideration of a joint resolution described in 
                subsection (a) (even though a previous motion to the 
                same effect has been disagreed to) to move to proceed to 
                the consideration of the joint resolution, and all 
                points of order against the joint resolution (and 
                against consideration of the joint resolution) are 
                waived. The motion to proceed is not debatable. The 
                motion is not subject to a motion to postpone. A motion 
                to reconsider the vote by which the motion is agreed to 
                or disagreed to shall not be in order. If a motion to 
                proceed to the consideration of the resolution is agreed 
                to, the joint resolution shall remain the unfinished 
                business until disposed of.
                    (B) Consideration.--Consideration of the joint 
                resolution, and on all debatable motions and appeals in 
                connection therewith, shall be limited to not more than 
                2 hours, which shall be divided equally between the 
                majority and minority leaders or their designees. A 
                motion further to limit debate is in order and not 
                debatable. An amendment

[[Page 132 STAT. 1458]]

                to, or a motion to postpone, or a motion to proceed to 
                the consideration of other business, or a motion to 
                recommit the joint resolution is not in order.
                    (C) Vote on passage.--If the Senate has voted to 
                proceed to a joint resolution, the vote on passage of 
                the joint resolution shall occur immediately following 
                the conclusion of consideration of the joint resolution, 
                and a single quorum call at the conclusion of the debate 
                if requested in accordance with the rules of the Senate.
                    (D) Rulings of the chair on procedure.--Appeals from 
                the decisions of the Chair relating to the application 
                of the rules of the Senate, as the case may be, to the 
                procedure relating to a joint resolution shall be 
                decided without debate.

    (d) Amendment Not in Order.--A joint resolution of disapproval 
considered pursuant to this section shall not be subject to amendment in 
either the House of Representatives or the Senate.
    (e) Coordination With Action by Other House.--
            (1) In general. <<NOTE: Procedures. Applicability.>> --If, 
        before the passage by one House of the joint resolution of that 
        House, that House receives the joint resolution from the other 
        House, then the following procedures shall apply:
                    (A) The joint resolution of the other House shall 
                not be referred to a committee.
                    (B) With respect to the joint resolution of the 
                House receiving the joint resolution--
                          (i) the procedure in that House shall be the 
                      same as if no joint resolution had been received 
                      from the other House; but
                          (ii) the vote on passage shall be on the joint 
                      resolution of the other House.
            (2) Treatment of joint resolution of other house.--If the 
        Senate fails to introduce or consider a joint resolution under 
        this section, the joint resolution of the House shall be 
        entitled to expedited floor procedures under this section.
            (3) Treatment of companion measures.--If, following passage 
        of the joint resolution in the Senate, the Senate then receives 
        the companion measure from the House of Representatives, the 
        companion measure shall not be debatable.

    (f) Rules of the House of Representatives and Senate.--This section 
is enacted by Congress--
            (1) as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the Senate and 
        House of Representatives, respectively, and as such it is deemed 
        a part of the rules of each House, respectively, but applicable 
        only with respect to the procedure to be followed in that House 
        in the case of a joint resolution, and it supersedes other rules 
        only to the extent that it is inconsistent with such rules; and
            (2) with full recognition of the constitutional right of 
        either House to change the rules (so far as relating to the 
        procedure of that House) at any time, in the same manner, and to 
        the same extent as in the case of any other rule of that House.
SEC. 208. OTHER MATTERS.

    (a) Online Publication of Communications.--
            (1) In general.--Not <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  later than 24 
        hours after the transmission or receipt of any communication 
        under this subtitle

[[Page 132 STAT. 1459]]

        that is transmitted or received by a party specified in 
        paragraph (2), the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall publish 
        such communication online.
            (2) Parties specified.--The parties specified under this 
        paragraph are the following:
                    (A) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
                    (B) The Commission.
                    (C) The President.

    (b) Continuation of Existing Construction Projects and Planning.--
During activities that the Commission, President, or Congress carry out 
under this subtitle, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs may not stop, 
solely because of such activities--
            (1) a construction or leasing project of the Veterans Health 
        Administration;
            (2) long term planning regarding infrastructure and assets 
        of the Veterans Health Administration; or
            (3) budgetary processes for the Veterans Health 
        Administration.

    (c) Recommendations for Future Asset Reviews.-- 
<<NOTE: Consultation.>> The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may, after 
consulting with veterans service organizations, include in budget 
submissions the Secretary submits after the termination of the 
Commission recommendations for future such commissions or other capital 
asset realignment and management processes.
SEC. 209. DEFINITIONS.

    In this subtitle:
            (1) The term ``Account'' means the Department of Veterans 
        Affairs Asset and Infrastructure Review Account established by 
        section 206(a).
            (2) The term ``Commission'' means the Commission established 
        by section 202.
            (3) The term ``date of approval'', with respect to a 
        modernization or realignment of a facility of the Veterans 
        Health Administration, means the date on which the authority of 
        Congress to disapprove a recommendation of modernization or 
        realignment, as the case may be, of such facility under this 
        subtitle expires.
            (4) The term ``facility of the Veterans Health 
        Administration''--
                    (A) means any land, building, structure, or 
                infrastructure (including any medical center, nursing 
                home, domiciliary facility, outpatient clinic, center 
                that provides readjustment counseling, or leased 
                facility) that is--
                          (i) under the jurisdiction of the Department 
                      of Veterans Affairs;
                          (ii) under the control of the Veterans Health 
                      Administration; and
                          (iii) not under the control of the General 
                      Services Administration; or
                    (B) with respect to a colocated facility of the 
                Department of Veterans Affairs, includes any land, 
                building, or structure--
                          (i) under the jurisdiction of the Department 
                      of Veterans Affairs;
                          (ii) under the control of another 
                      administration of the Department of Veterans 
                      Affairs; and

[[Page 132 STAT. 1460]]

                          (iii) not under the control of the General 
                      Services Administration.
            (5) The term ``infrastructure'' means improvements to land 
        other than buildings or structures.
            (6) The term ``modernization'' includes--
                    (A) any action, including closure, required to align 
                the form and function of a facility of the Veterans 
                Health Administration to the provision of modern day 
                health care, including utilities and environmental 
                control systems;
                    (B) the construction, purchase, lease, or sharing of 
                a facility of the Veterans Health Administration; and
                    (C) realignments, disposals, exchanges, 
                collaborations between the Department of Veterans 
                Affairs and other Federal entities, and strategic 
                collaborations between the Department and non-Federal 
                entities, including tribal organizations.
            (7) The term ``realignment'', with respect to a facility of 
        the Veterans Health Administration, includes--
                    (A) any action that changes the numbers of or 
                relocates services, functions, and personnel positions;
                    (B) disposals or exchanges between the Department of 
                Veterans Affairs and other Federal entities, including 
                the Department of Defense; and
                    (C) strategic collaborations between the Department 
                of Veterans Affairs and non-Federal entities, including 
                tribal organizations.
            (8) The term ``redevelopment authority'', in the case of a 
        facility of the Veterans Health Administration closed or 
        modernized under this subtitle, means any entity (including an 
        entity established by a State or local government) recognized by 
        the Secretary of Veterans Affairs as the entity responsible for 
        developing the redevelopment plan with respect to the facility 
        or for directing the implementation of such plan.
            (9) The term ``redevelopment plan'' in the case of a 
        facility of the Veterans Health Administration to be closed or 
        realigned under this subtitle, means a plan that--
                    (A) is agreed to by the local redevelopment 
                authority with respect to the facility; and
                    (B) provides for the reuse or redevelopment of the 
                real property and personal property of the facility that 
                is available for such reuse and redevelopment as a 
                result of the closure or realignment of the facility.
            (10) The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of Veterans 
        Affairs.
            (11) The term ``tribal organization'' has the meaning given 
        such term in section 3765 of title 38, United States Code.

                Subtitle B--Other Infrastructure Matters

SEC. 211. IMPROVEMENT TO TRAINING OF CONSTRUCTION PERSONNEL.

    Subsection (g) of section 8103 of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended to read as follows:
    ``(g)(1)(A) Not later <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  than September 30 of the 
fiscal year following the fiscal year during which the VA Asset and 
Infrastructure

[[Page 132 STAT. 1461]]

Review Act of 2018 is enacted, the Secretary shall implement the covered 
training curriculum and the covered certification program.

    ``(B) In designing and implementing the covered training curriculum 
and the covered certification program under paragraph (1), the Secretary 
shall use as models existing training curricula and certification 
programs that have been established under chapter 87 of title 10, United 
States Code, as determined relevant by the Secretary.
    ``(2) The Secretary may develop the training curriculum under 
paragraph (1)(A) in a manner that provides such training in any 
combination of--
            ``(A) training provided in person;
            ``(B) training provided over an internet website; or
            ``(C) training provided by another department or agency of 
        the Federal Government.

    ``(3) The Secretary may develop the certification program under 
paragraph (1)(A) in a manner that uses--
            ``(A) one level of certification; or
            ``(B) more than one level of certification, as determined 
        appropriate by the Secretary with respect to the level of 
        certification for different grades of the General Schedule.

    ``(4) <<NOTE: Contracts.>>  The Secretary may enter into a contract 
with an appropriate entity to provide the covered training curriculum 
and the covered certification program under paragraph (1)(A).

    ``(5)(A) Not later than <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  September 30 of the 
second fiscal year following the fiscal year during which the VA Asset 
and Infrastructure Review Act of 2018 is enacted, the Secretary shall 
ensure that the majority of employees subject to the covered 
certification program achieve the certification or the appropriate level 
of certification pursuant to paragraph (3), as the case may be.

    ``(B) After carrying out subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall 
ensure that each employee subject to the covered certification program 
achieves the certification or the appropriate level of certification 
pursuant to paragraph (3), as the case may be, as quickly as 
practicable.
    ``(6) <<NOTE: Definitions.>>  In this subsection:
            ``(A) The term `covered certification program' means, with 
        respect to employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs who 
        are members of occupational series relating to construction or 
        facilities management, or employees of the Department who award 
        or administer contracts for major construction, minor 
        construction, or nonrecurring maintenance, including as contract 
        specialists or contracting officers' representatives, a program 
        to certify knowledge and skills relating to construction or 
        facilities management and to ensure that such employees maintain 
        adequate expertise relating to industry standards and best 
        practices for the acquisition of design and construction 
        services.
            ``(B) The term `covered training curriculum' means, with 
        respect to employees specified in subparagraph (A), a training 
        curriculum relating to construction or facilities management.''.
SEC. 212. REVIEW OF ENHANCED USE LEASES.

    Section 8162(b)(6) is amended to read as follows:
    ``(6) The Office of Management and Budget shall review each 
enhanced-use lease before the lease goes into effect to determine 
whether the lease is in compliance with paragraph (5).''.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1462]]

SEC. 213. ASSESSMENT OF HEALTH CARE FURNISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT TO 
                        VETERANS WHO LIVE IN THE PACIFIC 
                        TERRITORIES.

    (a) In General.--Not <<NOTE: Deadline. Reports.>>  later than 180 
days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of 
the Senate and the House of Representatives a report regarding health 
care furnished by the Department of Veterans Affairs to veterans who 
live in the Pacific territories.

    (b) Elements.--The report under subsection (a) shall include 
assessments of the following:
            (1) The ability of the Department to furnish to veterans who 
        live in the Pacific territories the following:
                    (A) Hospital care.
                    (B) Medical services.
                    (C) Mental health services.
                    (D) Geriatric services.
            (2) The feasibility of establishing a community-based 
        outpatient clinic of the Department in any Pacific territory 
        that does not contain such a facility.

    (c) Definition.--In this section, the term ``Pacific territories'' 
means American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

   TITLE III--IMPROVEMENTS TO RECRUITMENT OF HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS

SEC. 301. DESIGNATED SCHOLARSHIPS FOR PHYSICIANS AND DENTISTS 
                        UNDER DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 
                        HEALTH PROFESSIONAL SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM.

    (a) Scholarships for Physicians and Dentists.--Section 7612(b) of 
title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the 
following new paragraph:
    ``(6)(A) Of the scholarships awarded under this subchapter, the 
Secretary shall ensure that not less than 50 scholarships are awarded 
each year to individuals who are accepted for enrollment or enrolled (as 
described in section 7602 of this title) in a program of education or 
training leading to employment as a physician or dentist until such date 
as the Secretary determines that the staffing shortage of physicians and 
dentists in the Department is less than 500.
    ``(B) After such date, the Secretary shall ensure that of the 
scholarships awarded under this subchapter, a number of scholarships is 
awarded each year to individuals referred to in subparagraph (A) in an 
amount equal to not less than ten percent of the staffing shortage of 
physicians and dentists in the Department, as determined by the 
Secretary.
    ``(C) Notwithstanding subsection (c)(1), the agreement between the 
Secretary and a participant in the Scholarship Program who receives a 
scholarship pursuant to this paragraph shall provide the following:
            ``(i) The Secretary's agreement to provide the participant 
        with a scholarship under this subchapter for a specified number 
        (from two to four) of school years during which the participant

[[Page 132 STAT. 1463]]

        is pursuing a course of education or training leading to 
        employment as a physician or dentist.
            ``(ii) <<NOTE: Time period.>>  The participant's agreement 
        to serve as a full-time employee in the Veterans Health 
        Administration for a period of time (hereinafter in this 
        subchapter referred to as the `period of obligated service') of 
        18 months for each school year or part thereof for which the 
        participant was provided a scholarship under the Scholarship 
        Program.

    ``(D) In providing scholarships pursuant to this paragraph, the 
Secretary may provide a preference for applicants who are veterans.
    ``(E) <<NOTE: Time period.>>  On an annual basis, the Secretary 
shall provide to appropriate educational institutions informational 
material about the availability of scholarships under this paragraph.''.

    (b) Breach of Agreement.--Section 7617 of such title is amended--
            (1) by redesignating paragraphs (4) and (5) as paragraphs 
        (5) and (6), respectively; and
            (2) by inserting after paragraph (3) the following new 
        paragraph (4):
            ``(4) In the case of a participant who is enrolled in a 
        program or education or training leading to employment as a 
        physician, the participant fails to successfully complete post-
        graduate training leading to eligibility for board certification 
        in a specialty.''.

    (c) Extension of Program.--Section 7619 of such title is amended by 
striking ``December 31, 2019'' and inserting ``December 31, 2033''.
SEC. 302. INCREASE IN MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF DEBT THAT MAY BE REDUCED 
                        UNDER EDUCATION DEBT REDUCTION PROGRAM OF 
                        DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) Increase in Amount.--Section 7683(d)(1) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``$120,000'' and inserting ``$200,000''; and
            (2) by striking ``$24,000'' and inserting ``$40,000''.

    (b) Study.--
            (1) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  In general.--Not later than 1 year 
        after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of 
        Veterans Affairs shall--
                    (A) conduct a study on the demand for education debt 
                reduction under subchapter VII of chapter 76 of title 
                38, United States Code; and
                    (B) <<NOTE: Reports.>>  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 findings of the Secretary with respect to 
                the study carried out under subparagraph (A).
            (2) Considerations.--In carrying out the study required by 
        paragraph (1)(A), the Secretary shall consider the following:
                    (A) The total number of vacancies within the 
                Veterans Health Administration whose applicants are 
                eligible to participate in the Education Debt Reduction 
                Program pursuant to section 7682(a) of such title.
                    (B) The types of medical professionals in greatest 
                demand in the United States.
                    (C) Projections by the Secretary of the numbers and 
                types of medical professions that meet the needs of 
                veterans.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1464]]

SEC. 303. ESTABLISHING THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 
                        SPECIALTY EDUCATION LOAN REPAYMENT 
                        PROGRAM.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 76 of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended by inserting <<NOTE: 38 USC 7691 prec.>> after subchapter VII 
the following new subchapter:

      ``SUBCHAPTER VIII--SPECIALTY EDUCATION LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAM

``Sec. 7691. <<NOTE: 38 USC 7691.>>  Establishment

    ``As part of the Educational Assistance Program, the Secretary may 
carry out a student loan repayment program under section 5379 of title 
5. The program shall be known as the Department of Veterans Affairs 
Specialty Education Loan Repayment Program (in this chapter referred to 
as the `Specialty Education Loan Repayment Program').
``Sec. 7692. <<NOTE: 38 USC 7692.>>  Purpose

    ``The purpose of the Specialty Education Loan Repayment Program is 
to assist, through the establishment of an incentive program for certain 
individuals employed in the Veterans Health Administration, in meeting 
the staffing needs of the Veterans Health Administration for physicians 
in medical specialties for which the Secretary determines recruitment or 
retention of qualified personnel is difficult.
``Sec. 7693. <<NOTE: 38 USC 7693.>>  Eligibility; preferences; 
                  covered costs

    ``(a) Eligibility.--An individual is eligible to participate in the 
Specialty Education Loan Repayment Program if the individual--
            ``(1) is hired under section 7401 of this title to work in 
        an occupation described in section 7692 of this title;
            ``(2) owes any amount of principal or interest under a loan, 
        the proceeds of which were used by or on behalf of that 
        individual to pay costs relating to a course of education or 
        training which led to a degree that qualified the individual for 
        the position referred to in paragraph (1); and
            ``(3) is--
                    ``(A) recently graduated from an accredited medical 
                or osteopathic school and matched to an accredited 
                residency program in a medical specialty described in 
                section 7692 of this title; or
                    ``(B) a physician in training in a medical specialty 
                described in section 7692 of this title with more than 2 
                years remaining in such training.

    ``(b) Preferences.--In selecting individuals for participation in 
the Specialty Education Loan Repayment Program under this subchapter, 
the Secretary may give preference to the following:
            ``(1) Individuals who are, or will be, participating in 
        residency programs in health care facilities--
                    ``(A) located in rural areas;
                    ``(B) operated by Indian tribes, tribal 
                organizations, or the Indian Health Service; or
                    ``(C) affiliated with underserved health care 
                facilities of the Department.
            ``(2) Veterans.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1465]]

    ``(c) Covered Costs.--For purposes of subsection (a)(2), costs 
relating to a course of education or training include--
            ``(1) tuition expenses;
            ``(2) all other reasonable educational expenses, including 
        expenses for fees, books, equipment, and laboratory expenses; 
        and
            ``(3) reasonable living expenses.
``Sec. 7694. <<NOTE: 38 USC 7694.>>  Specialty education loan 
                  repayment

    ``(a) In General.--Payments under the Specialty Education Loan 
Repayment Program shall consist of payments for the principal and 
interest on loans described in section 7682(a)(2) of this title for 
individuals selected to participate in the Program to the holders of 
such loans.
    ``(b) Frequency of Payment.--The Secretary shall make payments for 
any given participant in the Specialty Education Loan Repayment Program 
on a schedule determined appropriate by the Secretary.
    ``(c) <<NOTE: Time period.>>  Maximum Amount; Waiver.--(1) The 
amount of payments made for a participant under the Specialty Education 
Loan Repayment Program may not exceed $160,000 over a total of 4 years 
of participation in the Program, of which not more than $40,000 of such 
payments may be made in each year of participation in the Program.

    ``(2)(A) <<NOTE: Waiver authority.>>  The Secretary may waive the 
limitations under paragraph (1) in the case of a participant described 
in subparagraph (B). In the case of such a waiver, the total amount of 
payments payable to or for that participant is the total amount of the 
principal and the interest on the participant's loans referred to in 
subsection (a).

    ``(B) A participant described in this subparagraph is a participant 
in the Program who the Secretary determines serves in a position for 
which there is a shortage of qualified employees by reason of either the 
location or the requirements of the position.
``Sec. 7695. <<NOTE: 38 USC 7695.>>  Choice of location

    ``Each participant in the Specialty Education Loan Repayment Program 
who completes residency may select, from a list of medical facilities of 
the Veterans Health Administration provided by the Secretary, at which 
such facility the participant will work in a medical specialty described 
in section 7692 of this title.
``Sec. 7696. <<NOTE: 38 USC 7696.>>  Term of obligated service

    ``(a) In General.--In addition to any requirements under section 
5379(c) of title 5, a participant in the Specialty Education Loan 
Repayment Program must agree, in writing and before the Secretary may 
make any payment to or for the participant, to--
            ``(1) obtain a license to practice medicine in a State;
            ``(2) successfully complete post-graduate training leading 
        to eligibility for board certification in a specialty;
            ``(3) <<NOTE: Time periods.>>  serve as a full-time clinical 
        practice employee of the Veterans Health Administration for 12 
        months for every $40,000 in such benefits that the employee 
        receives, but in no case for fewer than 24 months; and
            ``(4) except as provided in subsection (b), to begin such 
        service as a full-time practice employee 
        by <<NOTE: Deadline.>> not later than 60 days after completing a 
        residency.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1466]]

    ``(b) <<NOTE: Deadline.>> Fellowship.--In the case of a participant 
who receives an accredited fellowship in a medical specialty other than 
a medical specialty described in section 7692 of this title, the 
Secretary, on written request of the participant, may delay the term of 
obligated service under subsection (a) for the participant until after 
the participant completes the fellowship, but in no case later than 60 
days after completion of such fellowship.

    ``(c) Penalty.--(1) An employee who does not complete a period of 
obligated service under this section shall owe the Federal Government an 
amount determined in accordance with the following formula: A = B 
<dbl-dagger> ((T - S) <divide> T)).
    ``(2) In the formula in paragraph (1):
            ``(A) `A' is the amount the employee owes the Federal 
        Government.
            ``(B) `B' is the sum of all payments to or for the 
        participant under the Specialty Education Loan Repayment 
        Program.
            ``(C) `T' is the number of months in the period of obligated 
        service of the employee.
            ``(D) `S' is the number of whole months of such period of 
        obligated service served by the employee.
``Sec. 7697. <<NOTE: 38 USC 7697.>>  Relationship to Educational 
                  Assistance Program

    ``Assistance under the Specialty Education Loan Repayment Program 
may be in addition to other assistance available to individuals under 
the Educational Assistance Program.''.
    (b) Conforming and Technical Amendments.--
            (1) Conforming amendments.--
                    (A) Section 7601(a) of title 38, United States Code, 
                is amended--
                          (i) in paragraph (4), by striking ``and'';
                          (ii) in paragraph (5), by striking the period 
                      and inserting ``; and''; and
                          (iii) by adding at the end the following new 
                      paragraph:
            ``(6) the specialty education loan repayment program 
        provided for in subchapter VIII of this chapter.''.
                    (B) Section 7603(a)(1) of title 38, United States 
                Code, is amended by striking ``or VI'' and inserting 
                ``VI, or VIII''.
                    (C) Section 7604 of title 38, United States Code, is 
                amended by striking ``or VI'' each place it appears and 
                inserting ``VI, or VIII''.
                    (D) Section 7631 of title 38, United States Code, is 
                amended--
                          (i) in subsection (a)(1)--
                                    (I) by striking ``and'' after 
                                ``scholarship amount,''; and
                                    (II) by inserting ``, and the 
                                maximum specialty education loan 
                                repayment amount'' after ``reduction 
                                payments amount''; and
                          (ii) in subsection (b) by adding at the end 
                      the following new paragraph:

    ``(7) <<NOTE: Definition.>>  The term `specialty education loan 
repayment amount' means the maximum amount of specialty education loan 
repayment payments payable to or for a participant in the Department of 
Veterans Affairs Specialty Education Loan Repayment Program under 
subchapter VIII of this chapter, as specified in section

[[Page 132 STAT. 1467]]

7694(c)(1) of this title and as previously adjusted (if at all) in 
accordance with this section.''.
                    (E) Section 7632 of title 38, United States Code, is 
                amended--
                          (i) in paragraph (1), by striking ``and the 
                      Education Debt Reduction Program'' and inserting 
                      ``the Education Debt Reduction Program, and the 
                      Specialty Education Loan Repayment Program''; and
                          (ii) in paragraph (4), by striking ``and per 
                      participant in the Education Debt Reduction 
                      Program'' and inserting ``per participant in the 
                      Education Debt Reduction Program, and per 
                      participant in the Specialty Education Loan 
                      Repayment Program''.
            (2) Table of sections.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of chapter 76 of such title is <<NOTE: 38 USC 7601 
        prec.>>  amended by inserting after the items relating to 
        subchapter VII the following:

      ``subchapter viii--specialty education loan repayment program

``7691. Establishment.
``7692. Purpose.
``7693.  Eligibility; preferences; covered costs.
``7694. Specialty education loan repayment.
``7695. Choice of location.
``7696. Term of obligated service.
``7697. Relationship to Educational Assistance Program.''.

    (c) <<NOTE: 38 USC 7692 note.>> Needs of the VHA.--In making 
determinations each year under section 7692 of title 38, United States 
Code, as enacted by subsection (a), the Secretary of Veterans Affairs 
shall consider the anticipated needs of the Veterans Health 
Administration during the period 2 to 6 years in the future.

    (d) <<NOTE: 38 USC 7693 note.>> Preference.--In granting preference 
under section 7693 of title 38, United States Code, as enacted by 
subsection (a), the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall determine 
whether a facility of the Department is underserved based on the 
criteria developed under section 401 of this Act.

    (e) <<NOTE: 38 USC 7691 note.>>  Offer Deadline.--In the case of an 
applicant who applies before receiving a residency match and whom the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs selects for participation in the Specialty 
Education Loan Repayment Program established by subsection (a), the 
Secretary shall offer participation to the applicant not later than 28 
days after--
            (1) the applicant matches with a residency in a medical 
        specialty described in section 7692 of title 38, United States 
        Code, as enacted by subsection (a); and
            (2) such match is published.

    (f) <<NOTE: 38 USC 7691 note.>>  Publicity.--The Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs shall take such steps as the Secretary determines are 
appropriate to publicize the Specialty Education Loan Repayment Program 
established under subchapter VIII of chapter 76 of title 38, United 
States Code, as enacted by subsection (a).
SEC. 304. <<NOTE: 38 USC 7601 note.>>  VETERANS HEALING VETERANS 
                        MEDICAL ACCESS AND SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM.

    (a) Establishment.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, acting 
through the Office of Academic Affiliations of the Department of 
Veterans Affairs, shall carry out a pilot program under which the 
Secretary shall provide funding for the medical education of a total of 
18 eligible veterans. Such funding shall be provided

[[Page 132 STAT. 1468]]

for two veterans enrolled in each covered medical schools in accordance 
with this section.
    (b) Eligible Veterans.--To be eligible to receive funding for 
medical education under this section, a veteran shall--
            (1) <<NOTE: Time period.>> have been discharged from the 
        Armed Forces not more than 10 years before the date of 
        application for admission to a covered medical school;
            (2) not be entitled to educational assistance under chapter 
        30, 31, 32, 33, 34, or 35 of title 38, United States Code, or 
        chapter 1606 or 1607 of title 10, United States Code;
            (3) apply for admission to a covered medical school for the 
        entering class of 2019;
            (4) indicate on such application for admission that the 
        veteran would like to be considered for an award of funding 
        under this section;
            (5) meet the minimum admissions criteria for the covered 
        medical school to which the veteran applies; and
            (6) enter into an agreement described in subsection (e).

    (c) Award of Funding.--
            (1) In general.--Each covered medical school that opts to 
        participate in the program under this section shall reserve two 
        seats in the entering class of 2019 for eligible veterans who 
        receive funding under such program. Such funding shall be 
        awarded to the two eligible veterans with the highest admissions 
        rankings for such class at such school.
            (2) Amount of funding.--Each eligible veteran who receives 
        funding under this section shall receive an amount equal to the 
        actual cost of--
                    (A) tuition at the covered medical school at which 
                the veteran enrolls for 4 years;
                    (B) books, fees, and technical equipment;
                    (C) fees associated with the National Residency 
                Match Program;
                    (D) two away rotations performed during the fourth 
                year at a Department of Veterans Affairs medical 
                facility; and
                    (E) a monthly stipend for the 4-year period during 
                which the veteran is enrolled in medical school in an 
                amount to be determined by the Secretary.
            (3) Distribution of funding.--In the event that two or more 
        eligible veterans do not apply for admission at one of the 
        covered medical schools for the entering class of 2019, the 
        Secretary shall distribute the available funding to eligible 
        veterans who applied for admission at other covered medical 
        schools.

    (d) Agreement.--
            (1) Terms of agreement.--Each eligible veteran who accepts 
        funding for medical education under this section shall enter 
        into an agreement with the Secretary that provides that the 
        veteran agrees--
                    (A) to maintain enrollment and attendance in the 
                medical school;
                    (B) while enrolled in such medical school, to 
                maintain an acceptable level of academic standing (as 
                determined by the medical school under regulations 
                prescribed by the Secretary);

[[Page 132 STAT. 1469]]

                    (C) to complete post-graduate training leading to 
                eligibility for board certification in a speciality 
                applicable to the Department of Veterans Affairs, as 
                determined by the Secretary;
                    (D) after completion of medical school, to obtain a 
                license to practice medicine in a State; and
                    (E) <<NOTE: Time period.>>  after completion of 
                medical school and post-graduate training, to serve as a 
                full-time clinical practice employee in the Veterans 
                Health Administration for a period of 4 years.
            (2) <<NOTE: 38 USC 7611 note.>>  Breach of agreement.--If an 
        eligible veteran who accepts funding under this section breaches 
        the terms of the agreement described in paragraph (1), the 
        United States shall be entitled to recover damages in an amount 
        equal to the total amount of such funding received by the 
        veteran.

    (e) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be 
construed to prevent any covered medical school from accepting more than 
two eligible veterans for the entering class of 2019.
    (f) Report to Congress.--Not later than December 31, 2020, and 
annually thereafter for the subsequent 3 years, the Secretary shall 
submit to Congress a report on the pilot program under this 
section. <<NOTE: Evaluation.>> Such report shall include the evaluation 
of the Secretary of the success of the pilot program, including the 
number of veterans who received funding under the program who 
matriculated and an evaluation of the academic progress of such 
veterans.

    (g) <<NOTE: Definition.>>  Covered Medical Schools.--In this 
section, the term ``covered medical school'' means any of the following:
            (1) The Teague-Cranston medical schools, consisting of--
                    (A) Texas A&M College of Medicine;
                    (B) Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee 
                State University;
                    (C) Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State 
                University;
                    (D) Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall 
                University; and
                    (E) University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
            (2) Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science.
            (3) Howard University College of Medicine.
            (4) Meharry Medical College.
            (5) Morehouse School of Medicine.
SEC. 305. BONUSES FOR RECRUITMENT, RELOCATION, AND RETENTION.

    Section 705(a) of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability 
Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-146; 38 U.S.C. 703 note) is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``$230,000,000'' and 
        inserting ``$250,000,000, of which not less than $20,000,000 
        shall be for recruitment, relocation, and retention bonuses''; 
        and
            (2) in paragraph (2), by striking ``$225,000,000'' and 
        inserting ``$290,000,000, of which not less than $20,000,000 
        shall be for recruitment, relocation, and retention bonuses''.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1470]]

SEC. 306. <<NOTE: 38 USC 7682 note.>>  INCLUSION OF VET CENTER 
                        EMPLOYEES IN EDUCATION DEBT REDUCTION 
                        PROGRAM OF DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall ensure that 
clinical staff working at Vet Centers are eligible to participate in the 
Education Debt Reduction Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs 
under subchapter VII of chapter 76 of title 38, United States Code.
    (b) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment 
of this Act, 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 number of participants in the 
Education Debt Reduction Program of the Department under such subchapter 
who work at Vet Centers.
    (c) Vet Center Defined.--In this section, the term ``Vet Center'' 
has the meaning given that term in section 1712A(h) of title 38, United 
States Code.

               TITLE IV--HEALTH CARE IN UNDERSERVED AREAS

SEC. 401. <<NOTE: 38 USC 8110 note.>> DEVELOPMENT OF CRITERIA FOR 
                        DESIGNATION OF CERTAIN MEDICAL FACILITIES 
                        OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS AS 
                        UNDERSERVED FACILITIES AND PLAN TO ADDRESS 
                        PROBLEM OF UNDERSERVED FACILITIES.

    (a) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  In General.--Not later than 180 days after 
the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs 
shall develop criteria to designate medical centers, ambulatory care 
facilities, and community based outpatient clinics of the Department of 
Veterans Affairs as underserved facilities.

    (b) Consideration.--Criteria developed under subsection (a) shall 
include consideration of the following with respect to a facility:
            (1) The ratio of veterans to health care providers of the 
        Department of Veterans Affairs for a standardized geographic 
        area surrounding the facility, including a separate ratio for 
        general practitioners and specialists.
            (2) The range of clinical specialties covered by such 
        providers in such area.
            (3) Whether the local community is medically underserved.
            (4) The type, number, and age of open consults.
            (5) Whether the facility is meeting the wait-time goals of 
        the Department.
            (6) Such other criteria as the Secretary considers important 
        in determining which facilities are not adequately serving area 
        veterans.

    (c) Analysis of Facilities <<NOTE: Time period.>> .--Not less 
frequently than annually, directors of Veterans Integrated Service 
Networks of the Department shall perform an analysis to determine which 
facilities within that Veterans Integrated Service Network qualify as 
underserved facilities pursuant to criteria developed under subsection 
(a).

    (d) Annual Plan To Address Underserved Facilities.--
            (1) Plan required <<NOTE: Deadline.>> .--Not later than 1 
        year after the date of the enactment of this Act and not less 
        frequently than once each year, the Secretary shall submit to 
        Congress a plan

[[Page 132 STAT. 1471]]

        to address the problem of underserved facilities of the 
        Department, as designated pursuant to criteria developed under 
        subsection (a).
            (2) Contents.--Each plan submitted under paragraph (1) shall 
        address the following:
                    (A) Increasing personnel or temporary personnel 
                assistance, including mobile deployment teams furnished 
                under section 407 of this Act.
                    (B) Providing special hiring incentives, including 
                under the Education Debt Reduction Program under 
                subchapter VII of chapter 76 of title 38, United States 
                Code, and recruitment, relocation, and retention 
                incentives.
                    (C) Using direct hiring authority.
                    (D) Improving training opportunities for staff.
                    (E) Such other actions as the Secretary considers 
                appropriate.
SEC. 402. <<NOTE: 38 USC 8110 note.>>  PILOT PROGRAM TO FURNISH 
                        MOBILE DEPLOYMENT TEAMS TO UNDERSERVED 
                        FACILITIES.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall carry out a 
pilot program to furnish mobile deployment teams of medical personnel to 
underserved facilities.
    (b) Elements.--In furnishing mobile deployment teams under 
subsection (a), the Secretary shall consider the following elements:
            (1) The medical positions of greatest need at underserved 
        facilities.
            (2) The size and composition of teams to be deployed.
            (3) Such other elements as the Secretary considers necessary 
        for effective oversight of the program established under 
        subsection (a).

    (c) Use of Annual Analysis.--The Secretary shall use the results of 
the annual analysis conducted under section 401(c) of this Act to form 
mobile deployment teams under subsection (a) that are composed of the 
most needed medical personnel for underserved facilities.
    (d) Reporting.--
            (1) Progress report.--Not later than 1 year after the date 
        of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit a 
        report to Congress on the implementation of the pilot program 
        under this section.
            (2) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions.>>  Final report.--Not later 
        than the termination of the pilot program under this section, 
        the Secretary shall submit a final report to Congress that 
        contains the recommendations of the Secretary regarding the 
        feasibility and advisability of--
                    (A) extending or expanding the pilot program; and
                    (B) making the pilot program (or any aspect thereof) 
                permanent.

    (e) Duration.--The pilot program under this section shall terminate 
3 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.
    (f) Underserved Facility Defined.--In this section, the term 
``underserved facility'' means a medical center, ambulatory care 
facility, or community based outpatient clinic of the Department of 
Veterans Affairs designated by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs as 
underserved pursuant to criteria developed under section 401 of this 
Act.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1472]]

SEC. 403. <<NOTE: 38 USC 7302 note.>>  PILOT PROGRAM ON GRADUATE 
                        MEDICAL EDUCATION AND RESIDENCY.

    (a) Establishment.--
            (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (5), the Secretary of 
        Veterans Affairs shall establish a pilot program to establish 
        medical residency positions authorized under section 301(b)(2) 
        of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 
        (Public Law 113-146; 38 U.S.C. 7302 note) at covered facilities.
            (2) Covered facilities.--For purposes of this section, a 
        covered facility is any of the following:
                    (A) A health care facility of the Department of 
                Veterans Affairs.
                    (B) A health care facility operated by an Indian 
                tribe or a tribal organization, as those terms are 
                defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination 
                and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304).
                    (C) A health care facility operated by the Indian 
                Health Service.
                    (D) A Federally-qualified health center, as defined 
                in section 1905(l)(2)(B) of the Social Security Act (42 
                U.S.C. 1396d(l)(2)(B)).
                    (E) A health care facility operated by the 
                Department of Defense.
                    (F) Such other health care facility as the Secretary 
                considers appropriate for purposes of this section.
            (3) Agreements.--To carry out the pilot program under this 
        section, the Secretary may enter into agreements with entities 
        that operate covered facilities in which the Secretary places 
        residents under paragraph (1).
            (4) Parameters for location, affiliate sponsor, and 
        duration.--When determining in which covered facilities to place 
        residents under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consider the 
        extent to which there is a clinical need for providers in an 
        area, as determined by the following:
                    (A) The ratio of veterans to health care providers 
                of the Department for a standardized geographic area 
                surrounding a facility, including a separate ratio for 
                general practitioners and specialists.
                    (B) The range of clinical specialties of providers 
                in standardized geographic areas surrounding a facility.
                    (C) Whether the specialty of a provider is included 
                in the most recent staffing shortage determination of 
                the Department under section 7412 of title 38, United 
                States Code.
                    (D) Whether the local community is designated by the 
                Secretary of Veterans Affairs as underserved pursuant to 
                criteria developed under section 401 of this Act.
                    (E) Whether the facility is located in a community 
                that is designated by the Secretary of Health and Human 
                Services as a health professional shortage area under 
                section 332 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 
                254e).
                    (F) Whether the facility is located in a rural or 
                remote area.
                    (G) Such other criteria as the Secretary considers 
                important in determining which facilities are not 
                adequately serving area veterans.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1473]]

            (5) Priority in placements.--During the pilot program under 
        this section, the Secretary shall place no fewer than 100 
        residents in covered facilities--
                    (A) operated by the Indian Health Service;
                    (B) operated by an Indian tribe;
                    (C) operated by a tribal organization; or
                    (D) located in communities designated by the 
                Secretary as underserved pursuant to criteria developed 
                under section 401 of this Act.
            (6) Stipends and benefits.--The Secretary may pay stipends 
        and provide benefits for residents in positions under paragraph 
        (1), regardless of whether they have been assigned in a 
        Department facility.

    (b) Reimbursement.--If a covered facility establishes a new 
residency program in which the Secretary places a resident under the 
pilot program, the Secretary shall reimburse that covered facility for 
costs of the following:
            (1) Curriculum development.
            (2) Recruitment and retention of faculty.
            (3) Accreditation of the program by the Accreditation 
        Council for Graduate Medical Education.
            (4) The portion of faculty salaries attributable to duties 
        under an agreement subsection (a)(3).
            (5) Expenses relating to educating a resident under the 
        pilot program.

    (c) Reporting.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than 1 year after the date of the 
        enactment of this Act and not less frequently than once each 
        year thereafter until the termination of the pilot program, the 
        Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on the 
        implementation of the pilot program.
            (2) Elements.--Each report submitted under paragraph (1) 
        shall include the following with regard to the immediately 
        preceding year, and in comparison to the year immediately 
        preceding that year:
                    (A) The number of veterans who received care from 
                residents under the pilot program.
                    (B) The number of veterans who received care from 
                each resident per position described in subsection 
                (a)(1) under the pilot program.
                    (C) The number of veterans who received care from 
                residents under the pilot program expressed as a 
                percentage of all individuals who received care from 
                such residents.
                    (D) The number of clinical appointments for veterans 
                conducted by each resident under the pilot program.
                    (E) The number of clinical appointments for veterans 
                conducted by residents per position described in 
                subsection (a)(1) under the pilot program.
                    (F) The number of clinical appointments for veterans 
                expressed as a percentage of all clinical appointments 
                conducted by residents under the pilot program.
                    (G) The number of positions described in subsection 
                (a)(1) at each covered facility under the pilot program.
                    (H) For each position described in subsection (a)(1) 
                in a residency program affiliated with a health care 
                facility of the Department, the time a resident under 
                the pilot program spent training at that facility of the 
                Department,

[[Page 132 STAT. 1474]]

                expressed as a percentage of the total training time for 
                that resident position.
                    (I) For each residency program affiliated with a 
                health care facility of the Department, the time all 
                residents under the pilot program spent training at that 
                facility of the Department, expressed as a percentage of 
                the total training time for those residents.
                    (J) The time that all residents under the pilot 
                program who are assigned to programs affiliated with 
                health care facilities of the Department spent training 
                at facilities of the Department, expressed as a 
                percentage of the total training time for those 
                residents.
                    (K) The cost to the Department of Veterans Affairs 
                under the pilot program in the year immediately 
                preceding the report and since the beginning of the 
                pilot program.
                    (L) The cost to the Department of Veterans Affairs 
                per resident placed under the pilot program at each 
                covered facility.
                    (M) The number of residents under the pilot program 
                hired by the Secretary to work in the Veterans Health 
                Administration after completion of residency in the year 
                immediately preceding the report and since the beginning 
                of the pilot program.
                    (N) The medical specialties pursued by residents 
                under the pilot program.

    (d) Duration.--The pilot program under this section shall terminate 
on August 7, 2024.

                         TITLE V--OTHER MATTERS

SEC. 501. ANNUAL REPORT ON PERFORMANCE AWARDS AND BONUSES AWARDED 
                        TO CERTAIN HIGH-LEVEL EMPLOYEES OF THE 
                        DEPARTMENT.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 7 of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following new section:
``Sec. 726. <<NOTE: 38 USC 726.>>  Annual report on performance 
                awards and bonuses awarded to certain high-level 
                employees

    ``(a) In General.--Not later than 100 days after the end of each 
fiscal year, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of 
Congress a report that contains, for the most recent fiscal year ending 
before the submittal of the report, a description of all performance 
awards or bonuses awarded to each of the following:
            ``(1) Regional Office Director of the Department.
            ``(2) Director of a Medical Center of the Department.
            ``(3) Director of a Veterans Integrated Service Network.
            ``(4) Senior executive of the Department.

    ``(b) Elements.--Each report submitted under subsection (a) shall 
include the following with respect to each performance award or bonus 
awarded to an individual described in such subsection:
            ``(1) The amount of each award or bonus.
            ``(2) The job title of the individual awarded the award or 
        bonus.
            ``(3) The location where the individual awarded the award or 
        bonus works.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1475]]

    ``(c) Definitions.--In this section:
            ``(1) The term `appropriate committees of Congress' means 
        the Committees on Veterans' Affairs and Appropriations of the 
        Senate and House of Representatives.
            ``(2) The term `senior executive' means--
                    ``(A) a career appointee; or
                    ``(B) an individual--
                          ``(i) in an administrative or executive 
                      position; and
                          ``(ii) appointed under section 7306(a) or 
                      section 7401(1) of this title.
            ``(3) The term `career appointee' has the meaning given that 
        term in section 3132(a) of title 5, United States Code.''.

    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter is <<NOTE: 38 USC 701 prec.>>  amended by inserting after 
the item relating to section 725 the following new item:

``726. Annual report on performance awards and bonuses awarded to 
           certain high-level employees.''.

SEC. 502. ROLE OF PODIATRISTS IN DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) Inclusion as Physician.--
            (1) In general.--Subchapter I of chapter 74 is amended by 
        adding at the end the following new section:
``Sec. 7413. <<NOTE: 38 USC 7413.>>  Treatment of podiatrists; 
                  clinical oversight standards

    ``(a) Podiatrists.--Except as provided by subsection (b), a doctor 
of podiatric medicine who is appointed as a podiatrist under section 
7401(1) of this title is eligible for any supervisory position in the 
Veterans Health Administration to the same degree that a physician 
appointed under such section is eligible for the position.
    ``(b) Establishment of Clinical Oversight 
Standards. <<NOTE: Consultation.>> --The Secretary, in consultation with 
appropriate stakeholders, shall establish standards to ensure that 
specialists appointed in the Veterans Health Administration to 
supervisory positions do not provide direct clinical oversight for 
purposes of peer review or practice evaluation for providers of other 
clinical specialties.''.
            (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of chapter 74 is <<NOTE: 38 USC 7401 prec.>>  amended 
        by inserting after the item relating to section 7412 the 
        following new item:

``7413. Treatment of podiatrists; clinical oversight standards.''.

    (b) Modification and Clarification of Pay Grade.--
            (1) Grade.--The list in section 7404(b) of such title is 
        amended--
                    (A) by striking ``PHYSICIAN AND DENTIST SCHEDULE'' 
                and inserting ``PHYSICIAN AND SURGEON (MD/DO), PODIATRIC 
                SURGEON (DPM), AND DENTIST AND ORAL SURGEON (DDS, DMD) 
                SCHEDULE'';
                    (B) by striking ``Physician grade'' and inserting 
                ``Physician and surgeon grade''; and
                    (C) by striking ``PODIATRIST, CHIROPRACTOR, AND'' 
                and inserting ``CHIROPRACTOR AND''.
            (2) <<NOTE: Time period. 38 USC 7404 note.>>  Application.--
        The amendments made by paragraph (1) shall apply with respect to 
        a pay period of the Department of Veterans Affairs beginning on 
        or after the date that is 30 days after the date of the 
        enactment of this Act.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1476]]

SEC. 503. DEFINITION OF MAJOR MEDICAL FACILITY PROJECT.

    (a) Modification of Definition of Medical Facility.--Section 8101(3) 
is amended by striking ``Secretary'' and all that follows through 
``nursing home,'' and inserting ``Secretary, or as otherwise authorized 
by law, for the provision of health-care services (including hospital, 
outpatient clinic, nursing home,''.
    (b) Modification of Definition of Major Medical Facility Project.--
Paragraph (3) of section 8104(a) is amended to read as follows:
    ``(3) For purposes of this subsection, the term `major medical 
facility project' means a project for the construction, alteration, or 
acquisition of a medical facility involving a total expenditure of more 
than $20,000,000, but such term does not include an acquisition by 
exchange, nonrecurring maintenance projects of the Department, or the 
construction, alteration, or acquisition of a shared Federal medical 
facility for which the Department's estimated share of the project costs 
does not exceed $20,000,000.''.
SEC. 504. AUTHORIZATION OF CERTAIN MAJOR MEDICAL FACILITY PROJECTS 
                        OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) Authorization.-- <<NOTE: California.>> The Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs may carry out the following major medical facility project, to 
be carried out in an amount not to exceed the amount specified for that 
project: Construction of the new East Bay Community Based Outpatient 
Clinic and all associated site work, utilities, parking, and 
landscaping, construction of the Central Valley Engineering and 
Logistics support facility, and enhanced flood plain mitigation at the 
Central Valley and East Bay Community Based Outpatient Clinics as part 
of the realignment of medical facilities in Livermore, California, in an 
amount not to exceed $117,300,000.

    (b) Authorization of Appropriations for Construction.--There is 
authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for 
fiscal year 2018 or the year in which funds are appropriated for the 
Construction, Major Projects account, $117,300,000 for the project 
authorized in subsection (a).
    (c) <<NOTE: Deadline.>> Submittal of Information.--Not later than 90 
days after the date of the enactment of this Act, for the project 
authorized in subsection (a), 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 the 
following information:
            (1) A line item accounting of expenditures relating to 
        construction management carried out by the Department of 
        Veterans Affairs for such project.
            (2) The future amounts that are budgeted to be obligated for 
        construction management carried out by the Department for such 
        project.
            (3) A justification for the expenditures described in 
        paragraph (1) and the future amounts described in paragraph (2).
            (4) Any agreement entered into by the Secretary regarding a 
        non-Department of Veterans Affairs Federal entity providing 
        management services relating to such project, including 
        reimbursement agreements and the costs to the Department for 
        such services.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1477]]

SEC. 505. <<NOTE: 38 USC 301 note.>>  DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS 
                        AFFAIRS PERSONNEL TRANSPARENCY.

    (a) Publication of Staffing and Vacancies.--
            (1) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  Website required.--Subject to 
        paragraph (2) and not later than 90 days after the date of the 
        enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall 
        make publicly available on an Internet website of the Department 
        of Veterans Affairs the following information, which shall, 
        subject to subparagraph (D), be displayed by departmental 
        component or, in the case of information relating to Veterans 
        Health Administration positions, by medical facility:
                    (A) The number of personnel encumbering positions.
                    (B) The number of accessions and separation actions 
                processed during the quarter preceding the date of the 
                publication of the information.
                    (C) The number of vacancies, by occupation.
                    (D) The percentage of new hires for the Department 
                who were hired within the time-to-hire target of the 
                Office of Personnel Management, disaggregated by 
                administration.
            (2) Exceptions.--The Secretary may withhold from publication 
        under paragraph (1) information relating to law enforcement, 
        information security, or such positions in the Department that 
        the Secretary determines to be sensitive.
            (3) Update of information.--The Secretary shall update the 
        information on the website required under paragraph (1) on a 
        quarterly basis.
            (4) Treatment of contractor positions.--Any Department of 
        Veterans Affairs position that is filled with a contractor may 
        not be treated as a Department position for purposes of the 
        information required to be published under paragraph (1).
            (5) <<NOTE: Time period.>> Inspector general review.--On a 
        semi-annual basis, the Inspector General of the Department shall 
        review the administration of the website required under 
        paragraph (1) and make recommendations relating to the 
        improvement of such administration.

    (b) Report to Congress.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall 
submit to Congress an annual report on the steps the Department is 
taking to achieve full staffing capacity. Each such report shall include 
the amount of additional funds necessary to enable the Department to 
reach full staffing capacity.
SEC. 506. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1701 note.>>  PROGRAM ON ESTABLISHMENT OF 
                        PEER SPECIALISTS IN PATIENT ALIGNED CARE 
                        TEAM SETTINGS WITHIN MEDICAL CENTERS OF 
                        DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) Program Required.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall carry 
out a program to establish not fewer than two peer specialists in 
patient aligned care teams at medical centers of the Department of 
Veterans Affairs to promote the use and integration of services for 
mental health, substance use disorder, and behavioral health in a 
primary care setting.
    (b) <<NOTE: Deadlines.>>  Timeframe for Establishment of Program.--
The Secretary shall carry out the program at medical centers of the 
Department as follows:
            (1) Not later than May 31, 2019, at not fewer than 15 
        medical centers of the Department.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1478]]

            (2) Not later than May 31, 2020, at not fewer than 30 
        medical centers of the Department.

    (c) Selection of Locations.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall select medical centers 
        for the program as follows:
                    (A) Not fewer than five shall be medical centers of 
                the Department that are designated by the Secretary as 
                polytrauma centers.
                    (B) Not fewer than 10 shall be medical centers of 
                the Department that are not designated by the Secretary 
                as polytrauma centers.
            (2) Considerations.--In selecting medical centers for the 
        program under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consider the 
        feasibility and advisability of selecting medical centers in the 
        following areas:
                    (A) Rural areas and other areas that are underserved 
                by the Department.
                    (B) Areas that are not in close proximity to an 
                active duty military installation.
                    (C) Areas representing different geographic 
                locations, such as census tracts established by the 
                Bureau of the Census.

    (d) Gender-Specific Services.--In carrying out the program at each 
location selected under subsection (c), the Secretary shall ensure 
that--
            (1) the needs of female veterans are specifically considered 
        and addressed; and
            (2) female peer specialists are made available to female 
        veterans who are treated at each location.

    (e) Engagement With Community Providers.--At each location selected 
under subsection (c), the Secretary shall consider ways in which peer 
specialists can conduct outreach to health care providers in the 
community who are known to be serving veterans to engage with those 
providers and veterans served by those providers.
    (f) Reports.--
            (1) Periodic reports.--
                    (A) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the 
                date of the enactment of this Act, and not less 
                frequently than once every 180 days thereafter until the 
                Secretary determines that the program is being carried 
                out at the last location to be selected under subsection 
                (c), the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on 
                the program.
                    (B) <<NOTE: Assessments.>>  Elements.--Each report 
                required by subparagraph (A) shall, with respect to the 
                180-day period preceding the submittal of the report, 
                include the following:
                          (i) The findings and conclusions of the 
                      Secretary with respect to the program.
                          (ii) An assessment of the benefits of the 
                      program to veterans and family members of 
                      veterans.
                          (iii) An assessment of the effectiveness of 
                      peer specialists in engaging under subsection (e) 
                      with health care providers in the community and 
                      veterans served by those providers.
            (2) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions.>>  Final report.--Not later 
        than 180 days after the Secretary determines that the program is 
        being carried out at

[[Page 132 STAT. 1479]]

        the last location to be selected under subsection (c), the 
        Secretary shall submit to Congress a report detailing the 
        recommendations of the Secretary as to the feasibility and 
        advisability of expanding the program to additional locations.
SEC. 507. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1701 note.>>  DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS 
                        AFFAIRS MEDICAL SCRIBE PILOT PROGRAM.

    (a) <<NOTE: Time period.>> In General.--The Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs shall carry out a 2-year pilot program under which the Secretary 
shall increase the use of medical scribes at Department of Veterans 
Affairs medical centers.

    (b) Locations.--The Secretary shall carry out the pilot program at 
the 10 medical centers of the Department as follows:
            (1) At least four such medical centers located in rural 
        areas.
            (2) At least four such medical centers located in urban 
        areas.
            (3) Two such medical centers located in areas with need for 
        increased access or increased efficiency, as determine by the 
        Secretary.

    (c) Medical Scribes.--
            (1) Hiring.--Under the pilot program the Secretary shall--
                    (A) hire 20 new Department of Veterans Affairs term 
                employees as medical scribes; and
                    (B) seek to enter into contracts with appropriate 
                entities for the employment of 20 additional medical 
                scribes.
            (2) Distribution.--The Secretary shall assign four medical 
        scribes to each of the 10 medical centers of the Department 
        where the Secretary carries out the pilot program as follows:
                    (A) Two scribes shall be assigned to each of two 
                physicians.
                    (B) Thirty percent of the scribes shall be employed 
                in the provision of emergency care.
                    (C) Seventy percent of the scribes shall be employed 
                in the provision of speciality care in specialties with 
                the longest patient wait times or lowest efficiency 
                ratings, as determined by the Secretary.

    (d) Reports.--
            (1) Reports to congress.--Not later than 180 days after the 
        commencement of the pilot program required under this section, 
        and every 180 days thereafter for the duration of the pilot 
        program, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to 
        Congress a report on the pilot program. Each such report shall 
        include each of the following:
                    (A) <<NOTE: Analyses.>>  A separate analysis of each 
                the following with respect to medical scribes employed 
                by the Department of Veterans Affairs and medical 
                scribes performing Department of Veterans Affairs 
                functions under a contract:
                          (i) Provider efficiency.
                          (ii) Patient satisfaction.
                          (iii) Average wait time.
                          (iv) The number of patients seen per day by 
                      each physician or practitioner.
                          (v) The amount of time required to hire and 
                      train an employee to perform medical scribe 
                      functions under the pilot program.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1480]]

                    (B) <<NOTE: Data. Evaluation.>>  Metrics and data 
                for analyzing the effects of the pilot program, 
                including an evaluation of the each of the elements 
                under clauses (i) through (iv) of subparagraph (A) at 
                medical centers who employed scribes under the pilot 
                program for an appropriate period preceding the hiring 
                of such scribes.
            (2) Comptroller general report.--Not later than 90 days 
        after the termination of the pilot program under this section, 
        the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to 
        Congress a report on the pilot program. Such report shall 
        include a comparison of the pilot program with similar programs 
        carried out in the private sector.

    (e) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) The term ``medical scribe'' means an unlicensed 
        individual hired to enter information into the electronic health 
        record or chart at the direction of a physician or licensed 
        independent practitioner whose responsibilities include the 
        following:
                    (A) Assisting the physician or practitioner in 
                navigating the electronic health record.
                    (B) Responding to various messages as directed by 
                the physician or practitioner.
                    (C) Entering information into the electronic health 
                record, as directed by the physician or practitioner.
            (2) The terms ``urban'' and ``rural'' have the meanings 
        given such terms under the rural-urban commuting codes developed 
        by the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Health and 
        Human Services.

    (f) Funding.--The pilot program under this section shall be carried 
out using amounts otherwise authorized to be appropriated for the 
Department of Veterans Affairs. No additional amounts are authorized to 
be appropriated to carry out such program.
SEC. 508. EXTENSION OF REQUIREMENT TO COLLECT FEES FOR HOUSING 
                        LOANS GUARANTEED BY SECRETARY OF VETERANS 
                        AFFAIRS.

    Section 3729(b)(2) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by 
striking ``2027'' each place it appears and inserting ``2028''.
SEC. 509. EXTENSION OF REDUCTION IN AMOUNT OF PENSION FURNISHED BY 
                        DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS FOR CERTAIN 
                        VETERANS COVERED BY MEDICAID PLANS FOR 
                        SERVICES FURNISHED BY NURSING FACILITIES.

    Section 5503(d)(7) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by 
striking ``September 30, 2027'' and inserting ``September 30, 2028''.
SEC. 510. APPROPRIATION OF AMOUNTS.

    (a) Veterans Choice Program.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated, and is appropriated, to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, 
out of any funds in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, 
$5,200,000,000 to be deposited in the Veterans Choice Fund under section 
802 of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 
(Public Law 113-146; 38 U.S.C. 1701 note).
    (b) Availability of Amounts.--The amounts appropriated under 
subsection (a) shall be available for obligation or expenditure without 
fiscal year limitation.

[[Page 132 STAT. 1481]]

SEC. 511. TECHNICAL CORRECTION.

    Section 1712I of title 38, United States Code, is redesignated as 
section 1720I of such title.
SEC. 512. BUDGETARY EFFECTS.

    (a) Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Scorecards.--The budgetary effects of 
this Act shall not be entered on either PAYGO scorecard maintained 
pursuant to section 4(d) of the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010.
    (b) Senate PAYGO Scorecards.--The budgetary effects of this Act 
shall not be entered on any PAYGO scorecard maintained for purposes of 
section 4106 of H. Con. Res. 71 (115th Congress).

    Approved June 6, 2018.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 2372 (H.R. 4910) (H.R. 5674):
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 115-671, Pt. 1 (Comm. on Veterans' Affairs) 
accompanying H.R. 5674.
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 164 (2018):
            Mar. 1, considered and passed Senate.
            May 16, considered and passed House, amended.
            May 17, 22, 23, Senate considered and concurred in House 
                amendment.
DAILY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS (2018):
            June 6, Presidential remarks and statement.

                                  <all>

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