Text: H.R.1802 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (03/14/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 1802 Introduced in House (IH)]

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116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 1802

 To amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary of 
 Veterans Affairs to waive the requirement of certain veterans to make 
  copayments for hospital care and medical services in the case of an 
  error by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             March 14, 2019

 Mr. Smucker (for himself, Mr. Emmer, and Mr. Peterson) introduced the 
   following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans' 
                                Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary of 
 Veterans Affairs to waive the requirement of certain veterans to make 
  copayments for hospital care and medical services in the case of an 
  error by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``VA Billing Accountability Act''.

SEC. 2. AUTHORITY OF SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS TO WAIVE REQUIREMENT 
              OF CERTAIN VETERANS TO MAKE COPAYMENTS FOR CARE AND 
              SERVICES IN THE CASE OF DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 
              ERROR.

    (a) Hospital Care, Nursing Home Care, and Medical Services.--
Section 1710(f)(3) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by 
adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
    ``(G) The Secretary may waive the requirement of a veteran to make 
a payment under this subsection or subsection (g) if--
            ``(i) an error committed by the Department or an employee 
        of the Department was the cause of delaying notification sent 
        to the veteran of the requirement to make the payment; and
            ``(ii) the veteran received such notification later than 
        180 days after the date on which the veteran received the care 
        or services for which the payment was required.''.
    (b) Medications.--Section 1722A of such title is amended--
            (1) by redesignating subsection (c) as subsection (d); and
            (2) by inserting after subsection (b) the following new 
        subsection (c):
    ``(c) The Secretary may waive the requirement of a veteran to make 
a payment under this section if--
            ``(1) an error committed by the Department or an employee 
        of the Department was the cause of delaying notification sent 
        to the veteran of the requirement to make the payment; and
            ``(2) the veteran received such notification later than 180 
        days after the date on which the veteran received the 
        medication for which the payment was required.''.
    (c) Billing Procedures.--
            (1) In general.--Subchapter I of chapter 17 of such title 
        is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
``Sec. 1709C. Procedures for copayments
    ``(a) Care at Department Facility.--(1) In requiring a veteran to 
make a payment for care or services provided at a medical facility of 
the Department pursuant to this chapter, including sections 1710 and 
1722A, the Secretary shall provide to such veteran a notification of 
such required payment by not later than 180 days after the date on 
which the veteran receives the care or services for which payment is 
required.
    ``(2) If the Secretary does not provide to a veteran a notification 
of the required payment by the date required under paragraph (1), the 
Secretary may not collect such payment, including through a third-party 
entity, unless the Secretary provides the veteran the following:
            ``(A) Information regarding how to apply for a waiver 
        described in section 1710(f)(3)(G) or section 1722A(c) of this 
        title, as appropriate.
            ``(B) Information regarding how to establish a payment plan 
        with the Secretary.
            ``(C) Opportunity to make such a waiver or establish such a 
        payment plan.
    ``(b) Care at Non-Department Facility.--(1) In requiring a veteran 
to make a payment for care or services provided at a non-Department 
facility pursuant to this chapter or other provision of law, the 
Secretary shall provide to such veteran a notification of such required 
payment by not later than 18 months after the date on which the veteran 
receives the care or services for which payment is required.
    ``(2) If the Secretary does not provide to a veteran a notification 
of the required payment by the date required under paragraph (1), the 
Secretary may not collect such payment, including through a third-party 
entity, unless the Secretary provides the veteran the following:
            ``(A) Information regarding how to apply for a waiver 
        described in paragraph (3).
            ``(B) Information regarding how to establish a payment plan 
        with the Secretary.
            ``(C) Opportunity to make such a waiver or establish such a 
        payment plan.
    ``(3) The Secretary may waive the requirement of a veteran to make 
a payment for care or services provided at a non-Department facility 
pursuant to this chapter or other provision of law if--
            ``(A) an error committed by the Department, an employee of 
        the Department, or a non-Department facility was the cause of 
        delaying the notification sent to the veteran of the 
        requirement to make the payment; and
            ``(B) the veteran received such notification after the 
        period described in paragraph (1).''.
            (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the 
        item relating to section 1709B the following new item:

``1709C. Procedures for copayments.''.
    (d) Improvement of Procedures.--Not later than 180 days after the 
date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs 
shall--
            (1) review the copayment billing internal controls and 
        notification procedures of the Department of Veterans Affairs; 
        and
            (2) improve such controls and procedures, including 
        pursuant to the amendments made by this Act.
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