Text: H.R.5199 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (11/20/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 5199 Introduced in House (IH)]

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116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 5199

   To amend the Public Health Service Act to expand the capacity to 
    improve health outcomes and increase access to specialized care.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           November 20, 2019

 Mr. Lujan (for himself, Mr. Burgess, Ms. Torres Small of New Mexico, 
Mr. Kinzinger, Ms. Haaland, and Mr. Gianforte) introduced the following 
    bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
   To amend the Public Health Service Act to expand the capacity to 
    improve health outcomes and increase access to specialized care.

    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 ``Expanding Capacity for Health 
Outcomes Act of 2019'' or the ``ECHO Act of 2019''.

SEC. 2. EXPANDING CAPACITY FOR HEALTH OUTCOMES.

    Title III of the Public Health Service Act is amended by inserting 
after section 330M (42 U.S.C. 254c-19) the following:

``SEC. 330N. EXPANDING CAPACITY FOR HEALTH OUTCOMES.

    ``(a) Definitions.--In this section:
            ``(1) Eligible entity.--The term `eligible entity'--
                    ``(A) means an entity that provides, or supports 
                the provision of, health care services--
                            ``(i) in rural areas, frontier areas, 
                        health professional shortage areas, or 
                        medically underserved areas; or
                            ``(ii) to medically underserved populations 
                        or Native Americans, including Indian Tribes, 
                        Tribal organizations, or urban Indian 
                        organizations; and
                    ``(B) may include entities leading, or capable of 
                leading, a technology-enabled collaborative learning 
                and capacity building model or engaging in technology-
                enabled collaborative training of participants in such 
                model.
            ``(2) Health professional shortage area.--The term `health 
        professional shortage area' means a health professional 
        shortage area designated under section 332.
            ``(3) Indian tribe.--The terms `Indian Tribe' and `Tribal 
        organization' have the meanings given the terms `Indian tribe' 
        and `tribal organization' in section 4 of the Indian Self-
        Determination and Education Assistance Act.
            ``(4) Medically underserved population.--The term 
        `medically underserved population' has the meaning given the 
        term in section 330(b)(3).
            ``(5) Native americans.--The term `Native Americans' has 
        the meaning given such term in section 736 and includes Indian 
        Tribes and Tribal organizations.
            ``(6) Technology-enabled collaborative learning and 
        capacity building model.--The term `technology-enabled 
        collaborative learning and capacity building model' means a 
        distance health education model that connects health care 
        professionals, and particularly specialists, with multiple 
        other health care professionals through simultaneous 
        interactive videoconferencing for the purpose of facilitating 
        case-based learning, disseminating best practices, and 
        evaluating outcomes.
            ``(7) Urban indian organization.--The `urban Indian 
        organization' has the meaning given the term `Urban Indian 
        organization' in section 4 of the Indian Health Care 
        Improvement Act.
    ``(b) Program Established.--The Secretary shall, as appropriate, 
award grants to evaluate, develop, and, as appropriate, expand the use 
of technology-enabled collaborative learning and capacity building 
models, to improve retention of health care providers and increase 
access to health care services, such as those to address chronic 
diseases and conditions, infectious diseases, mental health, substance 
use disorders, prenatal and maternal health, pediatric care, pain 
management, palliative care, and other specialty care in rural areas, 
frontier areas, health professional shortage areas, or medically 
underserved areas and for medically underserved populations or Native 
Americans, including Indian Tribes and Tribal organizations.
    ``(c) Use of Funds.--
            ``(1) In general.--Grants awarded under subsection (b) 
        shall be used for--
                    ``(A) the development and acquisition of 
                instructional programming, and the training of health 
                care providers and other professionals that provide or 
                assist in the provision of services through models 
                described in subsection (b), such as training on best 
                practices for data collection and leading or 
                participating in such technology-enabled activities 
                consistent with technology-enabled collaborative 
                learning and capacity building models;
                    ``(B) information collection and evaluation 
                activities to study the impact of such models on 
                patient outcomes and health care providers, and to 
                identify best practices for the expansion and use of 
                such models; or
                    ``(C) other activities consistent with achieving 
                the objectives of the grants awarded under this 
                section, as determined by the Secretary.
            ``(2) Other uses.--In addition to any of the uses under 
        paragraph (1), grants awarded under subsection (b) may be used 
        for--
                    ``(A) equipment to support the use and expansion of 
                technology-enabled collaborative learning and capacity 
                building models, including for hardware and software 
                that enables distance learning, health care provider 
                support, and the secure exchange of electronic health 
                information; or
                    ``(B) support for health care providers and other 
                professionals that provide or assist in the provision 
                of services through such models.
    ``(d) Length of Grants.--Grants awarded under subsection (b) shall 
be for a period of up to 5 years.
    ``(e) Grant Requirements.--The Secretary may require entities 
awarded a grant under this section to collect information on the effect 
of the use of technology-enabled collaborative learning and capacity 
building models, such as on health outcomes, access to health care 
services, quality of care, and provider retention in areas and 
populations described in subsection (b). The Secretary may award a 
grant or contract to assist in the coordination of such models, 
including to assess outcomes associated with the use of such models in 
grants awarded under subsection (b), including for the purpose 
described in subsection (c)(1)(B).
    ``(f) Application.--An eligible entity that seeks to receive a 
grant under subsection (b) shall submit to the Secretary an 
application, at such time, in such manner, and containing such 
information as the Secretary may require. Such application shall 
include plans to assess the effect of technology-enabled collaborative 
learning and capacity building models on patient outcomes and health 
care providers.
    ``(g) Access to Broadband.--In administering grants under this 
section, the Secretary may coordinate with other agencies to ensure 
that funding opportunities are available to support access to reliable, 
high-speed internet for grantees.
    ``(h) Technical Assistance.--The Secretary shall provide (either 
directly through the Department of Health and Human Services or by 
contract) technical assistance to eligible entities, including 
recipients of grants under subsection (b), on the development, use, and 
evaluation of technology-enabled collaborative learning and capacity 
building models in order to expand access to health care services 
provided by such entities, including for medically underserved areas 
and to medically underserved populations or Native Americans, including 
Indian Tribes and Tribal organizations.
    ``(i) Research and Evaluation.--The Secretary, in consultation with 
stakeholders with appropriate expertise in such models, shall develop a 
strategic plan to research and evaluate the evidence for such models. 
The Secretary shall use such plan to inform the activities carried out 
under this section.
    ``(j) Report by Secretary.--Not later than 4 years after the date 
of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to 
the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate 
and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of 
Representatives, and post on the internet website of the Department of 
Health and Human Services, a report including, at minimum--
            ``(1) a description of any new and continuing grants 
        awarded to entities under subsection (b) and the specific 
        purpose and amounts of such grants;
            ``(2) an overview of--
                    ``(A) the evaluations conducted under subsection 
                (b);
                    ``(B) technical assistance provided under 
                subsection (h); and
                    ``(C) activities conducted by entities awarded 
                grants under subsection (b); and
            ``(3) a description of any significant findings or 
        developments related to patient outcomes or health care 
        providers and best practices for eligible entities expanding, 
        using, or evaluating technology-enabled collaborative learning 
        and capacity building models, including through the activities 
        described in subsection (h).
    ``(k) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out this section, $20,000,000 for each of fiscal 
years 2020 through 2024.''.
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