Text: H.R.2441 — 117th Congress (2021-2022)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 117-21 (06/30/2021)

 
[117th Congress Public Law 21]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



[[Page 135 STAT. 292]]

Public Law 117-21
117th Congress

                                 An Act


 
 To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to expand the Rural Access 
  Network for Growth Enhancement Program of the Department of Veterans 
 Affairs, and to direct the Comptroller General of the United States to 
 conduct a study to assess certain mental health care resources of the 
 Department of Veterans Affairs available to veterans who live in rural 
             areas. <<NOTE: June 30, 2021 -  [H.R. 2441]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Sgt. Ketchum 
Rural Veterans Mental Health Act of 2021.>> 
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 38 USC 101 note.>>  SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Sgt. Ketchum Rural Veterans Mental 
Health Act of 2021''.
SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1712A note.>>  EXPANSION OF RURAL ACCESS 
                    NETWORK FOR GROWTH ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM OF THE 
                    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) Expansion.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall establish 
and maintain three new centers of the RANGE Program.
    (b) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  Locations.--The centers established 
under subsection (a) shall be located in areas determined by the 
Secretary based on--
            (1) the need for additional mental health care for rural 
        veterans in such areas; and
            (2) interest expressed by personnel at facilities of the 
        Department in such areas.

    (c) Timeline.--The Secretary shall establish the centers under 
subsection (a) during fiscal year 2022.
    (d) Funding.--There is authorized to be appropriated $1,200,000 for 
each of fiscal years 2022 through 2024 to carry out this section.
SEC. 3. GAO STUDY OF MENTAL HEALTH CARE FURNISHED BY THE SECRETARY 
                    OF VETERANS AFFAIRS TO RURAL VETERANS.

    (a) Study Required.--The Comptroller General of the United States 
shall conduct a study to assess whether the Department of Veterans 
Affairs has sufficient resources to serve rural veterans who need 
covered mental health care. Such study shall include assessments of--
            (1) whether the mental health care furnished by the 
        Secretary (through resources including the RANGE Program, 
        Enhanced RANGE Program, mental health residential rehabilitation 
        treatment programs, inpatient mental health services, and PRR 
        centers) is sufficient to meet the covered mental health care 
        needs of rural veterans;
            (2) how best to expand and to appropriately locate resources 
        described in paragraph (1);

[[Page 135 STAT. 293]]

            (3) whether to require the establishment of a PRR center at 
        a medical facility of the Department that serves 1,000 or more 
        veterans on the National Psychosis Registry;
            (4) the demand by rural veterans for mental health resources 
        specified in paragraph (1);
            (5) the average wait time for a rural veteran for mental 
        health resources specified in paragraph (1); and
            (6) how many rural veterans died by suicide or overdose--
                    (A) while on a wait list for mental health resources 
                specified in paragraph (1); and
                    (B) during the term of the study.

    (b) Report Required.--Not later than 18 months after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit to the 
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of 
Representatives a report containing the results of the study under this 
section.
SEC. 4. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1712A note.>>  DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) The term ``covered mental health care'' means mental 
        health care that is more intensive than traditional outpatient 
        therapy.
            (2) The term ``PRR center'' means a psychosocial 
        rehabilitation and recovery center of the Department of Veterans 
        Affairs.
            (3) The term ``RANGE Program'' means the Rural Access 
        Network for Growth Enhancement Program of the Department of 
        Veterans Affairs.
            (4) The term ``rural veteran'' means a veteran who lives in 
        a rural or highly rural area (including such an area in a Tribal 
        or insular area), as determined through the use of the Rural-
        Urban Commuting Areas coding system of the Department of 
        Agriculture.

    Approved June 30, 2021.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 2441:
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CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 167 (2021):
            May 17, considered in House.
            May 18, prior proceedings vacated; considered and passed 
                House.
            June 24, considered and passed Senate.

                                  <all>

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