Text: S.202 — 117th Congress (2021-2022)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (02/03/2021)

 
[Congressional Bills 117th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 202 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

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117th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                 S. 202

    To ensure that veterans receive timely and effective emergency 
    treatment during the COVID-19 emergency, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                            February 3, 2021

 Mrs. Shaheen introduced the following bill; which was read twice and 
             referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
    To ensure that veterans receive timely and effective emergency 
    treatment during the COVID-19 emergency, 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 ``Emergency Care for Veterans During 
COVID Act''.

SEC. 2. EMERGENCY TREATMENT FOR VETERANS DURING COVID-19 EMERGENCY 
              PERIOD.

    (a) Emergency Treatment.--Notwithstanding section 1725 or 1728 of 
title 38, United States Code, or any other provision of law 
administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs pertaining to 
furnishing emergency treatment to veterans at non-Department 
facilities, during the period of a covered public health emergency, the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall furnish to an eligible veteran 
emergency treatment at a non-Department facility in accordance with 
this section.
    (b) Authorization Not Required.--The Secretary may not require an 
eligible veteran to seek authorization by the Secretary for emergency 
treatment furnished to the veteran pursuant to subsection (a).
    (c) Payment Rates.--
            (1) Determination.--The rate paid for emergency treatment 
        furnished to eligible veterans pursuant to subsection (a) shall 
        be equal to 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 treatment.
            (2) Finality.--A payment in the amount payable under 
        paragraph (1) for emergency treatment furnished to an eligible 
        veteran pursuant to subsection (a) shall be considered payment 
        in full and shall extinguish the liability of the veteran to 
        the provider of such treatment, unless the provider rejects the 
        payment and refunds to the United States such amount by not 
        later than 30 days after receiving the payment.
    (d) Claims Processed by Third-Party Administrators.--
            (1) Requirement.--Not later than 30 days after the date of 
        the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall seek to award a 
        contract to one or more entities, or to modify an existing 
        contract, to process claims for payment for emergency treatment 
        furnished to eligible veterans pursuant to subsection (a).
            (2) Prompt payment standard.--Section 1703D of title 38, 
        United States Code, shall apply with respect to claims for 
        payment for emergency treatment furnished to eligible veterans 
        pursuant to subsection (a).
    (e) Primary Payer.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall be the primary payer 
        with respect to emergency treatment furnished to eligible 
        veterans pursuant to subsection (a) and with respect to the 
        transportation of a veteran by ambulance in connection with 
        such emergency treatment.
            (2) Recovery of reasonable charges.--In any case in which 
        an eligible veteran is furnished emergency treatment pursuant 
        to subsection (a) for a non-service-connected disability 
        described in subsection (a)(2) of section 1729 of title 38, 
        United States Code, the Secretary shall recover or collect 
        reasonable charges for such treatment from a health-plan 
        contract described in subsection (i) of such section in 
        accordance with such section.
    (f) Application.--This section shall apply to emergency treatment 
furnished to eligible veterans during the period of a covered public 
health emergency, regardless of whether the treatment was furnished 
before the date of the enactment of this Act.
    (g) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) The term ``covered public health emergency'' means the 
        declaration--
                    (A) of a public health emergency, based on an 
                outbreak of COVID-19, by the Secretary of Health and 
                Human Services under section 319 of the Public Health 
                Service Act (42 U.S.C. 247d); or
                    (B) of a domestic emergency, based on an outbreak 
                of COVID-19, by the President, the Secretary of 
                Homeland Security, or a State or local authority.
            (2) The term ``eligible veteran'' means a veteran enrolled 
        in the system of patient enrollment of the Department of 
        Veterans Affairs established under section 1705(a) of title 38, 
        United States Code.
            (3) The term ``emergency treatment'' means medical care or 
        services rendered in a medical emergency of such nature that a 
        prudent layperson reasonably expects that delay in seeking 
        immediate medical attention would be hazardous to life or 
        health.
            (4) The term ``non-Department facility'' has the meaning 
        given that term in section 1701 of title 38, United States 
        Code.
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