House Report 113-227, Part 1 - 113th Congress (2013-2014)
September 25, 2013, As Reported by the Veterans' Affairs Committee

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House Report 113-227 - VETERANS ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 2013




[House Report 113-227]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


113th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    113-227

======================================================================



 
                  VETERANS ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 2013

                                _______
                                

 September 25, 2013.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Miller of Florida, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1804]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1804) to amend title 38, United States Code, to 
direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to submit to Congress 
semiannual reports on the cost of foreign travel made by 
employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with amendments 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     4
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     4
Hearings.........................................................     5
Subcommittee Consideration.......................................     6
Committee Consideration..........................................     6
Committee Votes..................................................     6
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     6
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     6
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     7
Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits.............................     7
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     7
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     7
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     8
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     8
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     8
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     8
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     8
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     9

                               Amendment

    The amendments are as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Veterans Accountability Act of 2013''.

SEC. 2. SEMIANNUAL REPORTS TO CONGRESS ON COST OF CERTAIN TRAVEL.

  (a) In General.--Subchapter I of chapter 5 of title 38, United States 
Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

``Sec. 518. Semiannual reports to Congress on cost of certain travel

  ``(a) Semiannual Reports.--Not later than June 30, 2014, and not 
later than 60 days after each 180-day period thereafter, the Secretary 
shall submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate a 
semiannual report on covered travel made during the 180-day period 
covered by the report.
  ``(b) Matters Included.--Each report under subsection (a) shall 
include the following:
          ``(1) With respect to each instance of covered travel made 
        during the period covered by the report--
                  ``(A) the purpose of such travel;
                  ``(B) the destination;
                  ``(C) the name and title of each employee included on 
                such travel;
                  ``(D) the duration of such travel;
                  ``(E) the total cost to the Department of such 
                travel; and
                  ``(F) with respect to covered travel described in 
                subsection (d)(2), the identity of the person or entity 
                that paid or reimbursed for such travel.
          ``(2) The final costs to the Department with respect to all 
        covered travel made during the period covered by the report, 
        including costs relating to--
                  ``(A) transportation, including fares for travel by 
                air, rail, bus, ferry, cruise ship, taxi, mass transit, 
                or other mode of transportation;
                  ``(B) expenses or reimbursements relating to 
                operating and maintaining a car, including the costs of 
                fuel and mileage;
                  ``(C) passport and visa fees;
                  ``(D) lodging;
                  ``(E) per diem payments;
                  ``(F) baggage charges;
                  ``(G) computer rental fees;
                  ``(H) rental of halls, auditoriums, or other spaces;
                  ``(I) entertainment;
                  ``(J) contractors;
                  ``(K) registration fees; and
                  ``(L) promotional items.
  ``(c) Duplicative Information.--Each report under subsection (a) 
shall include the information described in subsection (b) regardless of 
whether such information is also included in a report under section 517 
of this title.
  ``(d) Covered Travel Defined.--In this section, the term `covered 
travel' means travel made by an employee of the Department of Veterans 
Affairs, including an employee who is stationed in a foreign country, 
on official business to any of the following locations:
          ``(1) If the Department or other element of the Federal 
        Government pays for such travel, a location outside of--
                  ``(A) the several States;
                  ``(B) the District of Columbia;
                  ``(C) a territory, commonwealth, or possession of the 
                United States;
                  ``(D) Indian lands (as defined in section 4(4) of the 
                Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. 2703(4))); or
                  ``(E) the territorial waters of the United States.
          ``(2) If any person or entity other than the Federal 
        Government pays (or reimburses) for such travel, any location, 
        regardless of whether the location is inside or outside of the 
        United States.''.
  (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter is amended by adding after the item relating to section 
517 the following new item:

``518. Semiannual reports to Congress on cost of certain travel.''.

SEC. 3. REPORT OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE AT MEDICAL FACILITIES OF 
                    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

  (a) In General.--Section 7311 of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
  ``(f)(1) The Secretary shall report to the appropriate entity each 
case of a notifiable infectious disease or condition that is diagnosed 
at a medical facility of the Department of Veterans Affairs in 
accordance with the laws of the State in which the facility is located.
  ``(2) In addition to reporting each case of a notifiable infectious 
disease or condition at a medical facility of the Department pursuant 
to paragraph (1), the Secretary shall report each such case that is 
classified as a health-care-associated infection sentinel event to the 
accrediting organization of such facility.
  ``(3)(A) If the Secretary fails to report a case of a notifiable 
infectious disease or condition at a medical facility of the Department 
in accordance with State law pursuant to paragraph (1), the Secretary 
shall--
          ``(i) take any remedial action required under the laws of the 
        State to correct such failure; and
          ``(ii) if the Secretary does not correct such failure 
        pursuant to clause (i), pay to the State an amount equal to the 
        amount that a medical facility not owned by the Federal 
        Government that is located in the same State would pay as a 
        penalty to such State for such failure.
  ``(B) The State may file a civil action against the Secretary in the 
United States district court for the district in which the medical 
facility is located to recover from the United States the amount 
described in subparagraph (A)(ii).
  ``(C) A civil action under subparagraph (B) may not be commenced 
later than two years after the cause of action accrues.
  ``(4)(A) In any case in which the Inspector General of the Department 
suspects that a director of a Veterans Integrated Service Network has 
failed to comply with an applicable provision of this subsection, the 
Inspector General shall conduct an investigation to determine whether 
such director failed to comply with an applicable provision of this 
section.
  ``(B) If the Inspector General determines under subparagraph (A) that 
a director has failed to comply with a provision of this subsection, 
the Secretary shall suspend such director for such period as the 
Secretary considers appropriate under subchapter I or subchapter II of 
chapter 75 of title 5, as the case may be. In addition to such 
suspension, the Secretary may impose such other administrative 
disciplinary action on the director as the Secretary considers 
appropriate and for which the Secretary is otherwise authorized.
  ``(5) The Secretary shall--
          ``(A) maintain records of each notifiable infectious disease 
        or condition reported pursuant to paragraph (1); and
          ``(B) submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the 
        House of Representatives and the Senate a notification of each 
        such notifiable infectious disease or condition.
  ``(6) In this subsection, the term `notifiable infectious disease or 
condition' means any infectious disease or condition that is--
          ``(A) on the list of nationally notifiable diseases or 
        conditions published by the Council of State and Territorial 
        Epidemiologists and the Centers for Disease Control and 
        Prevention; or
          ``(B) covered by a provision of law of a State that requires 
        the reporting of infectious diseases or conditions.''.
  (b) Effective Date.--The reporting requirement under section 7311(f) 
of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall 
apply with respect to a case of a notifiable infectious disease or 
condition diagnosed at a medical facility of the Department of Veterans 
Affairs on or after the date that is 60 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act.

SEC. 4. PROHIBITION OF VISUAL RECORDING WITHOUT INFORMED CONSENT.

  Section 7331 of title 38, United States Code, is amended--
          (1) by striking ``The Secretary, upon'' and inserting ``(a) 
        In General.--The Secretary, upon''; and
          (2) by adding at the end the following new subsection:
  ``(b) Visual Recording.--(1) The Secretary shall prescribe 
regulations establishing procedures to ensure that, except as provided 
by paragraph (2), any visual recording made by the Secretary of a 
patient during the course of furnishing care under this title is 
carried out only with the full and informed consent of the patient or, 
in appropriate cases, a representative thereof.
  ``(2) The Secretary may waive the requirement for informed consent 
under paragraph (1) with respect to the visual recording of a patient 
if such recording is made--
          ``(A) pursuant to a determination by a physician or 
        psychologist that such recording is medically necessary or 
        necessary for the safety of the patient;
          ``(B) pursuant to a warrant or order of a court of competent 
        jurisdiction; or
          ``(C) in a public setting where a person would not have a 
        reasonable expectation to privacy, such as a waiting room or 
        hallway, and such recording is for general security purposes 
        not particularized to the patient.
  ``(3) In this subsection, the term `visual recording' means the 
recording or transmission of images or video, but does not include--
          ``(A) medical imaging, including such imaging produced by 
        radiographic procedures, nuclear medicine, endoscopy, 
        ultrasound, or other similar procedures; or
          ``(B) images, video, and other clinical information 
        transmitted for the purposes of providing treatment through 
        telehealth and telemedicine technologies.''.
    Amend the title to read:
    A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs to submit to Congress semiannual 
reports on the cost of certain travel made by employees of the 
Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 1804, the Veterans Accountability Act of 2013, was 
introduced by Mr. Huelskamp of Kansas on April 26, 2013. H.R. 
1804, as amended, incorporates provisions of that bill as well 
as provisions of H.R. 1490, introduced by House Committee on 
Veterans' Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller; and H.R. 1792, 
introduced by Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee 
Chairman Mike Coffman. Together, these provisions would improve 
Congressional oversight of VA through required domestic and 
foreign travel disclosures; make VA medical facilities safer 
for patients and staff through mandating the reporting of 
infectious diseases; and strengthen the privacy rights of VA 
patients.

                  Background and Need for Legislation


      SECTION 2--REPORTING OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC EMPLOYEE TRAVEL

    Currently, there is no requirement in Title 38, United 
States Code, for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to 
submit information on employee travel. On August 29, 2012, the 
House Committee on Veterans' Affairs requested information on 
foreign travel undertaken by VA employees, including the 
purpose, cost, and VA officials involved. That information was 
not delivered until January 25, 2013, and contained vague 
descriptions of the purpose such as ``special mission,'' 
``conference,'' and ``speech/presentation.'' The Committee 
requested VA to clarify the information and to include the 
destination of the travel and a breakdown of costs; this 
information was provided by VA on July 1, 2013, and included 
information on VA foreign travel for the period October 1, 2009 
to July 18, 2012.
    Documented in this information were trips where 86 people 
traveled to Montreal, Canada for a week ranging from October 
31, 2011 to November 9, 2011; 30 people traveled to Vancouver, 
Canada from February 15, 2011 to February 21, 2011; and 22 
people traveled to Toronto, Canada from November 9, 2011 to 
November 13, 2011. Aside from large group travel, there were a 
number of questionable individual trips by VA employees to 
locations such as Les Diablerets, Switzerland; Phuket, 
Thailand; Vienna, Austria; and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It was 
also discovered that several employees listed as traveling for 
VA businesses, were actually non-VA employees and employees of 
other offices within the Federal government. For example, a 
sailor in the United States Navy was transported to Catania, 
Italy and then onto the U.S.S. Mesa Verde, and that same sailor 
was also transported to Djibouti City, Djibouti. The listed 
purpose of both trips was ``special mission.''
    Chapter 1353 of Title 31, United States Code, requires the 
disclosure of travel funded through gifts from non-Federal 
sources to the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) on a 
semiannual basis. The Committee reviewed VA's disclosures to 
OGE for periods including 2007, 2010, 2011, and 2012. The 
disclosures revealed numerous trips paid for by VA affiliated 
academic institutions to conferences and seminars, within the 
United States and to foreign countries. For example, a VA 
employee attended a 5 day ``conference'' in Little Rock, 
Arkansas with the total cost of the trip totaling $14,065. The 
trip was funded by the University of Arkansas and the VA 
Medical Center in Little Rock has an affiliation with the 
University of Arkansas, Medical School.
    Section 2 H.R. 1804, As Amended, would require the VA to 
submit semiannual reports to Congress on foreign travel by VA 
employees and travel funded by non-Federal sources. The reports 
would include the purpose of the travel, the destination, the 
name and title of each employee traveling, and for travel 
funded by non-Federal sources, the report would include the 
entity or individual funding the travel.

 SECTION 3--REPORTING OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES AT DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS 
                       AFFAIRS MEDICAL FACILITIES

    Section 3 of H.R. 1804 is derived H.R. 1792, As Amended, 
would require VA to report infectious diseases diagnosed at VA 
medical facilities in accordance with the laws of the state the 
facility is located. This bill was introduced in response to a 
number of infectious disease issues at VA facilities 
nationwide, including the deadly outbreak of Legionnaires' 
Disease at the Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System from February 
2011 to November 2012 that killed at least five veterans and 
sickened as many as 22.

  SECTION 4--PROHIBITION OF VISUAL RECORDING WITHOUT INFORMED CONSENT

    Section 4 of H.R. 1804, As Amended.

                                Hearings

    On June 19, 2013, the Subcommittee on Oversight and 
Investigations conducted a legislative hearing on various bill 
introduced during the 113th Congress including H.R. 1490, H.R. 
1792, and H.R. 1804. The following witnesses testified: The 
Honorable Jeff Miller, U.S. House of Representatives; The 
Honorable Tim Huelskamp, U.S. House of Representatives; Dr. 
Robert L. Jesse, Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Health, 
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; Ms. Jane Clare Joyner, 
Deputy Assistant General Counsel, U.S. Department of Veterans 
Affairs; Dr. Timothy F. Jones, Tennessee State Epidemiologist 
and President, Council of State and Territorial 
Epidemiologists; Mr. Nick McCormick, Legislative Associate, 
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America; and Dr. Paul Etkind, 
Senior Director of Infectious Diseases, National Association of 
County and City Health Officials.

                       Subcommittee Consideration

    On June 27, 2013, the Subcommittee on Oversight and 
Investigations met in an open markup session, a quorum being 
present, and favorably forwarded to the full Committee H.R. 
1490, As Amended, H.R. 1792, As Amended, and H.R. 1804, As 
Amended, by voice vote.
    During consideration of H.R. 1490 the following amendment 
was considered and agreed to by voice vote:
    An amendment in the nature of a substitute offered by Mr. 
Coffman of Colorado.
    During consideration of H.R. 1792 the following amendment 
was considered and agreed to by voice vote:
    An amendment in the nature of a substitute offered by Mr. 
Coffman of Colorado.
    During consideration of H.R. 1804 the following amendment 
was considered and agreed to by voice vote:
    An amendment in the nature of a substitute offered by Mr. 
Huelskamp of Kansas.

                        Committee Consideration

    On August 1, 2013, the full Committee met in an open markup 
session, a quorum being present, and ordered H.R. 1804, As 
Amended, reported favorably to the House of Representatives by 
voice vote. During consideration of the bill, the following 
amendment was considered:
          An amendment in the nature of a substitute, by Mr. 
        Huelskamp of Kansas, which contained provisions 
        affecting VA travel reporting requirements, reporting 
        of infectious diseases, and guidelines to ensure 
        privacy was agreed to by voice vote.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the recorded 
votes on the motion to report the legislation and amendments 
thereto. There were no recorded votes taken on amendments or in 
connection with ordering H.R. 5948, as amended, reported to the 
House. A motion by Ranking Member Mike Michaud of Maine to 
order H.R. 1804, as amended, reported favorably to the House of 
Representatives was agreed to by voice vote.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goals and objectives are reflected in the descriptive portions 
of this report.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee adopts as its 
own the estimate of new budget authority, entitlement 
authority, or tax expenditures or revenues contained in the 
cost estimate prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974.

                  Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits

    H.R. 1804, As Amended, does not contain any Congressional 
earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as 
defined in clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate on H.R. 
1804, As Amended, prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the following is the cost estimate 
for H.R. 602 provided by the Congressional Budget Office 
pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974.
                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, August 9, 2013.
Hon. Jeff Miller,
Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1804, the Veterans 
Accountability Act of 2013.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Ann E. 
Futrell.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1804--Veterans Accountability Act of 2013

    H.R. 1804 would impose several administrative and reporting 
requirements on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The 
bill would require VA to obtain informed consent of patients 
for potential video recordings of care furnished by the agency, 
unless such a recording is determined to be medically 
necessary. While the agency is not currently required by 
statute to obtain such consent, VA reports that, in compliance 
with the Video Voyeurism Protection Act of 2004 and the Joint 
Commission for Leadership in Healthcare Organizations, it 
already requires written consent of patients when they are 
videotaped for purposes other than medical necessity.
    In addition, H.R. 1804 would require the VA to report 
diseases that occur at its medical facilities to appropriate 
state and local entities, in accordance with state laws. If VA 
failed to report the diseases, it would be required to take 
remedial action and potentially pay a penalty to the state. 
However, on June 25, 2013, VA released the directive, 
``Infectious Disease Reporting'' (2013-008), which requires 
mandatory reporting on infectious diseases to state and local 
entities.
    Since both of the requirements described above would codify 
VA's policy, CBO estimates no additional cost to implement 
those provisions.
    Finally, H.R. 1804 would require VA to submit semiannual 
reports to the Congress that provide detailed descriptions of 
certain travel by its employees. The first report would have to 
be completed by June 30, 2014. In total, CBO estimates that 
implementing H.R. 1804 would cost $1 million to prepare reports 
over the 2014-2018 period, assuming the availability of 
appropriated funds. Enacting this bill would not affect direct 
spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as you go procedures do 
not apply.
    H.R. 1804 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Ann E. Futrell 
and Dwayne M. Wright. The estimate was approved by Peter H. 
Fontaine, Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates regarding H.R. 1804, As Amended, prepared by the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 
423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act would be created by H.R. 
1804, As Amended.

                 Statement of Constitutional Authority

    Pursuant to Article I, section 8 of the United States 
Constitution, the reported bill is authorized by Congress' 
power to ``provide for the common Defense and general Welfare 
of the United States.''

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 2--Reporting of foreign and domestic employee travel

    Section 2(a) would add a new section, 518, to chapter 5 of 
Title 38 United States Code, that would mandate semiannual 
reports to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the 
Senate of covered travel.
    Section 2(b) would require VA, with respect to covered 
travel, to report the purpose, destination, name and title of 
each employee travelling, duration, total cost, and for travel 
funded by non-Federal sources, the identity of the person or 
entity funding the travel. For calculating cost, this section 
would require, among other things, inclusion of transportation, 
lodging, per diem payments, registration fees, promotional 
items.
    Section 2(c) would require the reporting of information 
regardless if it would also be in included in a report under 
Section 517 of Title 38, United States Code.
    Section 2(d) would define covered travel to include foreign 
travel by a VA employee paid for by the Federal Government and 
domestic or foreign travel paid for by a person or entity other 
than the Federal Government.
    Section 2(e) would make a clerical amendment to the table 
of sections at the beginning of chapter 5 of Title 38.

Section 3--Reporting of infectious diseases at Department of Veterans 
        Affairs medical facilities

    Section 3(a) would amend section 7311 of Title 38 United 
States Code, to require the reporting of each case of a 
diagnosed infectious disease or condition at VA medical 
facility in accordance with the laws of the State the facility 
is located. It would also require VA to report each case that 
is classified as a healthcare-associated infection sentinel 
event to the accrediting organization of such facility.
    Section 3(b).

Section 4--Prohibition of visual recording without informed consent

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



PART I--GENERAL PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


            CHAPTER 5--AUTHORITY AND DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY


                    SUBCHAPTER I--GENERAL AUTHORITIES

Sec.
501. Rules and regulations.
     * * * * * * *
518. Semiannual reports to Congress on cost of certain travel.

SUBCHAPTER I--GENERAL AUTHORITIES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 518. Semiannual reports to Congress on cost of certain travel

  (a) Semiannual Reports.--Not later than June 30, 2014, and 
not later than 60 days after each 180-day period thereafter, 
the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Veterans' 
Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on 
Veterans' Affairs of the Senate a semiannual report on covered 
travel made during the 180-day period covered by the report.
  (b) Matters Included.--Each report under subsection (a) shall 
include the following:
          (1) With respect to each instance of covered travel 
        made during the period covered by the report--
                  (A) the purpose of such travel;
                  (B) the destination;
                  (C) the name and title of each employee 
                included on such travel;
                  (D) the duration of such travel;
                  (E) the total cost to the Department of such 
                travel; and
                  (F) with respect to covered travel described 
                in subsection (d)(2), the identity of the 
                person or entity that paid or reimbursed for 
                such travel.
          (2) The final costs to the Department with respect to 
        all covered travel made during the period covered by 
        the report, including costs relating to--
                  (A) transportation, including fares for 
                travel by air, rail, bus, ferry, cruise ship, 
                taxi, mass transit, or other mode of 
                transportation;
                  (B) expenses or reimbursements relating to 
                operating and maintaining a car, including the 
                costs of fuel and mileage;
                  (C) passport and visa fees;
                  (D) lodging;
                  (E) per diem payments;
                  (F) baggage charges;
                  (G) computer rental fees;
                  (H) rental of halls, auditoriums, or other 
                spaces;
                  (I) entertainment;
                  (J) contractors;
                  (K) registration fees; and
                  (L) promotional items.
  (c) Duplicative Information.--Each report under subsection 
(a) shall include the information described in subsection (b) 
regardless of whether such information is also included in a 
report under section 517 of this title.
  (d) Covered Travel Defined.--In this section, the term 
``covered travel'' means travel made by an employee of the 
Department of Veterans Affairs, including an employee who is 
stationed in a foreign country, on official business to any of 
the following locations:
          (1) If the Department or other element of the Federal 
        Government pays for such travel, a location outside 
        of--
                  (A) the several States;
                  (B) the District of Columbia;
                  (C) a territory, commonwealth, or possession 
                of the United States;
                  (D) Indian lands (as defined in section 4(4) 
                of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. 
                2703(4))); or
                  (E) the territorial waters of the United 
                States.
          (2) If any person or entity other than the Federal 
        Government pays (or reimburses) for such travel, any 
        location, regardless of whether the location is inside 
        or outside of the United States.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART V--BOARDS, ADMINISTRATIONS, AND SERVICES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 73--VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION - ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


          SUBCHAPTER II--GENERAL AUTHORITY AND ADMINISTRATION

Sec. 7311. Quality assurance

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (f)(1) The Secretary shall report to the appropriate entity 
each case of a notifiable infectious disease or condition that 
is diagnosed at a medical facility of the Department of 
Veterans Affairs in accordance with the laws of the State in 
which the facility is located.
  (2) In addition to reporting each case of a notifiable 
infectious disease or condition at a medical facility of the 
Department pursuant to paragraph (1), the Secretary shall 
report each such case that is classified as a health-care-
associated infection sentinel event to the accrediting 
organization of such facility.
  (3)(A) If the Secretary fails to report a case of a 
notifiable infectious disease or condition at a medical 
facility of the Department in accordance with State law 
pursuant to paragraph (1), the Secretary shall--
          (i) take any remedial action required under the laws 
        of the State to correct such failure; and
          (ii) if the Secretary does not correct such failure 
        pursuant to clause (i), pay to the State an amount 
        equal to the amount that a medical facility not owned 
        by the Federal Government that is located in the same 
        State would pay as a penalty to such State for such 
        failure.
  (B) The State may file a civil action against the Secretary 
in the United States district court for the district in which 
the medical facility is located to recover from the United 
States the amount described in subparagraph (A)(ii).
  (C) A civil action under subparagraph (B) may not be 
commenced later than two years after the cause of action 
accrues.
  (4)(A) In any case in which the Inspector General of the 
Department suspects that a director of a Veterans Integrated 
Service Network has failed to comply with an applicable 
provision of this subsection, the Inspector General shall 
conduct an investigation to determine whether such director 
failed to comply with an applicable provision of this section.
  (B) If the Inspector General determines under subparagraph 
(A) that a director has failed to comply with a provision of 
this subsection, the Secretary shall suspend such director for 
such period as the Secretary considers appropriate under 
subchapter I or subchapter II of chapter 75 of title 5, as the 
case may be. In addition to such suspension, the Secretary may 
impose such other administrative disciplinary action on the 
director as the Secretary considers appropriate and for which 
the Secretary is otherwise authorized.
  (5) The Secretary shall--
          (A) maintain records of each notifiable infectious 
        disease or condition reported pursuant to paragraph 
        (1); and
          (B) submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of 
        the House of Representatives and the Senate a 
        notification of each such notifiable infectious disease 
        or condition.
  (6) In this subsection, the term ``notifiable infectious 
disease or condition'' means any infectious disease or 
condition that is--
          (A) on the list of nationally notifiable diseases or 
        conditions published by the Council of State and 
        Territorial Epidemiologists and the Centers for Disease 
        Control and Prevention; or
          (B) covered by a provision of law of a State that 
        requires the reporting of infectious diseases or 
        conditions.

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              SUBCHAPTER III--PROTECTION OF PATIENT RIGHTS

Sec. 7331. Informed consent

  [The Secretary, upon] (a) In General._The Secretary, upon the 
recommendation of the Under Secretary for Health and pursuant 
to the provisions of section 7334 of this title, shall 
prescribe regulations establishing procedures to ensure that 
all medical and prosthetic research carried out and, to the 
maximum extent practicable, all patient care furnished under 
this title shall be carried out only with the full and informed 
consent of the patient or subject or, in appropriate cases, a 
representative thereof.
  (b) Visual Recording.--(1) The Secretary shall prescribe 
regulations establishing procedures to ensure that, except as 
provided by paragraph (2), any visual recording made by the 
Secretary of a patient during the course of furnishing care 
under this title is carried out only with the full and informed 
consent of the patient or, in appropriate cases, a 
representative thereof.
  (2) The Secretary may waive the requirement for informed 
consent under paragraph (1) with respect to the visual 
recording of a patient if such recording is made--
          (A) pursuant to a determination by a physician or 
        psychologist that such recording is medically necessary 
        or necessary for the safety of the patient;
          (B) pursuant to a warrant or order of a court of 
        competent jurisdiction; or
          (C) in a public setting where a person would not have 
        a reasonable expectation to privacy, such as a waiting 
        room or hallway, and such recording is for general 
        security purposes not particularized to the patient.
  (3) In this subsection, the term ``visual recording'' means 
the recording or transmission of images or video, but does not 
include--
          (A) medical imaging, including such imaging produced 
        by radiographic procedures, nuclear medicine, 
        endoscopy, ultrasound, or other similar procedures; or
          (B) images, video, and other clinical information 
        transmitted for the purposes of providing treatment 
        through telehealth and telemedicine technologies.

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