House Report 113-227, Part 2 - 113th Congress (2013-2014)
October 07, 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                                            Rept. 113-227
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     Part 2

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                  VETERANS ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 2013

                                _______
                                

October 7, 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

                          SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT

                        [To accompany H.R. 1804]

    This supplemental report includes a correction to the prose 
under the heading relating to Background and Need for 
Legislation describing sections 3 and 4 of the bill (H.R. 
1804), as reported. This supplemental report also includes the 
required Statement of Duplication of Federal Programs and the 
required Disclosure of Directed Rulemaking, which was not 
included in the report submitted on September 25, 2013 (H. 
Rept. 113-227, pt.1).

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

Section 3--Reporting of Infectious Diseases at Department of Veterans 
        Affairs Medical Facilities

    Currently, VA is not required by law to report the 
incidence of infectious disease at VA facilities to State and 
local health officials. Section 3 of H.R. 1804, as amended, as 
derived from 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 section was advanced 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.
    According to expert witnesses who testified before the 
Committee, timely disease surveillance is critical to disease 
control. Delayed, incomplete, or inconsistent reporting can 
compromise an effective response and result in the spread of 
infection. As one of the Nation's largest health care 
providers, VA must participate in infectious disease reporting 
along with all other medical facilities within each State they 
are located.

Section 4--Prohibition of Visual Recording without Informed Consent

    Section 4 of H.R. 1804, as amended, directs the Secretary 
of Veterans Affairs to prescribe regulations to ensure that any 
visual recording made of a patient during the course of 
furnishing care through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) 
is carried out only with the full and informed consent of that 
patient or, in appropriate cases, a representative thereof.
    Section 4 of H.R. 1804, as amended, would allow the 
Secretary to waive such requirement if the recording is made: 
(1) upon a determination by a physician or psychologist that 
the recording is medically necessary, (2) pursuant to a warrant 
or order of a court of competent jurisdiction, or (3) in a 
public setting where a person would not have a reasonable 
expectation to privacy (such as a waiting room or hallway) and 
the recording is for general security purposes not 
particularized to the patient.
    This bill was introduced in response to a specific incident 
at a VA medical facility where a covert camera was discovered 
in a patient's treatment room. Upon inquiry, the VA indicated 
that it had not yet implemented a national policy on video 
surveillance. Section 4 of H.R. 1804, as amended, would ensure 
the basic privacy rights of the men and women who have served 
our country when they seek treatment at VA medical facilities.

              STATEMENT ON DUPLICATION OF FEDERAL PROGRAMS

    Pursuant to section 3(j) of H. Res. 5, 113th Cong. (2013), 
the Committee finds that no provision of H.R. 1804, as amended, 
establishes or reauthorizes a program of the Federal Government 
known to be duplicative of another Federal program, a program 
that was included in any report from the Government 
Accountability Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of 
Public Law 111-139, or a program related to a program 
identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance.

                   DISCLOSURE OF DIRECTED RULEMAKING

    Pursuant to section 3(k) of H. Res. 5, 113th Cong. (2013), 
the Committee estimates that H.R. 1804, as amended, contains 
one directed rule making at section 4 requiring the Secretary 
to prescribe regulations regarding the visual recording of 
patients in Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities.