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S. 2525 (is) To provide for the implementation of a system of licensing for purchasers of certain firearms and for a record of sale system for those firearms, and for other purposes. [Introduced in Senate] ...
108th CONGRESS 2d Session S. 2524 To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the provision of health care, rehabilitation, and related services to veterans suffering from trauma relating to a blast injury, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES June 16, 2004 Mr. Graham of Florida introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the provision of health care, rehabilitation, and related services to veterans suffering from trauma relating to a blast injury, 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. CENTERS FOR RESEARCH, EDUCATION, AND CLINICAL ACTIVITIES ON BLAST INJURIES OF VETERANS. (a) In General.--(1) Subchapter II of chapter 73 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section: ``Sec. 7327. Centers for research, education, and clinical activities on blast injuries ``(a) Purpose.--The purpose of this section is to provide for the improvement of the provision of health care services and related rehabilitation and education services to eligible veterans suffering from multiple traumas associated with a blast injury through-- ``(1) the conduct of research to support the provision of such services in accordance with the most current evidence on blast injuries; ``(2) the education and training of health care personnel of the Department; and ``(3) the development of improved models and systems for the furnishing of services by the Department for blast injuries. ``(b) Establishment.--(1) The Secretary shall establish and operate at least one, but not more than three, centers for research, education, and clinical activities on blast injuries. ``(2) Each center shall function as a center for-- ``(A) research on blast injury to support the provision of services in accordance with the most current evidence on blast injuries, with such research to specifically address injury epidemiology and cost, functional outcomes, blast injury taxonomy and measurement system, and longitudinal outcomes; ``(B) the development of a rehabilitation program for blast injuries, including referral protocol, post-acute assessment, and coordination of comprehensive treatment services; ``(C) the development of protocols to optimize linkages between the Department and the Department of Defense on matters relating to research, education, and clinical activities on blast injuries; ``(D) the creation of innovative models for education and outreach on health-care and related rehabilitation and education services on blast injuries, with such education and outreach to target those who have sustained a blast injury and health care providers and researchers in the Veterans Health Administration, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security; ``(E) the development of educational tools and products on blast injuries, and the maintenance of such tools and products in a resource clearinghouse that can serve as resources for the Veterans Health Administration, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and other departments and agencies of the Federal Government; ``(F) the development of interdisciplinary training programs on the provision of health care and rehabilitation care services for blast injuries that provide an integrated understanding of the continuum of care for such injuries to the broad range of providers of such services, including first responders, acute-care providers, and rehabilitation service providers; and ``(G) the implementation of strategies for improving the medical diagnostic coding of blast injuries in the Department to reliably identify veterans with blast injuries and track outcomes over time. ``(3) The Secretary shall designate a designate a center or centers under this section upon the recommendation of the Under Secretary for Health. ``(4) The Secretary may designate a center under this section only if-- ``(A) the proposal submitted for the designation of the center meets the requirements of subsection (c); ``(B) the Secretary makes the finding described in subsection (d); and ``(C) the peer review panel established under subsection (e) makes the determination specified in subsection (e)(3) with respect to that proposal. ``(5) The authority of the Secretary to establish and operate centers under this section is subject to the appropriation of funds for that purpose. ``(c) Proposal Requirements.--A proposal submitted for the designation of a center under this section shall-- ``(1) provide for close collaboration in the establishment and operation of the center, and for the provision of care and the conduct of research and education at the center, by a Department facility or facilities (in this subsection referred to as the `collaborating facilities') in the same geographic area that have a mission centered on the care of individuals with blast injuries and a Department facility in that area which has a mission of providing tertiary medical care; ``(2) provide that not less than 50 percent of the funds appropriated for the center for support of clinical care, research, and education will be provided to the collaborating facilities with respect to the center; and ``(3) provide for a governance arrangement among the facilities described in paragraph (1) with respect to the center that ensures that the center will be established and operated in a manner aimed at improving the quality of care for blast injuries at the collaborating facilities with respect to the center. ``(d) Findings Relating to Proposals.--The finding referred to in subsection (b)(4)(B) with respect to a proposal for the designation of a site as a location of a center under this section is a finding by the Secretary, upon the recommendation of the Under Secretary for Health, that the facilities submitting the proposal have developed (or may reasonably be anticipated to develop) each of the following: ``(1) An arrangement with an affiliated accredited medical school or university that provides education and training in disaster preparedness, homeland security, and biodefense. ``(2) Comprehensive and effective treatment services for head injury, spinal cord injury, audiology, amputation, gait and balance, and mental health. ``(3) The ability to attract scientists who have demonstrated achievement in research-- ``(A) into the evaluation of innovative approaches to the rehabilitation of blast injuries; or ``(B) into the treatment of blast injuries. ``(4) The capability to evaluate effectively the activities of the center, including activities relating to the evaluation of specific efforts to improve the quality and effectiveness of services on blast injuries that are provided by the Department at or through individual facilities. ``(e) Departmental Support on Evaluation of Center Proposals.--(1) In order to provide advice to assist the Secretary and the Under Secretary for Health to carry out their responsibilities under this section, the official within the central office of the Veterans Health Administration responsible for blast injury matters shall establish a peer review panel to assess the scientific and clinical merit of proposals that are submitted to the Secretary for the designation of centers under this section. ``(2) The panel shall consist of experts in the fields of research, education and training, and clinical care on blast injuries. Members of the panel shall serve as consultants to the Department. ``(3) The panel shall review each proposal submitted to the panel by the official referred to in paragraph (1) and shall submit to that official its views on the relative scientific and clinical merit of each such proposal. The panel shall specifically determine with respect to each such proposal whether or not that proposal is among those proposals which have met the highest competitive standards of scientific and clinical merit. ``(4) The panel shall not be subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.). ``(f) Award of Funding.--Clinical and scientific investigation activities at each center established under this section-- ``(1) may compete for the award of funding from amounts appropriated for the Department for medical and prosthetics research; and ``(2) shall receive priority in the award of funding from such amounts insofar as funds are awarded from such amounts to projects and activities relating to blast injuries. ``(g) Dissemination of Information.--(1) The Under Secretary for Health shall ensure that information produced by the centers established under this section that may be useful for other activities of the Veterans Health Administration is disseminated throughout the Administration. ``(2) Information shall be disseminated under this subsection through publications, through programs of continuing medical and related education provided through regional medical education centers under subchapter VI of chapter 74 of this title, and through other means. Such programs of continuing medical education shall receive priority in the award of funding. ``(h) Supervision.--The official within the central office of the Veterans Health Administration responsible for blast injury matters shall be responsible for supervising the operation of the centers established under this section and shall provide for ongoing evaluation of the centers and their compliance with the requirements of this section. ``(i) Authorization of Appropriations.--(1) There are authorized to be appropriated to the Department of Veterans Affairs for the centers established under this section amounts as follows: ``(A) $3,125,000 for fiscal year 2005. ``(B) $6,250,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2008. ``(2) In addition to amounts authorized to be appropriated by paragraph (1) for a fiscal year, the Under Secretary for Health shall allocate to each center established under this section, from other funds authorized to be appropriated for such fiscal year for the Department generally for medical and for medical and prosthetics research, such additional amounts as the Under Secretary for Health determines appropriate to carry out the purpose of this section.''. (2) The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 73 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 7326, the following new item: ``7327. Centers for research, education, and clinical activities on blast injuries''. (b) Designation of Centers.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall designate at least one center for research, education, and clinical activities on blast injuries as required by section 7327 of title 38, United States Code (as added by subsection (a)), not later than January 1, 2005. (c) Annual Reports.--(1) Not later than February 1 of each of 2006, 2007, and 2008, the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a report on the status and activities during the previous fiscal year of the center for research, education, and clinical activities on blast injuries established under section 7327 of title 38, United States Code (as so added). Each such report shall include the following: (A) A description of the activities carried out at each center, and the funding provided for such activities. (B) A description of the advances made at each of the participating facilities of the each center in research, education and training, and clinical activities on blast injuries . (C) A description of the actions taken by the Under Secretary for Health pursuant to subsection (g) of that section (as so added) to disseminate information derived from such activities throughout the Veterans Health Administration. (D) The assessment of the Secretary of the effectiveness of the centers in fulfilling the purposes of the centers. <all>
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