38 USC 1705 - Management of health care: patient enrollment system

(a) In managing the provision of hospital care and medical services under section 1710 (a) of this title, the Secretary, in accordance with regulations the Secretary shall prescribe, shall establish and operate a system of annual patient enrollment. The Secretary shall manage the enrollment of veterans in accordance with the following priorities, in the order listed:
(1) Veterans with service-connected disabilities rated 50 percent or greater.
(2) Veterans with service-connected disabilities rated 30 percent or 40 percent.
(3) Veterans who are former prisoners of war or who were awarded the Purple Heart, veterans with service-connected disabilities rated 10 percent or 20 percent, and veterans described in subparagraphs (B) and (C) of section 1710 (a)(2) of this title.

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(4) Veterans who are in receipt of increased pension based on a need of regular aid and attendance or by reason of being permanently housebound and other veterans who are catastrophically disabled.
(5) Veterans not covered by paragraphs (1) through (4) who are unable to defray the expenses of necessary care as determined under section 1722 (a) of this title.
(6) All other veterans eligible for hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care under section 1710 (a)(2) of this title.
(7) Veterans described in section 1710 (a)(3) of this title who are eligible for treatment as a low-income family under section 3(b) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437a (b)) for the area in which such veterans reside, regardless of whether such veterans are treated as single person families under paragraph (3)(A) of such section 3 (b) or as families under paragraph (3)(B) of such section 3 (b).
(8) Veterans described in section 1710 (a)(3) of this title who are not covered by paragraph (7).
(b) In the design of an enrollment system under subsection (a), the Secretary
(1) shall ensure that the system will be managed in a manner to ensure that the provision of care to enrollees is timely and acceptable in quality;
(2) may establish additional priorities within each priority group specified in subsection (a), as the Secretary determines necessary; and
(3) may provide for exceptions to the specified priorities where dictated by compelling medical reasons.
(c) 

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(1) The Secretary may not provide hospital care or medical services to a veteran under paragraph (2) or (3) of section 1710 (a) of this title unless the veteran enrolls in the system of patient enrollment established by the Secretary under subsection (a).
(2) The Secretary shall provide hospital care and medical services under section 1710 (a)(1) of this title, and under subparagraph (B) of section 1710 (a)(2) of this title, for the 12-month period following such veterans discharge or release from service, to any veteran referred to in such sections for a disability specified in the applicable subparagraph of such section, notwithstanding the failure of the veteran to enroll in the system of patient enrollment referred to in subsection (a) of this section.