TITLE 38 - US CODE - SUBCHAPTER II - HOSPITAL, NURSING HOME, OR DOMICILIARY CARE AND MEDICAL TREATMENT

38 USC 1710 - Eligibility for hospital, nursing home, and domiciliary care

(a) 
(1) The Secretary (subject to paragraph (4)) shall furnish hospital care and medical services which the Secretary determines to be needed
(A) to any veteran for a service-connected disability; and
(B) to any veteran who has a service-connected disability rated at 50 percent or more.

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(2) The Secretary (subject to paragraph (4)) shall furnish hospital care and medical services, and may furnish nursing home care, which the Secretary determines to be needed to any veteran
(A) who has a compensable service-connected disability rated less than 50 percent or, with respect to nursing home care during any period during which the provisions of section 1710A (a) of this title are in effect, a compensable service-connected disability rated less than 70 percent;
(B) whose discharge or release from active military, naval, or air service was for a disability that was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty;
(C) who is in receipt of, or who, but for a suspension pursuant to section 1151 of this title (or both a suspension and the receipt of retired pay), would be entitled to disability compensation, but only to the extent that such veterans continuing eligibility for such care is provided for in the judgment or settlement provided for in such section;
(D) who is a former prisoner of war or who was awarded the Purple Heart;
(E) who is a veteran of the Mexican border period or of World War I;
(F) who was exposed to a toxic substance, radiation, or other conditions, as provided in subsection (e); or
(G) who is unable to defray the expenses of necessary care as determined under section 1722 (a) of this title.
(3) In the case of a veteran who is not described in paragraphs (1) and (2), the Secretary may, to the extent resources and facilities are available and subject to the provisions of subsections (f) and (g), furnish hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care which the Secretary determines to be needed.
(4) The requirement in paragraphs (1) and (2) that the Secretary furnish hospital care and medical services, the requirement in section 1710A (a) of this title that the Secretary provide nursing home care, the requirement in section 1710B of this title that the Secretary provide a program of extended care services, and the requirement in section 1745 of this title to provide nursing home care and prescription medicines to veterans with service-connected disabilities in State homes shall be effective in any fiscal year only to the extent and in the amount provided in advance in appropriations Acts for such purposes.

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(5) During any period during which the provisions of section 1710A (a) of this title are not in effect, the Secretary may furnish nursing home care which the Secretary determines is needed to any veteran described in paragraph (1), with the priority for such care on the same basis as if provided under that paragraph.
(b) 
(1) The Secretary may furnish to a veteran described in paragraph (2) of this subsection such domiciliary care as the Secretary determines is needed for the purpose of the furnishing of medical services to the veteran.
(2) This subsection applies in the case of the following veterans:
(A) Any veteran whose annual income (as determined under section 1503 of this title) does not exceed the maximum annual rate of pension that would be applicable to the veteran if the veteran were eligible for pension under section 1521 (d) of this title.
(B) Any veteran who the Secretary determines has no adequate means of support.
(c) While any veteran is receiving hospital care or nursing home care in any Department facility, the Secretary may, within the limits of Department facilities, furnish medical services to correct or treat any non-service-connected disability of such veteran, in addition to treatment incident to the disability for which such veteran is hospitalized, if the veteran is willing, and the Secretary finds such services to be reasonably necessary to protect the health of such veteran. The Secretary may furnish dental services and treatment, and related dental appliances, under this subsection for a non-service-connected dental condition or disability of a veteran only
(1)  to the extent that the Secretary determines that the dental facilities of the Department to be used to furnish such services, treatment, or appliances are not needed to furnish services, treatment, or appliances for dental conditions or disabilities described in section 1712 (a) of this title, or
(2)  if
(A)  such non-service-connected dental condition or disability is associated with or aggravating a disability for which such veteran is receiving hospital care, or
(B)  a compelling medical reason or a dental emergency requires furnishing dental services, treatment, or appliances (excluding the furnishing of such services, treatment, or appliances of a routine nature) to such veteran during the period of hospitalization under this section.
(d) In no case may nursing home care be furnished in a hospital not under the direct jurisdiction of the Secretary except as provided in section 1720 of this title.
(e) 
(1) 
(A) A Vietnam-era herbicide-exposed veteran is eligible (subject to paragraph (2)) for hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care under subsection (a)(2)(F) for any disability, notwithstanding that there is insufficient medical evidence to conclude that such disability may be associated with such exposure.
(B) A radiation-exposed veteran is eligible for hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care under subsection (a)(2)(F) for any disease suffered by the veteran that is
(i) a disease listed in section 1112 (c)(2) of this title; or
(ii) any other disease for which the Secretary, based on the advice of the Advisory Committee on Environmental Hazards, determines that there is credible evidence of a positive association between occurrence of the disease in humans and exposure to ionizing radiation.
(C) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection, a veteran who served on active duty in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Persian Gulf War is eligible for hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care under subsection (a)(2)(F) for any disability, notwithstanding that there is insufficient medical evidence to conclude that such disability may be associated with such service.
(D) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), a veteran who served on active duty in a theater of combat operations (as determined by the Secretary in consultation with the Secretary of Defense) during a period of war after the Persian Gulf War, or in combat against a hostile force during a period of hostilities (as defined in section 1712A (a)(2)(B) of this title) after November 11, 1998, is eligible for hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care under subsection (a)(2)(F) for any illness, notwithstanding that there is insufficient medical evidence to conclude that such condition is attributable to such service.
(E) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), a veteran who participated in a test conducted by the Department of Defense Deseret Test Center as part of a program for chemical and biological warfare testing from 1962 through 1973 (including the program designated as Project Shipboard Hazard and Defense (SHAD) and related land-based tests) is eligible for hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care under subsection (a)(2)(F) for any illness, notwithstanding that there is insufficient medical evidence to conclude that such illness is attributable to such testing.
(2) 
(A) In the case of a veteran described in paragraph (1)(A), hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care may not be provided under subsection (a)(2)(F) with respect to
(i) a disability that is found, in accordance with guidelines issued by the Under Secretary for Health, to have resulted from a cause other than an exposure described in paragraph (4)(A)(ii); or
(ii) a disease for which the National Academy of Sciences, in a report issued in accordance with section 3 of the Agent Orange Act of 1991, has determined that there is limited or suggestive evidence of the lack of a positive association between occurrence of the disease in humans and exposure to a herbicide agent.
(B) In the case of a veteran described in subparagraph (C), (D), or (E) of paragraph (1), hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care may not be provided under subsection (a)(2)(F) with respect to a disability that is found, in accordance with guidelines issued by the Under Secretary for Health, to have resulted from a cause other than the service or testing described in such subparagraph.
(3) Hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care may not be provided under or by virtue of subsection (a)(2)(F)
(A) in the case of care for a veteran described in paragraph (1)(A), after December 31, 2002;
(B) in the case of care for a veteran described in paragraph (1)(C), after December 31, 2002;
(C) in the case of care for a veteran described in paragraph (1)(D), after a period of 2 years beginning on the date of the veterans discharge or release from active military, naval, or air service; and
(D) in the case of care for a veteran described in paragraph (1)(E), after December 31, 2007.
(4) For purposes of this subsection
(A) The term Vietnam-era herbicide-exposed veteran means a veteran
(i)  who served on active duty in the Republic of Vietnam during the period beginning on January 9, 1962, and ending on May 7, 1975, and
(ii)  who the Secretary finds may have been exposed during such service to dioxin or was exposed during such service to a toxic substance found in a herbicide or defoliant used for military purposes during such period.
(B) The term radiation-exposed veteran has the meaning given that term in section 1112 (c)(3) of this title.
(5) When the Secretary first provides care for veterans using the authority provided in paragraph (1)(D), the Secretary shall establish a system for collection and analysis of information on the general health status and health care utilization patterns of veterans receiving care under that paragraph. Not later than 18 months after first providing care under such authority, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on the experience under that authority. The Secretary shall include in the report any recommendations of the Secretary for extension of that authority.
(f) 
(1) The Secretary may not furnish hospital care or nursing home care under this section to a veteran who is eligible for such care under subsection (a)(3) of this section unless the veteran agrees to pay to the United States the applicable amount determined under paragraph (2) or (4) of this subsection.
(2) A veteran who is furnished hospital care or nursing home care under this section and who is required under paragraph (1) of this subsection to agree to pay an amount to the United States in order to be furnished such care shall be liable to the United States for an amount equal to
(A) the lesser of
(i) the cost of furnishing such care, as determined by the Secretary; or
(ii) the amount determined under paragraph (3) of this subsection; and
(B) before September 30, 2008, an amount equal to $10 for every day the veteran receives hospital care and $5 for every day the veteran receives nursing home care.
(3) 
(A) In the case of hospital care furnished during any 365-day period, the amount referred to in paragraph (2)(A)(ii) of this subsection is
(i) the amount of the inpatient Medicare deductible, plus
(ii) one-half of such amount for each 90 days of care (or fraction thereof) after the first 90 days of such care during such 365-day period.
(B) In the case of nursing home care furnished during any 365-day period, the amount referred to in paragraph (2)(A)(ii) of this subsection is the amount of the inpatient Medicare deductible for each 90 days of such care (or fraction thereof) during such 365-day period.
(C) 
(i) Except as provided in clause (ii) of this subparagraph, in the case of a veteran who is admitted for nursing home care under this section after being furnished, during the preceding 365-day period, hospital care for which the veteran has paid the amount of the inpatient Medicare deductible under this subsection and who has not been furnished 90 days of hospital care in connection with such payment, the veteran shall not incur any liability under paragraph (2) of this subsection with respect to such nursing home care until
(I) the veteran has been furnished, beginning with the first day of such hospital care furnished in connection with such payment, a total of 90 days of hospital care and nursing home care; or
(II) the end of the 365-day period applicable to the hospital care for which payment was made,

whichever occurs first.

(ii) In the case of a veteran who is admitted for nursing home care under this section after being furnished, during any 365-day period, hospital care for which the veteran has paid an amount under subparagraph (A)(ii) of this paragraph and who has not been furnished 90 days of hospital care in connection with such payment, the amount of the liability of the veteran under paragraph (2) of this subsection with respect to the number of days of such nursing home care which, when added to the number of days of such hospital care, is 90 or less, is the difference between the inpatient Medicare deductible and the amount paid under such subparagraph until
(I) the veteran has been furnished, beginning with the first day of such hospital care furnished in connection with such payment, a total of 90 days of hospital care and nursing home care; or
(II) the end of the 365-day period applicable to the hospital care for which payment was made,

whichever occurs first.

(D) In the case of a veteran who is admitted for hospital care under this section after having been furnished, during the preceding 365-day period, nursing home care for which the veteran has paid the amount of the inpatient Medicare deductible under this subsection and who has not been furnished 90 days of nursing home care in connection with such payment, the veteran shall not incur any liability under paragraph (2) of this subsection with respect to such hospital care until
(i) the veteran has been furnished, beginning with the first day of such nursing home care furnished in connection with such payment, a total of 90 days of nursing home care and hospital care; or
(ii) the end of the 365-day period applicable to the nursing home care for which payment was made,

whichever occurs first.

(E) A veteran may not be required to make a payment under this subsection for hospital care or nursing home care furnished under this section during any 90-day period in which the veteran is furnished medical services under paragraph (3) of subsection (a) to the extent that such payment would cause the total amount paid by the veteran under this subsection for hospital care and nursing home care furnished during that period and under subsection (g) for medical services furnished during that period to exceed the amount of the inpatient Medicare deductible in effect on the first day of such period.
(F) A veteran may not be required to make a payment under this subsection or subsection (g) for any days of care in excess of 360 days of care during any 365-calendar-day period.
(4) In the case of a veteran covered by this subsection who is also described by section 1705 (a)(7) of this title, the amount for which the veteran shall be liable to the United States for hospital care under this subsection shall be an amount equal to 20 percent of the total amount for which the veteran would otherwise be liable for such care under subparagraphs (2)(B) and (3)(A) but for this paragraph.
(5) For the purposes of this subsection, the term inpatient Medicare deductible means the amount of the inpatient hospital deductible in effect under section 1813(b) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395e (b)) on the first day of the 365-day period applicable under paragraph (3) of this subsection.
(g) 
(1) The Secretary may not furnish medical services under subsection (a) of this section (including home health services under section 1717 of this title) to a veteran who is eligible for hospital care under this chapter by reason of subsection (a)(3) of this section unless the veteran agrees to pay to the United States in the case of each outpatient visit the applicable amount or amounts established by the Secretary by regulation.
(2) A veteran who is furnished medical services under subsection (a) of this section and who is required under paragraph (1) of this subsection to agree to pay an amount to the United States in order to be furnished such services shall be liable to the United States, in the case of each visit in which such services are furnished to the veteran, for an amount which the Secretary shall establish by regulation.
(3) This subsection does not apply with respect to home health services under section 1717 of this title to the extent that such services are for improvements and structural alterations.
(h) Nothing in this section requires the Secretary to furnish care to a veteran to whom another agency of Federal, State, or local government has a duty under law to provide care in an institution of such government.

38 USC 1710A - Required nursing home care

(a) The Secretary (subject to section 1710 (a)(4) of this title) shall provide nursing home care which the Secretary determines is needed
(1)  to any veteran in need of such care for a service-connected disability, and
(2)  to any veteran who is in need of such care and who has a service-connected disability rated at 70 percent or more.
(b) 
(1) The Secretary shall ensure that a veteran described in subsection (a) who continues to need nursing home care is not, after placement in a Department nursing home, transferred from the facility without the consent of the veteran, or, in the event the veteran cannot provide informed consent, the representative of the veteran.
(2) Nothing in subsection (a) may be construed as authorizing or requiring that a veteran who is receiving nursing home care in a Department nursing home on the date of the enactment of this section be displaced, transferred, or discharged from the facility.
(c) The provisions of subsection (a) shall terminate on December 31, 2008.

38 USC 1710B - Extended care services

(a) The Secretary (subject to section 1710 (a)(4) of this title and subsection (c) of this section) shall operate and maintain a program to provide extended care services to eligible veterans in accordance with this section. Such services shall include the following:
(1) Geriatric evaluation.
(2) Nursing home care
(A)  in facilities operated by the Secretary, and
(B)  in community-based facilities through contracts under section 1720 of this title.
(3) Domiciliary services under section 1710 (b) of this title.
(4) Adult day health care under section 1720 (f) of this title.
(5) Such other noninstitutional alternatives to nursing home care as the Secretary may furnish as medical services under section 1701 (10) of this title.
(6) Respite care under section 1720B of this title.
(b) The Secretary shall ensure that the staffing and level of extended care services provided by the Secretary nationally in facilities of the Department during any fiscal year is not less than the staffing and level of such services provided nationally in facilities of the Department during fiscal year 1998.
(c) 
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary may not furnish extended care services for a non-service-connected disability other than in the case of a veteran who has a compensable service-connected disability unless the veteran agrees to pay to the United States a copayment (determined in accordance with subsection (d)) for any period of such services in a year after the first 21 days of such services provided that veteran in that year.
(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply
(A) to a veteran whose annual income (determined under section 1503 of this title) is less than the amount in effect under section 1521 (b) of this title;
(B) to a veteran being furnished hospice care under this section; or
(C) with respect to an episode of extended care services that a veteran is being furnished by the Department on November 30, 1999.
(d) 
(1) A veteran who is furnished extended care services under this chapter and who is required under subsection (c) to pay an amount to the United States in order to be furnished such services shall be liable to the United States for that amount.
(2) In implementing subsection (c), the Secretary shall develop a methodology for establishing the amount of the copayment for which a veteran described in subsection (c) is liable. That methodology shall provide for
(A) establishing a maximum monthly copayment (based on all income and assets of the veteran and the spouse of such veteran);
(B) protecting the spouse of a veteran from financial hardship by not counting all of the income and assets of the veteran and spouse (in the case of a spouse who resides in the community) as available for determining the copayment obligation; and
(C) allowing the veteran to retain a monthly personal allowance.
(e) 
(1) There is established in the Treasury of the United States a revolving fund known as the Department of Veterans Affairs Extended Care Fund (hereinafter in this section referred to as the fund). Amounts in the fund shall be available, without fiscal year limitation and without further appropriation, exclusively for the purpose of providing extended care services under subsection (a).
(2) All amounts received by the Department under this section shall be deposited in or credited to the fund.

38 USC 1711 - Care during examinations and in emergencies

(a) The Secretary may furnish hospital care incident to physical examinations where such examinations are necessary in carrying out the provisions of other laws administered by the Secretary.
[(b) Repealed. Pub. L. 107–135, title II, § 208(d), Jan. 23, 2002, 115 Stat. 2463.]
(c) 
(1) The Secretary may contract with any organization named in, or approved by the Secretary under, section 5902 of this title to provide for the furnishing by the Secretary, on a reimbursable basis (as prescribed by the Secretary), of emergency medical services to individuals attending any national convention of such organization, except that reimbursement shall not be required for services furnished under this subsection to the extent that the individual receiving such services would otherwise be eligible under this chapter for medical services.
(2) The authority of the Secretary to enter into contracts under this subsection shall be effective for any fiscal year only to such extent or in such amounts as are provided in appropriation Acts.

38 USC 1712 - Dental care; drugs and medicines for certain disabled veterans; vaccines

(a) 
(1) Outpatient dental services and treatment, and related dental appliances, shall be furnished under this section only for a dental condition or disability
(A) which is service-connected and compensable in degree;
(B) which is service-connected, but not compensable in degree, but only if
(i) the dental condition or disability is shown to have been in existence at the time of the veterans discharge or release from active military, naval, or air service;
(ii) the veteran had served on active duty for a period of not less than 180 days or, in the case of a veteran who served on active duty during the Persian Gulf War, 90 days immediately before such discharge or release;
(iii) application for treatment is made within 90 days after such discharge or release, except that
(I)  in the case of a veteran who reentered active military, naval, or air service within 90 days after the date of such veterans prior discharge or release from such service, application may be made within 90 days from the date of such veterans subsequent discharge or release from such service, and
(II)  if a disqualifying discharge or release has been corrected by competent authority, application may be made within 90 days after the date of correction; and
(iv) the veterans certificate of discharge or release from active duty does not bear a certification that the veteran was provided, within the 90-day period immediately before the date of such discharge or release, a complete dental examination (including dental X-rays) and all appropriate dental services and treatment indicated by the examination to be needed;
(C) which is a service-connected dental condition or disability due to combat wounds or other service trauma, or of a former prisoner of war;
(D) which is associated with and is aggravating a disability resulting from some other disease or injury which was incurred in or aggravated by active military, naval, or air service;
(E) which is a non-service-connected condition or disability of a veteran for which treatment was begun while such veteran was receiving hospital care under this chapter and such services and treatment are reasonably necessary to complete such treatment;
(F) from which a veteran who is a former prisoner of war is suffering;
(G) from which a veteran who has a service-connected disability rated as total is suffering; or
(H) the treatment of which is medically necessary
(i)  in preparation for hospital admission, or
(ii)  for a veteran otherwise receiving care or services under this chapter.
(2) The Secretary concerned shall at the time a member of the Armed Forces is discharged or released from a period of active military, naval, or air service of not less than 180 days or, in the case of a veteran who served on active duty during the Persian Gulf War, 90 days provide to such member a written explanation of the provisions of clause (B) of paragraph (1) of this subsection and enter in the service records of the member a statement signed by the member acknowledging receipt of such explanation (or, if the member refuses to sign such statement, a certification from an officer designated for such purpose by the Secretary concerned that the member was provided such explanation).
(3) The total amount which the Secretary may expend for furnishing, during any twelve-month period, outpatient dental services, treatment, or related dental appliances to a veteran under this section through private facilities for which the Secretary has contracted under clause (1), (2), or (5) of section 1703 (a) of this title may not exceed $1,000 unless the Secretary determines, prior to the furnishing of such services, treatment, or appliances and based on an examination of the veteran by a dentist employed by the Department (or, in an area where no such dentist is available, by a dentist conducting such examination under a contract or fee arrangement), that the furnishing of such services, treatment, or appliances at such cost is reasonably necessary.
(4) 
(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, in any year in which the Presidents Budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1 of such year includes an amount for expenditures for contract dental care under the provisions of this subsection and section 1703 of this title during such fiscal year in excess of the level of expenditures made for such purpose during fiscal year 1978, the Secretary shall, not later than February 15 of such year, submit a report to the appropriate committees of the Congress justifying the requested level of expenditures for contract dental care and explaining why the application of the criteria prescribed in section 1703 of this title for contracting with private facilities and in the second sentence of section 1710 (c) of this title for furnishing incidental dental care to hospitalized veterans will not preclude the need for expenditures for contract dental care in excess of the fiscal year 1978 level of expenditures for such purpose. In any case in which the amount included in the Presidents Budget for any fiscal year for expenditures for contract dental care under such provisions is not in excess of the level of expenditures made for such purpose during fiscal year 1978 and the Secretary determines after the date of submission of such budget and before the end of such fiscal year that the level of expenditures for such contract dental care during such fiscal year will exceed the fiscal year 1978 level of expenditures, the Secretary shall submit a report to the appropriate committees of the Congress containing both a justification (with respect to the projected level of expenditures for such fiscal year) and an explanation as required in the preceding sentence in the case of a report submitted pursuant to such sentence. Any report submitted pursuant to this paragraph shall include a comment by the Secretary on the effect of the application of the criteria prescribed in the second sentence of section 1710 (c) of this title for furnishing incidental dental care to hospitalized veterans.
(B) A report under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph with respect to a fiscal year is not required if, in the documents submitted by the Secretary to the Congress in justification for the amounts included for Department programs in the Presidents Budget, the Secretary specifies with respect to contract dental care described in such subparagraph
(i) the actual level of expenditures for such care in the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year in which such Budget is submitted;
(ii) a current estimate of the level of expenditures for such care in the fiscal year in which such Budget is submitted; and
(iii) the amount included in such Budget for such care.
(b) Dental services and related appliances for a dental condition or disability described in paragraph (1)(B) of subsection (a) shall be furnished on a one-time completion basis, unless the services rendered on a one-time completion basis are found unacceptable within the limitations of good professional standards, in which event such additional services may be afforded as are required to complete professionally acceptable treatment.
(c) Dental appliances, wheelchairs, artificial limbs, trusses, special clothing, and similar appliances to be furnished by the Secretary under this section may be procured by the Secretary either by purchase or by manufacture, whichever the Secretary determines may be advantageous and reasonably necessary.
(d) The Secretary shall furnish to each veteran who is receiving additional compensation or allowance under chapter 11 of this title, or increased pension as a veteran of a period of war, by reason of being permanently housebound or in need of regular aid and attendance, such drugs and medicines as may be ordered on prescription of a duly licensed physician as specific therapy in the treatment of any illness or injury suffered by such veteran. The Secretary shall continue to furnish such drugs and medicines so ordered to any such veteran in need of regular aid and attendance whose pension payments have been discontinued solely because such veterans annual income is greater than the applicable maximum annual income limitation, but only so long as such veterans annual income does not exceed such maximum annual income limitation by more than $1,000.
(e) In order to assist the Secretary of Health and Human Services in carrying out national immunization programs under other provisions of law, the Secretary may authorize the administration of immunizations to eligible veterans who voluntarily request such immunizations in connection with the provision of care for a disability under this chapter in any Department health care facility. Any such immunization shall be made using vaccine furnished by the Secretary of Health and Human Services at no cost to the Department. For such purpose, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services may provide such vaccine to the Department at no cost. Section 7316 of this title shall apply to claims alleging negligence or malpractice on the part of Department personnel granted immunity under such section.

38 USC 1712A - Eligibility for readjustment counseling and related mental health services

(a) 
(1) 
(A) Upon the request of any veteran referred to in subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall furnish counseling to the veteran to assist the veteran in readjusting to civilian life. Such counseling may include a general mental and psychological assessment of the veteran to ascertain whether such veteran has mental or psychological problems associated with readjustment to civilian life.
(B) Subparagraph (A) applies to the following veterans:
(i) Any veteran who served on active duty
(I) in a theater of combat operations (as determined by the Secretary in consultation with the Secretary of Defense) during the Vietnam era; or
(II) after May 7, l975, in an area at a time during which hostilities occurred in that area.
(ii) Any veteran (other than a veteran covered by clause (i)) who served on active duty during the Vietnam era who seeks or is furnished such counseling before January 1, 2004.
(2) 
(A) Upon the request of any veteran (other than a veteran covered by paragraph (1)) who served in the active military, naval, or air service in a theater of combat operations (as so determined) during a period of war, or in any other area during a period in which hostilities (as defined in subparagraph (B)) occurred in such area, the Secretary may furnish counseling to the veteran to assist the veteran in readjusting to civilian life.
(B) For the purposes of subparagraph (A), the term hostilities means an armed conflict in which the members of the Armed Forces are subjected to danger comparable to the danger to which members of the Armed Forces have been subjected in combat with enemy armed forces during a period of war, as determined by the Secretary in consultation with the Secretary of Defense.
(b) 
(1) If, on the basis of the assessment furnished under subsection (a) of this section, a physician or psychologist employed by the Department (or, in areas where no such physician or psychologist is available, a physician or psychologist carrying out such function under a contract or fee arrangement with the Secretary) determines that the provision of mental health services to such veteran is necessary to facilitate the successful readjustment of the veteran to civilian life, such veteran shall, within the limits of Department facilities, be furnished such services on an outpatient basis. For the purposes of furnishing such mental health services, the counseling furnished under subsection (a) of this section shall be considered to have been furnished by the Department as a part of hospital care. Any hospital care and other medical services considered necessary on the basis of the assessment furnished under subsection (a) of this section shall be furnished only in accordance with the eligibility criteria otherwise set forth in this chapter (including the eligibility criteria set forth in section 1784 of this title).
(2) Mental health services furnished under paragraph (1) of this subsection may, if determined to be essential to the effective treatment and readjustment of the veteran, include such consultation, counseling, training, services, and expenses as are described in sections 1782 and 1783 of this title.
[(c) Repealed. Pub. L. 104–262, title III, § 331(b), Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3198.]
(d) The Under Secretary for Health may provide for such training of professional, paraprofessional, and lay personnel as is necessary to carry out this section effectively, and, in carrying out this section, may utilize the services of paraprofessionals, individuals who are volunteers working without compensation, and individuals who are veteran-students (as described in section 3485 of this title) in initial intake and screening activities.
(e) 
(1) In furnishing counseling and related mental health services under subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the Secretary shall have available the same authority to enter into contracts with private facilities that is available to the Secretary (under sections 1703 (a)(2) and 1710 (a)(1)(B) of this title) in furnishing medical services to veterans suffering from total service-connected disabilities.
(2) Before furnishing counseling or related mental health services described in subsections (a) and (b) of this section through a contract facility, as authorized by this subsection, the Secretary shall approve (in accordance with criteria which the Secretary shall prescribe by regulation) the quality and effectiveness of the program operated by such facility for the purpose for which the counseling or services are to be furnished.
(3) The authority of the Secretary to enter into contracts under this subsection shall be effective for any fiscal year only to such extent or in such amounts as are provided in appropriation Acts.
(f) The Secretary, in cooperation with the Secretary of Defense, shall take such action as the Secretary considers appropriate to notify veterans who may be eligible for assistance under this section of such potential eligibility.
(g) 
(1) 
(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph, the Secretary may close or relocate a center in existence on January 1, 1988, only as described in the national plan required by paragraph (3) of this subsection (or in a revision to such plan under paragraph (4) of this subsection in which the closure or relocation of that center is proposed).
(B) A closure or relocation of a center which is proposed in such national plan may be carried out only after the end of the 120-day period beginning on the date on which the national plan is submitted. A closure or relocation of a center not proposed in such plan may be carried out only after the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date the Secretary submits a revision to such plan in which the closure or relocation of that center is proposed.
(C) The Secretary may relocate a center in existence on January 1, 1988, without regard to the national plan (including any revision to such plan) if such relocation is to a new location away from a Department general health-care facility when such relocation is necessitated by circumstances beyond the control of the Department. Such a relocation may be carried out only after the end of the 30-day period beginning on the date on which the Secretary notifies the Committees on Veterans Affairs of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the proposed relocation, of the circumstances making it necessary, and of the reason for the selection of the new site for the center.
(2) 
(A) Not later than April 1, 1988, the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Veterans Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a report on the Secretarys evaluation of the effectiveness in helping to meet the readjustment needs of veterans who served on active duty during the Vietnam era of the readjustment counseling and mental health services provided pursuant to this section (and of outreach efforts with respect to such counseling and services). Such report shall give particular attention, in light of the results of the study required by section 102 of the Veterans Health Care Amendments of 1983 (Public Law 98160), to the provision of such counseling and services to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and to the diagnosis and treatment of such disorder.
(B) The report required by subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall include
(i) the opinion of the Secretary with respect to
(I)  the extent to which the readjustment needs of veterans who served on active duty during the Vietnam era remain unmet, and
(II)  the extent to which the provision of readjustment counseling services under this section in centers is needed to meet such needs; and
(ii) in light of the opinion submitted pursuant to clause (i) of this subparagraph, such recommendations for amendments to this subsection and for other legislative and administrative action as the Secretary considers appropriate.
(3) 
(A) The Secretary, after considering the recommendations of the Under Secretary for Health, shall submit to such committees a report setting forth a national plan for all centers in existence on January 1, 1988. Such national plan shall set forth the Secretarys proposals as to each such center for a period (to be determined by the Secretary) of not less than 12 months beginning on the date of the submission of the report. The plan shall include, as to each center, whether the Secretary proposes to relocate the center to a general Department facility, relocate the center to a new location away from a general Department facility, expand the center in the same location, or close the center. The plan shall also set forth any proposal of the Secretary to open additional centers.
(B) The plan shall include the Secretarys evaluation as to how, in light of each of the criteria described in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph, the proposal set forth in the plan for each center covered by the plan would ensure the continued availability and effective furnishing of readjustment counseling services to eligible veterans needing such services in the geographic area served by that center.
(C) The Secretary shall make the evaluation described in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph with respect to any center in light of the following:
(i) The distribution of Vietnam-era veterans in the geographic area served by the center and the relationships between the location of such center and the general Department facility and such distribution.
(ii) The distance between the center and the general Department facility.
(iii) The availability of other entities (such as State, local, or private outreach facilities) which provide assistance to Vietnam-era veterans in the area served by the center.
(iv) The availability of transportation to, and parking at, the center and the general Department facility.
(v) The availability, cost, and suitability of the space at the general Department facility.
(vi) The overall cost impact of the proposed closure or relocation, including a comparison of the recurring nonpersonnel costs of providing readjustment counseling to the same estimated number of veterans at the center and the general Department facility.
(vii) The workload trends over the two previous fiscal years, and projected over the next fiscal year (or longer), at the center.
(viii) Such other factors as the Secretary determines to be relevant to making the evaluation described in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph.
(D) For the purposes of this paragraph, the term general Department facility means a Department facility which is not a center and at which readjustment counseling would be furnished in a particular geographic area upon the closure or relocation of a center.
(4) After submitting the plan required by paragraph (3) of this subsection, the Secretary may submit to the committees a revision to such plan in order to modify the proposal set forth in the plan as to any center. Any such revision shall include, with respect to each center addressed in the revision, a description of the Secretarys evaluation of the matters specified in paragraphs (3)(B) and (3)(C) of this subsection.
(5) For purposes of determining a period of time under paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection, if the national plan (or a revision to the national plan) is submitted to the committees during the 121-day period beginning 60 days before and ending 60 days after the final day of a session of the Congress, it shall be deemed to have been submitted on the sixty-first day after the final day of such session.
[(h) Repealed. Pub. L. 102–83, § 4(b)(6), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 405.]
(i) For the purposes of this section:
(1) The term center means a facility (including a Resource Center designated under subsection (h)(3)(A) of this section) which is operated by the Department for the provision of services under this section and which
(A)  is situated apart from Department general health-care facilities, or
(B)  was so situated but has been relocated to a Department general health-care facility.
(2) The term Department general health-care facility means a health-care facility which is operated by the Department for the furnishing of health-care services under this chapter, not limited to services provided through the program established under this section.

38 USC 1712B - Counseling for former prisoners of war

The Secretary may establish a program under which, upon the request of a veteran who is a former prisoner of war, the Secretary, within the limits of Department facilities, furnishes counseling to such veteran to assist such veteran in overcoming the psychological effects of the veterans detention or internment as a prisoner of war.

38 USC 1713 - Renumbered 1781]

38 USC 1714 - Fitting and training in use of prosthetic appliances; guide dogs; service dogs

(a) Any veteran who is entitled to a prosthetic appliance shall be furnished such fitting and training, including institutional training, in the use of such appliance as may be necessary, whether in a Department facility or other training institution, or by outpatient treatment, including such service under contract, and including travel and incidental expenses (under the terms and conditions set forth in section 111 of this title) to and from such veterans home to such hospital or training institution.
(b) The Secretary may provide guide dogs trained for the aid of the blind to veterans who are enrolled under section 1705 of this title. The Secretary may also provide such veterans with mechanical or electronic equipment for aiding them in overcoming the disability of blindness.
(c) The Secretary may, in accordance with the priority specified in section 1705 of this title, provide
(1) service dogs trained for the aid of the hearing impaired to veterans who are hearing impaired and are enrolled under section 1705 of this title; and
(2) service dogs trained for the aid of persons with spinal cord injury or dysfunction or other chronic impairment that substantially limits mobility to veterans with such injury, dysfunction, or impairment who are enrolled under section 1705 of this title.
(d) In the case of a veteran provided a dog under subsection (b) or (c), the Secretary may pay travel and incidental expenses for that veteran under the terms and conditions set forth in section 111 of this title to and from the veterans home for expenses incurred in becoming adjusted to the dog.

38 USC 1715 - Tobacco for hospitalized veterans

The Secretary may furnish tobacco to veterans receiving hospital or domiciliary care.

38 USC 1716 - Hospital care by other agencies of the United States

When so specified in an appropriation or other Act, the Secretary may make allotments and transfers to the Departments of Health and Human Services (Public Health Service), the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Interior, for disbursement by them under the various headings of their appropriations, of such amounts as are necessary for the care and treatment of veterans entitled to hospitalization from the Department under this chapter. The amounts to be charged the Department for care and treatment of veterans in hospitals shall be calculated on the basis of a per diem rate approved by the Office of Management and Budget.

38 USC 1717 - Home health services; invalid lifts and other devices

(a) 
(1) As part of medical services furnished to a veteran under section 1710 (a) of this title, the Secretary may furnish such home health services as the Secretary finds to be necessary or appropriate for the effective and economical treatment of the veteran.
(2) Improvements and structural alterations may be furnished as part of such home health services only as necessary to assure the continuation of treatment for the veterans disability or to provide access to the home or to essential lavatory and sanitary facilities. The cost of such improvements and structural alterations (or the amount of reimbursement therefor) under this subsection may not exceed
(A) $4,100 in the case of medical services furnished under section 1710 (a)(1) of this title, or for a disability described in section 1710 (a)(2)(C) of this title; or
(B) $1,200 in the case of medical services furnished under any other provision of section 1710 (a) of this title.
(3) The Secretary may furnish home health services to a veteran in any setting in which the veteran is residing. The Secretary may not furnish such services in such a manner as to relieve any other person or entity of a contractual obligation to furnish services to the veteran. When home health services are furnished in a setting other than the veterans home, such services may not include any structural improvement or alteration.
(b) The Secretary may furnish an invalid lift, or any type of therapeutic or rehabilitative device, as well as other medical equipment and supplies (excluding medicines), if medically indicated, to any veteran who is receiving
(1)  compensation under section 1114 (l)(p) of this title (or the comparable rates provided pursuant to section 1134 of this title), or
(2)  pension under chapter 15 of this title by reason of being in need of regular aid and attendance.
(c) The Secretary may furnish devices for assisting in overcoming the handicap of deafness (including telecaptioning television decoders) to any veteran who is profoundly deaf and is entitled to compensation on account of hearing impairment.

38 USC 1718 - Therapeutic and rehabilitative activities

(a) In providing rehabilitative services under this chapter, the Secretary, upon the recommendation of the Under Secretary for Health, may use the services of patients and members in Department health care facilities for therapeutic and rehabilitative purposes. Such patients and members shall not under these circumstances be held or considered as employees of the United States for any purpose. The Secretary shall prescribe the conditions for the use of such services.
(b) 
(1) In furnishing rehabilitative services under this chapter, the Secretary, upon the recommendation of the Under Secretary for Health, may enter into a contract or other arrangement with any appropriate source (whether or not an element of the Department of Veterans Affairs or of any other Federal entity) to provide for therapeutic work for patients and members in Department health care facilities.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary may also furnish rehabilitative services under this subsection through contractual arrangements with nonprofit entities to provide for such therapeutic work for such patients. The Secretary shall establish appropriate fiscal, accounting, management, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements with respect to the activities of any such nonprofit entity in connection with such contractual arrangements.
(c) 
(1) There is hereby established in the Treasury of the United States a revolving fund known as the Department of Veterans Affairs Special Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Activities Fund (hereinafter in this section referred to as the fund) for the purpose of furnishing rehabilitative services authorized in subsection (b) or (d). Such amounts of the fund as the Secretary may determine to be necessary to establish and maintain operating accounts for the various rehabilitative services activities may be deposited in checking accounts in other depositaries selected or established by the Secretary.
(2) All funds received by the Department under contractual arrangements made under subsection (b) or (d), or by nonprofit entities described in subsection (b)(2), shall be deposited in or credited to the fund, and the Secretary shall distribute out of the fund moneys to participants at rates not less than the wage rates specified in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 201 et seq.) and regulations prescribed thereunder for work of similar character.
(3) The Under Secretary for Health shall prepare, for inclusion in the annual report submitted to Congress under section 529 of this title, a description of the scope and achievements of activities carried out under this section (including pertinent data regarding productivity and rates of distribution) during the prior twelve months and an estimate of the needs of the program of therapeutic and rehabilitation activities to be carried out under this section for the ensuing fiscal year.
(d) In providing to a veteran rehabilitative services under this chapter, the Secretary may furnish the veteran with the following:
(1) Work skills training and development services.
(2) Employment support services.
(3) Job development and placement services.
(e) In providing rehabilitative services under this chapter, the Secretary shall take appropriate action to make it possible for the patient to take maximum advantage of any benefits to which such patient is entitled under chapter 31, 34, or 35 of this title, and, if the patient is still receiving treatment of a prolonged nature under this chapter, the provision of rehabilitative services under this chapter shall be continued during, and coordinated with, the pursuit of education and training under such chapter 31, 34, or 35.
(f) The Secretary shall prescribe regulations to ensure that the priorities set forth in section 1705 of this title shall be applied, insofar as practicable, to participation in therapeutic and rehabilitation activities carried out under this section.
(g) 
(1) The Secretary may not consider any of the matters stated in paragraph (2) as a basis for the denial or discontinuance of a rating of total disability for purposes of compensation or pension based on the veterans inability to secure or follow a substantially gainful occupation as a result of disability.
(2) Paragraph (1) applies to the following:
(A) A veterans participation in an activity carried out under this section.
(B) A veterans receipt of a distribution as a result of participation in an activity carried out under this section.
(C) A veterans participation in a program of rehabilitative services that
(i)  is provided as part of the veterans care furnished by a State home and
(ii)  is approved by the Secretary as conforming appropriately to standards for activities carried out under this section.
(D) A veterans receipt of payment as a result of participation in a program described in subparagraph (C).
(3) A distribution of funds made under this section and a payment made to a veteran under a program of rehabilitative services described in paragraph (2)(C) shall be considered for the purposes of chapter 15 of this title to be a donation from a public or private relief or welfare organization.

38 USC 1719 - Repair or replacement of certain prosthetic and other appliances

The Secretary may repair or replace any artificial limb, truss, brace, hearing aid, spectacles, or similar appliance (not including dental appliances) reasonably necessary to a veteran and belonging to such veteran which was damaged or destroyed by a fall or other accident caused by a service-connected disability for which such veteran is in receipt of, or but for the receipt of retirement pay would be entitled to, disability compensation.

38 USC 1720 - Transfers for nursing home care; adult day health care

(a) 
(1) Subject to subsection (b) of this section, the Secretary may transfer to a non-Department nursing home, for care at the expense of the United States
(A) a veteran
(i) who has been furnished care by the Secretary in a facility under the direct jurisdiction of the Secretary; and
(ii) who the Secretary determines
(I) requires a protracted period of nursing home care which can be furnished in the non-Department nursing home; and
(II) in the case of a veteran who has been furnished hospital care in a facility under the direct jurisdiction of the Secretary, has received maximum benefits from such care; and
(B) a member of the Armed Forces
(i) who has been furnished care in a hospital of the Armed Forces;
(ii) who the Secretary concerned determines has received maximum benefits from such care but requires a protracted period of nursing home care; and
(iii) who upon discharge from the Armed Forces will become a veteran.
(2) The Secretary may transfer a person to a nursing home under this subsection only if the Secretary determines that the cost to the United States of the care of such person in the nursing home will not exceed
(A) the amount equal to 45 percent of the cost of care furnished by the Department in a general hospital under the direct jurisdiction of the Secretary (as such cost may be determined annually by the Secretary); or
(B) the amount equal to 50 percent of such cost, if such higher amount is determined to be necessary by the Secretary (upon the recommendation of the Under Secretary for Health) to provide adequate care.
(3) Nursing home care may not be furnished under this subsection at the expense of the United States for more than six months in the aggregate in connection with any one transfer except
(A) in the case of a veteran
(i) who is transferred to a non-Department nursing home from a hospital under the direct jurisdiction of the Secretary; and
(ii) whose hospitalization was primarily for a service-connected disability;
(B) in a case in which the nursing home care is required for a service-connected disability; or
(C) in a case in which, in the judgment of the Secretary, a longer period of nursing home care is warranted.
(4) A veteran who is furnished care by the Secretary in a hospital or domiciliary facility in Alaska or Hawaii may be furnished nursing home care at the expense of the United States under this subsection even if such hospital or domiciliary facility is not under the direct jurisdiction of the Secretary.
(b) No veteran may be transferred or admitted to any institution for nursing home care under this section, unless such institution is determined by the Secretary to meet such standards as the Secretary may prescribe. The standards prescribed and any report of inspection of institutions furnishing care to veterans under this section made by or for the Secretary shall, to the extent possible, be made available to all Federal, State, and local agencies charged with the responsibility of licensing or otherwise regulating or inspecting such institutions.
(c) 
(1) 
(A) In furnishing nursing home care, adult day health care, or other extended care services under this section, the Secretary may enter into agreements for furnishing such care or services with
(i) in the case of the medicare program, a provider of services that has entered into a provider agreement under section 1866(a) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395cc (a)); and
(ii) in the case of the medicaid program, a provider participating under a State plan under title XIX of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.).
(B) In entering into an agreement under subparagraph (A) with a provider of services described in clause (i) of that subparagraph or a provider described in clause (ii) of that subparagraph, the Secretary may use the procedures available for entering into provider agreements under section 1866(a) of the Social Security Act.
(2) In applying the provisions of section 2(b)(1) of the Service Contract Act of 1965 (41 U.S.C. 351 (b)(1)) with respect to any contract entered into under this section to provide nursing home care of veterans, the payment of wages not less than those specified in section 6(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 206 (b)) shall be deemed to constitute compliance with such provisions.
(d) 
(1) Subject to subsection (b) of this section, the Secretary may authorize for any veteran requiring nursing home care for a service-connected disability direct admission for such care at the expense of the United States to any non-Department nursing home. The Secretary may also authorize a direct admission to such a nursing home for nursing home care for any veteran who has been discharged from a hospital under the direct jurisdiction of the Secretary and who is currently receiving medical services as part of home health services from the Department.
(2) Direct admission authorized by paragraph (1) of this subsection may be authorized upon determination of need therefor
(A) by a physician employed by the Department; or
(B) in areas where no such physician is available, by a physician carrying out such function under contract or fee arrangement,

based on an examination by such physician.

(3) The amount which may be paid for such care and the length of care available under this subsection shall be the same as authorized under subsection (a) of this section.
(e) 
(1) The cost of intermediate care for purposes of payment by the United States pursuant to subsection (a)(2)(B) of this section shall be determined by the Secretary except that the rate of reimbursement shall be commensurately less than that provided for nursing home care.
(2) For the purposes of this section, the term non-Department nursing home means a public or private institution not under the direct jurisdiction of the Secretary which furnishes nursing home care.
(f) 
(1) 
(A) The Secretary may furnish adult day health care services to a veteran enrolled under section 1705 (a) of this title who would otherwise require nursing home care.
(B) The Secretary may provide in-kind assistance (through the services of Department employees and the sharing of other Department resources) to a facility furnishing care to veterans under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph. Any such in-kind assistance shall be provided under a contract or agreement between the Secretary and the facility concerned. The Secretary may provide such assistance only for use solely in the furnishing of adult day health care and only if, under such contract or agreement, the Department receives reimbursement for the full cost of such assistance, including the cost of services and supplies and normal depreciation and amortization of equipment. Such reimbursement may be made by reduction in the charges to the United States or by payment to the United States. Any funds received through such reimbursement shall be credited to funds allotted to the Department facility that provided the assistance.
(2) The Secretary may conduct, at facilities over which the Secretary has direct jurisdiction, programs for the furnishing of adult day health care to veterans who are eligible for such care under paragraph (1) of this subsection, except that necessary travel and incidental expenses (or transportation in lieu thereof) may be furnished under such a program only under the terms and conditions set forth in section 111 of this title. The furnishing of care under any such program shall be subject to the limitations that are applicable to the duration of adult day health care furnished under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

38 USC 1720A - Treatment and rehabilitative services for persons with drug or alcohol dependency

(a) The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor and the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, may take appropriate steps to
(1)  urge all Federal agencies and appropriate private and public firms, organizations, agencies, and persons to provide appropriate employment and training opportunities for veterans who have been provided treatment and rehabilitative services under this title for alcohol or drug dependence or abuse disabilities and have been determined by competent medical authority to be sufficiently rehabilitated to be employable, and
(2)  provide all possible assistance to the Secretary of Labor in placing such veterans in such opportunities.
(b) Upon receipt of an application for treatment and rehabilitative services under this title for an alcohol or drug dependence or abuse disability from any individual who has been discharged or released from active military, naval, or air service but who is not eligible for such treatment and services, the Secretary shall
(1) provide referral services to assist such individual, to the maximum extent practicable, in obtaining treatment and rehabilitative services from sources outside the Department; and
(2) if pertinent, advise such individual of such individuals rights to apply to the appropriate military, naval, or air service and the Department for review of such individuals discharge or release from such service.
(c) 
(1) Any person serving in the active military, naval, or air service who is determined by the Secretary concerned to have an alcohol or drug dependence or abuse disability may be transferred to any facility in order for the Secretary to furnish care or treatment and rehabilitative services for such disability. Care and services provided to a member so transferred shall be provided as if such member were a veteran. Any transfer of any such member for such care and services shall be made pursuant to such terms as may be agreed upon by the Secretary concerned and the Secretary, subject to the provisions of sections 1535 and 1536 of title 31.
(2) No person serving in the active military, naval, or air service may be transferred pursuant to an agreement made under paragraph (1) of this subsection unless such person requests such transfer in writing for a specified period of time. No such person transferred pursuant to such a request may be furnished such care and services by the Secretary beyond the period of time specified in such request unless such person requests in writing an extension for a further specified period of time and such request is approved by the Secretary.
(d) 
(1) The Secretary shall ensure that each medical center of the Department develops and carries out a plan to provide treatment for substance use disorders, either through referral or direct provision of services, to veterans who require such treatment.
(2) Each plan under paragraph (1) shall make available clinically proven substance abuse treatment methods, including opioid substitution therapy, to veterans with respect to whom a qualified medical professional has determined such treatment methods to be appropriate.

38 USC 1720B - Respite care

(a) The Secretary may furnish respite care services to a veteran who is enrolled to receive care under section 1710 of this title.
(b) For the purpose of this section, the term respite care services means care and services which
(1) are of limited duration;
(2) are furnished on an intermittent basis to a veteran who is suffering from a chronic illness and who resides primarily at home; and
(3) are furnished for the purpose of helping the veteran to continue residing primarily at home.
(c) In furnishing respite care services, the Secretary may enter into contract arrangements.

38 USC 1720C - Noninstitutional alternatives to nursing home care

(a) The Secretary may furnish medical, rehabilitative, and health-related services in noninstitutional settings for veterans who are eligible under this chapter for, and are in need of, nursing home care. The Secretary shall give priority for participation in such program to veterans who
(1) are in receipt of, or are in need of, nursing home care primarily for the treatment of a service-connected disability; or
(2) have a service-connected disability rated at 50 percent or more.
(b) 
(1) Under the program conducted pursuant to subsection (a), the Secretary shall
(A)  furnish appropriate health-related services solely through contracts with appropriate public and private agencies that provide such services, and
(B)  designate Department health-care employees to furnish case management services to veteran furnished services under the program.
(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1), the term case management services includes the coordination and facilitation of all services furnished to a veteran by the Department of Veterans Affairs, either directly or through contract, including assessment of needs, planning, referral (including referral for services to be furnished by the Department, either directly or through a contract, or by an entity other than the Department), monitoring, reassessment, and followup.
(c) The Secretary may provide in-kind assistance (through the services of Department of Veterans Affairs employees and the sharing of other Department resources) to a facility furnishing services to veterans under subsection (b)(1)(A). Any such in-kind assistance shall be provided under a contract between the Department and the facility concerned. The Secretary may provide such assistance only for use solely in the furnishing of appropriate services under this section and only if, under such contract, the Department receives reimbursement for the full cost of such assistance (including the cost of services and supplies and normal depreciation and amortization of equipment). Such reimbursement may be made by reduction in the charges to the United States or by payment to the United States. Any funds received through such reimbursement shall be credited to funds allotted to the Department facility that provided the assistance.
(d) The total cost of providing services or in-kind assistance in the case of any veteran for any fiscal year under the program may not exceed 65 percent of the cost that would have been incurred by the Department during that fiscal year if the veteran had been furnished, instead, nursing home care under section 1710 of this title during that fiscal year.
(e) The authority of the Secretary to enter into contracts under this section shall be effective for any fiscal year only to the extent that appropriations are available.

38 USC 1720D - Counseling and treatment for sexual trauma

(a) 
(1) The Secretary shall operate a program under which the Secretary provides counseling and appropriate care and services to veterans who the Secretary determines require such counseling and care and services to overcome psychological trauma, which in the judgment of a mental health professional employed by the Department, resulted from a physical assault of a sexual nature, battery of a sexual nature, or sexual harassment which occurred while the veteran was serving on active duty or active duty for training.
(2) In furnishing counseling to a veteran under this subsection, the Secretary may provide such counseling pursuant to a contract with a qualified mental health professional if
(A)  in the judgment of a mental health professional employed by the Department, the receipt of counseling by that veteran in facilities of the Department would be clinically inadvisable, or
(B)  Department facilities are not capable of furnishing such counseling to that veteran economically because of geographical inaccessibility.
(b) 
(1) The Secretary shall give priority to the establishment and operation of the program to provide counseling and care and services under subsection (a). In the case of a veteran eligible for counseling and care and services under subsection (a), the Secretary shall ensure that the veteran is furnished counseling and care and services under this section in a way that is coordinated with the furnishing of such care and services under this chapter.
(2) In establishing a program to provide counseling under subsection (a), the Secretary shall
(A) provide for appropriate training of mental health professionals and such other health care personnel as the Secretary determines necessary to carry out the program effectively;
(B) seek to ensure that such counseling is furnished in a setting that is therapeutically appropriate, taking into account the circumstances that resulted in the need for such counseling; and
(C) provide referral services to assist veterans who are not eligible for services under this chapter to obtain those from sources outside the Department.
(c) The Secretary shall provide information on the counseling and treatment available to veterans under this section. Efforts by the Secretary to provide such information
(1) shall include availability of a toll-free telephone number (commonly referred to as an 800 number);
(2) shall ensure that information about the counseling and treatment available to veterans under this section
(A) is revised and updated as appropriate;
(B) is made available and visibly posted at appropriate facilities of the Department; and
(C) is made available through appropriate public information services; and
(3) shall include coordination with the Secretary of Defense seeking to ensure that individuals who are being separated from active military, naval, or air service are provided appropriate information about programs, requirements, and procedures for applying for counseling and treatment under this section.
(d) In this section, the term sexual harassment means repeated, unsolicited verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature which is threatening in character.

38 USC 1720E - Nasopharyngeal radium irradiation

(a) The Secretary may provide any veteran a medical examination, and hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care, which the Secretary determines is needed for the treatment of any cancer of the head or neck which the Secretary finds may be associated with the veterans receipt of nasopharyngeal radium irradiation treatments in active military, naval, or air service.
(b) The Secretary shall provide care and services to a veteran under subsection (a) only on the basis of evidence in the service records of the veteran which document nasopharyngeal radium irradiation treatment in service, except that, notwithstanding the absence of such documentation, the Secretary may provide such care to a veteran who
(1) served as an aviator in the active military, naval, or air service before the end of the Korean conflict; or
(2) underwent submarine training in active naval service before January 1, 1965.

38 USC 1720F - Comprehensive program for suicide prevention among veterans

(a) Establishment.— 
The Secretary shall develop and carry out a comprehensive program designed to reduce the incidence of suicide among veterans incorporating the components described in this section.
(b) Staff Education.— 
In carrying out the comprehensive program under this section, the Secretary shall provide for mandatory training for appropriate staff and contractors (including all medical personnel) of the Department who interact with veterans. This training shall cover information appropriate to the duties being performed by such staff and contractors. The training shall include information on
(1) recognizing risk factors for suicide;
(2) proper protocols for responding to crisis situations involving veterans who may be at high risk for suicide; and
(3) best practices for suicide prevention.
(c) Health Assessments of Veterans.— 
In carrying out the comprehensive program, the Secretary shall direct that medical staff offer mental health in their overall health assessment when veterans seek medical care at a Department medical facility (including a center established under section 1712A of this title) and make referrals, at the request of the veteran concerned, to appropriate counseling and treatment programs for veterans who show signs or symptoms of mental health problems.
(d) Designation of Suicide Prevention Counselors.— 
In carrying out the comprehensive program, the Secretary shall designate a suicide prevention counselor at each Department medical facility other than centers established under section 1712A of this title. Each counselor shall work with local emergency rooms, police departments, mental health organizations, and veterans service organizations to engage in outreach to veterans and improve the coordination of mental health care to veterans.
(e) Best Practices Research.— 
In carrying out the comprehensive program, the Secretary shall provide for research on best practices for suicide prevention among veterans. Research shall be conducted under this subsection in consultation with the heads of the following entities:
(1) The Department of Health and Human Services.
(2) The National Institute of Mental Health.
(3) The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
(4) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
(f) Sexual Trauma Research.— 
In carrying out the comprehensive program, the Secretary shall provide for research on mental health care for veterans who have experienced sexual trauma while in military service. The research design shall include consideration of veterans of a reserve component.
(g) 24-Hour Mental Health Care.— 
In carrying out the comprehensive program, the Secretary shall provide for mental health care availability to veterans on a 24-hour basis.
(h) Hotline.— 
In carrying out the comprehensive program, the Secretary may provide for a toll-free hotline for veterans to be staffed by appropriately trained mental health personnel and available at all times.
(i) Outreach and Education for Veterans and Families.— 
In carrying out the comprehensive program, the Secretary shall provide for outreach to and education for veterans and the families of veterans, with special emphasis on providing information to veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom and the families of such veterans. Education to promote mental health shall include information designed to
(1) remove the stigma associated with mental illness;
(2) encourage veterans to seek treatment and assistance for mental illness;
(3) promote skills for coping with mental illness; and
(4) help families of veterans with
(A) understanding issues arising from the readjustment of veterans to civilian life;
(B) identifying signs and symptoms of mental illness; and
(C) encouraging veterans to seek assistance for mental illness.
(j) Peer Support Counseling Program.— 

(1) In carrying out the comprehensive program, the Secretary may establish and carry out a peer support counseling program, under which veterans shall be permitted to volunteer as peer counselors
(A) to assist other veterans with issues related to mental health and readjustment; and
(B) to conduct outreach to veterans and the families of veterans.
(2) In carrying out the peer support counseling program under this subsection, the Secretary shall provide adequate training for peer counselors.
(k) Other Components.— 
In carrying out the comprehensive program, the Secretary may provide for other actions to reduce the incidence of suicide among veterans that the Secretary considers appropriate.