10 U.S. Code § 1071 - Purpose of this chapter

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The purpose of this chapter is to create and maintain high morale in the uniformed services by providing an improved and uniform program of medical and dental care for members and certain former members of those services, and for their dependents.

Source

(Added Pub. L. 85–861, § 1(25)(B),Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1445; amended Pub. L. 89–614, § 2(1),Sept. 30, 1966, 80 Stat. 862; Pub. L. 96–513, title V, § 511(34)(A), (B),Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 2922.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised section Source (U.S. Code) Source (Statutes at Large)
1071 37:401. June 7, 1956, ch. 374, § 101, 70 Stat. 250.

The words “and certain former members” are inserted to reflect the fact that many of the persons entitled to retired pay are former members only. The words “and dental” are inserted to reflect the fact that members and, in certain limited situations, dependents are entitled to dental care under sections 1071–1085 of this title.
Prior Provisions

A prior section 1071, act Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, 70A Stat. 81, which stated the purpose of former sections 1071 to 1086 of this title, and provided for their construction, was repealed by Pub. L. 85–861, § 36B(5),Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1570, as superseded by the Federal Voting Assistance Act of 1955 which is classified to subchapter I–D (§ 1973cc et seq.) of chapter 20 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare.
Amendments

1980—Pub. L. 96–513substituted “Purpose of this chapter” for “Purpose of sections 1071–1087 of this title” in section catchline, and substituted reference to this chapter for reference to sections 1071–1087 of this title in text.
1966—Pub. L. 89–614substituted “1087” for “1085” in section catchline and text.
Effective Date of 1980 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 96–513effective Dec. 12, 1980, see section 701(b)(3) ofPub. L. 96–513, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.
Effective Date of 1966 Amendment

Pub. L. 89–614, § 3,Sept. 30, 1966, 80 Stat. 866, provided that: “The amendments made by this Act [see Short Title of 1966 Amendment note below] shall become effective January 1, 1967, except that those amendments relating to outpatient care in civilian facilities for spouses and children of members of the uniformed services who are on active duty for a period of more than 30 days shall become effective on October 1, 1966.”
Short Title of 2008 Amendment

Pub. L. 110–181, div. A, title XVI, § 1601,Jan. 28, 2008, 122 Stat. 431, provided that: “This title [enacting sections 1074l, 1216a, and 1554a of this title, amending sections 1074, 1074f, 1074i, 1145, 1201, 1203, 1212, and 1599c of this title and section 6333 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section, sections 1074, 1074f, 1074i, 1074l, 1212, and 1554a of this title, and section 6333 of Title 5] may be cited as the ‘Wounded Warrior Act’.”
Short Title of 1987 Amendment

Pub. L. 100–180, div. A, title VII, § 701,Dec. 4, 1987, 101 Stat. 1108, provided that: “This title [enacting sections 1103, 2128 to 2130 [now 16201 to 16203], and 6392 of this title, amending sections 533, 591, 1079, 1086, 1251, 2120, 2122, 2123, 2124, 2127, 2172 [now 16302], 3353, 3855, 5600, 8353, and 8855 of this title, section 302 of Title 37, Pay and Allowances of the Uniformed Services, and section 460 of Title 50, Appendix, War and National Defense, enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 1073, 1074, 1079, 1092, 1103, 2121, 2124, 12201, and 16201 of this title, amending provisions set out as notes under sections 1073 and 1101 of this title, and repealing provisions set out as notes under sections 2121 and 2124 of this title] may be cited as the ‘Military Health Care Amendments of 1987’.”
Short Title of 1966 Amendment

Pub. L. 89–614, § 1,Sept. 30, 1966, 80 Stat. 862, provided: “That this Act [enacting sections 1086 and 1087 of this title, amending this section and sections 1072 to 1074, 1076 to 1079, 1082, and 1084 of this title, and enacting provisions set out as a note under this section] may be cited as the ‘Military Medical Benefits Amendments of 1966’.”
Comprehensive Policy on Improvements to Care and Transition of Members of the Armed Forces With Urotrauma

Pub. L. 113–66, div. A, title VII, § 703,Dec. 26, 2013, 127 Stat. 791, provided that:
“(a) Comprehensive Policy Required.—
“(1) In general.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 26, 2013], the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall jointly develop and implement a comprehensive policy on improvements to the care, management, and transition of recovering members of the Armed Forces with urotrauma.
“(2) Scope of policy.—The policy shall cover each of the following:
“(A) The care and management of the specific needs of members who are urotrauma patients, including eligibility for the Recovery Care Coordinator Program pursuant to the Wounded Warrior Act [title XVI of div. A of Pub. L. 110–181] (10 U.S.C. 1071 note).
“(B) The return of members who have recovered to active duty when appropriate.
“(C) The transition of recovering members from receipt of care and services through the Department of Defense to receipt of care and services through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“(b) Report.—
“(1) In general.—Not later than one year after implementing the policy under subsection (a)(1), the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall jointly submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that includes—
“(A) a review that identifies gaps in the care of members who are urotrauma patients; and
“(B) suggested options to respond to such gaps.
“(2) Appropriate congressional committees defined.—In this subsection, the term ‘appropriate congressional committees’ means the following:
“(A) The Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
“(B) The Committees on Veterans’ Affairs of the Senate and the House of Representatives.”
Electronic Health Records of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs

Pub. L. 113–66, div. A, title VII, § 713,Dec. 26, 2013, 127 Stat. 794, provided that:
“(a) Sense of Congress.—It is the sense of Congress that—
“(1) the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs have failed to implement a solution that allows for seamless electronic sharing of medical health care data; and
“(2) despite the significant amount of read-only information shared between the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs, most of the information shared as of the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 26, 2013] is not standardized or available in real time to support all clinical decisions.
“(b) Implementation.—The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs—
“(1) shall each ensure that the electronic health record systems of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs are interoperable with an integrated display of data, or a single electronic health record, by complying with the national standards and architectural requirements identified by the Interagency Program Office of the Departments (in this section referred to as the ‘Office’), in collaboration with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology of the Department of Health and Human Services; and
“(2) shall each deploy modernized electronic health record software supporting clinicians of the Departments by no later than December 31, 2016, while ensuring continued support and compatibility with the interoperability platform and full standards-based interoperability.
“(c) Design Principles.—The interoperable electronic health records with integrated display of data, or a single electronic health record, established under subsection (b) shall adhere to the following principles:
“(1) To the extent practicable, efforts to establish such records shall be based on objectives, activities, and milestones established by the Joint Executive Committee Joint Strategic Plan Fiscal Years 2013–2015, as well as future addendums or revisions.
“(2) Transition the current data exchanges between the Departments and private sector health care providers where practical to modern, open-architecture frameworks that use computable data mapped to national standards to make data available for determining medical trends and for enhanced clinician decision support.
“(3) Principles with respect to open architecture standards, including—
“(A) adoption of national data standards;
“(B) if such national standards do not exist as of the date on which the record is being established, adoption of the articulation of data of the Health Data Dictionary until such national standards are established;
“(C) use of enterprise investment strategies that maximize the use of commercial best practices to ensure robust competition and best value;
“(D) aggressive life-cycle sustainment planning that uses proven technology insertion strategies and product upgrade techniques;
“(E) enforcement of system design transparency, continuous design disclosure and improvement, and peer reviews that align with the requirements of the Federal Acquisition Regulation; and
“(F) strategies for data management rights to ensure a level competitive playing field and access to alternative solutions and sources across the life-cycle of the programs.
“(4) By the point of deployment, such record must be at a generation 3 level or better for a health information technology system.
“(5) To the extent the Secretaries consider feasible and advisable, principles with respect to—
“(A) the creation of a health data authoritative source by the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs that can be accessed by multiple providers and standardizes the input of new medical information;
“(B) the ability of patients of both the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs to download, or otherwise receive electronically, the medical records of the patient; and
“(C) the feasibility of establishing a secure, remote, network-accessible computer storage system to provide members of the Armed Forces and veterans the ability to upload the health care records of the member or veteran if the member or veteran elects to do so and allow medical providers of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs to access such records in the course of providing care to the member or veteran.
“(d) Programs Plan.—Not later than January 31, 2014, the Secretaries shall prepare and brief the appropriate congressional committees with a detailed programs plan for the oversight and execution of the interoperable electronic health records with an integrated display of data, or a single electronic health record, established under subsection (b). This briefing and supporting documentation shall include—
“(1) programs objectives;
“(2) organization;
“(3) responsibilities of the Departments;
“(4) technical objectives and design principles;
“(5) milestones, including a schedule for the development, acquisition, or industry competitions for capabilities needed to satisfy the technical system requirements;
“(6) data standards being adopted by the programs;
“(7) outcome-based metrics proposed to measure the performance and effectiveness of the programs; and
“(8) the level of funding for fiscal years 2014 through 2017.
“(e) Limitation on Funds.—Not more than 25 percent of the amounts authorized to be appropriated by this Act or otherwise made available for development, procurement, modernization, or enhancement of the interoperable electronic health records with an integrated display of data, or a single electronic health record, established under subsection (b) for the Department of Defense or the Department of Veterans Affairs may be obligated or expended until the date on which the Secretaries brief the appropriate congressional committees of the programs plan under subsection (d).
“(f) Reporting.—
“(1) Quarterly reporting.—On a quarterly basis, the Secretaries shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a detailed financial summary.
“(2) Notification.—The Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees written notification prior to obligating funds for any contract or task order for electronic health record system modernization efforts that is in excess of $5,000,000.
“(g) Requirements.—
“(1) In general.—Not later than October 1, 2014, all health care data contained in the Department of Defense AHLTA and the Department of Veterans Affairs VistA systems shall be computable in real time and comply with the existing national data standards and have a process in place to ensure data is standardized as national standards continue to evolve. On a quarterly basis, the Secretaries shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees updates on the progress of data sharing.
“(2) Certification.—At such time as the operational capability described in subsection (b)(1) is achieved, the Secretaries shall jointly certify to the appropriate congressional committees that the Secretaries have complied with such data standards described in paragraph (1).
“(3) Responsible official.—The Secretaries shall each identify a senior official to be responsible for the modern platforms supporting an interoperable electronic health record with an integrated display of data, or a single electronic health record, established under subsection (b). The Secretaries shall also each identify a senior official to be responsible for modernizing the electronic health record software of the respective Department. Such official shall have included within their performance evaluation performance metrics related to the execution of the responsibilities under this paragraph. Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 26, 2013], each Secretary shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees the name of each senior official selected under this paragraph.
“(4) Comptroller general assessment.—If both Secretaries do not meet the requirements under paragraph (1), the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees an assessment of the performance of the compliance of both Secretaries of such requirements.
“(h) Executive Committee.—
“(1) Establishment.—Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 26, 2013], the Secretaries shall jointly establish an executive committee to support the development and validation of adopted standards, required architectural platforms and structure, and the capacity to enforce such standards, platforms, and structure as the Secretaries execute requirements and develop programmatic assessment as needed by the Secretaries to ensure interoperable electronic health records with an integrated display of data, or a single electronic health record, are established pursuant to the requirements of subsection (b). The Executive Committee shall annually certify to the appropriate congressional committees that such record meets the definition of ‘integrated’ as specified in subsection (k)(4).
“(2) Membership.—The Executive Committee established under paragraph (1) shall consist of not more than 6 members, appointed by the Secretaries as follows:
“(A) Two co-chairs, one appointed by each of the Secretaries.
“(B) One member from the technical community of the Department of Defense appointed by the Secretary of Defense.
“(C) One member from the technical community of the Department of Veterans Affairs appointed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
“(D) One member from the clinical community of the Department of Defense appointed by the Secretary of Defense.
“(E) One member from the clinical community of the Department of Veterans Affairs appointed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
“(3) Reporting.—Not later than June 1, 2014, and on a quarterly basis thereafter, the Executive Committee shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the activities of the Committee.
“(i) Independent Review.—The Secretary of Defense shall request the Defense Science Board to conduct an annual review of the progress of the Secretary toward achieving the requirements in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (b). The Defense Science Board shall submit to the Secretary a report of the findings of the review. Not later than 30 days after receiving the report, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees the report with any comments considered appropriate by the Secretary.
“(j) Deadline for Completion of Implementation of the Healthcare Artifact and Image Management Solution Program.—
“(1) Deadline.—The Secretary of Defense shall complete the implementation of the Healthcare Artifact and Image Management Solution program of the Department of Defense by not later than the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 26, 2013].
“(2) Report.—Upon completion of the implementation of the Healthcare Artifact and Image Management Solution program, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report describing the extent of the interoperability between the Healthcare Artifact and Image Management Solution program and the Veterans Benefits Management System of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“(k) Definitions.—In this section:
“(1) Appropriate congressional committees.—The term ‘appropriate congressional committees’ means—
“(A) the congressional defense committees [Committees on Armed Services and Appropriations of the Senate and the House of Representatives]; and
“(B) the Committees on Veterans’ Affairs of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
“(2) Generation 3.—The term ‘generation 3’ means, with respect to an electronic health system, a system that has the technical capability to bring evidence-based medicine to the point of care and provide functionality for multiple care venues.
“(3) Interoperable.—The term ‘interoperable’ refers to the ability of different electronic health records systems or software to meaningfully exchange information in real time and provide useful results to one or more systems.
“(4) Integrated.—The term ‘integrated’ refers to the integration of health data from the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs and outside providers to provide clinicians with a comprehensive medical record that allows data existing on disparate systems to be shared or accessed across functional or system boundaries in order to make the most informed decisions when treating patients.”
Enhancement of Oversight and Management of Department of Defense Suicide Prevention and Resilience Programs

Pub. L. 112–239, div. A, title V, § 580,Jan. 2, 2013, 126 Stat. 1764, provided that:
“(a) In General.—The Secretary of Defense shall, acting through the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, establish within the Office of the Secretary of Defense a position with responsibility for oversight of all suicide prevention and resilience programs of the Department of Defense (including those of the military departments and the Armed Forces).
“(b) Scope of Responsibilities.—The individual serving in the position established under subsection (a) shall have the responsibilities as follows:
“(1) To establish a uniform definition of resiliency for use in the suicide prevention and resilience programs and preventative behavioral health programs of the Department of Defense (including those of the military departments and the Armed Forces).
“(2) To oversee the implementation of the comprehensive policy on the prevention of suicide among members of the Armed Forces required by section 582.”
Comprehensive Policy on Prevention of Suicide Among Members of the Armed Forces

Pub. L. 112–239, div. A, title V, § 582,Jan. 2, 2013, 126 Stat. 1766, provided that:
“(a) Comprehensive Policy Required.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 2, 2013], the Secretary of Defense shall, acting through the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, develop within the Department of Defense a comprehensive policy on the prevention of suicide among members of the Armed Forces. In developing the policy, the Secretary shall consider recommendations from the operational elements of the Armed Forces regarding the feasibility of the implementation and execution of particular elements of the policy.
“(b) Elements.—The policy required by subsection (a) shall cover each of the following:
“(1) Increased awareness among members of the Armed Forces about mental health conditions and the stigma associated with mental health conditions and mental health care.
“(2) The means of identifying members who are at risk for suicide (including enhanced means for early identification and treatment of such members).
“(3) The continuous access by members to suicide prevention services, including suicide crisis services.
“(4) The means to evaluate and assess the effectiveness of the suicide prevention and resilience programs and preventative behavioral health programs of the Department of Defense (including those of the military departments and the Armed Forces), including the development of metrics for that purpose.
“(5) The means to evaluate and assess the current diagnostic tools and treatment methods in the programs referred to in paragraph (4) to ensure clinical best practices are used in such programs.
“(6) The standard of care for suicide prevention to be used throughout the Department.
“(7) The training of mental health care providers on suicide prevention.
“(8) The training standards for behavioral health care providers to ensure that such providers receive training on clinical best practices and evidence-based treatments as information on such practices and treatments becomes available.
“(9) The integration of mental health screenings and suicide risk and prevention for members into the delivery of primary care for such members.
“(10) The standards for responding to attempted or completed suicides among members, including guidance and training to assist commanders in addressing incidents of attempted or completed suicide within their units.
“(11) The means to ensure the protection of the privacy of members seeking or receiving treatment relating to suicide.
“(12) Such other matters as the Secretary considers appropriate in connection with the prevention of suicide among members.”
Research and Medical Practice on Mental Health Conditions

Pub. L. 112–239, div. A, title VII, § 725,Jan. 2, 2013, 126 Stat. 1806, provided that:
“(a) Research and Practice.—The Secretary of Defense shall provide for the translation of research on the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions into policy on medical practices.
“(b) Report.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 2, 2013], the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Armed Services of the House of Representatives and the Senate a report on the translation of research into policy as described in subsection (a). The report shall include the following:
“(1) A summary of the efforts of the Department of Defense to carry out such translation.
“(2) A description of any policy established pursuant to subsection (a).
“(3) Additional legislative or administrative actions the Secretary considers appropriate with respect to such translation.”
Plan for Reform of the Administration of the Military Health System

Pub. L. 112–239, div. A, title VII, § 731,Jan. 2, 2013, 126 Stat. 1815, provided that:
“(a) Detailed Plan.—In implementing reforms to the governance of the military health system described in the memorandum of the Deputy Secretary of Defense dated March 2012, the Secretary of Defense shall develop a detailed plan to carry out such reform.
“(b) Elements.—The plan developed under subsection (a) shall include the following:
“(1) Goals to achieve while carrying out the reform described in subsection (a), including goals with respect to improving clinical and business practices, cost reductions, infrastructure reductions, and personnel reductions, achieved by establishing the Defense Health Agency, carrying out shared services, and modifying the governance of the National Capital Region.
“(2) Metrics to evaluate the achievement of each goal under paragraph (1) with respect to the purpose, objective, and improvements made by each such goal.
“(3) The personnel levels required for the Defense Health Agency and the National Capital Region Medical Directorate.
“(4) A detailed schedule to carry out the reform described in subsection (a), including a schedule for meeting the goals under paragraph (1).
“(5) Detailed information describing the initial operating capability of the Defense Health Agency.
“(6) With respect to each shared service that the Secretary will implement during fiscal year 2013 or 2014—
“(A) a timeline for such implementation; and
“(B) a business case analysis detailing—
“(i) the services that will be consolidated into the shared service;
“(ii) the purpose of the shared service;
“(iii) the scope of the responsibilities and goals for the shared service;
“(iv) the cost of implementing the shared service, including the costs regarding personnel severance, relocation, military construction, information technology, and contractor support; and
“(v) the anticipated cost savings to be realized by implementing the shared service.
“(c) Submission.—The Secretary of Defense shall submit to the congressional defense committees [Committees on Armed Services and Appropriations of the Senate and the House of Representatives] the plan developed under subsection (a) as follows:
“(1) The contents of the plan described in paragraphs (1) and (4) of subsection (b) shall be submitted not later than March 31, 2013.
“(2) The contents of the plan described in paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (b) and paragraph (6) of such subsection with respect to shared services implemented during fiscal year 2013 shall be submitted not later than June 30, 2013.
“(3) The contents of the plan described in paragraph (6) of such subsection with respect to shared services implemented during fiscal year 2014 shall be submitted not later than September 30, 2013.
“(d) Limitations.—
“(1) First submission.—Of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act [see Tables for classification] or otherwise made available for fiscal year 2013 for the accounts and activities described in paragraph (4), not more than 50 percent may be obligated or expended until the date on which the Secretary of Defense submits to the congressional defense committees the contents of the plan under subsection (c)(1).
“(2) Second submission.—Of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or otherwise made available for fiscal year 2013 for the accounts and activities described in paragraph (4), not more than 75 percent may be obligated or expended until the date on which the Secretary of Defense submits to the congressional defense committees the contents of the plan under subsection (c)(2).
“(3) Comptroller general review.—The Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to the congressional defense committees a review of the contents of the plan submitted under each of paragraphs (1) and (2) to assess whether the Secretary of Defense meets the requirements of such contents.
“(4) Accounts and activities described.—The accounts and activities described in this paragraph are as follows:
“(A) Operation and maintenance, Defense-wide, for the Office of the Secretary of Defense for travel.
“(B) Operation and maintenance, Defense-wide, for the Office of the Secretary of Defense for management professional support services.
“(C) Operation and maintenance, Defense Health Program, for travel.
“(D) Operation and maintenance, Defense Health Program, for management professional support services.
“(e) Shared Services Defined.—In this section, the term ‘shared services’ means the common services required for each military department to provide medical support to the Armed Forces and authorized beneficiaries.”
Performance Metrics and Reports on Warriors in Transition Programs of the Military Departments

Pub. L. 112–239, div. A, title VII, § 738,Jan. 2, 2013, 126 Stat. 1820, provided that:
“(a) Metrics Required.—The Secretary of Defense shall establish a policy containing uniform performance outcome measurements to be used by each Secretary of a military department in tracking and monitoring members of the Armed Forces in Warriors in Transition programs.
“(b) Elements.—The policy established under subsection (a) shall identify outcome measurements with respect to the following:
“(1) Physical health and behavioral health.
“(2) Rehabilitation.
“(3) Educational and vocational preparation.
“(4) Such other matters as the Secretary considers appropriate.
“(c) Milestones.—In establishing the policy under subsection (a), the Secretary of Defense shall establish metrics and milestones for members in Warriors in Transition programs. Such metrics and milestones shall cover members throughout the course of care and rehabilitation in Warriors in Transitions programs by applying to the following occasions:
“(1) When the member commences participation in the program.
“(2) At least once each year the member participates in the program.
“(3) When the member ceases participation in the program or is transferred to the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
“(d) Cohort Groups and Parameters.—The policy established under subsection (a)—
“(1) may differentiate among cohort groups within the population of members in Warriors in Transition programs, as appropriate; and
“(2) shall include parameters for specific outcome measurements in each element under subsection (b) and each metric and milestone under subsection (c).
“(e) Reports Required.—
“(1) Initial report.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 2, 2013], the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the congressional defense committees [Committees on Armed Services and Appropriations of the Senate and the House of Representatives] a report on the policy established under subsection (a), including the outcome measurements for each element under subsection (b) and each metric and milestone under subsection (c).
“(2) Annual reports.—Not later than February of each year beginning in 2014 and ending in 2018, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report on the performance of the military departments with respect to the policy established under subsection (a). Each report shall include—
“(A) an analysis of—
“(i) data on improvements in the progress of members in Warriors in Transition programs in each specific area identified in the policy;
“(ii) access to health and rehabilitation services by such members, including average appointment waiting times by specialty;
“(iii) effectiveness of the programs in assisting in the transition of such members to military duty or civilian life through education and vocational assistance;
“(iv) any differences in outcomes in Warriors in Transition programs, and the reason for any such differences; and
“(v) the quantities and effectiveness of medical and nonmedical case managers, legal support and physical evaluation board liaison officers, mental health care providers, and medical evaluation physicians in comparison to the actual number of members requiring such services; and
“(B) such other results and analyses as the Secretary considers appropriate, including any recommendations for legislation if needed.
“(f) Warriors in Transition Program Defined.—In this section, the term ‘Warriors in Transition program’ means any major support program of the Armed Forces for members of the Armed Forces with severe wounds, illnesses, or injuries that is intended to provide such members with nonmedical case management service and care coordination services, and includes the programs as follows:
“(1) Warrior Transition Units and the Wounded Warrior Program of the Army.
“(2) The Wounded Warrior Safe Harbor program of the Navy.
“(3) The Wounded Warrior Regiment of the Marine Corps.
“(4) The Recovery Care Program and the Wounded Warrior programs of the Air Force.
“(5) The Care Coalition of the United States Special Operations Command.”
Department of Defense Suicide Prevention Program

Pub. L. 112–81, div. A, title V, § 533(a), (b),Dec. 31, 2011, 125 Stat. 1404, provided that:
“(a) Program Enhancement.—The Secretary of Defense shall take appropriate actions to enhance the suicide prevention program of the Department of Defense through the provision of suicide prevention information and resources to members of the Armed Forces from their initial enlistment or appointment through their final retirement or separation.
“(b) Cooperative Effort.—The Secretary of Defense shall develop suicide prevention information and resources in consultation with—
“(1) the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services; and
“(2) to the extent appropriate, institutions of higher education and other public and private entities, including international entities, with expertise regarding suicide prevention.”
Treatment of Wounded Warriors

Pub. L. 112–81, div. A, title VII, § 722,Dec. 31, 2011, 125 Stat. 1479, provided that: “The Secretary of Defense may establish a program to enter into partnerships to enable coordinated, rapid clinical evaluation and the application of evidence-based treatment strategies for wounded service members, with an emphasis on the most common musculoskeletal injuries, that will address the priorities of the Armed Forces with respect to retention and readiness.”
Comprehensive Plan on Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders and Disposition of Substance Abuse Offenders in the Armed Forces

Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title V, § 596,Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2339, provided that:
“(a) Review and Assessment of Current Capabilities.—
“(1) In general.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 28, 2009], the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretaries of the military departments, shall conduct a comprehensive review of the following:
“(A) The programs and activities of the Department of Defense for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of substance use disorders in members of the Armed Forces.
“(B) The policies of the Department of Defense relating to the disposition of substance abuse offenders in the Armed Forces, including disciplinary action and administrative separation.
“(2) Elements.—The review conducted under paragraph (1) shall include an assessment of each of the following:
“(A) The current state and effectiveness of the programs of the Department of Defense and the military departments relating to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of substance use disorders.
“(B) The adequacy of the availability of care, and access to care, for substance abuse in military medical treatment facilities and under the TRICARE program.
“(C) The adequacy of oversight by the Department of Defense of programs relating to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of substance abuse in members of the Armed Forces.
“(D) The adequacy and appropriateness of current credentials and other requirements for healthcare professionals treating members of the Armed Forces with substance use disorders.
“(E) The advisable ratio of physician and nonphysician care providers for substance use disorders to members of the Armed Forces with such disorders.
“(F) The adequacy and appropriateness of protocols and directives for the diagnosis and treatment of substance use disorders in members of the Armed Forces and for the disposition, including disciplinary action and administrative separation, of members of the Armed Forces for substance abuse.
“(G) The adequacy of the availability of and access to care for substance use disorders for members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces, including an identification of any obstacles that are unique to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of substance use disorders among members of the reserve components, and the appropriate disposition, including disciplinary action and administrative separation, of members of the reserve components for substance abuse.
“(H) The adequacy of the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of substance use disorders in dependents of members of the Armed Forces.
“(I) Any gaps in the current capabilities of the Department of Defense for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of substance use disorders in members of the Armed Forces.
“(3) Report.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives a report setting forth the findings and recommendations of the Secretary as a result of the review conducted under paragraph (1). The report shall—
“(A) set forth the findings and recommendations of the Secretary regarding each element of the review specified in paragraph (2);
“(B) set forth relevant statistics on the frequency of substance use disorders, disciplinary actions, and administrative separations for substance abuse in members of the regular components of the Armed Forces, members of the reserve component of the Armed Forces, and to the extent applicable, dependents of such members (including spouses and children); and
“(C) include such other findings and recommendations on improvements to the current capabilities of the Department of Defense for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of substance use disorders in members of the Armed Forces and the policies relating to the disposition, including disciplinary action and administrative separation, of members of the Armed Forces for substance abuse, as the Secretary considers appropriate.
“(b) Plan for Improvement and Enhancement of Programs and Policies.—
“(1) Plan required.—Not later than 270 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 28, 2009], the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the congressional defense committees [Committees on Armed Services and Appropriations of the Senate and the House of Representatives] a comprehensive plan for the improvement and enhancement of the following:
“(A) The programs and activities of the Department of Defense for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of substance use disorders in members of the Armed Forces and their dependents.
“(B) The policies of the Department of Defense relating to the disposition of substance abuse offenders in the Armed Forces, including disciplinary action and administrative separation.
“(2) Basis.—The comprehensive plan required by paragraph (1) shall take into account the following:
“(A) The results of the review and assessment conducted under subsection (a).
“(B) Similar initiatives of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to expand and improve care for substance use disorders among veterans, including the programs and activities conducted under title I of the Veterans’ Mental Health and Other Care Improvements Act of 2008 (Public Law 110–387; 112 Stat. 4112) [see Tables for classification].
“(3) Comprehensive statement of policy.—The comprehensive plan required by paragraph (1) shall include a comprehensive statement of the following:
“(A) The policy of the Department of Defense regarding the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of substance use disorders in members of the Armed Forces and their dependents.
“(B) The policies of the Department of Defense relating to the disposition of substance abuse offenders in the Armed Forces, including disciplinary action and administrative separation.
“(4) Availability of services and treatment.—The comprehensive plan required by paragraph (1) shall include mechanisms to ensure the availability to members of the Armed Forces and their dependents of a core of evidence-based practices across the spectrum of medical and non-medial services and treatments for substance use disorders, including the reestablishment of regional long-term inpatient substance abuse treatment programs. The Secretary may use contracted services for not longer than three years after the date of the enactment of this Act to perform such inpatient substance abuse treatment until the Department of Defense reestablishes this capability within the military health care system.
“(5) Prevention and reduction of disorders.—The comprehensive plan required by paragraph (1) shall include mechanisms to facilitate the prevention and reduction of substance use disorders in members of the Armed Forces through science-based initiatives, including education programs, for members of the Armed Forces and their dependents.
“(6) Specific instructions.—The comprehensive plan required by paragraph (1) shall include each of the following:
“(A) Substances of abuse.—Instructions on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of substance abuse in members of the Armed Forces, including the abuse of alcohol, illicit drugs, and nonmedical use and abuse of prescription drugs.
“(B) Healthcare professionals.—Instructions on—
“(i) appropriate training of healthcare professionals in the prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of substance use disorders in members of the Armed Forces;
“(ii) appropriate staffing levels for healthcare professionals at military medical treatment facilities for the prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of substance use disorders in members of the Armed Forces; and
“(iii) such uniform training and credentialing requirements for physician and nonphysician healthcare professionals in the prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of substance use disorders in members of the Armed Forces as the Secretary considers appropriate.
“(C) Services for dependents.—Instructions on the availability of services for substance use disorders for dependents of members of the Armed Forces, including instructions on making such services available to dependents to the maximum extent practicable.
“(D) Relationship between disciplinary action and treatment.—Policy on the relationship between disciplinary actions and administrative separation processing and prevention and treatment of substance use disorders in members of the Armed Forces.
“(E) Confidentiality.—Recommendations regarding policies pertaining to confidentiality for members of the Armed Forces in seeking or receiving services or treatment for substance use disorders.
“(F) Participation of chain of command.—Policy on appropriate consultation, reference to, and involvement of the chain of command of members of the Armed Forces in matters relating to the diagnosis and treatment of substance abuse and disposition of members of the Armed Forces for substance abuse.
“(G) Consideration of gender.—Instructions on gender specific requirements, if appropriate, in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of substance use disorders in members of the Armed Forces, including gender specific care and treatment requirements.
“(H) Coordination with other healthcare initiatives.—Instructions on the integration of efforts on the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of substance use disorders in members of the Armed Forces with efforts to address co-occurring health care disorders (such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression) and suicide prevention.
“(7) Other elements.—In addition to the matters specified in paragraph (3), the comprehensive plan required by paragraph (1) shall include the following:
“(A) Implementation plan.—An implementation plan for the achievement of the goals of the comprehensive plan, including goals relating to the following:
“(i) Enhanced education of members of the Armed Forces and their dependents regarding substance use disorders.
“(ii) Enhanced and improved identification and diagnosis of substance use disorders in members of the Armed Forces and their dependents.
“(iii) Enhanced and improved access of members of the Armed Forces to services and treatment for and management of substance use disorders.
“(iv) Appropriate staffing of military medical treatment facilities and other facilities for the treatment of substance use disorders in members of the Armed Forces.
“(B) Best practices.—The incorporation of evidence-based best practices utilized in current military and civilian approaches to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of substance use disorders.
“(C) Available research.—The incorporation of applicable results of available studies, research, and academic reviews on the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of substance use disorders.
“(8) Update in light of independent study.—Upon the completion of the study required by subsection (c), the Secretary of Defense shall—
“(A) in consultation with the Secretaries of the military departments, make such modifications and improvements to the comprehensive plan required by paragraph (1) as the Secretary of Defense considers appropriate in light of the findings and recommendations of the study; and
“(B) submit to the congressional defense committees [Committees on Armed Services and Appropriations of the Senate and the House of Representatives] a report setting forth the comprehensive plan as modified and improved under subparagraph (A).
“(c) Independent Report on Substance Use Disorders Programs for Members of the Armed Forces.—
“(1) Study required.—Upon completion of the policy review required by subsection (a), the Secretary of Defense shall provide for a study on substance use disorders programs for members of the Armed Forces to be conducted by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences or such other independent entity as the Secretary shall select for purposes of the study.
“(2) Elements.—The study required by paragraph (1) shall include a review and assessment of the following:
“(A) The adequacy and appropriateness of protocols for the diagnosis, treatment, and management of substance use disorders in members of the Armed Forces.
“(B) The adequacy of the availability of and access to care for substance use disorders in military medical treatment facilities and under the TRICARE program.
“(C) The adequacy and appropriateness of current credentials and other requirements for physician and non-physician healthcare professionals treating members of the Armed Forces with substance use disorders.
“(D) The advisable ratio of physician and non-physician care providers for substance use disorders to members of the Armed Forces with such disorders.
“(E) The adequacy of the availability of and access to care for substance use disorders for members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces when compared with the availability of and access to care for substance use disorders for members of the regular components of the Armed Forces.
“(F) The adequacy of the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of substance use disorders programs for dependents of members of the Armed Forces, whether such dependents suffer from their own substance use disorder or because of the substance use disorder of a member of the Armed Forces.
“(G) Such other matters as the Secretary considers appropriate for purposes of the study.
“(3) Report.—Not later than two years after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 28, 2009], the entity conducting the study required by paragraph (1) shall submit to the Secretary of Defense and the congressional defense committees [Committees on Armed Services and Appropriations of the Senate and the House of Representatives] a report on the results of the study. The report shall set forth the findings and recommendations of the entity as a result of the study.”
Comprehensive Policy on Pain Management by the Military Health Care System

Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title VII, § 711,Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2378, provided that:
“(a) Comprehensive Policy Required.—Not later than March 31, 2011, the Secretary of Defense shall develop and implement a comprehensive policy on pain management by the military health care system.
“(b) Scope of Policy.—The policy required by subsection (a) shall cover each of the following:
“(1) The management of acute and chronic pain.
“(2) The standard of care for pain management to be used throughout the Department of Defense.
“(3) The consistent application of pain assessments throughout the Department of Defense.
“(4) The assurance of prompt and appropriate pain care treatment and management by the Department when medically necessary.
“(5) Programs of research related to acute and chronic pain, including pain attributable to central and peripheral nervous system damage characteristic of injuries incurred in modern warfare, brain injuries, and chronic migraine headache.
“(6) Programs of pain care education and training for health care personnel of the Department.
“(7) Programs of patient education for members suffering from acute or chronic pain and their families.
“(c) Updates.—The Secretary shall revise the policy required by subsection (a) on a periodic basis in accordance with experience and evolving best practice guidelines.
“(d) Annual Report.—
“(1) In general.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the commencement of the implementation of the policy required by subsection (a), and on October 1 each year thereafter through 2018, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives a report on the policy.
“(2) Elements.—Each report required by paragraph (1) shall include the following:
“(A) A description of the policy implemented under subsection (a), and any revisions to such policy under subsection (c).
“(B) A description of the performance measures used to determine the effectiveness of the policy in improving pain care for beneficiaries enrolled in the military health care system.
“(C) An assessment of the adequacy of Department pain management services based on a current survey of patients managed in Department clinics.
“(D) An assessment of the research projects of the Department relevant to the treatment of the types of acute and chronic pain suffered by members of the Armed Forces and their families.
“(E) An assessment of the training provided to Department health care personnel with respect to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of acute and chronic pain.
“(F) An assessment of the pain care education programs of the Department.
“(G) An assessment of the dissemination of information on pain management to beneficiaries enrolled in the military health care system.”
Plan To Increase the Mental Health Capabilities of the Department of Defense

Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title VII, § 714,Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2381, as amended by Pub. L. 111–383, div. A, title X, § 1075(d)(8),Jan. 7, 2011, 124 Stat. 4373, provided that:
“(a) Increased Authorizations.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 28, 2009], the Secretary of each military department shall increase the number of active duty mental health personnel authorized for the department under the jurisdiction of the Secretary in an amount equal to the sum of the following amounts:
“(1) The greater of—
“(A) the amount identified on personnel authorization documents as required but not authorized to be filled; or
“(B) the amount that is 25 percent of the amount identified on personnel authorization documents as authorized.
“(2) The amount required to fulfill the requirements of section 708 [10 U.S.C. 1074f note], as determined by the Secretary concerned.
“(b) Report and Plan on the Required Number of Mental Health Personnel.—
“(1) In general.—Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 28, 2009], the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the congressional defense committees [Committees on Armed Services and Appropriations of the Senate and the House of Representatives] a report on the appropriate number of mental health personnel required to meet the mental health care needs of members of the Armed Forces, retired members, and dependents. The report shall include, at a minimum, the following:
“(A) An evaluation of the recommendation titled ‘Ensure an Adequate Supply of Uniformed Providers’ made by the Department of Defense Task Force on Mental Health established by section 723 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 (Public Law 109–163; 119 Stat. 3348).
“(B) The criteria and models used to determine the appropriate number of mental health personnel.
“(C) The plan under paragraph (2).
“(2) Plan.—The Secretary shall develop and implement a plan to significantly increase the number of military and civilian mental health personnel of the Department of Defense by September 30, 2013. The plan may include the following:
“(A) The allocation of scholarships and financial assistance under the Health Professions Scholarship and Financial Assistance Program under subchapter I of chapter 105 of title 10, United States Code, to students pursuing advanced degrees in clinical psychology and other mental health professions.
“(B) The offering of accession and retention bonuses for psychologists pursuant to section 620 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110–417; 122 Stat. 4489) [enacting section 302c–1 of Title 37, Pay and Allowances of the Uniformed Services, and provisions set out as a note under section 335 of Title 37].
“(C) An expansion of the capacity for training doctoral-level clinical psychologists at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.
“(D) An expansion of the capacity of the Department of Defense for training masters-level clinical psychologists and social workers with expertise in deployment-related mental health disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
“(E) The detail of commissioned officers of the Armed Forces to accredited schools of psychology for training leading to a doctoral degree in clinical psychology or social work.
“(F) The reassignment of military mental health personnel from administrative positions to clinical positions in support of military units.
“(G) The offering of civilian hiring incentives and bonuses and the use of direct hiring authority to increase the number of mental health personnel of the Department of Defense.
“(H) Such other mechanisms to increase the number of mental health personnel of the Department of Defense as the Secretary considers appropriate.
“(c) Report on Additional Officer or Enlisted Military Specialties for Mental Health.—
“(1) Report.—Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 28, 2009], the Secretary shall submit to the congressional defense committees [Committees on Armed Services and Appropriations of the Senate and the House of Representatives] a report setting forth the assessment of the Secretary of the feasibility and advisability of establishing one or more military mental health specialties for officers or enlisted members of the Armed Forces in order to better meet the mental health care needs of members of the Armed Forces and their families.
“(2) Elements.—The report required by paragraph (1) shall set forth the following:
“(A) A recommendation as to the feasibility and advisability of establishing one or more military mental health specialties for officers or enlisted members of the Armed Forces.
“(B) For each military specialty recommended to be established under subparagraph (A)—
“(i) a description of the qualifications required for such speciality [sic], which shall reflect lessons learned from best practices in academia and the civilian health care industry regarding positions analogous to such specialty; and
“(ii) a description of the incentives or other mechanisms, if any, that would be advisable to facilitate recruitment and retention of individuals to and in such specialty.”
Study and Plan To Improve Military Health Care

Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title VII, § 721,Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2385, provided that:
“(a) Study and Report Required.—Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 28, 2009], the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the congressional defense committees [Committees on Armed Services and Appropriations of the Senate and the House of Representatives] a report on the health care needs of dependents (as defined in section 1072 (2) of title 10, United States Code). The report shall include, at a minimum, the following:
“(1) With respect to both the direct care system and the purchased care system, an analysis of the type of health care facility in which dependents seek care.
“(2) The 10 most common medical conditions for which dependents seek care.
“(3) The availability of and access to health care providers to treat the conditions identified under paragraph (2), both in the direct care system and the purchased care system.
“(4) Any shortfalls in the ability of dependents to obtain required health care services.
“(5) Recommendations on how to improve access to care for dependents.
“(6) With respect to dependents accompanying a member stationed at a military installation outside of the United States, the need for and availability of mental health care services.
“(b) Enhanced Military Health System and Improved TRICARE.—
“(1) In general.—The Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the other administering Secretaries, shall undertake actions to enhance the capability of the military health system and improve the TRICARE program.
“(2) Elements.—In undertaking actions to enhance the capability of the military health system and improve the TRICARE program under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consider the following actions:
“(A) Actions to guarantee the availability of care within established access standards for eligible beneficiaries, based on the results of the study required by subsection (a).
“(B) Actions to expand and enhance sharing of health care resources among Federal health care programs, including designated providers (as that term is defined in section 721(5) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997 (Public Law 104–201; 110 Stat. 2593; 10 U.S.C. 1073 note)).
“(C) Actions using medical technology to speed and simplify referrals for specialty care.
“(D) Actions to improve regional or national staffing capabilities in order to enhance support provided to military medical treatment facilities facing staff shortages.
“(E) Actions to improve health care access for members of the reserve components and their families, including such access with respect to mental health care and consideration of access issues for members and their families located in rural areas.
“(F) Actions to ensure consistency throughout the TRICARE program to comply with access standards, which are applicable to both commanders of military treatment facilities and managed care support contractors.
“(G) Actions to create new budgeting and resource allocation methodologies to fully support and incentivize care provided by military treatment facilities.
“(H) Actions regarding additional financing options for health care provided by civilian providers.
“(I) Actions to reduce administrative costs.
“(J) Actions to control the cost of health care and pharmaceuticals.
“(K) Actions to audit the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System to improve system checks on the eligibility of TRICARE beneficiaries.
“(L) Actions, including a comprehensive plan, for the enhanced availability of prevention and wellness care.
“(M) Actions using technology to improve direct communication with beneficiaries regarding health and preventive care.
“(N) Actions to create performance metrics by which to measure improvement in the TRICARE program.
“(O) Such other actions as the Secretary, in consultation with the other administering Secretaries, considers appropriate.
“(c) Quality Assurance.—In undertaking actions under this section, the Secretary of Defense and the other administering Secretaries shall continue or enhance the current level of quality health care provided by the Department of Defense and the military departments with no adverse impact to cost, access, or care.
“(d) Consultation.—In considering actions to be undertaken under this section, and in undertaking such actions, the Secretary shall consult with a broad range of national health care and military advocacy organizations.
“(e) Reports Required.—
“(1) Initial report.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 28, 2009], the Secretary shall submit to the congressional defense committees [Committees on Armed Services and Appropriations of the Senate and the House of Representatives] an initial report on the progress made in undertaking actions under this section and future plans for improvement of the military health system.
“(2) Report required with fiscal year 2012 budget proposal.—Together with the budget justification materials submitted to Congress in support of the Department of Defense budget for fiscal year 2012 (as submitted with the budget of the President under section 1105 (a) of title 31, United States Code), the Secretary shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report setting forth the following:
“(A) Updates on the progress made in undertaking actions under this section.
“(B) Future plans for improvement of the military health system.
“(C) An explanation of how the budget submission may reflect such progress and plans.
“(3) Periodic reports.—The Secretary shall, on a periodic basis, submit to the congressional defense committees a report on the progress being made in the improvement of the TRICARE program under this section.
“(4) Elements.—Each report under this subsection shall include the following:
“(A) A description and assessment of the progress made as of the date of such report in the improvement of the TRICARE program.
“(B) Such recommendations for administrative or legislative action as the Secretary considers appropriate to expedite and enhance the improvement of the TRICARE program.
“(f) Definitions.—In this section:
“(1) The term ‘administering Secretaries’ has the meaning given that term in section 1072 (3) of title 10, United States Code.
“(2) The term ‘TRICARE program’ has the meaning given that term in section 1072 (7) of title 10, United States Code.”
Program for Health Care Delivery at Military Installations With Projected Growth

Pub. L. 110–417, [div. A], title VII, § 705,Oct. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 4499, provided that:
“(a) Program.—The Secretary of Defense is authorized to develop a plan to establish a program to build cooperative health care arrangements and agreements between military installations projected to grow and local and regional non-military health care systems.
“(b) Requirements of Plan.—In developing the plan, the Secretary of Defense shall—
“(1) identify and analyze health care delivery options involving the private sector and health care services in military facilities located on military installations;
“(2) develop methods for determining the cost avoidance or savings resulting from innovative partnerships between the Department of Defense and the private sector;
“(3) develop requirements for Department of Defense health care providers to deliver health care in civilian community hospitals; and
“(4) collaborate with State and local authorities to create an arrangement to share and exchange, between the Department of Defense and nonmilitary health care systems, personal health information, and data of military personnel and their families.
“(c) Coordination With Other Entities.—The plan shall include requirements for coordination with Federal, State, and local entities, TRICARE managed care support contractors, and other contracted assets around installations selected for participation in the program.
“(d) Consultation Requirements.—The Secretary of Defense shall develop the plan in consultation with the Secretaries of the military departments.
“(e) Selection of Military Installations.—Each selected military installation shall meet the following criteria:
“(1) The military installation has members of the Armed Forces on active duty and members of reserve components of the Armed Forces that use the installation as a training and operational base, with members routinely deploying in support of the global war on terrorism.
“(2) The military population of an installation will significantly increase by 2013 due to actions related to either Grow the Force initiatives or recommendations of the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission.
“(3) There is a military treatment facility on the installation that has—
“(A) no inpatient or trauma center care capabilities; and
“(B) no current or planned capacity that would satisfy the proposed increase in military personnel at the installation.
“(4) There is a civilian community hospital near the military installation, and the military treatment facility has—
“(A) no inpatient services or limited capability to expand inpatient care beds, intensive care, and specialty services; and
“(B) limited or no capability to provide trauma care.
“(f) Reports.—Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 14, 2008], and every year thereafter, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and House of Representatives an annual report on any plan developed under subsection (a).”
Center of Excellence in Prevention, Diagnosis, Mitigation, Treatment, and Rehabilitation of Hearing Loss and Auditory System Injuries

Pub. L. 110–417, [div. A], title VII, § 721,Oct. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 4506, provided that:
“(a) In General.—The Secretary of Defense shall establish within the Department of Defense a center of excellence in the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, and rehabilitation of hearing loss and auditory system injury to carry out the responsibilities specified in subsection (c).
“(b) Partnerships.—The Secretary shall ensure that the center collaborates to the maximum extent practicable with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, institutions of higher education, and other appropriate public and private entities (including international entities) to carry out the responsibilities specified in subsection (c).
“(c) Responsibilities.—
“(1) In general.—The center shall—
“(A) implement a comprehensive plan and strategy for the Department of Defense, as developed by the Secretary of Defense, for a registry of information for the tracking of the diagnosis, surgical intervention or other operative procedure, other treatment, and follow up for each case of hearing loss and auditory system injury incurred by a member of the Armed Forces while serving on active duty;
“(B) ensure the electronic exchange with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs of information obtained through tracking under subparagraph (A); and
“(C) enable the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to access the registry and add information pertaining to additional treatments or surgical procedures and eventual hearing outcomes for veterans who were entered into the registry and subsequently received treatment through the Veterans Health Administration.
“(2) Designation of registry.—The registry under this subsection shall be known as the ‘Hearing Loss and Auditory System Injury Registry’ (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Registry’).
“(3) Consultation in development.—The center shall develop the Registry in consultation with audiologists, speech and language pathologists, otolaryngologists, and other specialist personnel of the Department of Defense and the audiologists, speech and language pathologists, otolaryngologists, and other specialist personnel of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The mechanisms and procedures of the Registry shall reflect applicable expert research on military and other hearing loss.
“(4) Mechanisms.—The mechanisms of the Registry for tracking under paragraph (1)(A) shall ensure that each military medical treatment facility or other medical facility shall submit to the center for inclusion in the Registry information on the diagnosis, surgical intervention or other operative procedure, other treatment, and follow up for each case of hearing loss and auditory system injury described in that paragraph as follows (to the extent applicable):
“(A) Not later than 30 days after surgery or other operative intervention, including a surgery or other operative intervention carried out as a result of a follow-up examination.
“(B) Not later than 180 days after the hearing loss and auditory system injury is reported or recorded in the medical record.
“(5) Coordination of care and benefits.—(A) The center shall provide notice to the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR) of the Department of Veterans Affairs and to the auditory system impairment services of the Veterans Health Administration on each member of the Armed Forces described in subparagraph (B) for purposes of ensuring the coordination of the provision of ongoing auditory system rehabilitation benefits and services by the Department of Veterans Affairs after the separation or release of such member from the Armed Forces.
“(B) A member of the Armed Forces described in this subparagraph is a member of the Armed Forces with significant hearing loss or auditory system injury incurred while serving on active duty, including a member with auditory dysfunction related to traumatic brain injury.
“(d) Utilization of Registry Information.—The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall jointly ensure that information in the Registry is available to appropriate audiologists, speech and language pathologists, otolaryngologists, and other specialist personnel of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs for purposes of encouraging and facilitating the conduct of research, and the development of best practices and clinical education, on hearing loss or auditory system injury incurred by members of the Armed Forces.
“(e) Inclusion of Records of OIF/OEF Veterans.—The Secretary of Defense shall take appropriate actions to include in the Registry such records of members of the Armed Forces who incurred a hearing loss or auditory system injury while serving on active duty on or after September 11, 2001, but before the establishment of the Registry, as the Secretary considers appropriate for purposes of the Registry.”
Wounded Warrior Health Care Improvements

Pub. L. 110–181, div. A, title XVI, §§ 1602, 1603, 1611–1614, 1616, 1618, 1621–1623, 1631, 1635, 1644, 1648, 1651, 1662, 1671, 1672, 1676,Jan. 28, 2008, 122 Stat. 431–443, 447, 450–455, 458, 460, 467, 473, 476, 479, 481, 484, as amended by Pub. L. 110–417, [div. A], title II, § 252, title VII, §§ 722, 724, title X, § 1061(b)(13),Oct. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 4400, 4508, 4509, 4613; Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title VI, § 632(h),Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2362; Pub. L. 112–56, title II, § 231,Nov. 21, 2011, 125 Stat. 719; Pub. L. 112–81, div. A, title VI, § 631(f)(4)(B), title VII, § 707,Dec. 31, 2011, 125 Stat. 1465, 1474; Pub. L. 112–239, div. A, title X, § 1076(a)(9),Jan. 2, 2013, 126 Stat. 1948; Pub. L. 113–175, title I, § 105,Sept. 26, 2014, 128 Stat. 1903, provided that:
“SEC. 1602. GENERAL DEFINITIONS.
“In this title [see Short Title of 2008 Amendment note above]:
“(1) Appropriate committees of congress.—The term ‘appropriate committees of Congress’ means—
“(A) the Committees on Armed Services, Veterans’ Affairs, and Appropriations of the Senate; and
“(B) the Committees on Armed Services, Veterans’ Affairs, and Appropriations of the House of Representatives.
“(2) Benefits delivery at discharge program.—The term ‘Benefits Delivery at Discharge Program’ means a program administered jointly by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide information and assistance on available benefits and other transition assistance to members of the Armed Forces who are separating from the Armed Forces, including assistance to obtain any disability benefits for which such members may be eligible.
“(3) Disability evaluation system.—The term ‘Disability Evaluation System’ means the following:
“(A) A system or process of the Department of Defense for evaluating the nature and extent of disabilities affecting members of the Armed Forces that is operated by the Secretaries of the military departments and is comprised of medical evaluation boards, physical evaluation boards, counseling of members, and mechanisms for the final disposition of disability evaluations by appropriate personnel.
“(B) A system or process of the Coast Guard for evaluating the nature and extent of disabilities affecting members of the Coast Guard that is operated by the Secretary of Homeland Security and is similar to the system or process of the Department of Defense described in subparagraph (A).
“(4) Eligible family member.—The term ‘eligible family member’, with respect to a recovering service member, means a family member (as defined in section 481h (b)(3)(B) of title 37, United States Code) who is on invitational travel orders or serving as a non-medical attendee while caring for the recovering service member for more than 45 days during a one-year period.
“(5) Medical care.—The term ‘medical care’ includes mental health care.
“(6) Outpatient status.—The term ‘outpatient status’, with respect to a recovering service member, means the status of a recovering service member assigned to—
“(A) a military medical treatment facility as an outpatient; or
“(B) a unit established for the purpose of providing command and control of members of the Armed Forces receiving medical care as outpatients.
“(7) Recovering service member.—The term ‘recovering service member’ means a member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or a Reserve, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy and is in an outpatient status while recovering from a serious injury or illness related to the member’s military service.
“(8) Serious injury or illness.—The term ‘serious injury or illness’, in the case of a member of the Armed Forces, means an injury or illness incurred by the member in line of duty on active duty in the Armed Forces that may render the member medically unfit to perform the duties of the member’s office, grade, rank, or rating.
“(9) TRICARE program.—The term ‘TRICARE program’ has the meaning given that term in section 1072 (7) of title 10, United States Code. [As amended Pub. L. 110–417, [div. A], title X, § 1061(b)(13),Oct. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 4613; Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title VI, § 632(h),Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2362.]
“SEC. 1603. CONSIDERATION OF GENDER-SPECIFIC NEEDS OF RECOVERING SERVICE MEMBERS AND VETERANS.
“(a) In General.—In developing and implementing the policy required by section 1611 (a), and in otherwise carrying out any other provision of this title [see Short Title of 2008 Amendment note above] or any amendment made by this title, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall take into account and fully address any unique gender-specific needs of recovering service members and veterans under such policy or other provision.
“(b) Reports.—In submitting any report required by this title or an amendment made by this title, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall, to the extent applicable, include a description of the manner in which the matters covered by such report address the unique gender-specific needs of recovering service members and veterans.
“SEC. 1611. COMPREHENSIVE POLICY ON IMPROVEMENTS TO CARE, MANAGEMENT, AND TRANSITION OF RECOVERING SERVICE MEMBERS.
“(a) Comprehensive Policy Required.—
“(1) In general.—Not later than July 1, 2008, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall, to the extent feasible, jointly develop and implement a comprehensive policy on improvements to the care, management, and transition of recovering service members.
“(2) Scope of policy.—The policy shall cover each of the following:
“(A) The care and management of recovering service members.
“(B) The medical evaluation and disability evaluation of recovering service members.
“(C) The return of service members who have recovered to active duty when appropriate.
“(D) The transition of recovering service members from receipt of care and services through the Department of Defense to receipt of care and services through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“(3) Consultation.—The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall develop the policy in consultation with the heads of other appropriate departments and agencies of the Federal Government and with appropriate non-governmental organizations having an expertise in matters relating to the policy.
“(4) Update.—The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall jointly update the policy on a periodic basis, but not less often than annually, in order to incorporate in the policy, as appropriate, the following:
“(A) The results of the reviews required under subsections (b) and (c).
“(B) Best practices identified through pilot programs carried out under this title.
“(C) Improvements to matters under the policy otherwise identified and agreed upon by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
“(b) Review of Current Policies and Procedures.—
“(1) Review required.—In developing the policy required by subsection (a), the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall, to the extent necessary, jointly and separately conduct a review of all policies and procedures of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs that apply to, or shall be covered by, the policy.
“(2) Purpose.—The purpose of the review shall be to identify the most effective and patient-oriented approaches to care and management of recovering service members for purposes of—
“(A) incorporating such approaches into the policy; and
“(B) extending such approaches, where applicable, to the care and management of other injured or ill members of the Armed Forces and veterans.
“(3) Elements.—In conducting the review, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall—
“(A) identify among the policies and procedures described in paragraph (1) best practices in approaches to the care and management of recovering service members;
“(B) identify among such policies and procedures existing and potential shortfalls in the care and management of recovering service members (including care and management of recovering service members on the temporary disability retired list), and determine means of addressing any shortfalls so identified;
“(C) determine potential modifications of such policies and procedures in order to ensure consistency and uniformity, where appropriate, in the application of such policies and procedures—
“(i) among the military departments;
“(ii) among the Veterans Integrated Services Networks (VISNs) of the Department of Veterans Affairs; and
“(iii) between the military departments and the Veterans Integrated Services Networks; and
“(D) develop recommendations for legislative and administrative action necessary to implement the results of the review.
“(4) Deadline for completion.—The review shall be completed not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 28, 2008].
“(c) Consideration of Existing Findings, Recommendations, and Practices.—In developing the policy required by subsection (a), the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall take into account the following:
“(1) The findings and recommendations of applicable studies, reviews, reports, and evaluations that address matters relating to the policy, including, but not limited, to the following:
“(A) The Independent Review Group on Rehabilitative Care and Administrative Processes at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and National Naval Medical Center, appointed by the Secretary of Defense.
“(B) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs Task Force on Returning Global War on Terror Heroes, appointed by the President.
“(C) The President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors.
“(D) The Veterans’ Disability Benefits Commission established by title XV of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (Public Law 108–136; 117 Stat. 1676; 38 U.S.C. 1101 note).
“(E) The President’s Task Force to Improve Health Care Delivery for Our Nation’s Veterans, of March 2003.
“(F) The Report of the Congressional Commission on Servicemembers and Veterans Transition Assistance, of 1999, chaired by Anthony J. Principi.
“(G) The President’s Commission on Veterans’ Pensions, of 1956, chaired by General Omar N. Bradley.
“(2) The experience and best practices of the Department of Defense and the military departments on matters relating to the policy.
“(3) The experience and best practices of the Department of Veterans Affairs on matters relating to the policy.
“(4) Such other matters as the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs consider appropriate.
“(d) Training and Skills of Health Care Professionals, Recovery Care Coordinators, Medical Care Case Managers, and Non-Medical Care Managers for Recovering Service Members.—
“(1) In general.—The policy required by subsection (a) shall provide for uniform standards among the military departments for the training and skills of health care professionals, recovery care coordinators, medical care case managers, and non-medical care managers for recovering service members under subsection (e) in order to ensure that such personnel are able to—
“(A) detect early warning signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicidal or homicidal thoughts or behaviors, and other behavioral health concerns among recovering service members; and
“(B) promptly notify appropriate health care professionals following detection of such signs.
“(2) Tracking of notifications.—In providing for uniform standards under paragraph (1), the policy shall include a mechanism or system to track the number of notifications made by recovery care coordinators, medical care case managers, and non-medical care managers to health care professionals under paragraph (1)(A) regarding early warning signs of post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide in recovering service members.
“(e) Services for Recovering Service Members.—The policy required by subsection (a) shall provide for improvements as follows with respect to the care, management, and transition of recovering service members:
“(1) Comprehensive recovery plan for recovering service members.—The policy shall provide for uniform standards and procedures for the development of a comprehensive recovery plan for each recovering service member that covers the full spectrum of care, management, transition, and rehabilitation of the service member during recovery.
“(2) Recovery care coordinators for recovering service members.—
“(A) In general.—The policy shall provide for a uniform program for the assignment to recovering service members of recovery care coordinators having the duties specified in subparagraph (B).
“(B) Duties.—The duties under the program of a recovery care coordinator for a recovering service member shall include, but not be limited to, overseeing and assisting the service member in the service member’s course through the entire spectrum of care, management, transition, and rehabilitation services available from the Federal Government, including services provided by the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Labor, and the Social Security Administration.
“(C) Limitation on number of service members managed by coordinators.—The maximum number of recovering service members whose cases may be assigned to a recovery care coordinator under the program at any one time shall be such number as the policy shall specify, except that the Secretary of the military department concerned may waive such limitation with respect to a given coordinator for not more than 120 days in the event of unforeseen circumstances (as specified in the policy).
“(D) Training.—The policy shall specify standard training requirements and curricula for recovery care coordinators under the program, including a requirement for successful completion of the training program before a person may assume the duties of such a coordinator.
“(E) Resources.—The policy shall include mechanisms to ensure that recovery care coordinators under the program have the resources necessary to expeditiously carry out the duties of such coordinators under the program.
“(F) Supervision.—The policy shall specify requirements for the appropriate rank or grade, and appropriate occupation, for persons appointed to head and supervise recovery care coordinators.
“(3) Medical care case managers for recovering service members.—
“(A) In general.—The policy shall provide for a uniform program among the military departments for the assignment to recovering service members of medical care case managers having the duties specified in subparagraph (B).
“(B) Duties.—The duties under the program of a medical care case manager for a recovering service member (or the service member’s immediate family or other designee if the service member is incapable of making judgments about personal medical care) shall include, at a minimum, the following:
“(i) Assisting in understanding the service member’s medical status during the care, recovery, and transition of the service member.
“(ii) Assisting in the receipt by the service member of prescribed medical care during the care, recovery, and transition of the service member.
“(iii) Conducting a periodic review of the medical status of the service member, which review shall be conducted, to the extent practicable, in person with the service member, or, whenever the conduct of the review in person is not practicable, with the medical care case manager submitting to the manager’s supervisor a written explanation why the review in person was not practicable (if the Secretary of the military department concerned elects to require such written explanations for purposes of the program).
“(C) Limitation on number of service members managed by managers.—The maximum number of recovering service members whose cases may be assigned to a medical care case manager under the program at any one time shall be such number as the policy shall specify, except that the Secretary of the military department concerned may waive such limitation with respect to a given manager for not more than 120 days in the event of unforeseen circumstances (as specified in the policy).
“(D) Training.—The policy shall specify standard training requirements and curricula for medical care case managers under the program, including a requirement for successful completion of the training program before a person may assume the duties of such a manager.
“(E) Resources.—The policy shall include mechanisms to ensure that medical care case managers under the program have the resources necessary to expeditiously carry out the duties of such managers under the program.
“(F) Supervision at armed forces medical facilities.—The policy shall specify requirements for the appropriate rank or grade, and appropriate occupation, for persons appointed to head and supervise the medical care case managers at each medical facility of the Armed Forces. Persons so appointed may be appointed from the Army Medical Corps, Army Medical Service Corps, Army Nurse Corps, Navy Medical Corps, Navy Medical Service Corps, Navy Nurse Corps, Air Force Medical Service, or other corps or civilian health care professional, as applicable, at the discretion of the Secretary of Defense.
“(4) Non-medical care managers for recovering service members.—
“(A) In general.—The policy shall provide for a uniform program among the military departments for the assignment to recovering service members of non-medical care managers having the duties specified in subparagraph (B).
“(B) Duties.—The duties under the program of a non-medical care manager for a recovering service member shall include, at a minimum, the following:
“(i) Communicating with the service member and with the service member’s family or other individuals designated by the service member regarding non-medical matters that arise during the care, recovery, and transition of the service member.
“(ii) Assisting with oversight of the service member’s welfare and quality of life.
“(iii) Assisting the service member in resolving problems involving financial, administrative, personnel, transitional, and other matters that arise during the care, recovery, and transition of the service member.
“(C) Duration of duties.—The policy shall provide that a non-medical care manager shall perform duties under the program for a recovering service member until the service member is returned to active duty or retired or separated from the Armed Forces.
“(D) Limitation on number of service members managed by managers.—The maximum number of recovering service members whose cases may be assigned to a non-medical care manager under the program at any one time shall be such number as the policy shall specify, except that the Secretary of the military department concerned may waive such limitation with respect to a given manager for not more than 120 days in the event of unforeseen circumstances (as specified in the policy).
“(E) Training.—The policy shall specify standard training requirements and curricula among the military departments for non-medical care managers under the program, including a requirement for successful completion of the training program before a person may assume the duties of such a manager.
“(F) Resources.—The policy shall include mechanisms to ensure that non-medical care managers under the program have the resources necessary to expeditiously carry out the duties of such managers under the program.
“(G) Supervision at armed forces medical facilities.—The policy shall specify requirements for the appropriate rank and occupational speciality for persons appointed to head and supervise the non-medical care managers at each medical facility of the Armed Forces.
“(5) Access of recovering service members to non-urgent health care from the department of defense or other providers under tricare.—
“(A) In general.—The policy shall provide for appropriate minimum standards for access of recovering service members to non-urgent medical care and other health care services as follows:
“(i) In medical facilities of the Department of Defense.
“(ii) Through the TRICARE program.
“(B) Maximum waiting times for certain care.—The standards for access under subparagraph (A) shall include such standards on maximum waiting times of recovering service members as the policy shall specify for care that includes, but is not limited to, the following:
“(i) Follow-up care.
“(ii) Specialty care.
“(iii) Diagnostic referrals and studies.
“(iv) Surgery based on a physician’s determination of medical necessity.
“(C) Waiver by recovering service members.—The policy shall permit any recovering service member to waive a standard for access under this paragraph under such circumstances and conditions as the policy shall specify.
“(6) Assignment of recovering service members to locations of care.—
“(A) In general.—The policy shall provide for uniform guidelines among the military departments for the assignment of recovering service members to a location of care, including guidelines that provide for the assignment of recovering service members, when medically appropriate, to care and residential facilities closest to their duty station or home of record or the location of their designated care giver at the earliest possible time.
“(B) Reassignment from deficient facilities.—The policy shall provide for uniform guidelines and procedures among the military departments for the reassignment of recovering service members from a medical or medical-related support facility determined by the Secretary of Defense to violate the standards required by section 1648 to another appropriate medical or medical-related support facility until the correction of violations of such standards at the medical or medical-related support facility from which such service members are reassigned.
“(7) Transportation and subsistence for recovering service members.—The policy shall provide for uniform standards among the military departments on the availability of appropriate transportation and subsistence for recovering service members to facilitate their obtaining needed medical care and services.
“(8) Work and duty assignments for recovering service members.—The policy shall provide for uniform criteria among the military departments for the assignment of recovering service members to work and duty assignments that are compatible with their medical conditions.
“(9) Access of recovering service members to educational and vocational training and rehabilitation.—The policy shall provide for uniform standards among the military departments on the provision of educational and vocational training and rehabilitation opportunities for recovering service members at the earliest possible point in their recovery.
“(10) Tracking of recovering service members.—The policy shall provide for uniform procedures among the military departments on tracking recovering service members to facilitate—
“(A) locating each recovering service member; and
“(B) tracking medical care appointments of recovering service members to ensure timeliness and compliance of recovering service members with appointments, and other physical and evaluation timelines, and to provide any other information needed to conduct oversight of the care, management, and transition of recovering service members.
“(11) Referrals of recovering service members to other care and services providers.—The policy shall provide for uniform policies, procedures, and criteria among the military departments on the referral of recovering service members to the Department of Veterans Affairs and other private and public entities (including universities and rehabilitation hospitals, centers, and clinics) in order to secure the most appropriate care for recovering service members, which policies, procedures, and criteria shall take into account, but not be limited to, the medical needs of recovering service members and the geographic location of available necessary recovery care services.
“(f) Services for Families of Recovering Service Members.—The policy required by subsection (a) shall provide for improvements as follows with respect to services for families of recovering service members:
“(1) Support for family members of recovering service members.—The policy shall provide for uniform guidelines among the military departments on the provision by the military departments of support for family members of recovering service members who are not otherwise eligible for care under section 1672 in caring for such service members during their recovery.
“(2) Advice and training for family members of recovering service members.—The policy shall provide for uniform requirements and standards among the military departments on the provision by the military departments of advice and training, as appropriate, to family members of recovering service members with respect to care for such service members during their recovery.
“(3) Measurement of satisfaction of family members of recovering service members with quality of health care services.—The policy shall provide for uniform procedures among the military departments on the measurement of the satisfaction of family members of recovering service members with the quality of health care services provided to such service members during their recovery.
“(4) Job placement services for family members of recovering service members.—The policy shall provide for procedures for application by eligible family members during a one-year period for job placement services otherwise offered by the Department of Defense.
“(g) Outreach to Recovering Service Members and Their Families on Comprehensive Policy.—The policy required by subsection (a) shall include procedures and mechanisms to ensure that recovering service members and their families are fully informed of the policies required by this section, including policies on medical care for recovering service members, on the management and transition of recovering service members, and on the responsibilities of recovering service members and their family members throughout the continuum of care and services for recovering service members under this section.
“(h) Applicability of Comprehensive Policy to Recovering Service Members on Temporary Disability Retired List.—Appropriate elements of the policy required by this section shall apply to recovering service members whose names are placed on the temporary disability retired list in such manner, and subject to such terms and conditions, as the Secretary of Defense shall prescribe in regulations for purposes of this subsection.
“SEC. 1612. MEDICAL EVALUATIONS AND PHYSICAL DISABILITY EVALUATIONS OF RECOVERING SERVICE MEMBERS.
“(a) Medical Evaluations of Recovering Service Members.—
“(1) In general.—Not later than July 1, 2008, the Secretary of Defense shall develop a policy on improvements to the processes, procedures, and standards for the conduct by the military departments of medical evaluations of recovering service members.
“(2) Elements.—The policy on improvements to processes, procedures, and standards required under this subsection shall include and address the following:
“(A) Processes for medical evaluations of recovering service members that—
“(i) apply uniformly throughout the military departments; and
“(ii) apply uniformly with respect to recovering service members who are members of the regular components of the Armed Forces and recovering service members who are members of the National Guard and Reserve.
“(B) Standard criteria and definitions for determining the achievement for recovering service members of the maximum medical benefit from treatment and rehabilitation.
“(C) Standard timelines for each of the following:
“(i) Determinations of fitness for duty of recovering service members.
“(ii) Specialty care consultations for recovering service members.
“(iii) Preparation of medical documents for recovering service members.
“(iv) Appeals by recovering service members of medical evaluation determinations, including determinations of fitness for duty.
“(D) Procedures for ensuring that—
“(i) upon request of a recovering service member being considered by a medical evaluation board, a physician or other appropriate health care professional who is independent of the medical evaluation board is assigned to the service member; and
“(ii) the physician or other health care professional assigned to a recovering service member under clause (i)—
     “(I) serves as an independent source for review of the findings and recommendations of the medical evaluation board;      “(II) provides the service member with advice and counsel regarding the findings and recommendations of the medical evaluation board; and      “(III) advises the service member on whether the findings of the medical evaluation board adequately reflect the complete spectrum of injuries and illness of the service member.
“(E) Standards for qualifications and training of medical evaluation board personnel, including physicians, case workers, and physical disability evaluation board liaison officers, in conducting medical evaluations of recovering service members.
“(F) Standards for the maximum number of medical evaluation cases of recovering service members that are pending before a medical evaluation board at any one time, and requirements for the establishment of additional medical evaluation boards in the event such number is exceeded.
“(G) Standards for information for recovering service members, and their families, on the medical evaluation board process and the rights and responsibilities of recovering service members under that process, including a standard handbook on such information (which handbook shall also be available electronically).
“(b) Physical Disability Evaluations of Recovering Service Members.—
“(1) In general.—Not later than July 1, 2008, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall develop a policy on improvements to the processes, procedures, and standards for the conduct of physical disability evaluations of recovering service members by the military departments and by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“(2) Elements.—The policy on improvements to processes, procedures, and standards required under this subsection shall include and address the following:
“(A) A clearly-defined process of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs for disability determinations of recovering service members.
“(B) To the extent feasible, procedures to eliminate unacceptable discrepancies and improve consistency among disability ratings assigned by the military departments and the Department of Veterans Affairs, particularly in the disability evaluation of recovering service members, which procedures shall be subject to the following requirements and limitations:
“(i) Such procedures shall apply uniformly with respect to recovering service members who are members of the regular components of the Armed Forces and recovering service members who are members of the National Guard and Reserve.
“(ii) Under such procedures, each Secretary of a military department shall, to the extent feasible, utilize the standard schedule for rating disabilities in use by the Department of Veterans Affairs, including any applicable interpretation of such schedule by the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, in making any determination of disability of a recovering service member, except as otherwise authorized by section 1216a of title 10, United States Code (as added by section 1642 of this Act).
“(C) Uniform timelines among the military departments for appeals of determinations of disability of recovering service members, including timelines for presentation, consideration, and disposition of appeals.
“(D) Uniform standards among the military departments for qualifications and training of physical disability evaluation board personnel, including physical evaluation board liaison personnel, in conducting physical disability evaluations of recovering service members.
“(E) Uniform standards among the military departments for the maximum number of physical disability evaluation cases of recovering service members that are pending before a physical disability evaluation board at any one time, and requirements for the establishment of additional physical disability evaluation boards in the event such number is exceeded.
“(F) Uniform standards and procedures among the military departments for the provision of legal counsel to recovering service members while undergoing evaluation by a physical disability evaluation board.
“(G) Uniform standards among the military departments on the roles and responsibilities of non-medical care managers under section 1611 (e)(4) and judge advocates assigned to recovering service members undergoing evaluation by a physical disability board, and uniform standards on the maximum number of cases involving such service members that are to be assigned to judge advocates at any one time.
“(c) Assessment of Consolidation of Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Evaluation Systems.—
“(1) In general.—The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall jointly submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the feasability [sic] and advisability of consolidating the disability evaluation systems of the military departments and the disability evaluation system of the Department of Veterans Affairs into a single disability evaluation system. The report shall be submitted together with the report required by section 1611 (a).
“(2) Elements.—The report required by paragraph (1) shall include the following:
“(A) An assessment of the feasability [sic] and advisability of consolidating the disability evaluation systems described in paragraph (1) as specified in that paragraph.
“(B) If the consolidation of the systems is considered feasible and advisable—
“(i) recommendations for various options for consolidating the systems as specified in paragraph (1); and
“(ii) recommendations for mechanisms to evaluate and assess any progress made in consolidating the systems as specified in that paragraph.
“SEC. 1613. RETURN OF RECOVERING SERVICE MEMBERS TO ACTIVE DUTY IN THE ARMED FORCES.
“The Secretary of Defense shall establish standards for determinations by the military departments on the return of recovering service members to active duty in the Armed Forces.
“SEC. 1614. TRANSITION OF RECOVERING SERVICE MEMBERS FROM CARE AND TREATMENT THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE TO CARE, TREATMENT, AND REHABILITATION THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.
“(a) In General.—Not later than July 1, 2008, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall jointly develop and implement processes, procedures, and standards for the transition of recovering service members from care and treatment through the Department of Defense to care, treatment, and rehabilitation through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“(b) Elements.—The processes, procedures, and standards required under this section shall include the following:
“(1) Uniform, patient-focused procedures to ensure that the transition described in subsection (a) occurs without gaps in medical care and in the quality of medical care, benefits, and services.
“(2) Procedures for the identification and tracking of recovering service members during the transition, and for the coordination of care and treatment of recovering service members during the transition, including a system of cooperative case management of recovering service members by the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs during the transition.
“(3) Procedures for the notification of Department of Veterans Affairs liaison personnel of the commencement by recovering service members of the medical evaluation process and the physical disability evaluation process.
“(4) Procedures and timelines for the enrollment of recovering service members in applicable enrollment or application systems of the Department of Veterans Affairs with respect to health care, disability, education, vocational rehabilitation, or other benefits.
“(5) Procedures to ensure the access of recovering service members during the transition to vocational, educational, and rehabilitation benefits available through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“(6) Standards for the optimal location of Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs liaison and case management personnel at military medical treatment facilities, medical centers, and other medical facilities of the Department of Defense.
“(7) Standards and procedures for integrated medical care and management of recovering service members during the transition, including procedures for the assignment of medical personnel of the Department of Veterans Affairs to Department of Defense facilities to participate in the needs assessments of recovering service members before, during, and after their separation from military service.
“(8) Standards for the preparation of detailed plans for the transition of recovering service members from care and treatment by the Department of Defense to care, treatment, and rehabilitation by the Department of Veterans Affairs, which plans shall—
“(A) be based on standardized elements with respect to care and treatment requirements and other applicable requirements; and
“(B) take into account the comprehensive recovery plan for the recovering service member concerned as developed under section 1611 (e)(1).
“(9) Procedures to ensure that each recovering service member who is being retired or separated under chapter 61 of title 10, United States Code, receives a written transition plan, prior to the time of retirement or separation, that—
“(A) specifies the recommended schedule and milestones for the transition of the service member from military service;
“(B) provides for a coordinated transition of the service member from the Department of Defense disability evaluation system to the Department of Veterans Affairs disability system; and
“(C) includes information and guidance designed to assist the service member in understanding and meeting the schedule and milestones specified under subparagraph (A) for the service member’s transition.
“(10) Procedures for the transmittal from the Department of Defense to the Department of Veterans Affairs of records and any other required information on each recovering service member described in paragraph (9), which procedures shall provide for the transmission from the Department of Defense to the Department of Veterans Affairs of records and information on the service member as follows:
“(A) The address and contact information of the service member.
“(B) The DD–214 discharge form of the service member, which shall be transmitted under such procedures electronically.
“(C) A copy of the military service record of the service member, including medical records and any results of a physical evaluation board.
“(D) Information on whether the service member is entitled to transitional health care, a conversion health policy, or other health benefits through the Department of Defense under section 1145 of title 10, United States Code.
“(E) A copy of any request of the service member for assistance in enrolling in, or completed applications for enrollment in, the health care system of the Department of Veterans Affairs for health care benefits for which the service member may be eligible under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
“(F) A copy of any request by the service member for assistance in applying for, or completed applications for, compensation and vocational rehabilitation benefits to which the service member may be entitled under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
“(11) A process to ensure that, before transmittal of medical records of a recovering service member to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Secretary of Defense ensures that the service member (or an individual legally recognized to make medical decisions on behalf of the service member) authorizes the transfer of the medical records of the service member from the Department of Defense to the Department of Veterans Affairs pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 [Pub. L. 104–191, see Tables for classification].
“(12) Procedures to ensure that, with the consent of the recovering service member concerned, the address and contact information of the service member is transmitted to the department or agency for veterans affairs of the State in which the service member intends to reside after the retirement or separation of the service member from the Armed Forces.
“(13) Procedures to ensure that, before the transmittal of records and other information with respect to a recovering service member under this section, a meeting regarding the transmittal of such records and other information occurs among the service member, appropriate family members of the service member, representatives of the Secretary of the military department concerned, and representatives of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, with at least 30 days advance notice of the meeting being given to the service member unless the service member waives the advance notice requirement in order to accelerate transmission of the service member’s records and other information to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“(14) Procedures to ensure that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs gives appropriate consideration to a written statement submitted to the Secretary by a recovering service member regarding the transition.
“(15) Procedures to provide access for the Department of Veterans Affairs to the military health records of recovering service members who are receiving care and treatment, or are anticipating receipt of care and treatment, in Department of Veterans Affairs health care facilities, which procedures shall be consistent with the procedures and requirements in paragraphs (11) and (13).
“(16) A process for the utilization of a joint separation and evaluation physical examination that meets the requirements of both the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs in connection with the medical separation or retirement of a recovering service member from military service and for use by the Department of Veterans Affairs in disability evaluations.
“(17) Procedures for surveys and other mechanisms to measure patient and family satisfaction with the provision by the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs of care and services for recovering service members, and to facilitate appropriate oversight by supervisory personnel of the provision of such care and services.
“(18) Procedures to ensure the participation of recovering service members who are members of the National Guard or Reserve in the Benefits Delivery at Discharge Program, including procedures to ensure that, to the maximum extent feasible, services under the Benefits Delivery at Discharge Program are provided to recovering service members at—
“(A) appropriate military installations;
“(B) appropriate armories and military family support centers of the National Guard;
“(C) appropriate military medical care facilities at which members of the Armed Forces are separated or discharged from the Armed Forces; and
“(D) in the case of a member on the temporary disability retired list under section 1202 or 1205 of title 10, United States Code, who is being retired under another provision of such title or is being discharged, at a location reasonably convenient to the member.
“SEC. 1616. ESTABLISHMENT OF A WOUNDED WARRIOR RESOURCE CENTER.
“(a) Establishment.—The Secretary of Defense shall establish a wounded warrior resource center (in this section referred to as the ‘center’) to provide wounded warriors, their families, and their primary caregivers with a single point of contact for assistance with reporting deficiencies in covered military facilities, obtaining health care services, receiving benefits information, receiving legal assistance referral information (where appropriate), receiving other appropriate referral information, and any other difficulties encountered while supporting wounded warriors. The Secretary shall widely disseminate information regarding the existence and availability of the center, including contact information, to members of the Armed Forces and their dependents. In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary may use existing infrastructure and organizations but shall ensure that the center has the ability to separately keep track of calls from wounded warriors.
“(b) Access.—The center shall provide multiple methods of access, including at a minimum an Internet website and a toll-free telephone number (commonly referred to as a ‘hot line’) at which personnel are accessible at all times to receive reports of deficiencies or provide information about covered military facilities, health care services, or military benefits.
“(c) Confidentiality.—
“(1) Notification.—Individuals who seek to provide information through the center under subsection (a) shall be notified, immediately before they provide such information, of their option to elect, at their discretion, to have their identity remain confidential.
“(2) Prohibition on further disclosure.—In the case of information provided through use of the toll-free telephone number by an individual who elects to maintain the confidentiality of his or her identity, any individual who, by necessity, has had access to such information for purposes of investigating or responding to the call as required under subsection (d) may not disclose the identity of the individual who provided the information.
“(d) Functions.—The center shall perform the following functions:
“(1) Call tracking.—The center shall be responsible for documenting receipt of a call, referring the call to the appropriate office within a military department for answer or investigation, and tracking the formulation and notification of the response to the call.
“(2) Investigation and response.—The center shall be responsible for ensuring that, not later than 96 hours after a call—
“(A) if a report of deficiencies is received in a call—
“(i) any deficiencies referred to in the call are investigated;
“(ii) if substantiated, a plan of action for remediation of the deficiencies is developed and implemented; and
“(iii) if requested, the individual who made the report is notified of the current status of the report; or
“(B) if a request for information is received in a call—
“(i) the information requested by the caller is provided by the center;
“(ii) all requests for information from the call are referred to the appropriate office or offices of a military department for response; and
“(iii) the individual who made the report is notified, at a minimum, of the current status of the query.
“(3) Final notification.—The center shall be responsible for ensuring that, if requested, the caller is notified when the deficiency has been corrected or when the request for information has been fulfilled to the maximum extent practicable, as determined by the Secretary.
“(e) Definitions.—In this section:
“(1) Covered military facility.—The term ‘covered military facility’ has the meaning provided in section 1648(b) of this Act.
“(2) Call.—The term ‘call’ means any query or report that is received by the center by means of the toll-free telephone number or other source.
“(f) Effective Dates.—
“(1) Toll-free telephone number.—The toll-free telephone number required to be established by subsection (a), shall be fully operational not later than April 1, 2008.
“(2) Internet website.—The Internet website required to be established by subsection (a), shall be fully operational not later than July 1, 2008. [As amended Pub. L. 110–417, [div. A], title VII, § 724,Oct. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 4509.]
“SEC. 1618. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN ON PREVENTION, DIAGNOSIS, MITIGATION, TREATMENT, AND REHABILITATION OF, AND RESEARCH ON, TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY, POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER, AND OTHER MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS IN MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES.
“(a) Comprehensive Statement of Policy.—The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall direct joint planning among the Department of Defense, the military departments, and the Department of Veterans Affairs for the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, and rehabilitation of, and research on, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health conditions in members of the Armed Forces, including planning for the seamless transition of such members from care through the Department of Defense to care through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“(b) Comprehensive Plan Required.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 28, 2008], the Secretary of Defense shall, in consultation with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, submit to the congressional defense committees [Committees on Armed Services and Appropriations of the Senate and the House of Representatives] a comprehensive plan for programs and activities of the Department of Defense to prevent, diagnose, mitigate, treat, research, and otherwise respond to traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health conditions in members of the Armed Forces, including—
“(1) an assessment of the current capabilities of the Department for the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, and rehabilitation of, and research on, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health conditions in members of the Armed Forces;
“(2) the identification of gaps in current capabilities of the Department for the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, and rehabilitation of, and research on, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health conditions in members of the Armed Forces; and
“(3) the identification of the resources required for the Department in fiscal years 2009 through 2013 to address the gaps in capabilities identified under paragraph (2).
“(c) Program Required.—One of the programs contained in the comprehensive plan submitted under subsection (b) shall be a Department of Defense program, developed in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, under which each member of the Armed Forces who incurs a traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder during service in the Armed Forces—
“(1) is enrolled in the program; and
“(2) receives treatment and rehabilitation meeting a standard of care such that each individual who qualifies for care under the program shall—
“(A) be provided the highest quality, evidence-based care in facilities that most appropriately meet the specific needs of the individual; and
“(B) be rehabilitated to the fullest extent possible using up-to-date evidence-based medical technology, and physical and medical rehabilitation practices and expertise.
“(d) Provision of Information Required.—The comprehensive plan submitted under subsection (b) shall require the provision of information by the Secretary of Defense to members of the Armed Forces with traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other mental health conditions and their families about their options with respect to the following:
“(1) The receipt of medical and mental health care from the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“(2) Additional options available to such members for treatment and rehabilitation of traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health conditions.
“(3) The options available, including obtaining a second opinion, to such members for a referral to an authorized provider under chapter 55 of title 10, United States Code, as determined under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense.
“(e) Additional Elements of Plan.—The comprehensive plan submitted under subsection (b) shall include comprehensive proposals of the Department on the following:
“(1) Lead agent.—The designation by the Secretary of Defense of a lead agent or executive agent for the Department to coordinate development and implementation of the plan.
“(2) Detection and treatment.—The improvement of methods and mechanisms for the detection and treatment of traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health conditions in members of the Armed Forces in the field.
“(3) Reduction of ptsd.—The development of a plan for reducing post traumatic-stress disorder, incorporating evidence-based preventive and early-intervention measures, practices, or procedures that reduce the likelihood that personnel in combat will develop post-traumatic stress disorder or other stress-related conditions (including substance abuse conditions) into—
“(A) basic and pre-deployment training for enlisted members of the Armed Forces, noncommissioned officers, and officers;
“(B) combat theater operations; and
“(C) post-deployment service.
“(4) Research.—Requirements for research on traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health conditions including (in particular) research on pharmacological and other approaches to treatment for traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other mental health conditions, as applicable, and the allocation of priorities among such research.
“(5) Diagnostic criteria.—The development, adoption, and deployment of joint Department of Defense-Department of Veterans Affairs evidence-based diagnostic criteria for the detection and evaluation of the range of traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health conditions in members of the Armed Forces, which criteria shall be employed uniformly across the military departments in all applicable circumstances, including provision of clinical care and assessment of future deployability of members of the Armed Forces.
“(6) Assessment.—The development and deployment of evidence-based means of assessing traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health conditions in members of the Armed Forces, including a system of pre-deployment and post-deployment screenings of cognitive ability in members for the detection of cognitive impairment.
“(7) Managing and monitoring.—The development and deployment of effective means of managing and monitoring members of the Armed Forces with traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other mental health conditions in the receipt of care for traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other mental health conditions, as applicable, including the monitoring and assessment of treatment and outcomes.
“(8) Education and awareness.—The development and deployment of an education and awareness training initiative designed to reduce the negative stigma associated with traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health conditions, and mental health treatment.
“(9) Education and outreach.—The provision of education and outreach to families of members of the Armed Forces with traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other mental health conditions on a range of matters relating to traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other mental health conditions, as applicable, including detection, mitigation, and treatment.
“(10) Recording of blasts.—A requirement that exposure to a blast or blasts be recorded in the records of members of the Armed Forces.
“(11) Guidelines for blast injuries.—The development of clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of blast injuries in members of the Armed Forces, including, but not limited to, traumatic brain injury.
“(12) Gender- and ethnic group-specific services and treatment.—The development of requirements, as appropriate, for gender- and ethnic group-specific medical care services and treatment for members of the Armed Forces who experience mental health problems and conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder, with specific regard to the availability of, access to, and research and development requirements of such needs.
“(f) Coordination in Development.—The comprehensive plan submitted under subsection (b) shall be developed in coordination with the Secretary of the Army (who was designated by the Secretary of Defense as executive agent for the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of blast injuries under section 256 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 (Public Law 109–163; 119 Stat. 3181; 10 U.S.C. 1071 note)).
“SEC. 1621. CENTER OF EXCELLENCE IN THE PREVENTION, DIAGNOSIS, MITIGATION, TREATMENT, AND REHABILITATION OF TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY.
“(a) In General.—The Secretary of Defense shall establish within the Department of Defense a center of excellence in the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, and rehabilitation of traumatic brain injury, including mild, moderate, and severe traumatic brain injury, to carry out the responsibilities specified in subsection (c).
“(b) Partnerships.—The Secretary shall ensure that the Center collaborates to the maximum extent practicable with the Department of Veterans Affairs, institutions of higher education, and other appropriate public and private entities (including international entities) to carry out the responsibilities specified in subsection (c).
“(c) Responsibilities.—The Center shall have responsibilities as follows:
“(1) To implement the comprehensive plan and strategy for the Department of Defense, required by section 1618 of this Act, for the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, and rehabilitation of traumatic brain injury, including research on gender and ethnic group-specific health needs related to traumatic brain injury.
“(2) To provide for the development, testing, and dissemination within the Department of best practices for the treatment of traumatic brain injury.
“(3) To provide guidance for the mental health system of the Department in determining the mental health and neurological health personnel required to provide quality mental health care for members of the Armed Forces with traumatic brain injury.
“(4) To establish, implement, and oversee a comprehensive program to train mental health and neurological health professionals of the Department in the treatment of traumatic brain injury.
“(5) To facilitate advancements in the study of the short-term and long-term psychological effects of traumatic brain injury.
“(6) To disseminate within the military medical treatment facilities of the Department best practices for training mental health professionals, including neurological health professionals, with respect to traumatic brain injury.
“(7) To conduct basic science and translational research on traumatic brain injury for the purposes of understanding the etiology of traumatic brain injury and developing preventive interventions and new treatments.
“(8) To develop programs and outreach strategies for families of members of the Armed Forces with traumatic brain injury in order to mitigate the negative impacts of traumatic brain injury on such family members and to support the recovery of such members from traumatic brain injury.
“(9) To conduct research on the mental health needs of families of members of the Armed Forces with traumatic brain injury and develop protocols to address any needs identified through such research.
“(10) To conduct longitudinal studies (using imaging technology and other proven research methods) on members of the Armed Forces with traumatic brain injury to identify early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or other manifestations of neurodegeneration, as well as epilepsy, in such members, in coordination with the studies authorized by section 721 of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (Public Law 109–364; 120 Stat. 2294) [10 U.S.C. 1074 note] and other studies of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs that address the connection between exposure to combat and the development of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders, as well as epilepsy.
“(11) To develop and oversee a long-term plan to increase the number of mental health and neurological health professionals within the Department in order to facilitate the meeting by the Department of the needs of members of the Armed Forces with traumatic brain injury until their transition to care and treatment from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“(12) To develop a program on comprehensive pain management, including management of acute and chronic pain, to utilize current and develop new treatments for pain, and to identify and disseminate best practices on pain management related to traumatic brain injury.
“(13) Such other responsibilities as the Secretary shall specify.
“SEC. 1622. CENTER OF EXCELLENCE IN PREVENTION, DIAGNOSIS, MITIGATION, TREATMENT, AND REHABILITATION OF POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER AND OTHER MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS.
“(a) In General.—The Secretary of Defense shall establish within the Department of Defense a center of excellence in the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, and rehabilitation of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions, including mild, moderate, and severe post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions, to carry out the responsibilities specified in subsection (c).
“(b) Partnerships.—The Secretary shall ensure that the center collaborates to the maximum extent practicable with the National Center on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder of the Department of Veterans Affairs, institutions of higher education, and other appropriate public and private entities (including international entities) to carry out the responsibilities specified in subsection (c).
“(c) Responsibilities.—The center shall have responsibilities as follows:
“(1) To implement the comprehensive plan and strategy for the Department of Defense, required by section 1618 of this Act, for the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, and rehabilitation of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions, including research on gender- and ethnic group-specific health needs related to post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions.
“(2) To provide for the development, testing, and dissemination within the Department of best practices for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.
“(3) To provide guidance for the mental health system of the Department in determining the mental health and neurological health personnel required to provide quality mental health care for members of the Armed Forces with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions.
“(4) To establish, implement, and oversee a comprehensive program to train mental health and neurological health professionals of the Department in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions.
“(5) To facilitate advancements in the study of the short-term and long-term psychological effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions.
“(6) To disseminate within the military medical treatment facilities of the Department best practices for training mental health professionals, including neurological health professionals, with respect to post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions.
“(7) To conduct basic science and translational research on post-traumatic stress disorder for the purposes of understanding the etiology of post-traumatic stress disorder and developing preventive interventions and new treatments.
“(8) To develop programs and outreach strategies for families of members of the Armed Forces with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions in order to mitigate the negative impacts of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions on such family members and to support the recovery of such members from post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions.
“(9) To conduct research on the mental health needs of families of members of the Armed Forces with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions and develop protocols to address any needs identified through such research.
“(10) To develop and oversee a long-term plan to increase the number of mental health and neurological health professionals within the Department in order to facilitate the meeting by the Department of the needs of members of the Armed Forces with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions until their transition to care and treatment from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“SEC. 1623. CENTER OF EXCELLENCE IN PREVENTION, DIAGNOSIS, MITIGATION, TREATMENT, AND REHABILITATION OF MILITARY EYE INJURIES.
“(a) In General.—The Secretary of Defense shall establish within the Department of Defense a center of excellence in the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, and rehabilitation of military eye injuries to carry out the responsibilities specified in subsection (c).
“(b) Partnerships.—The Secretary shall ensure that the center collaborates to the maximum extent practicable with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, institutions of higher education, and other appropriate public and private entities (including international entities) to carry out the responsibilities specified in subsection (c).
“(c) Responsibilities.—
“(1) In general.—The center shall—
“(A) implement a comprehensive plan and strategy for the Department of Defense, as developed by the Secretary of Defense, for a registry of information for the tracking of the diagnosis, surgical intervention or other operative procedure, other treatment, and follow up for each case of significant eye injury incurred by a member of the Armed Forces while serving on active duty;
“(B) ensure the electronic exchange with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs of information obtained through tracking under subparagraph (A); and
“(C) enable the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to access the registry and add information pertaining to additional treatments or surgical procedures and eventual visual outcomes for veterans who were entered into the registry and subsequently received treatment through the Veterans Health Administration.
“(2) Designation of registry.—The registry under this subsection shall be known as the ‘Military Eye Injury Registry’ (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Registry’).
“(3) Consultation in development.—The center shall develop the Registry in consultation with the ophthalmological specialist personnel and optometric specialist personnel of the Department of Defense and the ophthalmological specialist personnel and optometric specialist personnel of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The mechanisms and procedures of the Registry shall reflect applicable expert research on military and other eye injuries.
“(4) Mechanisms.—The mechanisms of the Registry for tracking under paragraph (1)(A) shall ensure that each military medical treatment facility or other medical facility shall submit to the center for inclusion in the Registry information on the diagnosis, surgical intervention or other operative procedure, other treatment, and follow up for each case of eye injury described in that paragraph as follows (to the extent applicable):
“(A) Not later than 30 days after surgery or other operative intervention, including a surgery or other operative intervention carried out as a result of a follow-up examination.
“(B) Not later than 180 days after the significant eye injury is reported or recorded in the medical record.
“(5) Coordination of care and benefits.—(A) The center shall provide notice to the Blind Rehabilitation Service of the Department of Veterans Affairs and to the eye care services of the Veterans Health Administration on each member of the Armed Forces described in subparagraph (B) for purposes of ensuring the coordination of the provision of ongoing eye care and visual rehabilitation benefits and services by the Department of Veterans Affairs after the separation or release of such member from the Armed Forces.
“(B) A member of the Armed Forces described in this subparagraph is a member of the Armed Forces as follows:
“(i) A member with a significant eye injury incurred while serving on active duty, including a member with visual dysfunction related to traumatic brain injury.
“(ii) A member with an eye injury incurred while serving on active duty who has a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the injured eye.
“(iii) A member with an eye injury incurred while serving on active duty who has a loss of peripheral vision resulting in 20 degrees or less of visual field in the injured eye.
“(d) Utilization of Registry Information.—The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall jointly ensure that information in the Registry is available to appropriate ophthalmological and optometric personnel of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs for purposes of encouraging and facilitating the conduct of research, and the development of best practices and clinical education, on eye injuries incurred by members of the Armed Forces.
“(e) Inclusion of Records of OIF/OEF Veterans.—The Secretary of Defense shall take appropriate actions to include in the Registry such records of members of the Armed Forces who incurred an eye injury while serving on active duty on or after September 11, 2001, but before the establishment of the Registry, as the Secretary considers appropriate for purposes of the Registry.
“(f) Traumatic Brain Injury Post Traumatic Visual Syndrome.—In carrying out the program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, District of Columbia, on traumatic brain injury post traumatic visual syndrome, the Secretary of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs shall jointly provide for the conduct of a cooperative program for members of the Armed Forces and veterans with traumatic brain injury by military medical treatment facilities of the Department of Defense and medical centers of the Department of Veterans Affairs selected for purposes of this subsection for purposes of vision screening, diagnosis, rehabilitative management, and vision research, including research on prevention, on visual dysfunction related to traumatic brain injury. [As amended Pub. L. 110–417, [div. A], title VII, § 722,Oct. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 4508.]
“SEC. 1631. MEDICAL CARE AND OTHER BENEFITS FOR MEMBERS AND FORMER MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES WITH SEVERE INJURIES OR ILLNESSES.
“(a) Medical and Dental Care for Former Members.—
“(1) In general.—Effective as of the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 28, 2008] and subject to regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary may authorize that any former member of the Armed Forces with a serious injury or illness may receive the same medical and dental care as a member of the Armed Forces on active duty for medical and dental care not reasonably available to such former member in the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“(2) Sunset.—The Secretary of Defense may not provide medical or dental care to a former member of the Armed Forces under this subsection after December 31, 2012, if the Secretary has not provided medical or dental care to the former member under this subsection before that date.
“(b) Rehabilitation and Vocational Benefits.—
“(1) In general.—Effective as of the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 28, 2008], a member of the Armed Forces with a severe injury or illness is entitled to such benefits (including rehabilitation and vocational benefits, but not including compensation) from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to facilitate the recovery and rehabilitation of such member as the Secretary otherwise provides to veterans of the Armed Forces receiving medical care in medical facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs facilities in order to facilitate the recovery and rehabilitation of such members.
“(2) Sunset.—The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may not provide benefits to a member of the Armed Forces under this subsection after December 31, 2014, if the Secretary has not provided benefits to the member under this subsection before that date.
“(c) Rehabilitative Equipment for Members of the Armed Forces.—
“(1) In general.—Subject to the availability of appropriations for such purpose, the Secretary of Defense may provide an active duty member of the Armed Forces with a severe injury or illness with rehabilitative equipment, including recreational sports equipment that provide an adaption or accommodation for the member, regardless of whether such equipment is intentionally designed to be adaptive equipment.
“(2) Consultation.—In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary of Defense shall consult with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs regarding similar programs carried out by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
“SEC. 1635. FULLY INTEROPERABLE ELECTRONIC PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AND DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.
“(a) In General.—The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall jointly—
“(1) develop and implement electronic health record systems or capabilities that allow for full interoperability of personal health care information between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs; and
“(2) accelerate the exchange of health care information between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs in order to support the delivery of health care by both Departments.
“(b) Department of Defense-Department of Veterans Affairs Interagency Program Office.—
“(1) In general.—There is hereby established an interagency program office of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs (in this section referred to as the ‘Office’) for the purposes described in paragraph (2).
“(2) Purposes.—The purposes of the Office shall be as follows:
“(A) To act as a single point of accountability for the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs in the rapid development and implementation of electronic health record systems or capabilities that allow for full interoperability of personal health care information between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“(B) To accelerate the exchange of health care information between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs in order to support the delivery of health care by both Departments.
“(c) Leadership.—
“(1) Director.—The Director of the Office shall be the head of the Office.
“(2) Deputy director.—The Deputy Director of the Office shall be the deputy head of the Office and shall assist the Director in carrying out the duties of the Director.
“(3) Appointments.—(A) The Director shall be appointed by the Secretary of Defense, with the concurrence of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, from among persons who are qualified to direct the development, acquisition, and integration of major information technology capabilities.
“(B) The Deputy Director shall be appointed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, with the concurrence of the Secretary of Defense, from among employees of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs in the Senior Executive Service who are qualified to direct the development, acquisition, and integration of major information technology capabilities.
“(4) Additional guidance.—In addition to the direction, supervision, and control provided by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Office shall also receive guidance from the Department of Veterans Affairs-Department of Defense Joint Executive Committee under section 320 of title 38, United States Code, in the discharge of the functions of the Office under this section.
“(5) Testimony.—Upon request by any of the appropriate committees of Congress, the Director and the Deputy Director shall testify before such committee regarding the discharge of the functions of the Office under this section.
“(d) Function.—The function of the Office shall be to implement, by not later than September 30, 2009, electronic health record systems or capabilities that allow for full interoperability of personal health care information between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, which health records shall comply with applicable interoperability standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria (including for the reporting of quality measures) of the Federal Government.
“(e) Schedules and Benchmarks.—Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 28, 2008], the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall jointly establish a schedule and benchmarks for the discharge by the Office of its function under this section, including each of the following:
“(1) A schedule for the establishment of the Office.
“(2) A schedule and deadline for the establishment of the requirements for electronic health record systems or capabilities described in subsection (d), including coordination with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in the development of a nationwide interoperable health information technology infrastructure.
“(3) A schedule and associated deadlines for any acquisition and testing required in the implementation of electronic health record systems or capabilities that allow for full interoperability of personal health care information between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“(4) A schedule and associated deadlines and requirements for the implementation of electronic health record systems or capabilities that allow for full interoperability of personal health care information between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“(f) Pilot Projects.—
“(1) Authority.—In order to assist the Office in the discharge of its function under this section, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs may, acting jointly, carry out one or more pilot projects to assess the feasibility and advisability of various technological approaches to the achievement of the electronic health record systems or capabilities described in subsection (d).
“(2) Sharing of protected health information.—For purposes of each pilot project carried out under this subsection, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall, for purposes of the regulations promulgated under section 264(c) of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 [Pub. L. 104–191] (42 U.S.C. 1320d–2 note), ensure the effective sharing of protected health information between the health care system of the Department of Defense and the health care system of the Department of Veterans Affairs as needed to provide all health care services and other benefits allowed by law.
“(g) Staff and Other Resources.—
“(1) In general.—The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall assign to the Office such personnel and other resources of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs as are required for the discharge of its function under this section.
“(2) Additional services.—Subject to the approval of the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Director may utilize the services of private individuals and entities as consultants to the Office in the discharge of its function under this section. Amounts available to the Office shall be available for payment for such services.
“(h) Annual Reports.—
“(1) In general.—Not later than January 1, 2009, and each year thereafter through 2015, the Director shall submit to the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and to the appropriate committees of Congress, a report on the activities of the Office during the preceding calendar year. Each report shall include, for the year covered by such report, the following:
“(A) A detailed description of the activities of the Office, including a detailed description of the amounts expended and the purposes for which expended.
“(B) An assessment of the progress made by the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs in the full implementation of electronic health record systems or capabilities described in subsection (d).
“(C) A description and analysis of the level of interoperability and security of technologies for sharing healthcare information among the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and their transaction partners.
“(D) A description and analysis of the problems the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs are having with, and the progress such departments are making toward, ensuring interoperable and secure healthcare information systems and electronic healthcare records.
“(2) Availability to public.—The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall make available to the public each report submitted under paragraph (1), including by posting such report on the Internet website of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, respectively, that is available to the public.
“(i) Comptroller General Assessment of Implementation.—Not later than six months after the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 28, 2008] and every six months thereafter until the completion of the implementation of electronic health record systems or capabilities described in subsection (d), the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report setting forth the assessment of the Comptroller General of the progress of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs in implementing electronic health record systems or capabilities described in subsection (d).
“(j) Technology-Neutral Guidelines and Standards.—The Director, in consultation with industry and appropriate Federal agencies, shall develop, or shall adopt from industry, technology-neutral information technology infrastructure guidelines and standards for use by the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs to enable those departments to effectively select and utilize information technologies to meet the requirements of this section. [As amended Pub. L. 110–417, [div. A], title II, § 252,Oct. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 4400.]
“SEC. 1644. AUTHORIZATION OF PILOT PROGRAMS TO IMPROVE THE DISABILITY EVALUATION SYSTEM FOR MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES.
“(a) Pilot Programs.—
“(1) Programs authorized.—For the purposes set forth in subsection (c), the Secretary of Defense may establish and conduct pilot programs with respect to the system of the Department of Defense for the evaluation of the disabilities of members of the Armed Forces who are being separated or retired from the Armed Forces for disability under chapter 61 of title 10, United States Code (in this section referred to as the ‘disability evaluation system’).
“(2) Types of pilot programs.—In carrying out this section, the Secretary of Defense may conduct one or more of the pilot programs described in paragraphs (1) through (3) of subsection (b) or such other pilot programs as the Secretary of Defense considers appropriate.
“(3) Consultation.—In establishing and conducting any pilot program under this section, the Secretary of Defense shall consult with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
“(b) Scope of Pilot Programs.—
“(1) Disability determinations by dod utilizing va assigned disability rating.—Under one of the pilot programs authorized by subsection (a), for purposes of making a determination of disability of a member of the Armed Forces under section 1201 (b) of title 10, United States Code, for the retirement, separation, or placement of the member on the temporary disability retired list under chapter 61 of such title, upon a determination by the Secretary of the military department concerned that the member is unfit to perform the duties of the member’s office, grade, rank, or rating because of a physical disability as described in section 1201(a) of such title—
“(A) the Secretary of Veterans Affairs may—
“(i) conduct an evaluation of the member for physical disability; and
“(ii) assign the member a rating of disability in accordance with the schedule for rating disabilities utilized by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs based on all medical conditions (whether individually or collectively) that render the member unfit for duty; and
“(B) the Secretary of the military department concerned may make the determination of disability regarding the member utilizing the rating of disability assigned under subparagraph (A)(ii).
“(2) Disability determinations utilizing joint dod/va assigned disability rating.—Under one of the pilot programs authorized by subsection (a), in making a determination of disability of a member of the Armed Forces under section 1201 (b) of title 10, United States Code, for the retirement, separation, or placement of the member on the temporary disability retired list under chapter 61 of such title, the Secretary of the military department concerned may, upon determining that the member is unfit to perform the duties of the member’s office, grade, rank, or rating because of a physical disability as described in section 1201(a) of such title—
“(A) provide for the joint evaluation of the member for disability by the Secretary of the military department concerned and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, including the assignment of a rating of disability for the member in accordance with the schedule for rating disabilities utilized by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs based on all medical conditions (whether individually or collectively) that render the member unfit for duty; and
“(B) make the determination of disability regarding the member utilizing the rating of disability assigned under subparagraph (A).
“(3) Electronic clearing house.—Under one of the pilot programs authorized by subsection (a), the Secretary of Defense may establish and operate a single Internet website for the disability evaluation system of the Department of Defense that enables participating members of the Armed Forces to fully utilize such system through the Internet, with such Internet website to include the following:
“(A) The availability of any forms required for the utilization of the disability evaluation system by members of the Armed Forces under the system.
“(B) Secure mechanisms for the submission of such forms by members of the Armed Forces under the system, and for the tracking of the acceptance and review of any forms so submitted.
“(C) Secure mechanisms for advising members of the Armed Forces under the system of any additional information, forms, or other items that are required for the acceptance and review of any forms so submitted.
“(D) The continuous availability of assistance to members of the Armed Forces under the system (including assistance through the caseworkers assigned to such members of the Armed Forces) in submitting and tracking such forms, including assistance in obtaining information, forms, or other items described by subparagraph (C).
“(E) Secure mechanisms to request and receive personnel files or other personnel records of members of the Armed Forces under the system that are required for submission under the disability evaluation system, including the capability to track requests for such files or records and to determine the status of such requests and of responses to such requests.
“(4) Other pilot programs.—The pilot programs authorized by subsection (a) may also provide for the development, evaluation, and identification of such practices and procedures under the disability evaluation system as the Secretary considers appropriate for purposes set forth in subsection (c).
“(c) Purposes.—A pilot program established under subsection (a) may have one or more of the following purposes:
“(1) To provide for the development, evaluation, and identification of revised and improved practices and procedures under the disability evaluation system in order to—
“(A) reduce the processing time under the disability evaluation system of members of the Armed Forces who are likely to be retired or separated for disability, and who have not requested continuation on active duty, including, in particular, members who are severely wounded;
“(B) identify and implement or seek the modification of statutory or administrative policies and requirements applicable to the disability evaluation system that—
“(i) are unnecessary or contrary to applicable best practices of civilian employers and civilian healthcare systems; or
“(ii) otherwise result in hardship, arbitrary, or inconsistent outcomes for members of the Armed Forces, or unwarranted inefficiencies and delays;
“(C) eliminate material variations in policies, interpretations, and overall performance standards among the military departments under the disability evaluation system; and
“(D) determine whether it enhances the capability of the Department of Veterans Affairs to receive and determine claims from members of the Armed Forces for compensation, pension, hospitalization, or other veterans benefits.
“(2) In conjunction with the findings and recommendations of applicable Presidential and Department of Defense study groups, to provide for the eventual development of revised and improved practices and procedures for the disability evaluation system in order to achieve the objectives set forth in paragraph (1).
“(d) Utilization of Results in Updates of Comprehensive Policy on Care, Management, and Transition of Recovering Service Members.—The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, acting jointly, may incorporate responses to any findings and recommendations arising under the pilot programs conducted under subsection (a) in updating the comprehensive policy on the care and management of covered service members under section 1611 (a)(4).
“(e) Construction With Other Authorities.—
“(1) In general.—Subject to paragraph (2), in carrying out a pilot program under subsection (a)—
“(A) the rules and regulations of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs relating to methods of determining fitness or unfitness for duty and disability ratings for members of the Armed Forces shall apply to the pilot program only to the extent provided in the report on the pilot program under subsection (g)(1); and
“(B) the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs may waive any provision of title 10, 37, or 38, United States Code, relating to methods of determining fitness or unfitness for duty and disability ratings for members of the Armed Forces if the Secretaries determine in writing that the application of such provision would be inconsistent with the purpose of the pilot program.
“(2) Limitation.—Nothing in paragraph (1) shall be construed to authorize the waiver of any provision of section 1216a of title 10, United States Code, as added by section 1642 of this Act.
“(f) Duration.—Each pilot program conducted under subsection (a) shall be completed not later than one year after the date of the commencement of such pilot program under that subsection.
“(g) Reports.—
“(1) Initial report.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 28, 2008], the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on each pilot program that has been commenced as of that date under subsection (a). The report shall include—
“(A) a description of the scope and objectives of the pilot program;
“(B) a description of the methodology to be used under the pilot program to ensure rapid identification under such pilot program of revised or improved practices under the disability evaluation system in order to achieve the objectives set forth in subsection (c)(1); and
“(C) a statement of any provision described in subsection (e)(1)(B) that will not apply to the pilot program by reason of a waiver under that subsection.
“(2) Interim report.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the submittal of the report required by paragraph (1) with respect to a pilot program, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report describing the current status of the pilot program.
“(3) Final report.—Not later than 90 days after the completion of all of the pilot programs conducted under subsection (a), the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report setting forth a final evaluation and assessment of the pilot programs. The report shall include such recommendations for legislative or administrative action as the Secretary considers appropriate in light of such pilot programs.
“SEC. 1648. STANDARDS FOR MILITARY MEDICAL TREATMENT FACILITIES, SPECIALTY MEDICAL CARE FACILITIES, AND MILITARY QUARTERS HOUSING PATIENTS AND ANNUAL REPORT ON SUCH FACILITIES.
“(a) Establishment of Standards.—The Secretary of Defense shall establish for the military facilities of the Department of Defense and the military departments referred to in subsection (b) standards with respect to the matters set forth in subsection (c). To the maximum extent practicable, the standards shall—
“(1) be uniform and consistent for all such facilities; and
“(2) be uniform and consistent throughout the Department of Defense and the military departments.
“(b) Covered Military Facilities.—The military facilities covered by this section are the following:
“(1) Military medical treatment facilities.
“(2) Specialty medical care facilities.
“(3) Military quarters or leased housing for patients.
“(c) Scope of Standards.—The standards required by subsection (a) shall include the following:
“(1) Generally accepted standards for the accreditation of medical facilities, or for facilities used to quarter individuals that may require medical supervision, as applicable, in the United States.
“(2) To the extent not inconsistent with the standards described in paragraph (1), minimally acceptable conditions for the following:
“(A) Appearance and maintenance of facilities generally, including the structure and roofs of facilities.
“(B) Size, appearance, and maintenance of rooms housing or utilized by patients, including furniture and amenities in such rooms.
“(C) Operation and maintenance of primary and back-up facility utility systems and other systems required for patient care, including electrical systems, plumbing systems, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, communications systems, fire protection systems, energy management systems, and other systems required for patient care.
“(D) Compliance of facilities, rooms, and grounds, to the maximum extent practicable, with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).
“(E) Such other matters relating to the appearance, size, operation, and maintenance of facilities and rooms as the Secretary considers appropriate.
“(d) Compliance With Standards.—
“(1) Deadline.—In establishing standards under subsection (a), the Secretary shall specify a deadline for compliance with such standards by each facility referred to in subsection (b). The deadline shall be at the earliest date practicable after the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 28, 2008], and shall, to the maximum extent practicable, be uniform across the facilities referred to in subsection (b).
“(2) Investment.—In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall also establish guidelines for investment to be utilized by the Department of Defense and the military departments in determining the allocation of financial resources to facilities referred to in subsection (b) in order to meet the deadline specified under paragraph (1).
“(e) Report on Development and Implementation of Standards.—
“(1) In general.—Not later than March 1, 2008, the Secretary shall submit to the congressional defense committees [Committees on Armed Services and Appropriations of the Senate and the House of Representatives] a report on the actions taken to carry out subsection (a).
“(2) Elements.—The report under paragraph (1) shall include the following:
“(A) The standards established under subsection (a).
“(B) An assessment of the appearance, condition, and maintenance of each facility referred to in subsection (b), including—
“(i) an assessment of the compliance of the facility with the standards established under subsection (a); and
“(ii) a description of any deficiency or noncompliance in each facility with the standards.
“(C) A description of the investment to be allocated to address each deficiency or noncompliance identified under subparagraph (B)(ii).
“(f) Annual Report.—Not later than the date on which the President submits the budget for a fiscal year to Congress pursuant to section 1105 of title 31, United States Code, the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives a report on the adequacy, suitability, and quality of each facility referred to in subsection (b). The Secretary shall include in each report information regarding—
“(1) any deficiencies in the adequacy, quality, or state of repair of medical-related support facilities raised as a result of information received during the period covered by the report through the toll-free hot line required by section 1616; and
“(2) the investigations conducted and plans of action prepared under such section to respond to such deficiencies.
“SEC. 1651. HANDBOOK FOR MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES ON COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS AVAILABLE FOR SERIOUS INJURIES AND ILLNESSES.
“(a) Information on Available Compensation and Benefits.—Not later than October 1, 2008, the Secretary of Defense shall develop and maintain, in handbook and electronic form, a comprehensive description of the compensation and other benefits to which a member of the Armed Forces, and the family of such member, would be entitled upon the separation or retirement of the member from the Armed Forces as a result of a serious injury or illness. The handbook shall set forth the range of such compensation and benefits based on grade, length of service, degree of disability at separation or retirement, and such other factors affecting such compensation and benefits as the Secretary considers appropriate.
“(b) Consultation.—The Secretary of Defense shall develop and maintain the comprehensive description required by subsection (a), including the handbook and electronic form of the description, in consultation with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the Commissioner of Social Security.
“(c) Update.—The Secretary of Defense shall update the comprehensive description required by subsection (a), including the handbook and electronic form of the description, on a periodic basis, but not less often than annually.
“(d) Provision to Members.—The Secretary of the military department concerned shall provide the descriptive handbook under subsection (a) to each member of the Armed Forces described in that subsection as soon as practicable following the injury or illness qualifying the member for coverage under such subsection.
“(e) Provision to Representatives.—If a member is incapacitated or otherwise unable to receive the descriptive handbook to be provided under subsection (a), the handbook shall be provided to the next of kin or a legal representative of the member, as determined in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the military department concerned for purposes of this section.
“SEC. 1662. ACCESS OF RECOVERING SERVICE MEMBERS TO ADEQUATE OUTPATIENT RESIDENTIAL FACILITIES.
“(a) Required Inspections of Facilities.—All quarters of the United States and housing facilities under the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces that are occupied by recovering service members shall be inspected on a semiannual basis for the first two years after the enactment of this Act [Jan. 28, 2008] and annually thereafter by the inspectors general of the regional medical commands.
“(b) Inspector General Reports.—The inspector general for each regional medical command shall—
“(1) submit a report on each inspection of a facility conducted under subsection (a) to the post commander at such facility, the commanding officer of the hospital affiliated with such facility, the surgeon general of the military department that operates such hospital, the Secretary of the military department concerned, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, and the congressional defense committees [Committees on Armed Services and Appropriations of the Senate and the House of Representatives]; and
“(2) post each such report on the Internet website of such regional medical command.
“SEC. 1671. PROHIBITION ON TRANSFER OF RESOURCES FROM MEDICAL CARE.
“Neither the Secretary of Defense nor the Secretaries of the military departments may transfer funds or personnel from medical care functions to administrative functions within the Department of Defense in order to comply with the new administrative requirements imposed by this title [see Short Title of 2008 Amendment note above] or the amendments made by this title.
“SEC. 1672. MEDICAL CARE FOR FAMILIES OF MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES RECOVERING FROM SERIOUS INJURIES OR ILLNESSES.
“(a) Medical Care at Military Medical Facilities.—
“(1) Medical care.—A family member of a recovering service member who is not otherwise eligible for medical care at a military medical treatment facility may be eligible for such care at such facilities, on a space-available basis, if the family member is—
“(A) on invitational orders while caring for the service member;
“(B) a non-medical attendee caring for the service member; or
“(C) receiving per diem payments from the Department of Defense while caring for the service member.
“(2) Specification of family members.—The Secretary of Defense may prescribe in regulations the family members of recovering service members who shall be considered to be a family member of a service member for purposes of this subsection.
“(3) Specification of care.—The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe in regulations the medical care that may be available to family members under this subsection at military medical treatment facilities.
“(4) Recovery of costs.—The United States may recover the costs of the provision of medical care under this subsection as follows (as applicable):
“(A) From third-party payers, in the same manner as the United States may collect costs of the charges of health care provided to covered beneficiaries from third-party payers under section 1095 of title 10, United States Code.
“(B) As if such care was provided under the authority of section 1784 of title 38, United States Code.
“(b) Medical Care at Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Facilities.—
“(1) Medical care.—When a recovering service member is receiving hospital care and medical services at a medical facility of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs may provide medical care for eligible family members under this section when that care is readily available at that Department facility and on a space-available basis.
“(2) Regulations.—The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall prescribe in regulations the medical care that may be available to family members under this subsection at medical facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“SEC. 1676. MORATORIUM ON CONVERSION TO CONTRACTOR PERFORMANCE OF DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FUNCTIONS AT MILITARY MEDICAL FACILITIES.
“(a) Moratorium.—No study or competition may be begun or announced pursuant to section 2461 of title 10, United States Code, or otherwise pursuant to Office of Management and Budget circular A-76, relating to the possible conversion to performance by a contractor of any Department of Defense function carried out at a military medical facility until the Secretary of Defense—
“(1) submits the certification required by subsection (b) to the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives together with a description of the steps taken by the Secretary in accordance with the certification; and
“(2) submits the report required by subsection (c).
“(b) Certification.—The certification referred to in paragraph (a)(1) is a certification that the Secretary has taken appropriate steps to ensure that neither the quality of military medical care nor the availability of qualified personnel to carry out Department of Defense functions related to military medical care will be adversely affected by either—
“(1) the process of considering a Department of Defense function carried out at a military medical facility for possible conversion to performance by a contractor; or
“(2) the conversion of such a function to performance by a contractor.
“(c) Report Required.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 28, 2008], the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives a report on the public-private competitions being conducted for Department of Defense functions carried out at military medical facilities as of the date of the enactment of this Act by each military department and defense agency. Such report shall include—
“(1) for each such competition—
“(A) the cost of conducting the public-private competition;
“(B) the number of military personnel and civilian employees of the Department of Defense affected;
“(C) the estimated savings identified and the savings actually achieved;
“(D) an evaluation whether the anticipated and budgeted savings can be achieved through a public-private competition; and
“(E) the effect of converting the performance of the function to performance by a contractor on the quality of the performance of the function; and
“(2) an assessment of whether any method of business reform or reengineering other than a public-private competition could, if implemented in the future, achieve any anticipated or budgeted savings.”
Disease and Chronic Care Management

Pub. L. 109–364, div. A, title VII, § 734,Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2299, provided that:
“(a) Program Design and Development Required.—Not later than October 1, 2007, the Secretary of Defense shall design and develop a fully integrated program on disease and chronic care management for the military health care system that provides, to the extent practicable, uniform policies and practices on disease management and chronic care management throughout that system, including both military hospitals and clinics and civilian healthcare providers within the TRICARE network.
“(b) Purposes of Program.—The purposes of the program required by subsection (a) are as follows:
“(1) To facilitate the improvement of the health status of individuals under care in the military health care system.
“(2) To ensure the availability of effective health care services in that system for individuals with diseases and other chronic conditions.
“(3) To ensure the proper allocation of health care resources for individuals who need care for disease or other chronic conditions.
“(c) Elements of Program Design.—The program design required by subsection (a) shall meet the following requirements:
“(1) Based on uniform policies prescribed by the Secretary, the program shall, at a minimum, address the following chronic diseases and conditions:
“(A) Diabetes.
“(B) Cancer.
“(C) Heart disease.
“(D) Asthma.
“(E) Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.
“(F) Depression and anxiety disorders.
“(2) The program shall meet nationally recognized accreditation standards for disease and chronic care management.
“(3) The program shall include specific outcome measures and objectives on disease and chronic care management.
“(4) The program shall include strategies for disease and chronic care management for all beneficiaries, including beneficiaries eligible for benefits under the Medicare program under title XVIII of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395 et seq.), for whom the TRICARE program is not the primary payer for health care benefits.
“(5) Activities under the program shall conform to applicable laws and regulations relating to the confidentiality of health care information.
“(d) Implementation Plan Required.—Not later than February 1, 2008, the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretaries of the military departments, shall develop an implementation plan for the disease and chronic care management program. In order to facilitate the carrying out of the program, the plan developed by the Secretary shall—
“(1) require a comprehensive analysis of the disease and chronic care management opportunities within each region of the TRICARE program, including within military treatment facilities and through contractors under the TRICARE program;
“(2) ensure continuous, adequate funding of disease and chronic care management activities throughout the military health care system in order to achieve maximum health outcomes and cost avoidance;
“(3) eliminate, to the extent practicable, any financial disincentives to sustained investment by military hospitals and health care services contractors of the Department of Defense in the disease and chronic care management activities of the Department;
“(4) ensure that appropriate clinical and claims data, including pharmacy utilization data, is available for use in implementing the program;
“(5) ensure outreach to eligible beneficiaries who, on the basis of their clinical conditions, are candidates for the program utilizing print and electronic media, telephone, and personal interaction; and
“(6) provide a system for monitoring improvements in health status and clinical outcomes under the program and savings associated with the program.
“(e) Report.—
“(1) In general.—Not later than March 1, 2008, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives a report on the design, development, and implementation of the program on disease and chronic care management required by this section.
“(2) Report elements.—The report required by paragraph (1) shall include the following:
“(A) A description of the design and development of the program required by subsection (a).
“(B) A description of the implementation plan required by subsection (d).
“(C) A description and assessment of improvements in health status and clinical outcomes that are anticipated as a result of implementation of the program.
“(D) A description of the savings and return on investment associated with the program.
“(E) A description of an investment strategy to assure the sustainment of the disease and chronic care management programs of the Department of Defense.”
Prevention, Mitigation, and Treatment of Blast Injuries

Pub. L. 109–163, div. A, title II, § 256,Jan. 6, 2006, 119 Stat. 3181, as amended by Pub. L. 112–239, div. A, title X, § 1076(c)(2)(C),Jan. 2, 2013, 126 Stat. 1950, provided that:
“(a) Designation of Executive Agent.—The Secretary of Defense shall designate an executive agent to be responsible for coordinating and managing the medical research efforts and programs of the Department of Defense relating to the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of blast injuries.
“(b) General Responsibilities.—The executive agent designated under subsection (a) shall be responsible for—
“(1) planning for the medical research and development projects, diagnostic and field treatment programs, and patient tracking and monitoring activities within the Department that relate to combat blast injuries;
“(2) efficient execution of such projects, programs, and activities;
“(3) enabling the sharing of blast injury health hazards and survivability data collected through such projects, programs, and activities with the programs of the Department of Defense;
“(4) working with the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering and the Secretaries of the military departments to ensure resources are adequate to also meet non-medical requirements related to blast injury prevention, mitigation, and treatment; and
“(5) ensuring that a joint combat trauma registry is established and maintained for the purposes of collection and analysis of contemporary combat casualties, including casualties with traumatic brain injury.
“(c) Medical Research Efforts.—
“(1) In general.—The executive agent designated under subsection (a) shall review and assess the adequacy of medical research efforts of the Department of Defense as of the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 6, 2006] relating to the following:
“(A) The characterization of blast effects leading to injury, including the injury potential of blasts in various environments.
“(B) Medical technologies and protocols to more accurately detect and diagnose blast injuries, including improved discrimination between traumatic brain injuries and mental health disorders.
“(C) Enhanced treatment of blast injuries in the field.
“(D) Integrated treatment approaches for members of the Armed Forces who have a combination of traumatic brain injuries and mental health disorders or other injuries.
“(E) Such other blast injury matters as the executive agent considers appropriate.
“(2) Requirements for research efforts.—Based on the assessment under paragraph (1), the executive agent shall establish requirements for medical research efforts described in that paragraph in order to enhance and accelerate those research efforts.
“(3) Oversight of research efforts.—The executive agent shall establish, coordinate, and oversee Department-wide medical research efforts relating to the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of blast injuries, as necessary, to fulfill requirements established under paragraph (2).
“(d) Other Related Research Efforts.—The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, in coordination with the executive agent designated under subsection (a) and the Director of the Joint IED Defeat Task Force, shall—
“(1) review and assess the adequacy of current research efforts of the Department on the prevention and mitigation of blast injuries;
“(2) based on subsection (c)(1), establish requirements for further research; and
“(3) address any deficiencies identified in paragraphs (1) and (2) by establishing, coordinating, and overseeing Department-wide research and development initiatives on the prevention and mitigation of blast injuries, including explosive detection and defeat and personnel and vehicle blast protection.
“(e) Studies.—The executive agent designated under subsection (a) shall conduct studies on the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of blast injuries, including—
“(1) studies to improve the clinical evaluation and treatment approach for blast injuries, with an emphasis on traumatic brain injuries and other consequences of blast injury, including acoustic and eye injuries and injuries resulting from over-pressure wave;
“(2) studies on the incidence of traumatic brain injuries attributable to blast injury in soldiers returning from combat;
“(3) studies to develop protocols for medical tracking of members of the Armed Forces for up to five years following blast injuries; and
“(4) studies to refine and improve educational interventions for blast injury survivors and their families.
“(f) Training.—The executive agent designated under subsection (a), in coordination with the Director of the Joint IED Defeat Task Force, shall develop training protocols for medical and non-medical personnel on the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of blast injuries. Those protocols shall be intended to improve field and clinical training on early identification of blast injury consequences, both seen and unseen, including traumatic brain injuries, acoustic injuries, and internal injuries.
“(g) Information Sharing.—The executive agent designated under subsection (a) shall make available the results of relevant medical research and development projects and studies to—
“(1) Department of Defense programs focused on—
“(A) promoting the exchange of blast health hazards data with blast characterization data and blast modeling and simulation tools; and
“(B) encouraging the incorporation of blast hazards data into design and operational features of blast detection, mitigation, and defeat capabilities, such as comprehensive armor systems which provide blast, ballistic, and fire protection for the head, neck, ears, eyes, torso, and extremities; and
“(2) traumatic brain injury treatment programs to enhance the evaluation and care of members of the Armed Forces with traumatic brain injuries in medical facilities in the United States and in deployed medical facilities, including those outside the Department of Defense.
“(h) Reports on Blast Injury Matters.—
“(1) Reports required.—Not later than 270 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 6, 2006], and annually thereafter through 2008, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives a report on the efforts and programs of the Department of Defense relating to the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of blast injuries.
“(2) Elements.—Each report under paragraph (1) shall include the following:
“(A) A description of the activities undertaken under this section during the two years preceding the report to improve the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of blast injuries.
“(B) A consolidated budget presentation for Department of Defense biomedical research efforts and studies related to blast injury for the two fiscal years following the year of the report.
“(C) A description of any gaps in the capabilities of the Department and any plans to address such gaps within biomedical research related to blast injury, blast injury diagnostic and treatment programs, and blast injury tracking and monitoring activities.
“(D) A description of collaboration, if any, with other departments and agencies of the Federal Government, and with other countries, during the two years preceding the report in efforts for the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of blast injuries.
“(E) A description of any efforts during the two years preceding the report to disseminate findings on the diagnosis and treatment of blast injuries through civilian and military research and medical communities.
“(F) A description of the status of efforts during the two years preceding the report to incorporate blast injury effects data into appropriate programs of the Department of Defense and into the development of comprehensive force protection systems that are effective in confronting blast, ballistic, and fire threats.
“(i) Deadline for Designation of Executive Agent.—The Secretary shall make the designation required by subsection (a) not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 6, 2006].
“(j) Blast Injuries Defined.—In this section, the term ‘blast injuries’ means injuries that occur as the result of the detonation of high explosives, including vehicle-borne and person-borne explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenades, and improvised explosive devices.
“(k) Executive Agent Defined.—In this section, the term ‘executive agent’ has the meaning provided such term in Department of Defense Directive 5101.1.”
Access to Health Care Services for Beneficiaries Eligible for TRICARE and Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care

Pub. L. 107–314, div. A, title VII, § 708,Dec. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 2585, provided that:
“(a) Requirement To Establish Process.—(1) The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe in regulations a process for resolving issues relating to patient safety and continuity of care for covered beneficiaries who are concurrently entitled to health care under the TRICARE program and eligible for health care services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Secretary shall—
“(A) ensure that the process provides for coordination of, and access to, health care from the two sources in a manner that prevents diminution of access to health care from either source; and
“(B) in consultation with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, prescribe a clear definition of an ‘episode of care’ for use in the resolution of patient safety and continuity of care issues under such process.
“(2) Not later than May 1, 2003, the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and of the House of Representatives a report describing the process prescribed under paragraph (1).
“(3) While prescribing the process under paragraph (1) and upon completion of the report under paragraph (2), the Secretary shall provide to the Comptroller General information that would be relevant in carrying out the study required by subsection (b).
“(b) Comptroller General Study and Report.—(1) The Comptroller General shall conduct a study of the health care issues of covered beneficiaries described in subsection (a). The study shall include the following:
“(A) An analysis of whether covered beneficiaries who seek services through the Department of Veterans Affairs are receiving needed health care services in a timely manner from the Department of Veterans Affairs, as compared to the timeliness of the care available to covered beneficiaries under TRICARE Prime (as set forth in access to care standards under TRICARE program policy that are applicable to the care being sought).
“(B) An evaluation of the quality of care for covered beneficiaries who do not receive needed services from the Department of Veterans Affairs within a time period that is comparable to the time period provided for under such access to care standards and who then must seek alternative care under the TRICARE program.
“(C) Recommendations to improve access to, and timeliness and quality of, care for covered beneficiaries described in subsection (a).
“(D) An evaluation of the feasibility and advisability of making access to care standards applicable jointly under the TRICARE program and the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system.
“(E) A review of the process prescribed by the Secretary of Defense under subsection (a) to determine whether the process ensures the adequacy and quality of the health care services provided to covered beneficiaries under the TRICARE program and through the Department of Veterans Affairs, together with timeliness of access to such services and patient safety.
“(2) Not later than 60 days after the congressional committees specified in subsection (a)(2) receive the report required under that subsection, the Comptroller General shall submit to those committees a report on the study conducted under this subsection.
“(c) Definitions.—In this section:
“(1) The term ‘covered beneficiary’ has the meaning provided by section 1072 (5) of title 10, United States Code.
“(2) The term ‘TRICARE program’ has the meaning provided by section 1072(7) of such title.
“(3) The term ‘TRICARE Prime’ has the meaning provided by section 1097a(f) of such title.”
Pilot Program Providing for Department of Veterans Affairs Support in the Performance of Separation Physical Examinations

Pub. L. 107–107, div. A, title VII, § 734,Dec. 28, 2001, 115 Stat. 1170, authorized the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to jointly carry out a pilot program, to begin not later than July 1, 2002, and terminate on Dec. 31, 2005, under which the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in one or more geographic areas, could perform the physical examinations required for separation of members from the uniformed services, and directed the Secretaries to jointly submit to Congress interim and final reports not later than Mar. 1, 2005.
Health Care Management Demonstration Program

Pub. L. 106–398, § 1 [[div. A], title VII, § 733], Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1654, 1654A–191, as amended by Pub. L. 107–107, div. A, title VII, § 737,Dec. 28, 2001, 115 Stat. 1173, directed the Secretary of Defense to carry out a demonstration program on health care management, to begin not later than 180 days after Oct. 30, 2000, and terminate on Dec. 31, 2003, to explore opportunities for improving the planning, programming, budgeting systems, and management of the Department of Defense health care system, and directed the Secretary to submit a report on such program to committees of Congress not later than Mar. 15, 2004.
Processes for Patient Safety in Military and Veterans Health Care Systems

Pub. L. 106–398, § 1 [[div. A], title VII, § 742], Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1654, 1654A–192, provided that:
“(a) Error Tracking Process.—The Secretary of Defense shall implement a centralized process for reporting, compilation, and analysis of errors in the provision of health care under the defense health program that endanger patients beyond the normal risks associated with the care and treatment of such patients. To the extent practicable, that process shall emulate the system established by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for reporting, compilation, and analysis of errors in the provision of health care under the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system that endanger patients beyond such risks.
“(b) Sharing of Information.—The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs—
“(1) shall share information regarding the designs of systems or protocols established to reduce errors in the provision of health care described in subsection (a); and
“(2) shall develop such protocols as the Secretaries consider necessary for the establishment and administration of effective processes for the reporting, compilation, and analysis of such errors.”
Cooperation in Developing Pharmaceutical Identification Technology

Pub. L. 106–398, § 1 [[div. A], title VII, § 743], Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1654, 1654A–192, provided that: “The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall cooperate in developing systems for the use of bar codes for the identification of pharmaceuticals in the health care programs of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs. In any case in which a common pharmaceutical is used in such programs, the bar codes for those pharmaceuticals shall, to the maximum extent practicable, be identical.”
Patient Care Reporting and Management System

Pub. L. 106–398, § 1 [[div. A], title VII, § 754], Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1654, 1654A–196, as amended by Pub. L. 109–163, div. A, title VII, § 741,Jan. 6, 2006, 119 Stat. 3360, provided that:
“(a) Establishment.—The Secretary of Defense shall establish a patient care error reporting and management system.
“(b) Purposes of System.—The purposes of the system are as follows:
“(1) To study the occurrences of errors in the patient care provided under chapter 55 of title 10, United States Code.
“(2) To identify the systemic factors that are associated with such occurrences.
“(3) To provide for action to be taken to correct the identified systemic factors.
“(c) Requirements for System.—The patient care error reporting and management system shall include the following:
“(1) A hospital-level patient safety center, within the quality assurance department of each health care organization of the Department of Defense, to collect, assess, and report on the nature and frequency of errors related to patient care.
“(2) For each health care organization of the Department of Defense and for the entire Defense health program, patient safety standards that are necessary for the development of a full understanding of patient safety issues in each such organization and the entire program, including the nature and types of errors and the systemic causes of the errors.
“(3) Establishment of a Department of Defense Patient Safety Center, which shall have the following missions:
“(A) To analyze information on patient care errors that is submitted to the Center by each military health care organization.
“(B) To develop action plans for addressing patterns of patient care errors.
“(C) To execute those action plans to mitigate and control errors in patient care with a goal of ensuring that the health care organizations of the Department of Defense provide highly reliable patient care with virtually no error.
“(D) To provide, through the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality of the Department of Health and Human Services any reports that the Assistant Secretary determines appropriate.
“(E) To review and integrate processes for reducing errors associated with patient care and for enhancing patient safety.
“(F) To contract with a qualified and objective external organization to manage the national patient safety database of the Department of Defense.
“(d) Medical Team Training Program.—The Secretary shall expand the health care team coordination program to integrate that program into all Department of Defense health care operations. In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary shall take the following actions:
“(1) Establish not less than two Centers of Excellence for the development, validation, proliferation, and sustainment of the health care team coordination program, one of which shall support all fixed military health care organizations, the other of which shall support all combat casualty care organizations.
“(2) Deploy the program to all fixed and combat casualty care organizations of each of the Armed Forces, at the rate of not less than 10 organizations in each fiscal year.
“(3) Expand the scope of the health care team coordination program from a focus on emergency department care to a coverage that includes care in all major medical specialties, at the rate of not less than one specialty in each fiscal year.
“(4) Continue research and development investments to improve communication, coordination, and team work in the provision of health care.
“(e) Consultation.—The Secretary shall consult with the other administering Secretaries (as defined in section 1072 (3) of title 10, United States Code) in carrying out this section.”
Confidentiality of Communications With Professionals Providing Therapeutic or Related Services Regarding Sexual or Domestic Abuse

Pub. L. 106–65, div. A, title V, § 585,Oct. 5, 1999, 113 Stat. 636, provided that:
“(a) Study and Report.—(1) The Comptroller General of the United States shall study the policies, procedures, and practices of the military departments for protecting the confidentiality of communications between—
“(A) a dependent (as defined in section 1072 (2) of title 10, United States Code, with respect to a member of the Armed Forces) of a member of the Armed Forces who—
“(i) is a victim of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or intrafamily abuse; or
“(ii) has engaged in such misconduct; and
“(B) a therapist, counselor, advocate, or other professional from whom the dependent seeks professional services in connection with effects of such misconduct.
“(2) Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 5, 1999], the Comptroller General shall conclude the study and submit a report on the results of the study to Congress and the Secretary of Defense.
“(b) Regulations.—The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe in regulations the policies and procedures that the Secretary considers appropriate to provide the maximum protections for the confidentiality of communications described in subsection (a) relating to misconduct described in that subsection, taking into consideration—
“(1) the findings of the Comptroller General;
“(2) the standards of confidentiality and ethical standards issued by relevant professional organizations;
“(3) applicable requirements of Federal and State law;
“(4) the best interest of victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or intrafamily abuse;
“(5) military necessity; and
“(6) such other factors as the Secretary, in consultation with the Attorney General, may consider appropriate.
“(c) Report by Secretary of Defense.—Not later than January 21, 2000, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to Congress a report on the actions taken under subsection (b) and any other actions taken by the Secretary to provide the maximum possible protections for confidentiality described in that subsection.”
Health Care Quality Information and Technology Enhancement

Pub. L. 106–65, div. A, title VII, § 723,Oct. 5, 1999, 113 Stat. 695, as amended by Pub. L. 106–398, § 1 [[div. A], title VII, § 753(a)], Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1654, 1654A–195; Pub. L. 109–163, div. A, title VII, § 742,Jan. 6, 2006, 119 Stat. 3360; Pub. L. 109–364, div. A, title X, § 1046(e),Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2394; Pub. L. 112–81, div. A, title X, § 1062(j)(1),Dec. 31, 2011, 125 Stat. 1585, provided that:
“(a) Purpose.—The purpose of this section is to ensure that the Department of Defense addresses issues of medical quality surveillance and implements solutions for those issues in a timely manner that is consistent with national policy and industry standards.
“(b) Department of Defense Program for Medical Informatics and Data.—The Secretary of Defense shall establish a Department of Defense program, the purposes of which shall be the following:
“(1) To develop parameters for assessing the quality of health care information.
“(2) To develop the defense digital patient record.
“(3) To develop a repository for data on quality of health care.
“(4) To develop capability for conducting research on quality of health care.
“(5) To conduct research on matters of quality of health care.
“(6) To develop decision support tools for health care providers.
“(7) To refine medical performance report cards.
“(8) To conduct educational programs on medical informatics to meet identified needs.
“(c) Automation and Capture of Clinical Data.—(1) Through the program established under subsection (b), the Secretary of Defense shall accelerate the efforts of the Department of Defense to automate, capture, and exchange controlled clinical data and present providers with clinical guidance using a personal information carrier, clinical lexicon, or digital patient record.
“(2) The program shall serve as a primary resource for the Department of Defense for matters concerning the capture, processing, and dissemination of data on health care quality.
“(d) Medical Informatics Advisory Committee.—(1) The Secretary of Defense shall establish a Medical Informatics Advisory Committee (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Committee’), the members of which shall be the following:
“(A) The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs.
“(B) The Director of the TRICARE Management Activity of the Department of Defense.
“(C) The Surgeon General of the Army.
“(D) The Surgeon General of the Navy.
“(E) The Surgeon General of the Air Force.
“(F) Representatives of the Department of Veterans Affairs, designated by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
“(G) Representatives of the Department of Health and Human Services, designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
“(H) Any additional members appointed by the Secretary of Defense to represent health care insurers and managed care organizations, academic health institutions, health care providers (including representatives of physicians and representatives of hospitals), and accreditors of health care plans and organizations.
“(2) The primary mission of the Committee shall be to advise the Secretary on the development, deployment, and maintenance of health care informatics systems that allow for the collection, exchange, and processing of health care quality information for the Department of Defense in coordination with other Federal departments and agencies and with the private sector.
“(3) Specific areas of responsibility of the Committee shall include advising the Secretary on the following:
“(A) The ability of the medical informatics systems at the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs to monitor, evaluate, and improve the quality of care provided to beneficiaries.
“(B) The coordination of key components of medical informatics systems, including digital patient records, both within the Federal Government and between the Federal Government and the private sector.
“(C) The development of operational capabilities for executive information systems and clinical decision support systems within the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs.
“(D) Standardization of processes used to collect, evaluate, and disseminate health care quality information.
“(E) Refinement of methodologies by which the quality of health care provided within the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs is evaluated.
“(F) Protecting the confidentiality of personal health information.
“(4) The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs shall consult with the Committee on the issues described in paragraph (3).
“(5) Members of the Committee shall not be paid by reason of their service on the Committee.
“(6) The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Committee.
[Section 1062(j)(1)(A) ofPub. L. 112–81, which directed the redesignation of pars. (6) and (7) as (5) and (6) of section 723(d) ofPub. L. 106–65, set out above, could not be executed due to the prior identical amendment by section 1046(e) ofPub. L. 109–364.]
Joint Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs Reports Relating to Interdepartmental Cooperation in Delivery of Medical Care

Pub. L. 105–261, div. A, title VII, § 745,Oct. 17, 1998, 112 Stat. 2075, as amended by Pub. L. 106–65, div. A, title X, § 1067(3),Oct. 5, 1999, 113 Stat. 774; Pub. L. 108–136, div. A, title X, § 1031(g)(1),Nov. 24, 2003, 117 Stat. 1604, (1) directed the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to jointly conduct a survey of their respective medical care beneficiary populations to identify the expectations of, requirements for, and behavior patterns of the beneficiaries with respect to medical care, and to submit a report on the results of the survey to committees of Congress not later than Jan. 1, 2000; (2) directed the same Secretaries to jointly conduct a review to identify impediments to cooperation between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs regarding the delivery of medical care and to submit a report on the results of the review to committees of Congress not later than Mar. 1, 1999; (3) directed the Secretary of Defense to review the TRICARE program to identify opportunities for increased participation by the Department of Veterans Affairs in that program; (4) directed the Department of Defense-Department of Veterans Affairs Federal Pharmacy Executive Steering Committee to examine existing pharmaceutical benefits and programs for beneficiaries and review existing methods for contracting for and distributing medical supplies and services and to submit a report on the results of the examination to committees of Congress not later than 60 days after its completion; and (5) directed the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to jointly submit to committees of Congress a report, not later than Mar. 1, 1999, on the status of the efforts of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs to standardize physical examinations administered by the two departments for the purpose of determining or rating disabilities.
External Peer Review for Defense Health Program Extramural Medical Research Involving Human Subjects

Pub. L. 104–201, div. A, title VII, § 742,Sept. 23, 1996, 110 Stat. 2600, provided that:
“(a) Establishment of External Peer Review Process.—The Secretary of Defense shall establish a peer review process that will use persons who are not officers or employees of the Government to review the research protocols of medical research projects.
“(b) Peer Review Requirements.—Funds of the Department of Defense may not be obligated or expended for any medical research project unless the research protocol for the project has been approved by the external peer review process established under subsection (a).
“(c) Medical Research Project Defined.—For purposes of this section, the term ‘medical research project’ means a research project that—
“(1) involves the participation of human subjects;
“(2) is conducted solely by a non-Federal entity; and
“(3) is funded through the Defense Health Program account.
“(d) Effective Date.—The peer review requirements of subsection (b) shall take effect on October 1, 1996, and, except as provided in subsection (e), shall apply to all medical research projects proposed funded on or after that date, including medical research projects funded pursuant to any requirement of law enacted before, on, or after that date.
“(e) Exceptions.—Only the following medical research projects shall be exempt from the peer review requirements of subsection (b):
“(1) A medical research project that the Secretary determines has been substantially completed by October 1, 1996.
“(2) A medical research project funded pursuant to any provision of law enacted on or after that date if the provision of law specifically refers to this section and specifically states that the peer review requirements do not apply.”
Annual Beneficiary Survey

Pub. L. 102–484, div. A, title VII, § 724,Oct. 23, 1992, 106 Stat. 2440, as amended by Pub. L. 103–337, div. A, title VII, § 717,Oct. 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 2804, provided that:
“(a) Survey Required.—The administering Secretaries shall conduct annually a formal survey of persons receiving health care under chapter 55 of title 10, United States Code, in order to determine the following:
“(1) The availability of health care services to such persons through the health care system provided for under that chapter, the types of services received, and the facilities in which the services were provided.
“(2) The familiarity of such persons with the services available under that system and with the facilities in which such services are provided.
“(3) The health of such persons.
“(4) The level of satisfaction of such persons with that system and the quality of the health care provided through that system.
“(5) Such other matters as the administering Secretaries determine appropriate.
“(b) Exemption.—An annual survey under subsection (a) shall be treated as not a collection of information for the purposes for which such term is defined in section 3502 (4) of title 44, United States Code.
“(c) Definition.—For purposes of this section, the term ‘administering Secretaries’ has the meaning given such term in section 1072 (3) of title 10, United States Code.”
Comprehensive Study of Military Medical Care System

Pub. L. 102–190, div. A, title VII, § 733,Dec. 5, 1991, 105 Stat. 1408, as amended by Pub. L. 102–484, div. A, title VII, § 723,Oct. 23, 1992, 106 Stat. 2440, directed Secretary of Defense to conduct a comprehensive study of the military medical care system, not later than Dec. 15, 1992, to submit to congressional defense committees a detailed accounting on progress of the study, including preliminary results of the study, and not later than Dec. 15, 1993, submit to congressional defense committees a final report on the study.
Identification and Treatment of Drug and Alcohol Dependent Persons in the Armed Forces

Pub. L. 92–129, title V, § 501,Sept. 28, 1971, 85 Stat. 361, which directed Secretary of Defense to devise ways to identify, treat, and rehabilitate drug and alcohol dependent members of the armed forces, to identify, refuse admission to, and refer to civilian treatment facilities such persons seeking entrance to the armed forces, and to report to Congress on and suggest additional legislation concerning these matters, was repealed and restated as sections 978 and 1090 of this title by Pub. L. 97–295, §§ 1(14)(A), (15)(A), 6(b),Oct. 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 1289, 1290, 1314.
Ex. Ord. No. 13625. Improving Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families

Ex. Ord. No. 13625, Aug. 31, 2012, 77 F.R. 54783, provided:
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order as follows:
Section 1. Policy. Since September 11, 2001, more than two million service members have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. Long deployments and intense combat conditions require optimal support for the emotional and mental health needs of our service members and their families. The need for mental health services will only increase in the coming years as the Nation deals with the effects of more than a decade of conflict. Reiterating and expanding upon the commitment outlined in my Administration’s 2011 report, entitled “Strengthening Our Military Families,” we have an obligation to evaluate our progress and continue to build an integrated network of support capable of providing effective mental health services for veterans, service members, and their families. Our public health approach must encompass the practices of disease prevention and the promotion of good health for all military populations throughout their lifespans, both within the health care systems of the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs and in local communities. Our efforts also must focus on both outreach to veterans and their families and the provision of high quality mental health treatment to those in need. Coordination between the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense during service members’ transition to civilian life is essential to achieving these goals.
Ensuring that all veterans, service members (Active, Guard, and Reserve alike), and their families receive the support they deserve is a top priority for my Administration. As part of our ongoing efforts to improve all facets of military mental health, this order directs the Secretaries of Defense, Health and Human Services, Education, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security to expand suicide prevention strategies and take steps to meet the current and future demand for mental health and substance abuse treatment services for veterans, service members, and their families.
Sec. 2. Suicide Prevention. (a) By December 31, 2012, the Department of Veterans Affairs, in continued collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services, shall expand the capacity of the Veterans Crisis Line by 50 percent to ensure that veterans have timely access, including by telephone, text, or online chat, to qualified, caring responders who can help address immediate crises and direct veterans to appropriate care. Further, the Department of Veterans Affairs shall ensure that any veteran identifying him or herself as being in crisis connects with a mental health professional or trained mental health worker within 24 hours. The Department of Veterans Affairs also shall expand the number of mental health professionals who are available to see veterans beyond traditional business hours.
(b) The Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense shall jointly develop and implement a national suicide prevention campaign focused on connecting veterans and service members to mental health services. This 12-month campaign, which shall begin on September 1, 2012, will focus on the positive benefits of seeking care and encourage veterans and service members to proactively reach out to support services.
(c) To provide the best mental health and substance abuse prevention, education, and outreach support to our military and their family members, the Department of Defense shall review all of its existing mental health and substance abuse prevention, education, and outreach programs across the military services and the Defense Health Program to identify the key program areas that produce the greatest impact on quality and outcomes, and rank programs within each of these program areas using metrics that assess their effectiveness. By the end of Fiscal Year 2014, existing program resources shall be realigned to ensure that highly ranked programs are implemented across all of the military services and less effective programs are replaced.
Sec. 3. Enhanced Partnerships Between the Department of Veterans Affairs and Community Providers. (a) Within 180 days of the date of this order, in those service areas where the Department of Veterans Affairs has faced challenges in hiring and placing mental health service providers and continues to have unfilled vacancies or long wait times, the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services shall establish pilot projects whereby the Department of Veterans Affairs contracts or develops formal arrangements with community-based providers, such as community mental health clinics, community health centers, substance abuse treatment facilities, and rural health clinics, to test the effectiveness of community partnerships in helping to meet the mental health needs of veterans in a timely way. Pilot sites shall ensure that consumers of community-based services continue to be integrated into the health care systems of the Department of Veterans Affairs. No fewer than 15 pilot projects shall be established.
(b) The Department of Veterans Affairs shall develop guidance for its medical centers and service networks that supports the use of community mental health services, including telehealth services and substance abuse services, where appropriate, to meet demand and facilitate access to care. This guidance shall include recommendations that medical centers and service networks use community-based providers to help meet veterans’ mental health needs where objective criteria, which the Department of Veterans Affairs shall define in the form of specific metrics, demonstrate such needs. Such objective criteria should include estimates of wait-times for needed care that exceed established targets.
(c) The Departments of Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs shall develop a plan for a rural mental health recruitment initiative to promote opportunities for the Department of Veterans Affairs and rural communities to share mental health providers when demand is insufficient for either the Department of Veterans Affairs or the communities to independently support a full-time provider.
Sec. 4. Expanded Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Services Staffing. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall, by December 31, 2013, hire and train 800 peer-to-peer counselors to empower veterans to support other veterans and help meet mental health care needs. In addition, the Secretary shall continue to use all appropriate tools, including collaborative arrangements with community-based providers, pay-setting authorities, loan repayment and scholarships, and partnerships with health care workforce training programs to accomplish the Department of Veterans Affairs’ goal of recruiting, hiring, and placing 1,600 mental health professionals by June 30, 2013. The Department of Veterans Affairs also shall evaluate the reporting requirements associated with providing mental health services and reduce paperwork requirements where appropriate. In addition, the Department of Veterans Affairs shall update its management performance evaluation system to link performance to meeting mental health service demand.
Sec. 5. Improved Research and Development. (a) The lack of full understanding of the underlying mechanisms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), other mental health conditions, and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) has hampered progress in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. In order to improve the coordination of agency research into these conditions and reduce the number of affected men and women through better prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, and Education, in coordination with the Office of Science and Technology Policy, shall establish a National Research Action Plan within 8 months of the date of this order.
(b) The National Research Action Plan shall include strategies to establish surrogate and clinically actionable biomarkers for early diagnosis and treatment effectiveness; develop improved diagnostic criteria for TBI; enhance our understanding of the mechanisms responsible for PTSD, related injuries, and neurological disorders following TBI; foster development of new treatments for these conditions based on a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms; improve data sharing between agencies and academic and industry researchers to accelerate progress and reduce redundant efforts without compromising privacy; and make better use of electronic health records to gain insight into the risk and mitigation of PTSD, TBI, and related injuries. In addition, the National Research Action Plan shall include strategies to support collaborative research to address suicide prevention.
(c) The Departments of Defense and Health and Human Services shall engage in a comprehensive longitudinal mental health study with an emphasis on PTSD, TBI, and related injuries to develop better prevention, diagnosis, and treatment options. Agencies shall continue ongoing collaborative research efforts, with an aim to enroll at least 100,000 service members by December 31, 2012, and include a plan for long-term follow-up with enrollees through a coordinated effort with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 6. Military and Veterans Mental Health Interagency Task Force. There is established an Interagency Task Force on Military and Veterans Mental Health (Task Force), to be co-chaired by the Secretaries of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Health and Human Services, or their designated representatives.
(a) Membership. In addition to the Co-Chairs, the Task Force shall consist of representatives from:
(i) the Department of Education;
(ii) the Office of Management and Budget;
(iii) the Domestic Policy Council;
(iv) the National Security Staff;
(v) the Office of Science and Technology Policy;
(vi) the Office of National Drug Control Policy; and
(vii) such other executive departments, agencies, or offices as the Co-Chairs may designate.
A member agency of the Task Force shall designate a full-time officer or employee of the Federal Government to perform the Task Force functions.
(b) Mission. Member agencies shall review relevant statutes, policies, and agency training and guidance to identify reforms and take actions that facilitate implementation of the strategies outlined in this order. Member agencies shall work collaboratively on these strategies and also create an inventory of mental health and substance abuse programs and activities to inform this work.
(c) Functions.
(i) Not later than 180 days after the date of this order, the Task Force shall submit recommendations to the President on strategies to improve mental health and substance abuse treatment services for veterans, service members, and their families. Every year thereafter, the Task Force shall provide to the President a review of agency actions to enhance mental health and substance abuse treatment services for veterans, service members, and their families consistent with this order, as well as provide additional recommendations for action as appropriate. The Task Force shall define specific goals and metrics that will aid in measuring progress in improving mental health strategies. The Task Force will include cost analysis in the development of all recommendations, and will ensure any new requirements are supported within existing resources.
(ii) In addition to coordinating and reviewing agency efforts to enhance veteran and military mental health services pursuant to this order, the Task Force shall evaluate:
(1) agency efforts to improve care quality and ensure that the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs and community-based mental health providers are trained in the most current evidence-based methodologies for treating PTSD, TBI, depression, related mental health conditions, and substance abuse;
(2) agency efforts to improve awareness and reduce stigma for those needing to seek care; and
(3) agency research efforts to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of TBI, PTSD, and related injuries, and explore the need for an external research portfolio review.
(iii) In performing its functions, the Task Force shall consult with relevant nongovernmental experts and organizations as necessary.
Sec. 7. General Provisions. (a) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
Barack Obama.
[Reference to the National Security Staff deemed to be a reference to the National Security Council Staff, see Ex. Ord. No. 13657, set out as a note under section 3021 of Title 50, War and National Defense.]

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32 CFR - National Defense

32 CFR Part 199 - CIVILIAN HEALTH AND MEDICAL PROGRAM OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES (CHAMPUS)

32 CFR Part 728 - MEDICAL AND DENTAL CARE FOR ELIGIBLE PERSONS AT NAVY MEDICAL DEPARTMENT FACILITIES

32 CFR Part 732 - NONNAVAL MEDICAL AND DENTAL CARE

 

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