38 U.S. Code § 7330A - Epilepsy centers of excellence

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(a) Establishment of Centers.—
(1) Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of the Veterans’ Mental Health and Other Care Improvements Act of 2008, the Secretary shall designate at least four but not more than six Department health care facilities as locations for epilepsy centers of excellence for the Department.
(2) Of the facilities designated under paragraph (1), not less than two shall be centers designated under section 7327 of this title.
(3) Of the facilities designated under paragraph (1), not less than two shall be facilities that are not centers designated under section 7327 of this title.
(4) Subject to the availability of appropriations for such purpose, the Secretary shall establish and operate an epilepsy center of excellence at each location designated under paragraph (1).
(b) Designation of Facilities.—
(1) In designating locations for epilepsy centers of excellence under subsection (a), the Secretary shall solicit proposals from Department health care facilities seeking designation as a location for an epilepsy center of excellence.
(2) The Secretary may not designate a facility as a location for an epilepsy center of excellence under subsection (a) unless the peer review panel established under subsection (c) has determined under that subsection that the proposal submitted by such facility seeking designation as a location for an epilepsy center of excellence is among those proposals that meet the highest competitive standards of scientific and clinical merit.
(3) In choosing from among the facilities meeting the requirements of paragraph (2), the Secretary shall also consider appropriate geographic distribution when designating the epilepsy centers of excellence under subsection (a).
(c) Peer Review Panel.—
(1) The Under Secretary for Health shall establish a peer review panel to assess the scientific and clinical merit of proposals that are submitted to the Secretary for the designation of epilepsy centers of excellence under this section.
(2)
(A) The membership of the peer review panel shall consist of experts on epilepsy, including post-traumatic epilepsy.
(B) Members of the peer review panel shall serve for a period of no longer than two years, except as specified in subparagraph (C).
(C) Of the members first appointed to the panel, one half shall be appointed for a period of three years and one half shall be appointed for a period of two years, as designated by the Under Secretary at the time of appointment.
(3) The peer review panel shall review each proposal submitted to the panel by the Under Secretary for Health and shall submit its views on the relative scientific and clinical merit of each such proposal to the Under Secretary.
(4) The peer review panel shall, in conjunction with the national coordinator designated under subsection (e), conduct regular evaluations of each epilepsy center of excellence established and operated under subsection (a) to ensure compliance with the requirements of this section.
(5) The peer review panel shall not be subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
(d) Epilepsy Center of Excellence Defined.— In this section, the term “epilepsy center of excellence” means a health care facility that has (or in the foreseeable future can develop) the necessary capacity to function as a center of excellence in research, education, and clinical care activities in the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy and has (or may reasonably be anticipated to develop) each of the following:
(1) An affiliation with an accredited medical school that provides education and training in neurology, including an arrangement with such school under which medical residents receive education and training in the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy (including neurosurgery).
(2) The ability to attract the participation of scientists who are capable of ingenuity and creativity in health care research efforts.
(3) An advisory committee composed of veterans and appropriate health care and research representatives of the facility and of the affiliated school or schools to advise the directors of such facility and such center on policy matters pertaining to the activities of the center during the period of the operation of such center.
(4) The capability to conduct effectively evaluations of the activities of such center.
(5) The capability to assist in the expansion of the Department’s use of information systems and databases to improve the quality and delivery of care for veterans enrolled within the Department’s health care system.
(6) The capability to assist in the expansion of the Department telehealth program to develop, transmit, monitor, and review neurological diagnostic tests.
(7) The ability to perform epilepsy research, education, and clinical care activities in collaboration with Department medical facilities that have centers for research, education, and clinical care activities on complex multi-trauma associated with combat injuries established under section 7327 of this title.
(e) National Coordinator for Epilepsy Programs.—
(1) To assist the Secretary and the Under Secretary for Health in carrying out this section, the Secretary shall designate an individual in the Veterans Health Administration to act as a national coordinator for epilepsy programs of the Veterans Health Administration.
(2) The duties of the national coordinator for epilepsy programs shall include the following:
(A) To supervise the operation of the centers established pursuant to this section.
(B) To coordinate and support the national consortium of providers with interest in treating epilepsy at Department health care facilities lacking such centers in order to ensure better access to state-of-the-art diagnosis, research, clinical care, and education for traumatic brain injury and epilepsy throughout the health care system of the Department.
(C) To conduct, in conjunction with the peer review panel established under subsection (c), regular evaluations of the epilepsy centers of excellence to ensure compliance with the requirements of this section.
(D) To coordinate (as part of an integrated national system) education, clinical care, and research activities within all facilities with an epilepsy center of excellence.
(E) To develop jointly a national consortium of providers with interest in treating epilepsy at Department health care facilities lacking an epilepsy center of excellence in order to ensure better access to state-of-the-art diagnosis, research, clinical care, and education for traumatic brain injury and epilepsy throughout the health care system of the Department. Such consortium should include a designated epilepsy referral clinic in each Veterans Integrated Service Network.
(3) In carrying out duties under this subsection, the national coordinator for epilepsy programs shall report to the official of the Veterans Health Administration responsible for neurology.
(f) Authorization of Appropriations.—
(1) There are authorized to be appropriated $6,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2013 for the support of the clinical care, research, and education activities of the epilepsy centers of excellence established and operated pursuant to subsection (a)(2).
(2) There are authorized to be appropriated for each fiscal year after fiscal year 2013 such sums as may be necessary for the support of the clinical care, research, and education activities of the epilepsy centers of excellence established and operated pursuant to subsection (a)(2).
(3) The Secretary shall ensure that funds for such centers are designated for the first three years of operation as a special purpose program for which funds are not allocated through the Veterans Equitable Resource Allocation system.
(4) In addition to amounts authorized to be appropriated under paragraphs (1) and (2) for a fiscal year, the Under Secretary for Health shall allocate to such centers from other funds appropriated generally for the Department medical services account and medical and prosthetics research account, as appropriate, such amounts as the Under Secretary for Health determines appropriate.
(5) In addition to amounts authorized to be appropriated under paragraphs (1) and (2) for a fiscal year, there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to fund the national coordinator established by subsection (e).

Source

(Added Pub. L. 110–387, title IV, § 404(a),Oct. 10, 2008, 122 Stat. 4126.)
References in Text

The date of the enactment of the Veterans’ Mental Health and Other Care Improvements Act of 2008, referred to in subsec. (a)(1), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–387, which was approved Oct. 10, 2008.
The Federal Advisory Committee Act, referred to in subsec. (c)(5), is Pub. L. 92–463, Oct. 6, 1972, 86 Stat. 770, which is set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

 

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