38 U.S. Code § 1703C. Standards for quality

(a)In General.—
(1)
The Secretary shall establish standards for quality regarding hospital care, medical services, and extended care services furnished by the Department pursuant to this title, including through non-Department health care providers pursuant to section 1703 of this title.
(2)
In establishing standards for quality under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consider existing health quality measures that are applied to public and privately sponsored health care systems with the purpose of providing covered veterans relevant comparative information to make informed decisions regarding their health care.
(3) The Secretary shall collect and consider data for purposes of establishing the standards under paragraph (1). Such data collection shall include—
(A)
after consultation with veterans service organizations and other key stakeholders on survey development or modification of an existing survey, a survey of veterans who have used hospital care, medical services, or extended care services furnished by the Veterans Health Administration during the most recent 2-year period to assess the satisfaction of the veterans with service and quality of care; and
(B) datasets that include, at a minimum, elements relating to the following:
(i)
Timely care.
(ii)
Effective care.
(iii)
Safety, including, at a minimum, complications, readmissions, and deaths.
(iv)
Efficiency.
(4)
The Secretary shall consult with all pertinent Federal entities (including the Department of Defense, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services), entities in the private sector, and other nongovernmental entities in establishing standards for quality.
(5)
(A)
Not later than 270 days after the date of the enactment of the Caring for Our Veterans Act of 2018, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report detailing the standards for quality.
(B)
(i)
Before submitting the report required under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall provide periodic updates to the appropriate committees of Congress to confirm the Department’s progress towards developing the standards for quality required by this section.
(ii)
The first update under clause (i) shall occur no later than 120 days from the date of the enactment of the Caring for Our Veterans Act of 2018.
(b)Publication and Consideration of Public Comments.—
(1)
Not later than 1 year after the date on which the Secretary establishes standards for quality under subsection (a), the Secretary shall publish the quality rating of medical facilities of the Department in the publicly available Hospital Compare website through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for the purpose of providing veterans with information that allows them to compare performance measure information among Department and non-Department health care providers.
(2)
Not later than 2 years after the date on which the Secretary establishes standards for quality under subsection (a), the Secretary shall consider and solicit public comment on potential changes to the measures used in such standards to ensure that they include the most up-to-date and applicable industry measures for veterans.
(c)Definitions.— In this section:
(1) The term “appropriate committees of Congress” means—
(A)
the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and
(B)
the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.
(2)
References in Text

The date of the enactment of the Caring for Our Veterans Act of 2018, referred to in subsec. (a)(5), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 115–182, which was approved June 6, 2018.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 115–251 inserted heading and introductory provisions, substituted “means” for “refers to” in par. (2), and realigned margins.