John Walsh

S.2182 - Suicide Prevention For American Veterans Act

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3/27/2014--Introduced. Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act - Extends from 5 to 15 years the period of eligibility for hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care for veterans who served on active duty in a theater of combat operations after the Persian Gulf War or against a hostile force during a period of hostilities after November 11, 1998. Requires the Secretaries of the military departments to provide a process by which a covered individual may challenge the terms or characterization of his or her discharge or separation from the Armed Forces. Defines "covered individual" as any individual who: (1) was discharged or separated from the Armed Forces for a personality disorder; or (2) was discharged or separated from the Armed Forces on a punitive basis, or under other than honorable conditions, and who alleges that the basis for such discharge or separation was a mental health injury or disorder incurred or aggravated by the individual during service in the Armed Forces. Requires the Secretary of Defense (DOD) and the Secretary of Veteran Affairs (VA) to: (1) conduct an evaluation of mental health care and suicide prevention programs carried out in DOD and VA; (2) train all providers of health care in such Departments on recognizing the risk of suicide, treating or referring for treatment an individual who is at risk of suicide, and recognizing the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder; and (3) ensure that best practices for identifying individuals at risk of suicide and for providing quality mental health care are disseminated to providers of health care in such Departments. Amends the Wounded Warrior Act to require the DOD Secretary and the VA Secretary, in implementing electronic health record systems that provide for the full interoperability of personal health care information between the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, to ensure that: (1) a health data authoritative source that can be accessed by multiple providers and that standardizes the input of new medical information is created within 180 days, (2) the ability of patients of both Departments to download their medical records is achieved within 180 days, (3) full interoperability of personal health care information between the Departments is achieved within one year, (4) acceleration of the exchange of real-time data between the Departments is achieved within one year, (5) the upgrade of the graphical user interface to display a joint common graphical user interface is achieved within one year, and (6) current members of the Armed Forces and their dependents may elect to receive an electronic copy of their health care records beginning not later than June 30, 2015. Directs the VA Secretary to carry out a three-year pilot program to repay the educational loans of individuals who: (1) are licensed or eligible for licensure to practice psychiatric medicine in the Veterans Health Administration or are enrolled in the final year of an accredited residency program in psychiatric medicine, and (2) demonstrate a commitment to a long-term career as a psychiatrist in the Veterans Health Administration. Directs the Comptroller General (GAO) to study and report on pay disparities among psychiatrists of the Veterans Health Administration.

Read Twice And Referred To The Committee On Veterans' Affairs.
March 27th 2014 @ 12:00 AM

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