H.R.2661 - Veterans Access to Timely Medical Appointments Act113th Congress (2013-2014)
Summary: H.R.2661 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)
Introduced in House (07/11/2013)
Veterans Access to Timely Medical Appointments Act - Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to implement a standardized policy to ensure that veterans enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system are able to schedule: (1) primary care medical appointments within 7 days of the date requested, and (2) specialty care medical appointments within 14 days of the date requested.
Directs the Secretary to: (1) ensure that such policy will provide reliable data regarding the length of time that veterans are waiting for such appointments, (2) issue detailed guidance to the directors of the Veterans Integrated Service Networks to ensure the consistent implementation of such policy, (3) ensure that only VA employees who have completed required training are allowed to schedule medical appointments, and (4) assess the resources of each Network every 180 days to determine the Network's ability to meet such scheduling requirements.
Requires the Secretary to direct each VA medical center to provide oversight of telephone access and implement the best practices outlined in the VA telephone systems improvement guide, including practices to ensure that: (1) calls are answered in a timely manner and patient messages will have a return call within 24 hours, and (2) a call center at each such center is properly staffed to meet the needs of the veteran population served.
Directs the Inspector General of the VA to submit an annual report on the Secretary's progress in implementing this Act.