Title: Deborah Sampson Act
Vote to pass a bill that increases health care access for women veterans through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Requires the Under Secretary for Health to establish and operate the Office of Women’s Health within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) (Sec. 101).
Specifies that the functions of the Office of Women’s Health will include, but are not limited to, the following (Sec. 101):
Providing a central office for monitoring and encouraging the activities of the VHA with respect to the provision, evaluation, and improvement of women veterans’ health care services in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA);
Developing and implementing standards of care for women veterans in the VA;
Monitoring and identifying deficiencies in standards of care for women veterans in the VA, providing technical assistance to medical facilities of the VA to address and remedy deficiencies, and performing oversight of the implementation of standards of care; and
Monitoring and identifying deficiencies in standards of care for women veterans provided through the community pursuant to this act, and providing recommendations to the appropriate office to address and remedy any deficiencies.
Requires the standards of care for the health care for women veterans in the VA to include, at a minimum, a requirement for (Sec. 101):
At least 1 designated women’s primary health care provider at each medical center whose duties include, to the extent practicable, providing training to other VA health care providers with respect to the needs of women veterans; and
At least 1 designated women’s primary health care provider at each VA community-based outpatient clinic that may serve female patients as a percentage of the total duties of the provider.
Requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to expand the capabilities of the Women Veterans Call Center of the VA to include a text messaging capability (Sec. 102).
Requires the Secretary to ensure that women’s primary health care services are available during regular business hours at every VA medical center and community-based outpatient clinic (Sec. 201).
Requires the Secretary to establish a comprehensive policy to end harassment and sexual assault, including sexual harassment and gender-based harassment, throughout the VA, and specifies that the policy must include but is not limited to the following (Sec. 321):
A process for VA employees and contractors to respond to reported incidents of harassment and sexual assault committed by any non-VA individual within a facility of the VA, including with respect to accountability or disciplinary measures;
A process for VA employees and contractors to respond to reported incidents of harassment and sexual assault of any non-VA individual within a facility of the VA;
A process for any non-VA individual to report harassment and sexual assault, including an option for confidential reporting and for the Secretary to respond to and address such reports;
Clear mechanisms for non-VA individuals to readily identify to whom and how to report incidents of harassment and sexual assault committed by another non-VA individual;
A process for, and mandatory reporting requirement applicable to, any VA employee or contractor who witnesses harassment or sexual assault within a facility of the VA, regardless of whether the individual affected by such harassment or sexual assault wants to report such incident; and
The actions possible, including disciplinary actions, for employees or contractors of the VA who fail to report incidents of harassment and sexual assault.
Authorizes the Secretary to furnish medically necessary transportation for newborn children of women veterans receiving maternity care (Sec. 204).
Authorizes the Secretary to furnish medical care for newborn children of women veterans receiving maternity care by the VA for up to 14 days after they are born (Sec. 204).
Requires the Secretary to complete an analysis of VA programs that provide assistance to women veterans who are homeless or precariously housed, in order to identify the areas in which such programs are failing to meet the needs of women (Sec. 323).
Requires the Secretary to establish a partnership with at least 1 nongovernmental organization to provide legal services to women veterans (Sec. 324).
Requires the Secretary to carry out a program to assist former members of the armed forces who have experienced or are experiencing intimate partner violence or sexual assault in accessing benefits from the VA, including coordinating access to medical treatment centers, housing assistance, and other benefits from the VA (Sec. 325).
Requires the Secretary, in consultation with the United States Attorney General, to conduct a national baseline study to examine the scope of the problem of intimate partner violence and sexual assault among veterans and spouses and intimate partners of veterans, no later than 1 year after the enactment of this act (Sec. 326).
Appropriates $1 million for each fiscal year to the Women Veterans Health Care Mini-Residency Program of the VA to provide opportunities for participation in such program for primary care and emergency care clinicians (Sec. 106).
Appropriates $20 million for financial assistance to organizations that have a focus on providing assistance to women veterans and their families, for the 2020 fiscal year (Sec. 322).
Title: Deborah Sampson Act