What is House Bill H.R. 4561?
This bill would require the Veterans Administration (VA) to develop a plan to improve its efforts to serve rural veterans. Areas of focus would include emergency services and women's health. According to its sponsor in the House, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), the bill would direct the VA to set goals and objectives for:
and retaining Veterans Health Administration (VHA) health care personnel in
timeliness and quality of care by VHA in rural areas through contract and
implementation, expansion, and enhanced use of telemedicine in rural areas.
full and effective use of the VA's mobile outpatient clinics.
modification of ORH funding allocation mechanisms so that the funds actually go
to initiatives and projects that improve access to and quality of care for
The bill would most directly affect veterans living in rural areas--roughly 40% of the overall veteran population.
Cost of House Bill H.R. 4561
A CBO cost estimate is currently unavailable.
-Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and John Boozman (R-AK) originally introduced this legislation in the 112th Congress (the current Congress is the 113th). On that occasion, the bill made its way out of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, but never received a full vote. They have since re-introduced it.
Rural Veterans Health Care Improvement Act of 2014
To specify requirements for the next update of the current strategic plan for the Office of Rural Health of the Department of Veterans Affairs for improving access to, and the quality of, health care services for veterans in rural areas.