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115th Congress   }                                       {      Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session     }                                       {     115-144

======================================================================



 
              VA PRESCRIPTION DATA ACCOUNTABILITY ACT 2017

                                _______
                                

  May 22, 2017.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Roe of Tennessee, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1545]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1545) to amend title 38, United States Code, to 
clarify the authority of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to 
disclose certain patient information to State controlled 
substance monitoring programs, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment 
and recommend that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     3
Subcommittee Consideration.......................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     3
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     4
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     4
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     4
Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits.............................     4
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     4
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     4
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     5
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     5
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     5
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     5
Statement on Duplication of Federal Programs.....................     5
Disclosure of Directed Rulemaking................................     6
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     6
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported.............     6

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 1545, the VA Prescription Data Accountability Act of 
2017, was introduced by Representative Ann M. Kuster of New 
Hampshire on March 15, 2017.
    H.R. 1545 would require the Department of Veterans Affairs 
(VA) to disclose information about any individual who is 
dispensed medication prescribed by a VA employee or a non-VA 
provider authorized by VA to a state prescription drug 
monitoring program (PDMP) to the extent necessary to prevent 
misuse and diversion of prescription medication.

                  Background and Need for Legislation


Section 2. Secretary of Veterans Affairs disclosure of patient 
        information to state controlled Substance Monitoring Programs

    State PDMPs are statewide electronic databases that are 
used to address prescription drug abuse, addiction, and 
diversion through the collection and distribution of data on 
substances dispensed in a given state to authorized individuals 
or entities.\1\ According to the National Alliance for Model 
State Drug Laws, PDMPs can be beneficial in: supporting access 
to legitimate medical use of controlled substances; identifying 
and deterring drug abuse and diversion; facilitating and 
encouraging the identification of persons addicted to 
prescription drugs and subsequent intervention and treatment; 
and, informing public health initiatives through outlining of 
use and abuse trends.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\U.S. Department of Justice--Drug Enforcement Administration. 
State Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, https://
www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/faq/rx_monitor.htm#1. Accessed May 18, 2017.
    \2\Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sec. 5701(l) of title 38 United States Code (U.S.C.) 
requires VA to disclose information to PDMPs for either a 
veteran or the dependent of a veteran who is prescribed 
medication through VA. However, VA's current information 
technology (IT) system is unable to differentiate between a 
dependent of a veteran and other non-veterans and, as a result, 
VA only transmits veteran data to PDMPs.\3\ This leaves out 
approximately 10% of VA's patient population who are non-
veterans and who may be prescribed medication from VA that is 
not shared with State PDMPs. In FY 2017, that translated to 
approximately 715,928 patients. Non-veterans who may receive 
prescriptions from VA include: descendants of veterans; 
caregivers of veterans; individuals receiving disaster relief 
from VA; TRICARE beneficiaries, active duty service members, or 
others who receive VA care through sharing agreements with 
either the Department of Defense or academic affiliates; or, VA 
staff. The Committee is concerned about ongoing public health 
risks of the misuse or diversion of prescription medication, 
which may be exacerbated by VA's failure to provide information 
about all VA patients--veterans and non-veterans--to PDMPs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\United States Cong. House Committee on Veterans' Affairs 
Subcommittee on Health. Legislative Hearing. March 29, 2017. 115th 
Cong. 1st sess. Washington: GPO, 2017 (statement from Representative 
Ann M. Kuster).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Section 2 of the bill would require VA to disclose 
information to PDMPs for anyone--veteran or non-veteran--who is 
prescribed medication through the VA healthcare system. 
According to VA, enactment of section 2 would, ``. . . provide 
an important authority to ensure that VA is able to fulfill its 
public health role in sharing vital clinical information to 
help guide treatment decisions.''\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\United States Cong. House Committee on Veterans' Affairs 
Subcommittee on Health. Legislative Hearing. March 29, 2017. 115th 
Cong. 1st sess. Washington: GPO, 2017 (statement from Jennifer S. Lee, 
Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Policy and Services, Veterans 
Health Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                Hearings

    There were no full Committee hearings held on H.R. 1545.
    On March 29, 2017, the Subcommittee on Health conducted a 
legislative hearing on a number of bills including H.R. 1545.
    The following witnesses testified:
          The Honorable David. P. Roe M.D. of Tennessee; The 
        Honorable Jackie Walorski of Indiana; The Honorable 
        Doug Collins of Georgia; The Honorable Mike Coffman of 
        Colorado; The Honorable Stephen Knight of California; 
        The Honorable Ann M. Kuster of New Hampshire; Jennifer 
        S. Lee, M.D., the Deputy Under Secretary for Health for 
        Policy and Services for the Veterans Health 
        Administration of the U.S. Department of Veterans 
        Affairs who was accompanied by Susan Blauert, the Chief 
        Counsel for the Health Care Law Group of the Office of 
        the General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Veterans 
        Affairs; Kayda Keleher, Legislative Associate for the 
        National Legislative Service of the Veterans of Foreign 
        Wars of the United States; Shurhonda Y. Love, the 
        Assistant National Legislative Director for the 
        Disabled American Veterans; and, Sarah S. Dean, the 
        Associate Legislative Director for the Paralyzed 
        Veterans of America.
    Statements for the record were submitted by:
          The Honorable Lee Zeldin of New York; The American 
        Legion; the National Association of State Veteran 
        Homes; Swords to Plowshares; and, the Wounded Warrior 
        Project.

                       Subcommittee Consideration

    On April 6, 2017, the Subcommittee on Health met in an open 
markup session, a quorum being present, and ordered H.R. 1545 
to be reported favorably to the full Committee by voice vote.

                        Committee Consideration

    On May 17, 2017, the full Committee met in open markup 
session, a quorum being present, and ordered H.R. 1545 to be 
reported favorably to the House of Representatives by voice 
vote. A motion by Representative Tim Walz of Minnesota, Ranking 
Member of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to report H.R. 
1545 favorably to the House of Representatives was agreed to by 
voice vote.

                            Committee Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, there were no recorded votes 
taken on amendments or in connection with ordering H.R. 1545 
reported to the House.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goals and objectives are to ensure a complete and accurate 
transmittal of prescription information from VA to PDMPs.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee adopts as its 
own the estimate of new budget authority, entitlement 
authority, or tax expenditures or revenues contained in the 
cost estimate prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974.

                  Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits

    H.R. 1545 does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate on H.R. 
1545 prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the following is the cost estimate 
for H.R. 1545 provided by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, May 19, 2017.
Hon. Phil Roe, M.D.,
Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1545, the VA 
Prescription Data Accountability Act 2017.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Ann E. 
Futrell.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1545--VA Prescription Data Accountability Act 2017

    H.R. 1545 would require the Department of Veterans Affairs 
(VA) to disclose to state programs that monitor prescription 
drugs certain information about all people who receive 
prescriptions from VA. Under current law, VA is required to 
disclose such information only for veterans or their dependents 
who are prescribed medication through VA. H.R. 1545 would 
expand that group to include anyone who is prescribed 
medication through VA, including descendants of veterans, staff 
at VA, and individuals receiving disaster relief. CBO estimates 
that implementing the bill would cost less than $500,000 over 
the 2018-2022 period, primarily to prepare the necessary 
regulations; that spending would be subject to the availability 
of appropriated funds.
    Enacting H.R. 1545 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO 
estimates that enacting H.R. 1545 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    The bill contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Ann E. Futrell. 
The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates regarding H.R. 1545 prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 423 of the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act would be created by H.R. 
1545.

                 Statement of Constitutional Authority

    Pursuant to Article I, section 8 of the United States 
Constitution, H.R. 1545 is authorized by Congress' power to 
``provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the 
United States.''

                  Applicability To Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that H.R. 1545 does not relate to the 
terms and conditions of employment or access to public services 
or accommodations within the meaning of section 102(b)(3) of 
the Congressional Accountability Act.

              Statement on Duplication of Federal Programs

    Pursuant to section 3(g) of H. Res. 5, 114th Cong. (2015), 
the Committee finds that no provision of H.R. 1545 establishes 
or reauthorizes a program of the Federal Government known to be 
duplicative of another Federal program, a program that was 
included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-
139, or a program related to a program identified in the most 
recent Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.

                   Disclosure of Directed Rulemaking

    Pursuant to section 3(i) of H. Res. 5, 114th Cong. (2015), 
the Committee estimates that H.R. 1545 contains no directed 
rulemaking that would require the Secretary to prescribe 
regulations.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 of the bill would provide a short title of the 
``VA Prescription Data Accountability Act of 2017''.

Section 2. Secretary of Veterans Affairs disclosure of patient 
        information to state controlled Substance Monitoring Programs

    Section 2 of the bill would amend section 5701(1) of title 
38 U.S.C. by:
          (1) inserting ``(1)'' before ``Under'';
          (2) striking ``a veteran or the dependent of a 
        veteran'' and inserting ``a covered individual'';
          (3) adding at the end a new paragraph that would 
        stipulate that a ``covered individual'' is an 
        individual who is dispensed medication prescribed by a 
        VA employee or by a provider authorized by VA to 
        prescribe such medication.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italics, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



PART IV--GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 57--RECORDS AND INVESTIGATIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                         SUBCHAPTER I--RECORDS


Sec. 5701. Confidential nature of claims

  (a) All files, records, reports, and other papers and 
documents pertaining to any claim under any of the laws 
administered by the Secretary and the names and addresses of 
present or former members of the Armed Forces, and their 
dependents, in the possession of the Department shall be 
confidential and privileged, and no disclosure thereof shall be 
made except as provided in this section.
  (b) The Secretary shall make disclosure of such files, 
records, reports, and other papers and documents as are 
described in subsection (a) of this section as follows:
          (1) To a claimant or duly authorized agent or 
        representative of a claimant as to matters concerning 
        the claimant alone when, in the judgment of the 
        Secretary, such disclosure would not be injurious to 
        the physical or mental health of the claimant and to an 
        independent medical expert or experts for an advisory 
        opinion pursuant to section 5109 or 7109 of this title.
          (2) When required by process of a United States court 
        to be produced in any suit or proceeding therein 
        pending.
          (3) When required by any department or other agency 
        of the United States Government.
          (4) In all proceedings in the nature of an inquest 
        into the mental competency of a claimant.
          (5) In any suit or other judicial proceeding when in 
        the judgment of the Secretary such disclosure is deemed 
        necessary and proper.
          (6) In connection with any proceeding for the 
        collection of an amount owed to the United States by 
        virtue of a person's participation in any benefit 
        program administered by the Secretary when in the 
        judgment of the Secretary such disclosure is deemed 
        necessary and proper.
  (c)(1) The amount of any payment made by the Secretary to any 
person receiving benefits under a program administered by the 
Secretary shall be made known to any person who applies for 
such information.
  (2) Any appraisal report or certificate of reasonable value 
submitted to or prepared by the Secretary in connection with 
any loan guaranteed, insured, or made under chapter 37 of this 
title shall be made available to any person who applies for 
such report or certificate.
  (3) Subject to the approval of the President, the Secretary 
may publish at any time and in any manner any or all 
information of record pertaining to any claim filed with the 
Secretary if the Secretary determines that the public interest 
warrants or requires such publication.
  (d) The Secretary as a matter of discretion may authorize an 
inspection of Department records by duly authorized 
representatives of recognized organizations.
  (e) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this section 
with respect to certain information, the Secretary may release 
information, statistics, or reports to individuals or 
organizations when in the Secretary's judgment such release 
would serve a useful purpose.
  (f) The Secretary may, pursuant to regulations the Secretary 
shall prescribe, release the name or address, or both, of any 
present or former member of the Armed Forces, or a dependent of 
a present or former member of the Armed Forces, (1) to any 
nonprofit organization if the release is directly connected 
with the conduct of programs and the utilization of benefits 
under this title, or (2) to any criminal or civil law 
enforcement governmental agency or instrumentality charged 
under applicable law with the protection of the public health 
or safety if a qualified representative of such agency or 
instrumentality has made a written request that such name or 
address be provided for a purpose authorized by law. Any 
organization or member thereof or other person who, knowing 
that the use of any name or address released by the Secretary 
pursuant to the preceding sentence is limited to the purpose 
specified in such sentence, willfully uses such name or address 
for a purpose other than those so specified, shall be guilty of 
a misdemeanor and be fined not more than $5,000 in the case of 
a first offense and not more than $20,000 in the case of any 
subsequent offense.
  (g)(1) Subject to the provisions of this subsection, and 
under regulations which the Secretary shall prescribe, the 
Secretary may release the name or address, or both, of any 
person who is a present or former member of the Armed Forces, 
or who is a dependent of a present or former member of the 
Armed Forces, to a consumer reporting agency if the release of 
such information is necessary for a purpose described in 
paragraph (2) of this subsection.
  (2) A release of information under paragraph (1) of this 
subsection concerning a person described in such paragraph may 
be made for the purpose of--
          (A) locating such a person--
                  (i) who has been administratively determined 
                to be indebted to the United States by virtue 
                of the person's participation in a benefits 
                program administered by the Secretary; or
                  (ii) if the Secretary has determined under 
                such regulations that (I) it is necessary to 
                locate such person in order to conduct a study 
                pursuant to section 527 of this title or a 
                study required by any other provision of law, 
                and (II) all reasonable steps have been taken 
                to assure that the release of such information 
                to such reporting agency will not have an 
                adverse effect on such person; or
          (B) Obtaining a consumer report in order to assess 
        the ability of a person described in subparagraph 
        (A)(i) of this paragraph to repay the indebtedness of 
        such person to the United States, but the Secretary may 
        release the name or address of such person for the 
        purpose stated in this clause only if the Secretary 
        determines under such regulations that such person has 
        failed to respond appropriately to administrative 
        efforts to collect such indebtedness.
  (3) The Secretary may also release to a consumer reporting 
agency, for the purposes specified in subparagraph (A) or (B) 
of paragraph (2) of this subsection, such other information as 
the Secretary determines under such regulations is reasonably 
necessary to identify a person described in such paragraph, 
except that the Secretary may not release to a consumer 
reporting agency any information which indicates any 
indebtedness on the part of such person to the United States or 
any information which reflects adversely on such person. Before 
releasing any information under this paragraph, the Secretary 
shall, under such regulations, take reasonable steps to provide 
for the protection of the personal privacy of persons about 
whom information is proposed to be released under this 
paragraph.
  (4)(A) If the Secretary determines, under regulations which 
the Secretary shall prescribe, that a person described in 
paragraph (1) of this subsection has failed to respond 
appropriately to reasonable administrative efforts to collect 
an indebtedness of such person described in paragraph (2)(A)(i) 
of this subsection, the Secretary may release information 
concerning the indebtedness, including the name and address of 
such person, to a consumer reporting agency for the purpose of 
making such information available for inclusion in consumer 
reports regarding such person and, if necessary, for the 
purpose of locating such person, if--
          (i) the Secretary has (I) made reasonable efforts to 
        notify such person of such person's right to dispute 
        through prescribed administrative processes the 
        existence or amount of such indebtedness and of such 
        person's right to request a waiver of such indebtedness 
        under section 5302 of this title, (II) afforded such 
        person a reasonable opportunity to exercise such 
        rights, and (III) made a determination with respect to 
        any such dispute or request; and
          (ii) thirty calendar days have elapsed after the day 
        on which the Secretary has made a determination that 
        reasonable efforts have been made to notify such person 
        (I) that the Secretary intends to release such 
        information for such purpose or purposes, and (II) 
        that, upon the request of such person, the Secretary 
        shall inform such person of whether such information 
        has been so released and of the name and address of 
        each consumer reporting agency to which such 
        information was released by the Secretary and of the 
        specific information so released.
  (B) After release of any information under subparagraph (A) 
of this paragraph concerning the indebtedness of any person, 
the Secretary shall promptly notify--
          (i) each consumer reporting agency to which such 
        information has been released by the Secretary; and
          (ii) each consumer reporting agency described in 
        subsection (i)(3)(B)(i) of this section to which such 
        information has been transmitted by the Secretary 
        through a consumer reporting agency described in 
        subsection (i)(3)(B)(ii)(I) of this section,
of any substantial change in the status or amount of such 
indebtedness and, upon the request of any such consumer 
reporting agency for verification of any or all information so 
released, promptly verify or correct, as appropriate, such 
information. The Secretary shall also, after the release of 
such information, inform such person, upon the request of such 
person, of the name and address of each consumer reporting 
agency described in clause (i) or (ii) of this subparagraph to 
which such information was released or transmitted by the 
Secretary and of the specific information so released or 
transmitted.
  (h)(1) Under regulations which the Secretary shall prescribe, 
the Secretary may release the name or address, or both, of any 
person who is a present or former member of the Armed Forces, 
or who is a dependent of a present or former member of the 
Armed Forces (and other information relating to the identity of 
such person), to any person in a category of persons described 
in such regulations and specified in such regulations as a 
category of persons to whom such information may be released, 
if the release of such information is necessary for a purpose 
described in paragraph (2) of this subsection.
  (2) A release of information under paragraph (1) of this 
subsection may be made for the purpose of--
          (A) determining the creditworthiness, credit 
        capacity, income, or financial resources of a person 
        who has (i) applied for any benefit under chapter 37 of 
        this title, or (ii) submitted an offer to the Secretary 
        for the purchase of property acquired by the Secretary 
        under section 3720(a)(5) of this title;
          (B) verifying, either before or after the Secretary 
        has approved a person's application for assistance in 
        the form of a loan guaranty or loan insurance under 
        chapter 37 of this title, information submitted by a 
        lender to the Secretary regarding the creditworthiness, 
        credit capacity, income, or financial resources of such 
        person;
          (C) offering for sale or other disposition by the 
        Secretary, pursuant to section 3720 of this title, any 
        loan or installment sale contract owned or held by the 
        Secretary; or
          (D) providing assistance to any applicant for 
        benefits under chapter 37 of this title or 
        administering such benefits if the Secretary promptly 
        records the fact of such release in appropriate records 
        pertaining to the person concerning whom such release 
        was made.
  (i)(1) No contract entered into for any of the purposes of 
subsection (g) or (h) of this section, and no action taken 
pursuant to any such contract or either such subsection, shall 
result in the application of section 552a of title 5 to any 
consumer reporting agency or any employee of a consumer 
reporting agency.
  (2) The Secretary shall take reasonable steps to provide for 
the protection of the personal privacy of persons about whom 
information is disclosed under subsection (g) or (h) of this 
section.
  (3) For the purposes of this subsection and of subsection (g) 
of this section--
          (A) The term ``consumer report'' has the meaning 
        provided such term in subsection (d) of section 603 of 
        the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681a(d)).
          (B) The term ``consumer reporting agency'' means--
                  (i) a consumer reporting agency as such term 
                is defined in subsection (f) of section 603 of 
                the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 
                1681a(f)), or
                  (ii) any person who, for monetary fees, dues, 
                or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly 
                engages in whole or in part in the practice of 
                (I) obtaining credit or other information on 
                consumers for the purpose of furnishing such 
                information to consumer reporting agencies (as 
                defined in clause (i) of this paragraph), or 
                (II) serving as a marketing agent under 
                arrangements enabling third parties to obtain 
                such information from such reporting agencies.
  (j) Except as provided in subsection (i)(1) of this section, 
any disclosure made pursuant to this section shall be made in 
accordance with the provisions of section 552a of title 5.
  (k)(1)(A) Under regulations that the Secretary shall 
prescribe, the Secretary may disclose the name and address of 
any individual described in subparagraph (C) to an entity 
described in subparagraph (B) in order to facilitate the 
determination by such entity whether the individual is, or 
after death will be, a suitable organ, tissue, or eye donor 
if--
          (i) the individual is near death (as determined by 
        the Secretary) or is deceased; and
          (ii) the disclosure is permitted under regulations 
        promulgated pursuant to section 264 of the Health 
        Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 
        (42 U.S.C. 1320d-2 note).
  (B) An entity described in this subparagraph is--
          (i) an organ procurement organization, including eye 
        and tissue banks; or
          (ii) an entity that the Secretary has determined--
                  (I) is substantially similar in function, 
                professionalism, and reliability to an organ 
                procurement organization; and
                  (II) should be treated for purposes of this 
                subsection in the same manner as an organ 
                procurement organization.
  (C) An individual described in this subparagraph is--
          (i) a veteran; or
          (ii) a dependent of veteran.
  (2) In this subsection, the term ``organ procurement 
organization'' has the meaning given the term ``qualified organ 
procurement organization'' in section 371(b) of the Public 
Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 273(b)).
  (l)(1) Under regulations the Secretary shall prescribe, the 
Secretary shall disclose information about [a veteran or the 
dependent of a veteran] a covered individual to a State 
controlled substance monitoring program, including a program 
approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under 
section 399O of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 280g-
3), to the extent necessary to prevent misuse and diversion of 
prescription medicines.
  (2) In this subsection, a ``covered individual'' is an 
individual who is dispensed medication prescribed by an 
employee of the Department or by a non-Department provider 
authorized to prescribe such medication by the Department.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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