United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Mar 25, 2023

§ 8153.
Sharing of health-care resources
To secure health-care resources which otherwise might not be feasibly available, or to effectively utilize certain other health-care resources, the Secretary may, when the Secretary determines it to be in the best interest of the prevailing standards of the Department medical care program, make arrangements, by contract or other form of agreement for the mutual use, or exchange of use, of health-care resources between Department health-care facilities and any health-care provider, or other entity or individual.
The Secretary may enter into a contract or other agreement under paragraph (1) if such resources are not, or would not be, used to their maximum effective capacity.
If the health-care resource required is a commercial service, the use of medical equipment or space, or research, and is to be acquired from an institution affiliated with the Department in accordance with section 7302 of this title, including medical practice groups and other entities associated with affiliated institutions, blood banks, organ banks, or research centers, the Secretary may make arrangements for acquisition of the resource without regard to any law or regulation (including any Executive order, circular, or other administrative policy) that would otherwise require the use of competitive procedures for acquiring the resource.
If the health-care resource required is a commercial service or the use of medical equipment or space, and is not to be acquired from an entity described in subparagraph (A), any procurement of the resource may be conducted without regard to any law or regulation that would otherwise require the use of competitive procedures for procuring the resource, but only if the procurement is conducted in accordance with the simplified procedures prescribed pursuant to clause (ii).
The Secretary, in consultation with the Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy, may prescribe simplified procedures for the procurement of health-care resources under this subparagraph. The Secretary shall publish such procedures for public comment in accordance with section 1707 of title 41. Such procedures shall permit all responsible sources, as appropriate, to submit a bid, proposal, or quotation (as appropriate) for the resources to be procured and provide for the consideration by the Department of bids, proposals, or quotations so submitted.
Pending publication of the procedures under clause (ii), the Secretary shall (except as provided under subparagraph (A)) procure health-care resources referred to in clause (i) in accordance with all procurement laws and regulations.
Any procurement of health-care resources other than those covered by subparagraph (A) or (B) shall be conducted in accordance with all procurement laws and regulations.
For any procurement to be conducted on a sole source basis other than a procurement covered by subparagraph (A), a written justification shall be prepared that includes the information and is approved at the levels prescribed in section 3304(e) of title 41.
As used in this paragraph, the term “commercial service” means a service that is offered and sold competitively in the commercial marketplace, is performed under standard commercial terms and conditions, and is procured using firm-fixed price contracts.
Arrangements entered into under this section shall provide for payment to the Department in accordance with procedures that provide appropriate flexibility to negotiate payment which is in the best interest of the Government. Any proceeds to the Government received therefrom shall be credited to the applicable Department medical appropriation and to funds that have been allotted to the facility that furnished the resource involved.
Eligibility for hospital care and medical services furnished any veteran pursuant to this section shall be subject to the same terms as though provided in a Department health care facility, and provisions of this title applicable to persons receiving hospital care or medical services in a Department health care facility shall apply to veterans treated under this section.
When a Department health care facility provides hospital care or medical services, pursuant to a contract or agreement authorized by this section, to an individual who is not eligible for such care or services under chapter 17 of this title and who is entitled to hospital or medical insurance benefits under title XVIII of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395 et seq.), such benefits shall be paid, notwithstanding any condition, limitation, or other provision in that title which would otherwise preclude such payment to such facility for such care or services or, if the contract or agreement so provides, to the community health care facility which is a party to the contract or agreement.
The Secretary may make an arrangement that authorizes the furnishing of services by the Secretary under this section to individuals who are not veterans only if the Secretary determines—
that veterans will receive priority under such an arrangement; and
that such an arrangement—
is necessary to maintain an acceptable level and quality of service to veterans at that facility; or
will result in the improvement of services to eligible veterans at that facility.
Any amount received by the Secretary from a non-Federal entity as payment for services provided by the Secretary during a prior fiscal year under an agreement entered into under this section may be obligated by the Secretary during the fiscal year in which the Secretary receives the payment.
The Secretary shall submit to the Congress not later than February 1 of each year a report on the activities carried out under this section during the preceding fiscal year. Each report shall include—
an appraisal of the effectiveness of the activities authorized in this section and the degree of cooperation from other sources, financial and otherwise; and
recommendations for the improvement or more effective administration of such activities.
(Added Pub. L. 89–785, title II, § 203, Nov. 7, 1966, 80 Stat. 1374, § 5053; amended Pub. L. 91–496, § 4, Oct. 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 1092; Pub. L. 93–82, title III, § 303, Aug. 2, 1973, 87 Stat. 195; Pub. L. 94–581, title I, § 115(a)(1), title II, §§ 206(c), 210(e)(11), Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 2852, 2859, 2865; Pub. L. 96–151, title III, § 304, Dec. 20, 1979,
cite as: 38 USC 8153