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(b) The Secretary may provide seeing-eye or guide dogs trained for the aid of the blind to veterans who are entitled to disability compensation, and may pay travel and incidental expenses (under the terms and conditions set forth in section 111 of this title) to and from their homes and incurred in becoming adjusted to such seeing-eye or guide dogs. The Secretary may also provide such veterans with mechanical or electronic equipment for aiding them in overcoming the handicap of blindness. P.L. 85–857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1143, 8614; P.L. 93–82, 3 103(b), Aug. 2, 1973, 87 Stat. 181; P.L. 94-581, 8210(a)(5), Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 2862; P.L. 96–151, $ 201(c), Dec. 20, 1979, 93 Stat. 1093; renumbered 1714 and amended P.L. 102–83, 88 4(a)(3), 4), (b)(1), (2)(E), 5(a), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 404_406.) $ 1715. Tobacco for hospitalized veterans

The Secretary may furnish tobacco to veterans receiving hospital for domiciliary care. (P.L. 85-857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1143, 8615; renumbered $ 1715 and amended P.L. 102–83, 884(b)(1), (2)(E), 5(a), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 404_406.) $ 1716. Hospital care by other agencies of the United States

When so specified in an appropriation or other Act, the Secretary may make allotments and transfers to the Departments of Health and Human Services (Public Health Service), the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Interior, for disbursement by them under the various headings of their appropriations, of such amounts as are necessary for the care and treatment of veterans entitled to hospitalization from the Department under this chapter. The amounts to be charged the Department for care and treatment of veterans in hospitals shall be calculated on the basis of a per diem rate approved by the Office of Management and Budget. (P.L. 85-857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1143, 8616; P.L. 94–581, $ 202(g), Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 2856; P.L. 97–295, 84(95)(A), Oct. 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 1313; renumbered § 1716 and amended P.L. 102– 83, 884(X3), (4), (b)(1), (2)(E), 5(a), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 404 406.) $ 1717. Home health services; invalid lifts and other devices

(a)(1) As part of medical services furnished to a veteran under section 1710(a) of this title, the Secretary may furnish such home health services as the Secretary finds to be necessary or appropriate for the effective and economical treatment of the veteran's disability.

(2) Improvements and structural alterations may be furnished as part of such home health services only as necessary to assure the continuation of treatment for the veteran's disability or to provide access to the home or to essential lavatory and sanitary facilities. The cost of such improvements and structural alterations (or the amount of reimbursement therefor) under this subsection may not (A) $4,100 in the case of medical services furnished under section 1710(a)(1) of this title, or for a disability described in section 1710(a)(2)(C) of this title; or

(B) $1,200 in the case of medical services furnished under any other provision of section 1710(a)(2) of this title. (3) The Secretary may furnish home health services to a veterar . in any setting in which the veteran is residing. The Secretary may not furnish such services in such a manner as to relieve any other person or entity of a contractual obligation to furnish services to the veteran. When home health services are furnished in a setting other than the veteran's home, such services may not include any structural improvement or alteration.

(b) The Secretary may furnish an invalid lift, or any type of therapeutic or rehabilitative device, as well as other medical equipment and supplies (excluding medicines), if medically indicated, to any veteran who is receiving (1) compensation under section 1114(1)–(p) of this title (or the comparable rates provided pursuant to section 1134 of this title), or (2) pension under chapter 15 of this title by reason of being in need of regular aid and attendance.

(c) The Secretary may furnish devices for assisting in overcoming the handicap of deafness (including telecaptioning television decoders) to any veteran who is profoundly deaf and is entitled to compensation on account of hearing impairment. (Added P.L. 86–211, 85, Aug. 29, 1959, 73 Stat. 435, 8617; amend ed P.L. 88–450, $ 6(a), (c), Aug. 19, 1964, 78 Stat. 504; P.L. 90–77, 8 109, Aug. 31, 1967, 81 Stat. 180; P.L. 90–493, 83(a), Aug. 19 1968, 82 Stat. 809; P.L. 97–295, $4(18), Oct. 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 1306; P.L. 98-528, § 107, Oct. 19, 1984, 98 Stat. 2690; P.L. 99_576, 8 202(2), Oct. 28, 1986, 100 Stat. 3254; P.L. 100_322, $ 101(d), May 20, 1988, 102 Stat. 491; renumbered g 1717 and amended P.L. 10283, 88 4(6)(1), (2)(E), 5(a), (c)(1), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 404-406 P.L. 102–405, § 101(a), Oct. 9, 1992, 106 Stat. 1973; P.L. 104–262. g 101(d)(6), Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3180.) § 1718. Therapeutic and rehabilitative activities

(a) In providing rehabilitative services under this chapter, the Secretary, upon the recommendation of the Under Secretary for Health, may use the services of patients and members in Department health care facilities for therapeutic and rehabilitative pur poses. Such patients and members shall not under these cir cumstances be held or_considered as employees of the United States for any purpose. The Secretary shall prescribe the conditions for the use of such services.

(b)(1) In furnishing rehabilitative services under this chapter, the Secretary, upon the recommendation of the Under Secretary for Health, may enter into a contract or other arrangement with any appropriate source (whether or not an element of the Department of Veterans Affairs or of any other Federal entity) to provide for therapeutic work for patients and members in Department health care facilities.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary may also furnish rehabilitative services under this subsection through contractual arrangements with nonprofit entities to provide for such therapeutic work for such patients. The Secretary shall establish appropriate fiscal, accounting, management, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements with respect to the activities of any such nonprofit entity in connection with such contractual arrangements.

(c)(1) There is hereby established in the Treasury of the United States a revolving fund known as the Department of Veterans Affairs Special Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Activities Fund (hereinafter in this section referred to as the "fund”) for the purpose of furnishing rehabilitative services authorized in subsection (b) of this section. Such amounts of the fund as the Secretary may determine to be necessary to establish and maintain operating accounts for the various rehabilitative services activities may be deposited in checking accounts in other depositaries selected or established by the Secretary

(2) All funds received by the Department under contractual arrangements made under subsection (b) of this section, or by nonprofit entities described in paragraph (2) of such subsection, shall be deposited in or credited to the fund, and the Secretary shall distribute out of the fund moneys to participants at rates not less than the wage rates specified in the Fair Labor Standards Act (29 U.S.C. 201 et seq.) and regulations prescribed thereunder for work of similar character.

(3) The Under Secretary for Health shall prepare, for inclusion in the annual report submitted to Congress under section 529 of this title, a description of the scope and achievements of activities carried out under this section (including pertinent data regarding productivity and rates of distribution) during the prior twelve months and an estimate of the needs of the program of therapeutic and rehabilitation activities to be carried out under this section for the ensuing fiscal year.

(d) In providing rehabilitative services under this chapter, the Secretary shall take appropriate action to make it possible for the patient to take maximum advantage of any benefits to which such patient is entitled under chapter 31, 34, or 35 of this title, and, if the patient is still receiving treatment of a prolonged nature under this chapter, the provision of rehabilitative services under this chapter shall be continued during, and coordinated with, the pursuit of education and training under such chapter 31, 34, or 35.

(e) The Secretary shall prescribe regulations to ensure that the priorities set forth in section 1705 of this title shall be applied, insofar as practicable, to participation in therapeutic and rehabilitation activities carried out under this section.

(f)(1) The Secretary may not consider any of the matters stated in paragraph (2) as a basis for the denial or discontinuance of a rating of total disability for purposes of compensation or pension based on the veteran's inability to secure or follow a substantially gainful occupation as a result of disability. (2) Paragraph (1) applies to the following:

(A) A veteran's participation in an activity carried out under this section.

(B) A veteran's receipt of a distribution as a result of participation in an activity carried out under this section.

(C) A veteran's participation in a program of rehabilitative services that (i) is provided as part of the veteran's care furnished by a State home and (ii) is approved by the Secretary as conforming appropriately to standards for activities carried out under this section.

(D) A veteran's receipt of payment as a result of participation in a program described in subparagraph (C). (3) A distribution of funds made under this section and a payment made to a veteran under a program of rehabilitative services described in paragraph (2)(C) shall be considered for the purposes of chapter 15 of this title to be a donation from a public or private relief or welfare organization. (Added P.L. 87–574, 82(1), Aug. 6, 1962, 76 Stat. 308, 8618; amended P.L. 94–581, § 105(a), Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 2845; P.L. 98–543, $ 303, Oct. 24, 1984, 98 Stat. 2748; P.L. 99–576, $ 205, Oct. 28, 1986, 100 Stat. 3256; P.L. 102–54, 88 10, 14(b)(12), June 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 273, 284; renumbered $ 1718 and amended P.L. 102–83, 88 2(c)(3), 4(a)(3), (4), (b)(1), (2)(E), 5(a), (c)(1), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 402, 404–406; P.L. 102–86, $ 506(a)(1), Aug. 14, 1991, 105 Stat. 426; P.L. 102-405, 8302(c)(1), Oct. 9, 1992, 106 Stat. 1984, P.L. 102–585, $ 401, Nov. 4, 1992, 106 Stat. 4953; P.L. 103-446, 8 1201(i)(1), Nov. 2, 1994, 108 Stat. 4688; P.L. 104–262, 8101(dX7), Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3180.) 8 1719. Repair or replacement of certain prosthetic and

other appliances The Secretary may repair or replace any artificial limb, truss, brace, hearing aid, spectacles, or similar appliance (not including dental appliances) reasonably necessary to a veteran and belonging to such veteran which was damaged or destroyed by a fall or other accident caused by a service-connected disability for which such veteran is in receipt of, or but for the receipt of retirement pay would be entitled to, disability compensation. (Added P.L. 87–850, § 1(a), Oct. 23, 1962, 76 Stat. 1126, 8619, amended P.L. 94-581, $ 210(a)(6), Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 2862; renumbered § 1719 and amended P.L. 102–83, $$ 4(b)(1), (2)(E), 5(a), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 404–406.) § 1720. Transfers for nursing home care; adult day health

care

(a)(1) Subject to subsection (b) of this section, the Secretary may transfer to a non-Department nursing home, for care at the expense of the United States

(A) a veteran

(i) who has been furnished hospital care, nursing home care, or domiciliary care by the Secretary in a facility under the direct jurisdiction of the Secretary; and (ii) who the Secretary determines

(I) requires a protracted period of nursing home care which can be furnished in the non-Department nursing home; and

(II) in the case of a veteran who has been furnished hospital care in a facility under the direct jurisdiction of the Secretary, has received maximum benefits from such care; and

(B) a member of the Armed Forces

(i) who has been furnished care in a hospital of the Armed Forces;

(ii) who the Secretary concerned determines has received maximum benefits from such care but requires a protracted period of nursing home care; and

(ii) who upon discharge from the Armed Forces will be

come a veteran. (2) The Secretary may transfer a person to a nursing home under this subsection only if the Secretary determines that the cost to the United States of the care of such person in the nursing home will not exceed

(A) the amount equal to 45 percent of the cost of care furnished by the Department in a general hospital under the direct jurisdiction of the Secretary (as such cost may be determined annually by the Secretary); or

(B) the amount equal to 50 percent of such cost, if such higher amount is determined to be necessary by the Secretary (upon the recommendation of the Under Secretary for Health)

to provide adequate care. (3) Nursing home care may not be furnished under this subection at the expense of the United States for more than six nonths in the aggregate in connection with any one transfer exept(A) in the case of a veteran

(i) who is transferred to a non-Department nursing home from a hospital under the direct jurisdiction of the Secretary; and

(ii) whose hospitalization was primarily for a service-connected disability; (B) in a case in which the nursing home care is required for a service-connected disability; or

(C) in a case in which, in the judgment of the Secretary, a longer period of nursing home care is warranted. (4) A veteran who is furnished care by the Secretary in a hospital r domiciliary facility in Alaska or Hawaii may be furnished nursag home care at the expense of the United States under this subection even if such hospital or domiciliary facility is not under the irect jurisdiction of the Secretary.

(b) No veteran may be transferred or admitted to any institution or nursing home care under this section, unless such institution is etermined by the Secretary to meet such standards as the Secetary may prescribe. The standards prescribed and any report of aspection of institutions furnishing care to veterans under this ection made by or for the Secretary shall, to the extent possible, e made available to all Federal, State, and local agencies charged rith the responsibility of licensing or otherwise regulating or inpecting such institutions. (c) In applying the provisions of section 2(b)(1) of the Service 'ontract Act of 1965 (41 U.S.C. 351(b)(1)) with respect to any conract entered into under this section to provide nursing home care f veterans, the payment of wages not less than those

specified in ection 6(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C.

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