H.R. 4173 would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to conduct a study on the outcomes and efficacy of the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL). VCL provides a free and confidential service to veterans and their friends and families. Under current law, VA collects data about VCL for quality control and oversight. The bill would require VA to use that data in conjunction with national health data to analyze the outcomes of VCL services over the 2014-2018 period. In particular, the study would address the following issues:
The number of veterans receiving ongoing mental health care through VA after contacting the VCL;
The familiarity of veterans with the VCL service; and
The integration of VCL with the mental health services provided at VA.
Based on an analysis of information from VA about the number of staff needed to conduct the study and prepare the report, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost $1 million over the 2018-2022 period; any such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.