1998 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare; Appropriations
By: Representatives Clarke, Coleman (65th), Fredericks, Green (72nd), Reeves
House Bill 1038
AN ACT TO CREATE THE MISSISSIPPI QUALIFIED HEALTH CENTER GRANT PROGRAM TO PROVIDE GRANTS TO MISSISSIPPI QUALIFIED HEALTH CENTERS; TO PROVIDE THAT THE PROGRAM SHALL BE ADMINISTERED BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND FUNDED WITH ANY STATE FUNDS AS MAY BE APPROPRIATED; TO SPECIFY THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE GRANTS MAY BE USED; TO CREATE AN ADVISORY COUNCIL TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE DEPARTMENT ON THE AWARDING OF GRANTS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. For purposes of this act:
(a) "Mississippi qualified health center" means a public or nonprofit entity which provides comprehensive primary care services that:
(i) Has a community board of directors the majority of which must be users of the center;
(ii) Accepts patients despite their ability to pay and uses a sliding-fee schedule for payments; and
(iii) Serves a designated medically underserved area or population, as provided in Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act.
(b) "Sliding-fee-scale patient" means a patient receiving services from a Mississippi qualified health center who is not eligible for Medicaid, Medicare or any other type of governmental reimbursement for health care costs or eligible to receive third-party payments via an employer.
(c) "SD0H" means the Mississippi State Department of Health.
(d) "Primary care" means the basic entry level of health care provided by physician or nonphysician health care practitioners, which is generally provided in an outpatient setting.
(e) "Medically underserved area or population" means an area designated by the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services as an area with a shortage of health professionals or health services or a population group designated by the Secretary as having a shortage of those services.
SECTION 2. (1) The Mississippi Qualified Health Center Grant Program is established which shall be administered by the SDOH and funded with such state funds as may be appropriated by the Legislature. The SDOH shall receive grant proposals from Mississippi qualified health centers. All proposals shall be submitted in accordance with the provisions of grant procedures, criteria and standards developed and made public by the SDOH.
(2) The SDOH shall use the funds provided for the purpose of this act to make grants to Mississippi qualified health centers upon proposals made under subsection (1) of this section. Grants that are awarded to Mississippi qualified health centers shall be used by those centers to:
(a) Increase access to primary care services to patients that are served by those centers, on a sliding-fee scale; and
(b) Create new services or augment existing services provided to sliding-fee-scale patients, including, but not limited to, primary care medical and preventive services, dental services, optometric services, in-house laboratory services, diagnostic services, pharmacy services, nutritional services and social services.
(3) Grants received by Mississippi qualified health centers under this act shall not be used to supplant federal funds traditionally received by those centers, but shall be used to supplement the federal funds.
(4) The SDOH shall develop regulations, procedures, and application forms to govern how grants will be awarded and shall develop a plan to ensure that grants are equitably distributed among all Mississippi qualified health centers.
(5) The SDOH shall establish an advisory council to review and make recommendations to the SDOH on the awarding of grants to Mississippi qualified health centers. The recommendations by the advisory council shall not be binding upon the SDOH, but when a recommendation by the advisory council is not followed by the SDOH, it shall place in its minutes the reasons for not accepting the advisory council's recommendation.
(6) The composition of the advisory council shall be the following: (i) three (3) health professional employees of the SDOH, one (1) of whom must have experience in reviewing and writing grant proposals; (ii) two (2) executive employees of Mississippi qualified health centers, one (1) of whom must be a chief financial officer; (iii) one (1) health care provider who is affiliated with a Mississippi qualified health center; and
(iv) one (1) health care provider who is not affiliated with a Mississippi qualified health center nor the SDOH but has training and experience in primary care.
(7) The SDOH may use a portion of any grant monies received for the purpose of this act to administer the program and to pay reasonable expenses incurred by the advisory council as established in subsection (6) of this section. However, in no case shall more than twenty percent (20%) or Eighty Thousand Dollars ($80,000.00) annually, whichever is less, be used to cover program expenses.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.