1998 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare; Appropriations
By: Senator(s) Horhn
Senate Bill 3046
AN ACT TO CREATE THE MISSISSIPPI QUALIFIED HEALTH CENTER GRANT PROGRAM TO PROVIDE GRANTS TO MISSISSIPPI QUALIFIED HEALTH CENTERS; TO PROVIDE THAT SUCH PROGRAM SHALL BE ADMINISTERED BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH; TO PRESCRIBE THE PROCEDURE TO APPLY FOR GRANTS; TO PROVIDE THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH SUCH GRANTS MAY BE USED; TO ESTABLISH AN ADVISORY PANEL TO REVIEW AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS 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 whom are users of such centers;
(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 receiving third-party payments via an employer.
(c) "SDOH" means the Mississippi State Department of Health.
(d) "Primary care" means the basic entry level of health care provided by health care practitioners or non-physician 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 professionals, health services or a population group designated by the secretary as having a shortage of such services.
SECTION 2. (1) The Mississippi Qualified Health Center Grant Program is hereby established, to be administered by the SDOH, 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 by this act to make grants to Mississippi qualified health centers upon proposals made pursuant to subsection (1) of this section. Grants that are awarded to Mississippi qualified health centers shall be used by such centers to:
(a) Increase access to primary care services by patients on a sliding-fee-scale, that are served by such centers; 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 pursuant to this act shall not be used to supplant federal funds traditionally received by such centers, but shall be used to supplement them.
(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 any grants to Mississippi qualified health centers. Such 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, SDOH shall place in its minutes reasons for not accepting the advisory council's recommendation.
(6) The composition of the advisory council shall be the following:
(a) Three (3) health professional employees of the SDOH, one (1) of whom must have experience in reviewing and writing grant proposals;
(b) Two (2) executive employees of Mississippi qualified health centers, one (1) of whom must be a chief financial officer;
(c) One (1) health care provider who is affiliated with a Mississippi qualified health center; and
(d) 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) SDOH may use a portion of any grant monies received under the act to administer the program and to pay reasonable expenses incurred by the advisory council; provided, however, in no case shall more than twenty percent (20%) or Eighty Thousand Dollars ($80,000.00) annually, whichever is less, be used to absorb program expenses.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.