2010 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Human Services
By: Representatives Scott, Clarke, Gardner
AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH MAY ESTABLISH A NURSE-FAMILY PARTNERSHIP PILOT PROGRAM IN THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI; TO PROVIDE A DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM AND THE COMPONENTS INCLUDED IN THE PROGRAM; TO PROVIDE THE GOALS OF THE PROGRAM; TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ENCOURAGE AND ASSIST PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ENTITIES TO BECOME NURSE-FAMILY PARTNERSHIP IMPLEMENTING AGENCIES AT SITES THROUGHOUT THE STATE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) The Legislature makes the following findings:
(a) The United Health Foundation (UHF) ranks Mississippi fiftieth in overall health, fiftieth in infant mortality with an infant mortality rate of eleven (11) deaths per one thousand (1,000) live births, thirtieth in immunization coverage with only seventy-six and five-tenths percent (76-5/10%) of children ages nineteen (19) through thirty-five (35) months immunized, and fiftieth in overall child well-being, continuing a series of five (5) consecutive years for the state being last in the nation.
(b) Programs that focus on improved pregnancy outcomes, child health and development and the economic self-sufficiency of the family have been shown to be beneficial to both children and mothers.
(c) Research has shown that the Nurse-Family Partnership program improves pregnancy outcomes by helping women engage in good preventive health practices, including thorough prenatal care from their health care providers, improving their diets, and reducing their use of cigarettes, alcohol and illegal substances.
(d) The Nurse-Family Partnership program also has been shown to improve child health and development by helping parents provide responsible and competent care, and improve the economic self-sufficiency of the family by helping parents develop a vision for their own future, plan future pregnancies, continue their education and find work.
(2) The Legislature declares that establishing a Nurse-Family Partnership Pilot program in Mississippi would be very beneficial to improving pregnancy outcomes, child health and development and the economic self-sufficiency of the family in this state.
SECTION 2. (1) The State Board of Health is authorized, in its discretion, to establish a Nurse-Family Partnership Pilot program in the State Department of Health, in conjunction with the Nurse-Family Partnership National Service Office. The pilot program shall be conditioned upon the availability of funds obtained for such purpose from public or private services. The program is an evidence-based, voluntary, nurse home visitation program that improves the health and well-being of low-income, first-time pregnant women and their children. The Nurse-Family Partnership Pilot program includes, but is not limited to, the following components:
(a) Eligibility criteria for the program include first-time pregnancy before the twenty-eighth week of gestation, and being eligible for Medicaid.
(b) Registered nurses, by making home visits to pregnant women, provide education, support and guidance regarding pregnancy and maternal health, child health and development, parenting, the mother's life course development, and identifying and using family and community supports.
(c) Home visits begin before the twenty-eighth week of pregnancy, and continue on a weekly or biweekly basis until the child turns two (2) years old.
(2) The goals of the Nurse-Family Partnership Pilot program are to:
(a) Improve pregnancy outcomes by helping women engage in good preventive health practices, including thorough prenatal care from their health care providers, improving their diets, and reducing their use of cigarettes, alcohol and illegal substances.
(b) Improve child health and development by helping parents provide responsible and competent care.
(c) Improve the economic self-sufficiency of the family by helping parents develop a vision for their own future, plan future pregnancies, continue their education and find work.
SECTION 3. (1) In addition to implementing the Nurse-Family Partnership Pilot program, the State Health Department jointly with the University of Mississippi Medical Center may:
(a) Develop standards of care for premature infants born less than thirty-seven (37) weeks gestational age to help improve their access to and quality of care in their first year of life.
(b) Examine and make recommendations to improve hospital discharge and follow-up care procedures to promote coordinated processes as premature infants leave the hospital from either a Level 1 (well baby nursery), Level 2 (step down or transitional nursery) or Level 3 (neonatal intensive care unit) unit and transition to follow-up care by a health care provider in the community.
(c) Urge hospitals serving infants eligible for medical assistance and child health assistance to report to the state the causes and incidence of all rehospitalizations of infants born premature at less than thirty-seven (37) weeks gestational age within their first six (6) months of life.
(d) Develop recommendations for quality measures to assess health care outcomes of premature infants.
(e) Develop recommendations to ensure access to preventive health care therapies to protect premature infants from common infectious diseases, including respiratory syncytial virus.
(f) Measurably improve the quality of care for premature infants through advocacy of evidenced-based approaches and proposals for legislation, regulation and public policy change.
(2) The State Board of Health program may:
(a) Review relevant evidence-based research regarding premature infant health care and seek input from public and private entities currently associated with treatment of prematurity.
(b) Develop recommendations and strategies to improve health care for premature infants by:
(i) Developing standards of care for premature infants born less than thirty-seven (37) weeks gestational age pursuant to Section 2 of this act;
(ii) Coordinating information among appropriate professional and advocacy organizations on measures to improve health care for infants born premature; and
(iii) Issuing findings of goals, objectives, strategies and tactics to improve premature infant health care in Mississippi.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2010.