2023 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Human Services; Appropriations
By: Representatives Hines, Bailey, Harness, Osborne, Paden, Johnson, Hulum, Anderson (110th), Banks, Bell (65th), Blackmon, Brown (70th), Clark, Clarke, Crudup, Denton, Faulkner, Gibbs, Holloway, McCray, Miles, Porter, Rosebud, Sanders, Straughter, Summers, Taylor, Thompson, Walker, Watson, Young, Mickens, Foster, Anthony
AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THE MISSISSIPPI HOSPITAL RECOVERY TRUST PROGRAM IN THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION TO PROVIDE GRANTS TO PUBLIC HOSPITALS AT HIGH FINANCIAL RISK TO HELP THOSE HOSPITALS BE MORE FINANCIALLY VIABLE SO THAT THEY CAN CONTINUE TO OPERATE AND BE AVAILABLE TO PROVIDE HEALTH CARE SERVICES TO THE COMMUNITIES IN WHICH THEY ARE LOCATED; TO CREATE A SPECIAL FUND TO BE KNOWN AS THE MISSISSIPPI HOSPITAL RECOVERY TRUST FUND, WHICH SHALL BE ADMINISTERED BY THE DEPARTMENT AND EXPENDED FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING GRANTS TO PUBLIC HOSPITALS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; TO PROVIDE THAT TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR A GRANT, A PUBLIC HOSPITAL MUST APPLY FOR THE GRANT AND INCLUDE SUCH DOCUMENTATION AS SPECIFIED BY THE DEPARTMENT SHOWING THAT THE HOSPITAL IS AT HIGH FINANCIAL RISK; TO PROVIDE THAT THE AMOUNT OF EACH GRANT SHALL BE DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT, WITH PRIORITY FOR LARGER GRANTS BEING GIVEN TO PUBLIC HOSPITALS THAT ARE AT IMMEDIATE RISK OF CLOSING AND WHOSE SURVIVAL IS CRITICALLY ESSENTIAL TO THE COMMUNITY IN WHICH IT IS LOCATED; TO PROVIDE THAT WITHIN FIVE BUSINESS DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF AN APPLICATION WITH THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION SHOWING THAT THE PUBLIC HOSPITAL IS AT HIGH FINANCIAL RISK, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL APPROVE THE APPLICATION AND DISTRIBUTE THE GRANT TO THE HOSPITAL; TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT TO MAKE ANNUAL REPORTS TO THE JOINT LEGISLATIVE BUDGET COMMITTEE ABOUT EACH GRANT MADE UNDER THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings as defined in this subsection:
(a) "Department" means the Department of Finance and Administration.
(b) "High financial risk" means financial strain and being on the verge of closure as a result of any combination of the following conditions: poor profits, high amount of debt, high percentage of uninsured patients, large amount of uncompensated care, small amount of capital, low cash reserves, difficulty in paying staff and loss of essential services.
(c) "Public hospital" means a licensed hospital that is wholly or jointly owned by the State of Mississippi or a political subdivision of the state.
(2) The Mississippi Hospital Recovery Trust Program is created in the Department of Finance and Administration to provide grants to public hospitals at high financial risk to help those hospitals be more financially viable so that they can continue to operate and be available to provide health care services to the communities in which they are located.
(3) There is created in the State Treasury a special fund to be known as the Mississippi Hospital Recovery Trust Fund, which shall be administered by the department. The fund shall consist of legislative appropriations, federal funds, contributions, donations, gifts and monies from any other source that are made available for deposit into the fund. Monies in the fund shall be expended by the department upon appropriation of the Legislature for the sole purpose of providing grants to public hospitals under the provisions of this section. Monies remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any interest earned from the investment of monies in the fund shall be deposited to the credit of the fund.
(4) The department shall provide the terms and conditions of each grant, which shall be subject to the following provisions:
(a) To be eligible for a grant, a public hospital must apply for the grant and include with the application such documentation as specified by the department showing that the hospital is at high financial risk;
(b) The amount of each grant shall be determined by the department, with priority for larger grants being given to public hospitals that are at immediate risk of closing and whose survival is critically essential to the community in which it is located; and
(c) Within five (5) business days after receipt of an application with the required documentation showing that the public hospital is at high financial risk, the department shall approve the application and distribute the grant to the hospital.
(5) The department shall monitor the performance of each public hospital that receives a grant under this section, and not later than October 1, 2023, and each October 1 thereafter, the department shall report to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee about each grant made, including:
(a) The name and location of the public hospital;
(b) The amount of the grant; and
(c) How the hospital has used the grant.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.