2023 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Human Services
By: Representatives Mims, Faulkner, Anthony
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 41-99-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY THAT THE AMOUNT SPECIFIED FOR CARE GRANTS UNDER THE MISSISSIPPI QUALIFIED HEALTH CENTER GRANT PROGRAM IS THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF GRANTS TO BE ISSUED; TO PROVIDE THAT NO QUALIFIED HEALTH CENTER SHALL RECEIVE CARE GRANTS UNDER THIS PROGRAM IN EXCESS OF 10% OF AVAILABLE FUNDS PER CALENDAR YEAR; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 41-99-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-99-5. (1) Any Mississippi qualified health center desiring to participate in the program shall make application for a service grant to the department in a form satisfactory to the department. The department shall receive service 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 department.
(2) The department shall use the funds provided by subsection (6)(a) of this section to make care grants until July 1, 2024, to Mississippi qualified health centers upon proposals made under subsection (1) of this section. Care grants that are awarded to Mississippi qualified health centers shall only be used by those centers to:
(a) Increase access to preventative and primary care services by uninsured or medically indigent patients that are served by those centers; and
(b) Create new services or augment existing services provided to uninsured or medically indigent 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) The department shall use the funds provided by subsection (6)(b) of this section to make physician grants until July 1, 2024, to Mississippi qualified health centers upon proposals made under subsection (1) of this section. A physician grant awarded to a Mississippi qualified health center shall only be used by that center to provide a one-time salary supplement to a primary care physician being recruited under the program.
(4) Service grants received by Mississippi qualified health centers under this chapter shall not be used:
(a) To supplant federal funds traditionally received by those centers, but shall be used to supplement them;
(b) For land or real estate investments;
(c) To finance or satisfy any existing debt; or
(d) Unless the health center specifically complies with the definition of a Mississippi qualified health center contained in Section 41-99-1.
(5) The department shall develop regulations, procedures and application forms to govern how service grants will be awarded, shall develop a plan to ensure that care grants are equitably distributed among all Mississippi qualified health centers and that physician grants are distributed to the Mississippi qualified health centers where there is the most need, and shall develop an audit process to assure that grant monies are used to provide and expend care to the uninsured and medically indigent.
(6) The department shall establish a fund for the purpose of providing service grants to Mississippi qualified health centers in accordance with this chapter and the following terms and conditions:
(a) The * * *
amount of care grants issued under this chapter
shall be not less than Four Million Dollars ($4,000,000.00) per state fiscal
year, awarded as follows:
(i) No Mississippi
qualified health center shall receive care grants under this program in excess of * * *
percent (10%) of available funds per calendar year; and
(ii) Each Mississippi qualified health center receiving a care grant shall provide an annual report to the department that details the number of additional uninsured and medically indigent patients that are cared for and the types of services that are provided;
(b) The total amount of physician grants issued under this chapter during any fiscal year shall not be more than the amount appropriated to the department for that purpose, awarded as follows:
(i) Per fiscal year, a Mississippi qualified health center shall receive only one (1) physician grant under the program, which shall not exceed the amount specified in the appropriation bill for the department;
(ii) For the Mississippi qualified health center to be eligible for a physician grant, a primary care physician shall agree to work, full time, for the Mississippi qualified health center for at least three (3) consecutive years from the date of an executed employment contract;
(iii) A Mississippi qualified health center shall use a physician grant to supplement a physician's salary within the first one hundred twenty (120) days of employment;
(iv) If a physician grant is disbursed to a Mississippi qualified health center and the hiring of the primary care physician does not materialize, the Mississippi qualified health center shall repay the entire physician grant award to the department;
(v) If a primary care physician abandons his or her employment at the Mississippi qualified health center before he or she has worked there for three (3) years, the primary care physician shall repay to the department a pro rata share of the physician grant based on the number of unserved months during the three-year period. Under this subparagraph (v), the department shall have a cause of action against the primary care physician to recover grant monies; and
(vi) Each Mississippi qualified health center receiving a physician care grant shall provide an annual report to the department that details the following:
1. The number of patients treated by the new primary care physician; and
2. The general types of medical services rendered by the new primary care physician; and
(c) On or before January 15 of each year, the department shall provide the reports required by this subsection to the Chair and Vice Chair of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, to the Chair and Vice Chair of the House Public Health and Human Services Committee, to the Lieutenant Governor and to the Speaker of the House.
(7) The department shall establish an advisory council to review and make recommendations to the department on the awarding of any grants to Mississippi qualified health centers. Those recommendations by the advisory council shall not be binding upon the department, but when a recommendation by the advisory council is not followed by the department, the department shall place in its minutes reasons for not accepting the advisory council's recommendation, and provide for an appeals process. All approved service grants shall be awarded within thirty (30) days of approval by the department.
(8) The composition of the advisory council shall be the following:
(a) Two (2) employees of the department, 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) Two (2) health care providers who are affiliated with a Mississippi qualified health center, one (1) of whom must be a physician; and
(d) One (1) health care provider who is not affiliated with a Mississippi qualified health center or the department but has training and experience in primary care.
(9) The department may use a portion of any grant monies received under this chapter to administer the program and to pay reasonable expenses incurred by the advisory council; however, in no case shall more than one and one-half percent (1-1/2%) or Sixty Thousand Dollars ($60,000.00) annually, whichever is greater, be used for program expenses.
(10) No assistance shall be provided to a Mississippi qualified health center under this chapter unless the Mississippi qualified health center certifies to the department that it will not discriminate against any employee or against any applicant for employment because of race, religion, color, national origin, sex or age.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2023.