Florida Senate - 2013 CS for SB 894 By the Committee on Health Policy; and Senator Braynon 588-03967-13 2013894c1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to community health workers; providing 3 definitions; specifying the duties and activities of 4 community health workers; creating the Community 5 Health Worker Task Force within a state college or 6 university; requiring the Department of Health to 7 provide administrative support and services; providing 8 membership and duties of the task force; requiring the 9 members of the task force to elect a chair and vice 10 chair; providing that task force members serve without 11 compensation and are not entitled to reimbursement for 12 per diem or travel expenses; requiring that the task 13 force meet at least quarterly and meet in person, by 14 teleconference, or by other electronic means; 15 specifying the number of members required for a 16 quorum; requiring the task force to submit a report to 17 the Governor and Legislature by a specified date; 18 providing for future repeal of the task force; 19 providing an effective date. 20 21 WHEREAS, Florida faces a number of challenges in providing 22 access to health care services in both urban and rural areas 23 which impair the health and well-being of state residents, and 24 WHEREAS, Florida continues to experience critical shortages 25 of providers in primary health care, oral health care, and 26 behavioral health care, particularly in rural and inner-city 27 areas, and 28 WHEREAS, there is substantial evidence that comprehensive 29 coordination of care for individuals who have chronic diseases 30 and the provision of information regarding preventive care can 31 improve individual health, create a healthier population, reduce 32 the costs of health care, and increase appropriate access to 33 health care, and 34 WHEREAS, community health workers have demonstrated success 35 in increasing access to health care in underserved communities, 36 providing culturally appropriate education regarding disease 37 prevention and management, providing translating and 38 interpreting services for health care encounters, improving 39 health outcomes through the coordination of care, increasing 40 individual health care literacy and advocacy, and organizing to 41 improve the health care of medically underserved communities 42 while reducing costs in the state’s health care system, and 43 WHEREAS, the Legislature recognizes that community health 44 workers are important members of the health care delivery system 45 in this state, and the Florida Health Worker Coalition has begun 46 to explore options that would allow community health workers to 47 earn a living wage and be part of an integrated health delivery 48 team, NOW, THEREFORE, 49 50 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 51 52 Section 1. Community Health Worker Task Force.— 53 (1) As used in this section, the term: 54 (a) “Community health worker” means a front-line health 55 care worker who is a trusted member of or has an unusually close 56 understanding of the community that he or she serves and who: 57 1. Serves as a liaison, link, or intermediary between 58 health care services, social services, and the community in 59 order to facilitate access to health care services and improve 60 the quality of health care services and the cultural competency 61 of health care providers. 62 2. Performs the following activities in a community 63 setting: 64 a. Provides information regarding available resources. 65 b. Provides social support. 66 c. Advocates for individuals and their health care needs. 67 d. Provides services such as first aid and blood pressure 68 screening. 69 3. Builds individual and community capacity by increasing 70 knowledge regarding wellness, disease prevention, and self 71 sufficiency through a range of activities, such as community 72 outreach and education and advocacy. 73 4. Collects data to help identify the health care needs in 74 a medically underserved community by: 75 a. Enhancing the communication skills of residents in order 76 to assist them in effectively communicating with health care 77 providers. 78 b. Providing culturally and linguistically appropriate 79 health or nutrition education. 80 c. Advocating for better individual and community health, 81 including oral health, mental health, and nutritional needs. 82 d. Providing referral services, followup services, and 83 coordination of care. 84 (b) “Department” means the Department of Health. 85 (c) “Medically underserved community” means a geographic 86 area that has a shortage of health care professionals and has a 87 population that includes persons who do not have public or 88 private health insurance, are unable to pay for health care, and 89 have incomes at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty 90 level. 91 (d) “Task force” means the Community Health Worker Task 92 Force established by the department under this section. 93 (2)(a) The department shall establish the Community Health 94 Worker Task Force within a state college or university. The 95 department shall provide administrative support and services to 96 the task force to the extent requested by the chair of the task 97 force and within available resources of the department. 98 (b) The task force shall consist of the following 12 99 members: 100 1. One member of the Senate appointed by the President of 101 the Senate. 102 2. One member of the House of Representatives appointed by 103 the Speaker of the House of Representatives. 104 3. One state official appointed by the Governor. 105 4. Six culturally and regionally diverse community health 106 workers appointed by the State Surgeon General. 107 5. Three representatives of the Florida Community Health 108 Worker Coalition appointed by the chair of the Florida Community 109 Health Worker Coalition. 110 (c) The task force shall develop recommendations for: 111 1. Including community health workers in the development of 112 proposals for health care or Medicaid reform in this state as 113 part of the outreach efforts for enrolling residents of this 114 state in Medicaid managed care programs or other health care 115 delivery services. 116 2. Including community health workers in providing 117 assistance to residents in navigating the health care system and 118 providing information and guidance regarding preventive health 119 care. 120 3. Providing support to community health centers and other 121 “safety net” providers through the integration of community 122 health workers as part of health care delivery teams. 123 (d) The task force shall also collaborate with the Florida 124 Community Health Worker Coalition, colleges and universities in 125 the state, and other organizations and institutions to recommend 126 a process that leads to the standardization of qualifications 127 and skills of community health workers who are employed in 128 state-supported health care programs. 129 (e) The members of the task force shall elect a chair and 130 vice chair. 131 (f) Members of the task force shall serve without 132 compensation and are not entitled to reimbursement for per diem 133 and travel expenses. 134 (g) The task force shall meet at least quarterly and may 135 meet at other times upon the call of the chair or as determined 136 by a majority of members. Meetings of the task force may be held 137 in person or by teleconference or other electronic means. 138 (h) A quorum shall consist of seven members, and the 139 concurring vote of a majority of the members present is required 140 for final action. 141 (i) The task force shall submit a report by June 30, 2014, 142 to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of 143 the House of Representatives stating the findings, conclusions, 144 and recommendations of the task force. 145 (3) This section is repealed on December 1, 2014. 146 Section 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.