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.
   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,
   50  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.