Florida Senate - 2014                                     SB 306
       By Senator Braynon
       36-00363-14                                            2014306__
    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 Florida College
    6         System institution or state university; requiring the
    7         Department of Health to provide administrative support
    8         and services; providing membership and duties of the
    9         task force; requiring the members of the task force to
   10         elect a chair and vice chair; providing that task
   11         force members serve without compensation and are not
   12         entitled to reimbursement for per diem or travel
   13         expenses; requiring that the task force meet at least
   14         quarterly; authorizing the task force members to meet
   15         in person or by teleconference or other electronic
   16         means; specifying the number of members required for a
   17         quorum; requiring the task force to submit a report to
   18         the Governor and the Legislature by a specified date;
   19         providing for future repeal of the task force;
   20         providing an effective date.
   22         WHEREAS, Florida continues to experience critical shortages
   23  of providers in primary health care, oral health care, and
   24  behavioral health care, particularly in rural and inner-city
   25  areas, and
   26         WHEREAS, there is substantial evidence that comprehensive
   27  coordination of care for individuals who have chronic diseases
   28  and the provision of information regarding preventive care can
   29  improve individual health, create a healthier population, reduce
   30  the costs of health care, and increase appropriate access to
   31  health care, and
   32         WHEREAS, community health workers have demonstrated success
   33  in increasing access to health care in underserved communities,
   34  providing culturally appropriate education regarding disease
   35  prevention and management, providing translating and
   36  interpreting services for non-English speakers, improving health
   37  outcomes through the coordination of care, increasing individual
   38  health care literacy and advocacy, and organizing to improve the
   39  health care of medically underserved communities while reducing
   40  costs in the state’s health care system, and
   41         WHEREAS, the Legislature recognizes that community health
   42  workers are important members of the health care delivery system
   43  in this state, and the Florida Community Health Worker Coalition
   44  has begun to explore options that would allow community health
   45  workers to earn a living wage and be part of an integrated
   46  health delivery team, NOW, THEREFORE,
   48  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   50         Section 1. Community Health Worker Task Force.—
   51         (1) As used in this section, the term:
   52         (a) “Community health worker” means a front-line health
   53  care worker who is a trusted member or has an unusually close
   54  understanding of the community that he or she serves and who:
   55         1. Serves as a liaison, link, or intermediary between the
   56  health care services or social services and the community in
   57  order to facilitate access to health care services and improve
   58  the quality of health care services and the cultural competency
   59  of health care providers.
   60         2. Performs the following activities in a community
   61  setting:
   62         a. Provides information regarding available resources.
   63         b. Provides social support.
   64         c. Advocates for individuals and their health care needs.
   65         d. Provides services, such as first aid and blood pressure
   66  screening.
   67         3. Builds individual and community capacity to prevent
   68  disease and promote health by increasing knowledge regarding
   69  wellness, disease prevention, and self-sufficiency among the
   70  members of the community through a range of activities, such as
   71  community outreach, education, and advocacy.
   72         4. Collects data to help identify the health care needs in
   73  a medically underserved community by:
   74         a. Enhancing the communication skills of members of the
   75  community in order to assist them in effectively communicating
   76  with health care providers.
   77         b. Providing culturally and linguistically appropriate
   78  health or nutrition education.
   79         c. Advocating for better individual and community health,
   80  including oral health, mental health, and nutritional needs.
   81         d. Providing referral services, followup services, and
   82  coordination of care.
   83         (b) “Department” means the Department of Health.
   84         (c) “Medically underserved community” means a community in
   85  a geographic area that has a shortage of health care
   86  professionals and has a population that includes persons who do
   87  not have public or private health insurance, are unable to pay
   88  for health care, and have incomes at or below 185 percent of the
   89  federal poverty level.
   90         (d) “Task force” means the Community Health Worker Task
   91  Force established by the department under this section.
   92         (2)(a) The department shall establish the Community Health
   93  Worker Task Force within a Florida College System institution or
   94  state university. The department shall provide administrative
   95  support and services to the task force to the extent requested
   96  by the chair of the task force and within available resources of
   97  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, 2015,
  142  to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of
  143  the House of Representatives which states the findings,
  144  conclusions, and recommendations of the task force.
  145         (3)This section is repealed December 1, 2015.
  146         Section 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.