Florida Senate - 2017                                     SB 510
       By Senator Gainer
       2-00435A-17                                            2017510__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to a grant program for rural
    3         hospitals; amending s. 395.6061, F.S.; providing
    4         legislative findings and intent; requiring the
    5         Department of Health to establish and administer the
    6         Florida Rural Hospital Capital Improvement Competitive
    7         Grant Program for certain rural hospitals; revising
    8         the amount of a grant award; revising grant
    9         eligibility and preferences; establishing allowable
   10         uses of funds; requiring the department to submit an
   11         annual report to the Governor and the Legislature;
   12         deleting requirements for certain information in grant
   13         applications; deleting provisions relating to the
   14         disbursal of funds; providing an effective date.
   16  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   18         Section 1. Section 395.6061, Florida Statutes, is amended
   19  to read:
   20         395.6061 Rural hospital capital improvement.—
   21         (1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT.—The Legislature finds
   22  that rural hospitals have limited ability to increase operating
   23  revenues or to access other public or private funding sources
   24  that are needed to maintain critical infrastructure, including,
   25  but not limited to, the replacement of high-cost medical care
   26  equipment or improvements to facility infrastructure. Rural
   27  hospitals that do not have reasonable access to alternative
   28  sources of revenue to pay for critical infrastructure needs are
   29  at risk, and patient access, care, and quality are threatened.
   30  Therefore, the Legislature finds that it is necessary to
   31  establish the Florida Rural Hospital Capital Improvement
   32  Competitive Grant Program for eligible rural hospitals to ensure
   33  their sustainability.
   35  GRANT PROGRAM.—The Department of Health shall establish and
   36  administer the Florida Rural Hospital Capital Improvement
   37  Competitive Grant Program for rural hospitals. Subject to annual
   38  appropriation, the department shall establish grant awards up to
   39  $750,000 for each hospital that meets the eligibility
   40  requirements in subsection (3). Grants must be made available to
   41  eligible rural hospitals based on the competitive grant program
   42  and on criteria established by the agency.
   43         (3) GRANT ELIGIBILITY.—In order to be eligible for a grant
   44  award, a hospital must be a rural hospital, as defined in s.
   45  395.602, and must demonstrate that:
   46         (a) Grant funds are necessary to maintain or improve the
   47  quality of its health care services; and
   48         (b) There is a return on investment to the taxpayers of
   49  this state.
   50         (4) AWARD OF GRANTS.—The department shall establish by rule
   51  a grant application process and criteria for the evaluation of
   52  applications. It shall score and rank grant applications based
   53  on these criteria. Preference in grant award decisions shall be
   54  given to any applicant that leverages additional private or
   55  public matching funds or in-kind contributions. Preference in
   56  grant award decisions shall also be given to any applicant that
   57  demonstrates hospital practices targeted to reducing unnecessary
   58  emergency room visits and preventable hospitalizations through
   59  increased access to primary care services.
   60         (5) ALLOWABLE USES OF FUNDS.—Grant awards may be used only
   61  for hospital medical equipment purchases or facility
   62  infrastructure improvements in the rural area serviced by the
   63  grantee.
   64         (6) REPORT.—The department shall provide an annual report
   65  to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of
   66  the House of Representatives which includes the list of grantees
   67  and, for each grantee, the amount awarded, a brief description
   68  detailing what the funds will be used for, the anticipated
   69  outcomes to be achieved, and the return on investment to the
   70  taxpayers of this state. There is established a rural hospital
   71  capital improvement grant program.
   72         (1) A rural hospital as defined in s. 395.602 may apply to
   73  the department for a grant. The grant application must provide
   74  information that includes:
   75         (a) A statement indicating the problem the rural hospital
   76  proposes to solve with the grant funds;
   77         (b) The strategy proposed to resolve the problem;
   78         (c) The organizational structure, financial system, and
   79  facilities that are essential to the proposed solution;
   80         (d) The projected longevity of the proposed solution after
   81  the grant funds are expended;
   82         (e) Evidence of participation in a rural health network as
   83  defined in s. 381.0406;
   84         (f) Evidence that the rural hospital has difficulty in
   85  obtaining funding or that funds available for the proposed
   86  solution are inadequate;
   87         (g) Evidence that the grant funds will assist in
   88  maintaining or returning the hospital to an economically stable
   89  condition or that any plan for closure or realignment of
   90  services will involve development of innovative alternatives for
   91  the discontinued services;
   92         (h) Evidence of a satisfactory record-keeping system to
   93  account for grant fund expenditures within the rural county;
   94         (i) A rural health network plan that includes a description
   95  of how the plan was developed, the goals of the plan, the links
   96  with existing health care providers under the plan, indicators
   97  quantifying the hospital’s financial well-being, measurable
   98  outcome targets, and the current physical and operational
   99  condition of the hospital.
  100         (2) Each rural hospital as defined in s. 395.602 shall
  101  receive a minimum of $100,000 annually, subject to legislative
  102  appropriation, upon application to the Department of Health, for
  103  projects to acquire, repair, improve, or upgrade systems,
  104  facilities, or equipment.
  105         (3) Any remaining funds shall annually be disbursed to
  106  rural hospitals in accordance with this section. The Department
  107  of Health shall establish, by rule, criteria for awarding grants
  108  for any remaining funds, which must be used exclusively for the
  109  support and assistance of rural hospitals as defined in s.
  110  395.602, including criteria relating to the level of
  111  uncompensated care rendered by the hospital, the participation
  112  in a rural health network as defined in s. 381.0406, and the
  113  proposed use of the grant by the rural hospital to resolve a
  114  specific problem. The department must consider any information
  115  submitted in an application for the grants in accordance with
  116  subsection (1) in determining eligibility for and the amount of
  117  the grant, and none of the individual items of information by
  118  itself may be used to deny grant eligibility.
  119         (4) The department shall ensure that the funds are used
  120  solely for the purposes specified in this section. The total
  121  grants awarded pursuant to this section shall not exceed the
  122  amount appropriated for this program.
  123         Section 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.