SECTION 1. Chapter 29 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting section 2WWWW after section 2VVVV:
(a) For the purposes of this section, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the following words shall have the following meanings:
“Community health center”, any community health center in the Commonwealth receiving a grant under 42 U.S.C section 254(b).
“Financial need”, shall be demonstrated by, but not limited to, evidence of any of the following criteria: (i) negative operating margins, (ii) insufficient cash flow or cash-on-hand, (iii) uncertain ability to cover long-term obligations, (iv) potential for loss, reduction, or full closure of critical community services, (v) a public payer mix of 63% or higher including uninsured individuals or individuals whose care may in whole or in part be subsidized by the Health Safety Net or the Health Connector, (vi) a substantial proportion of patients requiring additional services to meet unique cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic needs, (vii) limited access to capital finance for essential health center services and operations; or (viii) inability to adequately meet staffing needs due to salary constraints and other issues regarding workforce recruitment and retention.
(a) There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a separate fund, to be known as the Community Health Center Transformation Fund. It shall be expended at the direction of the secretary of the executive office of health and human services.
(b) The secretary shall expend not less than $15,000,000 annually from the Community Health Center Transformation Fund to community health centers based upon their demonstrated financial need.
(c) The secretary may require as a condition of receiving payment from the fund that an eligible community health center agrees to an independent financial and operational audit to recommend steps to increase the sustainability and efficiency of the community health center.
(d) The executive office of health and human services shall promulgate regulations necessary to carry out this section.
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