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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 217         FILED ON: 1/8/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1055

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

John W. Scibak

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act Relative to the oral health workforce.

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PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

John W. Scibak

2nd Hampshire

Stephen L. DiNatale

3rd Worcester

John J. Mahoney

13th Worcester

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

Sal N. DiDomenico

Middlesex and Suffolk

Benjamin Swan

11th Hampden

Carl M. Sciortino, Jr.

34th Middlesex


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 217        FILED ON: 1/8/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1055

By Mr. Scibak of South Hadley, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 1055) of John W. Scibak and others relative to increasing the membership of the Health Care Workforce Advisory Council.  Health Care Financing. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

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An Act Relative to the oral health workforce.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              Section 1. Chapter 111 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 25K the following sections:—

              Section 25L. (a) There shall be in the department a health care workforce center to improve access to health care services. The center, in consultation with the health care workforce advisory council established by section 25M and the commissioner of labor and workforce development, shall: (i) coordinate the department’s health care workforce activities with other state agencies and public and private entities involved in health care workforce training, recruitment and retention; (ii) monitor trends in access to primary care and oral health care providers, including dentists, dental hygienists, community health workers, nurse practitioners practicing as primary care providers, and other physician and nursing providers, through activities including: (1) review of existing data and collection of new data as needed to assess the capacity of the health care workforce to serve patients, including patient access and regional disparities in access to physicians or nurses, dentists, dental hygienists, and community health workers, and to examine physician,  nursing, dentist, dental hygienist, and community health worker satisfaction; (2) review existing laws, regulations, policies, contracting or reimbursement practices, and other factors that influence recruitment and retention of physicians and nurses, dentists, dental hygienists, and community health workers; (3) making projections on the ability of the workforce to meet the needs of patients over time; (4) identifying strategies currently being employed to address workforce needs, shortages, recruitment and retention; (5) studying the capacity of public and private medical, nursing, dental and dental hygienist schools in the commonwealth to expand the supply of primary care physicians and nurse practitioners as well as dentists, dental hygienists, practicing as primary and oral health care providers; and the capacity of community health worker training and education programs;  (iii) establish criteria to identify underserved areas in the commonwealth for administering the loan repayment program established under section 25N and for determining statewide target areas for health care provider placement based on the level of access; and (iv) address health care workforce shortages through the following activities, including: (1) coordinating state and federal loan repayment and incentive programs for health care providers; (2) providing assistance and support to communities, physician and oral health care groups, community health centers and community hospitals in developing cost-effective and comprehensive recruitment initiatives; (3) maximizing all sources of public and private funds for recruitment initiatives; (4) designing pilot programs and make regulatory and legislative proposals to address workforce needs, shortages, recruitment and retention; and (5) making short-term and long-term programmatic and policy recommendations to improve workforce performance, address identified workforce shortages and recruit and retain physicians,  nurses, dentists, dental hygienists, and community health workers;

              (c) The center shall maintain ongoing communication and coordination with the health care quality and cost council, established by section 16K of chapter 6A, and the health disparities council, established by section 16O of said chapter 6A.

              (d) The center shall annually submit a report, not later than March 1, to the governor; the health care quality and cost council established by section 16K of chapter 6A, the health disparities council established by section 16O of chapter 6A; and the general court, by filing the report with the clerk of the house of representatives, the clerk of the senate, the joint committee on labor and workforce development, the joint committee on health care financing, and the joint committee on public health. The report shall include: (i) data on patient access and regional disparities in access to physicians and dentists, by specialty and sub-specialty, and nurses, dental hygienists;, and community health workers; (ii) data on factors influencing recruitment and retention of physicians, nurses, dentists, dental hygienists, and appropriate licensed dental providers as they become identified in the workforce, and community health workers; (iii) short and long-term projections of physician,  nurse, dentist, dental hygienist, , and community health worker supply and demand; (iv) strategies being employed by the council or other entities to address workforce needs, shortages, recruitment and retention; (v) recommendations for designing, implementing and improving programs or policies to address workforce needs, shortages, recruitment and retention; and (vi) proposals for statutory or regulatory changes to address workforce needs, shortages, recruitment and retention.

              Section 25M. (a) There shall be a healthcare workforce advisory council within, but not subject to the control of, the health care workforce center established by section 25L. The council shall advise the center on the capacity of the healthcare workforce to provide timely, effective, culturally competent, quality physician, dental, nursing and community health worker services.

              (b) The council shall consist of 19 members who shall be appointed by the governor: 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Extended Care Federation; 1 of whom shall be a physician with a primary care specialty designation who practices in a rural area; 1 of whom shall be a physician with a primary care specialty who practices in an urban area; 1 of whom shall be a physician with a medical subspecialty; 1 of whom shall be an advanced practice nurse, authorized under section 80B of said chapter 112, who practices in a rural area; 1 of whom shall be an advanced practice nurse, authorized under section said 80B of said chapter 112, who practices in an urban area; 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Organization of Nurse Executives; 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians; 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Workforce Board Association; 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, Inc.; 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Medical Society; 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Center for Nursing, Inc.; 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Nurses Association; 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Association of Registered Nurses; 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Hospital Association, Inc.;  1 of whom shall be a representative of Health Care For All, Inc; l of whom shall be dentist with a public health education and/or experience in public health; 1 of whom shall be a dental hygienist with a public health education and/or experience in public health; , and 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers.  Members of the council shall be appointed for terms of 3 years or until a successor is appointed. Members shall be eligible to be reappointed and shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses reasonably incurred in the performance of their duties. Vacancies of unexpired terms shall be filled within 60 days by the appropriate appointing authority.

              The members of the council shall annually elect a chair, vice chair and secretary and may adopt by-laws governing the affairs of the council.

              The council shall meet at least bimonthly, at other times as determined by its rules, and when requested by any 8 members.

              (c) The council shall advise the center on: (i) trends in access to primary and oral health care and physician and dentist subspecialties and nursing, dental hygiene and community health worker services; (ii) the development and administration of the loan repayment program, established under section 25N, including criteria to identify underserved areas in the commonwealth; (iii) solutions to address identified health care workforces shortages; and (iv) the center’s annual report to the general court.

              Section 25N. (a) There shall be a health care workforce loan repayment program, administered by the health care workforce center established by section 25L. The program shall provide repayment assistance for medical and accredited dental school loans to participants who: (i) are graduates of medical, dental,  nursing, or dental hygiene schools; (ii) specialize in family health or medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, public health dentistry, or obstetrics/gynecology; (iii) demonstrate competency in health information technology, including use of electronic medical records, computerized physician order entry and e-prescribing; and (iv) meet other eligibility criteria, including service requirements, established by the board. Each recipient shall be required to enter into a contract with the commonwealth which shall obligate the recipient to perform a term of service of no less than 2 years in medically underserved areas as determined by the center.

              (b) The center shall promulgate regulations for the administration and enforcement of this section which shall include penalties and repayment procedures if a participant fails to comply with the service contract.

              The center shall, in consultation with the health care workforce advisory council and the public health council, establish criteria to identify medically underserved areas within the commonwealth. These criteria shall consist of quantifiable measures, which may include the availability of primary care medical and dental services within reasonable traveling distance, poverty levels, and disparities in health care access or health outcomes.

              (c) The center shall evaluate the program annually, including exit interviews of participants to determine their post-program service plans and to solicit program improvement recommendations.

              (d) The center shall, not later than July 1, file an annual report with the governor, the clerk of the house of representatives, the clerk of the senate, the house committee on ways and means, the senate committee ways and means, the joint committee on health care financing, the joint committee on mental health and substance abuse and the joint committee on public health. The report shall include annual data and historical trends of: (i) the number of applicants, the number accepted, and the number of participants by race, gender, medical, dental or nursing specialty, medical, accredited dental, nursing, or dental hygiene school, residence prior to medical, dental,  nursing, or dental hygiene school , and where they plan to practice after program completion; (ii) the service placement locations and length of service commitments by participants; (iii) the number of participants who fail to fulfill the program requirements and the reason for the failures; (iv) the number of former participants who continue to serve in underserved areas; and (v) program expenditures.

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