Bill Summary for S 875 (2023-2024)

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Summary date: 

May 3 2024

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2023-2024 Session
Senate Bill 875 (Public) Filed Thursday, May 2, 2024
Intro. by Smith, Batch.

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Bill summary

Includes whereas clauses.

Part I.

Requires the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to establish and operate a Maternal Mortality Prevention Grant Program (grant program) to award grants to eligible entities to establish or expand programs for the prevention of maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity among black women. Requires applicants to be community-based organizations offering programs and resources aligned with evidence-based practices for improving maternal health outcomes for black women. Requires DHHS, beginning July 1, 2024, to conduct outreach to encourage eligible applicants to apply and provide application assistance. Awards grants with amounts ranging from $10,000 to $50,000. Sets out criteria to be considered when awarding the grants. Sets out the types of technical assistance DHHS must provide. Requires DHHS to report to the specified NCGA committee and division by October 1, 2026; sets out issues to be addressed in the report. Sets the grant program to expire on June 30, 2026.

Appropriates the following from the General Fund to DHHS, Division of Public Health, for 2024-25: (1) $93,513 in nonrecurring funds to establish a time limited, full-time Public Health Program Coordinator IV position to provide application assistance and technical assistance to recipients, and prepare the required report and (2) $495,500 in nonrecurring funds to be allocated to the Maternal Mortality Prevention Grant Program. Allows up to 10% of these funds to be used for administrative purposes related to the grant program. Authorizes DHHS to hire one full-time, time-limited Public Health Program Coordinator IV position. Effective July 1, 2024.

Part II.

Enacts new GS 130A-33.62, providing as follows. Requires DHHS, in collaboration with (1) community-based organizations led by black women that serve primarily black birthing people and (2) a historically black college or university or other institution that primarily serves minority populations to create or identify an evidence-based implicit bias training program (training program) for health care professionals involved in perinatal care (the provision of care during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum and neonatal periods). Sets out 12 minimum components of the training program, including identification of previous or current unconscious biases and misinformation; identification of personal, interpersonal, institutional, structural, and cultural barriers to inclusion; corrective measures to decrease implicit bias at the interpersonal and institutional levels; and information about how to communicate more effectively across identities. Requires all health care professionals to complete the training program, specifying deadlines for completion depending on whether the individual is licensed before or after January 1, 2024. Requires proof of completion for license/registration/accreditation/certification renewal. Defines a health care professional as a licensed physician or other health care provider licensed, registered, accredited, or certified to perform perinatal care and regulated under the authority of a health care professional licensing authority. Encourages DHHS to seek opportunities to make the training program available to all health care professions and to promote its use among four specified types of providers and programs. Requires DHHS to collect specified information related to maternal mortality to inform ongoing improvements to the training program.

Enacts GS 130A-33.63 specifying that a patient getting care at a perinatal care facility (a hospital, clinic, or birthing center providing perinatal care in the state) has six listed rights, including: to be informed of continuing health care requirements following discharge; to actively participate in decisions regarding the patient's medical care and the right to refuse treatment; and to receive care and treatment free from discrimination on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, color, religion, ancestry, disability, medical condition, genetic  information, marital status, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, citizenship, nationality, immigration status, primary language, or language proficiency. Requires perinatal care facilities to provide patients upon admission with a written copy of the rights.

Appropriates $50,000 in recurring funds for 2024-25 from the General Fund to DHHS, Division of Public Health, to establish and administer the training.

Part III.

Appropriates $550,000 for 2024-25 from the General Fund to the UNC Board of Governors for recruiting, training, and retaining a diverse workforce of lactation consultants in North Carolina by supporting the infrastructure and sustainability of lactation consultant training programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities located within the State, to be distributed equally between North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University and Johnson C. Smith University to cover costs of administering a lactation training program, including specified costs that include student aid. Requires the DHHS Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities to give technical assistance to those two schools concerning developing training content, recruitment from historically marginalized populations to enroll, recruitment of historically underutilized providers to serve as teachers and preceptors, and identifying rural and medically underserved areas of the State experiencing a shortage of lactation consultants in order to recruit program graduates to work in these areas. Requires a report by May 1, 2027, to the specified NCGA committees on the benefits the state received due to the funding of the training programs. Sets out items that must be included in the report. Effective July 1, 2024.

Part IV.

Requires the DHHS, Division of Public Health, to establish and administer a statewide, evidence-based stillbirth prevention program, Count the Kicks, that provides educational resources to healthcare providers, community health workers, and expectant parents on the importance of, and methods for, tracking fetal movement. Effective July 1, 2024, appropriates $2 million in recurring funds for 2024-25 from the General Fund to the Division of Public Health, to be allocated to the Count the Kicks program. Sets out purposes for which the funds may be used. Requires reports to the specified NCGA committee and division as follows: (1) by September 1, 2025, report on the implementation status of the program and (2) annually on September 1, beginning in 2026, report on the status and operation of the program. Sets out items that must be included in the reports.