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  • Summary date: Apr 5 2023 - View Summary

    Appropriates $3.75 million in nonrecurring funds for the 2023-2024 fiscal year and $3.75 million in nonrecurring funds for the 2024-2025 fiscal year from the General Fund to the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Central Management and Support, Office of Rural Health (ORH) to be used to establish and administer a grant program that awards grants to federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and federally qualified health center look-alikes (FQHC look-alikes) to hire and deploy community health workers to rural, medically underserved, and low-wealth areas of the state for the purpose of addressing and reducing racial and ethnic disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes.

    Sets forth the following requirements and limitations on ORH in administering the grant program: (1) requires ORH to consult with the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities and the North Carolina Community Health Worker Association in establishing an application process and eligibility requirements for the grant program; (2) the ORH must use these funds to award grants to up to FQHCs and FQHC look-alikes; (3) the ORH must give priority to FQHCs and FQHC look-alikes located in low-wealth areas of the State that (i) are medically underserved, (ii) have historically marginalized populations, (iii) have been disproportionately impacted by high rates of infant or maternal death, and (iv) are at higher risk of maternal-infant mortality; (4) no single grant award in any fiscal year may exceed $450,000.

    Requires grant recipients to use funds to hire community health workers, preferably from the communities being served, with knowledge of, and experience conducting community outreach into, rural or urban communities experiencing high maternal death rates, high infant  mortality rates, or both, among minority populations, to perform the following functions: (1) to conduct community outreach and provide education to pregnant women at high risk of (i) pregnancy-related death within a year after giving birth or (ii) fetal, perinatal, or infant death. In conducting this outreach, the community  health workers must make efforts to identify Medicaid members who either are not engaged in maternal or pediatric health care services available under the Medicaid program or are underutilizing these Medicaid services; (2) to disseminate printed information about high-risk maternal death; high-risk fetal, perinatal, and infant death; and the availability of services and resources for pregnant women to lower these risks; (3) to provide information about how to access doula services, prenatal care services available through FQHCs and FQHC look-alikes, maternal and pediatric health care services available to Medicaid beneficiaries, and prenatal and postpartum care for women with substance use disorders.

    Permits the ORH to use up to $250,000 of the allocated funds per fiscal year for administrative purposes related to the grant program. Requires ORH to submit a report the specified NCGA committee and Fiscal Research Division on the grant program, with four specified matters that must be addressed by December 15, 2024.

    Effective July 1, 2023.