BILL REQ. #: H-1595.1
|State of Washington||61st Legislature||2009 Regular Session|
Read first time 02/05/09. Referred to Committee on Health Care & Wellness.
AN ACT Relating to public health financing; amending RCW 43.70.514, 43.70.516, and 43.70.518; adding new sections to chapter 43.70 RCW; creating a new section; and repealing RCW 43.70.512 and 43.70.522.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1 The legislature finds that public health is
a core function of state government. The local health jurisdictions in
Washington state's decentralized public health system depend on a
combination of federal, state, and local funding. This funding system
can make public health funding unstable on the local level and can
adversely affect the public health services available to the citizens
of the state. It is therefore the intent of the legislature to help
provide local health jurisdictions with a more stable dedicated funding
system by creating a single account through which all state funding for
public health will be distributed. The legislature further intends
that local health jurisdictions receiving state funds be held
accountable for the use of those funds based on the minimum standards
of public health protection in the state's public health improvement
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2 A new section is added to chapter 43.70 RCW
to read as follows:
(1) The public health improvement account is created in the state treasury. Moneys in the account may be spent only after appropriation.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, during the month of January 2010, and every January thereafter, the state treasurer shall distribute the account's annual receipts to each local health jurisdiction in the state to be used for core public health functions of statewide significance. The state treasurer shall distribute the moneys required under this subsection as follows:
(a) Each local health jurisdiction shall receive a base level of funding of one hundred thousand dollars.
(b) The remainder of the funds to be distributed under this subsection (2) shall be distributed among the jurisdictions on a per capita basis.
(3) The state treasurer may not distribute funds to a local health jurisdiction under subsection (2)(a) of this section if he or she receives notice from the secretary of health, under RCW 43.70.516, that the jurisdiction is not in substantial compliance with the minimum standards for public health protection established under RCW 43.70.520. The state treasurer shall retain funds withheld under this subsection until he or she receives notification from the secretary, under RCW 43.70.516, that the jurisdiction has achieved substantial compliance.
(4) A local health jurisdiction may use funds provided under this section to supplant other funding sources for public health programs.
(5) For purposes of this section:
(a) "Per capita basis" means the amount multiplied by the proportion of the population of the jurisdiction in the previous calendar year to the population of the state in the previous calendar year.
(b) "Population" means the number of persons as last determined by the office of financial management. If the jurisdiction is comprised of a single county, "population" means the number of persons in that county. If the jurisdiction is comprised of two or more counties, "population" means the number of persons in all counties of which the jurisdiction is comprised.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3 A new section is added to chapter 43.70 RCW
to read as follows:
(1) The secretary shall establish a review process for determining whether a local health jurisdiction is in substantial compliance with the minimum standards for public health protection established under RCW 43.70.520.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (5) of this section, the secretary shall use the process established in subsection (1) of this section to review each local health jurisdiction in the state at least once every three years.
(3)(a) If the secretary finds that a local health jurisdiction is not in substantial compliance with the minimum standards for public health protection, he or she shall notify the local health jurisdiction in writing.
(b) A local health jurisdiction receiving written notice under this subsection shall submit a plan of correction within sixty days. The plan of correction must explain the measures that the jurisdiction will undertake to achieve substantial compliance with the standards within one hundred eighty days.
(c) If the secretary determines that the plan of correction is likely to bring the jurisdiction into substantial compliance within one hundred eighty days, he or she shall provide technical assistance to the jurisdiction to help it to successfully complete the plan of correction. If the secretary determines that the plan of correction is not likely to bring the jurisdiction into substantial compliance within one hundred eighty days, he or she shall reject the plan of correction and allow the jurisdiction to revise and resubmit the plan within fifteen days. If the secretary finds that the revised plan of correction is not likely to bring the jurisdiction into substantial compliance within one hundred eighty days, or if the jurisdiction does not resubmit a revised plan within fifteen days, he or she shall send notice to the state treasurer that the jurisdiction is out of substantial compliance under subsection (4) of this section.
(d) The secretary shall review a local health jurisdiction with an approved plan of correction one hundred eighty days after the approved plan's submission. If the secretary finds that the jurisdiction remains out of substantial compliance after the review required by this subsection (3)(d), he or she shall send notice to the state treasurer that the jurisdiction is out of substantial compliance under subsection (4) of this section.
(4)(a) The secretary shall notify the state treasurer when the secretary finds, under subsections (3)(c) or (d) of this section, that a local health jurisdiction is out of substantial compliance established under RCW 43.70.520. Upon notification under this subsection, the state treasurer shall suspend any distributions made to the jurisdiction under section 2 of this act until the secretary sends notice that the jurisdiction is back in substantial compliance.
(b) The secretary shall review, using the process established under subsection (1) of this section, a jurisdiction subject to suspension under (a) of this subsection no sooner than one hundred eighty days after notice of suspension was sent to the state treasurer. If the secretary finds that the jurisdiction remains out of substantial compliance, the secretary shall continue the suspension and review the jurisdiction at intervals of at least one hundred eighty days until the secretary finds that the jurisdiction is in substantial compliance. Once the secretary finds that the jurisdiction is in substantial compliance after a review under this subsection, he or she shall notify the state treasurer, who shall immediately resume the distributions required under section 2 of this act and distribute any moneys the jurisdiction should have received during the period of suspension.
(5) The secretary may exempt a local health jurisdiction from the review process required by this section if the jurisdiction is accredited by an organization whose accreditation standards meet or exceed the minimum standards for public health protection established under RCW 43.70.520.
Sec. 4 RCW 43.70.514 and 2007 c 259 s 61 are each amended to read
The definitions in this section apply throughout ((
through 65 of this act)) this section and RCW 43.70.516 and 43.70.518
unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Core public health functions of statewide significance" or "public health functions" means health services that:
(a) Address: Communicable disease prevention and response; preparation for, and response to, public health emergencies caused by pandemic disease, earthquake, flood, or terrorism; prevention and management of chronic diseases and disabilities; promotion of healthy families and the development of children; assessment of local health conditions, risks, and trends, and evaluation of the effectiveness of intervention efforts; and environmental health concerns;
(b) Promote uniformity in the public health activities conducted by all local health jurisdictions in the public health system, increase the overall strength of the public health system, or apply to broad public health efforts; and
(c) If left neglected or inadequately addressed, are reasonably likely to have a significant adverse impact on counties beyond the borders of the local health jurisdiction.
(2) "Local health jurisdiction" or "jurisdiction" means a county board of health organized under chapter 70.05 RCW, a health district organized under chapter 70.46 RCW, or a combined city and county health department organized under chapter 70.08 RCW.
Sec. 5 RCW 43.70.516 and 2007 c 259 s 62 are each amended to read
The department shall accomplish the tasks included in
subsection (2) of this section by utilizing the expertise of varied
interests, as provided in this subsection. )) By January 1, 2008, the department shall((
(a) In addition to the perspectives of local health jurisdictions, the state board of health, the Washington health foundation, and department staff that are currently engaged in development of the public health services improvement plan under RCW 43.70.520, the secretary shall actively engage:
(i) Individuals or entities with expertise in the development of performance measures, accountability and systems management, such as the University of Washington school of public health and community medicine, and experts in the development of evidence-based medical guidelines or public health practice guidelines; and
(ii) Individuals or entities who will be impacted by performance measures developed under this section and have relevant expertise, such as community clinics, public health nurses, large employers, tribal health providers, family planning providers, and physicians.
(b) In developing the performance measures, consideration shall be given to levels of performance necessary to promote uniformity in core public health functions of statewide significance among all local health jurisdictions, best scientific evidence, national standards of performance, and innovations in public health practice. The performance measures shall be developed to meet the goals and outcomes in RCW 43.70.512. The office of the state auditor shall provide advice and consultation to the committee to assist in the development of effective performance measures and health status indicators.
(c) On or before November 1, 2007, the experts assembled under this section shall provide recommendations to the secretary related to the activities and services that qualify as core public health functions of statewide significance and performance measures. The secretary shall provide written justification for any departure from the recommendations.
:)) adopt a prioritized list of activities and services performed
by local health jurisdictions that qualify as core public health
functions of statewide significance as defined in RCW 43.70.514((
(b) Adopt appropriate performance measures with the intent of improving health status indicators applicable to the core public health functions of statewide significance that local health jurisdictions must provide
(3))) (2) The secretary may revise the list of activities (( and
the performance measures)) in future years as appropriate. Prior to
modifying (( either)) the list (( or the performance measures)), the
secretary must provide a written explanation of the rationale for such
(4) The department and the local health jurisdictions shall abide
by the prioritized list of activities and services and the performance
measures developed pursuant to this section.))
(5) The department, in consultation with representatives of county governments, shall provide local jurisdictions with financial incentives to encourage and increase local investments in core public health functions. The local jurisdictions shall not supplant existing local funding with such state-incented resources.
Sec. 6 RCW 43.70.518 and 2007 c 259 s 63 are each amended to read
Beginning November 15, ((
2009)) 2010, the department shall report
to the legislature and the governor annually on the distribution of
funds to local health jurisdictions under (( sections 60 through 65 of))
this act and the use of those funds. The (( initial)) reports must
discuss the (( performance measures adopted by the secretary and any
impact the funding in chapter 259, Laws of 2007 has had on local health
jurisdiction performance and health status indicators. Future reports
shall evaluate)) minimum standards for public health protection
established under RCW 43.70.520 and any impact the funding provided in
this act has had on local health jurisdictions' ability to meet those
standards as well as trends in performance over time and the effects of
expenditures on performance over time.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 7 The following acts or parts of acts are each
(1) RCW 43.70.512 (Public health -- Required measurable outcomes) and 2007 c 259 s 60; and
(2) RCW 43.70.522 (Public health performance measures -- Assessing the use of funds -- Secretary's duties) and 2007 c 259 s 65.