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Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 257-H.F.No. 2550 
                  An act relating to health; providing for rural 
                  critical access hospitals; amending Minnesota Statutes 
                  1996, section 144.1483. 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 144.1483, is 
        amended to read: 
           144.1483 [RURAL HEALTH INITIATIVES.] 
           The commissioner of health, through the office of rural 
        health, and consulting as necessary with the commissioner of 
        human services, the commissioner of commerce, the higher 
        education services office, and other state agencies, shall: 
           (1) develop a detailed plan regarding the feasibility of 
        coordinating rural health care services by organizing individual 
        medical providers and smaller hospitals and clinics into 
        referral networks with larger rural hospitals and clinics that 
        provide a broader array of services; 
           (2) develop and implement a program to assist rural 
        communities in establishing community health centers, as 
        required by section 144.1486; 
           (3) administer the program of financial assistance 
        established under section 144.1484 for rural hospitals in 
        isolated areas of the state that are in danger of closing 
        without financial assistance, and that have exhausted local 
        sources of support; 
           (4) develop recommendations regarding health education and 
        training programs in rural areas, including but not limited to a 
        physician assistants' training program, continuing education 
        programs for rural health care providers, and rural outreach 
        programs for nurse practitioners within existing training 
           (5) develop a statewide, coordinated recruitment strategy 
        for health care personnel and maintain a database on health care 
        personnel as required under section 144.1485; 
           (6) develop and administer technical assistance programs to 
        assist rural communities in:  (i) planning and coordinating the 
        delivery of local health care services; and (ii) hiring 
        physicians, nurse practitioners, public health nurses, physician 
        assistants, and other health personnel; 
           (7) study and recommend changes in the regulation of health 
        care personnel, such as nurse practitioners and physician 
        assistants, related to scope of practice, the amount of on-site 
        physician supervision, and dispensing of medication, to address 
        rural health personnel shortages; 
           (8) support efforts to ensure continued funding for medical 
        and nursing education programs that will increase the number of 
        health professionals serving in rural areas; 
           (9) support efforts to secure higher reimbursement for 
        rural health care providers from the Medicare and medical 
        assistance programs; 
           (10) coordinate the development of a statewide plan for 
        emergency medical services, in cooperation with the emergency 
        medical services advisory council; and 
           (11) establish a Medicare rural hospital flexibility 
        program pursuant to section 1820 of the federal Social Security 
        Act, United States Code, title 42, section 1395i-4, by 
        developing a state rural health plan and designating, consistent 
        with the rural health plan, rural nonprofit or public hospitals 
        in the state as critical access hospitals.  Critical access 
        hospitals shall include facilities that are certified by the 
        state as necessary providers of health care services to 
        residents in the area.  Necessary providers of health care 
        services are designated as critical access hospitals on the 
        basis of being more than 20 miles, defined as official mileage 
        as reported by the Minnesota department of transportation, from 
        the next nearest hospital or being the sole hospital in the 
        county; and 
           (12) carry out other activities necessary to address rural 
        health problems. 
           Sec. 2.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Section 1 is effective the day following final enactment. 
           Presented to the governor February 23, 1998 
           Signed by the governor February 25, 1998, 3:05 p.m.

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes