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    Subdivision 1. Purpose and matching funds. The commissioner of health shall apply for
federal grant funding under the State Rural Health Network Reform Initiative, a Health Care
Financing Administration program to provide grant funds to states to encourage innovations in
rural health financing and delivery systems. The commissioner may use state funds appropriated
to the Department of Health for the provision of technical assistance for community integrated
service network development as matching funds for the federal grant.
    Subd. 2. Use of federal funds. If the Department of Health receives federal funding under
the State Rural Health Network Reform Initiative, the department shall use these funds to
implement a program to provide technical assistance and grants to rural communities to establish
health care networks and to develop and test a rural health network reform model.
    Subd. 3. Eligible applicants and criteria for awarding of grants to rural communities.
(a) Funding which the department receives to award grants to rural communities to establish
health care networks shall be awarded through a request for proposals process. Planning grant
funds may be used for community facilitation and initial network development activities including
incorporation as a nonprofit organization or cooperative, assessment of network models, and
determination of the best fit for the community. Implementation grant funds can be used to enable
incorporated nonprofit organizations and cooperatives to purchase technical services needed for
further network development such as legal, actuarial, financial, marketing, and administrative
(b) In order to be eligible to apply for a planning or implementation grant under the
federally funded health care network reform program, an organization must be located in a
rural area of Minnesota excluding the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area and the
census-defined urbanized areas of Duluth, Rochester, St. Cloud, and Moorhead. The proposed
network organization must also meet or plan to meet the criteria for a community integrated
service network.
(c) In determining which organizations will receive grants, the commissioner may consider
the following factors:
(1) the applicant's description of their plans for health care network development, their need
for technical assistance, and other technical assistance resources available to the applicant. The
applicant must clearly describe the service area to be served by the network, how the grant funds
will be used, what will be accomplished, and the expected results. The applicant should describe
achievable objectives, a timetable, and roles and capabilities of responsible individuals and
(2) the extent of community support for the applicant and the health care network. The
applicant should demonstrate support from private and public health care providers in the service
area and local community and government leaders. Evidence of such support may include a
commitment of financial support, in-kind services, or cash, for development of the network;
(3) the size and demographic characteristics of the population in the service area for the
proposed network and the distance of the service area from the nearest metropolitan area; and
(4) the technical assistance resources available to the applicant from nonstate sources and the
financial ability of the applicant to purchase technical assistance services with nonstate funds.
History: 1994 c 625 art 8 s 41; 1999 c 245 art 2 s 23