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    Subdivision 1. Definitions. (a) For the purposes of this section, the following definitions
(b) "Eligible rural community" means:
(1) a Minnesota community that is located in a rural area, as defined in the federal Medicare
regulations, Code of Federal Regulations, title 42, section 405.1041; or
(2) a Minnesota community that has a population of less than 10,000, according to the United
States Bureau of Statistics, and that is outside the seven-county metropolitan area, excluding the
cities of Duluth, Mankato, Moorhead, Rochester, and St. Cloud.
(c) "Health care provider" means a hospital, clinic, pharmacy, long-term care institution, or
other health care facility that is licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized by the laws of this
state to provide health care.
(d) "Pharmacist" means an individual with a valid license issued under chapter 151 to
practice pharmacy.
(e) "Pharmacy" has the meaning given under section 151.01, subdivision 2.
    Subd. 2. Grants authorized; eligibility. (a) The commissioner of health shall establish a
program to award grants to eligible rural communities or health care providers in eligible rural
communities for planning, establishing, keeping in operation, or providing health care services
that preserve access to prescription medications and the skills of a pharmacist according to
sections 151.01 to 151.40.
(b) To be eligible for a grant, an applicant must develop a strategic plan for preserving or
enhancing access to prescription medications and the skills of a pharmacist. At a minimum, a
strategic plan must consist of:
(1) a needs assessment to determine what pharmacy services are needed and desired by the
community. The assessment must include interviews with or surveys of area and local health
professionals, local community leaders, and public officials;
(2) an assessment of the feasibility of providing needed pharmacy services that identifies
priorities and timelines for potential changes; and
(3) an implementation plan.
(c) A grant may be used by a recipient that has developed a strategic plan to implement
transition projects to modify the type and extent of pharmacy services provided, in order to reflect
the needs of the community. Grants may also be used by recipients:
(1) to develop pharmacy practices that integrate pharmacy and existing health care provider
facilities; or
(2) to establish a pharmacy provider cooperative or initiatives that maintain local access to
prescription medications and the skills of a pharmacist.
    Subd. 3. Consideration of grants. In determining which applicants shall receive grants
under this section, the commissioner of health shall appoint a committee comprised of members
with experience and knowledge about rural pharmacy issues including, but not limited to, two
rural pharmacists with a community pharmacy background, two health care providers from rural
communities, one representative from a statewide pharmacist organization, and one representative
of the Board of Pharmacy. A representative of the commissioner may serve on the committee in an
ex officio status. In determining who shall receive a grant, the committee shall take into account:
(1) improving or maintaining access to prescription medications and the skills of a
(2) changes in service populations;
(3) the extent community pharmacy needs are not currently met by other providers in the area;
(4) the financial condition of the applicant;
(5) the integration of pharmacy services into existing health care services; and
(6) community support.
The commissioner may also take into account other relevant factors.
    Subd. 4. Allocation of grants. (a) The commissioner shall establish a deadline for receiving
applications and must make a final decision on the funding of each application within 60 days
of the deadline. An applicant must apply no later than March 1 of each fiscal year for grants
awarded for that fiscal year.
(b) Any grant awarded must not exceed $50,000 a year. Notwithstanding any law to the
contrary, funds awarded to grantees in a grant agreement do not lapse until expended by the
(c) Applicants may apply to the program each year they are eligible.
(d) Project grants may not be used to retire debt incurred with respect to any capital
expenditure made prior to the date on which the project is initiated.
    Subd. 5. Evaluation. The commissioner shall evaluate the overall effectiveness of the grant
program and may collect progress reports and other information from grantees needed for program
evaluation. An academic institution that has the expertise in evaluating rural pharmacy outcomes
may participate in the program evaluation if asked by a grantee or the commissioner. The
commissioner shall compile summaries of successful grant projects and other model community
efforts to preserve access to prescription medications and the skills of a pharmacist, and make this
information available to Minnesota communities seeking to address local pharmacy issues.
History: 1Sp2005 c 4 art 6 s 10; 2006 c 282 art 16 s 2

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes