(1) It is the intent of the Legislature that all 67 counties offer primary care services through contracts, as required by s. 154.01(3), for Medicaid recipients and other qualified low-income persons. Therefore, the Department of Health is directed, to the extent that funds are appropriated, to develop a plan to implement a program in cooperation with each county. The department shall coordinate with the county’s governing body. Such primary care programs shall be phased-in and made operational as additional resources are appropriated, and shall be subject to the following:
(a) The department shall enter into contracts with the county governing body for the purpose of expanding primary care coverage. The county governing body shall have the option of organizing the primary care programs through county health departments or through county public hospitals owned and operated directly by the county. The department shall, as its first priority, maximize the number of counties participating in the primary care programs under this section, but shall establish priorities for funding based on need and the willingness of counties to participate. The department shall select counties for programs through a formal request-for-proposal process that requires compliance with program standards for cost-effective quality care and seeks to maximize access throughout the county.
(b) Each county’s primary care program may utilize any or all of the following options of providing services: offering services directly through the county health departments; contracting with individual or group practitioners for all or part of the service; or developing service delivery models which are organized through the county health departments but which utilize other service or delivery systems available, such as federal primary care programs or prepaid health plans. In addition, counties shall have the option of pooling resources and joining with neighboring counties in order to fulfill the intent of this section.
(c) Each primary care program shall conform to the requirements and specifications of the department, and shall at a minimum:
1. Adopt a minimum eligibility standard of at least 100 percent of the federal nonfarm poverty level.
2. Provide a comprehensive mix of preventive and illness care services.
3. Be family oriented and be easily accessible regardless of income, physical status, or geographical location.
4. Ensure 24-hour telephone access and offer evening and weekend clinic services.
5. Offer continuity of care over time.
6. Make maximum use of existing providers and closely coordinate its services and funding with existing federal primary care programs, especially in rural counties, to ensure efficient use of resources.
7. Have a sliding fee schedule based on income for eligible persons above 100 percent of the federal nonfarm poverty level.
8. Include quality assurance provisions and procedures for evaluation.
9. Provide early periodic screening diagnostic and treatment services for Medicaid-eligible children.
10. Fully utilize and coordinate with rural hospitals for outpatient services, including contracting for services when advisable in terms of cost-effectiveness and feasibility.
(2) The department shall monitor, measure, and evaluate the quality of care provided by each primary care program.
(3) It is the intent of the Legislature that each county primary care program include a broad range of preventive and acute care services which are actively coordinated through comprehensive medical management and, further, that the health and preventive services currently offered through the county health departments are fully integrated, to the extent possible, with the services provided by the primary care programs.
(4) Each county primary care program shall coordinate obstetrical services with the Improved Pregnancy Outcome Program. Financially eligible women at risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes due to any potential medical complication shall not be denied access to prenatal care. Potential medical complications may arise out of, but not be limited to, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, or delay in obtaining initial prenatal care. The inability of the primary care program to provide funding for hospitalization or other acute services shall not preclude an eligible patient from obtaining prenatal services.
(5) The department shall adopt rules to govern the operation of primary care programs authorized by this section. Such rules may include, but need not be limited to, requirements for income eligibility, income verification, continuity of care, client services, client enrollment and disenrollment, eligibility, intake, recordkeeping, coverage, quality control, quality of care, case management, a definition of income used to determine eligibility or sliding fees, and Medicaid participation and shall be developed by the State Health Officer. Rules governing services to clients under 21 years of age shall be developed in conjunction with children’s medical services and shall at a minimum include preventive services as set forth in s. 627.6579.