PA 17-74—SB 126

Public Health Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS

SUMMARY: This act establishes a statutory definition for a “community health worker” and, based on that definition, requires the director of the State Innovation Model Initiative Program Management Office to study the feasibility of creating a community health worker certification program. The director must do this within available resources and in consultation with the Department of Public Health commissioner and the office's Community Health Worker Advisory Committee. The study must examine the fiscal impact of implementing the certification program and make recommendations on:

1. requirements for initial certification and renewal, including training, experience, and continuing education requirements;

2. methods for administering the certification program, including an application; a standardized assessment of experience, knowledge, and skills; and an electronic registry; and

3. requirements for recognizing training program curricula that are sufficient to satisfy certification requirements.

The director must report on the study and recommendations to the Public Health and Human Services committees by October 1, 2018.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKER DEFINITION

Under the act, a “community health worker” is a public health outreach professional with an in-depth understanding of a community's experience, language, culture, and socioeconomic needs, who:

1. serves as a liaison between community members and health care and social services providers to (a) facilitate access to these services and related resources; (b) improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery; and (c) address social determinants of health with a goal of reducing racial, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic health disparities and

2. increases health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of services, including outreach, engagement, education, coaching, informal counseling, social support, advocacy, care coordination, research related to social determinants of health, and basic screenings and assessments related to social determinants of health.