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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XXIX
Chapter 383
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F.S. 383.2163
383.2163 Telehealth minority maternity care pilot programs.By July 1, 2022, the department shall establish a telehealth minority maternity care pilot program in Duval County and Orange County which uses telehealth to expand the capacity for positive maternal health outcomes in racial and ethnic minority populations. The department shall direct and assist the county health departments in Duval County and Orange County to implement the programs.
(1) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Department” means the Department of Health.
(b) “Eligible pregnant woman” means a pregnant woman who is receiving, or is eligible to receive, maternal or infant care services from the department under chapter 381 or this chapter.
(c) “Health care practitioner” has the same meaning as in s. 456.001.
(d) “Health professional shortage area” means a geographic area designated as such by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
(e) “Indigenous population” means any Indian tribe, band, or nation or other organized group or community of Indians recognized as eligible for services provided to Indians by the United States Secretary of the Interior because of their status as Indians, including any Alaskan native village as defined in 43 U.S.C. s. 1602(c), the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, as that definition existed on the effective date of this act.
(f) “Maternal mortality” means a death occurring during pregnancy or the postpartum period which is caused by pregnancy or childbirth complications.
(g) “Medically underserved population” means the population of an urban or rural area designated by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services as an area with a shortage of personal health care services or a population group designated by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services as having a shortage of such services.
(h) “Perinatal professionals” means doulas, personnel from Healthy Start and home visiting programs, childbirth educators, community health workers, peer supporters, certified lactation consultants, nutritionists and dietitians, social workers, and other licensed and nonlicensed professionals who assist women through their prenatal or postpartum periods.
(i) “Postpartum” means the 1-year period beginning on the last day of a woman’s pregnancy.
(j) “Severe maternal morbidity” means an unexpected outcome caused by a woman’s labor and delivery which results in significant short-term or long-term consequences to the woman’s health.
(k) “Technology-enabled collaborative learning and capacity building model” means a distance health care education model that connects health care professionals, particularly specialists, with other health care professionals through simultaneous interactive videoconferencing for the purpose of facilitating case-based learning, disseminating best practices, and evaluating outcomes in the context of maternal health care.
(2) PURPOSE.The purpose of the pilot programs is to:
(a) Expand the use of technology-enabled collaborative learning and capacity building models to improve maternal health outcomes for the following populations and demographics:
1. Ethnic and minority populations.
2. Health professional shortage areas.
3. Areas with significant racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health outcomes and high rates of adverse maternal health outcomes, including, but not limited to, maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity.
4. Medically underserved populations.
5. Indigenous populations.
(b) Provide for the adoption of and use of telehealth services that allow for screening and treatment of common pregnancy-related complications, including, but not limited to, anxiety, depression, substance use disorder, hemorrhage, infection, amniotic fluid embolism, thrombotic pulmonary or other embolism, hypertensive disorders relating to pregnancy, diabetes, cerebrovascular accidents, cardiomyopathy, and other cardiovascular conditions.
(3) TELEHEALTH SERVICES AND EDUCATION.The pilot programs shall adopt the use of telehealth or coordinate with prenatal home visiting programs to provide all of the following services and education to eligible pregnant women up to the last day of their postpartum periods, as applicable:
(a) Referrals to Healthy Start’s coordinated intake and referral program to offer families prenatal home visiting services.
(b) Services and education addressing social determinants of health, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
1. Housing placement options.
2. Transportation services or information on how to access such services.
3. Nutrition counseling.
4. Access to healthy foods.
5. Lactation support.
6. Lead abatement and other efforts to improve air and water quality.
7. Child care options.
8. Car seat installation and training.
9. Wellness and stress management programs.
10. Coordination across safety net and social support services and programs.
(c) Evidence-based health literacy and pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting education for women in the prenatal and postpartum periods.
(d) For women during their pregnancies through the postpartum periods, connection to support from doulas and other perinatal health workers.
(e) Tools for prenatal women to conduct key components of maternal wellness checks, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
1. A device to measure body weight, such as a scale.
2. A device to measure blood pressure which has a verbal reader to assist the pregnant woman in reading the device and to ensure that the health care practitioner performing the wellness check through telehealth is able to hear the reading.
3. A device to measure blood sugar levels with a verbal reader to assist the pregnant woman in reading the device and to ensure that the health care practitioner performing the wellness check through telehealth is able to hear the reading.
4. Any other device that the health care practitioner performing wellness checks through telehealth deems necessary.
(4) TRAINING.The pilot programs shall provide training to participating health care practitioners and other perinatal professionals on all of the following:
(a) Implicit and explicit biases, racism, and discrimination in the provision of maternity care and how to eliminate these barriers to accessing adequate and competent maternity care.
(b) The use of remote patient monitoring tools for pregnancy-related complications.
(c) How to screen for social determinants of health risks in the prenatal and postpartum periods, such as inadequate housing, lack of access to nutritional foods, environmental risks, transportation barriers, and lack of continuity of care.
(d) Best practices in screening for and, as needed, evaluating and treating maternal mental health conditions and substance use disorders.
(e) Information collection, recording, and evaluation activities to:
1. Study the impact of the pilot program;
2. Ensure access to and the quality of care;
3. Evaluate patient outcomes as a result of the pilot program;
4. Measure patient experience; and
5. Identify best practices for the future expansion of the pilot program.
(5) FUNDING.The pilot programs shall be funded using funds appropriated by the Legislature for the Closing the Gap grant program. The department’s Division of Community Health Promotion and Office of Minority Health and Health Equity shall also work in partnership to apply for federal funds that are available to assist the department in accomplishing the program’s purpose and successfully implementing the pilot programs.
(6) RULES.The department may adopt rules to implement this section.
History.s. 3, ch. 2021-238.