HB191: Health Workforce Development; creates position of Special Advisor to the Governor.


HOUSE BILL NO. 191
AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by the Joint Conference Committee
on March 12, 2022)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Delegate Hodges)
A BILL to direct the Secretaries of Commerce and Trade, Education, Health and Human Resources, and Labor to make recommendations related to expanding the health and health science workforce.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. § 1. That the Secretaries of Commerce and Trade, Education, Health and Human Resources, and Labor shall:

1. Catalogue existing health workforce development resources, programming, staffing, and funding provided by agencies within their secretariat in order to support coordination of efforts to expand the health workforce in the Commonwealth by (i) coordinating education, training, recruitment, and incentive programs designed to improve staff retention and build the Commonwealth's health workforce; (ii) addressing regulatory, payment, and other issues that negatively impact recruitment and retention of health workers in critical practice areas, including primary care, behavioral health, developmental services, nursing, pharmacy, and public health; and (iii) developing strategies to address the primary care and behavioral health safety net workforce shortages in the Commonwealth;

2. Identify barriers and resources necessary to, and make recommendations for, (i) providing incentives to remove barriers to educating and training health workforce professionals that include increasing eligible faculty, clinical placements, and residencies; (ii) incentivizing the production of health workforce credentials, degrees, and licensures based on a rigorous analysis of the need by the Office of Education and Labor Market Alignment; (iii) addressing regulatory barriers to entering into and staying in health professions; and (iv) providing education and training for health and health science professionals to align education and training initiatives with existing and evolving health workforce needs;

3. Make recommendations for establishing a process for the issuance of grants to regional health and health science workforce development initiatives to meet regional health and health science workforce needs by developing and supporting targeted initiatives to address unique regional needs related to health and health science workforce education, training, recruitment, and retention, and to meet the objectives described in subdivision 2; and

4. Request and provide opportunity for input from the Virginia Academy of Family Physicians, the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Medical Society of Virginia, the Virginia Center for Health Innovation, the Virginia Nurses Association, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, the Virginia Pharmacists Association, and representatives of behavioral health and rural health providers when developing recommendations pursuant to this section.

§ 2. The Secretaries of Commerce and Trade, Education, Health and Human Resources, and Labor shall report their findings and recommendations to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations by October 1, 2022.


HOUSE BILL NO. 191
AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations
on March 3, 2022)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Delegate Hodges)
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Title 2.2 a chapter numbered 4.5, consisting of a section numbered 2.2-450, relating to health workforce development; Special Advisor to the Governor for Health Workforce Development; Virginia Health Workforce Development Fund.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Title 2.2 a chapter numbered 4.5, consisting of a section numbered 2.2-450 as follows:

CHAPTER 4.5.
SPECIAL ADVISOR FOR HEALTH WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT.

§ 2.2-450. Special Advisor to the Governor for Health Workforce Development; Virginia Health Workforce Development Fund.

A. As used in this section, "health workforce" includes individuals working in the areas of behavioral health and health sciences.

B. The position of Special Advisor to the Governor for Health Workforce Development (the Special Advisor) is hereby created. The Special Advisor shall be appointed by the Governor and shall be responsible for coordinating and aligning, in collaboration with the Secretaries of Commerce and Trade, Education, Health and Human Resources, and Labor, efforts to (i) expand the health workforce in the Commonwealth by supporting the coordination of education, training, recruitment, and incentive programs designed to improve staff retention and build the Commonwealth's health workforce; (ii) address regulatory, payment, and other issues that negatively impact recruitment and retention of members of the health workforce in critical practice areas, including behavioral health, developmental services, nursing, and public health; and (iii) develop a strategy to address the behavioral health safety net workforce shortage in the Commonwealth. The Special Advisor shall also be responsible for overseeing the Virginia Health Workforce Development Fund established pursuant to subsection C and establishing a process for the issuance of grants to regional health workforce development initiatives established to meet regional health workforce needs by developing and supporting targeted initiatives to address unique regional needs related to health workforce education, training, recruitment, and retention to fulfill the purposes set forth in this subsection.

C. There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Virginia Health Workforce Development Fund, referred to in this section as "the Fund." The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All funds appropriated for such purpose and any gifts, donations, grants, bequests, and other funds received on its behalf shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for the purposes of (i) providing incentives for the removal of barriers to educating and training members of the health workforce that include increasing eligible faculty, clinical placements, and residencies; (ii) incentivizing the production of health workforce credentials, degrees, and licensures based on a rigorous analysis of the need by the Office of Education and Labor Market Alignment; (iii) addressing regulatory barriers to entering into and staying in the health workforce; (iv) providing education and training for members of the health workforce to align education and training initiatives with existing and evolving health workforce need, and (v) making grants to regional health workforce development initiatives established to meet regional health workforce needs by developing and supporting targeted initiatives to address unique regional needs related to health workforce education, training, recruitment, and retention to fulfill the purposes set forth in subsection B. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the Special Advisor.

2. That the provisions of this act shall expire on July 1, 2026.

3. That the Special Advisor to the Governor for Health Workforce Development established by this act shall, in addition to any other powers and duties, review and evaluate the structure and organization of the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority established by § 32.1-122.7 of the Code of Virginia and make recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly on the long-term administrative structure and funding of the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority on or before November 1, 2022.

4. That the provisions of this act shall not become effective unless an appropriation effectuating the purposes of this act is included in a general appropriation act passed in 2022 by the General Assembly that becomes law.


HOUSE BILL NO. 191
AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by the House Committee on Appropriations
on February 9, 2022)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Delegate Hodges)
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Title 2.2 a chapter numbered 4.5, consisting of a section numbered 2.2-450, and by adding a section numbered § 2.2-2240.7, relating to health workforce development; Special Advisor to the Governor for Health Workforce Development; Virginia Health Workforce Development Fund.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Title 2.2 a chapter numbered 4.5, consisting of a section numbered 2.2-450, and by adding a section numbered § 2.2-2240.7 as follows:

CHAPTER 4.5.
SPECIAL ADVISOR FOR HEALTH WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT.

§ 2.2-450. Special Advisor to the Governor for Health Workforce Development.

The position of Special Advisor to the Governor for Health Workforce Development (the Special Advisor) is hereby created. The Special Advisor shall be appointed by the Governor and shall be responsible for coordinating and aligning efforts in collaboration with the Secretaries of Commerce and Trade, Health and Human Resources, and Labor to (i) expand the health workforce in the Commonwealth by supporting the coordination of education, training, recruitment, and incentive programs designed to improve staff retention and build Virginia's health workforce; (ii) address regulatory, payment, and other issues that negatively impact recruitment and retention of health workers in critical practice areas, including behavioral health, developmental services, nursing, and public health; (iii) develop a strategy to address the behavioral health safety net workforce shortage in the Commonwealth; and (iv) oversee the Virginia Health Workforce Development Fund established by § 2.2-2240.7. The Special Advisor shall be a part of the Commerce and Trade Secretariat and shall support the objectives and programs of the Secretariats of Commerce and Trade, Health and Human Resources, and Labor.

§ 2.2-2240.7. Virginia Health Workforce Development Fund.

A. There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Virginia Health Workforce Development Fund, referred to in this section as "the Fund." The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All funds appropriated for such purpose and any gifts, donations, grants, bequests, and other funds received on its behalf shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for the purposes of (i) providing incentives for the removal of barriers to educating and training health workforce professionals that include increasing eligible faculty, clinical placements, and residencies; (ii) incentivizing the production of health workforce credentials, degrees, and licensures based on a rigorous analysis of the need by the Office of Education and Labor Market Alignment; (iii) addressing regulatory barriers to entering into and staying in health professions; and (iv) providing education and training for health and health science professionals to align education and training initiatives with existing and evolving health workforce needs. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the Chief Executive Officer or his designee. For purposes of this section, "health workforce" shall include workers in the field of behavioral health.

B. The Authority shall establish a process for the issuance of grants to regional health and health science workforce development initiatives established to meet regional health and health science workforce needs by developing and supporting targeted initiatives to address unique regional needs related to health and health science workforce education, training, recruitment, and retention and fulfill the purposes enumerated in subsection A.

2. That the provisions of this act shall expire on July 1, 2026.

3. That the Special Advisor to the Governor for Health Workforce Development established by this act shall, in addition to any other powers and duties, review and evaluate the structure and organization of the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority established by § 32.1-122.7 of the Code of Virginia and make recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly on the long-term administrative structure and funding of the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority on or before November 1, 2022.

HOUSE BILL NO. 191

Offered January 12, 2022
Prefiled January 10, 2022
A BILL to amend and reenact §§ 32.1-122.7 and 32.1-122.7:2 and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Title 2.2 a chapter numbered 4.5, consisting of a section numbered 2.2-450, and by adding a section numbered 32.1-122.7:3, relating to health workforce development; Special Advisor to the Governor for Health Workforce Development; Virginia Health Workforce Development Fund.
Patron-- Hodges

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That §§ 32.1-122.7 and 32.1-122.7:2 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted and that the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Title 2.2 a chapter numbered 4.5, consisting of a section numbered 2.2-450, and by adding a section numbered 32.1-122.7:3, as follows:

CHAPTER 4.5.
SPECIAL ADVISOR FOR HEALTH WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT.

§ 2.2-450. Special Advisor to the Governor for Health Workforce Development.

The position of Special Advisor to the Governor for Health Workforce Development is hereby created. The Special Advisor shall be appointed by the Governor and shall be responsible for coordinating and aligning efforts to (i) expand the health workforce in the Commonwealth by improving retention of existing staff and developing the health professions pipeline to support education, training, and recruitment of new health workers and (ii) address regulatory, payment, and other issues that negatively impact recruitment and retention of health workers in critical practice areas, including behavioral health, nursing, and public health.

§ 32.1-122.7. Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority; purpose.

A. There is hereby created as a public body corporate and as a political subdivision of the Commonwealth the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority (the Authority), with such public and corporate powers as are set forth in § 32.1-122.7:2. The Authority is hereby constituted as a public instrumentality, exercising public and essential governmental functions with the power and purpose to provide for the health, welfare, convenience, knowledge, benefit, and prosperity of the residents of the Commonwealth and such other persons who might be served by the Authority. The Authority is established to move the Commonwealth forward in achieving its vision of ensuring a quality health workforce for all Virginians.

B. The mission of the Authority is to facilitate the development of a statewide health professions pipeline that identifies, educates, recruits, and retains a diverse, appropriately geographically distributed, and culturally competent quality workforce. The mission of the Authority is accomplished by: (i) providing the statewide infrastructure required for health workforce needs assessment and planning that maintains engagement by health professions training programs in decision making and program implementation; (ii) serving as the advisory board and setting priorities for the Virginia Area Health Education Centers Program; (iii) coordinating with and serving as a resource to relevant state, regional, and local entities, including the Department of Health Professions Workforce Data Center, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, the Joint Commission on Health Care, the Southwest Virginia Health Authority, or any similar regional health authority that may be developed; (iv) informing state and local policy development as it pertains to health care delivery, training, and education; (v) identifying and promoting evidence-based strategies for health workforce pipeline development and interdisciplinary health care service models, particularly those affecting rural and other underserved areas; (vi) supporting communities in their health workforce recruitment and retention efforts and developing partnerships and promoting models of participatory engagement with business and community-based and social organizations to foster integration of health care training and education; (vii) advocating for programs that will result in reducing the debt load of newly trained health professionals; (viii) identifying high priority target areas within each region of the Commonwealth and working toward health workforce development initiatives that improve health measurably in those areas; (ix) fostering or creating innovative health workforce development models that provide both health and economic benefits to the regions they serve; (x) developing strategies to increase diversity in the health workforce by examining demographic data on race and ethnicity in training programs and health professional licensure; (xi) identifying ways to leverage technology to increase access to health workforce training and health care delivery; and (xii) developing a centralized health care careers roadmap in partnership with the Department of Health Professions that includes information on both licensed and unlicensed professions and that is disseminated to the Commonwealth's health care workforce stakeholders to raise awareness about available career pathways, and (xiii) working with the Special Advisor to the Governer for Health Workforce Development, employers of health and health science professionals, and institutions that provide education and training for health and health science professionals to align education and training initiatives with existing and evolving health workforce needs.

§ 32.1-122.7:2. Powers and duties of the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority; exemptions.

A. The Authority is authorized to serve as the incorporated consortium of allopathic and osteopathic medical schools in Virginia as required by federal statute to qualify for the receipt of Area Health Education Centers programs, legislatively mandated under the Public Health Service Act as amended, Title VII, Section 751, and 42 U.S.C. § 294a, and to administer federal, state, and local programs as needed to carry out its public purpose and objectives. The Authority is further authorized to exercise independently the powers conferred by this section in furtherance of its corporate and public purposes to benefit citizens and such other persons who might be served by the Authority.

B. The Authority is authorized to monitor, collect, and track data pertaining to health care delivery, training, and education from Virginia educational institutions and other entities as needed to carry out its public purpose and objectives in areas where such data efforts do not already exist.

C. The Authority shall have the authority to assess policies, engage in policy development, and make policy recommendations.

D. The Authority shall have the authority to apply for and accept federal, state, and local public and private grants, loans, appropriations, and donations; hire and compensate staff, including an executive director; rent, lease, buy, own, acquire, and dispose of property, real or personal; participate in joint ventures, including to make contracts and other agreements with public and private entities in order to carry out its public purpose and objectives; and make bylaws for the management and regulation of its affairs.

E. The Authority shall coordinate and seek opportunities to expand existing workforce development initiatives in the Commonwealth to facilitate the development of the health workforce and shall partner with an institution of higher education in the Commonwealth to facilitate the sharing of information and resources and strengthen efforts to develop the health workforce in the Commonwealth.

F. The Authority shall be exempt from the provisions of Chapters 29 (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.) and 43 (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.) of Title 2.2.

F. G. The exercise of powers granted by this article and the undertaking of activities in the furtherance of the purpose of the Authority shall constitute the performance of essential governmental functions. Therefore, the Authority shall be exempt from any tax or assessment upon any project or property acquired or used by the Authority under the provisions of this article or upon the income therefrom, including sales and use taxes on tangible personal property used in the operation of the Authority. This exemption shall not extend to persons conducting business for which local or state taxes would otherwise be required.

§ 32.1-122.7:3. Virginia Health Workforce Development Fund.

A. There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Virginia Health Workforce Development Fund, referred to in this section as "the Fund." The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All funds appropriated for such purpose and any gifts, donations, grants, bequests, and other funds received on its behalf shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for the purposes of (i) supporting the work of the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority and (ii) funding grants to regional health and health science workforce development initiatives in accordance with subsection B. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the Commissioner.

B. The Authority shall establish a process for the issuance of grants to regional health and health science workforce development initiatives established to meet regional health and health science workforce needs by developing and supporting targeted initiatives to address unique regional needs related to health and health science workforce education, training, recruitment, and retention.