Senate Committee Passes Moser’s Measure to Expand Community Health Worker Program

Measure to also address the shortage of healthcare workers in the state

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ/PRESS RELEASE) — Rep. Kim Moser’s proposal to increase access to care and address the shortage of healthcare workers in Kentucky passed the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday. and well-being. According to the Legislative Research Commission (LRC), the measure, HB 525, streamlines the certification process for community health workers, who are frontline healthcare professionals helping medically underserved communities overcome barriers to care.

According to the LRC, community health workers have a unique close relationship and understanding of the area they serve and generally provide services through local clinics of all types. These health workers are trained to help meet people where they are and focus on connecting communities with available health and social services, whether through education, support or simply navigation. in the health care system. HB 525 would make these services a reimbursable Medicaid service.

“Despite advances in modern medicine and Medicaid providing health care coverage to more than a third of the state’s population, Kentucky has seen no significant improvement in health outcomes,” Moser says. , chairman of the House Health and Family Services Committee. “The state continues to rank among the worst in the nation for the majority of health indicators, including chronic conditions and comorbidities. We need to focus our Medicaid dollars and target the programs that work. By expanding certified CHWs, we will improve health outcomes in Kentucky and realize long-term savings in Medicaid expenditures.

“Most people know how difficult it can be to navigate health services and the medical system, and it shouldn’t be that way,” Moser continued. “Our goal is to bridge the gap between health disparities, which starts with meeting people where they are with someone they know and trust. Because of their familiarity and of the nature of their area and their resources, they often create a more comfortable environment for those otherwise reluctant to seek treatment.

According to the LRC, Moser and community leaders representing the underserved emphasize that having health insurance does not always mean access to preventive care and ongoing services. These hurdles, along with finding the right outlet for engagement, underscore what many see as the Commonwealth’s most pressing health issue.

“Our state currently ranks near the bottom nationally in many health metrics, including diabetes, cancer and heart disease,” said Moser, a longtime advocate for better health. Population. “That’s why this program is essential to our public health system. Small steps like getting your annual exams or screenings can identify illnesses earlier when treatment is much more effective and less expensive. Community health workers are extremely successful in helping people understand the importance of maintaining their health.

The measure would directly affect about 70% of the state’s population, according to the LRC. Community health workers have long been recognized for their effectiveness in improving health outcomes and reducing medical costs.

According to the state’s Rural Health Information Center, for every dollar invested, $11 in drugs and services provided in Eastern Kentucky between 2001 and 2019. According to the LRC, HB 525 will also create a classification system for community health workers and a certification process. with college credit through the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. This is in line with the Maison’s commitment to strengthening the talent pool in the field of healthcare.

HB 525 moves to the Senate for consideration.

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