a. The commissioner shall establish a pilot program to create a partnership between urban hospitals with high uncompensated care costs and community health centers in order to provide primary health care in the most appropriate community setting. The commissioner shall select one hospital with high uncompensated care costs in the northern, central and southern regions of the State, respectively, to participate in the program. The commissioner shall establish the program by September 1, 1991.
b. Each hospital selected to participate in the program shall establish a formal agreement with a community health center located near the hospital, in which the hospital agrees to refer emergency room patients who are not in need of emergency care, but require primary care, to the community health center for the needed medical services. The agreement shall stipulate that if the patient who is referred to the community health center cannot afford to pay for the health care services provided at the center and qualifies for charity care pursuant to requirements established by the commissioner, the center shall submit the bill to the referring hospital and the hospital shall include the amount of the bill in its uncompensated care costs. The hospital shall reimburse the center for the approved charity care provided pursuant to this pilot program. The agreement shall also stipulate that the community health center shall operate at hours that reflect the needs of the community and shall provide an emergency contact during nonoperating hours.
L.1991,c.187,s.23; per s.86 as amended by 1992, c.160, s.27, expired December 31, 1992.