The Secretary, acting through the Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, shall establish a Primary Care Extension Program.
The Primary Care Extension Program shall provide support and assistance to primary care providers to educate providers about preventive medicine, health promotion, chronic disease management, mental and behavioral health services (including substance abuse prevention and treatment services), and evidence-based and evidence-informed therapies and techniques, in order to enable providers to incorporate such matters into their practice and to improve community health by working with community-based health connectors (referred to in this section as “Health Extension Agents”).
The term “Health Extension Agent” means any local, community-based health worker who facilitates and provides assistance to primary care practices by implementing quality improvement or system redesign, incorporating the principles of the patient-centered medical home to provide high-quality, effective, efficient, and safe primary care and to provide guidance to patients in culturally and linguistically appropriate ways, and linking practices to diverse health system resources.
The term “primary care provider” means a clinician who provides integrated, accessible health care services and who is accountable for addressing a large majority of personal health care needs, including providing preventive and health promotion services for men, women, and children of all ages, developing a sustained partnership with patients, and practicing in the context of family and community, as recognized by a State licensing or regulatory authority, unless otherwise specified in this section.
The Secretary shall award competitive grants to States for the establishment of State- or multistate-level primary care Primary Care Extension Program State Hubs (referred to in this section as “Hubs”).
A State that receives a grant under subsection (b) shall be evaluated at the end of the grant period by an evaluation panel appointed by the Secretary.
After the sixth year in which assistance is provided to a State under a grant awarded under subsection (b), the State may receive additional support under this section if the State program has received satisfactory evaluations with respect to program performance and the merits of the State sustainability plan, as determined by the Secretary.
In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall consult with the heads of other Federal agencies with demonstrated experience and expertise in health care and preventive medicine, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, the Indian Health Service, the Agricultural Cooperative Extension Service of the Department of Agriculture, and other entities, as the Secretary determines appropriate.
To awards grants as provided in subsection (d), there are authorized to be appropriated $120,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2011 and 2012, and such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2014.