2016 Tennessee Code
Title 71 - Welfare
Chapter 5 - Programs and Services for Poor Persons
Part 1 - Medical Assistance Act
§ 71-5-148. Health care safety net for uninsured.
(a) To the extent that funds are specifically appropriated by the general appropriations act, including, but not limited to, any such funds that may be available from the bureau of TennCare's reserve funds, the department of finance and administration, in coordination with the department of health and the department of mental health and substance abuse services, is authorized to facilitate the expansion and augmentation of a health care safety net in the state of Tennessee. The health care safety net provides medical assistance and dental assistance to individuals in need of medical care and dental care to adults in need of adult emergency dental services who are uninsured and who lack financial resources to secure medical and dental care. It is the legislative intent that priority should be given to efforts pursuant to this section that benefit the greatest number of such individuals. Such efforts may include, but not be limited to:
(1) Improvement and expansion of the provision of medical assistance, both medical services and pharmacy, in the county health departments, with specific emphasis placed in providing assistance in those counties with the largest number of uninsured individuals; such support could include funding for additional staffing needs and facility expansion;
(2) Support for community-based health care facilities and practices, including not-for-profit clinics, faith-based facilities, community mental health agencies, and federally qualified health centers, for the provision of health care services to the uninsured;
(3) Incentive-based measures to encourage and promote physician involvement and treatment of the uninsured population, including specific steps taken to assist in providing for continuity of care, including specialty care, for such individuals, as well as targeted efforts at comprehensive disease management;
(4) Creation and implementation of a twenty-four-hour, seven-day a week health care safety net hotline designed to assist and direct individuals in need of medical care and services to available resources in their areas;
(5) Creation of a donated care referral system that can be easily accessed by individuals in need of medical care;
(6) Collaborative work with agencies and entities across the state to encourage citizens to volunteer their time, effort, and resources in creative efforts to assist in the overall care and well-being of uninsured individuals in this state; and
(7) Support for community-based providers of behavioral health services to seriously and persistently mentally ill adults who are uninsured and who lack financial resources to secure behavioral health care.
(b) Nothing established or supported pursuant to this section shall in any way be construed or determined to be an entitlement by any individual or entity to any medical assistance, medical services, or any pharmacy services, or, if such assistance or services are provided, to any continuing assistance or services by the state or by any other entity or person.
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