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2024 Legislative Priorities

MNCHWA Legislative Action Committee Priorities for 2024

For this 2024 Minnesota legislative session, the Legislative Action Committee for the Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance (MNCHWA) policy priorities are:

Billing of systems navigation

  • Medicaid reimbursement should be expanded beyond patient education to include system navigation, defined as the comprehensive client-centered, culturally and linguistically-appropriate activities that take place in a range of community settings. 
  • See our definition of systems navigation >

Removal of eligible provider requirement in billing

  • Removing this requirement alleviates geographic and organizational limits for billing services and expands access to CHW services. 
  • View policy brief >

What CHWs want

Hear from CHW Staff about the policy changes they’d like to see in 2024:

General CHW Information

  • CHWs are the health equity workforce; an essential public health workforce.
  • CHWs can help Minnesota address workforce shortages by moving other professionals to the top of their license.
  • CHWs are on the frontline in addressing COVID and other diseases at the prevention, secondary and tertiary levels. CHWs save $3 to $15 for every dollar invested. (Rush C. Return on Investment from Employment of Community Health Workers. J of Ambulatory Care Management, Vol 35, No 2, pp 133-137, 2012.)
  • CHWs improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs.
  • CHWs are an investment in BIPOC and rural communities because they come from the communities they serve.
  • CHWs improve the quality and cultural appropriateness of healthcare and related services.
  • CHWs address the social drivers of health which determine the success or failure of health care beyond the clinic walls.
  • CHWs are trusted liaisons between health care, other social services, and the community.

Policy item 1: Billing of systems navigation

CHWs do this work but do not get systematically paid to do the work.

Systems navigation includes:

  • Helping clients identify and overcome barriers to care
    • Addressing clients’ physical and mental health as well as social drivers of health
    • Linking clients to services related to health, mental health and dental care
    • Providing follow-up and connections
  • CHWs are positioned to make client-centered, culturally and linguistically-appropriate connections in a range of community settings.
  • CHWs identify resources to fill gaps in the social determinants of health that act as barriers stopping people from following their care plans
  • CHWs work saves money for health systems,  improves people’s lives and builds stronger communities

Policy item 2: Removal of eligible provider requirement in billing

  • To address the billing and CHW access barriers, we propose removing the eligible provider requirement for CHW billing.
  • Rural areas and non-profits without direct access to an eligible provider do not have a viable way to bill for CHW services.
  • This requirement limits employment opportunities for CHWs whose work is not immediately billable, and it restricts community members’ access to the full scope of CHW services
  • There are already restrictions on the number of hours CHWs can bill per person per month, setting limits on and accountability for concerns about excessive billing
  • The existing CHW registry run by the MN Community Health Worker Alliance (MNCHWA) provides resources for ongoing training, networking, and problem solving that are not available through the existing eligible provider requirement.

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