(1) The several counties of the state may cooperate with the Department of Health in the establishment and maintenance of full-time county health departments in such counties for the promotion of the public’s health, the control and eradication of preventable diseases, and the provision of primary health care for special populations.
(2) A functional system of county health department services shall be established which shall include the following three levels of service and be funded as follows:
(a) “Environmental health services” are those services which are organized and operated to protect the health of the general public by monitoring and regulating activities in the environment which may contribute to the occurrence or transmission of disease. Environmental health services shall be supported by available federal, state, and local funds and shall include those services mandated on a state or federal level. Examples of environmental health services include, but are not limited to, food hygiene, safe drinking water supply, sewage and solid waste disposal, swimming pools, group care facilities, migrant labor camps, toxic material control, radiological health, occupational health, and entomology.
(b) “Communicable disease control services” are those services which protect the health of the general public through the detection, control, and eradication of diseases which are transmitted primarily by human beings. Communicable disease services shall be supported by available federal, state, and local funds and shall include those services mandated on a state or federal level. Such services include, but are not limited to, epidemiology, sexually transmissible disease detection and control, immunization, tuberculosis control, and maintenance of vital statistics.
(c) “Primary care services” are acute care and preventive services that are made available to well and sick persons who are unable to obtain such services due to lack of income or other barriers beyond their control. These services are provided to benefit individuals, improve the collective health of the public, and prevent and control the spread of disease. Primary health care services are provided at home, in group settings, or in clinics. These services shall be supported by available federal, state, and local funds and shall include services mandated on a state or federal level. Examples of primary health care services include, but are not limited to: first contact acute care services; chronic disease detection and treatment; maternal and child health services; family planning; nutrition; school health; supplemental food assistance for women, infants, and children; home health; and dental services.
(3) The Department of Health shall enter into contracts with the several counties for the purposes of this part. All contracts shall be negotiated and approved by the appropriate local governing bodies on behalf of the department. In accordance with federal guidelines, the state may utilize federal funds for county health department services. A standard contract format shall be developed and used by the department in contract negotiations. The contract shall include the three levels of county health department services outlined in subsection (2) above and shall contain a section which stipulates, for the contract year:
(a) All revenue sources, including federal, state, and local general revenue, fees, and other cash contributions, which shall be used by the county health department for county health department services;
(b) The types of services to be provided in each level of service;
(c) The estimated number of clients, where applicable, who will be served, by type of service;
(d) The estimated number of services, where applicable, that will be provided, by type of service;
(e) The estimated number of staff positions (full-time equivalent positions) who will work in each type of service area; and
(f) The estimated expenditures for each type of service and for each level of service.
The contract shall also provide for financial and service reporting for each type of service according to standard service and reporting procedures established by the department.
(4) The use and maintenance of county health department facilities and equipment shall be subject to the provisions of the contract between the Department of Health and each county. However, the counties may retain ownership of such facilities and equipment and the right to use such facilities and equipment as the need arises, to the extent that such use would not impose an unwarranted interference with the operation of the county health department pursuant to the provisions of the contract. In all cases, such facilities shall be used primarily for purposes related to public health. Ownership of county health department facilities and equipment may be relinquished by a county to the Department of Health by mutual consent of the parties in the contract.
(5) In order to provide for the effective delivery of health services in keeping with expanding needs or modernization, the Legislature may authorize funding for construction or expansion projects to county health departments or other nonprofit primary health care providers who are under contract with the department. The department shall submit a list of construction or expansion needs arranged in order of priority to the Legislature in conjunction with each annual budget request. The priority list shall be based on the following criteria:
(a) The capacity of the health facility to efficiently provide the full set of authorized services for the number of patients who can be served with available funds;
(b) The capacity of the health facility to meet the anticipated growth in demand for service over the next 10 years; and
(c) The adequacy of the facility to ensure patient and staff safety, provide privacy during eligibility determination and examination, and enable an efficient movement of patients through service areas.
(6)(a) The department shall include the estimated cost of the construction or renovation of each county health department on the list. This cost must be based on a professional assessment of the square footage needed to meet the demand for service and the prevailing cost of construction in the county in which the county health department is to be built, including the cost of land, the cost for obtaining necessary permits, and the cost of outfitting the facility. Funds appropriated for construction and renovation of a county health department facility may only be released by the department if the board of county commissioners of the county for which funds have been appropriated agrees that any county health department facility which is constructed or renovated, in whole or in part, with funds appropriated under this section will be used only for county health department services, unless otherwise authorized by the department, that the county will not charge rent for use of the facility by the county health department, and that the county will not attempt to sell such facility without the concurrence of the department.
(b) Any dispute arising under this subsection shall be resolved pursuant to chapter 120.
Funds appropriated by the Legislature for county health department construction or expansion projects shall be accounted for separately in the County Health Department Trust Fund from revenues appropriated for county health department services and under the terms and conditions established by the Legislature.