As used in this section—
“Breastfeeding women” means women up to one year postpartum who are breastfeeding their infants.
“Children” means persons who have had their first birthday but have not yet attained their fifth birthday.
“Competent professional authority” means physicians, nutritionists, registered nurses, dietitians, or State or local medically trained health officials, or persons designated by physicians or State or local medically trained health officials, in accordance with standards prescribed by the Secretary, as being competent professionally to evaluate nutritional risk.
“Costs of nutrition services and administration” or “nutrition services and administration” means costs that shall include, but not be limited to, costs for certification of eligibility of persons for participation in the program (including centrifuges, measuring boards, spectrophotometers, and scales used for the certification), food delivery, monitoring, nutrition education, breastfeeding support and promotion, outreach, startup costs, and general administration applicable to implementation of the program under this section, such as the cost of staff, transportation, insurance, developing and printing food instruments, and administration of State and local agency offices.
“Infants” means persons under one year of age.
“Local agency” means a public health or welfare agency or a private nonprofit health or welfare agency, which, directly or through an agency or physician with which it has contracted, provides health services. The term shall include an Indian tribe, band, or group recognized by the Department of the Interior, the Indian Health Service of the Department of Health and Human Services, or an intertribal council or group that is an authorized representative of Indian tribes, bands, or groups recognized by the Department of the Interior.
The term “nutrition education” means individual and group sessions and the provision of material that are designed to improve health status and achieve positive change in dietary and physical activity habits, and that emphasize the relationship between nutrition, physical activity, and health, all in keeping with the personal and cultural preferences of the individual.
“Nutritional risk” means (A) detrimental or abnormal nutritional conditions detectable by biochemical or anthropometric measurements, (B) other documented nutritionally related medical conditions, (C) dietary deficiencies that impair or endanger health, (D) conditions that directly affect the nutritional health of a person, such as alcoholism or drug abuse, or (E) conditions that predispose persons to inadequate nutritional patterns or nutritionally related medical conditions, including, but not limited to, homelessness and migrancy.
“Plan of operation and administration” means a document that describes the manner in which the State agency intends to implement and operate the program.
“Postpartum women” means women up to six months after termination of pregnancy.
“Pregnant women” means women determined to have one or more fetuses in utero.
“Secretary” means the Secretary of Agriculture.
“State agency” means the health department or comparable agency of each State; an Indian tribe, band, or group recognized by the Department of the Interior; an intertribal council or group that is the authorized representative of Indian tribes, bands, or groups recognized by the Department of the Interior; or the Indian Health Service of the Department of Health and Human Services.
“Supplemental foods” means those foods containing nutrients determined by nutritional research to be lacking in the diets of pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, infants, and children and foods that promote the health of the population served by the program authorized by this section, as indicated by relevant nutrition science, public health concerns, and cultural eating patterns, as prescribed by the Secretary. State agencies may, with the approval of the Secretary, substitute different foods providing the nutritional equivalent of foods prescribed by the Secretary, to allow for different cultural eating patterns.
“Homeless individual” means—
an individual who lacks a fixed and regular nighttime residence; or
an individual whose primary nighttime residence is—
a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter (including a welfare hotel or congregate shelter) designed to provide temporary living accommodations;
an institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized;
a temporary accommodation of not more than 365 days in the residence of another individual; or
a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
“Drug abuse education” means—
the provision of information concerning the dangers of drug abuse; and
the referral of participants who are suspected drug abusers to drug abuse clinics, treatment programs, counselors, or other drug abuse professionals.
“Competitive bidding” means a procurement process under which the Secretary or a State agency selects a single source (a single infant formula manufacturer) offering the lowest price, as determined by the submission of sealed bids, for a product for which bids are sought for use in the program authorized by this section.
“Rebate” means the amount of money refunded under cost containment procedures to any State agency from the manufacturer or other supplier of the particular food product as the result of the purchase of the supplemental food with a voucher or other purchase instrument by a participant in each such agency’s program established under this section.
“Discount” means, with respect to a State agency that provides program foods to participants without the use of retail grocery stores (such as a State that provides for the home delivery or direct distribution of supplemental food), the amount of the price reduction or other price concession provided to any State agency by the manufacturer or other supplier of the particular food product as the result of the purchase of program food by each such State agency, or its representative, from the supplier.
“Net price” means the difference between the manufacturer’s wholesale price for infant formula and the rebate level or the discount offered or provided by the manufacturer under a cost containment contract entered into with the pertinent State agency.
Remote indian or native village.—
The term “remote Indian or Native village” means an Indian or Native village that—
is located in a rural area;
has a population of less than 5,000 inhabitants; and
Primary contract infant formula.—
The term “primary contract infant formula” means the specific infant formula for which manufacturers submit a bid to a State agency in response to a rebate solicitation under this section and for which a contract is awarded by the State agency as a result of that bid.
The term “State alliance” means 2 or more State agencies that join together for the purpose of procuring infant formula under the program by soliciting competitive bids for infant formula.
Supply chain disruption.—
The term “supply chain disruption” means a shortage of supplemental foods that impedes the redemption of food instruments, as determined by the Secretary.
Plan of operation and administration by State agency
Each State agency shall submit to the Secretary, by a date specified by the Secretary, an initial plan of operation and administration for a fiscal year. After submitting the initial plan, a State shall be required to submit to the Secretary for approval only a substantive change in the plan.
To be eligible to receive funds under this section for a fiscal year, a State agency must receive the approval of the Secretary for the plan submitted for the fiscal year.
The plan shall include—
a description of the food delivery system of the State agency and the method of enabling participants to receive supplemental foods under the program at any of the authorized retail stores under the program, to be administered in accordance with standards developed by the Secretary, including a description of the State agency’s vendor peer group system, competitive price criteria, and allowable reimbursement levels that demonstrate that the State is in compliance with the cost-containment provisions in subsection (h)(11);
procedures for accepting and processing vendor applications outside of the established timeframes if the State agency determines there will be inadequate access to the program, including in a case in which a previously authorized vendor sells a store under circumstances that do not permit timely notification to the State agency of the change in ownership;
a description of the financial management system of the State agency;
a plan to coordinate operations under the program with other services or programs that may benefit participants in, and applicants for, the program;
a plan to provide program benefits under this section to, and to meet the special nutrition education needs of, eligible migrants, homeless individuals, and Indians;
a plan to expend funds to carry out the program during the relevant fiscal year;
a plan to provide program benefits under this section to unserved and underserved areas in the State (including a plan to improve access to the program for participants and prospective applicants who are employed, or who reside in rural areas), if sufficient funds are available to carry out this clause;
a plan for reaching and enrolling eligible women in the early months of pregnancy, including provisions to reach and enroll eligible migrants;
a plan to provide program benefits under this section to unserved infants and children under the care of foster parents, protective services, or child welfare authorities, including infants exposed to drugs perinatally;
a plan to provide nutrition education and promote breastfeeding; and
such other information as the Secretary may reasonably require.
The Secretary may not approve any plan that permits a person to participate simultaneously in both the program authorized under this section and the commodity supplemental food program authorized under sections 4 and 5 of the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973 (7 U.S.C. 612c
A State agency shall establish a procedure under which members of the general public are provided an opportunity to comment on the development of the State agency plan.
The Secretary shall establish procedures under which eligible migrants may, to the maximum extent feasible, continue to participate in the program under this section when they are present in States other than the State in which they were originally certified for participation in the program and shall ensure that local programs provide priority consideration to serving migrant participants who are residing in the State for a limited period of time. Each State agency shall be responsible for administering the program for migrant populations within its jurisdiction.
State agencies shall submit monthly financial reports and participation data to the Secretary.
State and local agencies operating under the program shall keep such accounts and records, including medical records, as may be necessary to enable the Secretary to determine whether there has been compliance with this section and to determine and evaluate the benefits of the nutritional assistance provided under this section. Such accounts and records shall be available at any reasonable time for inspection and audit by representatives of the Secretary and shall be preserved for such period of time, not in excess of five years, as the Secretary determines necessary.
Local agencies participating in the program under this section shall notify persons of their eligibility or ineligibility for the program within twenty days of the date that the household, during office hours of a local agency, personally makes an oral or written request to participate in the program. The Secretary shall establish a shorter notification period for categories of persons who, due to special nutritional risk conditions, must receive benefits more expeditiously.
State agencies may provide for the delivery of vouchers to any participant who is not scheduled for nutrition education and breastfeeding counseling or a recertification interview through means, such as mailing, that do not require the participant to travel to the local agency to obtain vouchers. The State agency shall describe any plans for issuance of vouchers by mail in its plan submitted under paragraph (1). The Secretary may disapprove a State plan with respect to the issuance of vouchers by mail in any specified jurisdiction or part of a jurisdiction within a State only if the Secretary finds that such issuance would pose a significant threat to the integrity of the program under this section in such jurisdiction or part of a jurisdiction.
The State agency shall, in cooperation with participating local agencies, publicly announce and distribute information on the availability of program benefits (including the eligibility criteria for participation and the location of local agencies operating the program) to offices and organizations that deal with significant numbers of potentially eligible individuals (including health and medical organizations, hospitals and clinics, welfare and unemployment offices, social service agencies, farmworker organizations, Indian tribal organizations, organizations and agencies serving homeless individuals and shelters for victims of domestic violence, and religious and community organizations in low income areas).
The information shall be publicly announced by the State agency and by local agencies at least annually.
The State agency and local agencies shall distribute the information in a manner designed to provide the information to potentially eligible individuals who are most in need of the benefits, including pregnant women in the early months of pregnancy.
Each local agency operating the program within a hospital and each local agency operating the program that has a cooperative arrangement with a hospital shall—
advise potentially eligible individuals that receive inpatient or outpatient prenatal, maternity, or postpartum services, or accompany a child under the age of 5 who receives well-child services, of the availability of program benefits; and
to the extent feasible, provide an opportunity for individuals who may be eligible to be certified within the hospital for participation in such program.
The State agency shall grant a fair hearing, and a prompt determination thereafter, in accordance with regulations issued by the Secretary, to any applicant, participant, or local agency aggrieved by the action of a State or local agency as it affects participation.
Any State agency that must suspend or terminate benefits to any participant during the participant’s certification period due to a shortage of funds for the program shall first issue a notice to such participant.
If an individual certified as eligible for participation in the program under this section in one area moves to another area in which the program is operating, that individual’s certification of eligibility shall remain valid for the period for which the individual was originally certified.
The Secretary shall establish standards for the proper, efficient, and effective administration of the program. If the Secretary determines that a State agency has failed without good cause to administer the program in a manner consistent with this section or to implement the approved plan of operation and administration under this subsection, the Secretary may withhold such amounts of the State agency’s funds for nutrition services and administration as the Secretary deems appropriate. Upon correction of such failure during a fiscal year by a State agency, any funds so withheld for such fiscal year shall be provided the State agency.
The Secretary shall prescribe by regulation the supplemental foods to be made available in the program under this section.
To the degree possible, the Secretary shall assure that the fat, sugar, and salt content of the prescribed foods is appropriate.
Review of available supplemental foods.—
As frequently as determined by the Secretary to be necessary to reflect the most recent scientific knowledge, but not less than every 10 years, the Secretary shall—
conduct a scientific review of the supplemental foods available under the program; and
amend the supplemental foods available, as necessary, to reflect nutrition science, public health concerns, and cultural eating patterns.
A competent professional authority shall be responsible for prescribing the appropriate supplemental foods, taking into account medical and nutritional conditions and cultural eating patterns, and, in the case of homeless individuals, the special needs and problems of such individuals.
The State agency may (A) provide nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion, and drug abuse education materials and instruction in languages other than English and (B) use appropriate foreign language materials in the administration of the program, in areas in which a substantial number of low-income households speak a language other than English.
If a State agency determines that a member of a family has received an overissuance of food benefits under the program authorized by this section as the result of such member intentionally making a false or misleading statement or intentionally misrepresenting, concealing, or withholding facts, the State agency shall recover, in cash, from such member an amount that the State agency determines is equal to the value of the overissued food benefits, unless the State agency determines that the recovery of the benefits would not be cost effective.
To be eligible to participate in the program authorized by this section, a manufacturer of infant formula that supplies formula for the program shall—
register with the Secretary of Health and Human Services under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act [21 U.S.C. 301
et seq.]; and
before bidding for a State contract to supply infant formula for the program, certify with the State health department that the formula complies with such Act and regulations issued pursuant to such Act.
The State agency may adopt methods of delivering benefits to accommodate the special needs and problems of homeless individuals.
Notwithstanding subsection (d)(2)(A)(i), not later than July 1 of each year, a State agency may implement income eligibility guidelines under this section concurrently with the implementation of income eligibility guidelines under the medicaid program established under title XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396
Each local agency participating in the program under this section may provide information about other potential sources of food assistance in the local area to individuals who apply in person to participate in the program under this section, but who cannot be served because the program is operating at capacity in the local area.
The State agency shall adopt policies that—
require each local agency to attempt to contact each pregnant woman who misses an appointment to apply for participation in the program under this section, in order to reschedule the appointment, unless the phone number and the address of the woman are unavailable to such local agency; and
in the case of local agencies that do not routinely schedule appointments for individuals seeking to apply or be recertified for participation in the program under this section, require each such local agency to schedule appointments for each employed individual seeking to apply or be recertified for participation in such program so as to minimize the time each such individual is absent from the workplace due to such application or request for recertification.
Each State agency shall conduct monitoring reviews of each local agency at least biennially.
Use of claims from local agencies, vendors, and participants.—
A State agency may use funds recovered from local agencies, vendors, and participants, as a result of a claim arising under the program, to carry out the program during—
the fiscal year in which the claim arises;
the fiscal year in which the funds are collected; and
the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the funds are collected.
The Secretary and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall carry out an initiative to assure that, in a case in which a State medicaid program uses coordinated care providers under a contract entered into under section 1903(m), or a waiver granted under section 1915(b), of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396b
(m) or 1396n(b)), coordination between the program authorized by this section and the medicaid program is continued, including—
the referral of potentially eligible women, infants, and children between the 2 programs; and
the timely provision of medical information related to the program authorized by this section to agencies carrying out the program.
Individuals participating at more than one site.—
Each State agency shall implement a system designed by the State agency to identify individuals who are participating at more than one site under the program.
High risk vendors.—
Each State agency shall—
identify vendors that have a high probability of program abuse; and
conduct compliance investigations of the vendors.
Infant formula benefits.—
A State agency may round up to the next whole can of infant formula to allow all participants under the program to receive the full-authorized nutritional benefit specified by regulation.
Notification of violations.—
If a State agency finds that a vendor has committed a violation that requires a pattern of occurrences in order to impose a penalty or sanction, the State agency shall notify the vendor of the initial violation in writing prior to documentation of another violation, unless the State agency determines that notifying the vendor would compromise an investigation.
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