Weekly Legislative Update: March 5, 2018

Budget Update

HB1022XX – Graduate Medical Education (GME) Funding: After passing the House 94-0, the GME funding measure passed the Senate 44-0 this week and has been sent to Gov. Fallin for her signature into law. This $142M appropriation will maintain the OU and OSU medical school residency programs through the 2018 and 2019 Fiscal Years. OSMA SUPPORTS

(Note: Combining HB1022XX with the other Special Session General Appropriations measures, HB1020XX and HB1021XX, finalized the 2018 budget)

Many Important Issues to OSMA

Last week was DEADLINE WEEK for measures to be out of committees in their House of Origin (House bills out of House committees and Senate bills out of Senate committees). Although this deadline significantly reduces the number of 2018 filed measures under legislative deliberation, some bills held over from 2017 still pose a threat of consideration. The next major legislative deadline is Thursday, March 15 whereby 2018 filed bills have to be passed of out the their “House of Origin”.

*E-Prescribing: OSMA understands the difficulty of accessibility, expense and time management associated with the implementation of such a structure. While deliberating, the Legislature should also consider an alternative method for compliance. (OSMA requested Sen. Yen, MD, to author an e-prescription measure. SB 1128: Title Stricken; Passed Senate Health & Human Services – to Senate Floor) OSMA Active in Negotiations

*Pill Limits: Restricting the availability of opioids is a recommendation from the Oklahoma Commission on Opioid Abuse. In order to assure a physician’s ability to address each case independently, any limitation should also allow an M.D. or D.O. to consider prescriptive authority on a case-by-case basis. OSMA is exploring the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) limits for post-surgery; acute and chronic cases. (OSMA requested Sen. Sykes to author a Pill Limit bill. SB 1446: Title Stricken; Passed Senate Health & Human Services – to Senate Floor) OSMA Active in Negotiations

*Pain Management Clinic Regulation: Pain Management Clinics in Oklahoma should be licensed and regulated. Currently, they can be owned by non-physicians and provide limited oversight. Clinics should be owned by an individual or group of M.D.’s or D.O.’s and should designate a physician who is responsible for complying with clinic operations. (OSMA requested Sen. Yen, MD, to author a Pain Management Clinic Regulation bill. SB 1124: Title Stricken; Passed Senate Health & Human Services – to Senate Floor) OSMA Active in Negotiations

*Good Samaritan Law: Instances whereby a person is attempting to help another in the case of a suspected overdose should immune from prosecution based solely on an offense of drug possession or use. This is a Medical Student Advocacy Bill. (OSMA requested Sen Yen, MD, to author a Good Samaritan Law bill. SB 1367: Passed Senate Public Safety – to Senate Floor) OSMA STRONGLY SUPPORTS

Managed Care for Medicaid – Three Medicaid Managed Care measures [SB 1331 (David); SB 1285 & SB 1310 (Bergstrom)] were placed on the Senate Appropriations Committee Agenda this week. After SB 1331 was voted down 19-23, SB 1285 & SB 1310 were “Laid Over” by the author and were not heard in committee. This being the case, these bills dealing with Managed Care for Medicaid are dead for this legislative session. OSMA STRONGLY OPPOSED these bills and participated in a health care related coalition organized to lobby against the passage of these measures.

Scope of Practice: Several “Scope of Practice” measures have been filed this legislative session. OSMA STRONGLY OPPOSES efforts to undermine the authority and experience MD’s and DO’s provide to the medical profession. They should continue to deliver proper oversight of every patient’s well-being. In addition, in light of the opioid epidemic faced by our state and nation, the legislature should not be considering the expansion of prescriptive authority.

Payments for Oversight: SB 1127 (Yen/Cockroft) prohibits physicians from accepting monetary payments in exchange for nurse supervision oversight. (Title Stricken; Passed Senate Health and Human Services Committee – to Senate Floor) OSMA STRONGLY SUPPORTS

Legal Reform: SJR 68 (Sykes) would have created a State Question placing “Certificate of Merit” to a vote of the people. This concept maintains that a plaintiff declaring negligence in a civil action must present expert witness testimony showing there was a “breach of duty” by the defendant which resulted in harm to the plaintiff.  Despite legislative efforts to do so, the Oklahoma Supreme Court has consistently overturned the law as unconstitutional as either “special law” or “denying access to the court system”. (Failed in Senate Rules by a vote of 5-5) OSMA STRONGLY SUPPORTS  

Sunscreen for Students: SB 950 (Stanislawski) requires public schools to allow a student to possess and self-apply sunscreen which is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration without written authorization. This measure is another Medical Student Advocacy Bill. (Passed Senate Education Committee – to Senate Floor) OSMA SUPPORTS

*These measures reflect recommendations generated from Attorney General Mike Hunter’s Oklahoma Commission on Opioid Abuse on which Kevin Taubman, MD, OSMA President was an active participant.