The week of March 19-23 was Spring Break…and the Legislature took a break as well. There was very little committee work and no bills were heard on the Floor of either House. The following represents the status of some of the measures important to the OSMA:
*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 (Yen/Derby): Title Stricken; Passed Senate; to House Judiciary) 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 MD or DO to consider prescriptive authority on a case-by-case basis. (OSMA requested Sen. Sykes to author a Pill Limit bill. SB 1446 (Sykes/Derby): Title Restored; Passed Senate; to House Judiciary) 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 MD’s or DO’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 (Yen/Derby): Title Stricken; Passed Senate; to House Judiciary) 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 (Yen/Derby): Passed Senate; to House Judiciary) OSMA STRONGLY SUPPORTS
Scope of Practice: 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.
Sunscreen for Students: SB 950 (Stanislawski/Rogers) 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; to House Common Education) OSMA SUPPORTS
Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET): SJR 45 (Fields/Echols) creates a State Question allowing TSET dollars to be utilized to fund Oklahoma’s Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs housed within the OU and OSU medical schools. After the Title was stricken, assuring the Senate would have another chance to consider the measure later in the session, the measure passed the Senate 28-10. TSET funds are utilized for tobacco prevention and cessation programs as well as medical research grants. OSMA OPPOSES the diversion of TSET dollars and continues to support ongoing negotiations between the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to assure full funding to these vital GME programs. (Title Stricken; Passed Senate; to House Rules)
The OSMA Council on Legislation and Regulation meet on Thursday, March 22 to review the status of tracked legislation and consider update or revisions. The following represents some of their recommendations:
Appointment Authority: HB 3036 (Lepak/Dustin Roberts) provides that the State Board of Health shall become an advisory board only. The bill states that the State Commissioner of Health, appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall have complete authority over the Department of Health and may be removed or replaced by the Governor without cause. (Passed House; to Senate Health and Human Service) OSMA OPPOSE
Occupational Licensing: SB 1475 (Pugh/Osburn) creates an Occupational Licensing Advisory Commission designed to review each occupational or professional licensing act every four years and make recommendations to the legislature on whether a license should be maintained, modified or repealed. (Passed Senate; to House A&B) OSMA OPPOSE
Revenue Raising Measures: HJR 1050 (Fetgatter/David) Since the passage of SQ 640 in 1992, the state legislature has been required to pass any “revenue raising measure” by a super majority of 75%. They have never been able to do so. This measure would create a ballot question sent to a vote of the people which would lower that requirement to 66%. (Passed House; to Senate Rules) OSMA SUPPORT
*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.