Weekly Legislative Update: April 12, 2019


MEDICINE DAY – APRIL 16

An afternoon at the Capitol begins @ 1:30p – Room 535
Legislative Reception at OSMA 5:00p – 6:30p



FLOOR ACTION IN OPPOSITE HOUSE DEADLINE IS APRIL 25 – The deadline for bills to get out of Committee in the opposite House has passed and there are approximately 400 measures left for consideration this session. Several deal with the House of Medicine. Here are some of those:

Scope of Practice: The delivery of health care is a TEAM EFFORT! When determining diagnosis and treatment, physicians have the highest level of training and experience to lead that team. M.D.s and D.O.s must remain at the helm of that structure. OSMA continues to be in a tremendous political battle with others within the medical profession regarding “scope of practice” issues.

During this last week of committee hearings, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) independent practice amendment was offered to SB 890 (Smalley/Roberts, Sean) just minutes prior to the House Public Health Committee Meeting. The amended bill as passed allows, under certain conditions, a nurse anesthetist to administer anesthesia in collaboration with, not under the supervision of, a physician. The language also eliminates the requirement that a physician must be “onsite” when the anesthesia is administered. An ACTION CALL was sent to all OSMA members requesting they contact their legislator requesting a NO vote if this measure was considered on the House Floor.

The OSMA leadership has met with the CRNA leadership who confirmed they will not pursue the measure further this session. In an attempt to formulate a resolution, OSMA is committed to meet after session with all interested parties affected by this issue. To see The Oklahoman article regarding this story, click here.

MANY THANKS to those who successfully responded to OSMA’s Action Call. You made a difference! In the meantime, the OSMA lobby team remains diligent in our efforts to defeat “scope of practice” measures attempting to remove physicians from leading the quality health care team Oklahoman’s deserve.

HB 2194 (Randleman/Pemberton) – Expands the definition of “physician” to include psychologist, therapist or counselor. (PASSED: House Floor 53-37; not heard in Senate Health & Human Services Committee; DORMANT) OSMA OPPOSES

Pill Limits/Pain Management

SB 848 (Rader/Echols) – There continues to be misunderstanding regarding the intent of the language housed within last year’s “Pill Limit” bill, SB 1446. The intention was to address initial prescriptions dealing with acute pain. SB 848 clarifies language and also incorporates Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Emergency Rules passed last year which confirm the ability of a physician to write a second 7-day script at the same time as the initial script is written. Attorney General Mike Hunter and OBNDD continues to work closely with OSMA on language addressing this issue. (PASSED Senate Floor 45-0 with Title off; Passed House Public Health; To House Floor) OSMA SUPPORTS

SB 242 (Standridge/C. Caldwell) – 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. (PASSED Senate Floor 45-0; To House Rules) OSMA SUPPORTS

HB 2368 (Kannady/Thompson) – Provides for the re-creation of the Commission on Opioid Abuse, to exist until July 1, 2023. (PASSED House 95-2; Passed Senate Health & Human Services and Senate Appropriations & Budget; Title off; to Senate Floor) OSMA SUPPORTS

Vaccinations: Proper immunization is in the best interest of Oklahoma’s public health. The OSMA works diligently to promote the utilization of vaccinations.

SB 924 (McCortney/Bush) – Requires immunization education to be provided at assisted living centers. (PASSED Senate Floor 27-19; PASSED Health Services & Long-Term Care; To Senate Floor) OSMA SUPPORTS

SB 925 (McCortney/Chad Caldwell) – Requires school districts to report to the Oklahoma Department of Health the number and type of exemptions from vaccinations (PASSED Senate Floor 26-18; Not heard in House) OSMA SUPPORTS

HB 2339 (S. Roberts/Standridge) – Provides students cannot receive vaccines on school grounds or by a mobile vaccination without prior authorization from parent or legal guardian for each vaccine given. (PASSED House 69-27; PASSED Senate Health & Human Services Committee; To Senate Floor) OSMA OPPOSES

Insurance Reform: Physicians are constantly faced with administrative obligations by health insurance plans. These requirements can play a key role in the health outcomes of all Oklahomans.

SB 508 (Newhouse/McEntire) – Requires insurance companies that have received an appeal of a denied claim by a healthcare provider to furnish written details of the reason for claim denial. (PASSED Senate Floor 45-0 with Title off; PASSED
House Insurance; To House Floor – OSMA has agreed to work on compromise language over the interimOSMA SUPPORTS

SB 509 (Rader/Munson)
– Provides for guidelines and requirements on insurers offering “step therapy” protocols for pharmaceuticals, requiring such therapy protocols to be based on clinical practice guidelines. (PASSED Senate 43-0; PASSED House 94-0; To GovernorOSMA SUPPORTS

HB 2511 (McCall/Thompson) – Provides a $25,000 exemption from taxable income for an M.D. or D.O. serving in a qualifying rural area municipality or unincorporated area not exceeding a population of 25,000. (PASSED House 92-2; not heard in Senate Appropriations; DORMANT) OSMA SUPPORTS

HB 1927 (Roe/Weaver) – Expands unlawful assault and battery on medical care providers to include non-emergency personnel (Passed House 85-8 with Title off; PASSED Senate Public Safety; PASSED Senate Appropriations; To Senate Floor) OSMA SUPPORTS

SoonerCare Budget: The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) FY2020 Budget Request restores Medicaid reimbursement rates back to 100% of Medicare levels…a level not realized since 2009. OSMA SUPPORTS

Public Health / Federal Medicaid Funding: Federal tax dollars from Oklahoma are being reallocated to other states in support of their Medicaid delivery systems. OSMA has joined the Coalition to Expand Coverage spearheaded by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. This effort is designed to promote the acceptance of our own federal dollars to provide comprehensive health care coverage.