Weekly Legislative Update: April 26, 2019


All bills under consideration have been heard in both the full House and Senate. Some measures must go back to the opposite House for consideration of amended language while others are going to a “Conference Committee” where language will continue to be negotiated. The major item on the table right now is the STATE BUDGET. Once the budget is finalized and sent to the Governor, the legislature can adjourn Sine Die. The State Constitution requires that session must end by the last Friday in May at 5:00pm (this year is May 31). Here are some of the House of Medicine issues at the Capitol:

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.

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. We’ve defeated or stalled several “scope” measures during this year’s session including: SB 801*/SB 890* (CRNA); SB 839 (RN); HB 2194 (Psychologists defined as “physicians”); HB 2041 (Radiologist Technicians); SB 497 (Pharmacists considered equal with physicians).

*The OSMA leadership has met with the CRNA leadership who confirmed they will not further pursue independent practice legislation this session. In an attempt to formulate a resolution, OSMA is committed to meet after session with all interested parties affected by this issue.

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. (Amended and PASSED House 94-0; back to Senate to consider amendments) OSMA SUPPORTS

HB 2368 (Kannady/Thompson) – Provides for the re-creation of the Commission on Opioid Abuse, to exist until July 1, 2023. (Amended and PASSED Senate 43-1; back to House to consider Senate Amendments) 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; not heard on House Floor; DORMANT) 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. NOTE: Current law already requires parental consent before medications can be administered at schools. This bill is unclear as to whether each vaccine (or group of vaccines such as MMR) requires a separate consent form which could negatively impact immunization rates. At the very least, the measure is unnecessary. Vaccination legislation should be designed to be proactive in protecting public health. (PASSED House 69-27; Amended and passed Senate Floor 42-0; back to House for consideration of Amendments) OSMA OPPOSES

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 Floor 94-0 with Title off; to Conference Committee – 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; SIGNED BY GOVERNOR)  OSMA SUPPORTED

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 Floor 43-0 with Title restored; back to House to consider Senate Amendments) SB 86 (Jech/McEntire) is a similar measure (PASSED House 92-0; to Senate to consider House amendments) OSMA SUPPORTS

SB 614 (Daniels/Lepak)
– Mandates facilities providing medication abortions must provide signage claiming that such procedures can be reversed in certain circumstances. Evidence surrounding the medical abortion “reversal” treatment information does not meet clinical standards and should not be mandated upon the medical community. (PASSED Senate 39-8; PASSED House 74-24; Signed by Governor) OSMA OPPOSED

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 reduce the number of uninsured and also provide comprehensive health care coverage. A Coalition Rally was conducted on April 24 at the south steps of the State Capitol. Those speaking included Rep. Marcus McEntire (R), Chair, Health Appropriations Subcommittee; and, Rep. Emily Virgin (D), House Minority Leader. OSMA Member Scott Melson, MD, also spoke on behalf of the medical community.