Weekly Legislative Update: April 23, 2021

As many of you are aware, Pat Hall and Jim Dunlap host “Inside the Issues”, a weekly public affairs talk show on Cox Cable Channel 3 in both the OKC and Tulsa markets. The show, currently in its 17th season, airs on Sundays at 9:30a & 7:30p and repeats on Wednesday at 6:30p. The featured guest this week in Senator Roger Thompson, Chair of the Oklahoma Senate Appropriations and Budget Committee. Past episodes can also be viewed at Facebook.com/InsidetheIssues.

This past week was a major deadline for the Oklahoma Legislature. All measures had to be out of the opposite House (House Bills out of the Full Senate & Senate Bills out of the Full House). MANY THANKS to those OSMA members who responded to our ACTION CALL supporting SB 131 (Garvin/McEntire), the Oklahomans Caring for Oklahomans Act. The measure directs the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to develop and operate a state-run managed care program meeting certain standards for Medicaid beneficiaries. This is in deference to the Administration’s effort to implement a capitated Medicaid managed care system utilizing for-profit insurance companies. The amended bill passed the House 73-17 and heads back to the Senate for consideration.

OSMA request bill SB 550 (Newhouse/Pae) was signed into law this week. This bill enhances communication between doctors' offices, hospitals and insurance companies. The goal is to speed the adjudication of denied claims, which benefits patients. Over the past two years, all 3 parties--doctors, hospitals, and the insurance companies--met multiple times and reached a consensus on the language in this bill. This effort has truly been a team effort to benefit Oklahomans. Many thanks to Sam Dahr, MD who help initiate and spearhead this effort!

Other highlighted major final victories this week include:

Defeat of SB 548 (Daniels/Townley) which would have disallowed any debt related to a medical service to be turned over to a collection agency unless the patient previously agrees with a “good faith estimate”.
• Defeat of HB 2335 (Stegall/Jett) which would have prohibited state agencies from mandating vaccinations under most circumstances.


PLEASE RESPOND TO ACTION CALLS to assure the “House of Medicine” voice is heard at the State Capitol!

LEGISLATIVE ISSUES IMPORTANT TO OSMA

SCOPE OF PRACTICE

HB 2009 (Townley/Coleman) – Permits certain death certificates to be signed by advanced practice registered nurses. (Passed House; Passed Senate; to Governor) OSMA OPPOSES
SB 388 (Rosino/West, Josh) – Directs that home care eligibility for patients be certified and overseen by healthcare providers, including physicians, physician assistants, or registered nurses and makes such eligibility and oversight retroactive. (Passed Senate; Passed House; to Governor) OSMA OPPOSES
SB 516 (Montgomery/Pfeiffer) – Allows a delegating physician to supervise an unlimited number of physician assistants. Note: The Medical Licensure Board currently limits physician supervision of up to six P.A.s (Title and Enacting Clause Stricken*; Passed Senate; passed House; Conference Committee anticipated) OSMA OPPOSES

GENERAL GOVERNMENT

HB 2089 (McCall/McCortney) – Provides for an income tax credit for doctors who have graduated from an Oklahoma college of medicine or have completed residency in Oklahoma and whose primary residence meets rural area criteria of less than 25,000 population or within the jurisdiction of a federally recognized tribe. (Passed House; Passed Senate Finance and Senate Appropriations; not heard on Senate Floor; Dormant) OSMA SUPPORTS
HB 2121 (McEntire/McCortney) – Relates to the Physician Manpower Training Commission by permitting general surgery physicians to serve on the Commission and requiring one seat on the Commission to be given to a nurse practitioner. (Passed House; Passed Senate Health & Human Services; not heard on Senate Floor; Dormant) OSMA SUPPORTS
SB 79 (Thompson/Wallace) – Provides for a tax exemption on the transfer of tangible property or services to federally tax-exempt nonprofit entities which have entered into joint operations agreements with the Hospitals Trust which helps fund residencies (Passed Senate; Passed House; Signed by Governor) OSMA SUPPORTS
SB 487 (Pugh/Nollan) – Permits the Governor and leadership of the House and Senate to remove and replace their appointments, excluding those established by Constitutional provision, at any time and for any reason (Passed Senate; Committee Substitute Passed House Floor; back to Senate) OSMA OPPOSES
SB 548 (Daniels/Townley) – Provides that no medical service care or entity shall report a healthcare debt to a credit bureau or pursue collection activities unless certain facts relating to the incurrence of such debt are demonstratable and limits charges. (Title Stricken*; Passed Senate; Passed House State’s Rights; Failed on House Floor 35-58; Dead this session) OSMA OPPOSES
SB 574 (McCortney/McEntire) – Creates the Oklahoma State Health Information Network and Exchange (OKSHINE), charged with creating and maintaining a digital platform for the sharing and exchanging health related information among healthcare system participants. (Title Stricken* Passed Senate; Committee Substitute Passed House Public Health; Passed House Floor; back to Senate) OSMA SUPPORTS
SB 689 (Pugh/Miller) – Revises the make-up of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority Medical Advisory Board. (Passed Senate; Committee Substitute passed in House General Government; Passed House Floor; back to Senate) OSMA NEUTRAL
SB 724 (Dahm/Gann) – Removes reference to the Workers’ Compensation Physician Advisory Committee (Passed Senate; Committee Substitute Passed House Public Health; not heard on House Floor; Dormant) OSMA OPPOSES
SB 1031 (Treat/Echols) – Extends certain virtual meeting provisions established in response to the COVID-19 health emergency to until 30 days after the termination of the health emergency order (Passed Senate; Passed House; Signed by Governor) OSMA SUPPORTS

INSURANCE

HB 1006 (Bush/Pugh) – Creates the “Transparency in Heath Care Prices Act” which requires health care providers and facilities to make prices for certain health care services publicly available (Passed House; Passed Senate Health & Human Services as Amended; Passed Senate; back to House) OSMA SUPPORTS
HB 2323 (Frix/Pemberton) – Prohibits insurers from removing medical providers from an existing insurance network while a policy is in effect for informing enrollees of the full range of physicians and providers available to them and requires certain notice upon referral (Passed House; Passed Senate; to Governor) OSMA SUPPORTS
SB 550 (Newhouse/Pae) – Requires insurance providers to make certain notifications when clean claims are denied, and allows for the insured to appeal, if denied again the insurer must provide certain additional info, including contact info to speak to someone (Passed Senate; Passed House; Signed by Governor) OSMA SUPPORTS

LEGAL REFORM

SB 793 (Weaver/Roe) – Considers the assault and or battery of a respiratory therapist who is performing medical care duties as a felony offense (Passed Senate; Passed House Public Health; not heard on House Floor; Dormant) OSMA SUPPORTS

MEDICAID MANAGED CARE

HR 1019 (McEntire) – Declares privatized managed care to be a failed health care model and encourages the Health Care Authority to create an Oklahoma-based managed care system. (to House Floor) OSMA SUPPORTS
SB 131 (Garvin/McEntire) – Creates the Oklahomans Caring for Oklahomans Act which directs the Health Care Authority to develop and operate a state-run managed care program meeting certain standards for Medicaid beneficiaries (Passed Senate; Passed House as Amended; back to Senate) OSMA SUPPORTS

PAIN MANAGEMENT/OPIOIDS/PHARMA

HB 2678 (Marti/McCortney) – Co-Pay Accumulator: Makes failing to include certain payments on behalf of enrollees when calculating total contributions towards out-of-pocket maximums an unfair claim settlement practice for pharmacy benefits providers (Passed House; Passed Senate; Signed by Governor) OSMA SUPPORTS
SB 57 (Rader/Echols) – Permits access to certain information contained in the central repository regarding controlled dangerous substances to the members of the Opioid Overdose Fatality Review Board (Passed Senate; Passed House as Amended in Committee; back to Senate) OSMA SUPPORTS
SB 58 (Rader/Echols) – Permits a practitioner to electronically order a controlled dangerous substance when administered through a hospice program (Passed Senate; Passed House; to Governor) OSMA SUPPORTS
SB 241 (Thompson/Kannady) – Permits reporting of data related to controlled dangerous substances in Schedules II thorough V to the state by certain manufacturers to be in the same format used to report to the FDA (Passed Senate; Passed House Alcohol, Tobacco & Substances; not heard on House Floor; Dormant) OSMA SUPPORTS
SB 605 (Standridge/Echols) – Provides for liability protections to licensed health practitioners with prescribing authority who meet certain requirements when making opioid prescriptions (Passed Senate; Passed House Alcohol, Tobacco & Substances; not heard on House Floor; Dormant) OSMA SUPPORTS SB 888 (Standridge/Echols) – Pain management clinic ownership language has been removed; requires registration with Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision under certain circumstances (Passed Senate; Committee Substitute Passed House Alcohol, Tobacco & Substances; not heard on House Floor; Dormant) OSMA SUPPORTS

PUBLIC HEALTH

HB 2335 (Steagall/Jett) – Prohibits government entities from mandating vaccinations (Passed House; Committee Substitute Passed Senate Health & Human Services; not heard on Senate Floor; Dormant) OSMA OPPOSES
HB 2381 (Sterling/Simpson) – Requires school districts to conduct an annual fitness assessment for students in grades three through twelve within a course that satisfies the physical education program currently in statute. (Passed House; Passed Senate Education and Senate Appropriations; not heard on Senate Floor; Dormant) OSMA SUPPORTS
SB 658 (Dahm/West K.) – Requires the Dept. of Education and school districts to provide information on exemptions in any notice or publication regarding immunization requests and requirements (Passed Senate; Committee Substitute passed House Floor; back to Senate) OSMA OPPOSES
SB 905 (Bullard/Davis) – Provides a tax credit for employers that host blood drives for each donating employee. (Passed Senate; Title Stricken*; Passed House as amended; back to Senate) OSMA SUPPORTS

TELEHEALTH

SB 7 (Bergstrom/Humphrey) – Permits the use of telemedicine services for the assessment of persons possibly in need of mental health or substance abuse treatment who are taken into custody by law enforcement (Passed Senate; not heard on House Floor; Dormant) OSMA SUPPORTS
SB 673 (McCortney/McEntire) – Creates the Oklahoma Telemedicine Act which expands definitions and standards for telemedicine within statute (Passed Senate; Passed House; to Governor) OSMA SUPPORTS
SB 674 (McCortney/McEntire) – Requires health care plans to provide coverage for telemedicine and remote care services (Passed Senate; Floor Substitute Passed House; back to Senate) OSMA SUPPORTS

WOMEN & CHILDREN

HB 1102 (Olsen/Daniels) – Makes performing an abortion that is not deemed medically necessary to preserve the life or prevent irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the woman, grounds for a physician to lose or have their license suspended (Passed House; Passed Senate; to Governor) OSMA OPPOSES
HB 2441 (Russ/Daniels) – Prohibits the performance of abortions on pregnant woman after such time that the unborn child has a detectable heartbeat. (Passed House; Passed Senate; to Governor) OSMA OPPOSES
SB 612 (Dahm/Olsen) – Relates to abortion by imposing a fine or prison sentence on any person purposely performing an abortion except to save the life of the mother (Passed Senate; Passed House Public Health; not heard on House Floor; Dormant) OSMA OPPOSES
SB 778 (Daniels/Lepak) – Creates the OK Abortion Inducing Drug Risk Protocol Act, which may only be utilized by physicians in specific settings and requires certain notification to be made to those receiving such drugs. (Passed Senate; Title Stricken*; Passed House as Amended; back to Senate) OSMA OPPOSES
SB 779 (Daniels/Lepak) – Creates the OK Abortion Inducing Drug Certification Program for physicians performing such services and requires them to report annually certain information regarding patients receiving abortions, also defines penalties for certain violations (Passed Senate; Title Stricken; Passed House as Amended; back to Senate) OSMA OPPOSES
SB 918 (Treat/McCall) – Repeals sections of law relating to abortion, to be effective should the U.S. Supreme Court, or an amendment to the U.S. Constitution is adopted to overturn Roe v. Wade (Passed Senate; Passed House; to Governor) OSMA OPPOSES

*Title Stricken means the language in the measure continues to be a work in progress.