Weekly Legislative Update: March 15, 2019

The deadline for bills to be out of the House of Origin is March 14. The following measures represent some of the issues in which OSMA is involved.

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 has been in a tremendous political battle with others within the medical profession regarding “scope of practice” issues. Our PR campaign to combat efforts to expand scope of practice for Nurse Practitioners and Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners has been, to date, extremely successful. As of this week, both measures to expand the scope for these two areas of medical practice have not passed before the recent deadline. As always, OSMA will remain attentive toward efforts to reinstitute language found in those measures.

SB 801 (Smalley/McEntire) – Requires that nurse anesthetists administer anesthesia and certain controlled substances in collaboration with, not under the supervision of, a physician. (Laid over and not heard on Senate Floor – Dormant) OSMA OPPOSES

SB 839 (Smalley/McEntire) – A “Waiver of Supervision” for APRN may be authorized by the Board of Nursing under certain conditions: Current CNP with 7 years’ experience may request waiver of supervision; Does not allow for Schedule II prescriptive authority. (Pulled from Senate Health & Human Services Agenda – Dormant) OSMA OPPOSES 

HB 2041 (Moore) – Expands the “scope of practice” for radiologist technicians and assistants by allowing for independent licenses and certifications. (Not heard on House Floor – Dormant) OSMA OPPOSED

HB 2194 (Randleman) – Expands the definition of “physician” to include psychologist, therapist or counselor. (PASSED: House Floor 53-37; to Senate) OSMA OPPOSES (click here to view a coalition letter spearheaded by OSMA regarding this scope measure)

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. This measure 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. (PASSED Senate Floor 45-0 with Title off; To House) 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) 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; To Senate) OSMA SUPPORTS

Vaccinations: There are several measures dealing with vaccinations. Proper immunization is in the best interest of Oklahoma’s public health.

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

HB 2420 (Moore) – Prohibits managed care entities from mandating certain immunization protocols or limiting an enrollee’s benefit for immunizations or vaccinations and from assessing penalties on physicians who refuse to issue vaccinations. (Not heard on House Floor – Dormant) 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; To House) OSMA SUPPORTS

HB 2638 (Munson/Rader) & SB 509 (Rader/Munson)
– Provides for guidelines and requirements on insurers offering step therapy protocols, requiring such therapy protocols to be based on clinical practice guidelines. (HB 2638 (PASSED House 94-0; To Senate/SB 509 PASSED Senate 43-0; To House) OSMA SUPPORTS

HB2511 (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; To Senate) OSMA SUPPORTS

HB1927 (Roe/Weaver) – Expands unlawful assault and battery on medical care providers to include non-emergency personnel (Passed House 85-8 with Title off; To Senate) 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 / Medicaid “Expansion” Funding: Federal tax dollars from Oklahoma are being reallocated to other states in support of their Medicaid delivery systems. Governor Stitt as well as Legislative leadership have indicated an interest in pursuing federal dollars to help support Oklahoma’s SoonerCare program. The “Oklahoma Plan” which expands the InsureOklahoma! health insurance premium assistance program to accept federal funding for Medicaid Services will be negotiated during the appropriations process. OSMA SUPPORTS

HB 2288 (Wright/Stanislawski) – “Oklahoma Workplace Clean Air Act” prohibits smoking in all enclosed public places, private clubs and indoor & outdoor recreational areas. (PASSED House Public Health; Not heard on House Floor – Dormant) OSMA SUPPORTS

Graduate Medical Education (GME) Funding: Oklahoma is no longer receiving federal matching dollars to help fund GME Residency program funding. The State of Oklahoma is now responsible to appropriate those dollars which will help develop more Oklahoma physicians. OSMA SUPPORTS

An afternoon at the Capitol
Legislative Reception at OSMA