Weekly Legislative Update: May 31, 2023


REGULAR SESSION CONCLUDES/SPECIAL SESSION CONTINUES

HEALTH INFORMATION EXCHANGE (HIE) "CONNECTIVITY" FUNDS PASS LEGISLATURE


In the waning hours of the 2023 Legislative Session, SB32X (Thompson/Wallace) was passed. This measure provides $30M in state appropriations to pay for the initial connection fees associated with the statewide Health Information Exchange (HIE). This was a MAJOR political victory for OSMA and the House of Medicine!  We will continue to press for additional funding for ongoing operations, but this represents a huge step.

THANK YOU to all OSMA members who actively participated in last week’s ACTION CALL supporting the use of state funds for connecting with the HIE. Our voices were clearly heard! With the support of other medical and health related organizations, OSMA negotiations continued throughout the year. SB32X was finally filed and passed during the last week of Session. The Governor has until June 10th to consider either signing or declaring a veto. All indications are the legislature would overturn a veto while in Special Session, which was called, in part, to respond to appropriations related to implementing and administering budget-related funds.

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) should be providing details about how these funds will be utilized and how those health care professionals having already paid their initial connection fee will be reimbursed. Current OHCA rules continue to allow physicians to apply for an exemption based on type of health care provider, financial hardship, size, or technological capability of a health care provider or organization.

PLEASE NOTE CURRENT LAW STILL REQUIRES THE HIE TO BECOME EFFECTIVE ON JULY 1, 2023

This was a very contentious and controversial session, yet OSMA declared MANY victories. Highlights include:

  • APRN INDEPENDENT PRESCRIPTIVE AUTHORITY LEGISLATION DEFEATED!
  • Overcame effort to allow APRNs to serve as primary care providers for up to 2,500 SoonerCare recipients while allowing the administration to increase that number at will.
  • Surmounted another effort to eliminate OSMA’s input and vetting of prospective members to the Medical Licensure Board.
  • Defeated effort to allow insurance coverage for health care services provided through telemedicine by an out-of-state non-Oklahoma Licensed physician.
  • Passed a requirement that insurers charge no more for out-of-network care than they would for in-network care in cases where the insured is unable to obtain covered services in a timely manner.
  • Expanded protections for assault and battery against health care professionals to all health care facility personnel and directs health providers to share related data with the Department of Health.
  • Actively supported requirement that health benefit plans provide mental health or substance abuse disorder benefit reimbursement for services that are delivered through collaborative care models.
  • Passed legislation declaring that drug testing strips for the purpose of detecting fentanyl or related compounds are not considered drug paraphernalia.

LEGISLATIVE ISSUES IMPORTANT TO OSMA

SCOPE OF PRACTICE


SB458 (Stanley/McEntire) – Allows certain qualified and certified nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, or certified nurse-midwives to apply to the Board of Nursing for Independent Prescribing Authority. (Passed Senate Floor with Title Off**; NOT heard on the House Floor House Floor; Dormant) OSMA OPPOSES

HB1709 (Marti/Garvin) – Permits Advance Practice Registered Nurses to serve as primary care providers for up to 2,500 SoonerCare recipients, this number subject to change at the discretion of the CEO of the Health Care Authority. (Passed House; not heard in Senate HHS Committee; Dormant) OSMA OPPOSES

GENERAL GOVERNMENT

HB1688 (McEntire/Haste) – Creates the Health Care Transparency Initiative Act which provides for standards and guidelines related to the management of the state Health Information Exchange (HIE) under the Health Care Authority (Passed House; NOT heard on Senate Floor; Dormant) OSMA WAS IN NEGOTIATIONS.

SB 303 (Daniels) – Adjusts the structure and appointment process for the Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision to grant the Governor broad authority when choosing appointees and allows members to be removed and replaced without cause. There were several measures revising the appointment process for various health related licensure Board appointments. (Passed Senate HHS with Title Off**; not heard on Senate Floor; Dormant) OSMA OPPOSES

SB597 (Newhouse/Hasenbeck) – Allows physician members of the Board of Medical Licensure to have obtained training from foreign medical schools and retired physicians to serve, confidentiality of disciplinary actions, adjusts other related qualifications. (Passed Senate; NOT heard on House Floor; Dormant) OSMA SUPPORTS

INSURANCE

HB1963 (Newton/Jech) – Requires health benefit plans from certain insurers provide coverage of health care services provided through telemedicine when referred to out of state professionals by an in-state physician or practitioner. (Passed House; not heard in Senate Retirement & Insurance; Dormant) OSMA OPPOSES

SB254 (Garvin/Boatman) – Requires insurers to charge no more for out-of-network care than they would for in-network care in cases where the insured is unable to obtain covered services in a timely manner. (Passed House as Amended; Passed Senate; SIGNED by Governor) OSMA SUPPORTS

SB442 (Montgomery/Sneed) – Requires health benefit plans to make available a directory of providers within their network plans. (Passed Senate; Passed House; SIGNED by Governor) OSMA SUPPORTS

SB513 (Rosino/Miller) – Requires insurers, including the state's Medicaid program, to cover biomarker testing in certain instances. (Passed House Floor; Passed Senate; to Governor) OSMA SUPPORTS

LEGAL REFORM

HB2154 (Roe/K. Thompson) – Extends certain protections against assault and battery against health care professionals to all health care facility personnel and directs health providers to share related data with the Dept. of Health. (Passed House; Passed Senate; SIGNED by Governor) OSMA SUPPORTS

MEDICAID

HB1657 (McEntire/Rosino) – Requires the Health Care Authority to streamline the process for Medicaid provider enrollment and credentialing for any fee-for-service and managed care delivery systems. (Passed Senate Floor as Amended; Passed House; SIGNED by Governor) OSMA SUPPORTS

SB563 (Haste/McEntire) – Includes that anesthesia is to continue to be reimbursed equal to or greater than the established Fee Schedule, with value-based payment arrangements possible for services furnished to Medicaid members. (Passed Senate; Passed House; Governor Vetoed; Veto Overridden) OSMA SUPPORTS

MENTAL HEALTH

HB1035 (Rosecrants/Pemberton) – Provides exemptions for school absence requirements to students missing class for mental health assessments and therapy sessions. (Passed House with Title Off**; Passed Senate with restored Title; to House for consideration of amendments; Dormant) OSMA SUPPORTS

HB2746 (Kirt/Miller) – Creates the Courtney Smith Law, allowing for the transportation of a ward by county or municipal officials to an inpatient treatment facility under the direction of a guardian in certain circumstances. (Passed House; Passed Senate; SIGNED by Governor) OSMA SUPPORTS

SB254 (Garvin/Boatman) – Requires insurers to charge no more for out-of-network care than they would for in-network care in cases where the insured is unable to obtain covered services in a timely manner. (Passed House as Amended; Passed Senate; SIGNED by Governor) OSMA SUPPORTS

SB444 (Montgomery/Miller) – Requires health benefit plans that provide mental health or substance abuse disorder benefits to provide reimbursement for benefits that are delivered through certain collaborative care models. (Passed House as Amended; Passed Senate; to Governor) OSMA SUPPORTS

SB844 (R. Thompson/Miller) – Places supervisory authority over the County Community Safety Investment Fund within LOFT and permits counties to submit requests for money from the fund to support certain programs and projects related to mental health and substance abuse. (Passed Senate; Passed House; SIGNED by Governor) OSMA SUPPORTS

PhRMA/PAIN MANAGEMENT/OPIOIDS

HB1987 (Dollens/Rader) – Clarifies that drug testing strips for the purposes of detecting fentanyl or related compounds are not considered drug paraphernalia. (Passed House; Passed Senate; SIGNED by Governor) OSMA SUPPORTS

HB2424 (May/Stephens) – Allows pharmacies to dispense and sell a wider variety of opioid antagonists to counteract overdoses. (Passed House; Passed Senate; SIGNED by Governor) OSMA SUPPORTS

SB711 (Rosino/Boatman) – Directs the Dept. of Mental Health to provide hospitals with opioid antagonists to be given to persons presenting to emergency departments with the symptoms of an opioid overdose or related disorder upon discharge from the hospital. (Passed Senate; Passed House; Governor Vetoed; Veto Overridden) OSMA SUPPORTS

WOMEN & CHILDREN HEALTH

SB292 (Stanley/Roe) – Requires testing for syphilis on women at various stages of pregnancy, as well as if there is a stillbirth or spontaneous miscarriage, such required testing to be covered by certain health benefit plans. (Passed Senate; Passed House; SIGNED by Governor) OSMA SUPPORTS

SB368 (Garvin/Hasenbeck) – Establishes that laws pertaining to abortion will not be construed to prohibit or otherwise affect the provision of contraceptive care by authorized healthcare providers. (Passed House as Amended; Senate rejected House Amendments; to Conference; Dormant) OSMA SUPPORTS

SB382 (Garvin/Roe) – Provides for a sales tax exemption on feminine hygiene products to certain organizations which provide and distribute such products and appropriates $1MIL to a Feminine Hygiene Program for grants to local partners for women living in period poverty. (Passed Senate; Passed House Public Health; NOT heard on House Floor; Dormant) OSMA SUPPORTS

*OSMA continues to oppose measures which interfere with the patient/physician relationship.

**“Title Off” means the statutory reference is removed from the legislation to assure further negotiation.