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Legislature adjourns, health bills bundled


The legislature adjourned the regular session shortly after 6pm on Friday, April 5. With school finance negotiations complete and passage of an increased funding package, both the House and Senate were able to wrap up other lingering issues on the final day. Among those issues were health packages representing several pieces of policy bundled together in conference committee.

HB 2119 combined three bills that represented KMS involvement.


HB 2389 mandates that all opioids schedules II-IV must be e-prescribed by 2021. As originally introduced, the bill would have mandated e-prescribing for all controlled substances by January of 2020. KMS supported pushing back implementation to coincide with federal requirements relating to e-prescribing for Medicare Part D. Additionally, several exceptions and exemptions were adopted, including a waiver for a physician who writes fewer than 50 prescriptions a year, for technological failure or economic hardship and a number of other clinical scenarios.  

HB 2119 also included HB 2082, allowing pharmacists to administer injections that would otherwise be self-administered by patients. As originally drafted, the bill allowed pharmacists to administer any drug by any method. KMS urged that the bill should narrow its focus so as not to be harmful and removed opposition when proponents accepted our suggested amendment.  

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Legislative activity picks up steam

The statehouse was busy this week discussing issues affecting the practice of medicine.

HB 2066 allowing APRN independent practice was heard in House Health and Human Services. More than 42 individuals and organizations testified in support of the bill which provides no statutory limitation on the scope of APRN practice. KMS opposed the bill and testified that training and education matter, and that physicians and APRNs should not be allowed to practice interchangeably. Independently practicing providers should have legal limitations on their practice that reflect their training and education and should be regulated by the Board of Healing Arts. The bill has not been scheduled for committee action at this time.

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Legislative work begins in earnest

columnsBy the first of February, all of the pomp and circumstance associated with the start of the legislature has passed; by this time, legislative issues and strategies have begun to take shape. The House Health and Human Services committee held its first hearing of the session on HB 2082, allowing pharmacists to administer drugs. This same issue was heard last year in the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee; despite requests from KMS to bring physicians and pharmacists together to discuss the proposal and how it should be limited, no such meeting among clinicians occurred. Pharmacists testified that many patients struggle with self-administered injections and would improve adherence with their prescribed treatment plan if pharmacists could administer the drugs. They also referenced long-acting injectables for psychiatric patients as something pharmacists ought to be able to administer. Though their anecdotes were specific, the bill is written broadly, with no limitation on what drugs can be administered and includes language that requires physicians to “opt-out” if they do not want their patient to have their prescription administered by a pharmacist. KMS opposes HB 2082.

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Legislative work begins to pick up steam

columns

After taking a day off last Monday to observe Martin Luther King Day, the pace of work in the legislature is picking up. Committees began to meet, hear bill introductions and receive briefings from relevant stakeholders and agencies. As expected, House Health saw the introduction of APRN independent practice, House Bill 2066. Though the bill is framed differently than in years past, the fundamental impact is the same. HB 2066 removes the requirement for a collaborative practice agreement between an APRN and a physician, but does not limit an APRNs scope of practice, require increased training or educational requirements, nor does it provide oversight from the Board of Healing Arts. This legislation and those prior would effectively allow APRNs to practice medicine indiscernibly from a physician, but without requiring the same education, training and regulation to ensure quality care and patient safety. KMS opposes HB 2066.

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Advocating for you

Rachelle ColomboRachelle Colombo, KMS Director of Government Affairs, rcolombo@kmsonline.org