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.
Governor Kelly announced the creation of a Medicaid expansion working group. The bipartisan group includes legislators and healthcare industry stakeholders and advocates, including KMS. Kelly, who made Medicaid expansion a campaign promise and budget priority, is asking the group to assist her in crafting legislation that she hopes to introduce by the end of January. KMS has longstanding policy that it is optimal for all Kansans to have access to care from a physician-led team and that state programs providing such care should be fiscally sustainable and not force cost-shifting among providers. We continue to support efforts to expand Medicaid in Kansas and will work with Governor Kelly to support proposals reflecting KMS policy.