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.
House Health and Human Services also heard HB 2146 allowing for the corporate practice of medicine. Proponents argue that corporate employers ought to be able to employ physicians and provide health care to their employees and the general public. They view the doctrine prohibiting the corporate practice of medicine as an unnecessary barrier that impedes the free market from allowing for higher quality care and lower costs for patients. The Kansas Medical Society opposed the bill and discussed the importance of ensuring patient protection whenever the legislature contemplates changing the practice of medicine and public health care regulation. Because the law is currently silent on the corporate practice of medicine and has been governed by case law, we believe that more study should be given to this issue and that all parties should work together to ensure that any law is consistent in its approach to the corporate practice of medicine. KMS also suggested that the legislature ought to pursue an interim committee to study and bring hospitals, corporations, physicians and regulatory boards together to discuss the implications of allowing private corporations to practice medicine under a new legal structure.
In addition to these hearings, several other bills were introduced and can be followed on our bill tracker.
- HB 2198 and SB 144 allow for expedited partner therapy relating to sexually transmitted diseases.
- SB 165 changes the definition of a podiatrist to that of a physician of the human foot.
- HB 2339 expands the scope of a naturopathic doctor to include prescribing, performance of minor procedures and the ordering of diagnostic imaging.
- HB 2344 requires informed consent prior to antipsychotic prescribing in long-term care facilities.
- HB 2295 establishes licensure for anesthesiology assistants working under the direct supervision of an anesthesiologist.
- HB 2348 doubles the mandatory insurance limits which must be carried by physicians and hospitals.
- HB 2358 defines additional obligations and requires CME for those prescribing controlled substances.
As these and other issues advance though the legislative process, KMS will continue to advocate that the practice of medicine remains in physicians’ hands. We appreciate hearing from you about how these proposals impact your patients and practice; we will continue to communicate with legislators on your behalf.