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Expansion bill, coronavirus updates

This week, the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee held its last meeting before “turnaround day,” the deadline by which health bills must be approved if they are to pass over to the other chamber. The committee adjourned without further considering the Medicaid expansion bill (SB 252), again signaling that an expansion bill appears unlikely to be approved until issues related to the constitutional amendment on abortion are resolved.

However, Medicaid expansion remains a top issue before lawmakers this year and another bill could be introduced at any point for the remainder of the session. As the debate continues, KMS will continue to express to legislators our support for expansion and update you on developments.

This week, the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee held its last meeting before “turnaround day,” the deadline by which health bills must be approved if they are to pass over to the other chamber. The committee adjourned without further considering the Medicaid expansion bill (SB 252), again signaling that an expansion bill appears unlikely to be approved until issues related to the constitutional amendment on abortion are resolved.

However, Medicaid expansion remains a top issue before lawmakers this year and another bill could be introduced at any point in the remainder of the session. As the debate moves forward, KMS will continue to express to legislators our support for expansion and update you on developments.

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The bill that would allow APRNs to practice independently with an unlimited scope (HB 2412) also was not passed out of committee before this week’s legislative deadline. However, the bill remains alive for consideration, should lawmakers decide to do so. We will continue to monitor this issue and communicate with legislators about the importance of ensuring patients receive the highest quality of care delivered through physician-led teams.

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The Legislature is now on a brief break, returning Wednesday, March 4. They will spend the final month of the regular session working to secure passage of remaining bills before adjourning on Friday, April 3. Even bills which are exempt from deadlines must have hearings and committee action in the next few weeks in order to advance and be eligible for final passage.

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This week, CDC announced that it may have confirmed a case of "community spread" in California of coronavirus (or COVID-19), which would be the first case not associated with travel to China. The agency warns that further spread in the U.S. is to be expected and that the situation is rapidly evolving. CDC recommends visiting its COVID-19 updates page frequently.

KDHE continues to report that there are no confirmed cases in Kansas. KDHE posts regular COVID-19 updates at: www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus.

CDC recommends that physicians and other health care workers should consider the coronavirus if a patient is showing symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) after having traveled to mainland China within 14 days of symptom onset.  Suspected cases should be reported to your local health department and to the KDHE Epidemiology Hotline 1-877-427-7317.

If you or your patients have questions about the virus, there are a number of resources at CDC.gov, all of which are available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. These include:

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As always, we will keep you updated on these issues and others that could affect the practice of medicine in our state. If you have questions about this update or other legislative matters, please contact KMS Executive Director Rachelle Colombo: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..