From KMS Executive Director Rachelle Colombo
This week, three bills proposing to allow nonphysician practice of medicine were made public, two of which have hearings scheduled for next week.
House 2256 and Senate Bill 174 seek to remove the requirement for a collaborative practice agreement between an APRN and a physician, where the former seeks to treat patients independently with no statutory limits on their scope of practice. Currently the bills are scheduled for hearings on 2/17 in House Health and Human Services and on 2/18 in Senate Public Health and Welfare (note: it is possible one or both of these hearings will be delayed). We plan to testify in opposition to both. Live streams of all House and Senate health committee meetings are available on YouTube (under “Upcoming live streams”).
Senate Bill 200 was also introduced this week, a bill which would allow pharmacists to independently “initiate” therapy (prescribe) for health conditions approved by the state board of pharmacy. Likewise we oppose this bill and will seek to offer testimony if and when a hearing should be scheduled.
KMS Legislative Update registration
While much uncertainty remains regarding the trajectory of the 2021 legislative session—including if and when legislators may be available to meet safely with constituents—we have postponed Advocacy Day. In the meantime, we want to keep KMS members apprised of legislative developments that implicate the practice of medicine in Kansas.To that end, we are hosting monthly Zoom meetings open to all KMS members to provide updates from KMS Executive Director Rachelle Colombo. The meetings typically will be held from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month. Details about joining each month's virtual meeting will be sent a day or so ahead of the meeting to the email address you supply.
The first meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 18. To receive meeting details, register at www.kmsonline.org/legislative-updates-registration. Once you have registered, you will remain on the email list to receive subsequent meeting details.
KHC and KDHE offer no-cost infection prevention education
The Kansas Healthcare Collaborative and Kansas Department of Health and Environment are partnering to provide a new infection prevention learning series for physician offices, clinics, and other ambulatory settings. This is a no-cost opportunity to learn basic infection practices from experienced infection preventionists in our state. More information is available at www.khconline.org/LAN-registration.
CMS Updates FFS Billing FAQs
This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services updated their COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions document for Medicare billing. The document includes billing and reimbursement information on Medicare services and payment systems as well as information on waivers and rules associated with COVID-19.
FDA Authorizes Emergency Use of Eli Lilly Monoclonal Antibody Combination
This week, the FDA announced approval of the emergency use of Eli Lilly’s bamlanivimab and etesevimab administered together for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age or older weighing at least 40 kilograms) who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 and who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19. Under the EUA, fact sheets that provide important information about using bamlanivimab and etesevimab administered together in treating COVID-19 as authorized must be made available to health care providers and to patients and caregivers.
Help available for addressing psychological strain
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered everyone’s lives for nearly a year now, but among the most affected have been physicians and other team members on the front lines of patient care. Fallout from the virus has placed considerable psychological strain on many of you.
KMS seeks to support our membership with resources to help if you are struggling with the mental and physical toll from such strain. The KMS Professionals’ Health Program (PHP) staff can be reached 24 hours a day at (785) 231-1304. We are here to help you however we can.
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