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Prepared by: Dodie Wellshear, Ad Astra Government Relations
A new bill has been introduced, identical to HB 2066, which would authorize independent and unlimited scope of medical practice to APRNs. HB 2412 was introduced in House Federal and State Affairs and is, therefore, exempt from legislative deadlines and could be acted upon at any point in the legislative session.
There has been loud consternation by a number of legislators, who are unhappy with APRN provisions being stripped from HB 2066 and replaced with legislation providing for Medicaid expansion. GOP leaders in the House and the chairman of the House Health and Human Services Committee saw that move as subversive and going against the committee recommendations and process. These same legislators also oppose Medicaid expansion.
HB 2412 has been referred to the House Health and Human Services Committee, the same committee that recommended HB 2066 favorably for passage. It is unclear when or if a hearing will be held this session.
KanCare Expansion Stalled in Senate
HB 2066, which now contains legislation expanding Medicaid coverage to individuals up to 133% poverty, is now parked in the Senate and no action by that body is planned. As in the House, GOP leaders remain firmly opposed to the expansion and are not allowing it to be debated in the Senate.
Sen. Gene Suellentrop (R-Wichita), chairman of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, did last week call for an interim study on KanCare expansion. No word on whether that request will be fulfilled, but many in the Senate remain committed to the expansion and are calling on Senate leaders to schedule a debate on HB 2066 yet this year.
Status of Selected Health Bills
SB 54/ HB 2102 - Expanding eligibility for Medicaid benefits to the extent permitted by the Affordable Care Act.
Status: Referred to Senate Public Health & Welfare and House Appropriations Committees, respectively. Both bills were introduced in exempt committees and do not have to meet the turnaround deadline. (KAFP supports)
HB 2066 – Expanding KanCare coverage to individuals up to 133% of the federal poverty line.
Status: Passed House 69-54; awaiting Senate action (KAFP supports)
HB 2082 - Allowing pharmacists to administer drugs pursuant to a prescription order. This requires physicians to opt-out. KAFP and KMS submitted opposing testimony centered on the fact the legislation has not been probed and vetted among professional stakeholder, and that the legislation does not provide limitations and protocols for communication between physicians and pharmacists. Pharmacist organizations center arguments in favor of HB 2082 on the need surrounding injectable psychotropic medications.
Status: Passed House, as amended, 122-1; awaiting Senate action (KAFP neutral after amendments)
HB 2389 – Requires electronic prescriptions for certain controlled substances. This is a bill advanced by WalMart and, following discussions with KMS, is expected to be amended in committee to include: application to only Schedule II – IV opioids; exemptions for those who don’t have EMR capability; and an effective date starting in 2021.
Status: Passed House 122-2; awaiting Senate action
HB 2402 – Provides for the corporate practice of medicine. This legislation would statutorily allow corporations to directly employ physicians and chiropractors to care for their employees. The presenting problem is that it puts the physician ultimately answerable to the employer and potentially in conflict with addressing what is best for the patient.
Status: Passed House 106-18; awaiting Senate action
HB 2412 – Provides for the independent and unlimited practice of medicine by APRNs
Status: Referred to House Health & Human Services
Family Doctor of the Day
KAFP sponsors the Family Doctor of the Day (FDOD) program during the Kansas legislative session. Licensed physicians, including residents, volunteer to provide mostly-minor health needs to legislators and their staff. The Legislature highly values and appreciates access to these services, especially when so many are away from their hometown primary care physicians.
Appreciation goes out to the following members, who provided FDOD care this past week: Dr. Sheryl Beard, Andover; Dr. Jen McKenney, Fredonia; and Dr. Michael Engelken, Topeka. Thank you all for your generous gift of medical care at the Capitol!
Legislature Moving Toward Adjournment
The Legislature returns on Monday for their final week of work before adjourning the regular legislative session on Friday, April 5. They will then take a break and return May 1st for the veto session.
Most of the work this week will take place in conference committees, where legislators will work to reconcile different positions on key issues including health policy. Once agreement is reached, conference committee reports are sent to the floor of each chamber for a straight up or down vote, as conference committee reports cannot be amended on the floor.
Upcoming Legislative Schedule
To access live or archived floor action, click here.
- April 1-2: Conference committees meet
- April 3: Last day for conference committee agreements
- April 4-5: Consideration of conference committee reports, First Adjournment
- May 1: Veto Session begins
- May 17: Veto Session’s Scheduled End (90th Day)
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