State Advocacy Update - Week of February 15

By Policy and Advocacy Brief posted 02-15-2021 20:15

  
  • Alabama Seeks to Abolish Certificate of Need;
  • Many States Introduce Telemedicine Bills Addressing Prescribing, Payment Parity, Origination Site, Utilization Review and Separate Cost-Sharing – The AUA supports the full expansion of telehealth following the current public health emergency and treatment and has met with CMS to urge the adoption of audio-only visits;
  • Florida Wants to Allow Pro Bono Services to Count Toward Continuing Education Requirement;
  • New Jersey Looks to Address Step-Therapy – The AUA has met with CMS to address and oppose various regulatory barriers to care such as step-therapy and has endorsed these  specific state bills; 
  • Tennessee Introduces Two Intersex Bills – The AUA advocates for medical decision-making for children remaining the responsibility of parents and should not be legislated;
  • Different Versions of Cost-Sharing Bills Introduced in Several States (e.g., Capping the Cost of Insulin);
  • Texas Introduces Another Bill to Join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) – Measure aligns with the AUA’s state advocacy priority to expand the IMLC; and
  • Colorado and New York Extend COVID-19 Executive Orders.

 

Alabama

H.B. 363 – Certificate of Need

Introduced by Representative Andrew Sorrell (R), H.B. 363 seeks to abolish the certificate of need program. The bill was referred to the House State Government Committee. Read the bill.

 

Alaska

S.B. 78 – Telemedicine

Introduced by the Senate Health and Social Services Committee, S.B. 78 seeks to amend state telemedicine law to allow a physician to provide treatment, render a diagnosis, or prescribe, dispense, or administer a prescription, excluding a controlled substance. The bill was referred to the Senate Health and Social Services Committee. Read the bill.

 

Colorado

Executive Order – D 2020 038

Governor of Colorado, Jared Polis (D), extends previous Executive Orders for an additional 30 days to ensure inpatient health care facilities have sufficient resources and personnel to treat patients suffering from COVID-19 and to ensure inpatient facilities and outpatient settings have sufficient resources to administer COVID-19 vaccinations. Read the Order.

 

Florida

H.B. 803 – Medical Licensure

Introduced by Representative Mike Caruso (R), H.B. 803 seeks to amend the medical and osteopathic practice acts to allow a licensed physician to submit documentation proving he or she has completed at least 120 hours of pro bono services within the two year licensure period and be exempt from continuing education requirements. The bill also seeks to establish a registration program for volunteer retired physicians and revising the physician licensure criteria for Canadian applicants. The bill has not yet been referred to a committee. Read the bill.

 

Georgia

H.B. 307 – Telemedicine

Introduced by Representative Sharon Cooper (R), H.B. 307 seeks to amend the state telemedicine law to authorize health care providers to provide telemedicine services from home; authorize patients to receive telemedicine services from their home, workplace or school; allow for audio-only care under certain circumstances; to prohibit the requirement for an in-person consultation before a patient receives telemedicine services; to prohibit more stringent utilization review requirements; to prohibit separate deductibles for telemedicine services; to prohibit the requirement health care providers use a specific telehealth platform or vendor; to prohibit additional restrictions on prescribing medications through telemedicine; and to require documentation by health care providers for telemedicine services equaling or exceeding in-person consultation. The bill has not yet been referred to a committee. Read the bill.

 

Iowa

H.F. 431 – Telemedicine

Introduced by Representative Tom Moore (R), H.F. 431 seeks to amend state telemedicine law to allow for audio-only telemedicine services. The bill has not yet been referred to a committee. Read the bill.

 

H.B. 442 – Cost Sharing

Introduced by Representative Kim Moser (R), H.B. 442 seeks to require health benefit plans to accept, and count toward the insured's cost-sharing payments made on behalf of an insured from state or federal government program or made on behalf of an insured from other persons. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Committees. Read the bill.

 

Kansas

H.B. 2324 – Cost Sharing

Introduced by the House Insurance and Pensions Committee, H.B. 2324 seeks to cap the cost sharing for insulin to $100 per 30-day supply. The bill was referred to the House Insurance and Pensions Committee. Read the bill.

 

Minnesota

S.F. 780 – Telemedicine

Introduced by Senator Julie Rosen (R), S.F. 780 seeks to amend the state telemedicine law to change all references of ‘telemedicine’ to ‘telehealth’ and define a physician providing medical services through interstate telehealth is engaged in the practice of medicine. The bill was referred to the Senate Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee. Read the bill.

 

New Jersey

4815 – Step-Therapy

Introduced by Assemblymember Herb Conaway (D), S. 3051 would require health insurance carriers and utilization review organizations to meet certain guidelines in the administration and review of step-therapy protocols. The bill provides clinical review criteria used to establish a step therapy protocol shall be based on clinical practice guidelines and includes guidelines for exceptions. The bill was referred to the Assembly Health Committee. Read the bill.

 

Supporting state efforts to reduce the burden of utilization management tools such as prior authorization and step-therapy is a top advocacy initiative for the AUA. As a result, the AUA recently endorsed A. 4815 and supported a coalition sign-on letter sent to New Jersey legislators.

 

3051 – Step-Therapy

Introduced by Senator Joe Vitale (D), S. 3051 would require health insurance carriers and utilization review organizations to meet certain guidelines in the administration and review of step therapy protocols. The bill provides clinical review criteria used to establish a step therapy protocol shall be based on clinical practice guidelines and includes guidelines for exceptions. The bill was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee. Read the bill.

Supporting state efforts to reduce the burden of utilization management tools such as prior authorization and step therapy is a top advocacy initiative for the AUA. As a result, the AUA recently endorsed S. 3051 and supported a coalition sign-on letter sent to New Jersey legislators.

 

New York

Executive Order 202.92 – COVID-19

The directive contained in Executive Order 202.44 regarding elective surgeries is hereby amended to provide the directive contained in Executive Order 202.10, authorizing the Commissioner of Health to direct all general hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, office-based surgery practices and diagnostic and treatment centers, to increase the number of beds available to patients, including those initially held as a result of cancelling all elective surgeries and procedures, is hereby modified to authorize general hospitals to perform elective surgeries and procedures so long as the established criteria are met currently, whether or not such criteria were met on the dates set forth in such directive, and as modified by the Department of Health guidance. The EO is extended until February 26, 2021.

 

4839 – Telemedicine

Introduced by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D), A. 4839 seeks to amend state telemedicine law to require reimbursement for telemedicine services to be the same as in-person services. The bill was referred to the Assembly Health Committee. Read the bill.

 

Maine

L.D. 323 – Telemedicine

Introduced by Representative Anne Perry (D), L.D. 323 seeks to amend state telemedicine law to include telephonic services as telemedicine services, regardless of whether or not other telemedicine services are available. The bill was referred to the Joint Committee on Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services. Read the bill.

 

L.D. 333 – Telemedicine

Introduced by Representative Patricia Hymanson (D), L.D. 333 seeks to amend the state telemedicine law to allow audio-only, when no interactive real-time visual and audio means are available; reimbursement for telemedicine services is the same as in-person services; telemedicine deductibles may not be aggregated separately than deductibles for other services; and health insurance carriers may not restrict prescribing services. The bill was referred to the Joint Committee on Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services. Read the bill.

 

Rhode Island

5370 – Telemedicine

Introduced by Representative Susan Donavan (D), H. 5370 seeks to require a health insurer to accommodate the request for communication in the form and format requested by the insured, if it is readily producible in the requested form and format, including to provide such medical information to a specific mail or email address or specific telephone number, as designated by the insured. The bill has not yet been referred to committee. Read the bill.

 

170 – Cost Sharing

Introduced by Senator Melissa Murray (D), S. 170 seeks to cap the cost of insulin to $50 per 30-day. The bill has not yet been referred to a committee. Read the bill.

 

Tennessee

H.B. 508 – Telemedicine

Introduced by Representative Clark Boyd (R), H.B. 508 seeks to amend state telemedicine law to allow a supervised graduate or student enrolled in a professional training program to provide telehealth services for the purpose of obtaining hours required for licensure. This bill has not yet been referred to a committee. Read the bill.

 

The AUA supports supervision through telecommunication tools. During the public health emergency, telehealth and communications technologies have allowed urologists to expand the reach of their care through virtual supervision of residents and other medical care staff. Virtual supervision prevents residents from having to wait for a urologist to travel to the emergency room, reducing patient turnaround time and increasing access to care.

H.B. 552 – Telemedicine

Introduced by Representative Sam Whitson (R), H.B. 552 seeks to amend state telemedicine law to redefine store-and-forward telemedicine services for the purpose of establishing a patient-physician relationship. The bill has not yet been referred to a committee. Read the bill.

 

H.B. 578 – Intersex

Introduced by Representative John Ragan (R), H.B. 578 seeks to prohibit the provision of sexual identity change therapy to prepubescent minors. Additionally, prohibits the provision of sexual identity change therapy to minors who have entered puberty unless a parent or guardian has written recommendations for the therapy from at least three physicians. The bill has not yet been referred to a committee. Read the bill.

 

S.B. 657 – Intersex

Introduced by Senator Janice Bowling (R), S.B. 657 seeks to prohibit the provision of sexual identity change therapy to prepubescent minors. Additionally, prohibits the provision of sexual identity change therapy to minors who have entered puberty unless a parent or guardian has written recommendations for the therapy from at least three physicians. The bill has been filed for introduction. Read the bill.

 

H.B. 939 – Balance Billing

Introduced by Representative Mike Sparks (R), H.B. 939 amends state insurance law to require the state group insurance plan to establish an alternate allowable charges schedule to permit enrollees to utilize the services of any licensed medical provider in the United States without being penalized with out-of-network cost sharing charges, except as provided in the schedule, and to have a preferred tier and non-preferred tier. The bill has not yet been referred. Read the bill.

 

Texas

H.B. 1616 – Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

Introduced by Representative Greg Bonnen (R), H.B. 1616 seeks to allow the state to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. The bill has not yet been referred to committee. Read the bill.

 

H.B. 1701 – Cost Sharing

Introduced by Representative Four Price (R), H.B. 1701 seeks to cap the cost of insulin to $30 for a 30-day supply. The bill has not yet been referred. Read the bill.

 

Washington

S.B. 5423 – Telemedicine

Introduced by Senator Ann Rivers (R), S.B. 5423 seeks to amend state telemedicine law to allow for the consultation through telemedicine by a practitioner, licensed by another state in which they reside, with a practitioner licensed in this state who has responsibility for the diagnosis and treatment of the patient within this state. Read the bill.

 

For information about bills the AUA is tracking in your state, please contact AUA State Advocacy Manager Catherine Hendricks at CHendricks@AUAnet.org or visit the AUA State Advocacy website to see our new tracking map with the most up-to-date tracking information.

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