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Current State Legislation

The following are legislation proposed in the House and Senate that MCA is actively monitoring for their impact on home, hospice and/or palliative care.

HB24: LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES (COMBS C) To provide notice to a long-term care facility when a Tier III or similar category sex offender/child-victim offender indicates intent to reside in the facility or registers an address within the specified notification area. 

Status: 6/22/2011 - REPORTED OUT, House Criminal Justice, (Fifth Hearing).

Comments: Moved to the House floor. We are monitoring this bill due to our providers’ involvement and relations with nursing facilities.  No action since last report.

HB62: ASSAULT OF HEALTH CARE WORKERS (GONZALES A) To increase the penalty for assault when the victim is a health care worker engaged in the performance of official duties whom the offender knows is a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse.

Status:           11/16/2011 - Senate Judiciary, First Hearing.

11/29/2011 - Senate Judiciary, Second Hearing.

Comments: Related legislation, SB 111. Senate is working with HB 62 as the vehicle for this legislation at this time.  Monitoring issues related to definition of facility and scope of the environment that would be impacted by this legislation as well as the types of disciplines covered by the bill.  Since the last report, the bill has had two hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee, including sponsor testimony as well as multiple proponent testimonies urging more protections for medical workers from assault.

HB93: PRESCRIPTION DRUGS (BURKE D, JOHNSON T) To establish and modify the prevention of prescription drug abuse, development of information programs by the State Medical Board, and Medicaid coverage of prescription drugs.

Status:           5/20/2011 - SIGNED BY GOVERNOR; Effective 5/20/2011 - some sections 6/19/2011.

Comments: Medical Board has passed proposed rules regarding pain clinics.  OARRS rules were heard by JCARR and will take effect later this month.  MCA still expects rules related to Intractable Pain (name will change to Chronic Pain) from the Medical Board related to changes in HB 153, Budget Bill.

HB 284: PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT SCOPE OF PRACTICE (Gonzales, A., Letson, T.) Modifies services that a physician assistant (PA) may provide as well as authorizes a PA to issue a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order and authorizes a PA to determine and pronounce death in specified locations and circumstances.

Status:           11/16/2011 - House Health and Aging, (Third Hearing)

Comments: Monitoring. 

SB83: ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSE PRESCRIBE DRUGS (OELSLAGER S) To modify the authority of certain advanced practice nurses to prescribe schedule II controlled substances.

Status:           Passed the Senate, moved to the House

9/21/2011 - House Health and Aging, (Second Hearing).

Comments: MCA continues to support the intent of this legislation.  The current bill limits the scope of the environment which an APN would have enhanced prescribing parameters. Hospice is one of the areas where the APN can work with less restriction however it may not cover APNs working in palliative care programs that work under a hospice program.

NURSING FACILITY BONUSES (JONES S) Regarding quality incentive payments and quality bonuses paid to nursing facilities under the Medicaid program.

Status:           12/13/2011 - House Finance, (Scheduled Second Hearing)

12/06/2011 - House Finance, (First Hearing)

11/30/2011 - PASSED BY SENATE; Vote 31-0
11/30/2011 - Bills for Third Consideration
11/30/2011 - REPORTED OUT AS AMENDED, Senate Finance, (Second Hearing)
11/29/2011 - Referred to Committee Senate Finance
11/29/2011 - Senate Finance, (First Hearing)
11/28/2011 - Introduced

Comments: Monitoring. Legislation as passed by the Senate includes Hospice payment within the $16.44 quality payment incentive. See article in December Pulse.