Last week, the legislative session ended. Overall, we had a lot of success. Here are relevant bills that passed and failed.
Expert Witness Reform (HB 153) – This bill made it to the Governor’s desk early in session, and it has already been signed into law. It requires the state courts to shed the antiquated Frye standard for the admission of expert testimony in favor of the more widely accepted Daubert standard. The new standard requires a judge to determine not only if the testimony is widely accepted in the scientific community (where Frye ends), but also whether it is, in fact, reliable. A majority of the state and the federal courts have already accepted the Daubert standard.
Collateral Source (SB 31) – This bill changes the way damages are calculated in medical malpractice cases. Instead of being able to introduce evidence based on the amount that was billed, damages will now be restricted to what was actually paid
Advanced Directive Registry (SB 50) – This bill requires the Department of Health to establish a statewide database for the collection of advanced directives. Once operational, authorized physicians will be able to access the database when needed to further patient care.
Epipen Protocol (SB 139) – This bill allows certain entities, such as restaurants and amusement parks, to stock a supply of Epipens under a physician’s protocol.
Statewide Narcan Protocol (SB 501) – This language allows the director of the Department of Health, if they are a physician, to establish a statewide protocol for Narcan, making it easier to access the overdose antagonist.
Overdose Good Samaritan (SB 501) – This bill allows limited immunity from prosecution for any person, who in good faith, seeks medical assistance for themselves or another person experiencing an overdose.
Medical Student Burnout (SB 52) – The language of this bill creates a committee that will work with medical schools to research the prevalence and concerns surrounding medical student burnout and depression, and develop protocols to minimize the risk of suicide. If a study is undertaken, it must be submitted to the General Assembly and made available on medical school websites.
THOSE THAT DIDN’T PASS…NOT ALWAYS A BAD THING
PDMP – Yeah, the good version didn’t pass, again, but neither did the bad version
APRN Schedule II – This bill would have allowed advanced practice registered nurses to prescribe Schedule II controlled substances.
Helmet Repeal – This bill would have repealed the state’s motorcycle helmet requirement.
CDC Prescribing Guidelines – This attempt would have required physicians to abide by the Centers for Disease Control’s Prescribing Guidelines for opioids.
Predetermination of Benefits – This bill would have required insurance companies to respond in real time to patient requests for cost sharing information prior to the service being provided.
MOC/MOL – This bill would have restricted insurance companies and hospitals from considering maintenance of certification and maintenance of licensure in creating networks or staff privileges.
Texting While Driving – This bill would have included texting while driving to the criminal distracted driving law.