The Senate and House bills were all voted out of committee last week. We have been pushing for the physician reviewing the chart to be board certified in emergency medicine. While we’ve been very successful with other key language in the bill, we are not sure if this part will make it through to the final version of the bill. It may get diluted to a board certified physician practicing in emergency medicine. Of course, we’ll still push for board certified in emergency medicine as long as we can. Senator Schupp has added some balance billing language into the bill. It would eliminate surprise billing but payment would be made directly to providers. Additionally, insurance payments would be based on specific benchmarks. There would also be an avenue for mediation. We are continuing to work on this as well.
Additionally, HB 2718 was also submitted which basically prohibits out of network providers from billing patients if they went to an in network facility. The sponsor is really just trying to look out for patients. Unfortunately, this is a bad bill and we’re going to fight against it. ACEP is working at a federal level on a bill that would hopefully fix this.
The EMS omnibus bill continues to make progress. Its main purpose would be to prevent law enforcement from trying to make EMS draw blood for legal reasons if that is not something in their protocols.
HB 2384 would hopefully increase resources for mental health. It would require insurance companies to provide equivalent benefits for mental and physical illnesses.
Opioid legislation is also being discussed. Current bills would limit opioid prescribing for acute painful conditions to 7 days. It also includes language for take back program and removes pain control as a factor for patient satisfaction scores. There is also opioid CME language which we definitely will be pushing against.