HB 153 requires the state court to adopt the Daubert standard for expert witness testimony. Daubert requires that the opinion is actually reliable as opposed to the current standard that the opinion is generally accepted in the scientific community. The Daubert standard is the superior of the two regarding the admission of expert testimony in order to make sure experts are giving proper testimony. The Senate approved the measure and it is headed to the Governor’s desk.
House bill 529 (sponsored by Dr. Frederick) originally would have prohibited a hospital from not hiring someone because they were not board certified. We feel board certification is important and believe the hospital should have the choice, which would still allow more rural hospitals to do what they needed to do to adequately staff their EDs. This bill received a lot of pushback by MOCEP and other medical societies. Due to this the bill was changed. It now just states that the State cannot require the hospital to require that physicians be board certified and participate in maintenance of certification. This is basically what the law already says and leaves it up to the hospital to determine if they want their physicians to maintain board certification.
Several important bills regarding EMS were filed in the last few weeks.
Interstate Compact – HB100 – the compact is to facilitate the exchange of information between members states regarding EMS personnel licensure, adverse actions, and significant investigatory information.
Reporting requirement –HB1137 – This bill specifies that a law enforcement officer, paramedic, emergency services personnel, or other first responder who administers an emergency opioid antagonist to an individual shall report such use of the emergency opioid antagonist to the police or sheriff’s department in the appropriate jurisdiction, and such police or sheriff’s department shall produce and provide a police report to the appropriate prosecutor in order to supply such department with information that may support a charge for illegal possession of drugs and use of drugs or drug paraphernalia. Not sure anyone will call 911 if they know this is the consequence. In addition, this would require them to call ANYTIME they administer naloxone, whether it had anything to do with illicit drug abuse or not. Lastly, this would be unlikely to improve or current opioid epidemic or cause people to stop using opioids, just to have them stop calling for help. This is a bad bill.
In addition there was a bill introduced about 911. The Senate Transportation Committee voted out AND reported in Senator Wallingford’s 911 legislation on Thursday (SB233). This means the bill is on the Senate Debate Calendar, however it is possibly too far down to reach. Please click on the link for more information.
The Line of Duty Death benefit legislation was voted out of the Senate Transportation and Public Safety Committee last week. The House version was passed out of Rules. Why are we letting everyone know about this? In addition to hopefully supporting other public servants, it would also apply to our colleagues in EMS should something unfortunate occur to them while at work.
The House version (which we support) was voted out of Rules and is on the House Debate Calendar. I expect this bill to be passed by the House and sent to the Senate prior to spring break. Once it gets over to the Senate, they will start to debate. The House version is very similar to the Senate version that we like.
This week, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced the “Health Care Safety Net and Enhancement Act” (S. 527) as a companion to the House bill (H.R. 548) sponsored by Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA). The legislation addresses the growing crisis in access to emergency care by providing emergency and on-call physicians who perform EMTALA-related services with temporary protections under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
Senator Blunt had previously introduced similar legislation. For his support of emergency medicine, ACEP supported Senator Blunt in his re-election bid last year. Representatives from MOCEP and ACEP will be discussing this legislation when they visit members of the House and Senate at LAC later this month.
House Bill 961, was heard in the House Health and Mental Health committee. This bill delays a person from qualifying for Medicaid for 6 months after they become a resident. This would of course lead to higher uninsured, which then would lead to more no pay ED visits. Our lobbyist testified against this bill.
SB 383 was discussed in the Senate Insurance and Banking Committee’s hearing. Currently any defendant responsible for 51% of a claim would be responsible for the entire sum if the co-defendent couldn’t pay. This bill would change that to make the damages much more proportional to the degree that the defendant is at fault.
The Senate gave first round approval to SB 74. This is Dr. Schaaf’s version of the PDMP. MOCEP along with other medical societies does not believe that this is a good bill. It likely would not allow us access to any useful information in real time in the emergency department. It is also unclear that it could be implemented successfully. It would also restrict cities and counties from developing their own programs. SB 314 (HB 90) is on the calendar to be debated. This is the version of the PDMP that we endorse. Please contact your Senators to make sure the good version gets through.