Last year the legislature passed a bill that stated the Board of Healing Arts could not condition a physicians licensure renewal on their board certification maintenance standing. This year, Representative Doc Frederick introduced House bill 529 that goes one step further. It precludes a hospital and other employers from making as a condition of such employment or privileges a physicians maintenance of board certification. This received strong pushback and now the bill will simply state that no state law can require a hospital to require maintenance of board certification to remain in good standing with the hospital or other employer. We believe this leaves the law essentially where it is today, allowing hospitals and employers to set their own requirements. This bill was heard last week.
MOCEP’s lobbyist testified in opposition to two helmet bills. The first was diminishing the violation to a secondary offense, similar to the seat belt law. The House General Laws Committee will vote this version out on Tuesday. Another bill simply repeals the requirement to wear a helmet. This one is not yet scheduled for a vote.
In his budget, the Governor has included a cut to Medicaid rates. There may be a 3% cut to providers but the good news is that it appears this won’t apply to emergency departments. All this will have to continued to be watched as the legislature reviews his budget proposal.
SB 200 establishes a better standard for the admissibility of expert testimony than our state courts presently apply. It is now on the floor calendar. Also Wednesday morning in that same committee, MSMA offered testimony in favor of HB 95, which has already crossed the rotunda. This is the collateral source bill that allows plaintiffs to offer evidence of the actual cost of healthcare rather than its value when computing civil damages.
The “Health Care Safety Net Enhancement Act” (H.R. 548) recently re-introduced by Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) is gaining support in the House. The ACEP-supported bill 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.
The Missouri legislature is off to a fast start. Bills of interest include
- Prescription drug monitoring: 2 bills are in the works. We again support the version by Rep. Rehder and Sen. Schatz. The version by Sen. Schaaf would be ineffective and it is highly questionable that it would form a usable monitoring system for Emergency Physicians.
- Tort reform: Multiple bills in the works. One increases the expert witness testimony to the Daubert standard. It helps to ensure that only true experts can testify. Collateral source legislation is also working through the legislature. Changes healthcare services from being admitted at their value to the actual cost that patients paid for the service, which is likely less than the original value.
- Opioid guidelines bill: This may sound like a good thing but it is probably not. Another bad bill introduced by Sen Schaaf. It would discipline physicians for not following the CDC opioid prescribing guidelines. However, it does not say what this means, how it would be done, and who would do it. In addition, the guidelines don’t exactly apply to emergency medicine and recommend using a PDMP, which we don’t have.
- Helmet bill: It is placed on the ballot every year. We have the same opinion as always, helmets save lives.
Many more bills of interest are also working their way through. For more information follow the discussion forum or our Facebook or Twitter accounts.
Drowning #1 Cause For Unintentional Injury Death For Kids 1 to 4 Years Of Age
WASHINGTON ¾ Summer is here, which means millions of people hit the pools, beaches and lakes to cool off and take in the sun. The nation’s emergency physicians strongly advise all parents and guardians to get their children familiar with water ¾ specifically teaching them to swim safely as early as possible.
“It only takes a few seconds and a few inches of water for a child to drown,” said Dr. Jay Kaplan, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians. “While it’s impossible to predict and prevent every scenario, you can take steps to protect kids, stay safe and still enjoy the water.”
For all EMS medical directors, please see HB 2665 that was recently introduced.