Legislative

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Healthcare Legislation Moving Across the Gold Dome

The 2017 legislative session is coming to an end with only two more legislative days left. Below you will find some highlights from this week under the Gold Dome. CALENDAR Day 39 Tuesday, March 28 Day 40 Thursday, March 30 (Sine Die) FLOOR NOTES SB 52 – Sponsored by Sen. P.K. Martin (R-Lawrenceville), this bill would remove the sunset provision in current law, which allows licensed professional counselors to sign a 1013. SB 200 – This bill, authored by Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome), would provide for synchronizing patients’ chronic medications. SB 201 – Authored by Sen. Butch Miller (R-Gainesville), this piece of legislation would allow employees to use their sick leave for the care of immediate family members. It is known as the Family Care Act. SB 242 – Sponsored by Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford), this piece of legislation would provide for an exception to the number of advanced practice registered nurses with which a delegating physician can enter into a protocol agreement at any one time for nurses. Physicians may have no more than 10 protocol agreements at one time and may not supervise more than four APRNs at one time. The Senate Chamber also passed the following: HB 249 – Authored by Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville), this bill would change the frequency of [...]

March 24th, 2017|Legislative, News, Newsfront|

Healthcare Legislation Moving Across the Gold Dome – Weekly Report

Our associates at Frogue Clark Public Affairs have provided the following update on healthcare legislation moving across the Gold Dome: CALENDAR Day 36 Monday, March 20 Day 37 Wednesday, March 22 Day 38 Friday, March 24 Day 39 Tuesday, March 28 Day 40 Thursday, March 30 (Sine Die) FLOOR NOTES The House Chamber passed the following pieces of legislation this week: SB 96 – Sponsored by Sen. Ben Watson (R-Savannah), this piece of legislation would allow registered professional nurses, nurse practitioners or physician assistants to pronounce the death of patients in nursing homes even if the patient is an organ donor. SB 47 – Authored by Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome), this bill would provide for a licensure exemption for visiting sports teams’ physicians to allow for a teams’ physician, physician assistant or athletic trainer to administer services to their team. The physician would be prohibited from practicing at a health care clinic or health care facility, including an acute care facility, while traveling with the team. SB 103 – Authored by Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), this bill would authorize the Commissioner of Insurance to promulgate certain rules and regulations and to examine and investigate certain matters with regard to pharmacy benefits managers. It would also prohibit pharmacy benefits managers from requiring the use of mail-order [...]

March 17th, 2017|Gold Dome, Legislative, News, Newsfront|

Healthcare Legislation Moving Across the Gold Dome – Weekly Report

The Georgia General Assembly gaveled in for three days this week. While not many bills were heard on the House or Senate Floors, a multitude were taken up in committee. Below are some highlights from this week under the Gold Dome provided by our associates at Frogue Clark Public Affairs:   CALENDAR Day 32-35 Monday, March 13 – Thursday, March 16 Day 36 Monday, March 20 Day 37 Wednesday, March 22 Day 38 Friday, March 24 Day 39 Tuesday, March 28 Day 40 Thursday, March 30 (Sine Die)  FLOOR NOTES The Senate Chamber passed HB 127 this week. Sponsored by Rep. Richard Smith (R-Columbus), this bill would repeal certain obsolete provisions relative to nonprofit medical service corporations and nonprofit hospital service corporations as they relate to insurance (Chapter 18 and 19 in Georgia Code). The House Chamber also passed the following pieces of legislation this week: HR 170 – Authored by Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta), this resolution urges state agencies, medical service providers, health care agencies, research facilities, medical schools, and all interested parties to work towards increasing research, clinical care, and medical education for myalgic encephalomyelitis. SB 102 – Sponsored by Sen. Butch Miller (R-Gainesville), this bill would allow for the designation of emergency cardiac care centers and establish an Office of Cardiac Care [...]

March 10th, 2017|Legislative, News, Newsfront|

Healthcare Legislation Moving Across the Gold Dome – Weekly Report

Our associates at Frogue Clark Public Affairs have provided the following update on healthcare legislation moving across the Gold Dome: CALENDAR Day 28 Friday, March 3 (Crossover Day) Day 29 Monday, March 6 Day 30 - 31 Thursday March 9 - Friday, March 10 Day 32 - 35 Monday, March 13 – Thursday, March 16 Day 36 Monday, March 20 Day 37 Wednesday, March 22 Day 38 Friday, March 24 Day 39 Tuesday, March 28 Day 40 Thursday, March 30 (Sine Die)   The Senate Chamber passed the following bills this week: SB 81 – Authored by Senator Renee Unterman (R-Buford), this bill would allow the state health officer to issue a standing order to allow a licensed pharmacist to distribute Naloxone over the counter.  Additionally, the legislation would mandate that every pharmacy in Georgia keep a record of every opioid antagonist dispensed and would require reporting to the PDMP by July 1, 2018. Children with ADHD (and others) would be exempt from the regulations of this bill. Two amendments were adopted on the floor. The first would add language stating that “a private cause of action against a prescriber or dispenser cannot be created” (line 268). The second amendment deletes Sections 2-6, the felony and misdemeanor language. SB 103 – Authored by Sen. Jeff [...]

March 3rd, 2017|Gold Dome, Legislative, News, Newsfront|

Healthcare Legislation Moving Across the Gold Dome – Weekly Report

Our associates at Frogue Clark Public Affairs have provided the following update on healthcare legislation moving across the Gold Dome: CALENDAR Day 25-27 Monday, February 27 – Wednesday, March 1 Day 28 Friday, March 3 Day 29 Monday, March 6 Day 30-31 Thursday, March 9 – Friday, March 10 Day 32-35 Monday, March 13 – Thursday, March 16 Day 36 Monday, March 20 Day 37 Wednesday, March 22 Day 38 Friday, March 24 Day 39 Tuesday, March 28 Day 40 Thursday, March 30   FLOOR NOTES Senate Chamber The following pieces of legislation passed through the Senate Chamber this week: SB 50 – Authored by Sen. Hunter Hill (R-Atlanta), this piece of legislation would allow for direct primary care agreements between physicians and patients. These agreements would not be considered insurance. SB 71 – Authored by Sen. Jesse Stone (R-Waynesboro), this piece of legislation would add assets in health savings accounts and medical savings accounts to the list of property that is exempt from bankruptcy. SB 88 – Authored by Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), this piece of legislation relates to the regulation of narcotic treatment programs. SB 96 – Sponsored by Sen. Ben Watson (R-Savannah), this piece of legislation would allow registered professional nurses, nurse practitioners or physician assistants to pronounce the death of patients [...]

February 24th, 2017|Legislative, News, Newsfront|

Healthcare Legislation Moving Across the Gold Dome

Our associates at Frogue Clark Public Affairs have provided the following update on healthcare legislation moving across the Gold Dome: CALENDAR Day 21-24 Tuesday, February 21 – Friday, February 24 Day 25-27 Monday, February 27 – Wednesday, March 1 Day 28 Friday, March 3 Day 29 Monday, March 6 Day 30-31 Thursday, March 9 – Friday, March 10 Day 32-35 Monday, March 13 – Thursday, March 16 Day 36 Monday, March 20 Day 37 Wednesday, March 22 Day 38 Friday, March 24 Day 39 Tuesday, March 28 Day 40 Thursday, March 30   Governor Nathan Deal signed SB 70 in to law on Tuesday. Sponsored by Sen. Butch Miller (R-Gainesville), this piece of legislation renews the Hospital Provider Payment Program/Hospital Medicaid Financing Program and extends the program until June 30, 2020. The original law had a sunset date of June 30, 2017. On Wednesday, he signed HB 43, the $24.3 billion dollar Amended FY2017 Budget that included much needed funding for nursing home surveyors at DCH. SB 41 – Authored by Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford), this piece of legislation would provide for the licensure of durable medical equipment suppliers. The following persons and entities shall be exempt from the requirements (unless any such person or entity has a separate company that is in the business [...]

February 17th, 2017|Gold Dome, Legislative, News, Newsfront|

Latest Executive Order

As reported by AHCA/NCAL: Yesterday, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) on Reducing and Controlling Regulatory Costs. As of yet, there is not a full and complete understanding as to how all aspects of this order will be implemented. An initial analysis and understanding is below. AHCA will continue to provide updates on the implementation of this EO as details are available. The EO's stated purpose was to help manage the costs associated with federal regulations. Toward that end, the EO states: "for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination, and that the cost of planned regulations be prudently managed and controlled through a budgeting process." While described as a fulfillment of President Trump's "2-for-1" campaign promise, this EO also includes additional regulatory restrictions that are likely to affect agency and department planning. These include: No regulations may be PROPOSED, without inclusion of a regulatory "pay-for" that eliminates 2 existing regulations and offsets the cost of the new rule. This means that at the earliest stage, agencies and departments will have to account for how they will meet the 2-for-1 requirement and how a rule will result (with the accompanying rule-eliminations) in AT LEAST zero economic cost. It appears that a rule's benefits will not factor into these [...]

February 2nd, 2017|Legislative, News, Newsfront|

House Governmental Affairs Committee Holds Hearing on CON Repeal Bill, GHCA Testifies

The House Governmental Affairs Committee held a special hearing this Tuesday on HB 1055.  This bill, authored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Wendell Willard (R-Sandy Springs), calls for a complete repeal of Georgia’s certificate of need program. This was a “hearing only” committee meeting and no vote was scheduled to take place. The committee heard from nearly 20 parties testifying both for and against the bill. GHCA President and CEO Tony Marshall joined numerous hospital and provider groups asking the committee to protect and retain Georgia’s certificate of need program. Click here to view footage of the entire committee hearing. GHCA’s testimony begins at the 4 hour, 49 minute mark. Despite there being no action taken on Tuesday, Chairman Willard assured the committee that there will be a CON repeal or reform bill forthcoming in the 2017 legislative session. While a full repeal is highly unlikely, GHCA staff and leadership will continue to be active participants in all negotiations to ensure long term care is not adversely affected by this legislation.

December 1st, 2016|Legislative, News, Newsfront|

Long Term/Post-Acute Care and Assisted Living Sectors Applaud Nomination of Chairman Price as HHS Secretary, Seema Verma to Lead CMS

As reported by AHCA/NCAL: The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) today issued the following statements regarding President-elect Trump’s nomination of House Budget Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). Statement of Mark Parkinson, President & CEO, AHCA/NCAL “Chairman Price is known throughout the country not only for his medical expertise, but also his breadth of policy when it comes to the nation’s health care system. He is a champion of forward-thinking ideas that improve lives and deliver solutions, and our profession looks forward to working with him upon his confirmation.” Statement of Neil L. Pruitt, Jr., Chairman and CEO, PruittHealth and former AHCA Board Chairman “Chairman Price has long been a strong advocate for the post-acute care community. We are excited that President-elect Trump has selected a Georgian who could not be more qualified, and respected, to be HHS Secretary. We look forward to working closely with him in his new capacity on addressing the health care challenges that face this country. Chairman Price’s vision of how health care can be transformed, to benefit all Americans, is one every provider can support.” Statement of Doug Burr, Chairman of Georgia Health Care Association Reimbursement Committee “Rep. Price has been a great friend to post-acute and long term care [...]

November 29th, 2016|Legislative, News, Newsfront|

Legislative Updates, Week of November 14 – 18

GHCA Staff and Leadership Engage Senate Health Leaders on Session Priorities With preparations for the 2017 legislative session in full swing, GHCA staff enjoyed extended, one-on-one visits with both Senate Health Chairman Renee Unterman and Senate Appropriations Chairman Dr. Dean Burke.  In both meetings, GHCA made clear our legislative priorities for the upcoming session:  1) secure new lines of funding in the FY2018 budget, 2) protect the integrity of Georgia’s current certificate of need program, and 3) maintain the current provider fee structure utilized by our members. Georgia Chamber Holds its Annual Fall Government Affairs Council Conference GHCA and PruittHealth were both represented at the annual pre-session gathering of the Georgia Chamber’s Government Affairs Council. Healthcare was a principal topic of discussion, highlighted by a panel discussion regarding Medicaid expansion and rural health access. Governor Deal Chief of Staff Chris Riley, Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert, and House Majority Leader Jon Burns were among the presenters at the Council meeting. Near the conclusion of the event, the Chamber hosted over 20 of the newly-elected House and Senate members who will be sworn in this January. GHCA Hosts Reception for Lt. Governor Casey Cagle Following the November Board Meeting GHCA Board members and staff hosted Lt. Governor Cagle for a reception in support of Cagle’s Political [...]

November 17th, 2016|Legislative, News, Newsfront|