Legislative Issues - Health




(Click on the bill number to read the complete bill)

 Making Health a Priority in Kentucky

HB 265 – Biennial Budget (2012 GA):  No cuts to Medicaid. Institutes colon cancer screening for 2,000 uninsured Kyians. No cuts to Community Mental Health Centers; increase in funding to provide substance abuse services to 5,800 Medicaid recipients and a new program of supported housing and employment for 600 individuals with severe mental illness. Increased funding to hire more social workers in Child Protective Services and reduce caseloads. Some cuts to programs for aging and Dept. for Community Based Services. Funding for Adult Abuse Registry, expansion of KASPER program to monitor prescriptions for controlled substances.  Passed to Governor

Protecting Consumer Access to Health Care

Medicaid services and supports are now under managed care for 540,000 Kentuckians. Advocates are concerned about continuity of care at a minimum and for a strong role and voice for consumers and family members in the Medicaid system. Urge policymakers to assure that current levels of Medicaid coverage and services are maintained, particularly access to the most appropriate medications. Advocate for more transparency in reporting and data, spending on services and for patient protections. Several bills were filed which would have furthered these goals, but none were given more than a hearing without a vote in committee. A bill which would have imposed prescription copays for Medicaid members in managed care plans failed to pass.

HB 262 – Greer – Charge Medicaid members a co-pay for prescriptions to be used to subsidize pharmacy dispensing fees.  Passed House and also a Senate committee

HB 540 – Jenkins – Require MCOs to have a common formulary; to conduct P&T Committee meetings under Open Meetings law; report Prior Authorizations and their outcomes.  Hearing only.

HB 566 – Thompson – Require that Medicaid members have the patient protections as do Kentuckians covered under other insurance plans issued in the Commonwealth.  Hearings only.

SB 76 – Shaughnessy – Require transparency in Medicaid contracts and annual reporting by Medicaid MCOs to legislative committees.  No hearing.

Protecting the Wellbeing of Kentuckians

Legislation in this category was geared toward protection of children from abuse and neglect and creating oversight of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services in their actions in the wake of the death of a youngster in western Kentucky who was known to the Cabinet. These bills passed the House, but were not passed in the Senate. The second area of interest was in creating more protection for vulnerable adults. Even though no bills addressing adult abuse passed into law, an Adult Abuse Registry can be instituted by the Executive branch through regulation or by Executive Order of the Governor, and probably will, as there is funding in the budget for it. 

HB 200 – Westrom – Establish a Child Fatality Review Board separate from the Cabinet.  Passed House.

HB 237 – Westrom – Require front-line social workers employed by the Cabinet for Health & Family Services to be licensed by the Board of Social Work.   Passed House.

HB 250 – Rollins – Create a registry of all individuals for whom a charge of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of an adult has been substantiated.  Passed House.

HB 259 – Palumbo – Create an adult abuse registry…like HB 250.  Passed House.

HB 281 – Jenkins – Require high school coaches to receive training in recognizing concussions and head injuries; requires certain actions before athlete can return to play.  Passed to Governor

HB 416 – Marzian – Require reporting of Hospital Acquired Infections.  No hearing.

HB 467 – Combs – Create stroke response and treatment protocols, education, quality improvement. Amended to include Golden Alert D for individuals with traumatic brain injury or developmental disability.   Passed to Governor

HB 510 – Flood – Create oral health pilot program for nursing home residents. Bill failed in the Senate when language was amended to it which established a review panel before lawsuits could be filed against a nursing home.  Passed House.

HCR 38 – Jenkins – Establish a Task Force on Children Exposed to Domestic Violence.  Passed House

SB 35 – Buford – Prohibit nursing homes and LTC facilities from hiring anyone who has a conviction for drugs,  abuse, neglect, theft or exploitation of an adult or a sexual crime.  No hearing.

SB 37 – Harper Angel – Require nursing homes and LTC facilities to conduct a fingerprint check before hiring an individual.  No hearing.

SB 104 – Harper Angel – Create an adult abuse registry.  No hearing.

Improving the Health of Kentuckians

Another session passed without enacting legislation to address the need for increased physical activity in the schools or the use of the Body Mass Index (BMI) measurement. Legislation to establish a Colon Cancer Screening Program did not move in the House, but funding for the program was passed in the budget.  HB 225 to establish a 4-year pilot program of wellness for state employees has passed both chambers but concurrence has not yet been confirmed; it may still be acted on before the session adjourns. While legislation to establish a comprehensive statewide indoor smoking ban did not pass, it did receive approval by a House committee, the first time that has occurred.

HB 55 – Glenn – Establish a Colon Cancer Screening Program.  Bill did not move in the House, but funding for the program was passed in the budget.

HB 68 – Belcher – Childhood Obesity – Require data collection & physical activity for Ktg – Grade 5 of 90 minutes per week.  No hearing.

HB 225 – Richards – Establish a 4-year pilot program of wellness for state employees; measure outcomes and report back to the General Assembly  Passed both chambers; may still be acted on

HB 238 – Jenkins – Create a drop-off program for safe disposal of prescription drugs.  Passed House and also Senate committee.

HB 289 – Westrom – Comprehensive statewide indoor smoking ban.  Passed House committee.

HB 494 – Rollins – Establish physical activity requirements in schools.  No hearing.

HCR 29 – Graham – Establishes the KY Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights, encouraging use of parks and other outdoor areas; language softened by the Senate.  Passed to Governor

SB 39 – Harper Angel – Collect BMI on health prevention forms and submit data to Department of Education for analysis and recommendations.  No hearing.

SB 68 – Stein – Require scientifically-based, age-appropriate, medically correct information be provided to students in the area of sex education.  No hearing.

Implement the Affordable Care Act to the Fullest Extent Possible

Advocates want to take an active role in the development of health insurance exchanges to include private and public coverage and a comprehensive, consumer-friendly benefit package and structure. There was no legislative activity around the formation of the Exchange in Kentucky which will likely be created by Executive Order of the Governor.

Behavioral Health

The death of a resident of a Personal Care Home in Lebanon, KY generated legislation to address inappropriate placement in these facilities.  SB 115 will require evaluation of individuals before a placement can be made in a personal care home.

HB 313 – Marzian – Require Medicaid to reimburse the CMHCs at 100% of their costs in providing services to Medicaid recipients.  Passed House committee.

HB 307 – Mills – Require evaluation before individual is placed in a personal care home; specific screening for brain injury and prohibit placement if score is too low.  Passed House committee.

HB 485 – Rollins – Remove “mental retardation” from all statutes and regs.  Passed House.  Same as SB 212 – Stein – Passed Senate committee.

SB 115 – Higdon – Require evaluation before individual is placed in a personal care home; specific screening for brain injury and prohibit placement for individual under age 18  Passed to Governor

Substance Abuse

The rise of substance abuse in Kentucky was the focus of numerous pieces of legislation relating to controlling access to pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient in making meth, to banning access to other addictive substances, to regulating pain management clinics to eliminate “pill mills”, to controlling the prescribing of controlled substances and increasing the use of KASPER, the electronic monitoring system. There were also unsuccessful attempts to require mandatory drug testing of persons receiving public assistance or receiving vocational education and training.

The General Assembly passed SB 3, a compromise measure which allows some amounts of pseudoephedrine to be purchased without a prescription and requires a prescription beyond that amount. Liquid and gel pseudoephedrine will still be unregulated.  HB 4, a priority piece of legislation for Speaker Stumbo, now incorporates pain management clinic legislation from the Senate with legislation which places KASPER in the Attorney General’s office and directs the licensure board to set standards for increased use of KASPER for reporting and monitoring prescriptions for controlled substances. The legislation had not passed before the Veto Recess; it will be worked on in conference committee in order to try to pass a compromise piece of legislation on the last day of the session.

HB 26 – Napier – Require drug testing of persons receiving public assistance.  Hearing only.

SB 23 – Higdon – Require drug testing of individuals receiving vocational education.  No hearing

HB 79 – Belcher – Make pseudoephedrine available only by prescription.  No hearing.

SB 50 – Jensen – Same as Belcher bill.  Passed Senate.

HB 80 – Yonts – Ban purchase of pseudoephedrine by anyone convicted of a drug-related offense.  No hearing.

SB 79 – Rhoads – Same as Yonts bill.  No hearing.

SB 3 – Stivers – Compromise measure allows some amounts of pseudoephedrine to be purchased without a prescription; requires a prescription beyond that.  Passed to Governor

HB 106 – Steele – Prohibit possession of dextromethorphan.  No hearing.

HB 166 – Floyd – Prohibit pharmacy techs from distributing pseudoephedrine.  No hearing.

HB 218 – Meeks – Collect fees for criminal cases involving abuse; use fees to pay for treatment.  No hearing.

HB 251 – Mayfield – Prohibit payment of pain management services & prescriptions with cash.  No hearing

HB 481 – Tilley – Prohibit trafficking in or possession of “synthetic drugs”.  Passed to Governor

SB 2, 42 & SB 100 – Higdon – Places requirements on regulating pain management clinics.   No hearing.

SB 98 – Palmer – Places requirements on regulating pain management clinics.  No hearing.

HB 4 – Stumbo – Incorporated pain management clinic legislation with increased use of KASPER for reporting and monitoring prescriptions.  Will be worked on in conference committee on the last day of the session to try to pass a compromise piece of legislation.

Regulation of Healthcare Providers & Insurance Issues

The vast majority of bills to either create licensure for a provider group, modify licensure or scope of practice for a class of providers or to obtain insurance reimbursement for their services failed to pass in this session. Bills to require accreditation of Health Departments also failed.  SB 85, which would have permitted health care providers to charge $1/page for a copy of an individual’s medical records failed to pass. The legislature passed SB 114, which limits insurers in the private market from requiring “fail first” medication access procedures for policy-holders. 

HB 39 – Burch – Require accreditation of Health Departments (also HB 206 – J. Lee).  No hearing

HB 137 – Stacy – Create a board and license Radiology Professionals.  Passed to Governor

HB 150 – Coursey – Provide income tax credit for health care providers who give charitable care.  No hearing.

HB 202 - Sinnette – Health insurance coverage of chiropractic services.  Passed House

HB 247 – Marzian – Revisions to licensure statute for Professional Art Therapists.  Passed House

HB 335 – Jenkins – Move from certification to licensure for Alcohol & Drug Counselors.  Passed House committee

HB 349 – Thompson – Institute rules for pharmacy audits  Passed to Governor

HB 435 – Santoro – Create licensure for Anesthesiologist Assistants.  Passed House committee

HB 458 – Bell – Refine the definition of Ambulatory Surgical Centers. Passed to Governor

HB 512 - Marzian – Remove restrictions on APRN’s prescribing of noncontrolled substances.  Passed House.

SB 82 – Denton – Make revisions in board of LTC Administrators  Passed to Governor

SB 85 – Denton – Permit health care providers to charge $1/page for copy of medical records.  Passed Senate committee.

SB 96 – Buford – Allow Physician Assistants to prescribe controlled substances.  Hearing only

SB 114 – Denton – Limit insurers from requiring “fail first” medication access procedures; require prompt review and response to appeals and prior authorization.  Passed to Governor

SB 126 – Denton – Revisions to licensure statute for Social Workers.  Passed to Governor

SB 138 – Denton – Require Impact Plus providers to have the right to an administrative hearing.  Passed Senate.

SB 147 – Denton – Require Medicaid to contract directly with Impact Plus providers.  No hearing

SB 187 - Hornback – Same as HB 512.  No hearing.

SB 190 – Gibson – Defines role of physicians in overseeing APRN prescribing.  No hearing

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