Key health care bills begin to work though legislative process
A number of key health care bills began to work their way through the legislative process this week, as…
Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome) introduced legislation (S.B. 56) that would 1) result in greater transparency for elective procedures and 2) establish a patient/physician mediation process for bills that are related to “unexpected events” that take place during elective medical procedures and 3) establish a standard physician payment model for out-of-network emergency care – the 80th percentile of the independent/neutral ‘FAIR Health’ database. MAG supports this legislation, which would put an end to surprise medical bills. It has been assigned to the Senate Insurance Committee.
Rep. John LaHood (R-Valdosta) introduced H.B. 112, which would prohibit the sale of drug products that contain dextromethorphan to minors. MAG supports this bill, which has been assigned to the House Juvenile Justice Committee.
Rep. Deborah Silcox (R-Sandy Springs) introduced a bill (H.B. 128) that would exempt “low” payments under high-low agreements in medical malpractice agreements from the requirement to report settlements to the Georgia Composite Medical Board (GCMB). MAG supports this bill, which has been referred to the House Insurance Committee.
Rep. Silcox also introduced H.B. 166, which would create a licensure requirement for genetic counselors under GCMB. MAG supports this legislation, which has been assigned to the House Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee.
The Senate HHS Committee passed a bill (S.B. 16) by Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick, M.D. (R-Marietta) that would clear the way for Georgia to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact – making it easier for physicians to obtain licenses in other participating states. MAG supports this legislation, which will now go to the Senate Rules Committee.
The House HHS Committee passed a bill (S.B. 62) by Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta) that would require health care facilities to notify a patient whenever dense breast tissue is detected in a mammogram. The bill includes specific language that must be included in the notification. MAG is watching this legislation, which now goes to the House Rules Committee.
Rep. Katie Dempsey (R-Rome) introduced a bill (H.B. 160) that would extend the bariatric surgery pilot program for State Health Benefit Plan enrollees until 2024. MAG supports this legislation, which has been assigned to the House HHS Committee.
The House Insurance Committee got an update on automobile insurance trends in Georgia since the state’s “hands-free” law went into effect in the middle of 2018. Robert Hartwig, Ph.D., an insurance expert from the University of South Carolina, told lawmakers that a number of key metrics – including bodily injuries, property damage, and fatalities – are all down since the law went into effect. The law made it illegal for anyone who is driving in the state to use a cell phone on anything other than a hands-free basis.