This week’s legislative highlights
Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta) introduced H.B. 360, a measure that would allow antibiotic drugs to be prescribed or dispensed to the sexual partner or partners of a patient who is diagnosed with chlamydia or gonorrhea without conducting a physical examination of them. MAG supports this legislation, which has been assigned to the House Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee.
Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford) introduced the ‘Nurse Licensure Compact’ (S.B. 166), which would create an interstate licensure compact for nurses who meet certain qualifications and who have not been convicted of certain crimes. MAG is analyzing this legislation, which is in the Senate HHS Committee. It is also worth noting that Rep Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta) has introduced a similar bill (H.B. 402) in the House.
The House HHS Committee passed a maintenance of certification (MOC) bill (H.B. 165) that would prevent the state’s Medical Practice Act from being used to require MOC as a condition of licensure or to be employed by a state medical facility or for the purposes of licensure, insurance panels, or malpractice insurance. This is one of MAG’s legislative priorities for 2017. The measure is now eligible for a vote by the full House.
Rep. John Carson (R-Marietta) introduced H.R. 282, a resolution that would create a House study committee on distracted driving – keeping in mind that MAG has been promoting one of its priority patient safety bills (H.B. 163) during this year’s legislative session, a measure that would require drivers who make phone calls while operating a motor vehicle to do so on a hands-free basis. H.B. 163 has not yet been heard by a committee. MAG will ask to be included in any H.R. 282 study committee, which would meet during the summer months.
Finally, the Senate is expected to vote on several measures next Tuesday that could have significant implications for physicians. This includes…
– A bill (S.B. 50) by Sen. Hunter Hill (R-Atlanta) that would allow physicians to enter into direct primary care agreements without being subject to insurance regulations. MAG supports this legislation.
– A bill (S.B. 106) by Sen. Greg Kirk (R-Americus) that would allow certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) to practice in a pain clinic without direct supervision. MAG opposes this legislation.
– A bill (S.B. 125) by Sen. Rick Jeffares (R-McDonough) that would allow a PA to write five-day hydrocodone prescriptions if the supervising physician includes this authority in the PA’s written job description. MAG is neutral on this legislation.