Lawmakers decide fate of key health care bills on session’s final day
Georgia’s 2018 General Assembly concluded yesterday, Thursday, March 29.
The outcome of some of the Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) legislative priorities included…
Lawmakers passed a MAG priority bill (H.B. 673) that will make it illegal for drivers to use a cell phone on anything other than a hands-free basis – with escalating fines and “points” for multiple violations. This was one of MAG's top priorities for the 2018 legislative session.
Despite a strong and multi-stakeholder grassroots effort, lawmakers did not pass a bill (H.B. 314) that MAG supported that would have addressed “surprise medical bills.” MAG will continue to work with legislators to develop this kind of comprehensive pro-patient and physician solution for surprise medical bills. Lawmakers also did not pass S.B. 8, which was surprise medical bill legislation that MAG opposed.
MAG played a key role in fending off a last-ditch effort to pass legislation (S.B. 351) that would have increased the number of APRNs a physician can oversee under a protocol agreement at one time from four to eight and allowed physicians to delegate the ordering of radiographic images to APRNs. In its original form, this bill would have allowed APRNs to practice independently in rural counties in Georgia.
Lawmakers passed a resolution (H.R. 1194) that will establish a House Study Committee to evaluate health insurer policies to review claims on a retrospective basis – like the one that Anthem/Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia now has in place for out-of-network ER care.
And in a close vote, lawmakers did not pass a bill (H.B. 519) that would have would have added four exemptions to the state’s step therapy statute. Pro-patient and physician legislators made a number of attempts to reduce the step therapy burden in the state in several bills during this year’s session.
Finally, it is worth noting that MAG was a leading advocate for securing state budget funds to improve Georgia’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.
MAG will include a comprehensive summary of the key bills that were considered during the 2018 legislative session in the e-News from MAG newsletter that will be distributed next Monday, April 2.
Contact MAG Government Relations Director Derek Norton at email@example.com or 404.274.4210 with questions related to the legislative session.