and protect the rights of parents and prospective parents who are blind. SB 343 prohibits a parent’s blindness from serving as a basis for denial or restriction of legal custody, residency or parenting time in actions brought under the Kansas Parentage Act or law related to the dissolution of marriage. The bill requires clear and convincing evidence that the parent’s blindness is not in the best interest of the child and provides an opportunity to present evidence that, with the implementation of supportive parenting services, placement with such parent is in the best interests of the child. The bill also provides that an individual’s blindness does not serve as the basis for the denial or restriction of licensure as a family foster home. In addition, the bill provides that in any action brought under the Revised Kansas Code for Care of Children, an individual’s blindness does not serve as the basis for an order of temporary custody, adjudication, disposition, finding of unfitness, or termination of parental rights and requires the court, if it issues such an adverse order, to make specific findings of fact stating the basis for its decision, including reasons why the provision of supportive parenting services is not a reasonable preventative accommodation.
Senate Sub. for HB 2495, signed by the Governor on May 12, created and amended law related to fingerprinting, surveillance, and search warrants in criminal law cases, but also amended law governing the disclosure of Child In Need of Care (CINC) information to law enforcement agencies. The bill requires the secretary of the Department for Children and Families (DCF) to disclose confidential agency records of a child alleged or adjudicated to be a child in need of care to the law enforcement agency investigating the alleged or substantiated report or investigation of abuse or neglect, regardless of the disposition of such report or investigation. The bill specifies the types of records that must be included, such as the name and contact information of the reporter or persons alleging abuse or neglect and the case managers, investigators or contracting agency employees assigned to or investigating abuse or neglect reports, and states that the investigating law enforcement agencies shall also have access to the official and social files of CINC proceedings.
Senate Sub. for HB 2567, signed by Gov. Kelly on May 16, which makes appropriations for the Kansas State Department of Education for Fiscal Years (FYs) 2022 through 2024, also includes a provision requiring Kansas State High School Activities Association board members, officers, and employees to be mandatory reporters of child abuse or neglect.
SB 12 would have required DCF to collaborate with community partners and stakeholders to jointly develop a plan for implementation of performance-based contracts by January 31, 2023, to provide an array of evidence-based prevention and early intervention services for families at risk for out-of-home placement, families that have a child in out-of-home care, and children awaiting adoption. It was passed by both chambers but died in conference committee. However, legislators later inserted similar provisions into HB 2510, the Omnibus budget bill signed by the Governor on May 16 for FYs 2023 and 2024. Under HB 2510, services required to be delivered must be described in such a way that providers have the ability to provide adequate, appropriate and relevant evidence-based services to individual families. The law also requires outcome measures that will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of provider performance under such contracts and requires procedures for how families will be referred to contracted providers, including the protocols for continued communication or coordination between providers and the agency to assure child safety and wellbeing and to promote such family’s engagement and the optimum balance of shared responsibility for child protection and child welfare between the agency and such providers, including a description of the core functions to be performed by each.
House Sub. for Sub. for SB 267, the Mega budget bill signed by Gov. Kelly on April 19, provides $7.5 million in State General Funds (SGF) for workforce and retention incentives for child placing agencies and licensed facilities, including qualified residential treatment programs.
House Sub. for Sub. for SB 267 provides $3.5 million, including $1.4 million SGF, to increase the availability of adult dental services provided through KanCare; $2.9 million, including $886,200 SGF, to raise provider reimbursement rates for pediatric primary care services; $12.5 million, including $5 million SGF, to provide a 4.0 percent reimbursement rate increase for behavioral health services; and $10.5 million, including $4.2 million SGF, to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage to 12 months.
HB 2387, introduced in 2021 related to the operation of aircraft, was vetoed by Gov. Kelly on May 13, after it was amended in conference committee and passed to prohibit any state agency, including the governor, from issuing a request for proposal for the administration and provision of benefits under the medical assistance program (KanCare); or enter into any new contract with managed care organizations for the administration and provision of benefits under the program prior to January 31, 2023. The bill also requires, except to the extent prohibited by federal law, the secretary of KDHE to administer medical assistance benefits using managed care entities. These provisions expire on January 31, 2023. In addition, the bill limits the governor’s authority and power under KEMA or any other law related to the sale, ownership or other transactions regarding firearms or ammunition. The bill also states the governor shall not have the power or authority under KEMA or any other law to prohibit attending or conducting any religious service or worship service in a church, synagogue, or place of worship. The Governor’s veto was overridden on May 23.
HB 2675, which was introduced in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee in early February but received no hearing, would have created the Kansas Innovative Solutions Affordable Healthcare Act and required the secretary of KDHE to submit a request to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide medical assistance eligibility to individuals with modified adjusted gross income that does not exceed 138 percent of the federal poverty level, consistent with the terms of Medicaid expansion under the federal Affordable Care Act. The bill also would have required KDHE to refer unemployed adults seeking coverage under the act to the KANSASWORKS program and directed the secretary of Commerce to certify to KDHE that the referred individuals were complying with this requirement and to track their employment outcomes and progress toward employment. The bill also provided for termination of the coverage over a 12-month period if the federal medical assistance percentage dropped below 90 percent.
Licensing & Scope of Practice
Legislators worked several bills focused on the scope of practice for pharmacists, occupational therapists, advanced practice registered nurses, the training of unlicensed employees in adult care homes, and the practice of heath care professionals working in adult care homes.
SB 200, signed by the Governor on April 18, expands a pharmacist’s scope of practice to include point-of-care testing and treatment of influenza, strep throat, or urinary tract infection, pursuant to a statewide protocol adopted by the Collaborative Drug Therapy Management Advisory Committee. The bill also amends the provisions of the Prescription Monitoring Program Act (Program Act) to add to the list of information a dispenser may submit to the Prescription Monitoring Program (K-TRACS), amends the list of individuals who may request and receive data from K-TRACS, amends how data is stored outside of K-TRACS, and adds one member to the K-TRACS Advisory Committee for a total of 10 members.