With the start of the 2019 Kansas legislative session, Kansas Health Institute (KHI) staff will prepare a brief summary of the highlights of each week of the session, with a specific focus on the activities of committees addressing health policy related issues. Sign up here to receive these summaries and more, and also follow KHI on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Previous editions of Health at the Capitol can be found on our ARCHIVE PAGE.
There was a little residual committee work this week but legislators in both chambers primarily were focused on the budget, school finance and a few other bills as they head toward First Adjournment on April 5. Conference committees will meet Monday through Wednesday of next week.
On March 25, Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed SB 22, the tax bill passed by the Legislature on March 19, which lowered taxes for some corporations and individuals, but also included a 1.0 percent tax reduction on certain food purchases, and provisions authorizing states and localities to collect sales and compensating use taxes on certain transactions made through out-of-state retailers.
On March 27, the Senate Republican leadership agreed to a request from Sen. Gene Suellentrop, chair of the Public Health and Welfare Committee, to schedule an interim committee study of the effects of Medicaid expansion. The study would begin after sine die and would, in effect, delay action on expansion until 2020.
On March 27, the House-Senate conference committee began work on a consolidated Mega budget bill to be considered by the full Legislature next week.
Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee
(Sen. Gene Suellentrop, Chair)
On March 25, the committee met and passed out favorably SB 231, as amended, which would require all moneys received by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) from drug rebates for Medicaid enrollees to be deposited in the State General Fund (SGF) and the amount included in the monthly SGF reports published by the Legislative Research Department.
The committee resumed its hearing on SB 234, which would require electronic prescriptions for controlled substances in schedule II – IV. An amendment to require e-prescriptions for all controlled substances was opposed by conferees but a second one to include controlled substances in schedule II – V instead of II – IV was adopted and the bill passed out favorably as amended.
Senate Ways and Means Committee
(Sen. Carolyn McGinn, Chair)
On March 26, the committee held a confirmation hearing for Laura Howard as Secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) and the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF). Ms. Howard introduced herself and addressed a few of her key priorities, including stabilizing the child welfare system, focusing on prevention, modernizing disability services, addressing workforce challenges, developing a plan for increasing mental health bed capacity and evaluating privatized child welfare providers. Committee members asked questions related to improvements which could be made for working with the Legislature, the challenges and advantages of leading both agencies, increasing communication at the local level, improving the vetting process for contracts, key metrics to measure for each agency, reducing the number of children going into foster care, and looking at best practices or effective programs in other states that might work in Kansas. The committee voted unanimously to recommend Howard be confirmed as Secretary for both KDADS and DCF.
Action on Bills We’re Watching
HB 2041 would amend a provision in the unfair trade practices law to add the refusal to insure or limiting of life insurance coverage to an individual, solely because of that individual’s status as a living organ donor, to the list of unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the business of insurance. Referred to Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance on March 25.
HB 2054, as amended, would amend several health insurance provisions in the Insurance Code related to the regulation of association health plans (AHPs) and small employer plans. The bill also created the Small Employer Health Insurance Availability Act (Act) by designating certain statutes to be known as the Act. The bill passed out of the House as amended on March 26 and was received by the Senate. (Note: A U.S. district court judge for the District of Columbia issued an opinion on March 28 that the Final Rule related to association health plans issued by the Trump administration in 2018 “exceeds the statutory authority delegated by Congress in ERISA” and the Final Rule’s provisions defining employers for purposes of determining membership in AHPs “are unlawful and must be set aside.” It is likely that the administration will appeal the ruling.)
HB 2082, as amended, would amend the Pharmacy Act of the State of Kansas by permitting a licensed pharmacist to administer a drug by injection that, in the judgment of the prescriber, could safely be self-administered by a patient, to a patient pursuant to a prescription order, unless the prescription order includes the words “not to be administered by a pharmacist,” or words of like effect. Referred to Senate Public Health & Welfare Committee on March 25.
HB 2103 would amend the revised Kansas Code for the Care of Children and enact statutory provisions to enable the state to meet the requirements of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA). [Note: The FFPSA allows for an enhanced federal match rate toward the use of Social Security Act Title IV-E funds for certain child welfare system evidence-based prevention services and programs beginning October 1, 2019.] Final action: Passed as amended by the Senate on March 26.
HB 2244, as amended, would authorize the use of cannabidiol treatment preparation to treat certain medical conditions. Final action: Passed by the House as amended and received by the Senate on March 27.
HB 2274, as amended, would require certain notifications be posted in facilities where medication abortions that use mifepristone are provided. The bill also provides relevant definitions and creates civil and criminal penalties for violating the notification requirements. Final Action: Passed as amended by the House and received by the Senate on March 26.
HB 2360, as amended, would authorize qualified entities to require state and national criminal history record checks of providers who have access to children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities to determine whether that individual has the qualifications and fitness to be permitted to serve as a provider. The Senate Judiciary Committee recommended the bill be passed on March 25.
HB 2402, as amended, would allow a business entity issued a certificate of authorization by the Board of Healing Arts (Board) to employ or contract with one or more licensed physicians or other licensees of the Board, to provide professional services for which such licensees hold a valid license issued by the Board. Final Action: Passed by the House and received by the Senate on March 27.
HB 2403, as amended, would establish the Joint Committee on Child Welfare System Oversight (Joint Committee) and outlines the topics for review by the committee, provides for the appointment and compensation of members, establishes the frequency of meetings, requires an annual report to designated House and Senate leadership positions and certain standing committees, allows for professional services, and authorizes the committee to make recommendations and introduce legislation. House Children and Seniors Committee recommended the bill be passed, as amended, on March 25.
HB 2404, as amended, would establish the Kansas Senior Services Task Force (Task Force). The bill outlines topics to be studied by the Task Force, provides for the appointment and compensation of members, establishes the frequency and location of meetings, requires a preliminary and a final report to the Legislature, and requires the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) to provide the Task Force with data and information that is not prohibited or restricted from disclosure by state and federal law. House Children and Seniors Committee recommended the bill be passed, as amended, on March 25.
HB 2412, which would update certain requirements relating to the practice of advanced practice registered nurses (APRN), was introduced and referred to the House Health and Human Services Committee on March 27. The bill appears to contain the text of HB 2066 (the APRN bill amended and passed by the House Committee on Health and Human Services), that was removed when the Committee of the Whole amended the bill on March 20 to insert the text of HB 2102 related to Medicaid expansion.