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Health at the Capitol Week 7: March 1, 2019

By Linda J. Sheppard, J.D., Hina B. Shah, M.P.H., Sydney McClendon, Peter F. H. Barstad | March 01, 2019

Health at the Capitol Week 7: March 1, 2019

Throughout the 2019 Kansas legislative session, Kansas Health Institute (KHI) staff will prepare a weekly summary of the highlights, with a specific focus on health policy related issues. Sign up here to receive these summaries and more, and also follow KHI on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. Previous editions of Health at the Capitol can be found on our archive page.

Week 7 of the 2019 Session

Turnaround week brought lots of activity with legislators focused on moving bills to the opposite chamber or to exempt committees by Thursday. The House adjourned on Wednesday afternoon and the Senate headed for home before noon on Thursday. The Legislature will reconvene on March 6.

House Health and Human Services Committee
(Rep. Brenda Landwehr, C​hair)

On February 25th, the committee worked three bills.

First, the committee amended HB 2307, which would establish non-covered dental benefits under health insurance plans and limitations on plan changes. The amendments deleted a provision requiring a dentist provider to opt in to changes made to a contract between a health insurer and the provider, and excluded any service or material not covered because of maximum coverage limitations from the definition of what a covered service does not include. HB 2307 then passed out of committee.

HB 2082 would allow pharmacists to administer drugs pursuant to a prescription order and the committee amended the bill to specify that pharmacists would only be able to administer injectable prescriptions that would otherwise be self-administered. HB 2082 passed out of committee.

After lengthy discussion, the committee amended HB 2066 ‒ which would update practice requirements for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) ‒ to establish a supervised period before APRNs would be able to transition to full practice, to require the Board of Nursing to create rules and regulations and require APRNs to pay into the Health Care Stabilization Fund. A motion to table the bill until January 20, 2020, was defeated on a vote of 6 to 8 and the amended bill passed out of committee.

Finally, Chair Landwehr instructed all parties interested in passing HB 2146, which would allow for the corporate practice of medicine, to work with opponents over the next 30 days to reach a compromise and also announced the committee would hold a three-day roundtable discussion on Medicaid expansion beginning on March 6. 

Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee
(Sen. Gene Suellentrop, Chair)

On February 25, the committee worked SB 162, which would require foster care contractors to notify the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) when a child in foster care goes missing or spends time in a facility under the control of the contractor. The committee amended the bill to clarify that (1) the contractor would be required to notify DCF within a time period not to exceed 24 hours from the time the contractor knows a child has gone missing or spent time in the contractor’s facility; (2) the contractor’s report would be required to include only the age and sex of the child, the location where the child went missing, and any other information required by DCF; (3) the contractor’s report regarding an overnight stay in a facility would be required to include the reasons for the child staying there; and (4) DCF is required to notify the governor within 24 hours of receiving a contractor’s notice; and notify each member of the Legislature and the official newspaper of the county where the child went missing within 48 hours of receiving such notice, and include an update in the notice regarding which, if any, of the top five recommendations of the Child Welfare System Task Force had been implemented or addressed by the Legislature. The bill passed out of committee.

The committee also worked SB 193, which provides for licensure by reciprocity for social workers and amends the requirements for licensure by reciprocity for other professionals regulated by the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board. The committee amended the bill to reduce the number of hours of postgraduate supervised professional experience and clinical supervision required for specialist clinical social workers and it passed out of committee.

The committee also worked SB 61, regarding podiatrist qualifications and scope of practice, and amended the bill by removing sections that would have amended statutes to add the practice of podiatry as a branch of the healing arts and would have removed podiatrists from the list of professions not included in the practice of healing arts. The committee also amended the title of the bill and passed it out as amended.

Lastly, the committee held a hearing on SB 93, which would establish restrictions on the use of step therapy protocols by health insurance plans, including the factors that would require insurers to override their step therapy protocols. Rep. Eric Smith testified in favor of the bill and spoke of his family’s experiences with treatments for cancer and multiple sclerosis. Other proponents included individuals speaking about their personal medical conditions and representatives of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Midwest Rheumatology, the Arthritis Foundation, the Disability Rights Center of Kansas and written testimony from 14 other patient advocate organizations. Dr. LuGina Mendez-Harper of Prime Therapeutics, a pharmacy benefit management company, testified in opposition to the bill. Chair Suellentrop referred members to other proponent and opponent written testimony. The committee took no action on the bill.

House Children and Seniors Committee
(Rep. Susan Concannon, Chair)

On February 25, the committee worked HB 2360, which authorizes “qualified entities” to request the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to conduct background checks on employees and volunteers that have unsupervised access to children, the elderly and individuals with disabilities. The committee approved amendments to exempt adult care homes, providers of disability services, home health agencies, and programs administered by DCF and the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) from the definition of qualified entities. The committee also amended the definition of provider to include employees and volunteers with "supervised" access. The bill passed out of committee as amended.

The committee also worked HB 2228, which would amend K.S.A. 65-526 to assess penalties for operating a child care facility without a license.

Lastly, the committee held a hearing on HB 2346, which would amend standards for school-administered vision screenings.

House Social Services Budget Committee
(Rep. Will Carpenter, Chair)

On February 25, the committee continued the hearing on the KDADS budget with public testimony. Individuals and representatives from various organizations, including the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Kansas Mental Health Coalition, Midland Care Connect and LeadingAge Kansas, presented various recommendations and funding requests. KDADS Interim Secretary Laura Howard and other agency staff responded to committee member questions and Chair Carpenter announced there would be no recommendations on the budget until Wednesday, March 6.

 House Insurance Committee
(Rep. Jene Vickrey, Chair)

On February 25, the committee worked HB 2054, regarding association health plans, and amended the bill to incorporate modified provisions of HBs 2055, 2056 and 2058. The bill passed as amended.

Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee
(Sen. Rob Olson, Chair)

The committee did not meet this week.

Bills We’re Watching

SB 32 ‒ exempting certain non-insurance health care benefits coverage from the jurisdiction of the commissioner of insurance, also known as the Farm Bureau health benefits plan bill. A hearing is scheduled in the House Insurance Committee on March 6.

SB 61 ‒ relating to the practice of podiatry, amending podiatrist qualifications and scope of practice. Passed by the Committee of the Whole on February 27 and referred to House Health and Human Services.

SB 109 ‒ repealing the Kansas uninsurable health insurance plan act (the Kansas high risk pool). On February 25, withdrawn from the Consent Calendar and placed on General Orders.

SB 122 ‒ implementing Medicaid and educational services for foster care youth and certain former foster care youth. On February 26, withdrawn from Ways and Means and re-referred to the Public Health and Welfare Committee.

SB 162 ‒ requiring notification to the governor and Legislature of missing foster care youth. On February 27, passed by the Committee of the Whole and referred to House Children and Seniors.

SB 193 – providing for licensure by reciprocity for social workers and amending the requirements for licensure by reciprocity for other professionals regulated by the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board. Passed by the Committee of the Whole on February 27 and referred to House Health and Human Services.

HB 2054 – amending several health insurance statutes related to the regulation of association health plans (AHPs) and small employer plans and designating certain statutes as the Small Employer Health Insurance Availability Act (Act). On February 27, withdrawn from the Calendar and referred to House Appropriations.

HB 2066 ‒ amending the Kansas Nurse Practice Act by revising and creating definitions; establishing Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) requirements for certification, malpractice insurance coverage, Federal Drug Enforcement Administration registration, and prescribing authority; and providing rules and regulations authority. The bill also would create a program for transition to full practice as an APRN. Finally, the bill would amend the Health Care Provider Insurance Availability Act to include certain APRNs as defined health care providers and specify exemptions from this definition. On February 27, withdrawn from the Calendar and referred to House Appropriations.  

HB 2082 ‒ allowing pharmacists to administer drugs pursuant to a prescription order. On February 28, withdrawn from the Calendar and referred to House Appropriations.

HB 2244 ‒ authorizing the use of cannabidiol treatment preparation to treat certain medical conditions. On February 27, withdrawn from the Judiciary Committee and referred to Appropriations.

HB 2295 ‒ enacting the anesthesiologist assistant licensure act. Withdrawn from the Health and Human Services Committee and referred to Appropriations.

HB 2307 – establishing non-covered dental benefits under health insurance plans and limitations on plan changes. On February 27, removed from the Calendar and referred to House Appropriations.

HB 2360 – authorizing “qualified entities” to require state and national criminal history record checks of providers, both employees and volunteers, who have supervised and unsupervised 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. On February 27, passed by the Committee of the Whole and referred to Senate Judiciary.

The Kansas Health Institute supports effective policymaking through nonpartisan research, education and engagement. KHI believes evidence-based information, objective analysis and civil dialogue enable policy leaders to be champions for a healthier Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, KHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization based in Topeka.