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Health at the Capitol Week 8 (March 9, 2021)

Week 8 of the 2021 Legislative Session

By Linda J. Sheppard, J.D., Peter F. H. Barstad, Hina B. Shah, M.P.H., Sydney McClendon, Jaron Caffrey | March 09, 2021

Health at the Capitol Week 8 (March 9, 2021)

Week 8 of the 2021 Session

With Turnaround looming on March 5, legislators spent most of Week 8 on the floor in both chambers moving dozens of nonexempt bills in preparation for the second half of the session. Read about health-related bills that made it past Turnaround in our latest edition of Health at the Capitol.

Health at the Capitol is a weekly summary providing highlights of the Kansas legislative session, 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.

 

On Monday, March 1, the Senate spent the afternoon debating Senate Bill (SB) 273, which would amend the Kansas Emergency Management Act (KEMA) to (1) provide procedures for declaration and extension of state of disaster emergencies, like the COVID-19 pandemic; (2) limit the powers granted to the Governor during a state of disaster emergency; (3) define public health disasters and establish special provisions therefore; (4) create the Joint Committee on Emergency Management that would review the Governor’s decisions; and (5) prescribe the powers, duties and functions of the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), city and county government and the board of education of each school district to control the spread of disease and establish judicial review thereof. The bill passed on a vote of 27-12. In response to the bill, Gov. Laura Kelly stated that SB 273 “jeopardizes the state’s ability to respond swiftly and effectively to disasters and emergencies,” and indicated she would veto any bill that “undermines [her] ability to respond to a crisis . . .” She also noted that SB 273 does not extend the state’s emergency declaration, which is set to expire on March 31 and indicated that allowing it to expire would “prevent the administration from supplying food banks, transporting test specimens to labs, and delivering the COVID-19 vaccine or personal protective equipment.”

On Thursday, March 4, Gov. Kelly announced a plan to vaccinate meatpacking plant workers in Kansas. Under the plan, all meatpacking plant workers who want to be vaccinated will receive the first dose within the next two weeks.

On Friday, March 5, the House and Senate adjourned Turnaround Week. They will return on Wednesday, March 10, to begin considering bills from the other chamber and exempt bills.

Health-related bills that remain in play for the second half of the session include those listed below.

House Bills

House Bill (HB) 2004, in the House Appropriations Committee, would create the right to appeal an involuntary discharge or transfer from an adult residential care facility.

HB 2046, in the House Appropriations Committee, would increase reimbursement rates for providers of home and community-based services under the Intellectual / Developmental Disability waiver, making appropriations for such rates and providing for legislative review of the waiting list for such services.

HB 2061, in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, would increase the minimum age from 18 to 21 to purchase or possess cigarettes and tobacco products (including vaping devices) and prohibit the sale of “regulated products” (cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, consumable material or tobacco products) in vending machines and flavored electronic cigarettes or flavored consumable material, except tobacco or menthol flavored.

Substitute for HB 2066, passed by the House on March 3 on a vote of 103-21 and hearing scheduled on March 11 in the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee, would shorten the period of time in which regulatory bodies are required to issue occupational credentials to military service members or military spouses seeking to establish residency in Kansas and provide for expedited credentialing of non-military prospective residents. The bill would expand and clarify existing conditions on expedited occupational credentialing and permit temporary credentialing during states of emergency and the use of electronic credentials.

HB 2091, in the House Taxation Committee, would provide a refundable tax credit for certain purchases of food and discontinuing the nonrefundable food sales tax credit.

HB 2108, in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, concerns the study and investigation of maternal deaths in the state of Kansas and requires the Secretary of KDHE to establish an external review committee to review black maternal death cases.

HB 2114, passed by the House on February 18 on a vote of 113-8 and referred to the Senate Public Health and Welfare (PH&W) Committee, as amended, would establish the Kansas Senior Care Task Force (Task Force). The bill would outline the topics to be studied by the Task Force, provide for the appointment and compensation of Task Force members, establish the frequency and location of meetings, require a preliminary and a final report to the Legislature, and require 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. The Task Force would sunset on June 30, 2023.

HB 2115, passed the House on February 18 on a vote of 118-4 and referred to the Senate PH&W Committee, would establish the Joint Committee on Child Welfare System Oversight (Joint Committee), outline the topics for Joint Committee review, provide for the appointment and compensation of Joint Committee members, establish the frequency of meetings, require an annual report to designated House and Senate leadership positions and certain standing committees, allow for professional services, and authorize the Joint Committee to make recommendations and introduce legislation.

HB 2124, passed the House on February 18 on a vote of 121-0 and hearing scheduled on Thursday, March 11, in the Senate Education Committee, would clarify the authority of healing arts school clinics to provide healing arts services and allow schools statutorily exempted from State Board of Regents approval requirements to be exempted from the prohibition on the corporate practice of medicine. The bill would also allow off-site clinics owned or operated by a school in partnership with other providers to engage in the practice of healing arts.

HB 2126, passed by the House on March 4 on a vote of 85-37, would amend the COVID-19 Response and Reopening for Business Liability Protection Act by replacing the definition of “adult care facility” with the definition of “covered facility” as an adult care home, as defined elsewhere in statute, except that covered facility would include a center approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as a Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) that provides services only to PACE participants; a community mental health center and a crisis intervention center, as defined elsewhere in statute; a community service provider, a community developmental disability organization, and an institution, as defined in the Developmental Disabilities Reform Act. The bill would replace an affirmative defense available in certain circumstances for an adult care facility in a civil action for damages, administrative fines, or penalties for a COVID-19 claim with immunity from liability for a covered facility in a civil action for damages for a COVID-19 claim if such facility was in substantial compliance with public health directives applicable to the activity giving rise to the cause of action when the cause of action accrued. The bill would state the amendments replacing the affirmative defense with an immunity provision would apply retroactively to any cause of action accruing on or after March 12, 2020, and prior to termination of the state of disaster emergency related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

HB 2160, in the House Appropriations Committee, as amended, would establish certification and funding processes for certified community behavioral health clinics (CCBHCs) and prescribe the powers, duties, and functions of KDADS and KDHE with regard to CCBHCs.

HB 2174, in the House Appropriations Committee, would establish the Rural Innovation Grant Program and Rural Hospital Innovation Grand Fund to assist rural hospitals in serving rural communities; provide grant assistance to hospitals in certain counties; and prescribe the powers, duties and functions of the Secretary of KDHE.

HB 2184, in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, would create the Kansas Medical Marijuana Regulation Act providing for the licensure and regulation of the manufacture, transportation and sale of medical cannabis and certain fines and penalties for violations.

HB 2206, in the House Appropriations Committee, would update certain definitions in the Kansas Telemedicine Act and require referral to specialty services and coordination of care under certain circumstances.

HB 2208, passed by the House on March 3 on a vote of 124-0 and referred to the Senate PH&W Committee, as amended, would authorize a licensed out-of-state physician with a telemedicine waiver issued by the State Board of Healing Arts to practice telemedicine in Kansas. The bill would also amend the disciplinary authority of the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board (BSRB) and modify licensure and temporary permit requirements of professional counselors, social workers, marriage and family therapists, addiction counselors, psychologists, and master’s level psychologists.

HB 2209, passed by the House on March 3 on a vote of 121-3 and referred to the Senate PH&W Committee, would enact the psychology interjurisdictional compact to provide for interjurisdictional authorization to practice telepsychology and temporary in-person, face-to-face psychology.

HB 2218, passed by the House on March 4 on a vote of 123-0 and referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee, would update the membership and requirements of the Kansas State Employees Health Care Commission to include a current and retired state employee enrolled in the State Employees Health Plan.

HB 2253, in the House Appropriations Committee, would update certain provisions of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Act relating to program data, storage and access, increasing the membership of the advisory committee and providing for setup and annual maintenance fees for program data integration.

HB 2259, passed by the House on March 2 on a vote of 75-40 and referred to the Senate PH&W Committee, would permit the use of expedited partner therapy to treat a sexually transmitted disease.

HB 2267, in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, would create the Kansas Youth Advisory Council and prescribe the purpose, members, meeting requirements and support thereof.

HB 2279, passed by the House on March 3 on a vote 122-2 and referred to the Senate PH&W Committee, as amended, would enact the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact (Compact) and amend the Physical Therapy Practice Act. The Compact would provide interstate practice authority for physical therapists in compact states and provide for the creation of a Physical Therapy Compact Commission.

HB 2280, passed by the House on March 3 on a vote of 116-8 and referred to the Senate PH&W Committee, would update statutes relating to the powers, duties and functions of the State Board of Pharmacy, and would amend and update the Pharmacy Act of the State of Kansas with regard to the powers, duties, and functions of the State Board of Pharmacy (Board). The bill would require the Board to adopt rules and regulations for the oversight and administration of telepharmacy.

HB 2281, in the House Appropriations Committee, would establish and implement 988 as the Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Hotline in Kansas.

HB 2373, in the House Appropriations Committee, would require KDADS to establish and implement a mobile crisis services program for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disability.

HB 2416, passed by the House on March 4 on a vote of 81-40, would create a new section in KEMA regarding the Governor’s issuance of executive orders (EOs) during a state of disaster emergency to:

  • Require, when the Governor determines it necessary to issue an EO that is not expressly authorized by KEMA, the Governor make specific application to the Legislative Coordinating Council (LCC) for approval to issue an EO;
  • Require, not less than 24 hours prior to such application to the LCC, the Governor submit the proposed EO to the Attorney General, who would review the proposed EO and provide an opinion on its legality to the Governor and the LCC within 24 hours of receiving the EO and prior to the LCC meeting;
  • Require the chairperson of the LCC to call a meeting to take place within 24 hours to discuss the proposed EO;
  • Require an affirmative vote of five LCC members for approval of issuance of the proposed EO;
  • Create a new section in KEMA allowing the LCC, during a state of disaster emergency when the Legislature is not in session or is adjourned during session for three or more days, to extend the state of disaster emergency and authorize the Governor to use the powers expressly conferred by KEMA; and
  • Require the chairperson of the LCC to call a meeting to occur within 24 hours of receiving an application by the Governor to continue the state of disaster emergency. 

HB 2428, introduced on March 2 by the House Taxation Committee, would increase tax rates on cigarettes and tobacco products, establish the cigarette and tobacco products cessation fund and provide for adjusted sales tax rate for food and food ingredients.

Senate Bills

Senate Bill (SB) 51, passed by the Senate on March 2 on a vote of 39-0 and referred to the House Education Committee, would direct the State Department of Education and the Department for Children and Families to collaboratively prepare the Kansas Foster Care Children Annual Academic Report Card (Report Card), which would be produced annually and contain information from the previous school year for students in foster care, including graduation rate, state standardized assessment scores, and the number and percentage of students promoted to the next grade. The bill would require the Report Card be completed on or before January 15 each year and submitted to the House and Senate Education Committees.

SB 55, passed by the Senate on February 9 on a vote of 39-0 and hearing scheduled on Thursday, March 11, in the House Education Committee, would clarify the authority of healing arts school clinics to provide healing arts services. 

SB 62, passed by the Senate on March 2 on a vote of 35-4 and hearing scheduled on Thursday, March 11, in the House Education Committee, would amend the standards for school-administered vision screenings for students to modify the frequency of the vision screenings to specify the grade levels and specific circumstances under which the screenings would occur. The bill would also establish an eight-member Kansas Children’s Vision Health and School Readiness Commission to ensure implementation of the provisions of the bill.

SB 77, passed by the Senate on February 18 on a vote of 35-3 and hearing scheduled on Thursday, March 11, in the House Health and Human Services Committee (HHS), would enact the audiology and speech-language pathology interstate compact.

SB 85, passed by the Senate on February 18 on a vote of 38-0 and referred to House Children and Seniors Committee, would require notification to the Governor and the Legislature of missing foster care youth.

SB 120, passed by the Senate on March 2 on a vote of 37-2 and referred to the House Children and Seniors Committee, would establish the Joint Committee on Child Welfare System Oversight (Joint Committee), outline the topics for Joint Committee review and authorize the Joint Committee to make recommendations and introduce legislation.

SB 147, passed by the Senate on March 3 on a vote of 39-0 and referred to the House Taxation Committee, would provide a sales tax exemption for purchases made by nonprofit integrated community care organizations. “Nonprofit integrated community care organization” would be defined as any entity that is exempt from federal income taxation pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, certified to participate in the Medicare program as a hospice focused on providing care to the aging and indigent population across multiple counties, and approved by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) to provide services under the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).

SB 154, in the Senate Ways and Means Committee, would increase reimbursement rates for providers of home and community-based services under the Intellectual / Developmental Disability waiver, make appropriations for such rates and provide for legislative review of the waiting list for such services.

SB 174, in the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee, would update scope of practice requirements for advanced practice registered nurses without a supervising physician and update certain licensure requirements.

SB 175, passed by the Senate on March 2 on a vote of 39-0 and referred to the House HHS Committee, as amended, would enact the Rural Emergency Hospital Act; create a category of licensure to enable certain Kansas hospitals to receive federal health care reimbursement as Rural Emergency Hospitals; require benefits coverage for services provided by Rural Emergency Hospitals if covered when performed by a general hospital or critical access hospital and also establish eligibility and application requirements for licensure as a Rural Emergency Hospital.

SB 235, passed by the Senate on March 3 on a vote of 26-12 and referred to the House K-12 Education Budget Committee, would enact the Back to School Act to require all unified school districts to provide a full-time, in-person attendance option for all students enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12 beginning on March 26, 2021, for school year 2020-2021 and every school year thereafter.

Substitute for SB 238, passed by the Senate on March 3 on a vote of 38-1, would establish certification and funding processes for CCBHCs and functions of KDADS and KDHE with regard to CCBHCs. The bill would also authorize a licensed out-of-state physician with a telemedicine waiver issued by the Board of Healing Arts to practice telemedicine in Kansas and amend the disciplinary authority of the BSRB to modify licensure and temporary permit requirements of various behavioral health professionals.  

SB 264, in the Senate Ways and Means Committee, would enact the Kansas Fights Addiction Act to establish a grant program for the purpose of preventing, reducing, treating and mitigating the effects of substance abuse and addiction.

SB 283, passed by the Senate on March 3 on a vote of 31-8, would change the business liability provision in the COVID-19 Response and Reopening for Business Liability Protection Act to apply to actions accruing on or after March 12, 2020, and prior to termination of the state of disaster emergency related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. 

SB 284, introduced on March 3 by the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, would amend KEMA to authorize a state of disaster emergency to continue for no longer than 21 days unless ratified by concurrent resolution of the Legislature and provide for extensions for specified periods not to exceed 30 days each.

SB 286, in the Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee, would establish the COVID-19 Governmental Use Claims Fund to provide funds for impacted businesses, providing for income tax credits for impacted businesses, providing for the reimbursement to certain property owners of property taxes resulting from a forced shutdown or capacity limitation and creating a business loan forgiveness program.

SB 287, introduced by the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee on March 5 and referred to the Senate PH&W Committee, would enact the Kansas Medical Marijuana Regulation Act; provide for the licensure and regulation of medical cannabis, including the manufacture, transportation and sale of medical cannabis; provide certain fines and penalties for violations of the act; relating to health benefits coverage; direct KDHE to study certain Medicaid expansion topics; and add meeting days to the Robert G. (Bob) Bethell Joint Committee on Home and Community Based Services and KanCare Oversight to monitor implementation.

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.