Between April 4 and April 19, Governor Laura Kelly signed 56 bills, including more than a dozen health-related bills, and vetoed seven bills, including three health-related bills. Legislators will return to the Capitol on Monday, April 25, for the Veto Session, and to work on the Omnibus budget bill.
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On Wednesday, April 6, Gov. Laura Kelly announced that $51 million will be distributed to Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) providers starting in June 2022. Provider agencies will receive a payment based on their number of current direct care workers and immediate supervisors and the bonuses will benefit about 24,000 direct support workers. As an incentive to bring more direct support workers to the field, the provider agencies also will receive $1,500 per new staff for a recruitment bonus. The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment will administer the distribution of the bonus funds. The bonus funds are available through the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which provides enhanced federal funding for Medicaid HCBS through a one-year 10 percent increase to the state’s Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP).
On Friday, April 15, Gov. Kelly signed Substitute for Senate Bill (SB) 563, which redraws the maps for the Senate’s 40 Senate districts, the House of Representatives’ 125 districts, and the 10 State Board of Education districts.
On Monday, April 18, Gov. Kelly announced that a $650 million biomanufacturing facility will be built in Manhattan by Scorpion Biological Services, a subsidiary of major national drug manufacturing company Heat Biologics, Inc. The project includes a new 500,000 square foot building and will create 500 new jobs. Scorpion is an integrated contract research, contract development and manufacturing organization focused on cell- and gene-based therapies and large molecule biologics.
On Tuesday, April 19, the Governor signed House Substitute for Substitute for SB 267, which provides supplemental funding for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 (1.2 billion) and FY 2023 funding ($16 billion) for most agencies, including funding for an extension of postpartum Medicaid coverage from 60 days to 12 months. More than 30 percent of Kansas births are covered by KanCare. The bill also authorizes KDHE to provide coverage under the Children’s Health Insurance Program for children residing in households with income not exceeding 250 percent of current-year federal poverty level.
The Governor also vetoed two items – an allocation of $200,000 to the Benedictine College engineering program and a proviso related to allowing legislators to reverse their decision not to join the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. This appropriations bill did not include funding for the Kansas Department of Education or public school districts, which is provided for in a separate bill.
On Thursday, April 21, the House Appropriations and Senate Ways and Means Committee also met to receive updates regarding updated consensus revenue estimates, human services caseloads estimates, and the Governor’s budget amendments and started review of the items for Omnibus consideration.
Health-Related Bills Signed by the Governor
House Substitute (Sub) for Senate Bill (SB) 28 enacts the pharmacy benefits manager licensure act and requires licensure rather than registration of such entities. (April 11)
SB 62 amends state standards for free school-administered vision screenings, establishes the Kansas Children’s Vision Health and School Readiness Commission, authorizes the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to adopt rules and regulations, establishes a sign language interpreter registration process, and provides guidelines for communication access services. (April 11)
SB 200 expands a pharmacist’s scope of practice to include point-of-care testing for and treatment of influenza, streptococcal pharyngitis, or urinary tract infections. (April 18)
SB 343 updates the term “hearing impaired” to “hard of hearing” in statutes related to persons with hearing loss. (April 18)
SB 346 allows for the on-farm retail sale of milk and milk products, authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to declare an imminent health hazard, extends certain milk and dairy license fees and establishes certain standards for milk. (April 11)
SB 453 requires unlicensed employees working in adult care homes who take training courses to demonstrate certain skills to successfully complete such training courses; requires training courses to be taught and evaluated by professional licensed nurses; requires a demonstration of skills to successfully complete the training courses; allows board-approved postgraduate experience to count toward graduate-level supervised clinical practicum of supervised professional experience; and permits current master’s and clinical level licensees to take the addiction counselor’s test. (April 18)
House Bill (HB) 2110 requires the State Employee Health Plan (SEHP), for plan year 2023, to provide coverage for the diagnosis and prescribed treatment for pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS) and pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS), for the purposes of studying the utilization and cost of such coverage. The bill also requires the State Employees Health Care Commission to submit a report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on or before March 1, 2024, regarding the impact that the mandated coverage for PANS and PANDAS had on the SEHP, data on the utilization of coverage for PANS and PANDAS by covered individuals and the cost of providing such coverage, and a recommendation whether such mandated coverage should continue in the SEHP or whether additional utilization and cost data is required. At the next legislative session following receipt of the report, the bill would authorize the Legislature to consider whether to require coverage for PANS and PANDAS in any individual or group health insurance policy, medical service plan, contract, hospital service corporation contract, hospital and medical service corporation contract, fraternal benefit society, or health maintenance organization that provides coverage for accident and health services and that is delivered, issued for delivery, amended, or renewed in this state on or after July 1, 2025. (April 7)
HB 2228 creates and amends law related to sexual assault evidence kits and collection of evidence related to abuse or sexual assault, including requiring child advocacy centers to be recognized by the National Children’s Alliance and allowing such centers to provide on-site evidence collection for physical, mental, emotional, or sexual abuse, including sexual assault evidence collection, or to provide referrals for off-site collection of such evidence. The bill also amends a statute governing examination of victims of sexual offenses to allow such examinations by child advocacy centers or by any other facility licensed or operated by a physician, physician assistant, or registered nurse licensed under Kansas’ public health statutes, and requires such examinations be conducted using Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) sexual assault evidence kits or similar kits approved by the KBI, for the purposes of gathering evidence of any such crime. (April 7)
Senate Sub for HB 2279 amends the Kansas Nurse Practice Act governing the licensure of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to allow them to prescribe drugs without a written protocol as authorized by a responsible physician; requires APRNs to maintain malpractice insurance; and requires national certification for initial licensure as an APRN. (April 15)
HB 2299, in part, amends law governing access, exchange, and disclosure of information in the Revised Kansas Code for Care of Children to require the Secretary of the Kansas Department for Children and Families to disclose confidential agency records of a child alleged or adjudicated to be a child in need of care (CINC) 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 requires the records to include, but not be limited to:
- Any information regarding such report or investigation;
- Records of past reports or investigations concerning such child and such child’s siblings and the perpetrator or alleged perpetrator; and
- The name and contact information of the reporter or persons alleging abuse or neglect and case managers, investigators or contracting agency employees assigned to or investigating such report.
The bill also clarifies that a law enforcement agency investigating or receiving a report of a child who is alleged or adjudicated to be in need of care may freely exchange information and the above-described records with persons or entities specified in continuing law and adds an investigating law enforcement agency to the lists of persons or entities with access to the official and social files of a CINC proceeding. (April 18)
HB 2386 establishes requirements and restrictions for the payment and reimbursement of dental services by a dental benefit plan and provides that any violations of the provisions of the bill would be subject to enforcement by the Commissioner of Insurance. (April 11)
HB 2490 amends law governing the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) savings program to make the program compliant with the federal Internal Revenue Code and mandatory federal regulations. The program allows individuals with a disability and their families to save private funds without violating federal means-tested benefit requirements. The bill allows persons authorized by the State Treasurer to act on behalf of a designated beneficiary, be a designated beneficiary, and open a program account. The bill also removes the existing age requirements for a designated beneficiary to have a conservator, guardian or person authorized by the Treasurer to act on their behalf regarding program accounts. (April 7)
Health-Related Bills Vetoed by the Governor
SB 199 amends law in the Insurance Code to update references to short-term limited-duration (STLD) policies. Under current law, “short-term” means an insurance policy period of 6 or 12 months, which offers not more than one renewal period with or without a requirement of medical re-underwriting or medical requalification. The bill amends this definition to update the term to “short-term limited duration” and specifies a policy period of less than 12 months and a policy that offers renewal or extension periods up to a maximum policy period of 36 months total in duration. The bill also removes language required to be included in contracts and application material by insurance companies issuing STLD policies. (April 11)
House Sub for Sub for SB 286 continues the governmental response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Kansas by extending the expanded use of telemedicine, the suspension of certain requirements related to medical care facilities and immunity from civil liability for certain health care providers, certain persons conducting business in this state and covered facilities for COVID-19 claims until January 20, 2023. In her veto message, the Governor stated that while she supported many provisions of the bill, she did not support the provisions related to immunity from civil liability for health care providers as written in the bill. (April 15).
Senate Sub for HB 2448 requires the Kansas Department for Children and Families to assign all able-bodied adults age 18 to 49 without dependents who are not employed at least 30 hours per week to complete an employment and training program in order to receive food assistance. (April 15)
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.