MASCA Legislative Report 3/20
Top News of the Week
The Missouri Times: House and Senate accomplishments - so far - in the 2017 session AP: Missouri House OKs bill to limit medical malpractice suits Dexter Statesman: Stoddard County first in region to adopt drug-monitoring program
Key Updates — First Half of Session
Physician Employees – Medical Malpractice Reform: The House passed a tort reform bill this week that is designed to reduce the number of medical malpractice lawsuits targeting non-employed physicians with hospital privileges. This issue is in response to a recent Missouri Supreme Court Decision (Jefferson et al. v. Missouri Baptist Medical Center et al., which targeted a radiologist who was employed by a radiology group and not a direct employee of Missouri Baptist Medical Center. This is identical to a version that passed out of the Senate last month. Read more.
Tort Reform Sent to Governor: The Senate gave final approval to the House version of legislation designed to change our expert witness standards in Missouri and ensure someone providing expert testimony is a true expert on the subject matter. Specifically, this will help physicians and ASCs defend against frivolous lawsuits.
Designated Caregiver Legislation: A House bill backed by AARP to require ASCs to assign a designated caregiver to every patient upon admission has been stalled, partly due to our opposition. We spoke with Committee Chairman Keith Frederick, DO (R-Rolla) to express our concerns and he ultimately cancelled the public hearing he had scheduled earlier in the month. At this point, it is unlikely the bill will advance on its own, but we will keep an eye out for amendments.
Scope of Practice: The House and Senate held public hearings last week on legislation that would give advanced practice nurses more autonomy through an expanded scope of practice model. The physician lobby is opposing this legislation, citing that the collaborative practice and team-based approach to health care has been effective. The key question will be finding a solution to address a shortage of physicians in rural areas. The House and Senate bills are also unlikely to advance on their own at this point.
PT Ownership: The Senate held a public hearing last week on pending legislation that would allow physicians to employ physical therapists. Technically, nothing is preventing physicians from employing physical therapists today, although a 1992 law prevents a physician from referring patients to an entity in which they have a financial interest. However, it’s also unclear if patients have the option to choose their physical therapist if they sign a disclosure form acknowledging the physicians financial interest. This is a tense debate between the physician lobby and physical therapy lobby.
Workers Comp: There is no pending legislation or discussion that would change the current workers compensation fee schedule, meaning it is unlikely to come up this legislative session. However, we will continue to track amendments and let you know if anything pops up.
Hearings this week
MONDAY - 03/27/17
House-Rules-Legislative Oversight MONDAY - 03/27/17 1:30 PM, HR 5 Executive Session:
McGaugh, Joe Don
Establishes the "Designated Health Care Decision-Maker Act".
Committee Members: Rhoads, Shawn (R) / Dogan, Shamed (R) / Lavender, Deb (D) / Bondon, Jack (R) / Brown, Cloria (R) / Butler, Michael (D) / Curtis, Courtney Allen (D) / Eggleston, J. (R) / Fitzwater, Travis (R) / Haahr, Elijah (R) / Rone, Don (R) / Shull, Noel (R) / Shumake, Lindell (R) / Wessels, Alfred J. (D)
TUESDAY - 03/28/17
Senate-Health and Pensions TUESDAY - 03/28/17 Upon Morning Recess, SCR 2
Modifies provisions relating to hospital licensure.
Committee Members: Schaaf, Rob (R) / Koenig, Andrew (R) / Chappelle-Nadal, Maria (D) / Onder, Bob (R) / Sater, David (R) / Schupp, Jill (D) / Silvey, Ryan (R)
WEDNESDAY - 03/29/17
House-Rules-Administrative Oversight WEDNESDAY - 03/29/17 5:00 PM or Upon Adj., Executive Session:
Changes the definition of "assistant physician".
Kidd, Bill E.
Encourages the Governor to require professional registration and certification entities to review and revise policies and procedures to streamline the certification and licensing process to take into account relevant military education, skills training, an
Committee Members: Barnes, Jason (R) / Sommer, Chrissy (R) / Arthur, Lauren (D) / Austin, Kevin (R) / Berry, T.J. (R) / Carpenter, Jon (D) / Corlew, Kevin (R) / Engler, Kevin (R) / Matthews, Kirk (R) / Roeber, Rebecca (R) / Runions, Joe (D) / Unsicker, Sarah (D) / Vescovo, Rob (R) / Wiemann, John D. (R)