Radiology Bill--- Urgent
Urgent Legislative Ask: If the lack of ability to order radiographic imaging tests interferes with your ability to care for your patients, LAURA SEARCY NEEDS TO HEAR FROM YOU THIS WEEK with specifics. Please include your location and the name of your state Rep. and Senator, if you know who they are, and send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if your written orders for lab work, ultrasounds, x-rays and other diagnostic tests are not honored by hospitals or labs, this also needs to be reported by sending an email with your location and the name of the institution refusing your orders to email@example.com . We cannot successfully make a case for removing this restriction if we cannot provide many examples of delay of diagnosis and treatment, confusion, misdirection of results, patient inconvenience and added cost etc to the health care system. This information must be provided by the end of THIS WEEK. Please respond. We all must be willing to invest a little time and effort to make progress in removing barriers to access and care in Georgia. The legislature is becoming more aware of how severe a provider shortage exists in our state and that all licensed providers are not being fully utilized. Now it is up to us to take this opportunity show them the negative effects of these policies for the people they serve in their own communities.
General Assembly report for the week of January 28-February 1
The General Assembly convened for five days the week of January 28, completing legislative days 5-9. The biggest news of the week was the passage of the hospital provider fee bill (SB 24) by the House of Representatives. This bill prevents a $700 million dollar deficit in this year’s Medicaid Budget. SB 24 will authorize the Department of Community Health to assess a provider fee on hospitals for the purpose of continuing to draw down federal Medicaid dollars. If SB 24 had not passed, the only way to keep Medicaid solvent would have to reduce hospital reimbursements. The loss in revenue would have threatened the solvency of many hospitals, especially rural and children’s facilities.
Speaker of the House Ralston’s two ethics bills were heard in sub-committee (HB 142 and HB 143). These are the first in what are expected to be a flurry of bills that are expected as the legislature struggles with how to achieve true ethics reform without stifling every day citizen’s right to petition their elected officials.
Other legislation of interest introduced includes:
HB 141 (Lindsey-54th) requires the posting of the National Human Trafficking Hotline number in adult entertainment venues, truck stops, bars, bus stations, airports, emergency rooms within general acute care hospitals, urgent care centers, and a variety of other venues where victims of human trafficking victims are often located. The model notice will be made available for download on the Department of Public Health website. This bill is one of the main priorities of Senate Health and Human Services Chair Renee Unterman and has been assigned to the House Non-Civil Judiciary Committee.
HB 73 (Linsdsey-54th) requires insurance coverage and reimbursement for medical foods used in the diagnosis and treatment of inherited metabolic and genetic disorders and food tolerance and absorption disorders. This bill currently contains physician exclusive language throughout. The House Insurance Committee will hold a hearing about this bill on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 8:00 am in room 606 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building. CAPRN will provide testimony seeking to amend the bill with broader, provider inclusive language that would cover both physician and non-physician prescribers.
HB 74 (Lindsey-54th) Every health benefit policy shall provide coverage for the full cost of one hearing aid per hearing impaired ear subject to a $2,500.00 minimum and up to $3,000.00 per hearing aid for covered individuals 22 years of age or under and for the replacement for one hearing aid per hearing impaired ear every 36 months. The House Insurance Committee also hear this bill on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 8:00 am in room 606 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building.
SB 85 (Bethel-54th) authorizes the administration of vaccines by pharmacists or nurses pursuant to vaccine protocol agreements with physicians. It has been assigned to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
Please spend a few moments to report barriers to access to your care to firstname.lastname@example.org efforts at the Capitol cannot be successful without YOUR grassroots support.
Thank you for your efforts. They make a difference!
Laura Searcy MN, APRN, PNP-BC Policy Director, Legislative Liaison Coalition of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses 678-886-4503