Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

March 19, 2004

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Other health care legislation updates

During the first part of the 2004 legislative session, the House and Senate have dealt with a number of health care issues:

SB 844 & HB 1522:

This act codifies and regulates surgical comanagement arrangements between optometrists and ophthalmologists. The bill was heard in both the Senate and the House on March 16. Proponents of the bill stated that the legislation was necessary to provide patient choice and informed consent, to stop the payment of “kickbacks” in comanagement situations, and establish the payment of a reasonable fee for comanagement. Opponents of the bill stated that the bill is redundant and unnecessary, as comanagement has occurred without any reported complaints for years. They cited the fact that neither the Board of Registration for the Healing Arts nor the Missouri Dental Board has received substantiated complaints about inappropriate comanagement arrangements. In addition, opponents expressed concern that codifying such arrangements might open the floodgates for the regulation of similar arrangements in other health practice areas. The bill was not voted on by either of the committees.


For more information on these bills:


SB 1013 & HB 1423:

This act requires organ procurement organizations to use their best efforts to find organ transplant recipients in Missouri. The language of the bill originally caused concern about the potential negative impact of restricting donations to Missouri, while current practice allows multi-state donations. Interested parties, however, agreed on a compromise that would allow Missouri citizens to have priority, but not go so far as to codify the agreement. Because of this, passage of the Senate bill will no longer be pursued and the House bill has been withdrawn.


For more information on these bills:


SB 1160 & HB 898:

This act creates a prescription drug repository in the Department of Health and Senior Services to provide additional access to prescription drugs for low-income persons. Both bills have already been passed by their originating chambers and are moving quickly through the process. Little objection has been registered as the legislation provides a creative, money-saving option for the state and for low-income individuals. It also will indirectly help save money for health care practitioners who provide care for the uninsured or underinsured.


For more information on these bills:


HB 1477 & SB 1279:

This act requires hospitals to report incidents of nosocomial infection to the Department of Health and Senior Services which, in turn, is authorized to analyze such information and disclose trends. Certain advocates are concerned about the repercussions of such information being disclosed and the accuracy of the data. The legislation also may increase the potential for “patient dumping” in order to keep reported numbers low. Advocates are currently working on a compromise. The House Health Care Policy Committee voted the bill do pass, but it has not yet reported it to the House floor. The Senate Aging, Families, Mental and Public Health Committee heard the senate bill on March 17.


For more information on these bills:


SB 1122 & HB 1464:

This act modifies provisions regarding the practice of dentistry and the duties of the Missouri Dental Board, specifically as they relate to the practice of dentistry in certain federally qualified health centers, or centers providing migrant, community, or health care for the homeless. The House bill has not yet been voted on by the House Health Care Policy Committee. The Senate bill is currently on the informal calendar for perfection.


For more information on these bills:


SB 1371:

This act closes the drug benefit coverage gap that was created due to the passage of the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003. Notably, this bill would terminate the Missouri Senior Rx Program thirty days after the full implementation of the Medicare Act.


For more information on this bill:

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