Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

May 17, 2004

Other health care legislation updates

Chart for Health Care Legislation (Excel 25 KB)

During the last part of the 2004 legislative session, the House and Senate 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 Because of this, passage of the Senate bill will no longer be pursued and the House bill has been withdrawn.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. The Senate Bill was Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed on April 29.

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. A compromise version was Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed by on May 5.

For more information on these bills:

SB 1122 & HB 146

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 Senate version was Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed on May 13.

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. At press time, the bill was on the House Calendar, Senate Bills for Third Reading.

For more information on this bill:

May 17 , 2004 Index