|May 29, 2017
Legislative Highlights of the Week
Health & Human Service
Even HHS, the busiest committee in the Legislature, is approaching the end of its work. This past week saw them discussing a number of amendments already voted on, along with some language review. They engaged in one fairly esoteric discussion of privacy rights with Assistant Attorney General Paul Gauvreau, who is the AG office's expert on HIPAA. The issue was how to accommodate the privacy of a decedent's medical records in situations where a family member's healthcare needs would benefit from access to those records. The discussion is of particular interest to hospitals, but it has the potential to affect many physicians as we learn more about a growing number of genetic disorders.
Insurance & Financial Services
Last week, the IFS Committee completed work on LD 445 addressing the concept of rewarding patients with a financial credit towards their health insurance costs for "shopping" for certain health care services and LD 1557 addressing "surprise bills" faced by patients who have received services from an out-of-network physician at an in-network hospital. The Committee voted unanimously in favor of an amended version of these bills While the MMA has concerns about the potential unintended consequences of each bill, the Committee had strong bipartisan support for each bill and enactment of legislation on each topic was highly likely from the public hearings.
The Judiciary Committee discussed LD 1607, a bill that would change the priority order of surrogate decision makers for patients unable to decide for themselves and who do not have an operative advance directive. The majority of the committee voted to leave the law the way it is.< Previous Article | Next Article >
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