|Maine Medicine Weekly E-Update, January 18, 2022
State Legislature Back in Augusta; MMA Government Affairs Back at It
The 2022 Maine legislative session began on Wednesday, January 5. Because 2021 was the first year in a legislative biennium, or two-year cycle, many health-related bills from that session are active and remain on the calendar for 2022. Democrats continue to hold majorities in both chambers.
While the Capital building is open to the public, all policy committee meeting work (public hearings and work sessions) will initially be held virtually through Zoom and broadcast on YouTube. The House Speaker and Senate President plan to evaluate the operations of the legislature during a pandemic on a regular basis.
Despite a successful legislative year for MMA in 2021, a few very important MMA legislative priority policy issues remain to be settled before the scheduled session adjournment in mid-April.
The MMA’s Legislative Committee, chaired by Jay Mullen, MD MBA FACEP met for the first time Wednesday, January 12 to review continuing priorities for the 2022 session:
LD 1196 – An Act Regarding Targets for Health Plan Investments in Primary Care and Behavioral Health
Summary – The MMA was chosen by the Joint Standing Committee of Health Coverage Insurance, and Financial Affairs to convene a stakeholder group to assist in developing potential recommendations for increased investment in primary care. A final stakeholder report was delivered to the Committee in mid-January.
LD 1550 – An Act To End the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products
LD 1423 – Raising the Tax on Tobacco Products
Summaries – Two important public health bills to reduce tobacco use and illness – especially for young Mainers – by banning the sale of flavored tobacco products including cigars and e-delivery systems and increasing the tax rates for cigarettes while equalizing tax rates for other tobacco products.
Other Top Legislative Issues
Upcoming Public Hearings & Work Sessions
1747An Act To Require Screening for Cytomegalovirus in Certain Newborn Infants
If a newborn infant fails 2 hearing tests or has other risk factors for cytomegalovirus, a hospital, birthing center or other birthing service shall test the newborn infant, or cause the infant to be tested, for the presence of cytomegalovirus and report aggregate data on the testing to the state. Includes a religious exemption.
The state must provide educational resources to pregnant women and women who may become pregnant on cytomegalovirus.
1758An Act Regarding Access to Telehealth Behavioral Health Services during Public Health Emergencies
A licensed mental health facility may obtain consent from a person receiving mental health services or substance use disorder treatment during a public health emergency. The state may not require only written informed consent.
1771Resolve, To Establish the Advisory Panel To Better Understand and Make Recommendations Regarding the Implications of Genome-editing Technology for the Citizens of the State
The bill is the same as LD 1601 (2021), except for date changes and changing the funding mechanism to a private source. The Maine Community Foundation offered to fund the study. The MMA and Maine, American Academy of Pediatrics formally supported LD 1601.
1776An Act To Allow Pharmacists To Dispense an Emergency Supply of Chronic Maintenance Drugs
"Chronic maintenance drug" means a medication prescribed to treat a chronic, long-term condition and that is taken on a regular, recurring basis.
A person can obtain an emergency supply IF the pharmacy in question has a record of a prescription, AND the pharmacist attempts but is unable to obtain authorization to refill the prescription, AND drug is not a controlled substance, including an opioid medication. Carriers must make emergency supplies of chronic maintenance drugs part of coverage and the pharmacist shall fulfill all documentation and other requirements established by the board.
1781An Act To Align Postpartum MaineCare Coverage with Federal Law
Provide coverage for women (including a non-citizen who is ‘otherwise eligible’) during pregnancy and up to 12 months (from 6) following delivery when the woman's family income is equal to or below 209% (from 200%). Also a date change until August 1, 2022.
1822An Act To Improve Access to Behavioral Health Services by Prohibiting Cost Sharing by Insurers
Carriers cannot apply copayments, deductibles, coinsurance or other cost-sharing requirements other than premiums for behavioral health services. Behavioral health services includes, but is not limited to, mental health care and substance use disorder treatment.
1848An Act To Increase the Availability of Assertive Community Treatment Services
Assertive community treatment teams must include a
Defines "Prescriber" as a licensed health care provider with authority to prescribe, including a licensed physician, certified nurse practitioner or licensed physician assistant who has training or experience in psychopharmacology.
1858An Act Regarding Delegating Authority for Services Performed by Emergency Medical Services Personnel in Health Care Facilities
This bill authorizes licensed emergency medical services persons to provide medical services in health care facility settings that are not hospital settings under delegatedauthority if certain criteria are met. Current law authorizes licensed emergency medical services persons to provide medical services in hospital settings under delegated authority.
The bill also provides that the medical service must be rendered in the person's capacity as an employee or a contracted agent of the hospital or health care facility. Current law provides that the medical service must be rendered in the person's capacity as an employee of the hospital.
1860An Act To Address Maine's Suicide and Opioid Crises through the Construction of Affordable Recovery Facilities in Underserved Areas of the State
1868An Act To Restore Funding to the State's Tobacco Prevention and Control Program
1877An Act To Prohibit Prior Authorization Requirements and Step Therapy Protocols for Medications Addressing Serious Mental Illness for MaineCare Recipients
Prohibits MaineCare prior authorization or step therapy for prescription drugs used for the assessment or treatment of serious mental illness.
"Serious mental illness" means a mental disorder listed in the edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association that took effect October 1, 2021 that results in serious functional impairment that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.
"Step therapy protocol" means a protocol that establishes a specific sequence in which prescription drugs for a specified medical condition are medically necessary for a particular enrollee and are covered under a pharmacy or medical benefit by a carrier, including self-administered and physician-administered drugs.
1909An Act To Remove Restrictions on Syringe Service Programs
Exchange programs may not limit the number of hypodermic apparatuses given or require the return of a used hypodermic apparatus as a condition for receiving a hypodermic apparatus.
1910An Act To Improve Children's Mental Health by Requiring Insurance Coverage for Certain Mental Health Treatment
This bill requires health insurance carriers to provide coverage for mental health treatment services that use evidence-based practices that are recommended by a provider for a child 18 years of age or younger. The bill defines "evidence-based practices" as clinically sound and scientifically based policies, practices and programs that reflect expert consensus on the prevention, treatment and recovery science published and disseminated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The bill’s requirements apply to health plans with an effective date on or after January 1, 2023.< Previous Article | Next Article >
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