The 2023 General Assembly is Wrapping Up
While the General Assembly halfway through this year's session, we can't let our guard down. VSEPS and your new lobbying team, Two Capitols Consulting, continue to monitor the happenings at the Virginia General Assembly on your behalf.
Board of Optometry: House Bill 1737: Administrative “housekeeping” bill for board of regulations, updates exam procedures, ability to address licensing and continuing education. Passed both houses. We are monitoring for any potential concerns.
House Bill 1747: Setting minimum required standards of visual acuity for driver’s licenses was killed in committee.
Certificate of Need (COPN): All COPN legislation under consideration for the year has been defeated.
- House Bill 1602: Health care providers, telemedicine service providers licensed in Virginia not required to maintain physical presence in Virginia to enroll as Medicaid providers. Passed both houses.
- House Bill 1754: Extends time from one to three years for in-person exams for patients accessing telemedicine. Passed the House, reported from Senate committee.
House bills addressing how insurance companies handle chart audits and audit appeals died.
- House Bill 1471/Senate Bill 1261: Require creation of electronic prior authorization system and clear appeals process. Will go to conference unless House accepts Senate amendment.
- House Bill 1375/Senate Bill 1011 outlawing insurance companies from charging higher premiums for tobacco users – Will go to conference unless House accepts Senate amendment.
- House Bill 2262/Senate Bill 1154: Requires health insurance carriers credentialing network providers to establish reasonable protocols for processing of new provider applications; timely applicant notification, approval/denial within 60 days of receipt of complete application. Requires payment to approved provider within 30 days for services provided from date of application receipt. Passed.
- House Bill 2354: Health insurance providers to establish process for timely and advance patient notification of provider’s termination from carrier ‘s provider panel; allow for some enrollees to continue receiving services following provider's termination. Allows terminated providers to continue rendering health care services to carrier's enrollees for at least 90 days from date of termination, except when terminated for cause. Will go to conference unless House accepts Senate amendment.
- House Bill 2198/Senate Bill 1399: Based on recommendations of Health Insurance Reform Commission; Requires the Bureau of Insurance to select a new essential health benefits benchmark plan for the 2025 plan year that includes essential services in existing benchmark plan, coverage for prosthetic devices/components and formula/enteral nutrition products . Will go to conference unless House accepts Senate amendment..
- House Bill 2199: Health Insurance Reform Commission to review essential health benefits benchmark plan, establishes review process every five years, beginning in 2025. Includes convening stakeholder workgroups and Bureau estimating potential coverage impacts/costs, determine needed changes. Commission to recommend any changes to General Assembly; maintenance of website of process for public access/review. Passed.
- Senate Bill 1270: DMAS to include in its managed care contracts provisions requiring managed care organization to collect, report data of numbers, percentages of denied claims, reasons for denial. and reasons, number & percentage of claims requiring resubmissions prior to payment. Data to be used to identify barriers encountered by providers when accepting and treating patients enrolled in state medical assistance services plan; report annually to Joint Commission on Health Care and Joint Subcommittee for Health and Human Resources Oversight. House committee proposed a substitute.
Price Transparency/Debt Collection
Proposed House legislation allowing patient legal redress for noncompliance of hospital price transparency laws were killed for this year. Bill to change statute of limitations for medical debt collection was also defeated.
- Senate Bill 957- Establishing Prescription Drug Affordability Board to protect stakeholders from high prescription drug costs has assed Senate, killed in House committee.
- House Bill 1782 -Bill requiring insurers, pharmacy benefit management services to pass savings received when drug costs reduced to patient enrollees died in committee.
Several bills pertaining to scope of practice, supervision and licensure have been defeated in this year’s General Assembly. The following bills are currently still in play:
- House Bill 2180 - Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation to establish criteria for universal license recognition for individual licensed, certified, or having work experience in another state to apply, be issued occupational license or government certification. Passed House,reported from Senate committee.
- Senate Bill 975: State Code references to be changed for certified nurse midwives, certified registered nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse practitioners, to advanced practice registered nurse, aligning with designations established by Consensus Model for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses Regulation, National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Passed Senate, now in House committee.
- House Bill 2274/SB 948: Allowing pharmacists to initiate treatment with, dispense, or administer controlled substances or devices for treatment of group A streptococcus bacterial infection, influenza virus infection, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, COVID-19 virus infection, and urinary tract infection to persons 18 years of age or older with whom the pharmacist has a bona fide pharmacist-patient relationship as set forth by Board of Pharmacy. Boards of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health to collaborate, establish, implement a statewide protocol. The bills passed their respective houses and have moved to the other chambers.
- Senate Bill 1539: Allowing dentists completing relevant training and continuing education to possess, administer cosmetic Botox injections. Board of Dentistry to work with Board of Medicine to establish training, continuing education. Passed the Senate, reported from House committee.
- House Bill 2222: Allows successful graduates of accredited surgical technologists , surgical assistant training programs to practice, use title "surgical technologist, certificate applicant" in certain instances. Passed House, reported from Senate committee.
Medical Records/Health Information:
Several bills pertaining to parental access of minor children’s medical records were proposed this year. Of these, only House Bill 1711 remains, passed House, in Senate committee.
- House Bill 1541/Senate Bill 799 – Allowing evidence of medical records, statements and associated costs in juvenile and domestic relations courts, custody, visitation, placement and support cases, about extent, nature and treatment of a party or child in certain instances. House bill passed House, voted out of Senate committee with a substitute. Senate bill passed, now in House committee.
- House Bill 1573/Senate Bill 970 – Requires DHP to replace any existing questions pertaining to mental health conditions and impairment with the following questions: (i) Do you have any reason to believe that you would pose a risk to the safety or well-being of your patients or clients?; and (ii) Are you able to perform the essential functions of a practitioner in your area of practice with or without reasonable accommodation? The bill contains an emergency clause. House bill passed House, voted out of Senate committee. Senate bill passed, now in House committee.
- Senate Bill 1087: Establishing requirements for direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies, information provided to consumers to include express consent, security and consumer access to genetic data; contract requirements between direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies and service providers; prohibitions on data disclosure, discrimination of consumers exercising genetic privacy rights; civil penalties for violations. Bill passed Senate, reported out of House committee.
- House Bill 1638/Senate Bill 1060: Allows DPOR, DHP, health regulatory boards to mail or email upon request records, applications for exam admission, licensure, certification, registration, or permitting and the related scoring records to the individual to whom such records pertain. House bill passed House, reported from Senate committee; Senate bill passed, is in House committee.
- House Bill 1569 – Clarifying disclosure of personnel records through FOIA for public employees engaged in EMS or fire protection services, law enforcement or emergency 911 or equivalent system. Passed.
- House Bill 1622 – Removes requirement that health regulatory boards receive info that practitioner is subject to disciplinary action to delegate authority to conduct informal fact-finding proceedings. Passed the House. Reported from Senate committee.
- House Bill 1426/Senate Bill 1147requiring all licensed by Board of Medicine and Board of Nursing to take mandatory human trafficking education. House bill passed House, reported from Senate committee. Senate bill passed Senate, reported from House Committee.
- House Bill 1835 - Removes requirement that health care provider must be in a hospital or in an emergency room, clinic or facility rendering emergency care from the crime of making an oral threat to kill or to do bodily injury to a health care provider. Passed.
- House Bill 1400/Senate Bill 800 are the budget bills. Bills have passed their respective houses and switched chambers. Budget negotiations are ongoing, team to monitor.
For more details, visit the Virginia General Assembly website or contact VSEPS at 804-261-9890.