Legislative Update, March 2018

Bills: Still Alive

Long-Term Care Background Checks – SB 406 by Sen. Brian Strickland – requires background checks for all personnel. Assigned to House Human Relations and Aging


State Nursing Board Transfer to DCH – SB 334 by Sen. Renee Unterman- move the nursing board from under the Secretary of State’s Office to DCH, much like the Composite Medical Board. Assigned to House Health


Out of Network Reform – SB 359 by Sen. Chuck Hufstetler – Addresses surprise/out of network billing and reflects the collective efforts of the Medical Association of Georgia and a board coalition of physician specialties. Awaiting House Committee Assignment


APRN Protocol and Supervision (FORMERLY Independent Practice) – SB 351 by Sen. Renee Unterman – AMENDED to allow for expanded supervision only – no RXing authority – Awaiting House Committee Assignment


Distracted Driving – HB 673 by Rep. John Carson – prohibits actions which distract a driver while operating a motor vehicle. Awaiting Senate Committee Assignment


Automated External Defibrillators – HB 992 by Rep. Jodi Lott – mandates that after use of any automated external defibrillator, emergency medical services are to be contacted. Awaiting Senate Committee Assignment


1013 Records Purge / Weapons Concealed Carry License Waiver – HB 999 by Rep. Christian Coomer – strips GA provision of a records purge of a 1013 for purposes of obtaining a gun and passing a gun background check. Awaiting Senate Committee Assignment


Optometric Injection Training – SB 382 by Sen. PK Martin – provides for consultation by the Department of Public Health on optometric training courses. Awaiting House Committee Assignment


Credit Card Payments from Insurers HB 818 by Rep. Lee Hawkins – allows the provider an option on payment method by the insurance carriers. Awaiting Senate Committee Assignment


Step Therapy – HB 519 by Rep. Sharon Cooper – Addresses the health insurance protocol requiring that certain medications be tried first. Awaiting Senate Committee Assignment


Georgia’s Employment First Act – HB 831 by Rep. Bill Werkhesier – Establishes the Employment First Georgia Council for all working age citizens with disabilities. Awaiting Senate Committee Assignment


GA Physician Workforce Name Change – SB 434 by Sen. Renee Unterman – changes the name to the GA Board of Health Care Workforce. Assigned to House Health


PTSD / THC Oil / Marijuana – HB 764 by Rep. David Clark – allows for small quantities of Low THC oil to be distributed and dispensed to those with PTSD. Awaiting Senate Committee Assignment


EMT 1013 Evaluations Pilot – SB 318 by Sen. Doc Rhett – allowing EMTs ordering a provisional 1013 in a pilot in two urban counties. Awaiting House Committee Assignment


Micro Hospitals – HB 769 by Rep. Rick Jasperse – CON Reform or Repeal dropped from the bill) This bill reflects the House Rural Development Council recommendations on health care, and among other things allows for micro hospitals. Assigned to Senate Health


Commission on Substance Abuse & Recovery – SB 352 by Sen. Renee Unterman – creates a way for communities and recovery treatment providers to work together to expand access to treatment, sets up a K-12 education strategy designed to educate students about and prevent abuse of substances (both street drugs and household medications); it will also include insurance reforms to protect patients who are undergoing treatment for drug addiction. Assigned to House Health


Bills: Failed to Move Forward

County or City Preemption Legislation (Trade Practices/Puppy Mills) – SB 418 by Sen. John Wilkinson – this highly controversial measure would have prohibited cities and counties from enacting local ordinances.


Prior Authorization Reform – HB 873 by Rep. David Knight – promotes consistency and clarity in the disclosure of prescription drug formularies.


DXM/Cough Medicine – HB 895 by Rep. Sharon Cooper – prohibits the sale of dextromethorphan to minors


E-Prescribing (Advanced by Walgreens)- SB 471 by Sen. Chuck Hufstetler – mandates electronic prescribing of all scripts.


CTCA CON Exemption – SB 459 by Sen. Matt Brass – allows for the cancer destination hospital to convert to an acute care hospital in Newnan.


Integrated Surgery Center ASC Exemption – HB 974 by Rep. Chuck Martin & SB 462 by Sen. John Albers – allows for a CON exemption for an orthopaedic sports medicine ASC.  


No CON reform/repeal legislation advanced


Microblading (Eyebrow Tattooing) – HB 977 – by Rep. Karen Mathiak – allows for a temporary tattoo above the eye socket.


Opioid Other Modality Treatments – HB 943 by Rep. Karen Mathiak – mandates carriers to cover other treatment options.


Massage Therapists – HB 915 by Rep. Lee Hawkins – allows for state licensure as a massage/bodywork therapist.

Click here for the full legislative tracking sheet


Next week, all candidates for re-election will qualify for office, and we expect many announcements in the coming days, including some surprises. The primary election is Tuesday, May 22nd.

We expect action on the budgets next week, the small budget is in conference committee now and we expect the House to take action on the 2019 budget.

Please let us know if you have any questions.


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