State legislative report

Posted on: 2/15/19


Week two of the First Session of the 57th Oklahoma Legislature finds lawmakers dealing with issues such as “constitutional carry” (HB 2597) and the final meeting on medical marijuana as the legislative working group offers recommendations to lawmakers about possible changes to the state question authorizing the “medical” use of the product. Additionally, there are a myriad of bills dealing with health care from scope of practice to insurance coverage to discussions on Medicaid expansion.

Bills introduced for this legislative session must receive a hearing in the committee of the house of introduction and be voted out of committee before they go to the floor in the house of introduction for action. The committee deadline is Thursday, Feb. 28. March 14 is the deadline for bills and resolutions to be reported from the floor of the house of introduction (third reading) to the opposite house. House bills go the Senate and Senate bills go to the House for consideration.

Status of bills supported by OHA, pending committee hearing: HB 1089, Extends SHOPP sunset date for five years to Dec. 31, 2025; HB 1225, Prompt Pay – initiates a statutory change for commercial carriers to pay providers promptly for clean claims by changing the current 30 days request for additional information to 15 days after receiving a claim; SB 848, addresses the opioid epidemic while advocating for physicians to determine patient care in post-surgical situations in the prescribing of opioids; HB 2288, removes loopholes in the Oklahoma Clean Indoor Air Act; SB 86, expands definitions of medical care providers related to aggravated assault and battery with a firearm beyond emergency care providers; and SB 605, accepts federal funds for Medicaid expansion through Insure Oklahoma.

Status of bills supported by OHA that passed committee: SB 575, modifies the statute for parental consent for the treatment of minors to allow for written consent for a telemedicine encounter, thereby removing a barrier for implementation of school-based telemedicine by requiring the parent to be present during the visit; and SB 704, provides protection for living organ donors under the Oklahoma Living Organ Donor Fairness Act by providing fairness in treatment by life insurance carriers.

Status of bills opposed by OHA, pending committee hearing: HB 2417
, Right to Shop requires health plans to establish a program in which enrollees are directly incentivized to shop before and after their out-of-pocket limit has been met, therefore encouraging health care consumers to make decisions based on a potential for monetary gain, the application of which is an incentive to out-of-network providers; SB 68, authorizes free-standing emergency room licensure for facilities that do not meet federal requirements for designation as an emergency room, are not eligible for reimbursement by Medicare and Medicaid, and are not affiliated with an existing licensed Oklahoma hospital system or facility; and, SB 955, creates licensure of radiologic technologists, changing the established practice of x-rays taken by an assistant or technologist working under the license and direction of a physician to requiring four separate licenses and six separate permits to x-ray separate portions of the body. State licensure is simply a needless duplication and added expense and would require several different licenses, primarily for people who are already certified by other professional entities.  

Status of scope of practice bills: SB 801, changes the current requirement that a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist work under the supervision of a medical doctor, osteopathic physician or dentist to working “in collaboration with” a physician. SB 801 passed from committee this week and will go to the Senate floor for consideration; and, SB 839, which allows prescriptive authority for Certified Nurse Practitioners who have obtained a waiver of supervision from the State Board of Nursing, is pending a hearing in Senate committee.

For more information about specific legislation, please email Shelly Bush, OHA education & government relations assistant, bush@okoha.com. (Lynne White)

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