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Kim Moser: A recap of the legislative actions on quality health care, a session priority

As the dust settles on the legislative session and preparation begins for the interim period, I find myself reflecting on the bills and resolutions passed by the state legislature.

Most will take effect on July 14, with the exception of those that have emergency clauses or include a specific date. In a state that leads the nation in cancer, high blood pressure, and so many other health conditions, one of the biggest priorities continues to be finding ways to improve access to quality healthcare.
Humanity in Healthcare: HB 3 was coined as the omnibus pro-life measure of this session, and later was named the Humanity in Healthcare Act. The bill addresses several abortion-related issues these include chemical abortions, dignified disposal of fetal remains, public funding, informed consent, parental consent/judicial bypass. I am most proud of this measure because it signals a shift from treating abortion as a transaction to recognizing it as a serious medical procedure.

Rep. Kim Moser

Navigating Medical Care: HB 525 improves access to care in underserved communities by supporting community health workers (CHW), who are frontline health pros helping medically underserved communities overcome barriers to care. CHWs have a uniquely close relationship to and understanding of the area they serve, and they focus on connecting people with available health and social services.

Telehealth without Borders:  HB 188 prevents administrative agencies from making rules prohibiting the delivery of telehealth services to Kentucky residents who are temporarily out-of-state as well as out-of-state residents temporarily visiting. The agency also may not require a healthcare provider to be physically located in the state they are licensed in to provide telehealth to a permanent resident of the same state.
The Margaret M. Poore Lung Cancer Screening Act: HB 219 creates a lung cancer screening program, addressing Kentucky’s #1 in the nation ranking in Lung Cancer incidence, similar to that used to build awareness of and increase screenings for colon cancer. Will improve survival rate through early detection when treatment is better and less costly.

Charitable Assistance with Medical Bills: HB 317 requires health insurance companies to treat premium and other cost-sharing payments made by nonprofits on behalf of someone as if those payments came from that individual. This measure ensures continuity of care for patients as their coverage will not be dropped at any time due to nonpayment.

Rural Hospital Loan Fund: HB 364 expands the Rural Hospital Loan Fund and allows monies to be used to repurpose former hospitals and medical infrastructure. HB 364 also incentivizes the new facility to hire local talent within the region.

Fertility Fraud: HB 402 adds fraudulent assisted reproduction (IVF) to the list of violations that may cause a doctor to lose or be restricted in the use of his or her medical license.

Heart Attack Response Guidelines: HB 512 establishes the foundation of a coordinated heart attack system of care. Under the provisions of the bill, hospitals will be designated as Level I, II, or III for heart attack care. This designation will help ensure every Kentuckian, regardless of where they live, receives timely access to quality care with seamless transition from one stage to the next, while also creating more communication and collaboration between hospitals and EMS around the state.

Licensed Professional Counseling Compact: HB 65 allows Kentucky to participate in an interstate compact for licensed professional counselors in order to eliminate redundancy and grant increased access to mental health services.

Licensed Psychological Associate: HB 237 allows applicants pursuing their doctorate in psychology that have the equivalent education for a master’s degree to practice as a “licensed psychological associate.” It also requires that three hours of existing continuing education are used to discuss the social determinants of health.

Extends Medicaid Eligibility: SB 178 extends Medicaid eligibility for certain new mothers and children for up to 12 months postpartum. The bill states that if a mom in labor presents at the hospital in active addiction, she would be offered an assessment by a drug treatment provider, then assigned to a certified peer support specialist before she is discharged from the hospital. She will then be given 90 days to enter a drug treatment program instead of DCBS immediately removing the child, with oversight and support in place.

Additionally, the measure requires the Secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet to contract with an independent entity to monitor pharmacy benefit claims for the Public Employee Health Insurance Program claims for a two-year period. The bill also capped total compensation paid by the department to the independent contracted entity to not exceed 30 percent of the total savings generated by the contracted entity and deleted the five-year experience requirement.

Kim Moser is a state representative from NKY. She can be reached through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181 or by email at Kimberly.Moser@lrc.ky.gov. If you would like more information on any of the legislation passed during the 2022 regular legislative session, please visit the LRC website www.legislature.ky.gov.

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