From KMS Executive Director Rachelle Colombo:
After March 18, the regular session of the Legislature should be over for the most part. Then begins the process of reconciling bills in conference committees and in final floor vote activity. After the coming week there will likely be few (if any) new bills considered in 2022. Last week, the Senate voted to approve Senate Substitute for House Bill 2279 (the so-called APRN bill), which would amend the APRN practice statute to permit the prescribing of drugs without a collaborative practice agreement with a physician. While the bill’s impact is limited to prescribing, KMS believes that the prescribing of drugs is fundamental to the practice of medicine, and cannot be simply and safely parsed out to non-physician practitioners working without the collaboration or involvement of physicians.
In the coming week, the House will either simply concur with the Senate version of HB 2279 or send the bill to a conference committee. If you have not yet contacted your representative in the House, now would be an ideal time to do so.
KMS has been working hard to voice Kansas physicians’ opposition to allowing non-physicians to practice medicine in our state. Most legislators understand our concerns and, in any other political climate, would likely continue to oppose the APRN bill as they have for more than 30 years now. However, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce has made the APRN bill one of its highest legislative priorities. While many legislators have expressed concern about the Chamber’s APRN bill, the political pressure being applied by the business group and its affiliates in an election year is considerable.
You can find your representative’s contact information here and you can find suggested messaging to focus upon here.
Other proposals that remain alive for consideration this session include:
- House Substitute for Senate Bill 286 — This proposal would continue the state governmental response to the COVID-19 pandemic by extending the expanded use of telemedicine, the suspension of certain requirements related to medical care facilities, and immunity from civil liability for certain healthcare providers, certain persons conducting business in Kansas and covered facilities for COVID-19 claims until January 20, 2023. Also, amended onto this bill were the contents of House Bill 2620, which would create the crime of interference with the conduct of a hospital, providing criminal penalties for violation thereof and increasing the criminal penalties for battery of a healthcare provider who is employed by a hospital. This bill was approved by the House and is headed to the governor for her consideration.
- Senate Bill 200 — This proposal would expand pharmacists’ scope of practice to include initiation of therapy (“prescribing”) for — as amended — influenza, strep throat, or urinary tract infection, pursuant to a statewide protocol adopted by the collaborative drug therapy management advisory committee.
- Senate Bill 489 — This proposal would remove certain regulatory authority concerning infectious or contagious diseases from the secretary of health and environment. KMS testified against this bill, as it is the secretary who coordinates public health efforts with federal and local partners, such as PPE, tests, and vaccines.
Developments regarding each of these bills and others can be followed via the KMS Bill Tracker.
• • •