Legislative Update

The first major deadline of the 2023 legislative session was reached this week, with what is known as “turnaround”, the date at which most bills have to pass their chamber of origin in order to be alive for further consideration this session. However, there are exceptions to this deadline, as bills can be “blessed” which keeps them alive even though they have not passed their chamber of origin. Certain committees which are exempt from normal deadlines can also introduce bills about anytime, and the contents of a “dead” bill can always be added to an unrelated bill. So, even though there are deadlines, as a practical matter no issue is truly beyond the reach of the legislature as long as it is in session.

An example of an issue that failed to pass the Senate, but was “blessed”, keeping it alive for further consideration, is SB 112, which allows CRNAs to practice independently. Although the bill made it out of the Health Committee, the Senate deferred action on it for the time being. KMS opposed the bill and would like to thank everyone that reached out to their senator following Thursday’s call to action.

Two bills affecting the KU medical student loan program were advanced by their respective chambers this week - HB 2260, which allows medical students to switch between approved residency programs without violating their loan agreements, and SB 98, which expands the loan program to add obstetrics and gynecology to the list of approved specialties that are eligible for loans and associated loan forgiveness through service commitments. Both bills passed with nearly unanimous approval. KMS supports these bills.

The House also passed HB 2264, the “no patient left alone act”, which establishes new requirements related to visitation rights for terminally ill patients or those receiving end-of-life care in hospitals, adult-care homes and hospice facilities. KMS supports this bill.

The House passed HB 2263, which would allow pharmacy technicians, at least 18 years of age and working under the direct supervision of a pharmacist, to administer influenza vaccines to persons six years of age or older, and vaccines other than the influenza vaccine to persons twelve years of age or older. KMS is neutral on this bill.

The Senate passed SB 131, which authorizes certain health care professions licensed in a home state other than Kansas and traveling with a sports team to obtain a sports waiver license in order to practice their profession within Kansas on behalf of team members and coaching staff for a short period of time during sporting events. KMS is neutral on this bill.

The Senate passed two bills relating to abortion: SB 219, which prohibits certain abortion facilities from obtaining insurance from the Health Care Stabilization Fund; and SB 5, which prohibits the prescribing of drugs intended to cause an abortion via telemedicine. KMS does not have a position on these bills.

SB 6, which restricts the authority of the KDHE Secretary and local health officers to order individuals to isolate or quarantine to prevent the introduction and spread of infectious or contagious diseases, also passed the Senate. KMS opposed the bill.

The Senate also passed SB 180, the women's bill of rights, which provides several new statutory definitions (female, male, mother, father, sex), as well as allowing distinctions between the sexes with respect to athletics, prisons or other detention facilities, locker rooms, restrooms and other areas where biology, safety or privacy are implicated that result in separate accommodations. KMS does not have a position on this bill.

Finally, the Senate passed SB 233, the Kansas Child Mutilation Prevention Act. The bill would allow an individual who had gender reassignment service performed as a child to bring a civil cause of action against the physician who performed such service. The provisions of the Act would not apply if the child was born with a medically verifiable disorder of sex development, as defined in the bill. The bill also would require the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts (Board) to revoke the license of a physician who performed a childhood gender reassignment service. KMS does not have a position on this bill.

And, both the House and the Senate passed versions of the state budget which included the KMS-supported first comprehensive update to the Medicaid physician fee schedule in 16 years. The House version included a 5% increase in fees, while the Senate version included a 3% increase. The final amount will be negotiated in conference committee later this session.

The legislature will take Monday and Tuesday off next week, before reconvening to continue working through the issues remaining this session.

For questions about the above or any other legislation, please contact Rachelle Colombo This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

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