Legislative Update

This past week was the last full week for hearings on non-exempt bills ahead of the “Turnaround” deadline. Next Monday and Tuesday will be the last opportunity for non-exempt bills to have a hearing and be advanced from their committee for consideration by the full House or Senate. After the turnaround deadline, only bills that have been acted upon, or introduced by an exempt committee (such as the budget committees), or exempted from the deadline (“blessed”) by the House Speaker or Senate President will be considered alive for action for the remainder of the legislative session. This deadline is an important part of the legislative process because it further focuses the work of the legislature for the remaining weeks of the session. As might be expected, in the days leading up to Turnaround, groups scramble to advance their issues and keep alive an opportunity for final passage in the second half of the session.

The health committees were particularly busy last week holding hearings on a wide array of issues. The Senate Public Health and Welfare committee took up SB 461 which establishes different standards for the remote supervision of laser hair removal and restricts physician delegatory authority. KMS opposed this measure, but the true focus of the bill was obscured by proponents’ description of this as a minor procedure and a small scope of expansion for licensed non-physicians. In reality, the bill has little to do with the procedure itself or non-physician scope of practice. SB 461 establishes a two-tier standard of care for in-person and remote care and supervision and creates a dangerous statutory precedent for medical care. The committee plans to work the bill next Tuesday and amend it onto a bill allowing for the practice of “sugaring,” another hair removal service.

The Senate health committee also held hearings on SB 390 and SB 391, bills expanding the exemptions for vaccinations and stripping the KDHE secretary of authority to impose quarantines, as well as adding a new civil cause of action for violation of the provisions contained in the bills. KMS also opposed these unnecessary and over-reactive responses to COVID public health measures. Next week, the Senate health committee will take up SB 490, allowing optometrists to perform surgery and other procedures currently prohibited within their scope of practice. KMS strongly opposes each of these measures.

Meanwhile, the House Health and Human Services Committee held a hearing and passed SB 2750 allowing for expedited partner therapy of sexually transmitted diseases. KMS supported the measure. The House committee also held a hearing on SB 2793, which would generally prohibit healthcare providers from treating minors (under 18 years of age) without parental consent, although several exceptions under existing law would remain in effect (emergencies, physical, sexual or mental abuse, consent to care by unmarried pregnant minors). The bill repeals existing law that allows minors to be treated for drug abuse, misuse or addiction without parental consent, and although it also repeals the exception relating to the provision of contraceptive care to minors, it appears that was intended to remain in effect, and will likely be amended if the committee works the bill. KMS supports the concept outlined in HB 2793, recognizing the importance of parental rights but also that valid exceptions exist and should be retained in the law.

Finally, both the House and Senate budget subcommittees held hearings where KMS requested a 10% increase in the Medicaid physician fee schedule. The House added a 15% across the board increase in the fee schedule into their recommendation which will now go to the full Appropriations committee. The Senate subcommittee has not yet put together their recommendation for the Ways and Means Committee.

Next week, after the non-exempt committees complete their work, the remainder of the week will see both the House and Senate consider those committee bills they wish to advance to the opposite chamber for further consideration.

Though, as is often the case, there are a number of problematic bills that have been introduced and are being considered, which is discouraging, it is still worth engaging in the process and advocating for the profession and your patients. If you have not already, I encourage you to look up your House Representative and Senator HERE. If you have questions about how they tend to vote on these or other issues, you can reach out to us at KMS, or begin a dialogue with your elected official directly. Many of them are new to these issues and this process and relationships impact how these proposals advance. While we work hard to represent you collectively, there is no substitute for a personal relationship built on mutual respect and a desire to help others.

For questions or comments on legislative matters, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Click Image to Expand

logo kms

KaMMCO 2018

logo khc

logo khin