By Michael D.I. Siget, JD, MPA, PAMED's Legislative & Regulatory Counsel
With the legislative session a few months old, I thought it would be a good time to summarize some bills of interest to physicians that have passed one chamber of the legislature.
In this Bills on the Hill, I will be reviewing investigational drugs, minor's consent to treatment, exceptions to the PDMP, who may sign death certificates, requirements to report convictions, and CRNP independent practice.
HB 45, introduced by Rep. Robert Godshall and cited as the "Right-to-Try Act," would allow eligible patients with a terminal illness to use investigational drugs, biological products, and devices not yet approved the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Under this bill, a manufacturer of an investigational drug, biological product, or device may make available, and an eligible patient may request them, as long as the patient has a terminal illness and meets other requirements in the bill. A health care provider who in good faith recommends or participates in the use of an investigational drug, biological product, or medical device under this bill will be immune from criminal or civil liability or professional misconduct.
HB 45 passed the House of Representatives (193-0) on April 18, 2017. It has been referred to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
HB 381, introduced by Rep. Pam Snyder, would amend the Allowing Minors to Consent to Medical Care Act in order to give the Department of Human Services the ability to issue guidelines and promulgate rules and regulations to clarify a minor's right to mental health treatment without needing the consent of a parent or guardian.
HB 381 passed the House of Representatives (193-0) on April 18, 2017. It has been referred to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
HB 395, introduced by Rep. Gene DiGorolamo, would exempt non-narcotic Schedule V controlled substances used to treat an epilepsy or seizure disorder from the initial querying requirements under the Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions Program (ABC-MAP) Act, known as the PDMP law. It would also exempt a prescriber from having to query the PDMP system, after the initial query, for a patient under hospice care.
HB 395 passed the House of Representatives (190-0) on April 26, 2017. It has been referred to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
HB 424, introduced by Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, would allow physician assistants (PA) to sign a death certificate for a patient under the care of that PA. Under current law, PAs are permitted to determine the cause of death and pronounce death, but they are not permitted to sign a death certificate.
HB 424 passed the House of Representatives (190-0) on March 22, 2017. It has been referred to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
HB 548, introduced by Rep. Harry Readshaw, would require all licensees under the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA), which includes physicians, to report convictions within 30 days. Currently, the laws vary on reporting requirements. To provide consistency among all BPOA licensure boards, the reporting requirement would be made uniform and would apply to every licensee under BPOA equally.
HB 548 passed the House of Representatives (197-0) on April 4, 2017. It has been referred to the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee.
SB 25, introduced by Sen. Camera Bartolotta, would grant certified registered nurse practitioners independent practice rights after certain conditions were met, including collaboration with a physician for no less than three years and 3,600 hours.
CRNPs, who would become certified nurse practitioners, would have to complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years, would be allowed to independently prescribe controlled substances and would be allowed to join medical staffs of a health care facility.
SB 25 is similar in scope to last session's SB 717, which passed the Senate but failed to get voted out of the House Professional Licensure Committee. SB 25 passed the Senate (39-10) on April 26, 2017. It has been referred to the House Professional Licensure Committee.