2021 Session Wrap Up
The legislature has adjourned and the governor has taken action on all bills of interest to the OAFP. It was an extremely busy session with a record number of bills filed and the OAFP weighed in on measures ranging from managed care to patient issues. We were able to make some improvements but lost some battles as well.
Here’s a quick wrap up for a seemingly very long four months:
– SB516 – which would have allowed physicians to supervise an unlimited number of physician assistants did not pass but remains alive in conference for next session.
– SB574 – directs the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to establish a health information exchange certification with input from stakeholders.
– SB689 – alters the makeup of the health care authority’s Medical Advisory Committee and states that appointments may not be for more than four consecutive years.
– Two tobacco bills passed in the last days of session. A health care coalition was concerned that SB1078 would reclassify synthetic nicotine products, no longer listing them as tobacco, and thus lowering the tax. Despite the coalition’s efforts, that measure, which was dumped into a budget bill at the last minute, passed. In the next few days, HB2674, which states anyone under 21 cannot buy those nicotine products, passed, after the coalition expressed concern about possible confusion on the issue. The coalition still objected to changing the taxes.
– HB1006 – the medical community’s attempt at a price transparency bill that requires providers and facilities to make prices for certain health care services publicly available.
Lastly, thank you to all of you who made phone calls and sent emails to your legislators expressing the needs of your patients and practices. It truly always makes a difference but it especially did this session as we started session mostly monitoring and communicating remotely. Toward the end of session, we were able to finish in person most of the time.
After a short break, we will be ready to start working to prepare for next session!