Week two of legislative session brough more scope discussions and movement on many other bills as legislators pushed to get their measures heard.
Here is an update of some of the measures from this week:
- SB458 – APRN and nurse midwife prescriptive authority, physician and nurse organizations met with Sen. Stanley to talk about the bill once again and are scheduled to meet again this coming week. The bill passed out of committee but Sen. Stanley took the title off the bill to give groups more time to talk.
- HB1709 – Would allow APRNs to serve as primary care provider for up to 2,500 Sooner Care patients and would allow the Oklahoma Health Care Authority director to increase that number at his or her discretion. The current number is 1,200 for APRNs. Doctors are capped at 2,500 and can apply for an increase, according to OHCA rules.
- SB303 – would change the way the medical board is appointed. It removes the requirement that appointees be taken from a list provided by the Oklahoma State Medical Association and instead says that the governor, speaker of the House and pro tempore of the Senate may, rather than shall, select from physician and physician assistant organizations. It also changes terms from seven to four years. We spoke to bill author, Sen. Daniels, about whether other organizations could be named but she didn’t want to do so. It also states that appointees may be removed without cause. The measure passed out of committee with the title off. Should the measure pass, we may want to consider preparing to make our own recommendations.
- SB931 – This measure would allow pharmacists to order, perform and interpret tests and initiate drug therapy for minor, nonchronic health conditions. It also includes dispensing self-administered hormonal contraceptives and nicotine replacement therapy products. This measure passed committee. Physician groups have expressed concern with the allowance of pharmacists to diagnose and prescribe for issues such as strep throat and UTIs.
Other issues of note:
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- Health information exchange – As more are beginning the process of signing up for the statewide HIE, as mandated by a law passed last session, some providers have expressed concern about the cost. We have started some conversations with legislators and there is a chance there could be legislation to establish a scholarship program. We will keep you posted.
- HB2793 – which would allow medical school faculty to serve on the State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision, passed committee.
- SB1094 – which makes another small change to the health care power of attorney statute, passed committee. The change allows for health care power of attorney to be signed in the presence of a notary or two witnesses. We will keep watch on this measure to make sure it doesn’t have big changes.