The first committee deadline of the 2023 legislative session will be this coming week so it promises to be one of the busiest weeks of session. Here are the highlights from last week: -We continued to meet to discuss SB458, the APRN/nurse midwife bill but did not come to any agreement. We believe that author Sen. Stanley is ready to put the bill on the floor but we have asked her to consider waiting to allow for more input. -With the passage of the law last session that requires all providers (not just Medicaid providers) to sign up for the state’s health information exchange system, many providers are now seeing a large charge to join the system. The bill from last session did not discuss the cost for providers. As a result, Susan Rogers, with the dental board, and I have drawn that to the attention of legislators who are now discussing a one-time budget appropriation to help providers with the cost. -Pricing transparency – Once again there is a pricing transparency measure, HB1890, that would allow patients to file suit to determine if a provider was out of compliance with transparency statutes and prohibit providers from taking collective action while a lawsuit is pending. The bill was laid over this past week but could come up this coming week. -Direct pay  – HB1504 would set up direct pay to providers but also requires a good-faith estimate. Author Rep. Sneed hopes this will end the practice of insurance companies paying patients rather than providers for out-of-network services. If you see any issues with this measure, please let me know. -HB1709, which would increase the number of SoonerCare patients an APRN can see to 2,500 passed committee and has moved to the floor. This measure seems unnecessary as the Oklahoma Health Care Authority can set that number through rulemaking. -SB597, which expands the types of physicians can serve on the medical board, passed committee. For example, it allows retired physicians, those who were educated at foreign medical schools but are licensed in the state and medical school faculty to serve. Wish us luck as we go into the first committee deadline week!

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