Legislative Update – Week of April 8, 2023

Legislators seemed to concentrate this past week on bills that were assigned to two committees for hearings since the committee deadline is this coming Thursday. Thus, several bills have made it through their first committee but must go on to the second committee this week. Double assignment tends to happen if the bill has a fiscal impact or is particularly complicated. Here’s a rundown of a few things that happened this past week:
  • HB1688 – passed subcommittee and was referred to Senate Appropriations and Budget. This measure creates the Oklahoma Health Care Transparency Initiative, effective July 1, 2024, through the state’s health information exchange system. The system will collect data from insurance companies and other entities such as managed care companies, without specific patient identifiers, to help with health care policy decisions in the state. The measure also states that the Oklahoma Health Care Authority must begin implementation of the health information exchange on July 1, 2023, rather than have it up and running as is stated in current law.
  • SB1087 – passed committee. This measure would designate physicians who provide services to public trust hospitals but are not technically employees, as employees for the purposes of the Governmental Tort Claims Act.
  • HB1956 – passed subcommittee and will go to full appropriations for a hearing. The measure would instruct the Oklahoma Tax Commission to garnish wages rather than notifying a delinquent taxpayer that their state license will not be renewed until the taxpayer comes into compliance.
  • SB1094 – also passed committee. This allows a medical power of attorney to be signed in front of a notary. Current statute states it is to be signed in front of two witnesses. This would allow for either scenario if it is passed into law.
Lastly, the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner has announced a special enrollment period on the health care marketplace for individuals being disenrolled in SoonerCare on April 30 due to the the public health emergency ending. See the following bulletins for more information: BULLETIN NO. 2-2023 | Oklahoma Insurance Department and BULLETIN NO. 1-2023 | Oklahoma Insurance Department The coming week will be full of committee work as members try to get their bills through committee. Wish us luck in another busy week!

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