Legislative Update – Week of May 21, 2023

As we are winding down the 2023 session, legislators seemingly have come to an agreement on education and an overall budget. Last week, the legislator called for a concurrent special session to deal with the budget. This will allow them to pass a budget and then come back after regular session ends this coming Friday to override vetoes during special session if they choose to. They must finish all policy measures by this coming Friday and adjourn the regular session. A few things remain active but for the most part everything except the budget is finished or dormant. Here’s a rundown of the action last week:
  • Health Information Exchange – It remains to be seen whether the legislature will fund the initiation fees for providers. Some of the health care associations have asked the legislature to do so, pointing out that other states fund their statewide health information exchange systems. Mental health and behavioral health providers continue to have concerns about patient privacy and there has been a move to disapprove the rules through HJR1045 and SJR22. However, this would remove exemptions created through the rules. The House has passed HJR1045 but the Senate has yet to act on SJR22. It is scheduled for Monday but that could change. Even if the rules are rejected, the HIE will still take effect July 1. It is generally thought that if the legislature does not approve the rules, the governor will approve a similar version outside of session. The OSMA has developed a FAQ on the subject. To find more information about exemptions visit this link.
  • HJR1045 and SJR22 also has a disapproval of the Oklahoma State Medical Board rules regarding PAs and prescribing. Each has a number of amendments pending so I have linked the summary pages rather than the floor versions of the bills. A summary of all rules set for possible disapproval, including the PA rule, can be found here. We will see if the Senate hears SJR22.
  • The governor signed HB1657 which would require the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to streamline the process for Medicaid provider enrollment and credentialling for fee-for-service.
Wish us luck in the last week of session and the possibility of avoiding special session later this summer!

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