May 9, 2021   Gov. Stitt has signed an OAFP priority bill, telehealth payment parity SB674, into law. The governor signed the bill last Wednesday and it will become effective Jan. 1. You can read the bill and its provisions here. The State Department of Health is also required to publish a report about the cost and cost savings associated with telehealth by Jan. 1, 2023. We hope this law will be useful to all our members! Another provision signed into law was HB1006, which was developed by the medical community to proactively make efforts toward price transparency. The measure can be read here. Much of last week was dedicated to watching bills in conference and meeting with the governor and secretary of state’s staff to discuss SB674 and its importance to primary care. Now, as we move into the last three weeks of session we are down to the budget process and watching a few bills in conference. Here are the remaining issues and bills unless some last-minute surprises come up, which is always possible and often probable:
  • SB131 – would require the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to establish internal managed care and would in effect block privatized managed care of Medicaid. This bill awaits acceptance or rejection of House amendments. Dr. Crawford, Kari Webber and Dawn Watson had a chance to meet with Pro Tempore Treat and his staff this past week to discuss the importance of the measure and concerns with managed care. We are hoping for a good solution and are working to make the OAFP’s voice heard.
  • SB516 – would allow physicians to supervise as many PAs as they would like. This has been sent to conference and the author has stated he doesn’t know what will happen with it. This was a request of the PAs.
  • SB658 – the last remaining anti-vaccine measure. It would require school districts to publish that exemptions are available each time immunizations are referred to and also deals with mask mandates. This measure awaits acceptance or rejection of House amendments.
  • SB689 – restructures the Medical Advisory Committee at the health care authority. This has been sent to conference.
  • SB574 – requirement for the state to establish a health information exchange. This awaits acceptance or rejection of House amendments, including the right of a provider to use his or her current system.
We are winding down. Thank you to all of you who have responded to alerts. We will keep you posted in the coming days on any developments!  

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