How MSMA Protects Physicians, Patients
MSMA focuses on legislation that impacts the practice of medicine and patient care. Here's a look at some of the issues on which MSMA took action in 2019.
PRIOR AUTHORIZATION REFORM (SB 514) - This bill contains numerous provisions that streamline the prior authorization process. Among other things, it prohibits insurers from revoking prior authorizations for 45 days, requires them to transition to electronic prior authorization systems by 2021, and mandates they make the clinical criteria used in their prior authorization decisions available to physicians and patients online.
(MSMA SUPPORTED, BILL PASSED)
PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS (SB 514) - This bill replaced the term “supervision agreement” with “collaborative agreement” in the physician assistant (PA) practice act. Essentially, this bill brings the physician assistant section in line with other mid-level collaborative agreement statutes that already exist for APRNs and APs. (MSMA SUPPORTED, BILL PASSED)
MEDICATION-ASSISTED TREATMENT (HB 399) - This legislation allows for quicker access to life-saving medication-assisted treatment drugs for patients with substance abuse disorders. These drugs can no longer be subject to prior authorization or step therapy, and they must be on the insurer’s lowest cost-sharing tier. (MSMA SUPPORTED, BILL PASSED)
VIRTUAL CREDIT CARDS (HB 399) - This bill prohibits insurance companies from forcing physicians to accept a method of reimbursement that requires the physician to pay a transaction fee - like a credit card. Under the legislation, an insurer can offer such a payment method, but they must also offer an alternative reimbursement option with no fee attached.
(MSMA SUPPORTED, BILL PASSED)
APRN LICENSURE/SCOPE - This bill would have granted APRNs a license under the Board of Nursing. The legislation also would have defined and expanded APRN scope of practice in statute and allowed for a path to independent practice outside of a collaborative practice arrangement. (MSMA OPPOSED, BILL FAILED)
PHYSICAL THERAPY ACCESS - This legislation would have granted patients direct access to physical therapy services without a prescription from a physician for 10 visits or 21 business days. We dislike this idea greatly since physical therapists can’t diagnose, and patients shouldn’t be starting physical therapy without a medical diagnosis.
(MSMA OPPOSED, BILL FAILED)
ANTI-VAXX - Two bills this year would have benefitted the anti-vaccination movement. The first would have prohibited discrimination against unvaccinated children in schools and medical facilities (effectively requiring physicians to accept patients who are unvaccinated even if the physician does not wish to expose their other patients). The second would have created a long list of information that physicians would be required to present to their patients prior to providing a vaccination. These misguided people will be back next year. (MSMA OPPOSED, BILL FAILED)