Indiana General Assembly's "Short Session" Comes To An End

 

General Assembly's "Short Session" Ends

The Indiana legislature adjourned “sine die” late last night, marking the end of the 2014 “short” legislative session.   While issues such as preschool vouchers, business tax cuts, mass transit and day care were at the forefront of discussion, several health-related matters were addressed as well.  Those bills identified as “enrolled acts” below were successful and will proceed to the Governor’s desk for final signature. Unless otherwise noted, most of these laws will become effective July 1.  Look for a full report of successful health-related legislation later this month.

Regulating Prescribing
Notably, efforts to make Tramadol a Schedule III drug were tabled this legislative session.  During legislative hearings, IAFP expressed concern with moving too aggressively on regulating pain management.  IAFP indicated general support of efforts to curb prescription drug abuse, but noted that scheduling Tramadol may have unintended consequences and lead to the under treatment of pain.  IAFP’s message resonated with members and this language was shelved for the rest of the session.

House Enrolled Act 1218 will make all insulin a legend drug.  IAFP was neutral on this issue.

Several legislative attempts to schedule or make ephedrine/pseudoephedrine legend drugs were unsuccessful. IAFP testified against these efforts. 

Efforts to expand INSPECT to all legend drugs did advance, with some limitations.  House Enrolled Act 1218 will require the Professional Licensing Agency to study and report by October 1, 2014 on various issues relating to an INSPECT expansion.  Among others, the issues include: the impact of including all legend drugs in INSPECT; an analysis of security concerns related to patient and provider privacy; regulatory impact analysis and a fiscal impact analysis.  The expansion is set to take place by July 1, 2015, assuming there are no major issues identified by the study and report.

Public Health
Two bills backed by IAFP’s Commission on Legislation will become law.  Senate Enrolled Act 50 will prohibit a person less than 16 years old from using a tanning device at a tanning facility. Senate Enrolled Act 245 will allow health care providers with prescriptive authority to prescribe auto-injectable epinephrine to a school or school district, and allow certain individuals employed by the school to fill, store and administer the drug.  The bill also provides civil immunity to the school employees and health care providers.  

Health Care Delivery
House Enrolled Act 1258 will require the Medical Licensing Board to establish a pilot program beforeAugust 1, 2014 for physicians to provide telehealth services to patients without an in-person patient/physician relationship.  The MLB will set standards and procedures for physicians to follow when treating patients in the pilot program. 

 

Scope of Practice
Not many scope of practice issues played out before the General Assembly.  However, Senate Enrolled Act 233 will provide for the licensure of a new provider type – an anesthesiologist assistant.  In addition, this bill will provide licensure of diabetes educators and recognize certified registered nurse anesthetists (“CRNA’s”) as advanced practice nurses.  Notably, these efforts were successfully during last year’s legislative session, but you might recall the Governor vetoed them.  It is not expected the Governor will veto them this time around.