Legislative Update - 1/6/2011

The Indiana General Assembly has reconvened for what is set to be an exciting and challenging year. Yesterday both the House and Senate held brief sessions to introduce bills and announce the first committee hearings.

Though the focus of the long session is the writing of the two year budget, there are hundreds of other pieces of legislation to consider. In the scope of practice area there are two concerning bills, one is legislation that would eliminate the requirement for patients to have a physician referral to receive services from a physical therapist, and the other would authorize pharmacist administration of the pneumonia and shingles vaccine.

As the IAFP has been anticipating we have already seen several pieces of legislation that would make the drug Spice illegal and several pieces of legislation that would ban texting while driving. The IAFP has mandates from our Congress of Delegates to support those pieces of legislation.

The IAFP continues to watch for new legislation that will effect Family Physicians. Legislators are required to file their bills by January 11th, and at that time we will have a full picture of what the General Assembly will be tackling this year.

Next week the House Public Health Committee and the Senate Health and Provider Services Committee will both have their first meetings on January 12th. This year the House Health Public Health Committee has a new chair, Representative Tim Brown, MD, who is a family physician by training and an IAFP member.

When planning our advocacy efforts the IAFP uses the policies set by the IAFP Congress of Delegates and insight from our Board of Directors and Commission on Legislation. If you have any questions or would like more information about the IAFP's advocacy work, please contact Meredith Edwards at 317-237-4237 or medwards@in-afp.org.