StateScan features news on key state issues, highlights examples of ACEP chapters’ advocacy efforts, links to ACEP advocacy resources for chapters, and provides access to the current text and status of bills of interest to emergency medicine from state legislatures across the country.
The examples of chapter advocacy efforts in this section are gleaned from various sources including chapter newsletters, web sites and direct communication with chapter executives or elected leaders. Is your chapter planning an advocacy initiative or working on significant legislation or regulations in your state? Let us know.
Nevada – Averting a Cap on Emergency Care ReimbursementLate in the legislative session, a bill was introduced by the Assembly Speaker that would have created a constitutional amendment to cap reimbursement for emergency services at 200% of Medicare. With powerful interest groups also supporting the bill, substantial efforts by the emergency medicine community and its allies were required to prevent the bill from passing. While the bill did not pass, the issue is likely to return and the Nevada chapter will continue to work to find a more reasonable solution.
South Carolina-Former SCCEP President named to high ranking position within SC DHHSSCCEP immediate past president, Tripp Jennings, MD, FACEP, has been named the Director of Managed Care within the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Jennints will work side-by-side with Director Keck and others within the SC DHHS to help make health care policy for the state’s Medicaid population.
North Carolina-NCCEP Advocacy Efforts Stall Legislation to Weaken Motorcycle Helmet RepealThe North Carolina chapter has been strongly opposing House Bill 109, which would repeal the motorcycle helmet law. Dr. David Kammer testified before the House Judiciary B Subcommittee on behalf of NCCEP and made a strong case that the proposed repeal should be defeated. The bill will not move forward this session and will be changed to a study.
Illinois-ICEP Takes Action on SB 1658ICEP has utilized ACEP’s State Action Alert System to encourage its members to contact Governor Quinn, urging him to sign SB1658. The bill amends Public Act 096-1523 to ensure the preservation of the prudent layperson standard for emergency services which has been codified in Illinois law. It was passed without opposition by both houses of the General Assembly. Chapter members have until July 30 to send their message to the governor.
Florida Enacts Expert Witness ReformsGovernor Rick Scott has signed into law SB1792, which requires expert witnesses who testify in medical liability cases to practice in the same specialty as the defendant. The governor also signed HB7015 which further tightens the restrictions on who can testify as expert witness, utilizing the Daubert Standard, which requires theories espoused by experts to have been reviewed and received a basic level of credibility in the scientific community.
NJ Supreme Court Rules on Medical Malpractice Case Standards The New Jersey State Supreme Court recently ruled that physicians called as expert witnesses on a patient’s behalf must hold the same credentials as the physician accused of the wrongdoing. This ruling, with a 6-0 decision by the court, was the result of a lawsuit in which an internist was called as an expert witness in a case against both an emergency and family physician. According to Justice Barry Albin of the New Jersey Supreme Court, the Patients First Act of 2004, which addressed escalating medical malpractice insurance premiums, “does not permit [an internist] to testify about the standard of care exercised by a physician practicing in a different specialty.”
NJ Governor Vetoes EMS Overhaul But Signs SCTU LegislationGovernor Christie vetoed legislation that would centralize oversight and review of emergency medical services and personnel under the Department of Health and Senior Services. The governor signed legislation that directs hospitals to establish protocols for dispatch and patient transport by specialty care transportation units (SCTU) used for inter-facility transfers. SCTUs transport high level acuity, critically ill and compromised patients, who require more care than that of a standard Basic Life Support ambulance.
Maryland Eyes Potential Renewal of Hospital Rate Regulation Waiver from CMSMDACEP is actively monitoring efforts to renew the existing Medicare Waiver from CMS for Maryland’s “All-Payer” rate regulation of hospital services. The chapter is also actively participating in Maryland’s commitment to fully implement the ACA effective January 1, 2014.
Up-to-date information on bills of interest to emergency medicine from every state. Search by category and by state. Don't see a bill we should be following? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.