Tennessee’s governor signs a bill into law establishing an independent physician assistant (PA) licensing board. Both legislative chambers in Louisiana and Texas pass breast cancer screening legislation.
Scope of Practice
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed House Bill (HB) 1080 into law. When originally filed, the law had a provision to expand the scope of practice of PAs. It has since been amended and now establishes an independent PA licensing board but does not include scope-of-practice changes. The Tennessee Radiological Society was part of a collaborative-care coalition that actively opposed independent practice by PAs or expansion of their scope. The law takes effect Jan. 1.
Breast Cancer Screening
In Louisiana, Senate Bill (SB) 119 passed both legislative chambers and awaits action by the governor. The bill would expand coverage to include:
• Annual MRI starting at age 25, and annual mammography (digital breast tomosynthesis [DBT] preferred modality) starting at age 30 for women with a hereditary susceptibility from pathogenic mutation carrier status or prior chest wall radiation.
• Annual mammogram (DBT preferred modality) and access to supplemental imaging (MRI preferred modality) starting at age 35 upon recommendation by the physician if the woman has a predicted lifetime risk greater than 20% by any validated model published in peer-reviewed medical literature.
• Consideration given to supplemental imaging (breast ultrasound preferred modality) for women with increased breast density, if recommended by a physician.
• Annual mammography (DBT preferred modality) for any woman who is 40 or older.
• Access to annual supplemental imaging (MRI preferred modality) for women with a prior history of breast cancer below the age of 50 or with a prior history of breast cancer at any age and dense breasts, if recommended by a physician.
The bill permits the expanded coverage to be subject to the health plan’s utilization review using guidelines published in peer-reviewed medical literature.
In Texas, SB 1065 passed both legislative chambers and awaits action by the governor. The bill would mandate carriers that cover screening mammograms also cover diagnostic imaging using mammography, ultrasound imaging or MRI. Diagnostic imaging would be used to evaluate:
• A subjective or objective abnormality in a breast detected by a physician or patient.
• An individual with a personal history of breast cancer or dense breast tissue.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker recommended legislation to temporarily extend COVID-19 Order No. 61 until Jan. 1. SB 2452 would continue to prohibit a healthcare provider from billing an enrollee for any amount above the reimbursement paid by a carrier for medically necessary emergency or inpatient services provided to the insured for COVID-19-related treatment, including all professional, diagnostic and laboratory services. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.