Arizona’s governor signs a telehealth bill modifying reimbursement provisions into law. Breast cancer screening advances in Rhode Island while scope-of-practice legislation advances in Louisiana and Tennessee.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed House Bill (HB) 2454 into law. The new law mandates that corporations reimburse healthcare providers at the same level of payment for equivalent services as identified by the healthcare common procedure coding system, regardless of whether provided through telehealth using an audio-visual format or in-person care, unless the telehealth platform is sponsored or provided by the corporation. A corporation may not require a healthcare provider to use a telehealth platform that is sponsored or provided by the corporation as a condition of network participation.
Breast Cancer Screening
In Rhode Island, Senate Bill (SB) 651 passed the Senate. SB 651 would require the Rhode Island Department of Health to establish a program of free mammography screening according to American Cancer Society standards, and where required, follow-up, diagnostic testing and case management for women who are uninsured or underinsured. The screening program would secure radiology facilities to participate in the screening program, pay for screening mammograms and ensure that screening results are sent directly to the patient in a timely manner by mail, electronically or otherwise.
The Rhode Island chapter supports permitting practices to send screening results to the patient electronically.
Certificate of Need
In North Carolina, HB 750 was introduced and referred to the Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations. The bill would exempt the acquisition of a magnetic resonance imaging scanner by any specialty or multispecialty professional corporation of physicians licensed to practice medicine from certificate-of-need review.
Scope of Practice
In Louisiana, HB 495 passed the House. The bill supporters seek to permit full practice authority for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), including a repeal of their collaborative practice agreement requirements. HB 495 sponsors want to allow APRNs to plan and initiate a therapeutic regimen that would include diagnostic services.
The Louisiana Radiological Society is actively opposing this proposed measure.
In Oregon, HB 3036 will have its second reading in the House. Bill sponsors seek to change the practice agreement between a physician assistant (PA) and physician from a supervising to a collaborating agreement.
In Tennessee, HB 1080 passed both chambers of the state legislature. When originally filed, the bill had a provision to expand the scope of practice of PAs. The measure has since been amended and, in its current form, establishes an independent PA licensing board but does not include scope-of-practice changes from the PA’s current scope. The Tennessee Radiological Society worked as part of the collaborative care coalition to oppose independent practice by PAs or expansion of their scope.