|Two nursing bills are poised for passage.
HB 2407 rewrites the Nurse Practice Act. The bill:
· Prohibits the practice of nursing without a license
· Provides for board composition and qualifications
· Sets forth the powers and duties of the board
· Clarifies rule-making authority
· Establishes license and permit requirements, qualifications for licensure
· Codifies a scope of practice
· Creates a temporary permit
· Provides for reciprocal licensure, establishes renewal requirements, provides for exemptions from licensure and creates a special volunteer license
· Continues a Joint Advisory Council, provides the council’s composition, terms, powers and duties
· Permits the board to file an injunction
· Sets forth grounds for disciplinary actions, allows for specific disciplinary actions
· Provides procedures for complaint investigation
· Provides for judicial review and appeals of decisions
· Sets forth hearing and notice requirements
· Provides for civil causes of action
· Provides criminal offenses are to be reported to law enforcement
· Provides criminal penalties
Committee Substitute for HB 2531 allows a trained advanced practice nurse to provide counseling services in a medication-assisted treatment program.
HB 2510 requires the Legislative Auditor to conduct review of the fee structure of a specific board of examination or registration when its special fund exceeds twice its annual budget or $10,000, whichever is greater. It also requires the Legislative Auditor report to the Joint Standing Committee on Government Organization
HB 2525 permits a pharmacist to dispense tobacco cessation therapy under a standing prescription drug order.
Prior authorization bill to pass tomorrow in Senate
The House-passed HB 2351 is a resurrected version of a prior authorization bill vetoed last year by Gov. Jim Justice for what he said violated the contract clause of the United States Constitution and the West Virginia Constitution. Those provisions are not in this year’s House legislation.
When the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee last Thursday took up the bill, it struck the House language and inserted its own much more prescriptive provisions. The Senate version requires a comprehensive list of all procedures requiring prior authorization be listed on an insurance company’s online form, requires prior authorization for an “episode of care” and not individual procedures, states a medical director must make the ultimate prior authorization procedure decision and allows for a three-day course of non-prior-authorized prescriptions when an individual is discharged from a hospital. The bill also provides any physician performing 30 prior-authorized procedures in three months be exempted from prior authorization requirements for three months.
Anti-vaccination bill introduced
SB 454 was introduced Tuesday and referred to the Senate Committee on Health and Human Resources and then to the Senate Judiciary Committee. It is similar to SB 359, which died last year. It grants exemptions from mandatory or required exemptions to school students, college and vocational students and employees of businesses requiring immunizations.
For school children, the bill provides, “A child shall be exempt from compulsory immunizations upon presentation to the child’s school any one of the following certifications.”
· A request that “must be accompanied by the certification of a licensed physician or advanced practice nurse who has personally examined the patient.” The certification must state “that immunization is contraindicated or there exists a specific precaution to a particular vaccine.”
· A request “signed by any parent or legal guardian of the child that the religious beliefs of the signator are contrary to the compulsory immunizations.”
· A request “signed by any parent or legal guardian of the child … indicating that the signator has either a conscientious or personal objection to the immunization of the child.”
The higher education and employment exemptions are similar, although parental permission is not required because the student or employee is older than 18. “Employers,” according to the bill, “shall not penalize or discriminate against employees for exercising this exemption right.”
In Tuesday comments about the bill, Sen. Ron Stollings, a longtime vaccine proponent, pointed out the state of emergency in Washington State because of a measles outbreak. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Mark Maynard said the bill gives parents freedom from giving their child vaccines, which he said cause autism and are made from aborted fetuses.
Senate Health reports tobacco-in-vehicles bill
Members of the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee approved with amendment SB 81, which prohibits using tobacco products in an automobile when children under 18 years of age are present. The bill was amended to include vaping in the definition of tobacco and to direct the $25-secondary-offense fines from the offenses into a tobacco education fund. The bill dies each year in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
House Health reports PBM bill
The House Health and Human Resources Committee approved 2651, which requires Pharmacy Benefit Managers who do business with the Public Employees Insurance Agency to provide quarterly reports including:
The amount paid to the pharmacy provider per claim, including, but not limited to:
cost of drug reimbursement;
the amount charged to the plan sponsor for each claim by its pharmacy benefit manager.
If there is a difference between these amounts, the plan sponsor must report an itemization of all administrative fees, rebates, or processing charges associated with the claim.