Health bills moving on both sides
House approves amended PBM bill
House members Monday with no dissenting votes passed SB 489, which authorizes the Insurance Commissioner to license pharmacy benefits managers and establishes other requirements, including reporting from the PBM contracted with the Public Employees Insurance Agency.
The Senate bill required termination of the contract if the PBM fails to meet the mandated reporting requirements. The House amended the bill, allowing for termination and allows the Insurance Commissioner to discipline the PBM for failure to report.
There was an unresolved question about the bill applying to the current PEIA contract or subsequent contracts. PEIA uses the CVS Caremark prescription drug and medical device national formulary.
Bill passes House reducing MAT requirements
The House approved HB 3132, exempting providers serving less than 30 patients from Office-Based Medication-Asssited Treatment Rules.
Matthew Rohrbach, a Cabell County physician, said last week during a committee meeting rural providers want to provide treatment but can’t meet all the rule’s administrative requirements. He said passage of the bill allows physicians to care for patients in their communities. Licensed behavioral health facilities, already governed by legislative rules, are exempted.
Senate Judiciary approves involuntary hospitalizations
The Senate Judiciary Committee Monday approved SB 574, permitting a physician to involuntarily hospitalize for up to 48 hours a mentally ill or addicted patient if the physician feels the patient is a danger to himself or herself or others.
Hospitals must make an effort to contact mental hygiene commissioners, designated magistrates and circuit judges before instituting mental hygiene procedures. The Supreme Court will supply hospitals with contact information.
Bill allows for critical access changes pending Congressional action
SB 593, which allows critical access hospitals to become community outpatient medical centers, is on second reading in the House today. West Virginia Hospital Association President Joe Letnauchyn said WVHA is seeking the change in designation in advance of possible federal law changes dealing with critical access hospitals.
The federal change would allow critical access hospitals to close their often money-losing inpatient facilities and keep open their emergeny room facilities while retaining the right for ambulance drivers to deliver patients to them for care.
A a companion version of the bill, HB 2953, which was also moving through the House, has been parked so the Senate version can complete the process.