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News & Press: Legislative

Committee Passes Bill Allowing MA Coverage For Orders Not Signed By Physician

Wednesday, October 25, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sarah Bass
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From Forbes McIntosh, Government Policy Solutions, WALA Lobbyist


A bill that would ensure that Medicaid will reimburse health care providers for services ordered by advanced practitioners is a "simple fix" that will make the state's health delivery system more efficient, the bill's author testified. 

State Senator Leah Vukmir, author of Senate Bill 452, said this bill will save time for both practitioners and patients, by not requiring a physician's co-signature on an order in some cases. Instead, advanced practitioners working within the scope of their practice could sign orders - and allow Medicaid to pay for those services. Vukmir said this means patients aren't waiting around to have an order signed by a physician when it could be done by another provider.

Vukmir said the bill has support from multiple health care organizations.

Senate Bill 452 specifies that certain services may be covered by the Medical Assistance program if prescribed or ordered by a provider acting within the scope of the provider's practice under laws that govern the provider's practice. The federally mandated benefits affected by this change are certain skilled nursing home services; federally mandated benefits provided by a hospital on an outpatient basis; home health services; laboratory and X-ray services; and services and supplies for family planning. Other services affected by this change are intermediate care facility services; physical and occupational therapy; speech, hearing, and language disorder services; medical supplies and equipment; certain services for patients of any institution for mental diseases; nursing services; legend and over-the-counter drugs; personal care services; certain mental health rehabilitative and psychosocial services; community recovery services; and respiratory care services for ventilator-dependent individuals. 

The Assembly Committee on Health voted Thursday in support of passage of the bill's Assembly companion, Assembly Bill 529.  

Click here to see the written testimony from the public hearing.

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