This week NDMA will be following priority bills through Conference Committee Hearings
A Conference Committee is a subcommittee of legislators that come together consisting of three members from both the Senate and House to resolve final details on a bill that is passed in both chambers, but with different amendments. The purpose is to find a compromise between both versions of the same bill. The bill then goes back to each chamber for a final vote.
HB 1519 Discussions on including more conditions continues. At this time the bill language includes the following additional conditions: anxiety disorder, Tourette syndrome, autism spectrum disorder and brain injury. The bill originally had 30 allowable conditions, but the Senate trimmed it to 21. The current law includes the following conditions, which remain in the bill: cancer, immunodeficiency virus, immune deficiency syndrome, decompensated cirrhosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, posttraumatic stress disorder, Alzheimers, Crohns, fibromyalgia, spinal stenosis, glaucoma, epilepsy, terminal illness.
HB 1417 This bill is proposing to increase quantity limits up to 7 1/2 ounces for cancer patients. The bill originally contained other conditions but was narrowed down to cancer only. Another important component to this bill is that it eliminates language that says "a health care provider states in the written certification that the qualifying patient would benefit from the medical use of marijuana." This means that the health care provider would no longer be obligated to certify that the patient would benefit from medical marijuana use. The final important component to pay attention to is that the language has been shifted from "shall" to "may" in Section 6, Subsection 7 of section 19-24.1-10: A registered qualifying patient's certifying health care provider may (not shall) notify the department in writing if the health care provider's registered qualifying patient no longer has a debilitating medical condition.
HB 1283 has some of the same components as HB 1417, such as no longer requiring the health care provider to certify that the patient would benefit from medical marijuana use and also changes the Subsection 7 language from "shall to may". In addition, it includes physician assistants to the list of health care providers who may certify patients. It also includes an exemption for veterans who receive care with the federal Veterans Administration, creating a streamlined pathway for veterans to become certified and includes a disclosure that mentions possession of a firearm by a person who possesses marijuana may be in violation of federal law.
HB 2012 - the ND Dept. of Human Services budget bill has many moving parts. A critical component for both NDMA and the ND Hospital Association is to keep Medicaid Expansion at existing rates. Compromising the rates to traditional rates would mean a $220 million cut for health care providers. Considering 90 percent of expansion dollars are federal, it is a good investment for the state: for every $10 the state invests, it receives $90 in federal funding. At this time, the house subcommittee has agreed to keep the existing rates, but with some additional amendments, such as reimbursing providers within the same provider type and specialty at consistent levels. In addition the committee discussed including a provider tax, which did not get majority approval from the committee, so this idea was cancelled. The amended bill will be voted on in the House on Monday, April 15. The next step will be the conference committee. NDMA will keep members posted on any updates.
UND School of Medicine
HB 1003 is the North Dakota University Systems budget bill and it continues to look positive for the UND SMHS in the upcoming biennium.
HB 1194 Relating to medical assistance tribal health care coordination agreements relating to Medicaid expansion; to provide for a report to the legislative management; to provide a continuing appropriation; to provide a contingent expiration date. The bill was amended in establishing the amount of federal dollars to deposit in excess of the state’s regular share of medical assistance funding from care coordination agreements. The share to the tribes was changed from fifty to seventy percent; and the general fund deposit changed from fifty to thirty percent. House did not concur.
SB 2094 - relating to the practice of telemedicine; and to amend North Dakota Century Code, relating to the definitions of the practice of medicine and telemedicine. Amendments included adding fluoroscopy technologist; and amending 43-17-02.3 – to provide one-time consultation on a diagnosis for a patient to a physician licensed in the state for a period of not more than seven days. Stay posted for more information.
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Contact Courtney Koebele, executive director, ND Medical Association, firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, concerns or comments.