Legislative Successes – 2018

CSMS Fighting for You, Your Practice and Your Patients

You have helped the practice of medicine and advanced quality care for the residents of our state by being an active member of CSMS.  Your membership makes a difference and our voice at the Capitol was loud and victorious during this short, tumultuous session.  Please see many of the successful achievements we have made on your behalf this year in Hartford.

CSMS Legislative Successes

  • CSMS successfully lobbied to prevent the establishment a $1,000 penalty for each failure to check Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), regardless of intent or situation.  This success alone could be a significant savings for all physicians.

House Bill 5241 AN ACT CONCERNING PHARMACIST AND PRACTITIONER COMPLIANCE RATES AND THE ELECTRONIC PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING PROGRAM.  Sign by the Governor.  Read our testimony here

  • CSMS effectively prevented a new continuing medication education (CME) mandate.

House Bill 5297: AN ACT CONCERNING CONTINUING MEDICAL EDUCATION IN SCREENING FOR INFLAMMATORY BREAST CANCER AND GASTROINTESTINAL CANCERS.  Read our testimony here.  Our efforts led to the prevention of new mandates for continuing medical education (CME) for the screening of rare and gastric cancers using colonoscopies and endoscopies and inflammatory breast disease.  While CSMS values accredited continuing medical education, we are currently working with Gastroenterologists and others about the types of CME programs that may work to help educate and inform members and meet the risk management requirement, this legislation drew concern for what another CME mandate would mean for physicians. CSMS successfully worked to amend the legislation allowing physicians to meet existing risk management CME requirements with courses related to these issues. (Not passed).

  •  Instrumental in passing legislation aimed at making Medicaid audits more transparent, fair and equitable.

Senate Bill 243 AN ACT CONCERNING AUDITS OF MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROVIDERS. Signed by the Governor.

CSMS successfully worked with the Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and legislative leaders to ensure that the Department of Social Services (DSS): provides information about types of information to be reviewed in the audit; does not apply medical payment policies retroactively; provides information regarding standard audit procedures; and ensures auditors review electronic medical records associated with an audited chart.

 

  • CSMS advocated for action in addressing escalating costs of prescriptions, the lack of transparency in pricing, and the lack of adherence your patients have due to prescription costs. 

House Bill 5384 AN ACT CONCERNING PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS.  Signed by the Governor.

Read our testimony here.  You can also click here to watch a recent press conference, featuring a bipartisan group of legislators, patient advocates, the Universal Health Care Foundation, and CSMS CEO/EVP, Matthew Katz, discussing the rising costs of prescription drug prices. CSMS shared the concern of our physician members & their patients and our support of this bill.  This legislation will bring much needed transparency to the prescription drug arena so that physicians and patients have more information to make informed decisions when it comes to the cost of drugs, the savings or rebates to insurers, PBMs and others, and how drug costs factor or figure into health insurance premiums.

  • Once again, CSMS has successfully prevented legislation that would allow Naturopaths to prescribe controlled substances. 

House Bill 5294 AN ACT CONCERNING NATUROPATHS.  (Not passed).  To amend the meaning of “naturopathy” and to establish a procedure for naturopathic physicians to administer prescription medications.  Read our testimony here

  • Successfully prevented mandated blood testing for Lyme disease for patients with undiagnosed pain.

Senate Bill 200 AN ACT REQUIRING LYME DISEASE TESTING IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES Read our testimony here. (Not passed).

  • CSMS joined with the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Connecticut Chapter in support of a mandate to protect essential health benefits for women and children

House Bill 5210 – AN ACT MANDATING INSURANCE COVERAGE OF ESSENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS AND EXPANDING MANDATED HEALTH BENEFITS FOR WOMEN, CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS.  Signed by the Governor.

Read our testimony here. The bill will provide coverage for children in accordance with the most recent edition of the American Academy of Pediatrics “Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents” and codify certain coverage for women’s health services.  CSMS is always on the side of quality patient care.

  • CSMS successfully prevented legislation that would have eviscerated the out of network statutes for emergency services

House Bill 5039 AN ACT CONCERNING MANDATED HEALTH BENEFIT REVIEW AND SURPRISE BILLING.  Read our testimony here.  Because of action taken by CSMS through Public Act 15-146*, Connecticut now has the best out of network statute in the nation that protects both patients and physicians from health insurer abuses in access and payment for services.  CSMS will continue to aggressively protect this and rally against legislation, like this bill.  *Public Act 15-146 established certain protections for physicians and other health care providers and professionals required to provide emergency services who, for any reason, are not in-network providers of the plan providing coverage for the patient.

  • CSMS lobbied for legislation regarding living wills for pregnant women.

House Bill 5148 AN ACT CONCERNING PREGNANT PATIENTS EXERCISING LIVING WILLS.  Signed by the Governor.

Read our testimony here  The bill clearly states how the living wills of pregnant women shall be executed should the unfortunate need arise for it to be invoked.  Thank you to members of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists CT Chapter (ACOG) for joining us in our support of this bill and Julia Cron, MD, Chair of CT ACOG and CSMS member, who provided public testimony.  CSMS and the Connecticut Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly support this legislation.

  • CSMS was the first medical society in the nation to foster legislative discussion on high deductible plans, calling for legislation to protect physicians with patients in those plans.  CSMS called for and obtained a ground-breaking hearing on this issue.  We will continue to aggressively argue that physicians are not bill collectors and that they should not be responsible for collecting payments for health insurers. 

Senate Bill 378 AN ACT CONCERNING REIMBURSEMENTS UNDER CERTAIN HIGH DEDUCTIBLE HEALTH PLANS.  Read our testimony here.   You can also click here to read Matthew Katz’s, CSMS EVP/CEO, article in Connecticut Medicine that explains the bill and our successful efforts further

  •  CSMS fought for increased treatment options for psychiatric and addiction treatments through the appropriate use of telehealth services.

Senate Bill 302 AN ACT CONCERNING TELEHEALTH SERVICES.  Signed by the Governor.

This bill allows prescribing of medication assisted therapy (MAT) and Psychiatric medications to treat psychiatric disorder consistent with the Federal Ryan Haight Act.  Expressly prohibits the prescribing of opioids through telemedicine.  CSMS worked with the CT Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians and the American Psychiatric Society in pushing for this legislation.

  • CSMS backed legislation restructures and reinvigorates Maternity Mortality Reviews (MMRs). 

Senate Bill 304  AN ACT ESTABLISHING A MATERNITY MORTALITY REVIEW COMMITTEE WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH.  Signed by the Governor.

Read our testimony here.  CSMS teamed up with CT Chapter of ACOG to promote this legislation.   

 

  • CSMS worked with the Radiological Society of Connecticut and successfully advocated for the clarification of coverage for tomosynthesis.

House Bill 5208 AN ACT CONCERNING MAMMOGRAMS, BREAST ULTRASOUNDS AND MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING OF BREASTS.  Signed by the Governor.    Read our testimony here

 

Budget SUCCESS!

CSMS worked with a coalition of patient and medical groups to encourage Connecticut legislators to fully restore eligibility for both the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) for low income seniors and people with disabilities, and HUSKY A for low income working parents.
 

 

Read full testimony from 2018 session here.

2017 CSMS at the Capitol – Archives

2016 CSMS at the Capitol – Archives

2015 CSMS at the Capitol – Archives

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