2013 Legislative Session Wrap-up
Correction to prior announcementTelehealth Rule Message: Please direct all comments about the proposed Telehealth rule ton firstname.lastname@example.org
Please see the prior announcements for a detailed status of SB 94. This document will summarize other important legislative activity of interest to APRN’s and other health care professionals.
The following legislation passed the legislature and has been sent to the Governor’s office for his signature.
HB 315 Nurses; continuing competency requirements as requirement for license renewal
Provides for continuing competency requirements as a requirement for license renewal for registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses; provides for inactive licenses for registered professional nurses; requires mandatory reporting for nurses. However, the mandatory reporting requirements will not be implemented until an undetermined future time when funds are available to support the additional investigative workload.
HB 332 Georgia Board of Nursing; reconstitute
Provides for the combining of the two current individual Boards regulating RN’s and LPN’s into one combined Board of Nursing as follows:
“The 13 members of the board shall be appointed by the Governor with the confirmation of the Senate and shall consist of two registered nursing educators, one practical nursing educator, two registered nurses employed in nursing service administration, one registered nurse employed in nursing home administration or nursing service administration, two advanced practice registered nurses, one additional registered nurse, three licensed practical nurses, and one consumer member.”
This reconstituted Board is more consistent with the NCSBN Consensus Model, and for the first time, requires that there be two advanced practice registered nurses on the Board of Nursing.
HB 178 Georgia Pain Management Clinic Act
This high priority bill of the Governor and Attorney General seeks to outlaw “pill mills” and help fight the growing prescription drug abuse problem in Georgia. This bill was supported with reservations in that it gives sweeping new powers to the Board of Medicine to regulate any site that qualifies as a pain clinic. Clinical Nurse Anesthetists are especially concerned about limitation of current scope of practice. The bill requires that an APRN on-site at a pain management clinic have a prescriptive authority protocol. Since CRNA’s inclusion in the prescriptive authority legislation was not advantageous to CRNA’s and they were not included in prescriptive authority legislation. Therefore they have been essentially excluded from administering services in the defined ‘pain management clinics’ unless there is a physician, PA or another APRN present. This is limited to pain management clinics as defined in the Bill (a rather narrow definition) – but nonetheless it is still a restriction on CRNAs current practice. This issue was discussed at length with the bill sponsors and legislative leadership by both CAPRN and the state CRNA organization, but the final version of the bill did not favorably address the issue.
HB 337 Elementary and secondary education; authorize public and private schools to stock supply of auto-injectable epinephrine; and designate an employee or agent who is appropriately trained to be responsible for the storage, maintenance, and distribution of the auto-injectable epinephrine
Any employee that is appropriately trained may administer auto-injectable epinephrine to any student the employee believes is experiencing an anaphylactic adverse reaction. Prior to this, auto-injectable epinephrine could only be stocked and used for an individual student with a prescription.
HB 141 Require certain businesses and establishments to post a model notice to enable persons who are the subject of human trafficking to obtain help and services
This law mandates the posting of a Human Trafficking Help Line information in certain locations to enable persons who are the subject of human trafficking to obtain help and services.
HB 284 Return to Play Act of 2013
This law requires public and private schools which provide youth athletic activities to provide information to parents on the nature and risk of concussion and head injury and to establish concussion management and return to play policies; to require public recreation facilities to provide information to parents on the nature and risk of concussion and head injury and to provide for the endorsement of concussion recognition education courses.
APRN’s were included as providers authorized to evaluate, treat, and make “return to play” decisions for children. The initial version of the bill stated the APRN’ shall be under the “direct supervision” of a physician. The bill was amended to remove the word "direct"; however the supervisory language was not eliminated as requested.
HB 208 Nursing homes; annually offer influenza vaccinations to health care workers and other employees; require
This law requires each nursing home to annually offer on site to its health care workers and other employees who have direct contact with patients, at no cost, vaccinations for the influenza virus in accordance with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, subject to availability of the vaccine. Each nursing home shall keep on record a signed statement from each such health care worker and employee stating that he or she has been offered vaccination against the influenza virus and has either accepted or declined such vaccination.
HB 132 Georgia Board of Pharmacy and Georgia Board of Dentistry; administratively attached to Department of Community Health
This law relates to pharmacists and pharmacies and dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants, respectively. Under the provisions of this bill, the Georgia State Board of Pharmacy and the Georgia Board of Dentistry are transferred from the Secretary of State to the Department of Community Health.
HB 676 Physician assistants; physicians to delegate authority to prescribe Schedule II controlled substances
Would authorize; physicians to delegate authority to prescribe Schedule II controlled substances to Physician Assistants. This legislation was introduced in the waning days of this year’s legislative session and will not be acted upon until next year. There will be a future in depth discussion of this legislation and potential implications for Advanced Practice Nursing.
Study Committees that CAPRN will have an interest in monitoring.
The Commission on Mandated Health Benefits, created through legislation passed in 2011 to advise the governor and the General Assembly on the social and financial impact of current and proposed mandated benefits and providers, held its first meeting on March 12th. The meeting was largely an organizational one, but members also discussed how the commission’s work might intersect with aspects of the Affordable Care Act such as essential health benefits and the bills before the General Assembly that would require insurance companies to cover autism, child hearing aids, and medical foods. The next meeting date has not yet been announced. To read the minutes from the March 12th meeting, click here.
HR 549 House Study Committee on Professional Licensing Boards
This committee will be composed of composed of seven members of the House of Representatives to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The committee shall recommend any actions or legislation which the committee deems necessary or appropriate.
HR 502 Joint Study Committee on Mental Health and School Violence
This Joint Study Committee on Mental Health Access to be composed of nine members, three members of the House of Representatives to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, one of whom shall be appointed from the minority party; three members of the Senate to be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, one of whom shall be appointed from the minority party; and three members to be appointed by the Governor. The committee shall undertake a study of the conditions, needs, issues, and problems mentioned above and recommend any actions or legislation which the committee deems necessary or appropriate.
HR 107 Joint Study Committee on Medicaid Reform
This resolution creates a joint study committee on Medicaid reform that would study current Medicaid policies and procedures, models in other states, and other aspects of the Medicaid program and report to the General Assembly and the Governor by December 31, 2013 with recommendations.
This committee is to be composed of18 members as follows: (1) Six members of the Senate, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, at least one of which at least one shall be a member of the minority caucus; Six members of the House of Representatives, appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, at least one of which shall be a member of the minority caucus; Six members appointed by the Governor as follows:(A) One representative from the Department of Community Health; (B) One member representing hospitals; (C) One member representing insurance providers; (D) One member representing nursing homes; (E) One physician; and (F) One consumer member.
SR 623 Senate Select Study Committee on Erin's Law
Erin's Law is urging lawmakers across the country to make education about child sexual abuse part of schools' curriculum. The goal of the study committee is to reduce child sexual abuse by recommending policy and possible legislation that addresses child reporting of sexual abuse.