08 Jan 2021 Legislative Update-Week 1
January 8, 2021
Indiana’s 2021 Legislative Session kicked off this Monday. Members of the House and Senate convened in person for their first meeting, and there was certainly much to discuss!
This legislative session will be unlike any we have seen. We are truly in unprecedented times given the devastation of the pandemic. The House of Representatives has been moved to Indiana Government Center South in order to practice proper social distancing. The Senate, having fewer members than the House, has been able to stay in the Senate Chambers. Public testimony has gone virtual and access to legislators has inevitably been limited. Nonetheless, House and Senate leadership are confident they will be able to carry out their duties.
This legislative session the Indiana General Assembly must, by law, accomplish two things: pass a comprehensive biennial budget to fund government services for the next two years, and redraw new congressional and state legislative district boundaries. Session is expected to end on April 29 but may not adjourn until much later if session is interrupted due to COVID-19.
The Statehouse will certainly be busy over the next few months: Between adjusting to virtual testimony on bills, drafting the budget and redrawing district lines, there will certainly be a flurry of activity. Below is a brief legislative preview of IDA’s submitted bill, along with a few others we have great interest in.
IDA Submitted Bill: HB 1079, Practice of Dentistry; Virtual Claim Payments (Rep. Denny Zent)
This IDA bill updates the definition of dentistry and provides that a dentist may administer an immunization if the dentist:
- is certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation;
- has successfully completed a course of training in immunization that meets specified requirements; and
- administers the immunization in accordance with a protocol that includes specified requirements and procedures.
On the dental benefits side, the bill provides that a health insurance plan, including a health management organization contract, may not require a dental provider to accept payment via virtual credit card, along with other payment stipulations.
Other Bills of Interest
SB 1/ HB 1002: Civil Immunity Related to COVID-19 (Sen. Mark Messmer & Rep. Jerry Torr)
Both bills provide civil immunity for damages resulting from exposure of an individual to COVID-19 on the premises owned or operated by a person, on any premises on which the person or an employee or agent of the person provided property or services to the individual, or during an activity managed, organized, or sponsored by the person.
SB 3: Telehealth Matters (Sen. Ed Charbonneau)
Changes the use of the term “telemedicine” to “telehealth.” Specifies certain activities that are considered to be health care services for purposes of the telehealth laws. Expands the application of the telehealth statute to additional licensed practitioners, including dentists, instead of applying only to prescribing physicians. Requires that the telehealth medical records be created and maintained under the same standards of appropriate practice for medical records for patients in an in-person setting. Specifies that a patient waives confidentiality of medical information concerning individuals in the vicinity when the patient is using telehealth.
SB 74: Workplace Immunization Prohibition (Sen. Dennis Kruse)
Prohibits an employer from requiring, as a condition of employment, an employee or prospective employee to receive any immunization if the immunization is medically contraindicated for the employee or receiving the immunization is against the employee’s religious beliefs or conscience. Allows for a civil action against an employer for a violation.
HB 1021: Health Workforce Student Loan Repayment Program (Rep. Ethan Manning)
Establishes the health workforce student loan repayment program, the health workforce council, and the health workforce student loan repayment program fund for the purpose of providing funds to repay outstanding student loans of certain health providers who meet the program requirements.
Contact IDA Director of Government Affairs Shane Springer