2017 Legislative Session

As of March 24, 2017 MPS has considered over 85 pieces of legislation in the first half of the 2017 Maryland General Assembly session. Below, please find a list of bills which has been deemed priorities for the organization.

MPS Supports:

HB 189– Hospitals – Substance Use Treatment Demonstration Program – Requirements- This bill authorizes up to five hospitals in the State to participate in a substance use treatment demonstration program to find best practices to: (1) identify patients who may be in need of substance use treatment; (2) screen patients using a standardized process and screening tool; and (3) refer patients in need of substance use treatment to appropriate health care and support services.

Update: No movement.

HB 331/SB 786– Education – Behavior Intervention Plans – Physical Restraint and Seclusion- This bill prohibits the use of physical restraint and seclusion in disciplining a public or nonpublic school student except under specified conditions, including a new requirement for a risk assessment by a licensed professional prior to the use of seclusion.

Update: No movement.

HB 541/SB 474– Cigarette Restitution Fund – Establishment of Behavioral Health Treatment Account and Funding for Substance Use Treatment Services- This bill establishes a separate behavioral health treatment account in the Cigarette Restitution Fund (CRF) to be used for (1) substance use treatment, with priority given to specified services and (2) rate adjustments for specified community-based agencies or programs funded by the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) or Medicaid.

Update: No movement.

HB 580/SB 476– Behavioral Health Community Providers – Keep the Door Open Act- Requiring, except under specified circumstances, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to adjust the rate of reimbursement for community providers each fiscal year by the rate adjustment included in the State budget for that fiscal year.

Update: Senate bill passed the Senate. This bill is expected to be rolled in to another piece of legislation that is targeting the opioid epidemic, HB 1329/SB 967.

HB 581/SB 633 Maryland Medical Practice Act – Individuals Exempt From Licensure – Repeal of Criminal History Records Check Requirement- Repealing the requirement that, in order to practice medicine without a license while performing specified duties, a medical student or an individual in a postgraduate medical training program approved by the State Board of Physicians must submit to a criminal history records check in accordance with a specified provision of law.

Update: Bill moved out of the House and will be heard before the Senate Education, Health & Environmental Affairs Committee. The Senate version was given an unfavorable report, which does not bode well for the bill. Unlikely to pass.

HB 658/SB 570– Maryland Medical Assistance Program – Telehealth – Requirements- Altering specified coverage and reimbursement requirements for health care services delivered through telemedicine under the Maryland Medical Assistance Program; requiring the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to provide coverage of and reimbursement for specified health care services that are delivered through telehealth; deeming a health care service provided through telehealth to be equivalent to a specified health care service for purposes of reimbursement.

Update: No movement.

HB 775/SB 600– Public Health – Maternal Mental Health- Requiring the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in consultation with stakeholders, to identify specified information about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders; requiring the Department to make available such information on the Department’s Web site and to provide such information to specified health care facilities and health care providers; requiring the Department, in collaboration with specified health professional associations, to develop specified training programs to improve early identification of postpartum depression and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

Update: Senate version passed Senate and has passed second reading in the House. House version passed House. Expected to pass.

HB 786– Education – Individualized Counseling Services – Requirements- Authorizing school-based personnel to recommend a student to a school guidance counselor or the school counseling program to determine whether the student needs a behavioral health assessment.

Update: Passed out of the House.

HB 791/SB 868– Overdose Response Program – Prescribing and Dispensing of Naloxone – Noncertificate Holders- Authorizes specified licensed physicians and advanced practice nurses with prescribing authority to prescribe and dispense naloxone to an individual who has not completed the training program required as a qualification for a certificate under the Overdose Response Program and exempts these physicians and advanced practice nurses from related disciplinary action and liability.

Update: No movement.

HB 847– Maryland Medical Assistance Program – Benefits for Individuals Who Are Incarcerated or Institutionalized- Requiring the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to provide 6 months of presumptive eligibility for Maryland Medical Assistance Program benefits for individuals on release from incarceration or from an institution for the treatment of mental disease.

Update: Unfavorable Report by Health and Government Operations; Withdrawn.

HB 1127/SB 968– Health Insurance – Coverage Requirements for Behavioral Health Disorders – Modifications- Altering specified coverage requirements applicable to specified health benefit plans for the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness and emotional, drug use, and alcohol use disorders (makes explicit additional SUD levels of care in the basic insurance benefit requirements).

Update: Senate version has passed the Senate and second reading in the House. House version passed House.

HB 1288– Maryland Insurance Administration – Workgroup on the Provision and Coverage of Behavioral Health Crisis Services- Requiring the Maryland Insurance Administration to convene a workgroup that includes specified individuals and interested stakeholders to identify barriers to the provision of behavioral health crisis services and coverage of the services by health insurance carriers; requiring the Administration to report the findings and recommendations of the workgroup to the General Assembly on or before December 1, 2017.

Update: No movement.

HB 1497 Video Lottery Operations – Persons on Voluntary Exclusion List – Trespass- Requiring a person on a specified voluntary exclusion list from video lottery operations who commits, on the premises of a video lottery licensee, a first violation of a specified prohibition against trespass to complete a specified treatment or counseling program; and prohibiting the person from being subject to fine or imprisonment.

Update: No movement.

SB 594– Baltimore City and Baltimore County – Police Behavioral Health Units – Training Requirements- Requiring a specified training program for officers of police behavioral health units in the Baltimore City Police Department and the Baltimore County Police Department to consist of a minimum of 60 hours of instruction.

Update: No movement.

SB 745– Disclosure of Medical Records – Compulsory Process – Timeline- Requiring a health care provider to disclose a specified medical record in accordance with compulsory process no later than 30 days after receiving a court order.

Update: Moved out of the Senate and is in the House Rules Committee due to the fact that it crossed over to the house after the “crossover date” (date by which bills must cross to the opposite chamber to avoid being referred the Rules Committee).

MPS Supports with Amendments:

HB 352/SB 1106– Health Care Practitioners – Use of Teletherapy- Authorizing specified health care practitioners to use teletherapy for a patient; establishing requirements for the technology a health care practitioner uses for teletherapy; requiring a health care practitioner to make a specified identification and establish a safety protocol that includes specified information before the first teletherapy session; defining teletherapy as the use of specified telecommunications or electronic technology to deliver behavioral health services under specified circumstances.

Update: Passed the House with significant amendments. MPS/SMPS are taking no position on the amended version. Senate version was amended in accordance with the House amendments and passed out of the Senate.

            Link to amended bill: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2017RS/bills/hb/hb0352t.pdf

SB 27– Child Abuse and Neglect – Substance-Exposed Newborns – Reporting- Repeals a provision that exempts health care practitioners from making a required report regarding a substance-exposed newborn if the health care practitioner has verified that, at the time of delivery (1) the mother was using a controlled substance as currently prescribed for the mother by a licensed health care practitioner or (2) the presence of the controlled substance was consistent with a prescribed medical or drug treatment administered to the mother of the newborn.

Note: SB 27 aims to align state law with the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). Language in SB 27 would result in notification of any infant with a positive toxicology screen, even if this is from legal exposure. There is continued concern about adverse consequences of reporting women receiving Medication Assisted Addiction Treatment. MPS suggested amendments which would exempt reporting of women who have a pre-existing safe plan of care.

Update: Unfavorable report by Judicial Proceedings.

MPS Opposes:

HB 389 Child Abuse and Neglect – Failure to Report – Penalty- Making it a misdemeanor subject to a prison term of up to 6 months or a fine of up to $2,500 or both, for a health practitioner, a police officer, an educator, or a human service worker with actual knowledge of child abuse or neglect to fail to report the abuse or neglect.

Update: Unfavorable report by Judiciary/Withdrawn.

HB 473 Crimes – Child Abuse and Neglect – Failure to Report-Establishing that specified persons who are required to provide specified notice or make reports of suspected child abuse or neglect may not knowingly fail to give the notice or make the reports; establishing a misdemeanor and penalties of a fine not to exceed $1,000 or imprisonment up to 1 year, or both, for knowingly failing to report child abuse or neglect.

Note: An almost identical bill, SB 135Crimes – Child Abuse and Neglect – Failure to Report, is also being opposed.

Update: Unfavorable report by Judiciary/Withdrawn.

SB 135-Crimes – Child Abuse and Neglect – Failure to Report- Establishing that specified persons who are required to provide specified notice or make reports of suspected child abuse or neglect may not knowingly fail to give the notice or make the reports; establishing a misdemeanor and penalties on conviction of a fine not to exceed $1,000 or maximum imprisonment of 1 year or both for knowingly failing to report child abuse or neglect; etc.

Update: Passed second reading in the Senate. Bill has been an amended significantly but MPS/SMPS remains opposed. Link to amended bill:

http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2017RS/bills/sb/sb0135t.pdf

HB 641– Civil Actions – Child Sexual Abuse – Statute of Limitations and Limitation of Damages- Extending the statute of limitations from within 7 to 32 years of the date that the victim attains the age of majority in specified civil actions relating to child sexual abuse. Providing that a specified statute of limitations does not apply during a specified period for a person with a “certificate of merit” obtained from the person’s attorney and a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist.

NOTE: Would require psychiatrists to express an opinion on the historical fact of child sexual abuse for use in a civil action. Psychiatrists do not have powers of investigation or the ability to compel discovery of evidence related to such an investigation. Such an opinion would be prone to arbitrary decisions regarding the validity of any particular lawsuit.

Update: Unfavorable report from Judiciary.

HB 650/SB 691 Criminal Procedure – Incompetency and Criminal Responsibility – Court-Ordered Medication- Authorizing a court to order administration of specified medication to a defendant for a period of no longer than 30 days after a finding of incompetency or not criminally responsible under or incompetent to stand trial. Providing that specified medication may be administered to such an individual before the decision of a clinical review panel for a period of no longer than 30 days.

Update: House version was significantly amended and passed the House. Senate version has not moved. MPS/SMPS remains opposed to the bill for various reasons, primarily because the bill is not necessary given existing law.

HB 661– Public Health – Suspected Overdoses – Reporting Requirement- Requiring a physician who treats an individual for a suspected overdose that shows evidence of being controlled by a controlled dangerous substance to report the incident to the police with identifiable information of the individual treated. Failure to make the report is a misdemeanor $25 penalty.

Update: No movement. Unlikely to pass.

SB 864– Education – Overdose on Public School Premises – Substance Abuse Treatment Programs- Requiring a school official to file with a juvenile court a petition alleging a child has overdosed on public school premises; requiring a juvenile court to order a child who has overdosed on public school premises to enter a State certified substance abuse treatment program.

Update: No movement.