During the 2016 General Assembly the MPS Legislative Committee reviewed over 300 bills that addressed mental health issues. Of the bills included in the Final 2016 MPS Legislative Report, the following have been signed into law by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. The corresponding chapter numbers in the 2016 Laws of Maryland and the dates when the laws take effect are indicated.
HB 185- State Board of Physicians – Licensed Physicians – Continuing Education Requirements- Prohibiting the State Board of Physicians from establishing a continuing education requirement that every licensed physician complete a specific course or program as a condition to the renewal of a license. We supported MedChi’s position on this bill.
Chapter 99 effective October 1, 2016.
SB 899/ HB 1217- Maryland Medical Assistance Program – Specialty Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services – Parity- Requiring the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, on or before June 30, 2017, to adopt regulations to ensure that the Maryland Medical Assistance Program is in compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. Requiring the regulations to include standards regarding treatment limitations for specialty mental health and substance use disorder services that comply with the federal laws and relate to specified items; etc.
Chapter 505 effective October 1, 2016.
HB 682 (SB 551)- Department of Health and Mental Hygiene – Clinical Crisis Walk-In Services and Mobile Crisis Teams – Strategic Plan- Requiring the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in consultation with specified agencies and specified health providers, to develop a strategic plan for ensuring that specified crisis services and specified teams are available statewide and operating in a specified manner; requiring the Department to submit a specified strategic plan to the Governor and the General Assembly on or before December 1, 2016; etc.
HB 1318/ SB 929- Health Benefit Plans – Network Access Standards and Provider Network Directories- Requiring specified carriers to maintain or adhere to specified standards that assure that specified enrollees have specified access to specified health care providers and covered services; requiring specified carriers to file with the Maryland Insurance Commissioner a specified plan for review and approval; etc. Strongly supported by both MedChi and psychiatry. We hope to have a participant on the MIA panel work group. Chapter 309 effective June 1, 2016. [See related article on next page.]
HB 245 (SB 310)- Child Abuse and Neglect – Failure to Report- Requiring an agency that is participating in a child abuse or neglect investigation and that has substantial grounds to believe that a person has knowingly failed to report child abuse as required under a specified provision of law to file a specified complaint with a specified board, agency, institution, or facility. **Opposed on ground that this should not be passed until the underlying problem of the definition of “child” is addressed.** We intend to actively work to seek a review of the definition of child.
MPS FOLLOWED MEDCHI:
HB 437 (SB 537)- Department of Health and Mental Hygiene – Prescription Drug Monitoring Program – Modifications – Requires certain prescribers and all pharmacists to register with the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) by July 1, 2017. Prescribers and pharmacists must also request and assess prescription monitoring data in a specified manner, except under specified circumstances. Prescribers and pharmacists are subject to disciplinary action by the appropriate licensing entity for failure to comply with the bill’s mandatory registration and use requirements. PDMP may review prescription monitoring data for indications of a possible violation of law or a possible breach of professional standards by a prescriber or dispenser. If indicated, PDMP may notify and provide education to the prescriber or dispenser after obtaining certain clinical guidance from the technical advisory committee (TAC). The bill also requires the DHMH to develop and implement an outreach and education plan regarding mandatory registration with PDMP and submit specified reports. [See next page.]
Chapter 147 effective October 1, 2016.
HB 104- Medical Cannabis – Written Certifications – Certifying Providers- Authorizing specified dentists, podiatrists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners, in addition to physicians, to issue written certifications to qualifying patients by substituting the defined term “certifying provider” for “certifying physician” as it relates to laws governing medical cannabis; establishing that specified providers must be in good standing with the regulatory board regulating the licensing and certification of specified providers; providing for a delayed effective date; etc. Chapter 474 effective June 1, 2017.
SB 450 (HB 1487)- Health Care Provider Malpractice Insurance – Scope of Coverage- Authorizing the inclusion, in a policy that insures a health care provider against damages due to medical injury arising from providing or failing to provide health care, of coverage for the defense of a health care provider in a specified disciplinary hearing if the cost of the included coverage is itemized in the billing statement, invoice, or declarations page for the policy and reported to the Maryland Insurance Commissioner in a form and manner required by the Commissioner. Chapter 209, Chapter 210 effective October 1, 2016.