Legislative Report 2018
Legislative Report Feb 9 2018
Both chambers went home on Friday following a week of rigorous floor debate and voting on the bills that made it out of committee. Over the last seven legislative days, the House and Senate have worked to clear their respective calendars which consisted of approximately 375 bills between both chambers.
The opioid crisis has been at the forefront of discussions both within the legislature and the press over the last several weeks. Senate Pro Tem Terry Burton stated, “The solutions to this opioid crisis will require legislation.” As a result, the Senate passed SB 2759 which creates the “Mississippi Opioid Crisis Commission” to evaluate possible legislative solutions to address the problem and SB 2840, the “Opioid Crisis Intervention Act” which shields individuals reporting a victim of an overdose from arrest. The Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians remains committed to being a resource on this issue for statewide elected officials, members of the legislature, regulatory boards, and the law enforcement community.
Both Chambers also passed their version of the Medicaid Technical Amendments Bill. This piece of legislation is expected to be one of the most contentious pieces during the 2018 legislative session. It is expected that debate and discussion on Medicaid will continue throughout the session and be finalized during the conference committee process. HB 898 represents the House position on this issue. A couple of key points from the House version are the removal of the cap on annual physician visits and providing for medication assisted drug treatment services for persons diagnosed with an opioid substance use disorder. The House also approved an amendment from the House floor which provides for a new RFP to be issued in 2019 to reevaluate the 3 managed care companies and awarded contracts. SB 2836 represents the Senate position on the Medicaid Technical Amendments bill. A few key points are removing the cap on annual physician visits, reimbursing physicians at 100% of the Medicare rate, and allowing beneficiaries between 10-18 to receive vaccines through a pharmacy venue. We will continue to monitor both these bills as the session progresses.
The next major deadline is Wednesday, February 21st which is the deadline for original floor action on appropriations and revenue bills originating in own house. These bills will start the budget process and negotiations will continue with the budget finalized during the last week of session.
Both Chambers will reconvene on Monday at 4:00 pm.