Yesterday Governor Jay Nixon signed a number of healthcare bills, which contain several provisions that could benefit rural health clinics and their patients. Below is a list of some of the major issues included in these bills.
Healthcare Workforce Data: Allows state professional boards to contract with a third-party to collect and analyze data on healthcare providers. The data is meant to give the state a more accurate picture of provider shortages to assist in future workforce planning efforts. Signed on SB 635, sponsored by Sen. Dan Hegeman, and HB 1816, sponsored by Rep. Andrew Koenig.
Medication Synchronization: Requires health carriers to cover medication synchronization services so patients can align fill dates for various prescriptions. Signed on SB 865, sponsored by Sen. David Sater.
Ninety-day Supply: Allows local pharmacists to dispense up to a 90-day supply of maintenance medications. Currently only mail order pharmacies are permitted to do this. Signed on SB 865; SB 973, sponsored by Sen. Wasson; HB 1682, sponsored by Rep. Keith Frederick; and HB 1816.
Palliative Care: Creates a palliative care information and education program within the Department of Health and Senior Services to increase the availability of palliative care resources for patients and providers. It also establishes a palliative care council to advise DHSS. Signed on SB 865, SB 635, and HB 1682.
Rate Review: Requires carriers to submit health insurance rates to the Department of Insurance. The department will be able to deem rates reasonable or unreasonable. If an insurer files rates deemed unreasonable, the department will make this public. The department will also provide a method for public comment on proposed rate increases. Before this bill passed, Missouri was the only state where the department of insurance had no authority to review or publish health insurance rates. Signed on SB 865.