Highlights of the 2008 Legislative Session

News from the State Capitol

The following summarizes selected health-related legislation considered during the 2008 Regular Session of the Mississippi Legislature.

Medicaid/SCHIP

HB 67 – Extends the repealer on the program administered by the Division of Medicaid that provides non-emergency transportation for certain dialysis patients. This bill has been approved by the Governor.

SB 2904 – Makes amendments to the statutes governing the state’s Medicaid program, exempting hospital days associated with transplants from the limit on inpatient days. The Senate bill passed the House with no changes and has been signed by the Governor.

SCR 655 – Suspends the rules to allow a new bill to be introduced to authorize hospital assessments to fund Medicaid. The Senate passed this resolution, and the House passed an amended bill to allow for the introduction of a bill to increase cigarette and alcohol taxes to fund Medicaid and trauma care. Subsequently the Senate introduced SB 3212, which authorizes hospital assessments to fund Medicaid, and the House introduced HB 1733, which authorizes additional cigarette and alcohol taxes to fund Medicaid and trauma care. Neither of these bills survived.

SB 2645 – Repeals sections of the law governing the Mississippi Children’s Health Insurance Program that provide for an initial child health plan and an advisory council.  This bill was amended by the House Medicaid Committee, approved by the House Appropriations Committee, and subsequently passed the full House.  The amendment changes the content of the bill to direct that a review of the structure and administration of the Program be conducted by the PEER Committee.  The bill died in conference.

 Trauma and EMS

HB 1405 – Makes hospital participation in the trauma care system mandatory instead of voluntary, creating a “pay or play” mechanism to be managed by the State Department of Health, and increases selected fees to generate additional revenue for the Mississippi Trauma Care System Fund. This bill has been approved by the Governor.

NOTE:  The complete report of the Trauma Care Task Force, as well as an Issue Brief prepared by the Center for Mississippi Health Policy, can be downloaded from the Center’s website.

SB 2764 – Adds a representative of the Mississippi Firefighters Memorial Burn Association to the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council.  This bill has been approved by the Governor.

Health Data

HB 1023 – Revises the health data registry program administered by the State Department of Health, requiring participation by all hospitals, free-standing ambulatory surgical facilities, and outpatient diagnostic imaging centers, and creates a State Health Data Advisory Committee to advise the Department.  This bill has been approved by the Governor.

NOTE:  A report on the options for implementing a statewide health data system in Mississippi, as well as an Issue Brief prepared by the Center, can be downloaded from the Center’s website.

Certificate of Need

No legislation amending certificate of need statutes was enacted by the Legislature.

Public Health Laboratory

HB 1053 – Removes language requiring the State Department of Health to deposit money into a sinking fund to pay on bonds issued for the construction of a new facility for the public health laboratory and for the renovation, repair, and expansion of the Underwood Building.  This bill has been approved by the Governor.

Child Health

HB 1064 – Transfers administrative support for the Child Death Review Panel to the State Department of Health.  This bill has been approved by the Governor.

HB 1240 – Creates the Children’s Product Safety Act to prevent the sale of unsafe products for children.  This bill was vetoed by the Governor (veto message).

Injury Prevention

HB 558 – Requires the use of booster seats when transporting certain children in a passenger motor vehicle. This bill has been approved by the Governor.

University of Mississippi Medical Center

SB 2887 – Conveys the entire Old Farmers’ Market property to the University of Mississippi Medical Center. This bill has been approved by the Governor.

Uniform anatomical Gift Act

HB 1075 – Updates Mississippi’s statute to conform with nationally recommended language in order to facilitate organ donation and recovery. This bill has been approved by the Governor.

Hospice Services

HB 154 & SB 2454 – The Senate bill extends the repealer on the provisions in the hospice licensure law that places a moratorium on new applications for hospice licensure. The Senate bill has been approved by the Governor.

The final version of the House bill amends the Senate bill by providing for an exception to the moratorium for existing satellite branch offices. It also removes the repealer from the section of the law governing the hospice licensure administrative duties of the State Department of Health and places a repealer on the subsection that authorizes the moratorium on new licenses. The House bill has been approved by the Governor.

Task Forces

HB 730 – Creates a Cervical Cancer Elimination Task Force.  This bill died in conference.

HB 1250 – Creates the Concern for Children with Sickle Cell Disease Task Force. This bill died in conference.

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