Highlights of the 2009 Legislative Session

News from the State Capitol

After returning by Special Session, the Legislature completed most of its work on general legislation and appropriation bills.  Selected health-related bills that have been approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor are listed below.

BILLS ENACTED DURING THE 2009 REGULAR SESSION:

Click on the bill number to access a copy of the bill.

HB 214 – Requires a parent’s written consent for persons under 18 years of age to use tanning equipment at tanning facilities and also requires the parent to be physically present for children under 14 to use the equipment

HB 458 – Creates the Acupuncture Practice Act, requiring a written referral from and general supervision by a physician and authorizing the Board of Medical Licensure to regulate the practice

HB 578 & SB 2618 – Authorizes the reproduction of hospital records on electronic or digital media

HB 665 – Creates a joint legislative study committee on children and family issues to make recommendations related to family services, child care, education, employment, crime prevention, crisis intervention, and reducing disparities in education, income, and availability of health care

HB 722 – Requires hospitals, nursing homes, medical clinics (other than a physician’s office), and dialysis centers to report burn injuries and the State Department of Health to report burn injury related deaths to the State Fire Marshal

HB 897 – Creates a joint legislative committee to study and make recommendations on improving the mental health system in Mississippi

HB 1260 – Removes the requirement for certain nursing regulations to be promulgated by the Board of Medical Licensure in conjunction with the Board of Nursing, defines the practice of clinical nurse specialists and advance practice nurses, and deletes the requirement for nurse practitioners to be under the supervision of a physician for insurance reimbursement

HB 1449 – Requires Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program to ensure standardized and coordinated hospital discharge and follow-up procedures for premature infants are followed and to implement programs to improve newborn outcomes using guidance from the CMS Neonatal Outcomes Improvement Project and requires the State Department of Health to report data on the incidence and causes of rehospitalization of premature infants

HB 1530 – Provides for a program through the State and School Employees’ Health Insurance Plan for the Plan to cover bariatric surgery for up to 100 patients per year for two years and defines criteria for participation in the program

SB 2573 – Creates the Mississippi Public Health Laboratory as a new entity

SB 2580 – Continues the authority of the State Department of Health to make grants to qualified health centers until July 1, 2014

SB 2842 – Modifies the statutes governing the Comprehensive Risk Pool Association:

  • Broadens the purpose of the program;
  • Expands eligibility to include people who have exhausted COBRA coverage;
  • Raises the lifetime benefits cap to $1 million;
  • Revises the membership of the board of directors;
  • Authorizes disease management programs and participation incentives;
  • Removes the requirement for claims to be paid from premiums;
  • Authorizes the Insurance Commissioner to take action against any insurer failing to file required reports; and
  • Revises the list of policies that must pay as primary before the Risk Pool pays benefits.

 

SUMMARY OF MEDICAID LEGISLATION FROM THE SECOND SPECIAL SESSION:

HB 71 (Second Extraordinary Session)
  • Extends the repealer on the statute creating the Division of Medicaid to July 1, 2012;
  • Clarifies language regarding transplant hospital days;
  • Removes authority for Medicaid to allow unlimited hospital days in DSH hospitals for children under the age of six;
  • Includes under coverage of outpatient hospitals services those services provided in a clinic or facility located outside of a hospital under certain circumstances;
  • Expands the authority of the Division of Medicaid to enter into an agreement with the Department of Human Services (DHS) for services when obtaining medical and mental health assessments for children in, or at risk of being put in, DHS custody;
  • Increases physician payments to 90% of the Medicare rate in effect on January 1, 2010, with the increase to be effective January 1, 2010;
  • Extends the repealer on dental reimbursement provisions to July 1, 2012;
  • Makes requirement for public hospitals to participate in an intergovernmental transfer program at the discretion of the Division of Medicaid;
  • Mandates that assessments under the Upper Payment Limits program may only be used for financing the state portion of that program;
  • Requires that payment to all state-owned and state-operated facilities providing psychiatric services to children to be on a full reasonable cost basis;
  • Mandates Medicaid to pay crossover claims for dually eligible Medicare/Medicaid beneficiaries in the same manner that was in effect July 1, 2008, and prohibits changing this methodology unless approved by the Legislature;
  • Specifies that the Division of Medicaid cannot change payment methodologies for hospitals and nursing facilities without approval of the Legislature;
  • Prohibits the Division of Medicaid from implementing any spending cuts, cost containment measures, or assessment increases in FY 2010 before February 1, 2010, unless the Medicaid shortfall is so extreme as to reduce the Health Care Expendable Fund to zero;
  • Requires the PEER Committee to review information on Medicaid shortfalls and provide a report to the Legislative Budget Office;
  • Specifies that if provider payment cuts are implemented due to shortfalls, the hospital share may not exceed 25% and shall be in the form of additional assessments;
  • Specifies that if provider cuts are insufficient to cover the shortfall, funds shall be transferred from the Health Care Trust Fund through the Health Care Expendable Fund to the Division of Medicaid to cover the deficit;
  • Specifies that if insufficient funds are available in the Health Care Trust Fund to cover the shortfall, the Governor is authorized to take other cost containment measures allowed under federal law, with hospitals being responsible for 25% of provider cuts and in the form of additional assessments;
  • Prohibits the Division of Medicaid from implementing any new managed care program before January 1, 2010, and limits new managed care programs to no more than 15% of Medicaid beneficiaries;
  • Requires that Medicaid beneficiaries enrolled in managed care programs be allowed to opt out of the program during an annual enrollment period;
  • Requires that payments to providers under new managed care programs will be no lower than those under non-managed care programs;
  • Prohibits managed care programs under Medicaid from requiring use of mail order pharmacies;
  • Requires the PEER Committee to evaluate the performance of any new managed care program and mandates that providers supply information requested by PEER to conduct the evaluation;
  • Requires the Division of Medicaid to develop and publish detailed DRG reimbursement rates for each hospital, but prohibits Medicaid from implementing a DRG payment methodology prior to July 1, 2010 and requires the PEER Committee to study and report on DRG payment systems by December 15, 2009;
  • Prohibits cuts in hospital payments or services while the hospital assessment is in effect;
  • Sets assessments on nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded, and psychiatric residential treatment facilities at the maximum rate allowed under federal law;
  • Removes the $3.25 per bed assessment and intergovernmental transfers related to hospitals and replaces them with a new hospital assessment methodology, providing that the old assessment will apply if the new methodology does not take effect;
  • Establishes a new hospital assessment methodology based on non-Medicare hospital days that is graduated based upon the State’s FMAP (federal matching) rate;
  • Provides that if CMS does not approve the requirements related to Medicare crossover claims, the assessment amount will be reduced accordingly;
  • Establishes a repealer for the new hospital assessment methodology of July 1, 2012;
  • Provides that tax liens related to assessments shall be filed with the chancery clerk;
  • Requires the Medicaid Hospital Advisory Board to review and comment on the State Plan Amendment related to the new hospital assessment methodology;
  • Provides for additional inpatient UPL (Upper Payment Limit) payments by class of hospital;
  • Provides for additional DHS (Disproportionate Share Hospital) payments for certain hospitals;
  • Provides that hospitals shall receive the Medicare published market basket inflationary index payment increase annually; and
  • Sets a repealer for UPL and DSH payment provisions of July 1, 2012.