Highlights from the 2014 Legislative Session

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

The 2014 Regular Session of the Mississippi Legislature began on January 7, 2014 and ended on April 2, 2014. The Center for Mississippi Health Policy monitored selected health-related bills throughout the session, posting their status on this page.  Listed below are selected health-related bills that were enacted during this session.

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


Certificate of Need

SB 2408 – Defines “radiation therapy services” under the Certificate of Need law.  Excludes low energy, superficial, external beam x-ray treatment of superficial skin lesions.

Drug Policy

HB 585 – As part of comprehensive criminal justice reform, provides for expanding the drug court program in the state, and regulates drug courts by establishing a new drug court certification process and a State Drug Courts Advisory Committee. Mandates an external review of individual drug courts and statewide drug court program every three years.

HB 1231 – Adds certain drugs to MS Code based on federal guidelines for Controlled Substances. Exempts certain uses of cannabidiol (“CBD Oil”) and sets up guidelines for use of CBD oil in treating debilitating epileptic conditions. Requires that CBD oil be prescribed by Mississippi physicians, and must be obtained from or tested by the Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi and dispensed by the Department of Pharmacy Services at UMMC.

SB 2177 – Reauthorizes the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) in the state. Removes the reporting requirement for controlled substances prescribed by veterinarians.


HB 1269 – Creates the Mississippi Long-Term Care Partnership Program within the Division of Medicaid. Requires Medicaid to work with the Department of Insurance to develop a process for precertifying long-term care insurance policies.  Provides that beneficiaries of precertified long-term care policies may receive an income disregard equivalent to the value of benefits paid under the policy for long-term care services.  (This bill also requires each hospital in the state to offer flu shots to all inpatients 65 years of age or older.)

HB 1275  (Medicaid Technical Amendments bill) –

  • Extends the repealer to July 1, 2016, on sections that define the health care services covered under the program
  • Deletes limitations on emergency room visits covered
  • Directs Medicaid to update the case-mix payment system for nursing homes
  • Requires Medicaid to update the fair rental reimbursement system for Intermediate Care Facilities for the Intellectually Disabled and Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities
  • Authorizes a Medicare Upper Payment Limits (UPL) program for physicians employed or contracted by hospitals
  • Requires Medicaid to contract with the State Department of Health for perinatal high risk management services
  • Prohibits Medicaid from restricting coverage based on a diagnosis of a terminal condition
  • Expands the population that can be covered by Medicaid managed care programs
  • Requires unrestricted access to factor products for beneficiaries with hemophilia
  • Instructs Medicaid to submit a report on including inpatient services in managed care
  • Mandates the provision of statistical data from managed care contractors
  • Authorizes the payment for primary care services at the Medicare rate
  • Extends the repealer on the transportation program for dialysis patients
  • Authorizes the extension of certain contracts
  • Clarifies provisions related to third party subrogation
  • Extends repealers on hospital assessments and on UPL and DSH payments
  • Authorizes the operation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program under managed care
  • Requires Medicaid to provide a report on the impact of self-referrals by physicians for advanced imaging services

Health Care Delivery System

HB 28 – Extends to 2019 the granting authority under the Mississippi Qualified Health Center Grant Program

HB 1014 – Creates the Physician Order for Sustaining Treatment Act. Authorizes and specifies the content of physician orders for sustaining treatment. Outlines conditions for immunity and liability under the Act.

HB 1449 – Authorizes Natchez Regional Medical Center to file for bankruptcy

Health Information Technology

HB 392 – Extends the repealer on the Health Information Technology Act that authorizes the Mississippi Health Information Network (MS-HIN). Directs the PEER Committee to report on the implementation of electronic health records in the state.

Injury Prevention

HB 48 – Creates the Youth Concussion Law.  Requires schools with grades 7 – 12 to implement a concussion management policy for school athletic events.

HB 1030 – Creates an Office Against Interpersonal Violence within the State Department of Health and establishes an Advisory Board.  Authorizes the Office to set rules regarding the distribution of grant funds and develop performance standards for grantees.


HB 542 – Requires the State and School Employees Health Insurance Management Board to study whether to expand coverage for the treatment of autism spectrum disorders.

HB 547 – Requires insurers to honor an insured’s assignment of benefits for one year or until revoked.

HB 548 – Authorizes the Commissioner of Insurance to disapprove certain policy forms, amendatory riders, or endorsements.

HB 611 – Exempts Health Care Sharing Ministries from regulation under the insurance code.

HB 689 – Requires the State and School Employees’ Health Insurance Plan to honor assignment of benefits and prohibits providers being assigned benefits from balance billing.

HB 1281 – Prohibits health insurance plans, including Medicaid and the State and School Employees’ Health Insurance Plan from restricting coverage based on a diagnosis of a terminal condition.

SB 2331 – Clarifies when health insurance policies must include coverage for mental illness. Provides for the provision of outpatient mental illness coverage on parity with inpatient and partial hospitalization mental illness coverage.

Long Term Care

SC 561 – Creates an ad hoc committee to study issues relating to long-term care services and family caregivers

Mental Health

SB 2483 – Revises the screening process for mental commitment cases. Designates the community mental health center as the first point of entry for screening and treatment, or if a community mental health center is not available, a licensed physician, psychologist, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant.

SB 2829 – Authorizes Regional Mental Illness and Intellectual Disability Commissions to operate primary health care clinics under certain conditions and provides reporting requirements.


HB 1328 – Creates the Small Business and Grocer Investment Act.  Authorizes the Mississippi Development Authority to establish a program to provide grants and loans to promote the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables and other healthy foods.

Public Health

SB 2015 – Extends repealers on code sections that establish the State Board of Health, the State Department of Health, and the position of the State Health Officer. Requires annual health action plans for diabetes and obesity.

SB 2563 – Requires the Commissioner of Higher Education and the Director of the Community College Board to develop a plan of action to address the prevention of unintended pregnancies among older teens.

SB 2591 – Establishes an Umbilical Cord Blood Banking Program at the State Department of Health.  Requires the Department to develop a public education and outreach campaign, educational materials, and professional education programs and to promulgate rules and regulations. Prohibits using the Program for cloning or DNA research purposes.

School Health

HB 432 – Requires instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) be included in the physical education curriculum for grades 9 – 12.

SB 2218 – Creates the Mississippi Asthma and Anaphylaxis Child Safety Act. Requires schools to allow for self-administration of asthma and anaphylaxis medications under certain conditions. Mandates that schools adopt a policy authorizing school nurses or other trained employees to administer auto-injectable epinephrine. Requires that each child with asthma have a current school asthma plan on file.


SB 2646 – Requires health insurance plans to cover store-and-forward telemedicine services and remote patient monitoring services as if provided by in-person consultation.  Prohibits geographic restrictions on delivery of telemedicine services in the home setting other than requiring residence in Mississippi.


HB 787 – Authorizes the issuance of bonds for institutions of higher learning and other entities including $30.5 million for phase II of the construction of a new medical school building at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. (Also includes sales tax exemptions for durable medical equipment and home medical supplies and other provisions.)