Highlights of the 2018 Legislative Session

The 2018 Regular Session of the Mississippi Legislature convened on January 2, 2018 and adjourned sine die on March 28, 2018. The Center for Mississippi Health Policy tracked selected health-related bills throughout the session, posting status updates on this page. Listed below are the health-related bills that were passed during this session. Click on the bill number to access a copy of the bill and view its history. Click on the ˅ symbol following the bill’s title to open a drop-down box and view more details about the bill. There are also links to legislative schedules, committee member listings, legislative deadlines, and daily calendars in the side bar to the left.

Bill Title & Primary Sponsor
HB 325 MS Vehicle Insurance Verification System; revise various laws regarding.(Chism)[expand title=””]

Bill Status:  Enrolled bill signed in House and Senate 4/2

Notes: This bill includes a provision that would divert 50 percent of the revenue generate to the State Trauma Fund. One of the primary changes in this bill was to change a violation under this section from a “civil” violation to a “criminal” violation because the Department of Public Safety claimed a violation under this section was unenforceable as a “civil” violation. HB 900 also refers to a violation of the texting while driving law as a “civil” violation rather than “criminal”, but HB 900 was not amended to change the enforcement provision.

C4MHP Policy Resources: https://mshealthpolicy.com/trauma-system-funding/ ; https://mshealthpolicy.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Trauma-and-EMS-Task-Force-Report-to-SBOH-10-12-16.pdf ; https://mshealthpolicy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/MSTraumaCareTaskForceFinalReportNov07.pdf ; https://mshealthpolicy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/MSTraumaCareSystemReportJan07.pdf

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HB 331 Mississippi Individual On-Site Wastewater Disposal System Law; extend repealer on and revise various provisions of. (Mims)[expand title=””]

Bill Status:  Approved by Governor 3/9

Notes: The most notable changes to current law this bill would make is to require renewal every three years rather than every year and change the fee from $50 every year to $150 every three years.

C4MHP Policy Resources:

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HB 559 DFA; authorize to enter into lease with nonprofit entity for the development of Pediatric Care Facility.(Weathersby)[expand title=””]

Bill Status:  Approved by Governor 3/15

Notes: The most notable changes this bill would make to current law is to allow the Department of Finance to go through a new selection process of a nonprofit entity to lease the land on which facility will be built and designate a specific new piece of land to locate the facility.

C4MHP Policy Resources:

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HB 708 Licensed professional counselors; revise titles, qualifications and fees of.(Mims)[expand title=””]

Bill Status:  Approved by Governor 3/19

Notes: The most notable change this bill would make to current law is to allow for provisional licensed professional counselors who have received a master’s degree, rather than a doctoral degree, to train under a licensed supervising counselor to get the number of training hours required to become a licensed professional counselor by the state board of Examiners. This bill would also allow the supervising licensed counselor to bill for the services of the provisional licensed professional counselor while they are getting their training hours.

C4MHP Policy Resources:

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HB 709 Prescription Drugs Consumer Affordable Alternative Payment Options Act; create.(Mims)[expand title=””]

Bill Status:  Approved by Governor 3/8

Notes: This bill would allow pharmacists to provide additional information to a patient giving them an opportunity to consider affordable alternative payment options when acquiring their prescriptions, including costs and clinical efficacy of more affordable alternative drugs available. In some instances, the contracts that pharmacies have with pharmacy benefit managers prohibit pharmacists from telling patients that they could purchase their medicine at a lower price; this bill would prohibit this practice.

C4MHP Policy Resources:

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HB 721 Schools of practical nursing; transfer authority for accreditation of from MS Community College Board to MS Board of Nursing.(Mettetal)[expand title=””]

Bill Status:  Approved by Governor 3/15

Notes: 48 states currently allow for state boards of nursing to have authority over accreditation of community college schools of practical nursing.

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HB 876 Child Death Review Panel; extend repealer on (White)[expand title=””]

Bill Status:  Approved by Governor 3/8

Notes: This bill would extend the existence of the review panel for another 3 years, at which time the review panel would have to be reauthorized by the legislature or it will be dissolved.

C4MHP Policy Resources: https://mshealthpolicy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Infant-Mortality-Issue-Brief-Jan-2014.pdf

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HB 880 Nursing home administrators; extend repealer on licensure requirements for.(White)[expand title=””]

Bill Status:  Approved by Governor 3/8

Notes: This bill allows for the continuation of the licensure requirements for nursing home administrators for 3 years, at which time the requirements would have to be reauthorized by the legislature or they will be dissolved.

C4MHP Policy Resources:

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HB 900 Motor vehicles; delete repealer on prohibition against texting and social networking while driving.(White)[expand title=””]

Bill Status:  Approved by Governor 3/16

Notes: This bill would remove the requirement that the legislature reauthorize the law after a specified period of time. Of note, this bill retains the provision that makes texting while driving a “civil” violation rather than a “criminal” violation which has been reported by officials as part of the reason the law has been difficult to enforce. HB 900 shared the same issue with HB 325 as difficult to enforce due to the legislature originally classifying the violation as “civil” rather than “criminal”, but in HB 325 the legislature made the necessary change to classify a violation involving a lack of vehicle insurance to be criminal. Proposed SB 2599 would have made texting while driving a criminal violation and enhanced restrictions on mobile phone use while driving beyond only texting and social media. SB 2599 passed the Senate but died when it failed to get out of committee in the House.

C4MHP Policy Resources: https://mshealthpolicy.com/mobile-device-use-while-driving/

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HB 1182 Emergency medical technicians; change statutory references for EMT intermediate to EMT-advanced. (Powell) [expand title=””]

Bill Status: Approved by Governor 3/19

Notes:This bill revises the statute defining the various types of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) to remove the category of EMT “Intermediate” and replace it with “Advanced.”

C4MHP Policy Resources:

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HB 1196 MCHIRPA; require Commissioner of Insurance to make certain approvals if ceases operations. (Chism) [expand title=””]

Bill Status: Approved by Governor 3/19

Notes: Requires prior approval by the Commissioner of Insurance before the Health Insurance Risk Pool can be closed. Commissioner Chaney confirmed that the number of current enrollees in the MCHIRPA is now zero. Once all outstanding claims have been adjudicated, the Risk Pool can be closed. This bill would require the Commissioner to sign off on the distribution of any remaining funds.

C4MHP Policy Resources:

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HB 1333 Honey and honey products; transfer authority to inspect from State Department of Health to the MS Department of Agriculture and Commerce. (Morgan) [expand title=””]

Bill Status: Approved by Governor 3/16

Notes: This bill would change the inspection responsibilities, fees collected, and supervision of honey sales from the State Department of Health to the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce.

C4MHP Policy Resources:

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SB2197 Criminal immunity; provide for persons when requesting assistance for medical emergency due to alcohol consumption.(Watson)[expand title=””]

Bill Status:  Enrolled bill signed in House and Senate 4/2

Notes: This bill brings forward the section of Mississippi code covering the Medical Emergency Good Samaritan Act in order to encourage individuals experiencing an overdose, or a witness to another experiencing an overdose, to seek medical attention by requiring that a peace officer not arrest, charge, or prosecute them for a drug violation.

C4MHP Policy Resources: https://mshealthpolicy.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/RxOD-Issue-Brief-Sept-13.pdf

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SB2225 Alcohol and Drug Treatment Pilot Program in Bolivar County; extend repeal date.(Simmons 13th)[expand title=””]

Bill Status:  Approved by Governor 3/7

Notes:

C4MHP Policy Resources: https://mshealthpolicy.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/RxOD-Issue-Brief-Sept-13.pdf

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SB2296 Group health insurance plan coverage for prescription drugs; authorize medication synchronization for beneficiaries.(Kirby)[expand title=””]

Bill Status: Approved by Governor 3/5

Notes: The bill would require insurance companies to allow pharmacists to fill partial prescriptions so that a patient can coordinate the timing of all their prescriptions and have them all filled on the same day. This bill would allow for pharmacies to override denial codes under certain circumstances to synchronize multiple prescription drug refills for individual and group health insurance contracts and apply a prorated cost-sharing rate when doing so.

C4MHP Policy Resources: https://mshealthpolicy.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/RxOD-Issue-Brief-Sept-13.pdf

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SB 2463 Mississippi Rare Disease Advisory Council; establish. (Moran) [expand title=””]

Bill Status: Approved by Governor 3/19

Notes: This bill would direct the University of Mississippi Medical Center to create an advisory council comprised of certain other state health agencies to research the impact of rare diseases in Mississippi and provide a report to the legislature.

C4MHP Policy Resources:

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SB 2466 State & School Employees’ Health Insurance; extend repealer on payment of premiums. (Carmichael) [expand title=””]

Bill Status: Approved by Governor 3/5

Notes:

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SB 2480 Practice of Psychology Licensure Law; extend repealer and make technical amendments. (Kirby) [expand title=””]

Bill Status: Approved by Governor 3/07

Notes:

C4MHP Policy Resources:

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SB2614 Conflicts of interest for community hospital board members; define.(Wiggins)[expand title=””]

Bill Status: Enrolled bill signed in House and Senate 4/2

Notes: The most notable change this bill would make to current law is to establish that the appointee to boards for community hospitals and certain community hospital systems may not own an interest in, or be an officer or employee of a company or business that provides goods or services in direct or indirect competition with the community hospital, nor may the appointee’s spouse own an interest in, or be an officer of the company or business.

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SB2629 Uniform Highway Traffic Regulation Law; revise definition of the term “autocycle.”(Michel)[expand title=””]

Bill Status: Approved by Governor 3/5

Notes: This bill would change current law defining an “autocycle.” Notably, this type of vehicle has rollover protection, but current law would not require the driver to wear a helmet.

C4MHP Policy Resources: https://mshealthpolicy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/ATVIssueBriefUpdateSept2010.pdf

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SB2663 Opioid crisis; clarify court-ordered drug testing of drug-impaired drivers. (Parker)[expand title=””]

Bill Status:  Enrolled bill signed in House and Senate 4/3

Notes: This bill would primarily change the responsibilities the Department of Public Safety must promote for drug testing for those suspected of DUI, primarily that the offender must pay the cost and if the individual is indigent the cost paid to the vendor providing the testing will be paid out of the Interlock Device Fund and establish vendor reporting requirements. The focus of this bill is on non-alcohol related DUI offenses.

C4MHP Policy Resources:

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SB2836 Administration of the Mississippi Medicaid program “Medicaid Technical Amendments bill”; revise services, rates and managed-care conditions and extend repealer.(Wiggins)[expand title=””]

Bill Status: Enrolled bill signed in House and Senate 4/2

Notes: This bill is often referred to as the Medicaid “Tech” bill, or the Medicaid technical amendments bill. This bill amends the section of the law that defines the health care services the Division of Medicaid will cover.

  • Key Provisions in the Final Bill: 
    • Authorizes the Division of Medicaid to apply service benefits or reimbursement limitations to global payments (e.g. DRG, APC, Managed Care) at the Division’s discretion
    • Authorizes rural hospitals to be reimbursed for outpatient hospital services on a cost-based method for up to two years
    • Removes volume limits for physician visits, home health visits, and prescriptions,
    • Updates physician fee base
    • Establishes payment to OB/GYNs for certain primary care services at 100% of Medicare rate
    • Authorizes the Division of Medicaid to set payment rates for emergency medical transportation
    • Removes reference to voluntary preferred drug list
    • Removes limit on payment for additional pharmacist services and makes this program discretionary
    • Removes limits on certain prescription drugs
    • Authorizes the Division of Medicaid to pay for certain drugs, devices, and supplies delivered in a clinical setting as either a medical or pharmacy claim
    • Encourages the Division of Medicaid to promote the use of 17P for the prevention of premature births
    • Provides the Division of Medicaid discretion regarding services and payments for dental and orthodontic care
    • Requires the Medical Care Advisory Committee to annually evaluate the impact of Medicaid’s dental program on provider access
    • Adjusts limits of home leave days for beneficiaries in long-term care facilities
    • Requires Medicaid to pay for certain services provided by a psychiatrist at 100% of the Medicare rate
    • Removes exclusion of certain mental health services from managed care contracts
    • Makes Medicare Upper Payment Limits Program discretionary instead of mandatory and authorizes the Division of Medicaid to implement an alternative fee for service Upper Payment Limits model
    • Requires the Division of Medicaid, in consultation with the Mississippi Hospital Association and a governmental hospital located in Jackson County, to develop alternative payment models for distribution of payments for hospital services
    • Authorizes the Division of Medicaid, in consultation with the Mississippi Hospital Association and a governmental hospital located in Jackson County, to implement a transitional payment program in the interim before any alternative payment model is established
    • Expresses intent to move certain hospital payments to the Mississippi Hospital Access Program
    • Requires FQHCs to be paid according to the prospective payment system approved by CMS
    • Removes requirement for co-pays to be set at the maximum amount allowed by CMS
    • Makes targeted case management for high cost beneficiaries discretionary instead of mandatory
    • Removes reference to adult foster care services pilot program
    • Authorizes Medicaid to pay for opioid dependency at its discretion and not subject to physician visit limitations
    • Authorizes payment to pharmacies for vaccinations for persons 10-18 years of age
    • Adds outpatient hospital services to the list of services subject to 5% reimbursement reductions
    • Requires the Medical Care Advisory Committee to study the impact of a 5% across-the-board payment reduction and examine comparability of Mississippi’s payment rates
    • Removes the requirement for legislative approval for certain changes in the Medicaid program
    • Broadens the Governor’s authority to make changes to the program when expenses exceed appropriations
    • Retains the requirement that managed care organizations pay providers no less that the normal Medicaid reimbursement rate
    • Expresses intent that managed care organizations in collaboration with the Division of Medicaid implement innovative payment models to incentivize improvements in quality, outcomes, or value
    • Requires legislative approval to expand managed care program contracts and establishes a Commission on Expanding Medicaid Managed Care to make recommendations to the Legislature on expanding managed care and to study alternative managed care payment models for medically complex children
    • Requires annual audits of managed care programs
    • Prohibits Medicaid managed care organizations from requiring providers to be credentialed by the organization, requiring them to accept credentialing by the Division of Medicaid
    • Extends the repealer on 43-13-117 to 2021.
    • Makes technical changes to the provisions related to provider assessments and extends the repealer on these provision to 2024.

C4MHP Policy Resources: https://mshealthpolicy.com/health-insurance-coverage-in-mississippi/ ; https://mshealthpolicy.com/ms-health-system-performance/ ; https://mshealthpolicy.com/rural-hospitals/ ; https://mshealthpolicy.com/17p_and_preterm_births/ ; https://mshealthpolicy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Infant-Mortality-Issue-Brief-Jan-2014.pdf

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SB2895 University of Mississippi Medical Center; authorize to remove and reinter remains reposing in potter’s field property. (Blount)[expand title=””]

Bill Status: Approved by Governor 3/27

Notes: This bill would allow the University of Mississippi Medical Center to dig up and move the human remains buried in the area known as Potter’s Field on the University’s campus in Jackson and provides immunity for disturbing the graves.

C4MHP Policy Resources:

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SB2912 Mississippi Medicaid Program; extend repealer on provider assessments. (Wiggins)[expand title=””]

Bill Status: Approved by Governor 3/5

Notes:

C4MHP Policy Resources:

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