New Healthcare Laws Going into Effect January 1, 2019

From the TMA website

The following bills passed by the 2018 General Assembly are effective January 1, 2019 and may be of special interest to physicians since they could require action or reporting.  Others are for information only.   Contact the TMA Legal Department at 800-659-1862 or with any questions.

Action required by physicians

Abortions and Ultrasounds  PC 862 
If an ultrasound is performed as part of an exam prior to an abortion, the individual performing the ultrasound must share certain information with the patient.  See section II. E) of our Law Guide topic, Abortions, to fully understand what must occur. 

Reporting of Opioid Abuse or Diversion – PC 675
Any practice that prescribes, dispenses, or handles opioids must provide a notice to each employee regarding the abuse or diversion of opioids and reporting it to the Department of Health.  The notification may be done individually or via a poster in an area regularly used by employees.  See TMA’s This Law Guide topics Posters Required in a Physician’s Office or Prescriptions (section X. C) for details on the notification requirements, the toll-free number and the language required in the notice.

Schedule II Electronic Prescription Requirement – PC 883
Any prescription for a Schedule II controlled substance must be issued electronically beginning January 1, 2020.  The law does define specific exemptions from the requirements of this law and they may be reviewed in the Law Guide topic Prescriptions (section VII).  All those impacted have all of 2019 to come into compliance with the requirements of this law. 

Information only – no reporting/action required by physicians

Provider Stability Act – PC 88
The Provider Stability Act passed in 2017 with an effective date of January 1, 2019.  It addresses three general areas of health insurance carrier law: provider fee schedule accessibility, changes made to provider fee schedules, and changes made to reimbursement rules and policies.  TMA’s Guide to the 2019 Provider Stability Act is available to educate members and staff in order to take full advantage of the benefits now available.