2017 Legislative Agenda

Hospital Assessment
SB214/HB647 by Sen. Doug Overbey and Rep. Steve McDaniel

  • First passed in 2010, the annual voluntary hospital assessment results in more than $450 million in state funds each year, which are eligible for a federal match to support the TennCare program.
  • This year’s bill continues the 4.52 percent assessment, which generates state matching dollars to fund many key services and benefits for TennCare recipients.
  • THA supports continuation of the annual hospital assessment to help fund the TennCare program.

Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
SB595/HB664 by Sen. Bo Watson and Rep. Matthew Hill

  • As healthcare delivery models continue to change – particularly in the area of telemedicine – and as our state continues to address health needs in the face of professional shortages, we must look for ways to effectively and efficiently provide care to Tennesseans.
  • The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact offers a new, voluntary expedited pathway to licensure for qualified physicians who wish to practice in multiple states.
  • This compact helps increase access to care for patients in underserved or rural areas and allows them to more easily connect with medical experts through the use of telemedicine technologies.
  • THA supports enacting the compact in Tennessee, just as 18 other states across the country have done in recent years.

Extension of HSDA
SB76/HB237 by Sen. Mike Bell and Rep. Jeremy Faison

  • The Health Services and Development Agency (HSDA), which oversees Tennessee’s certificate of need (CON) program, is set to sunset – or expire – in 2017.
  • As part of the agreement reached in the 2016 modernization of the state’s CON law, sponsors of that legislation agreed to support a three-year extension of the agency.
  • Ensuring the continuation of the HSDA also preserves an effective CON program for our state.
  • THA supports a three year extension of the Health Services and Development Agency.

Body Worn Cameras in Healthcare Facilities
SB1324/HB1284 by Sen. Ken Yager and Rep. Bob Ramsey

  • As body worn cameras become a standard for law enforcement officers across Tennessee, it is important to be aware of unintended consequences with such technology.
  • In the event law enforcement officers are recording in a hospital or similar facility, it is likely that video will include protected health information of patients.
  • THA believes it is important to limit the public release of such recordings in order to protect patients and their identifiable information as required by federal law.
  • THA supports an exception for the public release of law enforcement body worn camera video recorded in medical facilities and other healthcare settings.

All Payer Claims Database
SB657/HB701 by Sen. Ed Jackson and Rep. Kevin Brooks

  • Established by the General Assembly in 2009, the All Payer Claims Database (APCD) is intended to be a repository of all inpatient and outpatient healthcare claims in Tennessee, regardless of payer source.
  • Such data is key to fully understanding Tennessee’s health status and needs, how care is accessed in our state, and costs across the healthcare continuum.
  • The APCD is especially relevant at a time when healthcare costs continue to climb and our state faces ongoing crises with chronic disease and other health conditions.
  • A 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling – and subsequent Tennessee Attorney General’s opinion – make updates to the APCD law necessary in order to continue the database.
  • THA supports updating the law to ensure continuation of the APCD, as well as working to identify and recommend solutions for future operation and use of the database.

Surprise/Balance Billing

  • Surprise billing occurs when patients are treated at healthcare facilities in their insurance network, but are seen by physicians who are outside of that network.
  • As a result, patients may receive a separate bill that reflects the out-of-network charges from these physicians.
  • THA is committed to working with legislators, other healthcare providers and insurers to address issues related to “surprise” or balance bills.

Comprehensive Coverage for the Uninsured

  • A comprehensive health coverage solution is greatly needed for the uninsured in our state.
  • Despite uncertainty about the expected repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its replacement law, there is strong indication that state Medicaid programs will be funded in the future through a block grant or per-capita allotment.
  • Such a change in funding must also include greater flexibility for states, including which populations to cover, benefit design and cost sharing for certain services.
  • THA supports a Tennessee-based solution to provide coverage to the uninsured and believes any necessary steps should be taken to ensure preparedness for future changes to Medicaid.

 

To download a PDF copy of THA’s 2017 Legislative Agenda, click here.