Assembly Health Committee Passes 10 Bills

In the first committee meeting of the 2010 legislative session, the Assembly Committee on Health favorably reported 10 bills today. For more information on a particular bill, please contact the sponsor listed after the description.

Emergency Contraception - Allows pharmacies to dispense emergency contraception ("morning after" pill) to a woman without an individual prescription, to help reduce unintended pregnancies. (A.627, Paulin)

Changes in hospital ownership or control - Many hospital mergers or affiliations that significantly affect a community's health care are structured to avoid review by the State Public Health Council and Health Department. This bill closes the loopholes so these changes will require public approval. (A.877, Gottfried)

Protection from hazardous materials - Requires that the state provide to hospitals information on environmentally sensitive commodities and services to reduce exposure to harmful materials. (A.1582, Englebright)

Farm worker pesticide protection - Enacts worker protection standard and additional guidelines for farms with possible worker exposure to pesticides. (A.1586, Englebright)

Home care Medicaid reimbursement - Medicaid puts a cap on reimbursement to home care agencies for administrative expenses. This bill promotes care management, telehealth and other patient care services by excluding them from the cap. (A.1807, Gottfried)

Health care provider negotiation with managed care plans - Helps doctors and other health care providers stand up to managed care plans by allowing them to collectively negotiate with health plans. Negotiations could cover rates of payment, procedures for approving coverage of services, and other terms and conditions. (A.4301, Canestrari)

Patient care pain management - Requires pain management clinical education for all appropriate health care practitioners every four years. (A.5287, Meng)

Drug deal seizures - Expands the drug seizure and forfeiture law to allow law enforcement to seize money used to pay for illegal drugs. (A.5961, Schimminger)

Family Health Care Decision Act - Enables a patient's family member to make health care decisions when the patient is unable to do so and has not signed a health care proxy. (A.7729-C, Gottfried)

Medical Marijuana - Allows patients with life-threatening medical conditions to use marijuana to treat symptoms with formal approval of a physician. (A.9016, Gottfried)

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