The 2016 Utah State Legislative Session is underway and a number of healthcare-related bills are up for debate. UHA's Government Relations Committee took positions on the following bills at its most recent meeting:
- SB 32, Hospital Assessment Reauthorization, has passed the Senate and is on track for debate in the House. This bill is supported by UHA and extends the sunset for the hospital assessment in its current form with minor technical modifications.
- SB 61, Smoking in Public Places Amendments, modifies current provisions of the Utah Clean Air Act, removing certain smoking exceptions for Salt Lake International Airport's passenger terminal. The UHA Government Relations Committee has voted to support this bill. SB 61 has passed out of Senate committee with a favorable recommendation.
- In other smoking-related bills, HB 157, Age Limit for Tobacco and and Related Products, increases the age limit for the purchase, possession, and use of tobacco and related products from 19 to 21 years of age and makes related changes. UHA Government Relations Committee also supports this bill.
- HB 18, Medicaid Preferred Drug List Amendments, was also supported by the Committee. This bill authorizes the Department of Health to include additional drugs on the Medicaid program's preferred drug list.
- HB 114, Controlled Substance Reporting, amends the requirement for a general acute hospital to report to the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing admissions for poisoning or overdose involving a prescribed controlled substance. This bill was also supported by the committee.
- SB 88, Reauthorization of Administrative Rules, modifies administrative rules related to Birthing Centers, striking existing language. The UHA Government Relations Committee opposes these changes and is not in support of the bill.
Please plan to join us for UHA's 2016 Legislative Reception, taking place Tuesday, February 9th, 5-7 p.m. at Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City. All hospital administrators and UHA board members should have received information regarding this event. For questions or to RSVP, contact Jackie Wilkinson at UHA, 801.486.9915.
You can follow the action on the Hill online at le.utah.gov . A complete schedule of committees and floor debate is provided, as well as an audio and/or video link to meetings in progress.
Dave Gessel and Greg Bell continue to be your eyes and ears on Capitol Hill. If you have questions about this year's top legislative issues, please contact either Dave or Greg at 801.486.9915.