January 14, 2021

UHA sets legislative agenda for 2021

The 2021 Utah State Legislative Session is set to begin on Tuesday, January 19th. In preparation for this year's session, the UHA Government Relations Committee has met to discuss anticipated bills and legislative items of interest to hospitals. The committee will continue to meet virtually every other week during the session.

This year's session will be subject to COVID-19 restrictions, including limited in-person interaction between legislators and the public. As a result, UHA's lobbying efforts will be modified and our traditional legislative reception will not take place in 2021.

Priorities identified as a part of UHA's legislative agenda for this year include the following:

  • Medicaid--UHA will continue to support and protect Medicaid expansion funding as well as advocate for ACO inflation increases and adequate hospital and provider Medicaid funding. In addition to funding, UHA will continue its efforts with UDOH to re-base Utah's Medicaid program, providing more appropriate base payment levels and reducing outliers.
  • COVID-19 Response--UHA will advocate for state funding to support hospitals in efforts related to testing, staffing and other pandemic-related expenses. Additionally, UHA will engage and advise on any proposed legislation dealing with emergency powers, crisis standards of care and hospital/provider flexibility.
  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse--UHA will continue its support of mental health and substance abuse integration reform and funding.
  • Other issues UHA will engage in include:
    • Support for additional rural physician loan repayment funding
    • Support continued funding of Get Healthy Utah
    • Support appropriate end-of-life legislation and funding
    • Support on-going nurse education funding
    • Oppose insurance legislation dealing with surprise billing
    • Oppose any proposed legislation changing joint and several liability law
    • Oppose inappropriate provider certification renewal legislation
    • Oppose Any Willing Provider legislation
    • Oppose any surgical smoke legislation
    • Amend fetal remains bill
    • Monitor physician assistants' licensure legislation.

As always, UHA staff is here to serve as your advocate for any proposed legislation affecting hospitals. Feel free to contact UHA Executive Vice President, Dave Gessel, or President/CEO Greg Bell with your legislative comments, questions and concerns.