Legislative Update 4.10.23


Devon Green, VP of Government Relations
Going into this week, the big thing on my mind is the House Judiciary Committee’s discussion on the violence against health care workers bill, S.36. The Committee has had wide-ranging discussion and is grappling with how best to protect health care providers and patients. This is a difficult topic, and VAHHS appreciates their work.
Workplace Violence: The House Judiciary Committee heard from several witnesses with concerns over how S.36, which allows for warrantless arrest for certain misdemeanors would apply to a patient who is not stabilized. Advocates testified that patients might not seek treatment if they are in fear of being arrested. The committee is interested in narrowing the scope of the bill. There will likely be an amended version and further discussion this week.
Workforce: The Senate Health and Welfare Committee heard testimony last week on two workforce development bills. Bill H. 473 allows radiologist assistants to work with remote supervision. The committee discussed whether remote supervision should only happen in-state. The psychology interjurisdictional compact bill, H.282, allows telepsychology and the ability to provide in-person services for 30 days.
Data Privacy: The House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development heard testimony on the Attorney General’s data privacy bill, H.121. There are three components of the bill: (1) data minimization; (2) data brokers; and (3) biometric identifiers. After VAHHS testimony earlier in the session calling for an exemption of HIPPA-covered entities, the latest version of the bill includes an exemption for HIPAA-protected data or information intermingled with or treated in the same manner as HIPPA-protected data. After hearing concerns from several witnesses, the committee is likely to come back to the bill next year. 
Vaccines: The Senate Government Operations Committee took up H.305, the Office of Professional Regulations bill, and considered a provision that would allow pharmacists to vaccinate children 5 years and older for influenza or SARS-CoV and provide successor or combination vaccinations as designated by the commissioner of health after consultation with the director of the Office of Professional Regulation.