Legislative Update 5-26-20

by Devon Green
Vice President of Government Relations

Last Week

Resuming Non-Urgent Care: On Friday, Governor Scott announced that hospitals may resume inpatient procedures under the guidance released by the Vermont Department of Health. He also announced that dentistry and mental health and substance abuse counseling may resume as well.  
Budget: The House Appropriations Committee began developing a budget for the first three months of FY ‘21. The Administration has proposed an 8 percent reduction from FY20 spending. The legislature must pass a budget before the current fiscal year ends on June 30th.
Interstate Nurse Licensure Compact: The Senate passed S.125, which would have Vermont adopt and enter into the into the interstate Nurse Licensure Compact. The Rural Health Services Task Force recommended passing this bill in order to improve Vermont’s health care workforce deficit. The bill now heads over to the House.  
Ban on Genetic Discrimination: The Senate also passed S.197, which bans employers and insurers from discrimination on the basis of genetic test results, removing one of the barriers many people encounter in determining whether or not to undergo genetic testing for medical reasons.  

Next Week

Hospital Update on COVID-19: VAHHS will be providing an update to the health care committees on the hospital system’s financial status and response to COVID-19.  
PA Licensure: House Health Care will likely vote on S.128, requirements for physician assistant licensure, which would eliminate the supervisory role of physicians over PAs, including the strict liability physicians currently have for PAs. It would replace the supervision requirement with a physician’s agreement.