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Drug Formulary Bill for Worker’s Comp Passes House, Would Help Curb Opioid Supply; New Employer Assistance Drug Program Proposed in Health Committee, Amended Into Bill

2018-03-02T13:38:36+00:00 March 2nd, 2018|

Drug Formulary Bill for Worker’s Comp Passes House, Would Help Curb Opioid Supply

Bill and Title: SB 369 – Workers Compensation Drug Formulary
Author: Sen. Randy Head (R-Logansport)
Summary: Except during a medical emergency, prohibits workers’ compensation and occupational disease compensation reimbursement for drugs specified in the Official Disability Guidelines (ODG) Workers’ Compensation Drug Formulary Appendix A published by MCG Health as “N” drugs. Permits a prescribing physician to request to prescribe an “N” drug. Provides that, if the employer approves the request, the prescribing physician may prescribe the “N” drug. Provides that, if the employer does not approve the request, the employer shall: (1) shall send the request to a third party that is certified by the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission to make a determination concerning the request; and (2) notify the prescribing physician and the employee of the third party’s determination not more than five business days after receiving the request. Provides that, if the third party’s determination is to deny the request, the employer shall notify the prescribing physician and the employee, and the employee may apply to the worker’s compensation board for a final determination concerning the third party’s determination. Provides that, if the employer fails to notify the physician and the employee of the third party’s determination, the prescribing physician’s request is considered approved, and reimbursement of the “N” drug is authorized.
Chamber Position: Support

Update/Chamber Action: The bill was amended by Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne) on second reading to grandfather in existing “N” drug prescriptions for a period of two years. Subsequently, the bill passed the House 67-28. It now goes back to the Senate where we anticipate that the bill’s author, Sen. Head, will concur on the House changes.

The Chamber has testified that keeping worker’s compensation costs down and helping to stop the supply of opioids are two good reasons to support this bill.

New Employer Assistance Drug Program Proposed in Health Committee, Amended Into Bill

Bill and Title: SB 224 – Behavioral Health and Human Services
Author: Sen. Randy Head (R-Logansport)
Summary: Requires the Division of Mental Health and Addiction to establish best practice guidelines to assist employers with certain employees who agree to participate in a drug education and addiction treatment program. Requires the division to: (1) promote voluntary participation; (2) develop and deliver informational resources and training for employers; and (3) collect information and prepare an annual report. Provides that if an employer and employee comply with certain requirements, the employer is not liable in a civil action alleging negligent hiring for negligence of the employee. Provides that in certain civil actions, an employer’s participation in the program is not admissible as evidence. Allows up to 50% of the supervised experience hours required for licensure as the following to be accounted for through virtual supervision by the appropriate supervisor: (1) Clinical social worker. (2) Mental health counselor. (3) Marriage and family therapist. (4) Addiction counselor. Reduces the required number of face-to-face client contact hours for a marriage and family therapist license from 500 to 400. Requires an applicant for licensure as a mental health counselor or mental health counselor associate to complete a clinical practicum, an internship or field experience in a counseling setting of at least 700 clock hours, including at least 66 hours of face to face supervision. (Current law requires an applicant for licensure as a mental health counselor or mental health counselor associate to complete a clinical practicum, internship or field experience in a counseling setting of at least 1,000 clock hours, including at least 100 hours of face-to-face supervision.
Chamber Position: Support

Update/Chamber Action: The bill as passed by the Senate was not very much on the Chamber’s radar. Then, Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem) approached the Chamber and other business groups and requested support for a new employer program to assist employees who fail a drug program. The bill was similar in language to HB 1134 (Drug Addiction Workforce Recovery Program), which Davisson had authored.

As a result of this new development, the Chamber testified this week before the House Public Health Committee in support of the bill, along with others. The bill subsequently passed 9-0 and will be on third reading on Monday. The measure is expected to pass the House. The Chamber will have discussions with Sen. Head to encourage a concurrence on the bill when it goes back to the Senate.

Resource: Mike Ripley at (317) 264-6883 or e-mail: mripley@indianachamber.com