SB 342 – Pregnancy Accommodation
Authored by Sen. Ron Alting (R-Lafayette)

The bill as passed out of Senate Family and Children Services Committee did require an employer to provide reasonable employment accommodations for a pregnant employee. It also required the Civil Rights Commission to investigate complaints and attempt to resolve complaints through the use of an administrative law judge.

The amended bill now urges the Legislative Council to assign to an appropriate interim study committee the task of studying pregnancy and childbirth accommodations and the fiscal impact on businesses within Indiana.

Chamber position: Previously opposed; now neutral

The latest: Going into the halfway point, it became clear that the bill was having trouble securing support from the entire Senate Republican caucus. Senator Andy Zay (R-Huntington) offered the amendment that would strip the original bill and turn it into a summer study committee. The bill then passed the Senate 41-8.

Indiana Chamber action/commentary: Hoosier employers want to do what’s right for their workers, but the reality of a situation also has to be taken into consideration. It’s pretty obvious that larger employers have greater resources to do more things. Additional pregnancy accommodations fall into that category, as Senate Bill 342 goes above and beyond the federal law. Several of our large employer members are supporting this legislation and we understand why. But not every employer is at liberty to make that call, which is why this should not be mandated. There are significant differences in the resources of a company with 15 workers compared to one with 500 or more.

Unfortunately, the undue hardship provision in the committee-passed version of the bill would not be a true defense for employers who do not comply because the burden of proof will be on them. And for all practical purposes, the employee will request the accommodation and the employer will have to comply. The bill simply lacks employer protections, which is why we were unable to support it.

The amended bill was assigned to the House Employment and Pension Committee, chaired by Rep. Heath VanNatter (R-Brookston). The Chamber plans on meeting with Chairman VanNatter to discuss his intentions with the bill.

Senate Passes ‘Surprise Billing’ Measure

SB 3 – Health Care Provider Billing
Authored by Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso)

Prohibits billing a patient who receives emergency services: (1) from an out-of-network provider; and (2) at specified facilities that are in network; for amounts that exceed the cost paid by the patient’s insurance plus any deductibles, copayments and coinsurance amounts. Requires certain health care providers to provide, upon request from the patient, a good faith estimate to the patient for the cost of care at least five business days before a health care service or procedure is provided. Sets forth requirements of the good faith estimate. Requires the patient to acknowledge in writing receipt of the estimate and indicate whether to proceed with the service or procedure

Chamber position: Support

The latest: The bill passed the Senate 49-0.

Indiana Chamber action/commentary: Senator Charbonneau had filed a second reading amendment that was drafted in a manner that the Chamber and others opposed.  The amendment featured a 12-month look back on contracts for out-of-network providers that had previously been in-network. Fortunately, Sen. Charbonneau did not offer the amendment for a vote. The House sponsor is Rep Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn), who the Chamber has been working with on HB 1004 – which is a slightly different version of SB 3.

QUICK TAKES: Senate Passes Provider Contracts and Coverage Mandate Legislation; House Moves Bill on Outpatient Surgical Centers

Senate Bill 5 (Health Provider Contracts), authored by Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso), passed the Senate 47-0. This version of the “gag clause” had previously been favorably amended to only cover claims data – making it a bill the Chamber could fully endorse. The bill now goes to the House and could be assigned to one of two committees: insurance or public health. Our best guess is it’s going to the House Insurance Committee since the legislation involves Title 27 of the Indiana Code. The Chamber will be working to secure passage in either committee.

Senate Bill 311 (Coverage for PANDAS and PANS), authored by Sen David Niezgodski (D-South Bend), requires coverage for pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS) and pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS), including treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin therapy. This Chamber-opposed bill passed the Senate 40-9. Though sympathetic to families involved, this legislation is still a mandate and likely will increase costs for certain businesses. Moreover, the bill only effects fully insured plans – about 20% of the employer market. The bill will most likely be assigned to the House Insurance Committee chaired by Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne). The Chamber will be meeting with him soon to discuss our position.

House Bill 1332 (Ambulatory Outpatient Surgical Centers), authored by Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne), was amended on second reading to remove the language saying “may not exceed 200% of Medicare for reimbursement for hospitals” that was put in during committee. The bill now provides that 1) ambulatory outpatient surgical centers may be reimbursed in an amount not to exceed 225% of the ambulatory outpatient surgical center’s Medicare reimbursement rate; and 2) payment to an ambulatory outpatient surgical center for a medical device under worker’s compensation may not exceed the invoice amount plus 3%. Subsequently, the bill passed the House 91-1. This Chamber-supported bill most likely will be assigned to the Senate Pensions and Labor Committee chaired by Sen. Phil Boots (R-Crawfordsville). The Chamber will be working to secure its passage.

Resource: Mike Ripley at (317) 264-6883 or email: [email protected]