Capitol Comments Articles
Bills Make Their Way Through the Process, Others Will Await Further Action

KansasCapitol (April 4, 2022) – As the Legislature wrapped up their work ahead of the first adjournment break near 1:30 a.m. on April 2, many provisions the Kansas Hospital Association has tracked had action before the Legislature adjourned. The Legislature will return to Topeka for a veto session on Monday, April 25, after receiving the April tax revenue estimates.

Senate Bill 453 allows licensed practical nurses to instruct certified nursing assistant courses while requiring registered nurses to continue the sign-off on the skills checklist. The legislation passed the House on a vote of 116-0 and the Senate on a vote of 40-0. The bill now goes to the governor.

Senate Bill 200 amends the Pharmacy Act to allow pharmacists to initiate therapy for influenza, strep and urinary tract infections, as well as make changes to the Kansas Pharmacy Board K-TRACS Advisory Committee and program. However, the legislation eliminates the fees on providers being established by rules and regulations. The conference committee report passed the House on a vote of 112-2, and in the Senate on a vote of 37-3. The bill now goes to the governor.

House Bill 2279 eliminates the requirement for advanced practice registered nurses to have a collaborative agreement to practice and allows prescribing of drugs without a supervising physician. The legislation previously passed the Senate on a vote of 30-7. After not reaching a consensus in the conference committee, the House made a motion to concur and it passed on a vote of 80-34. The legislation now goes to the governor.

Senate Bill 267 contained the state budget provisions. The House passed the legislation on a vote of 104-12, and the Senate on a vote 33-5. The legislation now goes to the governor. The compromise agreed to at conference included the following:

  • Added funding for two new auditor positions within the Office of the Medicaid inspector general for fiscal year 2022.
  • Added language allowing the Kansas Board of Pharmacy to share data from the prescription monitoring program with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment regarding authorized Medicaid program practitioners in FY 2022 and FY 2023.
  • Added $362,213 in State General Funds for the Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program to fully fund cancer screening for the uninsured and underinsured in FY 2022 and FY 2023.
  • Added funds to increase reimbursement rates for Emergency Medical Services provider codes in FY 2023.
  • Added $1.4 million to provide coverage through the Children's Health Insurance Program for children residing in a household having a gross household income at or under 250.0 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines in FY 2023.
  • Added $2.9 million to raise provider reimbursement rates for pediatric primary care services to 100.0 percent of the Medicare reimbursement rate for FY 2023.
  • Added language to increase the amount available for transfer from the Medical Assistance Fee Fund to the Kansas Newborn Screening Fund for up to $5.0 million for FY 2023.
  • Added language to instruct the agencies involved to advise and consult with the chairperson and ranking minority member of the House and Senate Social Services Committees on the development and adjustment of the human services consensus caseload estimates for FY 2023.
  • Added $122.2 million to provide a 25.0 percent reimbursement rate increase, excluding T1000 code for specialized nursing, for providers of Home and Community-Based Services Intellectual and Developmental Disability waiver services.
  • Added $65.2 million to provide a rebase of the nursing facility's daily Medicaid rate for FY 2023. This amount is the difference between the amount to fully rebase the daily rate and the 3.0 percent increase already included in the governor's budget recommendation.
  • Added $11.8 million to provide a 10.0 percent reimbursement rate increase for providers of HCBS Frail Elderly waiver services.
  • Added $12.5 million to provide a 4.0 percent reimbursement rate increase for Medicaid behavioral health services.
  • Added $7.7 million and language to increase the reimbursement rate for the T1000 Medicaid code for specialized nursing care from $43.00 per hour to $47.00 per hour.
  • Added $2.0 million to assist with staffing at psychiatric residential treatment facilities.
  • Added $2.5 million to increase the amount provided to community developmental disability organizations to fulfill their role in assessing individuals for the HCBS I/DD waiver.

Senate Bill 286 extends liability protections extensions for civil suits related to COVID-19 until Jan. 20, 2023, for those health care facilities that do not deny medical services for those patients based solely on COVID-19 vaccination status. It also creates a new crime of interference with health care services and increases the penalty of assault and battery of a health care worker. The legislation passed the House on a vote of 64-51, and passed the Senate on a vote of 24-16. The legislation now goes to the governor.

House Bill 2239 is the tax package that includes an extension of the Rural Opportunity Zone program for three years until 2027 and includes a sales tax initiative ballot question allowance for Wilson County for EMS services, along with several other tax provisions. The legislation passed the Senate on a vote of 39-0 and passed the House on a vote of 103-10.

Senate Bill 28 relates to the regulation of pharmacy benefits managers and requires licensure rather than registration of such entities. The legislation passed the House on a vote of 120-2, and the Senate on a vote of 39-0. The legislation now goes to the governor.

The Legislature did not complete actions on sports gaming, food sales tax reduction or the K-12 budget bill. The following other health-related bills have not yet made their way through the process:

House Bil 2387 includes executive branch authority to extend managed care organization contracts for one year and limits the authority of the executive branch to restrict religious gatherings. The CCR passed the Senate on a vote of 26-12 and needs to pass the House before making its way to the governor.

Senate Substitute for House Bill 2280 authorizes the prescribing and dispensing of medications for off-label use to prevent and treat COVID-19 infections and requires child care facilities and schools to grant religious exemptions. The bill was discussed briefly in the Health Conference with new language eliminating the portion of the bill dealing with childhood vaccines and now only codifies in the state statute that prescribers may prescribe off-label medications in addition to making changes to the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts notification process for when an investigation is open. Discussions on this topic and other related legislation could come up when the Legislature returns.