Capitol Comments Articles
Health Conference Committees Disagree on Change to Patient Visitation Language

Advocacy Day  newsletter (April 5, 2024) – Today, the House and Senate Health conferees met to reopen the previously agreed upon version of the Conference Committee Report of Senate Bill 287. The committee discussed the Senate's request to change the language at the end of the bill related to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service guidance not superseding the change in statute. The new language suggested was on page 3 of:

Nothing in this section shall be construed to:

  1. Supersedes any federal law, rules, regulations or guidance regarding patient care facilities; or
  2. (prohibits a patient care facility from taking actions necessary to ensure that such patient care facility remains eligible for federal financial participation, federal funds or participation in federal programs and for reimbursement for services provided in such patient care facility.
    Sec. 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its publication in the statute book.

The language, as previously proposed, is still paired with provisions, including Senate Bill 287 (requires minors in school settings to have parental consent for treatment), House Bill 2579 (allows EMS to provide over-the-counter medications), and the House version of Senate Bill 352 with the above-referenced change. The conference committee report will now go before the House and Senate for a straight up or down vote.

The House did not agree to the changes, expressing concern about reopening and jeopardizing Medicaid and Medicare funding. Without further meetings and agreement, the CCR on Senate Bill 287 is unlikely to run but could be revisited.