Public Health Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-6987

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING VARIOUS REVISIONS TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH STATUTES.

Vote Date:

3/30/2015

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/18/2015

File No.:

682

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Public Health Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill makes changes to several public health statutes.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Jewel Mullen, Commissioner, Department of Public Health: Section 1 revises section 19a-491 of the Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.), to clarify that the value of the non-construction components of a project (e.g. furnishings, appliances and lighting fixtures) are not relevant to the technical review process for undertaking a renovation or building altercation project.

Section 2 revises section 20-12d C.G.S. to reinstate the correct requirement that physician assistant (PA) orders contain the signature of the PA.

Section 3 repeals a reporting mandate concerning research involving embryonic stem cells because oversight and enforcement of acceptable use of donated stem cells is already performed by institutional embryonic stem cell research oversight (ESCRO) bodies within research organizations, and by the Regenerative Medicine Research Advisory Committee.

Section 4 would allow any qualified registered nurse or any qualified licensed practical nurse from another state to continue providing nursing care for their students, or a patient they care for who is visiting Connecticut, for up to 72 hours without the burden of obtaining a temporary permit from DPH.

Section 5 strengthens DPH's authority to regulate unlicensed massage therapists or licensed massage therapists that may have falsified documents to achieve licensure.

Section 6 allows for an expedited process for emergency medical service (EMS) organizations to apply for approval to change the address of a principal or branch location within their current primary service area.

Section 7 adds all levels of licensed and certified EMS providers to those care providers who are mandated to report elder abuse, neglect, exploitation, or abandonment.

Section 8 changes, from July 5th to the last day of August of each year, the due date by which EMS organizations must file statements regarding their call volumes for rate review. This revision allows these entities to have more flexibility in establishing and determining their annual budgets. This change has been requested by multiple EMS organizations.

Section 9 adds a new definition to section 19a-175 C.G.S. of “authorized emergency services vehicle” to include ambulance, invalid coach and AEMT- and paramedic- intercept vehicles.

Section 10 includes language that allows the Department of Motor Vehicle to accept notice of a safety inspection by an authorized dealer/local entity along with now including the DPH inspection for minimum equipment and vehicle design compliance before registering a vehicle.

Section 11 clarifies that patient-identifiable data may be released by the Office of Health Care Access (OHCA) for medical and research purposes.

Section 12 renders statute concerning the authority of an athletic trainer to clear a student athlete for participation in team activities, following a suspected or actual concussion, consistent with the statutory definition of athletic training by stating that he or she must act under the consent and direction of a licensed health care provider.

Sections 13 and 14 revises the clinical laboratory statutes to provide the Commissioner authority to conduct a formal investigation and take necessary actions such as issuing subpoenas, and administering oaths associated with such investigation. The language in this bill mirrors the Department's authority under section 19a-498 (b) C.G.S. for healthcare facilities licensed pursuant to section 19a-490 C.G.S. (which doesn't include clinical laboratories).

Sections 15 allows the Medical Examining Board and the DPH to take reciprocal action against a practitioner's license based on voluntary surrender of a license in another state. This language will also add that disciplinary action taken by a federal government agency can be taken into consideration in state licensure decisions.

Section 16 clarifies that a past voluntary surrender of a license, or agreement not to renew or reinstate a license, can be taken into consideration by the DPH when determining if someone is eligible for reinstatement of a license, and also add that disciplinary action taken by a federal government agency can be taken into consideration for licensure decisions.

Section 17 clarifies that all healthcare institutions, as defined in section 19a-490, are subject to the same statutory direction regarding unannounced inspection activities.

Section 18 amends the definition of medical spa in CGS 19a-903c C.G.S. to clarify that the law does not apply to hospitals or other licensed healthcare facilities, and clarifies that the requisite pre-procedure physical assessment of a patient must be done by the clinician in person.

Section 19 inserts “or designee,” to allow the Commissioner of Public Health to designate an employee of the Department to represent, him/her on the Commission on Medicolegal Investigations.

Sections 21 and 22 require that acupuncturists obtain malpractice insurance.

Section 23 would add the chairpersons of the Insurance Committee to the Advisory Council on Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections and Pediatric Acute Neuropsychiatric Syndrome.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA): CHA supports the bill which corrects various oversights in current law. They also suggested language that would coordinate state statues with new flexibility allowed under the federal law.

Connecticut Academy of Nutrition Dietetics: The bill will result in significant improvements to the health care system by modification of the current CD-N scope of practice.

Matthew Barrett, Connecticut Association of Health Care Faculties, Inc.: If facility renovation exceeds the one million dollar threshold solely due to non-construction cost, it should be permitted to pay the lower technical fee of $565.

James Leahy, Connecticut Physical Therapy Association: The bill fails to include physical therapists in the list of healthcare professionals allowed to participate in return to play protocol in Connecticut school systems. It also unfairly burdens Connecticut based sport specialists Physical Trainers, who are trained in these protocols.

Christopher DiPasquale, Performance Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Inc.: Supports the bill, but would like to amend the bill to include physical therapist being able to grant athletes to return to participation after concussion.

Steve Paine, National Guild of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine: Requesting that the legislature mandate malpractice insurance coverage for licensed acupuncturists. The purpose of this legislation is to follow the standards adhered to by the other state licensed healthcare providers to insure and protect the health and safety of Connecticut citizens.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None

Reported by: Zani Imetovski

Date: 04/21/2015