03/10/2017

Health Care

An Act establishing Medicare for all in Massachusetts S.619

This bill would create a single-payer health care system for Massachusetts, guaranteeing first rate health care coverage for every resident of the state, while saving money for state and local government, businesses, and residents.

An Act providing health insurance coverage for cochlear and auditory osseointegrated implants in childrenS.616

Too often, children who are born deaf and would be eligible for cochlear implants don’t receive them because the operation is so expensive – a delay that can have serious effects on the child’s development. This bill requires health insurance plans to cover operations to implant cochlear implants for children and adults up to age 26, as well as post treatment services and replacement parts for maintenance of such system under accident and sickness policies, BCBSMA policies, and HMO policies.

An Act ensuring access to medicationsS.523

This bill expands healthcare coverage of prescription medications that require special handling, administration or monitoring for a wider range of pharmacies, including non-network pharmacies.

An Act improving access to child and adolescent mental health services – S.524

The state of children’s mental health services across Massachusetts and the rest of the United States is underdeveloped. Physical health services are more available and accessible to the public, but mental health service systems lack funding and organization. To try to counter this problem and provide specialized mental health services to curb and prevent in-school and out-of-school violence, this bill will allow licensed educational psychologists to be included in the menu of existing options of “licensed mental health professionals” to choose from for those in need of and seeking mental health services.

An Act relative to emergency and disaster planning for health care providersS.1193

This bill would require that in the situation of a governor declared emergency, or during other locally declared emergency situations, there would be a general wavier of liability of court or regulatory agency administrative sanctions against health care providers to ensure that providers are able to care for patients quickly without worry about liability concerns. It is time that the state developed a process to ensure that providers are able to quickly and effectively care for patients regardless of the setting and without concern of legal or administrative sanctions.

An Act prohibiting the participation of health care professionals in the torture and abuse of prisonersS.1194

This bill would ensure that in the future, Massachusetts licensed health care professionals are not involved in torture, abuse, or direct interrogation of prisoners or detainees. It would impose civil sanctions on health care professionals who participate in torture, abuse, or direct interrogations; require professionals to report torture or abuse; and provide protections to whistleblowers. Health care professionals are expected to do no harm, yet medical and mental health professionals helped to develop the enhanced interrogation techniques used at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere; they supervised interrogations and waterboarding; and they helped cover up abuse and, in at least one case, a resulting death.

An Act reducing the risk of skin cancer and excessive UV exposure in children – S.1196

Many children are exposed to UV radiation due to suboptimal sunscreen use and high rates of sunburning, and therefore at risk of excessive UV exposure which could lead to skin cancer development. This bill ensures that a student may possess and use a topical sunscreen product while on school property or at a school-sponsored event or activity without a physician’s note or prescription if the product is approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration for over-the-counter use for the purpose of limiting ultraviolet light-induced skin damage.

An Act supporting equal access to community care for elders and the disabledS.617

This bill ensures that in any case where the monthly income of an applicant or recipient is in excess of the exemptions allowed, the applicant or recipient, if otherwise eligible for Medicaid under this chapter, will be liable to pay to the provider of medical care or service an amount which shall be equal to the excess income for a period of six consecutive months.

An Act providing the elderly access to electronic billing servicesS.339

This bill provides retirement facilities access to electronic billing, purchasing and payment services that that are available to the public through current advancement in computerized and network-based technologies. These services provide cash flow management, accounting reporting, as well as annual budget information, and more which will aid senor residents in improving transaction accounting operations and wealth portfolio management for IRAs, Annuities, and other forms of savings distributions.

An Act establishing a public health insurance optionS.618

This bill would charge the Commonwealth Connector Authority to offer a public health insurance plan (“public health insurance option”) to compete with private insurance plans in order to give eligible individuals and large groups more choices, increase competition, stability of affordable, high quality coverage throughout Massachusetts and encourage insurance companies to cooperate, share information, and reduce costs.

An Act requiring insurance coverage for emergency psychiatric servicesS.525

An individual policy of accident and sickness insurance issued under section 108 that provides hospital expense and surgical expense insurance and any group blanket or general policy of accident and sickness insurance issued under section 110 that provides hospital expense and surgical expense insurance, which is issued or renewed within or without the commonwealth, shall provide benefits on a nondiscriminatory basis for medically necessary emergency service programs.

An Act relative to out-of- network services provided by emergency medicine cliniciansS.526

This bill creates a cap of $1,500 for payments to out-of-network emergency medicine providers during an emergency department visit, the minimum emergency medicine services benefit. It establishes the process by which out-of-network emergency medicine clinicians are to bill, and be paid for, services rendered to insured patients at an emergency department of a hospital. These services prohibit insurance carriers from communicating false or misleading information in an EOB.