IMA Bill Tracker

This tracker lists all the legislation IMA is monitoring and provides status updates, IMA will update this list every Friday


HB 317
: Surgical Authority for Optometrists – OPPOSE

Legislation sponsored by the Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licensing to expand the scope of practice for optometrists to give them authority for certain surgical procedures. This is particularly concerning because there is no standardized curriculum for schools of optometry, especially when it comes to surgical procedures. 

Status: This bill passed the House on a 58-11 vote but was held in the Senate Health & Welfare Committee on February 13, killing the bill for 2020. Idaho optometrists may introduce another bill yet this session.  


HB 340: Adolescent Treatment Programs
This legislation provides an exemption from licensing for residential programs offering temporary alcohol-drug abuse treatment for those thirteen through seventeen years of age. There have been concerns about the lack of licensing and oversight in the legislation. The bill sponsor and many legislators feel the need for treatment in the state outweighs some of these concerns.

Status: This bill is awaiting amendments on the floor of the House upon recommendation from the House Health & Welfare Committee.


HB 342: Weakening of Telehealth Laws – OPPOSE
If enacted, this bill would allow for a telephone call, secure voicemail or email to establish a physician/patient relationship and for a patient to receive an evaluation, diagnosis and treatment, including prescription medication. IMA physician leaders do not believe this upholds the Idaho standard of care.

IMA is a member of the newly formed Telehealth Task Force under the Healthcare Transformation Council of Idaho. The TTF is taking a comprehensive look at the existing Idaho Telehealth Act and doing an intensive six-month review to determine if changes are necessary to our state’s telehealth infrastructure. HB 342 is being proposed by a commercial telehealth provider, whose purpose is not in alignment with a holistic review of Idaho’s telehealth system.

Status: This bill passed the House on a 68-0 vote and is now awaiting amendments on the floor of the Senate. 


HB 386: Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBM) SUPPORT
This legislation does four things:

  1. Adds transparency by requiring PBMs in Idaho to register annually with the Department of Insurance
  2. Prohibits gag clauses so that pharmacists can inform patients how they can pay less for prescriptions
  3. Requires PBMs to be transparent in how they determine the maximum allowable cost (MAC) they reimburse pharmacies for prescriptions and to regularly update MAC changes
  4. Prohibits PBMs from retroactively denying or reducing a claim for reimbursement, except for legitimate reasons.

Status: This bill passed the House on a 51-17 vote and is now awaiting a vote on the floor of the Senate.


HB 391:  Chiropractors to Clear Youth Athletes of Concussions for Return to Play
This bill adds chiropractors to the list of providers who are considered to be qualified health professionals for the purposes of returning student-athletes to play after suspected concussions or head injuries.  The existing list is physicians, PAs, NPs, and licensed health care professionals trained in the evaluation and management of concussions who are supervised by a directing physician (these are athletic trainers, generally).  HB 391 would require chiropractors to completed training on concussion assessment.

Status: This bill is awaiting a hearing in the House Health & Welfare Committee.


HB 392:  Liability Protection for Volunteer Healthcare Providers - SUPPORT
HB 392 expands the definition in the current immunity statute to cover licensed health care providers who are practicing within the scope of practice of their license and to cover students in a health care program who are appropriately supervised.  The purpose of this legislation is to encourage providers to volunteer their services without the fear of creating additional liability for themselves because their own policy may not cover services conducted outside the course of their employment.

Status: This legislation passed the House on a unanimous 69-0 vote and is now awaiting a vote on the floor of the Senate. 


HB 443:  Discrimination of Unvaccinated Persons - OPPOSE
This legislation would specify that employers or companies that contract with the state of Idaho – including physician offices, hospitals, community health centers and health districts – shall not have employment policies that discriminate against unvaccinated persons.

Status: Awaiting a hearing in the House Commerce & Human Resources Committee.

HB 454Child Neglect
This legislation amends Idaho law by adding language to change the definition of "neglected" within the child protection statutes.  There has been concern by some parent rights groups that current definitions of neglect in the statutes that outline reporting of abuse, abandonment or neglect of a child are overly broad.  These groups contend that physicians, other non-physician providers, and the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare are able or required to remove children from the home in circumstances that do not warrant such removal.  This bill would require a showing of serious or impending harm to the child and also states that parents who choose to request a second opinion or who seek additional information or alternative options for medical treatment shall not be deemed for that reason alone to be neglecting or endangering their child.

Status: Voted down in the House Judiciary & Rules Committee, killing the bill for the 2020 session.


HB 455:  Reducing Mandatory Reporting Requirements for Child Abuse or Neglect
This bill removes the general public from mandatory reporting requirements.  Since 1972, any adult in Idaho who suspects a child may be a victim of abuse or neglect is required to contact authorities.  This bill would reduce the list of people required to report suspected child abuse or neglect to the following professions: coroners; health care, substance use treatment, mental health, education, childcare professionals; law enforcement, probation, and parole officers. 

Status: Awaiting a vote on the floor of the House. 


HB 458:  Amendment to Battery on a Health Care Worker Statute - OPPOSE
HB 458 provides exemptions for people with mental illness, although the definitions are problematic. In order to maintain protections for healthcare workers, IMA must oppose this bill as written.

Status: After a hearing in the House Judiciary & Rules Committee on February 17, the Chair determined that HB 458 will not receive a vote and is dead for the 2020 session.


HB 465:  Genital Surgery and Gender Perception
The bill places prohibitions on medical procedures or medications that would alter or change a child’s gender. According to the bill sponsor, this legislation would prohibit anyone from performing surgeries to remove otherwise healthy tissue or engage in practices to change or affirm the sex identity of anyone under 18. Any violations of the proposed law would be a felony punishable by up to life in prison. IMA is consulting with physicians in this field to ensure that no medically necessary, evidence-based procedures are outlawed by this legislation.

Status: Awaiting a hearing in the House Judiciary & Rules Committee. 


HB 498:  Adding Electronic Smoking Devices to Existing Tobacco Statutes - SUPPORT
This legislation would amend the Prevention of Minors Access to Tobacco Act by incorporating electronic smoking devices into the definition of tobacco products, creating parity between traditional tobacco products and new, emerging electronic smoking devices and products. It also allows the Department of Health and Welfare to permit all retailers of electronic smoking devices and other vape products in the same manner that traditional tobacco product retailers are currently permitted through the state for tobacco sales.

Status: Awaiting amendments on the floor of the House. Proponents introduced a new bill to replace HB 498 on February 21.


HB 506:  Balance Billing Legislation – OPPOSE  (Replaces HB 387)
HB 506 is the third version of this bill and it remains troubling legislation that seeks to address “surprise billing” but does so by imposing government price controls on healthcare services. HB 506 allows insurers to pay whatever network reimbursement rate they decide to pay and forces out of network physicians to accept discounted network rates that they have not agreed to. HB 506 will decrease access to care in rural areas and drive physicians out of independent practice.

Status: This bill is awaiting a hearing in the House Health & Welfare Committee.


HB 515:  The Idaho Patient Act (Melaleuca Legislation, Replaces HB 425)
This legislation seeks to protect patients from questionable medical debt collection practices by imposing restrictions on the process and limiting attorney fees. It also imposes new administrative processes into the realm of physician and hospital billing practices in the form of shortened timelines and increased notifications to patients.

Status: This bill is awaiting a vote on the floor of the House. 

HB 519:  Parental Input into Life-Sustaining Treatment in Pediatric Cases
This legislation seeks to ensure that parents of hospitalized, terminally ill children are given 48 hours’ notice prior to implementing any physician order to suspend life-sustaining treatment when the physician believes further medical intervention is futile and inhumane to the patient. It also requires the hospital and physicians to continue providing life-sustaining care while the parents seek a possible transfer to another facility. 

Status: This bill is awaiting a hearing in the House Health & Welfare Committee. 

HB 525:  Parental Input into Life-Sustaining Treatment in Pediatric Cases
This legislation seeks to ensure that parents of hospitalized, terminally ill children are given 48 hours’ notice prior to implementing any physician order to suspend life-sustaining treatment when the physician believes further medical intervention is futile and inhumane to the patient. It also requires the hospital and physicians to continue providing life-sustaining care while the parents seek a possible transfer to another facility. 

Status: This bill is awaiting a hearing in the House Health & Welfare Committee. 

 

HB 531:  MAT Treatment Via Telehealth 
This bill seeks to allow Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) by specifically allowing the prescribing of controlled substances for this purpose. The existing telehealth statute prohibits prescribing controlled substances via telehealth.

Status: This bill is awaiting a hearing in the House Health & Welfare Committee. 


HJM 13: Opioid Addiction, Buprenorphine Prescribing 
This House Joint Memorial seeks improved access to medication-assisted therapy (MAT).  Currently, federal law limits the authority to prescribe buprenorphine. Only about 5% of physicians in the United States, and 414 practitioners in Idaho, may prescribe buprenorphine, many of whom do not practice in rural areas.  HJM 13 asks the Idaho congressional delegation to work with congress on amending federal law to provide that any health care practitioner with authority to prescribe opioids should likewise have the authority to prescribe drugs or combinations of drugs appropriate for use in MAT, including buprenorphine.  

Status: Awaiting a vote on the floor of the House.  


SB 1222: Proposal to Reform Idaho’s Approach to Illegal Drugs
This legislation is intended to refocus Idaho's response to the use of illegal drugs away from prosecution and punishment and instead emphasize treatment. SB 1222 would decriminalize the unlawful use of controlled substances in private places and repeals the current prohibition on civil commitments for drug abuse. The legislation does not excuse the commission of crimes that might be associated with the use and possession of illegal drugs, and it expressly retains prohibitions in Idaho law on using and being under the influence in public places, drug trafficking, and driving under the influence.

Status: This bill is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Judiciary & Rules Committee


SB 1240: NP Signature on Certain Forms Now Requiring Physician Signatures
Many Idaho statutes require a physician-only signature for documents such as signing disabled parking permits, jury exemptions, disabled hunter permits, or mental health declarations.  This legislation allows NPs that signature authority when the authorized action is within the NP’s scope of practice. 

Status: LAW.


SB 1252: Injectable Cosmetic Treatments
This legislation states that the administration of injectable cosmetic treatments into a person’s head and neck can only be performed by physicians, PAs, RNs and NPs, dentists, and pharmacists. It also states that an authorized person cannot delegate the authority to those not specifically authorized in the bill. The bill defines cosmetic treatments as: neuromodulators derived from clostridium botulinum or that are biosimilar to or the bioequivalent of such neuromodulators and dermal or soft tissue fillers. 

Status: This bill is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Health & Welfare Committee.


SB 1253: Idaho CBD Oil and FDA-Approved Medical Cannabis Act
This legislation allows cannabidiol (CBD) oil with 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or less, a derivative of hemp, that Idahoans may use for possible pain relief.  It also recognizes that there are currently available in Idaho, by prescription, several legal, FDA-approved, cannabinoid medications offering high levels of THC or CBD for the treatment of various conditions. 

Status: This bill is awaiting a hearing in the Senate State Affairs Committee. 


SB 1275: Insurance Coverage for 6-Month Supply of Contraceptives
SB 1275 will require health benefit plans to provide reimbursement for a 6-month supply of contraceptives.  Currently, many insurance plans reimburse for only a one-to-three month supply of contraception.  This legislation will require any health benefit plan issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2020, that covers contraceptives approved by the FDA to provide reimbursement for a 6-month refill obtained at one time by the patient.  A smaller contraceptive supply may be smaller upon request of the patient or the provider. 

Status: This bill failed the Senate on a 13-20 vote.


SB 1305: Adds Family Medicine Physicians to the List of Approved Supervisors to Prescribing Psychologists
SB 1305 simply adds family medicine physicians to the list of approved supervisors for prescribing psychologists.  Because of the shortage of psychiatrists in Idaho, the Idaho Psychological Association is sponsoring this bill to add other supervisors.   

Status: This legislation passed the Senate on a unanimous 34-0 vote and is now awaiting a hearing in the House Health & Welfare Committee.

 

SB 1314: Ban on Handheld Communication Devices While Driving 
SB 1314 would create a ban on handheld cell phone use while driving.  It allows for hands-free use of cell phones provided that connections and other operations are either through one-touch activation or voice-operated.  The bill also defines exceptions, violations and fines.        

Status: This legislation is awaiting a vote on the floor of the Senate.