Policy

Minn. law would increase payments to publicly owned nursing homes

The House Ways and Means Committee recommended passage of a bill that would increase payment rates to publicly owned nursing homes. A nursing home would be eligible for the rate increase if the government entity that owns it agrees to pay a certain portion of its nonfederal share of medical-assistance costs. The bill, H.F. 3571, […]

The House Ways and Means Committee recommended passage of a bill that would increase payment rates to publicly owned nursing homes. A nursing home would be eligible for the rate increase if the government entity that owns it agrees to pay a certain portion of its nonfederal share of medical-assistance costs. The bill, H.F. 3571, has not been read in the Senate.

A recently introduced House bill would impose health insurance reforms related to pregnancy, and establish a number of state-supported resources for pregnant women. H.F. 1601 would elimate waiting periods for pregnant women to receive benefits after they’ve enrolled in health plans. The bill would also eliminate health plans from classifying pregnancy as a pre-existing condition when women apply for insurance. Additionally, the proposal calls for state grants to post-secondary educational institutions to provide counseling to pregnant students, as well as on-campus child-support services. Further, healthcare providers would be required to provide information about the accuray of alpha-fetoprotein blood tests to women who are considering obtaining the tests. The test can indicate whether a  woman’s baby may have such problems as spina bifida and anencephaly

The Senate passed a bill that would create a working group to study ways of making health insurance costs more predictable for employers. Issues for the group to study would include regulating insurance rates; how changes to the small group market would affect the large group market,  and vice versa; the migration of employers from the fully insured market to the self-insured market; and the implications of federal health reform, among other topics. The group would be tasked with delivering a report by Feb. 1, 2011, to the commissioner of commerce. The bill, S.F. 1905,  has undergrone a second reading in the House, but hasn’t made it to a vote.

The House and Senate both passed a bill that would require the Board of Pharmacy to follow federal changes made regarding the substitution of epilepsy and anti-seizure drugs. If the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules that the substitution of such drugs poses a health risk to patients, the Board of Pharmacy would be required to follow suit, under S.F. 1137.

Photo from flickr user KeithBurtis