2017 Legislative Update

May 25, 2017

Author: Daniel Landon, Senior Vice President of Governmental Relations

The 2017 session of the Missouri General Assembly ended May 12. The governor must sign or veto enacted legislation by Friday, July 14. Most state legislation that is signed into law will take effect Monday, Aug. 28, but other effective dates are possible.

MHA’s issue brief summarizes the outcomes of various legislative proposals affecting hospitals and health care. MHA was successful in its efforts to promote the enactment of many of its top legislative priorities. One is legislation to reverse a 2014 state court ruling that significantly expanded hospitals’ liability for health care providers who are not hospital employees. Another is legislation to streamline and simplify hospital regulation by barring state hospital licensure standards that duplicate or contradict the federal Medicare Conditions of Participation. A third bill provides a different variety of regulatory relief targeted to hospitals which are state-designated stroke, STEMI or trauma centers. An ongoing priority to ensure that state appropriations for Medicaid and disproportionate share hospital payments are in keeping with current payment standards and expected billings for the coming fiscal year. This was accomplished.

At the federal level, 22 hospital and health system executives participated in congressional briefings in Washington, D.C., on May 9. The briefings were arranged by MHA and held in conjunction with the American Hospital Association’s annual meeting.

Participants met with U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill in their offices. The U.S. House of Representatives was not in session during the AHA annual meeting, so MHA invited the health staffers of Missouri’s U.S. representatives to a consolidated briefing. The House briefing featured short presentations, commentary by hospital representatives and opportunity for discussion.

The briefings addressed several topics. One was regulatory relief. It included changes to bring more fairness and accuracy to Medicare DSH payments and the challenges of a new federal regulatory standard that is restricting patients’ access to treatment of sleep disorders.

Another topic was an aspect of the pending American Health Care Act — funding inequity between states that expanded their Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act and those that did not. The group also discussed rural health, workforce trends, access to behavioral health practitioners and the role of CMS’ health insurance marketplace program in Missouri.