MHA Today is provided as a service to members of the Missouri Hospital Association. Additional information is available online at MHAnet.
In This Issue
Study Evaluates Opioid Misuse And Unemployment In Missouri And Kansas
Senate Parliamentarian Sets Deadline For Enacting ACA Reform By Majority Vote
MHA Seeks Hospital Experiences With Medicaid Managed Care
Conflicting Issues Exist Under Missouri’s Blood Draw Statutes
state and federal health policy developments
Staff Contacts: Mat Reidhead or Leslie Porth
MHA, the Kansas Hospital Association and the Full Employment Council Inc. of Kansas City, Mo., released new research evaluating the relationship between unemployment and opioid utilization in Missouri and Kansas counties. The research will help health care providers, policymakers and business leaders identify areas in Missouri and Kansas that are at greater risk of experiencing a disproportionate burden of the ongoing opioid epidemic in terms of labor market conditions, drug-related deaths, oversupply of prescription opioids and opioid-related hospital utilization. These data and information can help direct scarce resources to geographic areas of greatest need. A news release about the research is available.
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Staff Contact: Daniel Landon
The U.S. Senate parliamentarian has ruled that the U.S. Senate has a deadline of Sunday, Oct. 1, to use the reconciliation process to enact changes to the Affordable Care Act by majority vote. If the reconciliation process for the current fiscal year becomes unavailable, moving such legislation through the U.S. Senate will require 60 votes until subsequent reconciliation opportunities arise.
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Staff Contact: Brian Kinkade
MHA is soliciting feedback on hospitals’ Medicaid managed care experiences. Your stories will help us advocate for changes in law and policy that will make the managed care program work better for you and your patients. The feedback form allows you to share anecdotes in the five common managed care problem areas: eligibility and enrollment; care delivery; administrative burden; credentialing; and network adequacy. Brian Kinkade, MHA’s Vice President of Children’s Health and Medicaid Advocacy, will consolidate hospitals’ responses into a set of discrete themes around which MHA can develop specific advocacy strategies.
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Health Law Insight
Staff Contact: Jane Drummond
Missouri is among the states with an “implied consent” law with respect to alcohol and drug tests; however, such laws may conflict with constitutional protections against unreasonable searches. Section 577.029, RSMo, requires physicians, registered nurses, phlebotomists and trained medical technicians to withdraw blood at the request of a law enforcement officer. Section 577.031, RSMo, protects medical personnel from liability for so doing absent gross negligence, willful or wanton acts or omissions. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that forced submission to blood tests may violate the constitution. Birchfield v. North Dakota, 136 S. Ct. 2160 (2016); Missouri v. McNeely, 133 S. Ct. 1552 (2013).
County hospitals are subject to such constitutional restrictions and should consult with counsel to establish an appropriate policy with respect to blood draws. Nongovernmental hospitals also should be aware of the implications of performing blood draws without patient consent. Missouri’s implied consent statutes do not prevent an individual from suing for battery for drawing blood without consent. Since collecting the specimen is a willful act, it is not clear that the protections of Section 577.031 would shield the provider from liability. Members are encouraged to engage in a dialogue with local law enforcement so that they are aware of, and clearly understand, the hospital’s policy and can avoid escalating the issue. For more information, please see MHA’s previously published guidance on this topic.
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When power outages occur after severe weather (such as severe storms, hurricanes or tornadoes), using alternative sources of power can cause carbon monoxide to build up in a home and poison the people and animals inside. Every year, at least 430 people die in the U. S. from accidental CO poisoning.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention