On Thursday, Feb. 2, KPhA held its annual Day with the Legislature. During the day our members met with over 30 legislators to discuss HB 2263, the pharmacy technician vaccine administration bill, and to educate them on what pharmacists do, the challenges we face, and what we need to do to protect the pharmacy industry in Kansas. The visits last week were impactful. We've heard from several legislators about items discussed with them and how much they appreciated the conversations.
Bills We are Championing –
HB 2263 - would allow pharmacy technicians to continue to administer vaccinations after the expiration of the COVID-related Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) provisions. As part of the PREP Act all adequately trained and supervised pharmacy technicians could administer most vaccinations. The bill will add pharmacy technicians to the list of those that can administer vaccinations under Kansas law. The bill was amended to clarify that only those technicians over 18 could administer vaccines. The bill was introduced on Jan. 30, was assigned a bill number on Feb. 1, and the House Health and Human Services Committee (HHHS) heard and worked the bill on Feb 6. KPhA provided three conferees speaking in favor of HB 2263 and answered several questions. The HHHS Committee moved the bill out favorably for passage. This means it is now moving to the House floor for discussion and, hopefully, a vote in the near future. Now is a great time to reach out to your Representative and let them know you support HB 2263, and that they should too!
Bills We are Watching –
SB5 - would amend the Kansas Telemedicine Act (Act) to clarify that “abortion procedure” includes the prescribing of drugs intended to induce an abortion. Current provisions state that nothing in the Act shall be construed to authorize the delivery of an abortion procedure via telemedicine. The bill would also prohibit those sections of the Act related to abortion from being altered or suspended during any state of disaster emergency declared by the Governor pursuant to KSA 48-924. Bill referred to committee. Currently, no action scheduled.
SB6 – would restrict the authority of the secretary of health and environment and local health officers to prevent the introduction and spread of infectious or contagious diseases, repealing the authority of the secretary to quarantine individuals and impose associated penalties. Bill referred to committee. Currently, no action scheduled.
SB12 - would create the Kansas Child Mutilation Prevention Act and would define the crime of unlawful gender reassignment service. The bill lists specific acts that would be considered knowingly performing, or causing to be performed, unlawful gender reassignment service upon a person under 21 years of age to attempt to change or affirm the person’s perception of the person’s sex if that perception is inconsistent with the person’s sex. SB 12 categorizes unlawful gender reassignment service as a severity-level four, person felony. The bill would allow for exceptions in certain cases where a person was born with a medically verifiable disorder of sex development. The bill would also add violation of the Kansas Child Mutilation Prevention Act to the definition of “unprofessional conduct” under KSA 65-2837, as related to licensure under the Kansas Healing Arts Act. Bill referred to committee. Currently, no action scheduled.
SB20 - would expand KSA 44-663 related to employer COVID-19 vaccine requirements to cover any vaccine requirement imposed by an employer. This would include requiring an employee to receive a vaccine, requiring an employee to provide documentation certifying receipt of a vaccine, or enforcement of those requirements by the federal government or any other entity. The bill would define “vaccine” as an immunization, vaccination, injection, or series thereof that is administered to stimulate immunity against a particular disease. The definition of “employee” would also be amended to include students in high school and postsecondary educational institutions who interact with patients and deliver care at healthcare facilities under the supervision of licensed individuals. In addition, the bill would amend provisions related to vaccine requirements for maternity centers, childcare facilities, and schools by requiring exemptions for sincerely held religious beliefs without inquiry into the sincerity of the request. Religious beliefs would include, but not be limited to, theistic and non-theistic moral and ethical beliefs as to what is right and wrong that are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views. The bill would also require the plaintiff statutory damages of $25,000 in actions against childcare facilities or schools for violations of the religious belief exemption. Bill referred to committee. Currently, no action scheduled.
SB135 – would create the medical cannabis regulation act to regulate the cultivation, processing, distribution, sale, and use of medical cannabis. We are still reading through this bill to determine its effect on pharmacy. Bill referred to committee. Currently, no action scheduled.
SB 148 (HB 2283 is the same bill, introduced in the House) – would create several new requirements concerning prior authorizations by utilization review entities. The section that most directly impacts pharmacy is section 2 of the bill which requires a utilization review entity to accept and respond to prior authorization requests under a pharmacy benefit through a secure electronic transmission using the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs script standard for electronic prior authorization transactions. The bill goes on to define "secure electronic transmission" as not including facsimiles, proprietary payer portals, electronic forms, or any other technology that is not directly integrated with a physician's electronic health record or electronic prescribing system.
The bill would further require a utilization review entity to accept and respond to prior authorization requests for healthcare services using a secure electronic portal at no cost to a healthcare provider and requires a utilization review entity to not require a healthcare provider to use a specified secure electronic portal. Bill referred to committee. Currently, no action scheduled.
HB2007 - would prohibit the Secretary of Health and Environment from requiring a COVID-19 vaccine for any child cared for in a childcare facility or any student as defined in KSA 72-6262. COVID-19 vaccine would be defined as an immunization, vaccination, or injection against disease caused by the novel coronavirus, defined as SARS-CoV-2 or disease caused by a variant of the virus. Bill referred to committee. Currently, no action scheduled.
HB 2202 - would exempt over-the-counter drugs from the state sales tax. Bill referred to committee. Currently, no action scheduled.
HB 2239 - would remove the requirement for continuing education by a person, board, commission, or similar body that determines the qualifications of individuals for licensure, certification, or registration in Kansas if the licensee self-certifies that the licensee has worked at least 1,000 hours in the prior year in the lawful profession. Bill referred to committee. Currently, no action scheduled.
If you have any questions or any thoughts you would like us to consider in our advocacy on these or other issues, please reach out to Aaron Dunkel at email@example.com.