STATE LEGISLATIVE WRAP-UP
a tanning device, although Kansas and
Massachusetts were the only states to pass legislation. The
Kansas Chapter, led by Chapter President Joshua
Mammen, MD, FACS, was integral to building the
support necessary to get the bill passed.
Alaska and Pennsylvania joined 40 other states
in enacting provisions ensuring equal access to oral
and intravenous chemotherapies. Similar bills were
considered in Alabama and North Carolina.
Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, North Carolina,
and South Carolina are the only states that have yet
to adopt this provision.
Bills were introduced in California, Kentucky,
Mississippi, and New York to improve access to and
coverage of colorectal cancer screenings. A.B. 1763
in California passed both the Assembly and Senate,
but Governor Brown vetoed it at the end of session.
In early 2016, California became the second state
to restrict the sale of tobacco products to individuals ages 21 and older. New Jersey still is considering
legislation that would raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco products to 21, even though Gov. Chris
Christie (R) vetoed similar legislation in January.
Scope of practice
One of the areas of significant state legislative action
every year impacting health care is nonphysician
scope of practice. Hundreds of bills are introduced
in state legislatures annually that attempt to change
(usually increase) the scope of practice of various
health care professionals. The ACS takes an active
interest in a segment of these bills, mainly focusing on
optometric scope expansion, nurse anesthetists’ scope
expansion, and efforts to expand the use of lasers and
other surgical devices into nonmedical fields.
This year, the ACS actively opposed efforts in
California and Illinois to expand the scope of prac-
tice of optometry. In California, S.B. 622 would have
allowed optometrists to perform scalpel eye lid sur-
gery, injections, and laser surgery with insufficient
education and training. The ACS wrote to committee
leadership and activated its grassroots action center
to oppose this bill. In Illinois, S. 2899 would have
allowed optometrists to perform certain surgical pro-
cedures and administer injectable medications. The
ACS worked with the state medical society and other
specialty societies to oppose this bill. The other scope
of practice bill the ACS worked actively to oppose
was H.B. 548 in Ohio. This bill would have allowed
certified registered nurse anesthetists to issue and
administer medications both before and after opera-
tions. It would also allow them to delegate certain
tasks to other providers without consulting a phy-
sician. The ACS worked with the Ohio Chapter to
oppose this effort as well.
Scope of practice battles are not going away in
the foreseeable future, and the ACS expects similar
battles in California and Illinois on optometric scope
of practice expansion next year, and most likely in
many other states.
Videotaping of surgery
In the last two years, Wisconsin and Indiana lawmakers have sought to mandate that surgeons provide
their patients with the option of having their operations video-recorded and for these recordings to be
discoverable in medical liability lawsuits. In
Wisconsin, a bill would have mandated that patients have the
option of having all operative and dental procedures
performed under general anesthesia to be recorded
in color. This bill, A.B. 255, would require that each
entrance to the room be covered so that all incoming
and departing staff are date and time stamped. Additionally it would require that all setup and preparatory
time be recorded. All patients undergoing nonemergency procedures would be offered this option. Health
care facilities would be responsible for installing and
maintaining the recording devices and for providing
one copy of the recording to the patient and for maintaining one in the patient’s medical record.
One of the areas of significant state legislative action every
year impacting health care is nonphysician scope of practice.
There are hundreds of bills introduced in state legislatures
annually that attempt to change (usually increase) the
scope of practice of various health care professionals.