The 2019 Session of the Indiana General Assembly officially began on January 3, 2019. Legislators have until April 29, 2019 to conduct all business. Set forth below is a summary of six key bills affecting health care providers in Indiana:
Medical Malpractice Actions (SB 26)
Senate Bill 26 permits a patient to bring an action against a health care provider without first submitting the complaint to a medical review panel if the claim is not more than $187,000.00. The current limit to bring a claim directly, without submitting the claim to a medical review panel, is $15,000.00.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurses – Practice Agreements (SB 343 and HB 1097)
Senate Bill 343 permits an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN or Nurse Practitioner) to operate without a practice agreement with a physician, and maintain prescriptive authority, if the APRN has operated under a practice agreement for the full time equivalent of one (1) year, has been licensed in Indiana for at least five (5) years, the physician with whom the APRN collaborated reviewed at least 5% of the APRN’s charts for the previous one year practice agreement period, and the APRN submits an attestation to the board to the completion of the required one (1) year practice agreement.
House Bill 1097 also permits an APRN to operate without a practice agreement with a physician and maintain prescriptive authority if the APRN has operated under a practice agreement for at least one (1) year, has been licensed in Indiana for at least five (5) years, the physician with whom the APRN collaborated reviewed at least 5% of the APRN’s charts during the agreement practice period, and the APRN has submitted an attestation to the board to the completion of the one (1) year practice agreement.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurses – Signing Death Certificates (HB 1464)
House Bill 1464 allows APRNs who had primary responsibility for the treatment and care of a deceased individual for a period longer than six (6) months and pronounced the time of death for the deceased individual to enter or sign a record on a death in the Indiana death registration system. The bill also requires the state board of nursing to establish requirements that allow an APRN to prescribe diabetic medical equipment.
Health Facility Nursing Staff Requirements (SB 429)
Senate Bill 429 requires a health facility to: (1) have a registered nurse present at the health facility at all times when a resident is in the care of the health facility; (2) require a registered nurse to delegate certain duties; (3) provide that there is not less than 4 1/10 hours per resident day of direct nursing care, with not less than 30% of the direct nursing care being provided by licensed nurses; and (4) employ a director of nursing who has obtained certain education or certification.
Sepsis Treatment Protocols (HB 1275)
House Bill 1275 requires a hospital to adopt, implement, and periodically update evidence-based sepsis protocols for the early recognition and treatment of patients with sepsis, severe sepsis, or septic shock that are based on generally accepted standards of care and would create a task force for various health care industries to study, adopt, develop and periodically update sepsis protocols appropriate for each industry’s setting.
Here are links to the bills discussed above:
Medical Malpractice Actions – Limit to Avoid Panel Process: Access SB 26
APRNs – Practice Agreements: Access SB 343
APRNs – Practice Agreements: Access HB 1097
APRNs – Signing Death Certificates: Access HB 1464
Health Facility Nursing Staff Requirements: Access SB 429
Sepsis Treatment Protocols: Access HB 1275
If passed, these bills would go into effect on July 1, 2019.
A list of all bills being considered in the 2019 Legislative Session can be found here: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2019/bills/.
If you have any questions regarding these bills or other health care matters, please contact Stacy Hanefeld at firstname.lastname@example.org or any other member of our health care team: https://dsvlaw.com/practice-areas/#health-care.