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Omnibus policy bill approved

Published (4/29/2011)
By Hank Long
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A House committee has approved an omnibus health and human services policy bill that contains a potpourri of changes in areas ranging from reform of pharmacy audits to restricting the type of required work activities in which welfare program recipients can engage.

Sponsored by Rep. Steve Gottwalt (R-St. Cloud), HF1020 was approved by a 12-5 vote, as amended, by the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee April 27. The bill now awaits action on the House floor.

Several amendments were added to the bill, including two abortion-related provisions stemming from bills heard earlier in the session. One, offered by Rep. Tara Mack (R-Apple Valley), would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of gestation. The amendment, based on HF936, is also known as the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.” Another amendment, offered by Rep. Kathy Lohmer (R-Lake Elmo), would prohibit the use of funding for state-sponsored health programs for abortions. Both were approved on a 12-5 vote.

Selected provisions of the bill include:

HF425, sponsored by Rep. Joyce Peppin (R-Rogers), which would limit the required work activities for persons enrolled in the Minnesota Family Investment Program to activities that do not have a political purpose;

HF1236, sponsored by Rep. Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake), which specifies procedures that must be followed during pharmacy audits and establishes procedures for modifying contracts between pharmacy benefit managers and pharmacies;

HF480, sponsored by Rep. Bev Scalze (DFL-Little Canada), which would push back the start date for required electronic prescribing methods for pharmacies, which began in Jan. 1, 2011, to Jan. 1, 2016;

HF311, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Hayden (DFL-Mpls), which would allow counties to negotiate supplemental contracts with approved vendors and base reimbursement and rates of pay on the client outcomes and vendor performance;

HF364, sponsored by Rep. Morrie Lanning (R-Moorhead), which would permit counties and the state to contract with facilities in a bordering state for detoxification services for Minnesota residents, and allow Minnesota detoxification facilities to contract with bordering states to provide services to residents of the bordering states;

HF745, sponsored by Rep. Tara Mack (R-Apple Valley), which would create an Autism Spectrum Disorder Task Force;

HF1382, sponsored by Rep. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka), which would prohibit granting or renewing a license for health professionals convicted of specified felony level criminal sexual conduct offenses and make technical changes to practice acts related to nursing, professional counseling, social work and dentistry; and

HF1184, sponsored by Rep. Sarah Anderson (R-Plymouth), which would limit granting of a family day care license to a single-family residential site only if the homeowner is the primary provider of the day care.

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