Louisiana lawmakers target 3 areas for healthcare policy changes

Louisiana lawmakers passed a number of healthcare measures during the 2018 legislative session, all of which are set to take effect Aug. 1 unless otherwise noted, according to The Times-Picayune.

1. Expanded marijuana access. Act 496 authorizes physicians with medical marijuana licenses to write prescriptions for patients with autism, and Act 708 expands access to patients with glaucoma, muscle spasms, Parkinson's and post-traumatic stress disorder.

2. Prescription drugs and opioids. Act 174 creates a pilot program between the Louisiana Department of Health and the Department of Children and Family Services to help improve the outcomes for babies born addicted to opioids. Act 371 mandates the Department of Insurance to publish the formularies for pharmacy benefit managers online and notifications of when the formularies change.

3. Abortion. Act 204 requires the remains of aborted fetuses to be buried or cremated; Act 319 requires the state's Health Department to publish abortion alternatives online and feature information about adoptions; and Act 468 bans abortions past 15 weeks of conception.

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