10 recent legislative developments affecting healthcare

The following is a roundup of recently introduced legislation and legislative developments affecting the healthcare industry.

1. Obama signs 'doc fix' bill
President Barack Obama signed "doc fix" legislation, overhauling the way Medicare pays physicians and repealing the flawed sustainable growth rate.

2. Proposed bill to update Tennessee's COPA law will impact MSHA, Wellmont Health System merger
A proposed bill in Tennessee intends to update the law governing the state's Certificate of Public Advantage, a key statute that will significantly impact the planned merger of Johnson City, Tenn.-based Mountain States Health Alliance and Kingsport, Tenn.-based Wellmont Health System.

3. Proposed bill may eliminate property tax exemption for hospitals in Connecticut
Hospital operators in Connecticut are urging legislators to reject a bill that would require hospitals to pay state property taxes, claiming the cost of these taxes would likely result in cutting costs elsewhere, such as through staff and service reductions.

4. Massachusetts AG backs bill toughening hospital merger oversight
Massachusetts' Health Policy Commission would get more power under legislation unveiled by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy and House Majority Leader Ron Mariano (D-Quincy).

5. Public hospitals in Tennessee fight bill restricting closed meetings
A bill to tighten rules regarding closed meetings of hospital executives has drawn sharp criticism from public hospitals across Tennessee.

6. New Mexico governor signs bill to help increase the number of nursing instructors
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez signed legislation that gives nurses support as they work toward becoming nursing instructors.

7. Rep. Phil Roe reintroduces bill to create joint VA-DOD EHR platform
Rep. Phil Roe, MD, (R-Tenn.) reintroduced legislation that would create an integrated EHR system for the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense.

8. New Mexico's new law shoots for clarity in hospital bills
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez signed legislation that aims to make hospital prices and quality information more readily available to state residents.

9. Colorado passes telehealth parity law
Colorado is the latest in a growing tide of states passing parity laws requiring the same reimbursement for telehealth visits as for in-person visits.

10. Arizona governor signs pro-life law
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation that requires physicians to inform women that drug-induced abortions can be reversed.

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