14 recent legislative developments affecting healthcare

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

1. Senate won't take up 21st Century Cures bill
The U.S. Senate health committee said it will not take up the 21st Century Cures bill and will instead consider at least seven companion bills over three executive sessions.

2. Chris Christie kills bill requiring NJ nonprofit hospitals to pay 'taxes'
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pocket vetoed legislation that would have required the state's nonprofit hospitals to pay a daily rate to support public safety and municipal services.

3. California joins ranks of states with family caregiver requirements
A new California law requires hospital employees to involve family caregivers during hospitalization and discharge, a move that puts California in the ranks of 17 other states that passed similar laws in the past two years.

4. NY to give pregnant women more health insurance flexibility
A new law in New York makes pregnancy a "qualifying life event," allowing pregnant women to enroll in health insurance at any time through the state health exchange, rather than just during the three-month annual enrollment period.

5. Wisconsin joins 11 states in Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact — legislation that expedites the licensing process across multiple states and jurisdictions — into law, making Wisconsin the 12th state to implement the law.

6. Missouri law would let medical school grads skip residency: 5 things to know
A new Missouri law allows medical school graduates to bypass residency programs to start treating patients in areas suffering from the physician shortage.

7. NAIC adopts draft legislation to help reduce surprise bills for patients: 5 provisions of note
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners approved the Network Adequacy Model Act, draft legislation designed to ensure network adequacy and protect against surprise balance billing.

8. Proposed bill seeks to expand Medicare reimbursement for telehealth
Sens. Cory Gardener (R-Colo.) and Gary Peter (D-Mich.) introduced legislation to expand healthcare access in rural areas through additional Medicare-funded telehealth services.

9. Gov. Christie vetoes nursing home staffing law
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have required nursing homes to keep a certain number of certified nursing assistants on staff throughout the day and night.

10. New Pa. law falls short to solve insurance billing gaps for ambulance rides
A new Pennsylvania law aims to help emergency responders capture elusive reimbursement checks, but rescue squads say the legislation leaves them in a financial emergency.

11. President Obama vetoes ACA repeal
President Barack Obama vetoed a bill that would have repealed key parts of the Affordable Care Act.

12. Financial transparency law takes effect for publicly funded Miss. hospitals: 4 things to know
A new Mississippi law aims to increase financial transparency at the state's publicly funded hospitals.

13. President Obama signs MU hardship exemption bill into law
With a signature from President Obama, eligible professionals and hospitals participating in the meaningful use program can now apply for a blanket hardship exemption to avoid MU-related reimbursement penalties in 2017.

14. President Obama signs off on $1.1 trillion tax, spending bill
President Obama signed a $1.1 trillion funding bill into law Dec. 18 that will keep the government running through Sept. 30, 2016, and delay the ACA's Cadillac Tax by two years.

More articles on health law:

5 False Claims Act trends, cases that will fuel recoveries in 2016
6 striking statistics on False Claims Act enforcement in healthcare
DOJ rakes in $1.9B in healthcare fraud recoveries: 7 takeaways

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