By Dena K. Hubbard MD, FAAP
KAAP and the American Academy of Pediatrics support Family First because it aligns policy with the evidence of what we know works. States must affirmatively elect to begin using federal foster care funds for prevention services under FFPSA, so Kansas will need to prepare for and implement Family First to realize these benefits. FFPSA requires states to provide 50% of the costs of operating a prevention program. Governor Kelly has asked the state to appropriate $7.4 million in matching funds now to draw down these critical federal resources. Recognizing the value of Family First, Kansas’ bipartisan Child Welfare System Task Force recommended funding and implementing Family First as one of its top recommendations to the 2019 state legislature.
Speak up for children and contact your legislators today! The House Children and Seniors Committee is taking action on House Bill 2103. This is a necessary step that will allow the State to provide at risk families with substance use disorder treatment, mental health services, and parental education. We are optimistic that this will pass and then will go to the Senate. Stay tuned for the next call to action!
Your KAAP Public Policy committee and chapter leadership continue to advocate on your behalf. As the first half of session wraps up, we have provided verbal testimony on Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and submitted written testimony in opposition to the APRN Scope of Practice HB 2066. Chapter leadership met with outgoing KanCare director John Hamdorf to discuss increasing patient access and coverage through Medicaid parity and have asked that a representative from KAAP be named to the KanCare advisory board. KAAP leadership also met with incoming Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Secretary Dr. Lee Norman to discuss increase in Medicaid reimbursement, extension for postpartum mothers beyond 60 days, and Medicaid reimbursement for postpartum depression screening.
Other issues we are closely following are
- Medicaid expansion: The Governor’s Medicaid expansion bills have been introduced and no hearings have been scheduled. This would provide coverage for ~155,000 Kansans, including postpartum mothers on Medicaid who lose coverage at 60 days postpartum. Please contact your legislators and tell them to support Medicaid expansion!
- Telemedicine: KDHE will be introducing a new telemedicine bill this session to address some outstanding issues that implementation has elevated. We’ll pass along the details when we have them.\
- Pharmacy: Allowing pharmacist to administer injections pursuant to prescription unless specifically prohibited HB 2082. House Health Committee heard the bill and it remains in committee. The bill would allow pharmacist to aid and inject individuals who are otherwise allowed to self-inject. Questions were raised about other injections services and scope of practice issues. The bill may still advance but it remains in committee for now.
- Non-ACA compliant health plans: Association health plan modifications that among other things includes some bills allowing non-ACA compliant health plans. Among issues of concern are proposals that would make these non-compliant plans available to the general public and draw healthy adults from the real insurance market. In addition to the potential issue for limited coverage plans, the proposals may divert potential support for Medicaid expansion.
- Firearm safety: Six bills have been introduced, and none have hearings scheduled. The bills range from a three-day waiting period to purchase a weapon, background checks and gun shows and internet sales, and variations on red flag extreme risk.
- Medical marijuana: There are at least eight medical marijuana bills on the bill-tracking list. None of them have hearings, although that might change in the second half of the session.
- Tobacco, e-cigarettes: Informational briefings continue but no legislation.
If you are interested in learning more about advocacy, consider attending the AAP Legislative conference April 7-9, 2019. As always, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com if you have questions, concerns, comments, or want to help the KAAP chapter with any piece of legislation.