Insurers may not require Preauthorization for Prescription Medications

H.4540 would prohibit insurers licensed in South Carolina from requiring preauthorization for a prescription medicine or treatment unless the medicine or treatment differs from FDA approved methods. This may seem like a reasonable consumer protection but it is precisely this kind of insurer mandate that make it cost prohibitive for smaller insurers to compete in […]

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Quality Hospice Programs Act

The Quality Hospice Programs Act, introduced in H.4327 as only a slight deviation from the Hospice Licensure Act, expresses limitations and regulations with regards to ‘multiple location’ hospice facilities. A multiple location hospice facility is defined as an additional site from which a parent hospice organization operates. The bill would require an additional license provided […]

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Pharmacy Benefit Managers

S.849 seeks to regulate the duties of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). PBMs are defined as entities who contract with pharmacies on behalf of insurers, third party administrators or the South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority to: process claims for prescription drugs, pay pharmacies for prescription drugs, or negotiate rebates with manufacturers for drugs. PBMs would […]

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Expanding the Medical Uses of Cannabidiol

S.584 would amend the SC Code regulating marijuana to create more flexibility for medical uses. Current law permits the use of cannabidiol (a non-psychoactive derivative of the cannabis plant) to treat forms of epilepsy. This bill would expand the provision for medical use of cannabidiol to any “non-treatable medical condition.” The definition for non-treatable medical […]

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Giving Nurses and Physicians Assistants more Responsibilities with Mental Health Patients

S.474 would give “authorized health care providers”, defined as including but not limited to advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants, the legal authority to perform initial examinations in facilities operated by the Department of Mental Health (DMH), and to authorize medications and treatment for patients in the same. Like other healthcare reforms introduced this session […]

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Tax Credits for Working in a Free Clinic

H.3511 would create a new tax deduction for nurses and physicians who work in a free clinic. The deduction would accrue at an hourly rate with a maximum size of $1,000 a year. While this change isn’t likely to greatly improve medical care for low income individuals, it will add one more tax favor to […]

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Allowing Pharmacists to Authorize Refills of Certain Prescriptions

H.3488 would allow pharmacists to refill topical ophthalmic products without obtaining a new prescription from a medical practitioner. The bill would also allow practitioners other than pharmacists to “authorize refills earlier than seventy percent of the predicted days of use for patients who have continual difficulty with inadvertent wastage.” On its face this is a bill […]

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Pharmacists may administer certain Vaccines without Prescriptions or Written Orders

S.413 would permit the Board of Medical Examiners- upon recommendation of the Joint Pharmacist Administered Vaccines Committee- to authorize pharmacists to administer select vaccines. The vaccines which may be administered in this fashion would be determined by the committee and board. The bill would also permit the influenza vaccine to be administered to anyone over 12 […]

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Allowing Anesthesiologists to supervise four Assistants

H.3451 would allow a supervising anesthesiologist to supervise up to 4 anesthesiologist assistants instead of the 2 currently permitted by state law. Permitting anesthesiologists to supervise an increased number of assistants will allow them to become more productive and will raise the effective cap on anesthesiologist assistants dictated by the number of licensed practicing anesthesiologists. Both of […]

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Air Ambulance Permit and Health Insurance Mandate to Cover Air Transportation

H.3448 is a reintroduction of last session’s S.936. Like last session’s bill H.3448 would require the owner of an air ambulance to obtain a permit from the Department of Health and Human Services to operate the aircraft as an air ambulance. Moreover, the bill mandates that health insurance providers must provide coverage for air ambulance transportation […]

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