Legislation/Advocacy/Healthcare Reform

State Senator Mike Gloor, MS, MA, FACHE is available for projects outside of Nebraska. He offers extensive experience with 20 years as a former President and CEO of an acute care hospital. While hospital president, through a difficult transition with new owners, Senator Gloor managed a contentious situation between physicians and the hospital. Following the transition, he launched an aggressive and comprehensive physician relations plan. The plan was so successful, it led to several joint ventures.
Senator Gloor has served the needs of urban and rural areas in a number of capacities, not the least of which is his current service in the legislature.

He is Vice-Chair of the Legislative Strategic Planning Committee and a member of the Health and Human Services Committee. Senator Gloor understands healthcare from the hospital and the health care planning perspectives. Gloor is clearly a ‘doer’ and has been active in all aspects of healthcare in central Nebraska, as a state advocate as well as on the national level. In the relatively short amount of time he has spent in office (2 sessions), he has had a great deal of impact upon the Nebraska Legislature. The following is a list of health care related legislative accomplishments;

Medical Home Pilot Program, LB 396, provides a mechanism for Nebraska Medicaid recipients to have access to better health care through a medical home, provides incentive payments through Medicaid for primary care physicians who provide a medical home in order to slow the growth of and reduce Medicaid expenditures. The Advisory Council is currently working on the details with the Department. Projected start date of the pilot program is early 2011.

Physician Assistants, LB 250 (amended into LB 195) updated statute to reflect the reality of how physicians and P.A.s practice medicine today. It eliminates the additional level of credentialing for the supervising physician, increases the number of P.A.s that one physician can supervise from two to four, replaces the currently required scope of practice agreement with an agreement between the physician and P.A., and requires the name of the P.A. to be on the prescription label in order to comply with federal changes in the electronic prescribing law.

Insurance coverage during a clinical trial, LB 378 was held in Committee but its introduction resulted in a negotiated agreement with the Nebraska Insurance Federation for coverage of the standard of care even if the patient is enrolled in a clinical research trial.

Long Term Care Pharmacy, LB 220 (amended into LB 195) updated Nebraska statute to allow long term care facility pharmacy practice to include automated dispensing in nursing homes.

Nursing Home Beds, LB 367 (amended into LB 195) removes these restrictions so that facilities may buy and sell beds where they are needed based upon population and demand. Statewide, total bed capacity would remain unchanged.

Center for Nursing, LB 766 (amended into LB 849) removes the sunset date for ending the Center and allows their work to continue into the future.

Durable Medical Equipment (amended into LB 849), LB 930 updates the Pharmacy Practice Act to reflect new federal labeling and brings the Wholesale Drug Distributor Licensing Act into conformity with state law enacted last year by recognizing the exemption enacted into the Pharmacy Practice Act for persons or businesses with proper accreditation that provide medical oxygen to home health patients.

Medical Records Release, LB 702 (amended into LB 849) eliminates the 180 day limit on authorizations for the release of health information. Without the 180 day provision, HIPAA Privacy rule requirements would apply, permitting individuals to state an expiration date or event.

Radiology technician, LB 828 (amended into LB 849) amends the Medical Radiography Practice Act to clarify the current scope of practice for licensed medical radiographers.

School health screenings, LB 713 updates State statute to reflect today’s health needs of students and administrative realities of school nurses.

Hospital Transparency, LR 427 – The purpose of this interim study is to determine if hospitals in Nebraska are communicating their “community benefit” to community members and how newly licensed hospitals effect the cost of health care.

Health Care Reform, LR 372 – The purpose of this interim study is to study the potential effect of national health care reform proposals on Nebraska and to analyze policy options for responding to and implementing health care reform measures.

Vice Chair of the Legislative Long Range Planning Committee

Vice Chair of the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee
Vice Chair of the Legislative Long Range Planning Committee

Tobacco tax increase, LB 436 would raise the excise tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products and earmark a portion of that revenue to restore provider rate cuts in Medicaid. Although still held in committee the bill brought attention to this issue and was one of the factors that resulted in the suggested cut being reduced from 5 percent to 2.5 percent.

Master Settlement Agreement, LB 590 protects the Nebraska portion of the tobacco money that funds the Health Care Cash Fund and gives the Nebraska Department of Revenue better enforcement tools and gives the Attorney General’s office the authority to negotiate a compact with tribal tobacco wholesalers.

Immunization and Syndromic Surveillance, LB 591, authorizes electronic communication to automatically update the Nebraska Immunization Registry and provide the Nebraska Division of Public Health with real-time disease surveillance. Dr. Joann Schaeffer, Chief Medical Office for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, brought this bill to me for introduction.

Prescription Drug Disposal, LB 274, authorizes Nebraska pharmacies to participate in the national drug disposal program.

Mental Health Board membership, LB 111, expands the variety of mental health professionals eligible for membership on the county Mental Health Boards.

407 Review Process, LR 212, is a study resolution to examine the “407 process” to credential health professionals and to consider an expansion of scope.