New Healthcare Laws Effective July 1, 2018

June 13, 2018

The following bills passed by the 2018 General Assembly are effective July 1, 2018 and may be of special interest to physicians since they could require action or reporting.  Others are for information only.   Contact the TMA Legal Department at 800-659-1862 or becky.morrissey@tnmed.org with any questions.

Action required by physicians

Solicitation of Accident and Disaster Victims by Health Care Prescribers - PC 638
Health care prescribers, their employees, agents, or independent contractors may NOT conduct in-person solicitation, telemarketing, or telephonic solicitation of victims of disasters or accidents to market services of the healing arts related the accident or victim.  Exceptions and other requirements are detailed in Section III of the Law Guide topic Advertising.

Extremely Dense Breast Tissue – PC
750
In 2013, the General Assembly passed a law requiring notification to patients when breast imaging shows the patient has dense breasts based on data established by the American College of Radiology.  The notification language was updated with this 2018 legislation.  The required language is found by clicking on the link to the public chapter.

Nonresidential Office-Based Opiate Treatment – PC 978
Important changes are made to the definition of nonresidential office-based opiate treatment facility.  It includes, but is not limited to, stand-alone clinics, treatment resources, and individual physical locations occupied as the professional practice of a prescriber(s) licensed pursuant to Title 63 (physicians).  The new definition will expand the number of physician practices that will come under the definition and subject to licensing by the state. 

Requirements for Prescribing and Dispensing of Opioids – PC 901
Prior to prescribing more than a three-day supply of an opioid or an opioid dosage that exceeds a total of a 180 MMEs to a woman of childbearing age (ages 15-44), a prescriber must take certain steps.  See section X) A) of the Law Guide topic titled Prescriptions.

Governor’s Bill, Tennessee Together – PC
1039
This legislation was filed to address the state’s opioid abuse epidemic.  TMA was actively engaged in providing input and amending the filed bill to ensure that it did not unreasonably obstruct patients in legitimate pain from getting the care they need.  There are several changes to opioid prescribing that physicians must follow.  See section X) B) of the Law Guide topic titled Prescriptions for the specific restrictions.

 

Information Only – No reporting/action required by physicians

Direct Administration of Buprenorphine Mono - PC 674
An exemption was added to the list of times buprenorphine mono or buprenorphine without naloxone may be used for the treatment of addiction.  This exemption states that it may be used for the treatment of substance use disorder pursuant to a medical order or prescription order from an MD or DO.  This does not permit it to be dispensed to a patient in a manner that would permit it to be administered away from the premises on which it is dispensed.  See section VIII. B) 4) (d)(ii) of the Law Guide topic titled Prescriptions.

Maintenance of Certification - PC
694
This bill passed in 2018, due in large part, to the advocacy efforts of TMA.  This law details how hospitals and insurance plans may or may not differentiate between physicians that have maintenance of certification and those that do not when it comes to facility privileges and credentialing.  See the Law Guide topic titled Maintenance of Certification for the details of this new law.

Down Syndrome Information Act of 2018 -
PC 773
A healthcare provider who renders prenatal or postnatal care or a genetic counselor who renders genetic counseling may, upon receipt of a positive test result from a test for Down syndrome, provide the expectant or new parent with the information provided by the department under this part. The Department of Health will make information available on its website to share with patients.

Barter of Goods and Services as Payment for Healthcare Services – PC
1037
A physician may accept goods or services as payment in a direct exchange of barter for healthcare services provided by the physician if the patient to whom the healthcare services are provided is not covered by health insurance coverage.   A physician who accepts barter as payment in accordance with this section shall annually submit a copy of the relevant federal tax form disclosing the physician's income from barter to the physician's licensing board. This law shall not apply to any healthcare services provided at a pain management clinic.