MASI Update Friday, March 27, 2020

posted in: Legislation & Regulation | 0

Coronavirus Brings Many Changes…

To say that the Coronavirus has brought many changes is truly an understatement. An empty State Capitol, empty office buildings, vacant hotels and stores… the impact on life as we know it truly has been staggering.

Just two weeks ago, MASI was excitedly looking forward to what was about to be our best Spring Conference ever. It has now been postponed. We are holding credits for registrants, exhibitors, and sponsors, and we hope to be able to announce a new date soon.

We were also looking forward to a beautiful April day of golf and another outstanding Spring Educational Conference in Biloxi. These events have now been postponed as well.

One thing that continues, however, is our faith. And we know deep down that this too shall pass – and we look forward to a future “after the virus”.

Meanwhile, our work at MASI continues. Below you will find important updates that we hope will be helpful. And please know we are here if you need us!


MASI PRESIDENT STEVEN D. SMITH NAMED TO TOP CEOs LIST

MASI Board President Steven D. Smith is one of a select few in Mississippi – TOP CEO 2020. Here he accepts the award from Tami Jones, Associate Publisher for the Miss. Business Journal at a special event held recently to recognize top business executives in Mississippi.

Steven, President and CEO of the Mississippi Municipal Service Company, is a native Mississippian with over 25 years of experience in the insurance industry, 13 of which have been with the Service Company. Prior to his tenure at the Service Company, Mr. Smith worked for many years for Sedgwick Claims Management Services, beginning his insurance career there in 1994. In 2002 he was promoted to Operations Manager with Sedgwick CMS in Jackson, Mississippi, and continued in that position from 2002 to 2006 in Dallas, Texas, where he provided risk management and claims solutions to numerous Fortune 500 companies throughout the United States.  Mr. Smith returned home to work at the Service Company in 2006, and was named President in January, 2015.

Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Arkansas State University. Steve and his wife, Amy, live in Vicksburg, MS with their sons, Will, John Tyler and Miller.

MASI congratulates our President on this achievement!


MWCC RELEASES BULLETIN ON TELEMEDICINE

This week, the MS Workers’ Compensation Commission released a bulletin temporarily expanding the 2019 Medical Fee Schedule rules for telemedicine services.

The bulletin greatly expands the scope of these allowable services, effective until June 30, 2020. The bulletin also temporarily suspends various limitations on telemedicine services.

We applaud our MWCC Commissioners for taking this proactive action to assist the employers and employees of Mississippi.

To read the MWCC Bulletin on Telemedicine During COVID-19 in its entirety, Click Here.


MS INSURANCE COMMISSIONER MIKE CHANEY ISSUES NUMEROUS CONSUMER ALERTS

In a bold proactive move, Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney has issued numerous consumer alerts in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. These alerts range from tips to avoid scams to important notices regarding cancellations, business interruption coverage, and telemedicine.

CE Licensing & Hours Issues – Comm. Chaney requests that individuals or producers facing challenges in getting CEU credits for licence renewal email the MS Insurance Department, Vanessa.Miller@mid.ms.gov.

To read Comm. Chaney’s Consumer Alerts Regarding COVID-19 in their entirety, Click Here.


MASI MEMBERSHIP DRIVE & RENEWALS WILL CONTINUE…

In spite of our present challenges, MASI Membership is continuing to grow! And we are continuing with our 2020 Membership Drive and printing of our 2020 Membership Directory. Please stay tuned for updates that will be coming soon, along with New Member Welcomes! Click Here and Join Today to be included in the 2020 Membership Directory when it is printed.



UPDATES ON MASI LEGISLATION

Even though the State Capitol is empty at the moment, we have news on several bills. Scroll down for updates on important legislation we have been following. Please note that many bills that were of concern to our members have been killed…. another successful year of MASI advocacy! And three bills we are promoting are still alive: Mississippi’s Injured Workers Privacy Act, A Bill to Outlaw the Sale of Synthetic Urine, and the Workplace Tax Credit.

MISSISSIPPI INJURED WORKERS PRIVACY ACT

Two bills designed to protect the information of injured workers have passed the House and are now pending in the Senate. These are HB 461 and HB 750.

Pictured are negotiators who met with Senate Insurance Chairman Walter Michel and key members of Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann’s staff recently to encourage Senate action on these bills. This marks a historic moment – Defense Attorneys and Plaintiff Attorneys working together to enact safeguards that are good for everyone. (L – R, Dan Gibson, MASI; John Ball, Atty; Roger Riddick, Atty; Chairman Michel; Michael Darby, Atty; Sharkey Burke, Atty).

Imagine being able to walk into the ER at the hospital and requesting the contact information of everyone who has been admitted that day. That is exactly what is taking place at the MS Workers’ Comp Commission on a daily basis – all due to a loophole in Mississippi’s Public Records Act.

MASI is working to get these bills passed this year to enact protections on the personal information of injured workers. It’s past-time to protect their privacy!


BILL TO OUTLAW SYNTHETIC HUMAN URINE

We are pleased to report that HB 97, authored by Rep. Nick Bain and championed by Rep. Jill Ford, has passed the House of Representatives by an almost unanimous vote. It now awaits action in the Senate.

Hard to imagine that in Mississippi it is legal for someone to purchase Synthetic Human Urine for the purposes of faking a drug test at work. This has resulted in an unsafe work environment, and MASI is fighting to change this.


WORKPLACE WELLNESS TAX CREDIT

MASI is continuing to work to pass the Workplace Wellness Tax Credit, to allow $1 million in tax credits for employers who provide wellness programs for their employees.

SB 2289, authored by Sen. Joey Fillingane, has been introduced in the Senate. It is now pending in the Senate Finance Committee.

Pictured are Dan Gibson, MASI Executive Director and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Josh Harkins, surrounded by members of MASI and MAHU who were at the Capitol recently lobbying for passage of this important bill.

This is a Win-Win proposal for workers’ comp plans and health plans both! As a revenue bill, we will be facing a later deadline than general bills – and we will be sure to keep you posted on its progress.

SCROLL DOWN FOR INFORMATION ON MASI’S LEGISLATIVE WATCHLIST…


MASI WATCHLIST – BILLS STILL ALIVE AND DEAD…

WORKERS’ COMP BILLS

HB 461

*Workers’ Compensation Law; revise various provisions of.

03/02 (H) Transmitted To SenateChism

HB 750

*Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983; exempt certain records of Workers’ Compensation Commission from definition of public records.

03/02 (H) Transmitted To SenateLamar

HB 468

*Mississippi Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association Act; revise.

03/09 (S) Referred To InsuranceFord (54th)

HB 306

Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission; return to a special fund agency.

       DEAD

HB 198

Workers’ Compensation Law; increase maximum total recovery under to 520 weeks.

      DEAD

HB 313

Workers’ Compensation Law; require blood tests and autopsies in found dead cases under certain conditions.

       DEAD

HB 314

Workers’ compensation; increase assessment for the Second Injury Trust Fund.

       DEAD

HB1011

Workers’ compensation; require emergency hearing upon request of either party.

       DEAD

SB2205

Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission; reestablish as special fund agency.

       DEAD

SB2198

Workers’ Compensation Law; revise various provisions of.

       DEAD

SB2199

Workers’ Compensation Law; require blood tests and autopsies in found-dead cases under certain conditions.

       DEAD

SB2201

Workers’ compensation; increase assessment for the Second Injury Trust Fund.

       DEAD

HEALTH BILLS

HB 408

Credit for reinsurance; provide requirements for.

02/18 (S) Referred To InsuranceChism

HB 837

*Health insurance policies; require certain to provide infertility coverage and establish pilot program in State Health Plan.

03/17 (H) Transmitted To SenateMcGee

HB 686

*Patient’s Right to Informed Health Care Choices Act & prohibitions against deceptive advertising by providers; extend repealers on.

03/06 (H) Transmitted To SenateTurner

HB 688

*%MS Pharmacy Practice Act; extend repealer on.

03/06 (H) Transmitted To SenateTurner

HB 708

*Pharmacy Benefit Prompt Pay Act; revise various provisions of.

03/06 (H) Transmitted To SenateMims

HB 102

Health insurance policies; require coverage for certain obesity treatments.

       DEAD

HB 315

Patient Choice Act of 2020; create.

       DEAD

HB 374

Insurance; require certain consumer information and notice and availability of mediation regarding balance billing.

       DEAD

HB 384

State Health Insurance Plan; provide coverage for proton therapy to treat cancer and certain noncancerous tumors.

       DEAD

HB 424

Health insurance policies; require coverage for hearing aids and services for children under 21.

       DEAD

HB 471

Pharmacies; reduce time period covered by audit of claims submitted to pharmacy benefit managers.

       DEAD

HB 474

Health insurance carriers; require to cap patient cost for prescriptions for insulin drugs.

       DEAD

HB 825

Health insurance; require certain policies to provide coverage for physician-prescribed proton beam therapy.

       DEAD

HB1059

Direct Primary Care Act; revise to Direct Health Care Act to apply to all health care providers.

       DEAD

HB1070

State option for healthcare coverage; direct Department of Health and Insurance Department to study and present proposal to Legislature.

       DEAD

HB 79

Oxycontin pills; limit RX to 75 pills per RX unless patient is hospitalized or in nursing home.

       DEAD

HB 80

Hospitals; require to examine persons at ER with sickle cell disease symptoms within four hours after admission.

       DEAD

HB 132

Health; State Health Officer shall develop program to close the gap in health status of gender and racial groups.

       DEAD

HB 197

Chronic Diseases; direct Health Department to establish WISEWOMAN and WISEMAN programs to reduce incidence of.

       DEAD

HB 209

Medical marijuana; authorize Alcorn State University to enter into MOU for local farmers to grow for out-of-state vendors.

       DEAD

HB 279

Prohibition on Price Gouging for Essential Drugs Act; create.

       DEAD

HB 532

Prescription drugs; require Attorney General to compile certain lists of those essential for treating diabetes and costs of.

       DEAD

HB 568

Physical therapists; not required to have prior work experience to work at PPEC center.

       DEAD

HB 606

Mississippi Access to Health Care Act; create.

       DEAD

HB 619

Physical therapy practice laws; revise various provisions of.

       DEAD

HB 634

Families First Unpaid Leave Time Act; enact to require employers to provide unpaid leave to employees for certain situations.

       DEAD

HB 829

Prescription drugs; direct Health Department to establish a wholesale importation program for.

       DEAD

HB 832

Pseudoephedrine; require pharmacies to keep records of over the counter sales of.

       DEAD

HB1059

Direct Primary Care Act; revise to Direct Health Care Act to apply to all health care providers.

       DEAD

SB2172

Health insurance; require coverage for supplies used after surgery to remove bladder or colon.

       DEAD

SB2228

Health insurance policies; prohibit step therapy requirements for certain prescription drugs to treat stage-four cancer.

       DEAD

SB2268

Health insurance policies; require coverage for hearing aids and services for children under 21.

       DEAD

SB2302

Mississippi First Responders Health and Safety Act; provide payments for benefits and insurance premiums.

       DEAD

SB2126

Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act; create.

       DEAD

SB2222

Vaccinations; disclose information statements upon request and create medical exemption.

       DEAD

SB2308

Patient’s Right to Informed Health Care Choices Act; extend repealers relating to.

       DEAD

SB2310

Mississippi Pharmacy Practice Act; extend repealer on.

       DEAD

SB2402

Pharmacists; revise regulation of pharmacy benefit managers.

       DEAD

SB2492

Physical therapy practice laws; revise various provisions of.

       DEAD

SB2497

Marijuana; legalize.

       DEAD

SB2498

Marijuana; allow medical use by seriously ill patients, including service-connected PTSD.

       DEAD

GENERAL AND OTHER INSURANCE BILLS

HB 97

Sell of urine; prohibit and prescribe criminal penalties for violation of.

01/24 (H) Referred To Judiciary Bain

SB2289

Income tax; authorize a credit for employers who pay the cost of a qualified wellness program.

02/07 (S) Referred To Finance;Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency Fillingane

HB 728

Liability insurance policies; must include provision that insolvency or bankruptcy of insured does not release insurer from payment of damages during policy.

       DEAD

SB2192

Urine; create the crime of selling or tampering with urine.

       DEAD

Bills are still being being written and introduced by legislators. Watch this section in future updates for links to important legislation.



MASI wants to serve you! As in years past, we will be hard at work tracking bills and keeping you informed of the ones that concern you. We will endeavor to safeguard our industry from harmful legislation and over-reaching regulation. If at any time you hear of legislation that concerns you, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We hope you have found this information to be helpful – and we encourage everyone to stay healthy and safe!

As always, thank you for your support of MASI. May God Bless You,



Dan

Dan M. Gibson, Executive Director

Mississippi Association of Self-Insurers

825 N. President Street

Jackson, Mississippi 39202

601-354-0199

www.masiweb.org