The Legislature completed the Regular Session a couple of weeks ago, and Monday marked the deadline for the Governor to make her decision about each bill that came to her desk: sign the bill into law, veto the bill, or do nothing and let the bill become law.   Last week I summarized the new laws that are related to our mission in a blog post, including summaries of HB 2585 Controlled Substances, Marijuana Monitoring; HB 2103 Homemade Food Products; HB 2213 Intellectually Disabled Terminology; HB 2157 Stroke Care; HB 2634 Health Care Institutions; SB 1248 Dual Licensure for Hospitals; HB 2416 Abortion; SB 1025 Arizona State Hospital Fingerprinting Requirements; and SB1612, SB1614, SB1615, SB1616, and SB1619 which relate to the Budget. Below are the laws that have been signed since my last update.

HB 2620: Medical Records Release

This new law establishes health information exchanges.  These exchanges will be the way that medical information is shared electronically, among other modernizations to our health care system.  This bill allows for several patient protections such as the ability to “opt out” of an exchange.   In the future, health information exchanges will lead to better outcomes for patients and a more seamless delivery of health care.

HB 2158: Tobacco Revenues

The Tobacco, Revenue, Use, Spending and Tracking Commission (TRUST Commission) was created as part of Proposition 303 from several years ago.  They serve as an advisory board to us on issues of tobacco control.  This new law established the Commission in statute and does not alter the advisory role of the Commission.  The TRUST Commission is a vital link between the tobacco control community and ADHS, keeping programs and strategies linked to stakeholders.

HB 2541: Employee Drug Testing- Medical Marijuana

The bill better defines the employee / employer relationship as it relates to legal medical marijuana card holders. It provides legal protections to employers who suspect their employee is “impaired” while at work.  Additionally, it allows employers to verify an employee’s medical marijuana card, accessing our medical marijuana database.

HB 2548: Medical Helicopters

The new law directs us to develop guidelines regarding the transport of patients by helicopter in non-trauma situations.  In rural Arizona, where ground ambulances are can be scarce, non-trauma patients are sometimes air transported, leading to higher costs with no medical benefit.  Currently there’s little guidance regarding when it’s appropriate for an air ambulance to be used for non-trauma situations.

SB 1123: State Library Archives

Every year, we transmit vital records information over to the State Library and Archives so the information can be stored.  This new law requires us to transmit our information to them within 90 days of the end of the calendar year.

SB 1121: Maternal Mortality Review Team

The Child Fatality Review Program currently reviews deaths of children and issues an annual report (including policy recommendations) to help reduce preventable deaths of children.  This legislation adds a maternal mortality component.  We might be able to prevent needless deaths in the future with a formal review of maternal mortality.

SB 1240: Practice Recognition for Behavior Analysts

The new law tells us to add Behavioral Analysts to the list of recognized Behavioral Health Professionals in rules.  The legislation allows Behavioral Analyst to be recognized for reimbursement purposes.

SB 1560: Dependent Children

This new law mostly deals with the Department of Economic Security but contains one provision that impacts our Behavioral Health Division.  ADHS must now require that contracts to provide behavioral health services to children placed in out-of-home care include the services be provided outside of regular school hours (if possible).

We’ve updated our the legislative services webpage with the 2011 Legislative Wrap Up containing the bills that influence our mission including the budget bills and the sections related to ADHS and a listing of bills that may be of interest.   A full listing of all chaptered bills in the 2011 session can be found here.

Colby- nice work this session!