SECTION 1. Chapter 3 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 38C the following section:-
(a) For the purposes of this section, the term “scope of practice proposal” shall mean any general or special legislation that would change the authority of a health care provider to provide certain health services or otherwise alter the procedures, actions and processes that a healthcare practitioner is permitted to undertake in keeping with the terms of their professional license.
(b) Joint committees of the general court and the house and senate committees on ways and means may refer to the clerk of the house and senate any bills containing a scope of practice proposal originally referred to the committee, who shall then require a review and evaluation from the health policy commission with a cost benefit analysis from the center for health information and analysis be provided to the referring committee.
(c) Upon receiving the request of a joint standing committee of the general court having jurisdiction or the house or senate committees on ways and means, the health policy commission shall conduct a review and evaluation of the scope of practice proposal in accordance with this section within 180 days of the request. (d) The health policy commission shall review and evaluate the scope of practice proposal and shall accept written testimony submitted by interested parties. The commission may take into consideration any additional data and research it deems relevant when conducting the review and evaluation. Such review and evaluation shall include, but not be limited to: (i) an assessment of any public health and safety benefits or risks that may be associated with the request; (ii) whether the request may enhance equitable access to health care services; (iii) an assessment of relevant scope of practice standards and legal restrictions, both in the commonwealth and in other states, including whether the request appropriately enhances the ability of a profession to practice to the accepted level of the profession's education and training under current standards; (iv) availability of applicable education and training programs; (v) availability of sufficiently trained providers to deliver the subject health care services; (vi) existence or necessity of appropriate safeguards in other statutes or the legislation; (vii) nationally or internationally recognized standards for the subject health care providers; and (vii) analysis conducted by the center for health information and analysis pursuant to subsection (e) of this section. The commission, when carrying out the duties prescribed in this section, shall seek input on the scope of practice proposal from the department of public health, the Betsy Lehman center for patient safety and medical error reduction and such other entities as the commission determines necessary in order to provide its written findings as described in subsection (f) of this section.
(d) The center for health information and analysis shall conduct a cost benefit analysis. Said analysis shall include, but not be limited to: (i) whether the request enhances access to affordable health care, including how the proposal will impact costs, prices and cost trends in public and private health care, with particular attention to factors that contribute to cost growth within the commonwealth's health care system; and (ii) an analysis on the potential change to the reimbursement rate due to an expanded scope of practice and certification of a medical professional.
(e) At the conclusion of its review and evaluation of the scope of practice proposal, the health policy commission shall provide a written report of its findings to the committee which initiated the request. The health policy commission shall include with its written findings all materials that were presented to the commission and center for review and consideration during the review process. The health policy commission shall make a recommendation that the scope of practice proposal is positive, negative or neutral.
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