Healthcare: New Oklahoma Healthcare Laws

06.01.11

With the conclusion of the 2011 Oklahoma legislative session, a variety of new laws will affect the delivery of healthcare in the state. Here is a brief summary of these new laws:

  • Malpractice - House Bill 1209 provides protection from liability for physicians in providing emergency care to contestants in amateur and professional martial arts contests.
  • Mental Health - House Bill 1271 amends the Oklahoma Mental Health Law's definition of a person requiring treatment for mental illness or drug or alcohol dependency.
  • Nursing - House Bill 1275 specifies the qualifications and role of Advance Practice Registered Nurses (Certified Nurse Practitioners, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Certified Nurse Midwives, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists), who are regulated by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing. The act also addresses the qualifications for Licensed Practical Nurses and Advanced Unlicensed Assistants. The act also addresses ministerial licensure and disciplinary issues.
  • Assisted Living - House Bill 1282 requires the licensure or certification by the Oklahoma State Board of Examiners for Long-Term Care Administrators of administrators of assisted living, residential care facilities, and adult day care centers. All current administrators may continue to serve in that capacity until the Board establishes qualifications for licensure and certification.
  • Long Term Care - House Bill 1363 mandates the development of eligibility criteria for persons applying for the Advantage Waiver Program, which permits Medicaid-eligible individuals who require nursing facility care to receive services in their homes.
  • Healthcare Finance - House Bill 1381 creates The Supplemental Hospital Offset Payment Program Act and imposes a fee to be paid by certain Oklahoma hospitals until 2014; the fee will be matched by federal subvention and used to support the Oklahoma Medicaid program.
  • Home Care - House Bill 1504 adds the Accreditation Commission for Health Care to the organizations whose accreditation is deemed to be sufficient for the licensure of a home care agency in Oklahoma. Previously, deemed accreditation was afforded for agencies certified by only the Joint Commission, the Community Health Accreditation Program of the National League for Nursing, or the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
  • Long Term Care - House Bill 1554 creates the Oklahoma Options Counseling for Long-term Care Program to provide information and counseling to elderly and disabled persons regarding options for long-term care; the program is mandated not to be used in the implementation of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.
  • Obstetrics - House Bill 1826 requires a physician to order a blood sample from a pregnant female at the time of delivery if she has had no prenatal care and to submit the sample to an approved lab for an HIV test. It also provides that a consultant pharmacist is only required to visit an ambulatory surgical center once a month.
  • Abortions - House Bill 1888 and Senate Bill 547 affect the performance of abortions. House Bill 1970 addresses a physician's prescription of RU-486 (mifepristone) and the treatment of patients for whom it is prescribed.
  • Financial Support to Primary Care Providers - House Bill 2017 affects the Oklahoma Medical Loan Repayment Program principally by limiting the program to primary care physicians and by removing the cap on the number of physicians assisted by the program and on the amount of the stipend that may be provided to participants. The Physician Manpower Training Commission is authorized to provide financial support to the Oklahoma Medical Loan Repayment Program for new or expanded primary care residency programs in rural and underserved areas of the state, including support to hospitals that establish or continue primary care residency programs and to primary care residents who remain in practice in rural Oklahoma.
  • Inmate Care - Senate Bill 180 authorizes the state Department of Corrections to contract with physicians and other providers of inpatient and outpatient health care services, equipment and health care related products necessary for the delivery of health care to inmates when the Department is unable to provide the necessary care internally.
  • Medical Examiner - Senate Bill 250 makes numerous changes to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the make-up of the Board of Medicolegal Investigations.
  • Dental Prescriptions - Senate Bill 574 specifies the information to be contained in dental laboratory prescriptions, and requires that all dentists maintain malpractice insurance.
  • Medical Records - Senate Bill 701 regards the release of a deceased person's medical records. As enacted, the bill requires the permission of the decedent's personal representative, surviving spouse or close family member in order to release the records. The bill also authorizes providers to charge up to twelve cents per page for medical records produced in digital form.

The author, David J. Hyman, may be contacted at dhyman@dsda.com.

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Rebecca D. Bullard

Rebecca D. Bullard

Rebecca represents clients primarily in labor and employment litigation and counsels clients regarding everyday employment matters. 

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