Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

January 7, 2013

HB 1 needs some ‘tweaking,’ lawmakers say

(Continued)

FRANKFORT —

The amended regulation KBML offered Monday takes care of that problem and delays until July 1 a requirement that hospitals make a KASPER report on each prescription or patient. That gives time for KBML to work with lawmakers to address the problem by amending the statute passed last year.

But even that caused a problem Monday.

Some of the language in the amended regulation appeared to go beyond the language in statute and committee members hesitated to approve the regulation because of it.

Lloyd Vest, General Counsel for KBML, said the board understands but is working to make sure patients don’t suffer.

“The concern is if these definitions are not put into place, it will disrupt patient care,” Vest said. It also addresses fears by physicians they might face criminal liability if they prescribe the drugs, even in good faith, but somehow technically run afoul of the law.

Committee Co-Chairs Sen. Joe Bowen, R-Owensboro, and Rep. Johnny Bell, D-Glasgow, said they have heard plenty of complaints from institutions, doctors and patients.

Bell, a criminal defense attorney, said, “I know from what I do for a living that this legislation has reduced the flow of illegal narcotics dramatically.” That’s good, he said, but he doesn’t want to simultaneously make it more difficult for people with legitimate chronic pain to receive relief.

William Doll, attorney for the Kentucky Medical Association, said that’s a real concern. The problem, he said, is that drawing regulations to fit medical reality runs the risk of violating the law as it’s written.

“The closer you come to making something make sense in today’s medical practice, the more likely it is to be in opposition to HB 1,” Doll said. “All of this cries out for the need to look at reasonable changes in HB 1.”

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