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WA’s Healthcare Facility Geofence Ban, Congressional PBM Reforms & More

July 28, 2023 (1 min read)

WA Healthcare Facility Geofence Ban Takes Effect

A new law (HB 1155) took effect last week in Washington that, among other things, makes it illegal to set up a geofence around a healthcare facility. Supporters of the Washington My Health My Data Act say the ban will protect individuals seeking abortions and transgender care. Connecticut, Nevada and New York have passed similar laws that haven’t taken effect yet. (PLURIBUS NEWS)

U.S. House, Senate Committees Advance PBM Reforms

The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee and U.S. Senate Finance Committee both passed bills targeting the business practices of pharmacy benefit managers, which negotiate the prices of prescription drugs on behalf of insurers. All committees in Congress focusing on healthcare have now approved measures aimed at increasing oversight of PBMs. (MODERN HEALTHCARE)

Biden Administration Aims to Ensure Mental Health Parity

The Biden administration proposed new requirements for health insurance companies to ensure that they cover mental healthcare at the same level as physical health, in accordance with a 2008 federal law aimed at achieving mental health parity. The administration’s proposed rule would require health insurers to analyze coverage outcomes to make sure there is parity in their provider networks, prior authorization rates and out-of-network provider payments. It would also designate when insurers could use prior authorization or other policies limiting access to mental health treatment. (POLITICO, AXIOS)

Transgender Patients Sue TN Hospital for Violating Privacy

Two transgender patients of Vanderbilt University Medical Center are suing the hospital for violating their privacy by including their records along with those of over 100 other patients it turned over to Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti (R). Skrmetti’s office said the record transfer was associated with a “run of the mill” fraud investigation, and Vanderbilt said it had to comply with the AG’s request. But the patients allege the hospital knew Tennessee authorities were hostile toward the transgender community and should have removed personally identifying information from their records before giving them to the AG. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

—Compiled by SNCJ Managing Editor KOREY CLARK

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