State Update

July 2013 State Policy Updates

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Arizona

During a special session called by Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ), the Arizona Legislature passed H.B. 2010 to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Gov. Brewer signed the bill on June 17. Toward the end of the regular legislative session, Gov. Brewer began vetoing legislation, making good on a promise to refuse to sign additional measures into law until the Arizona Legislature passed a 2014 budget and a Medicaid expansion bill. However, an opposition group, led by former state Sens. Frank Antenori (R-AZ) and Ron Gould (R-AZ), has until September 11 to gather 86,405 valid signatures to put the measure to a vote. If they succeed, Medicaid expansion will be blocked until the November 2014 general election.

Colorado

Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) signed into law H.B. 1320, creating a new class of merit scholarship for Colorado residents who achieve certain criteria, such as a high grade point average or a high class rank. The bill allows state-supported institutions of higher education that enroll Colorado Scholars to count each of them as two in-state students when calculating the ratio of in-state to out-of-state students, thus effectively giving institutions a way to enroll a larger proportion of out-of-state students without violating the statutorily mandated cap on non-resident students. Under existing law, 55% of incoming freshmen enrolling at state institutions of higher education, and not less than two-thirds of total student enrollment, must be resident students. Some argue that the law allows Colorado colleges and universities to generate more in tuition revenue at a time when state support for higher education has decreased.

Maine

LD 1230, sponsored by Speaker of the House Mark Eves (D-MA) and co-sponsored by more than 40 members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, would have established the role of dental hygiene therapist, but failed to pass the Senate. On June 18, the House adopted the bill with amendments by a vote of 95-45; however, the Senate rejected the bill 21-14 the following day.

Texas

Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) signed into law S.B. 8 on June 14. The law requires the Executive Commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC or commission) to establish a data analysis unit within the commission to improve contract management, detect data trends, and identify anomalies in the provision of Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) services and contracts. The law establishes rules prohibiting certain unsolicited personal contact through direct marketing by providers participating in Medicaid or CHIP. The law authorizes HHSC to review and provide authorization of provider-proposed marketing activities and adopt rules that exempt certain marketing activities from the prohibition. The law also requires HHSC to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles and the Texas Department of Public Safety to obtain motor vehicle and driver's license information of a provider of medical transportation services. Additionally, under the new law, HHSC is required to review the prior authorization and utilization review processes within the fee for service delivery model and to monitor Medicaid managed care organizations to ensure that the organizations are using prior authorization and utilization review processes.