As usual, the Kentucky General Assembly was passing bills right up until midnight on March 28th – the final day of the legislative session.

The tax “clean-up” bill and pension bill regarding quasi-state agencies both passed in the final hours. Both are likely to be signed by the Governor.

The KOA closely tracked a number of bills with potential impact on optometry and the KOA. A more expansive legislative summary will be provided in the coming days. Below is a brief highlight of the 2019 session as it relates to optometry:

Relevant legislation that passed and signed by the Governor:

SB 149: Permits the bunding of multiple, related claims for Medicaid appeals. The KOA joined a coalition of providers in support of this legislation. The appeals process will be less costly and more efficient for providers and the Cabinet alike. Applies to all MCO contracts renewed on or after July 1, 2016.

SB 110: Permits the use of a state designated credentialing verification organization (CVO) to increase the timeliness and accuracy of enrollment in Medicaid. State licensure boards can now serve as a CVO for its providers. The KOA joined a coalition of providers in support of this legislation. Additional info to come.

SB 54: Establishes new prior authorization requirements on insurers. Intent of the legislation is to make sure patients get timely treatment. The legislation limits utilization reviews when the treatment is medically necessary, provides that PAs for certain prescriptions do not expire within an established time frame, and the entire process is expedited. The KOA will provide additional information on the specifics of this legislation. Law is effective July 1, 2020.

SB 22: Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Act. The legislation expands the ability to get licensed more efficiently in other states through the use of a central licensing body, which joins Kentucky in the compact with several other states. The legislation does NOT apply to optometrists – it applies to physicians ONLY.

Legislation that remains closely followed (did not pass):

HB 441: Driver’s Vision Retest: As previously discussed, Reps. Moser and Rudy filed this bill to address the lack of vision retesting throughout the drivers license renewal process. The legislation was filed and posted in House Transportation Committee – there was no discussion or formal action taken on the bill. The KOA remains actively involved with this legislation – seeking to establish requirements that are least burdensome on the consumer, yet increase public safety in the proper manner. The KOA will continue to consider potential recommendations and proposed handling.

As always, feel free to contact the KOA office at any time with questions!