MSDC has long advocated for women's health protections, the rights of women physicians, and affordable care for women's issues. MSDC works closes with ACOG, AAFP, AAP, and other specialty organizations to craft local legislation that allows DC to be the best place to practice women's and maternal medicine.
In the face of a maternal mortality crisis in the District, engagement in these issues is more important than ever. Learn more about how MSDC is working to protect the health of women, mothers, and babies in all wards in the city.
MSDC Statements and Testimony on Women's Health Issues
24th Council information coming soon!
Advocacy Alert: Personal Medical Record Fee Amendment Act
On April 21, the Committee on Health will hold a hearing that will discuss, among other bills, B24-0133. This legislation will introduce new requirements to the retention and sharing of medical records in the District. MSDC wants members to be aware of this bill in advance of the hearing to allow members to testify on Wednesday if desired.
The legislation was introduced by Council Chair Phil Mendelson on March 1. You can see the current text of the legislation here. Below is a breakdown of the important items for District physicians:
- The bill requires healthcare providers to provide requested medical records to a patient (or patient's representative, defined below) within 30 days of the request. The record must be the exact record requested and in the format requested (i.e., paper or electronically).
- If a provider fails to provide the record as specified, they can be fined $25 per day after 30 days, for a total fine not to exceed $5,000.
- If the patient is deceased, the request can be made by the estate, representative of the estate (temporary or permanent), or survivor of the deceased.
- The bill defines a medical record as a copy of a bill or billing record, and protected health information as defined here.
- Fees - a provider may not charge more than $6.50 for electronically producing a record and $150 for a paper record. You may not charge a "per page" fee for an electronic record, but may charge a per page fee for a paper record (but no more than $0.76 per page) and postage. You may not charge a handling fee.
- All medical records must be maintained for 10 years from the last contact with an adult patient.
- For an adolescent patient, you will be required to maintain their medical record for 10 years after the minor reaches the age of majority.
If you would like to testify on this bill or speak to someone about this legislation, contact our office at 202.466.1800 x101 or email hay [at] msdc.org.
Sample of Legislation MSDC Followed in Women's Health and Maternal Health
(See the whole list of bills here)
What does the bill do? Extends postpartum inpatient and outpatient benefits to at least one year after childbirth
MSDC position: We support this legislation and the extension of insurance benefits to mothers and babies to help maternal health in the District
Current status: SUCCESS. The bill passed the Council and was signed into law by the Mayor on August 14, 2020.
What does the bill do? The bill prohibits the District government from interfering with patients' reproductive health decisions and prohibits employers from punishing physicians who perform abortions or sterilizations outside of their employment.
MSDC position: We support this legislation as it allows physicians freedom of practice.
Current status: SUCCESS. The bill passed the Committee on Government Operations in January. MSDC submitted testimony at the December hearing, and MSDC member Sara Imershein testified at the hearing. The Council passed the bill and the Mayor signed it into law on March 23, 2020.
What does the bill do? The bill extends coverage for maternal health issues and fertility preservation, creates a Maternal Health Center in the District, and mandates two hours of cultural competence CME for health care providers.
MSDC position: We oppose the bill without changes due to inclusion of mandatory CME and some of the definitions in the bill being medically questionable.
Current status: The bill had a hearing in the Committee on Health in December, with MSDC member Dr. Sara Imershein testifying for MSDC and ACOG.