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The Medical Society represents the physicians and patients of the District of Columbia in discussions with the District Council, the DC Departments of Health and Behavioral Health, the DC Boards of Medicine and Pharmacy, plus other members of the medical community.

 

The District has a different process for passing laws than the federal government. See "How a (DC) Bill Becomes a Law" for an overview of DC's policy-making process.

 

Keep track of upcoming advocacy events and hearing. Bookmark the MSDC calendar (found here) to see upcoming hearings and how you can testify. Or just contact MSDC!

 

Our Issues

 

23rd Council Period, beginning January 2019

See MSDC's advocacy agenda for the 23rd Council session here

 

MSDC's legislative agenda has different levels or support or opposition. Read more here.

 

Council Legislation MSDC SUPPORTS

Minor Consent for Vaccinations Amendment Act of 2019, B23-0171 (View bill here)

  • What would it do? The bill would permit minors who meet the informed consent standard to request vaccination without parental consent to treatment.
  • Where does MSDC stand? MSDC and the American Medical Association have long advocated for common-sense, medically sound vaccination policies as well as the right for informed minors to make medical decisions in certain relevant medical situations.
  • Where is it now? The legislation is referred to the Committee on Health with a hearing June 26.

The Postpartum Coverage Act of 2019, B23-0326 (View bill here)

  • What would it do? The bill would instruct the District government to explore how to extend postpartum inpatient and outpatient benefits to at least a year after childbirth. 
  • Where does MSDC stand? MSDC supports the expansion of insurance coverage for maternal care for up to a year postpartum.
  • Where is it now? The legislation was referred to the Committee on Health

The School Sunscreen Safety Act of 2019, B23-0084 (View bill here)

  • What would it do? The bill would permit students to carry and administer sunscreen on school property or at a school activity without a medication action plan, as well as permit schools to stock and administer sunscreen.
  • Where does MSDC stand? MSDC officially supports B23-0084 (see what that means here). MSDC sent a letter to the Committee on Education urging a hearing on the bill.
  • Where is it now? The legislation is referred to the Committee on Education and the Committee of the Whole. In September, the Council passed an emergency legislation version of this bill, putting it into effect through December 2019.

Electronic Medical Order for Scope of Treatment Registry Amendment Act of 2019, B23-0261 (View bill here)

  • What would it do? The bill would require DC Health to create an electronic Medical Order for Scope of Treatment (MOST) registry.
  • Where does MSDC stand? MSDC supports the bill. See MSDC's testimony.
  • Where is it now? The legislation is referred to the Committee on Health, which held a hearing on June 26

The Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Insurance Discrimination Amendment Act of 2019, B23-0036 (View bill here)

  • What would it do? The bill would prohibit insurance companies from factoring the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis in decisions related to the issuance of disability, life, or long-term care insurance policis.
  • Where does MSDC stand? MSDC officially supports B23-0036 (see what that means here).
  • Where is it now? The legislation has been referred to the Committee on Business and Economic Development.

Council Legislation MSDC SUPPORTS WITH CHANGES

Female Genital Mutilation Prohibition Act of 2019, B23-0339 (View bill here)

  • What would it do? The bill would prohibit female genital mutilation (FGM) of a person under care, to expand mandated reporter requirements to include FGM, and to provide for a civil action for FGM. 
  • Where does MSDC stand? MSDC supports the concept of the bill but seeks clarification on some of the provisions.
  • Where is it now? The legislation was referred to the Committee on Judiciary with comments from the Committee on Health

Council Legislation MSDC OPPOSES

Health Care Reporting Amendment Act of 2019, B23-0269 (View bill here)

  • What would it do? The bill would change the reporting requirement for health care providers subject to a disciplinary measure or malpractice judgment (among other items) to 10 days to report the discipline to the Board of Medicine.
  • Where does MSDC stand? MSDC opposes this bill because (1) the mandatory 10-day reporting period is too brief and (2) the current language may discourage practices and employers from helping impaired physicians with their impairments but instead terminate their employment. See MSDC's testimony.
  • Where is it now? The legislation was referred to the Committee on Health, which held a hearing June 26. 

Continuing Nutrition Education Act of 2019, B23-0360 (View bill here)

  • What would it do? The bill would require 2 CMEs on nutrition for physician relicensure.
  • Where does MSDC stand? MSDC opposes content-specific CME as a requirement for relicensure.
  • Where is it now? The legislation was referred to the Committee on Health.

Council Legislation MSDC OPPOSES WITHOUT CHANGES

The Maternal Health Care Improvement and Expansion Act of 2019, B23-0362 (View bill here)

  • What would it do? The bill would require insurers to cover at least two postpartum visits and additional maternal health services. It would also require DC Medicaid to provide coverage for one year postpartum, establish a Center on Maternal health and Wellness, and require 2 CME credits for physician relicensure on implicit bias.
  • Where does MSDC stand? MSDC opposes content-specific CME requirements as a requirement for licensure or relicensure but overall supports the concepts of this bill.
  • Where is it now? The legislation was referred to the Committee on Health.

The Window Blind Safety Notification Amendment Act of 2019, B23-0322 (View bill here)

  • What would it do? The bill would require hospitals, health facilities, and birth centers to provide notice regarding the danger window blinds pose to children. 
  • Where does MSDC stand? MSDC opposes the District government mandating materials that must be given to patients but would support an amendment encouraging the information being distributed.
  • Where is it now? The legislation was referred to the Committee on Health

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Other Health and Physician Related Issues

Perinatal Health Worker Training Access Act of 2019, B23-0341 (View bill here)

  • What would it do? The bill would require DC Health to disburse grant funds to promote a perinatal health worker training program for residents in Ward 5, 7, and 8 in the health field. 
  • Where does MSDC stand? MSDC is reviewing the legislation to determine support or opposition.
  • Where is it now? The legislation was referred to the Committee on Health

Community Health Investment Act of 2019, B23-0187 (View bill here)

  • What would it do? The bill would modify the certificate of need process by updating the definitions for community benefits and charity care, as well as other modifications
  • Where does MSDC stand? MSDC constantly works with partnering agencies to ensure the certificate of need process is relevant in today's health care space.
  • Where is it now? The legislation was referred to the Committee on Health.

Interagency Council on Behavioral Health Establishment Amendment Act of 2019, B23-0178 (View bill here)

  • What would it do? The bill would establish an interagency council for behavioral health issues.
  • Where does MSDC stand? MSDC has no position on this bill.
  • Where is it now? The legislation was referred to the Committee on Health which held a hearing on June 13.

The Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donation Education Amendment Act of 2019, B23-0094 (View bill here)

  • What would it do? The bill would amend the Healthy Schools Act of 2009 to require DC Public Schools to provide education on the benefits of anatomical gifts (organ and tissue donation)
  • Where does MSDC stand? MSDC has no position on this bill.
  • Where is it now? The legislation has been referred to the Committee on Education and the Committee of the Whole

Leverage for Our Future Act of 2019, B23-0198 (View bill here)

  • What would it do? The bill would create a DC Health grant to create a home visiting program for first-time mothers.
  • Where does MSDC stand? MSDC has no position on this bill.
  • Where is it now? The legislation was referred to the Committee on Health and the Committee on Education.

Certified Professional Midwife Act of 2019, B23-0202 (View bill here)

  • What would it do? The bill would establish a Board to regulate the practice of midwifery. 
  • Where does MSDC stand? MSDC has no position on this bill.
  • Where is it now? The legislation was referred to the Committee on Health. The bill is reportedly to be marked-up in October.







 

 

22nd Council Period (January 2017 - December 2018)

Legislation passed with support from MSDC

B22-0106: Defending Access to Women's Health Care Services Amendment Act of 2017(Official Law effective March 28, 2018)
BILL SUMMARY - This bill required insurers to cover certain health care services without cost-sharing including breast cancer screening and counseling, screening for HIV and counseling for sexually transmitted infections. It also requires insurers to provide information regarding coverage to enrollees and potential enrollees. The bill was approved and Act A22-0246 was published in DC Register on February 9, 2018. It went into effect as Law Number L22-0075,  effective from March 28, 2018.


B22-0177:Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Approval Act of 2017 (Official Law effective Jun 5, 2018)
BILL SUMMARY - This bill established eligibility requirements for physicians to receive or renew an expedited medical license to practice medicine in multiple states and to share information with other member states to streamline the licensing process. It establishes the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission and authorizes the Mayor to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (The Compact). It went into effect as Law Number L22-0109, effective June 5, 2018.
MSDC ACTION: MSDC has long-standing policy supporting The Compact and has submitted a letter in support of the Compact.

B22-0597: Behavioral Health Parity Act of 2017
BILL SUMMARY -
 This bill required all health benefit plans offered by an insurance carrier to meet the requirements of the federal Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenci Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. It requires all plans to submit an annual report to the Department of Health Care Finance on or before October 1 of every calendar year. 
MSDC ACTION: See MSDC's letter of strong support

 

B22-0524: Maternal Mortality Review Committee Establishment Act of 2017
BILL SUMMARY - This bill established the Maternal Mortality Review Committee within the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine the causes associated with maternal deaths in the District and find solutions to lower the maternal death rate and improve maternal health. The Board is required to submit an annual report of findings, recommendation, and steps taken to evaluate implementation of recommendations, to the public, the Mayor, and the Council of the District of Columbia. It also gives the Committee the authority to seek information from entities and agencies inside and outside the District of Columbia including medical records. It became Law L22-0111 effective June 5, 2018.
MSDC ACTION: Support. See MSDC's letter of support.

B22-1001: Health Insurance Marketplace Improvement Amendment Act of 2018

BILL SUMMARY: This bill limits the sale of short-term, limited duration health insurance plans and ensure multiple employer welfare arrangements are covered by small employer market rules.

MSDC ACTION: MSDC supported this legislation and submitted a letter of support in partnership with 20-plus consumer health stakeholders to improve the language.

 

Summary of other legislation MSDC tracked in the 22nd Council

 

POSITIONS ON PAST DC LEGISLATION

21st Council Period Summary (January 2015 - December 2016) [pdf]


B21-38: Death with Dignity Act of 2015 
BILL SUMMARY - As introduced, this bill establishes procedures and safeguards regarding the request for and dispensation of covered medications to qualified patients who are terminally ill and wish to die in a humane and dignified manner. The bill establishes dispensation and reporting requirements for physicians and the Department of Health. The legislation also defines its effect on contracts, wills, insurance and annuity policies and requires that they not be conditioned upon or affected by the making or rescinding of a request for medication or by a patient ingesting covered medication. It establishes terms for immunity from criminal and civil liabilities, establishes penalties and provides an opt-out provision for health care providers. It also provides for claims by the government for costs incurred from a patient terminating his or her life pursuant to the legislation in a public place.
MSDC ACTION: The Board found that physician-assisted suicide and end-of-life care are complex issues with no clear consensus. The Board recognized the AMA position on physician-assisted suicide. The Board took no position on the bill.

 

B18-622: Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Amendment Act (Official Law went into effect July 27, 2010)
MSDC ACTION: The Medical Society endorsed the American Society of Addiction Medicine's position statement on medical marijuana. Read the 
Medical Society's letter.


Feel free to contact the Medical Society at 202-466-1800 with questions or comments about these or other topics.


 

 

 

 

 

 


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