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The Medical Society represents the physicians and patients of the District of Columbia in discussions with the City Council, the DC Departments of Health and Behavioral Health, the DC Boards of Medicine and Pharmacy, plus other members of the medical community. Since the DC Council held its first legislative meeting at the beginning of the year, the Medical Society has been reviewing numerous healthcare bills and is working with key stakeholders on multiple fronts. See below for an overview of legislation and see "How a (DC) Bill Becomes a Law" for an overview of DC's policy-making process.


Our Issues

MSDC has already become engaged on a number of issues with the beginning of the 23rd Council Session in January 2019. Please follow this space for more information, including legislation we are tracking, issues we support, and how to become involved in MSDC's current advocacy efforts.





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
 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 



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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