Welcome to the 2019 General Assembly Session

Keeping You Up-to-Date

If you are an MSV member, each legislative update is sent every Friday to your inbox. Keep your email preferences up to date by logging in to your member profile. If you are not an MSV member, you can join today to start receiving timely communications to your inbox among many other member benefits. MSV is fighting for you to ensure physicians are the table when important decisions are being made that impact Virginia medicine and health care. 

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Register Now for MSV Lobby Days

We are excited to add another Lobby Day to our 2019 schedule. In addition to January 30, there will also be a Lobby Day held on February 6. We encourage you to register before January 16 so that we can schedule appointments for you.

Register for January 30 Lobby Day

Register for February 6 Lobby Day

Key Issues

MSV is hard at work reviewing the bills that will impact medicine and patient care in Virginia. This week, we are sharing highlights of key issues that are before the legislature. In next week’s issue, expect specific bill descriptions and their progress.

Surprise/Balance Billing

Multiple bills have been filed and MSV, along with other specialty groups, are working to favorably amend the bills to hold patients harmless, while still protecting a physician’s ability to negotiate with payers to receive fair and timely reimbursement. This week, the Richmond Times-Dispatch published an op-ed written by Dr. Mark Monahan, MSV member and Richmond Academy of Medicine Board of Trustees President, about balance billing.  

Prior Authorization and Step Therapy

MSV is building on the work from 2015 to reform the prior authorization process. As a priority issue this session, MSV seeks to ensure patients’ medical care is determined by their physicians, not the insurance companies. Further, MSV is working to guarantee that if a service or procedure is pre-authorized by a health plan, the health plan cannot deny payment for that service.

MSV is also supporting step therapy reforms; it is critical that patients living with chronic health conditions have timely access to the life-saving treatments they need.

Medicaid Reimbursement

Del. Scott Garrett and Sen. Emmett Hanger are submitting budget amendments that would increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for physicians currently reimbursed under 75 percent of Medicare. Stay tuned for an alert from MSV as soon as the amendment is filed. The committees must hear from you to include the amendments in the final budget proposals.

Physician Assistants

A bill has been filed to make an administrative update to Physician Assistant practice, bringing the Code in line with current Board of Medicine regulations.  MSV has been working closely with our Physician Assistant members as well as the Virginia Academy of Physician Assistants to support this effort.  

Certificate of Public Need (COPN)

Bills have been filed for COPN ranging from complete repeal, to individual exemptions, to minor amendments to existing laws. MSV maintains its position of modernizing the COPN process to support comprehensive reform that increases access to needed services, while still ensuring safety, quality, and the provision of charitable care. Read the informative story from The Virginia Mercury shared this week about the history of COPN in Virginia.