A Look Ahead to the 2020 Indiana General Assembly

 A Look Ahead

The General Assembly kicks off a short session in early January of 2020, and, by law, must adjourn no later than March 14.
2020 may have a short session, but the run-up to it has been anything but short. The Indiana General Assembly’s Interim Study Committee on Public Health, Behavioral Health, and Human Services studied the issue of health care costs at multiple hearings, beginning in September. IHA President Brian Tabor testified at the first hearing addressing the various factors contributing to the growth of health care costs. He was joined by representatives from Ascension/St. Vincent, Colum-bus Regional, Franciscan Alliance, Hendricks Regional Health, and Schneck Medical, who provided real-life value-based care case studies of what their organizations are doing to bend the cost curve. The committee heard from multiple health care stakeholders over two months including pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), insurance companies, employer groups, business groups, and others. 

On October 30, the interim committee issued its final recommendations. The Indiana Hospital Association (IHA) agenda formed much of the major proposals that were voted forward for consideration on behalf of the Committee for the 2020 session. The IHA Statehouse team, including Laura McCaffrey and Trent Fox, anticipate that several additional bills will be introduced that will impact hospitals. “The cost of health care will be one of the top issues this session,” says McCaffrey. “Our members have shared examples including direct-to-employer arrangements, that are improving outcomes and reducing costs. These examples have been very helpful to members of the General Assembly.”

“We will need continued member engagement in the upcoming session,” said Fox, who noted that members sat down with legislators during some recent District meetings for frank discussions about health care costs. “Hearing first-hand from those who run hospitals as well as from physicians, nurses and other caregivers is very effective in communicating not only the challenges we face in terms of government underpayment and excessive regulation but also in communicating all that hospitals are doing to reduce costs,” he added. 

To learn more about IHA’s advocacy efforts please contact Laura McCaffrey or Trent Fox

 Proposals likely to move forward include:

•  A bill draft to end surprise billing, which would protect patients by taking them out of the middle and put in place arbitration to resolve surprise bills
•  A bill draft to increase the age of purchase for tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21
•  A recommendation to establish an all-payer claims database to achieve better price and quality transparency
•  A recommendation to encourage the use of direct-to- employer contracting and group purchasing
•  A recommendation to perform an audit of state Medicaid managed care programs
•  A bill draft requiring a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) to obtain a license issued by the Indiana Department of Insurance (IDOI)
•  A bill draft requiring PBMs to report annually specified information to the Commissioner of the IDOI
•  A bill draft to prohibit health plans from modifying the drug coverage of an insured or enrollee during the plan year
•  A recommendation to prohibit anti-competitive contract language between hospitals and health plans
•  A recommendation to exclude dialysis providers from electronic prescribing requirements if these requirements are expanded​