Governor signs bills aiming to improve access to health care

As reported by the Santa Fe New Mexican:

House Bill 274, sponsored by Rep. Debbie Armstrong, D-Albuquerque. Armstrong said in a statement that the law will make it easy to synchronize prescription drug refills. Patients can have all of their prescriptions filled at the same time each month and, Armstrong said, “that means fewer trips to the pharmacy and fewer missed refills and missed medications, which can jeopardize patient health.” People insured in group and individual health plans, as well as medical assistance recipients, will be allowed to fill or refill a prescription for less than a 30-day supply of the prescription drug, and pay a pro-rated daily copayment or co-insurance.

Gee, I wonder if this includes pain and anti-anxiety medications… And don’t the insurance companies have to agree to this?

SB 571, sponsored by Sen. Benny Shendo, D-Jemez Pueblo, allows physical therapists to accept patients without medical diagnosis from a doctor.

SB 367, sponsored by Sen. Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, will give optometrists full prescribing privileges, allowing them to treat patients’ eyes and surrounding tissue with any medications, including some Schedule II controlled narcotics. Previously optometrists were limited to prescribing topical medications and a few oral antibiotics.

HB 53, sponsored by Rep. Nora Espinoza, R-Roswell, prohibits school personnel from compelling students to use psychotropic medications. Under the new law, a parent’s refusal to consent to administration of a psychotropic medication of a child is not grounds for placing the child in protective custody.

Schools used to be able to compel kids to take psychotropic medications, or the kids go into protective custody? That’s just messed up.

SB 325, sponsored by Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, will limit noncompete provisions in health care practitioner contracts. The goal is to make more doctors available in underserved areas of the state.

HB 54, sponsored by Rep. Espinoza, will allow all state hospitals to hire anesthesiology assistants who will be able to work under the supervision of a board-certified anesthesiologist. Currently, anesthesiology assistants are only allowed to practice at University of New Mexico Hospital.

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