Log in

Week 6 Legislative Update

17 Feb 2020 8:52 PM | Anonymous


HB 342 was sent to 14th Order for possible amendments on Wednesday, February 12. The bill removes statutory barriers and clarifies terminology.  Included in the bill is remote patient monitoring through the added language “including but not limited to a patient’s home” in the definition of originating site.  The bill also clarifies the services provided under telehealth services to include “synchronous or asynchronous technologies by a provider to deliver patient health care services, including but not limited to…”.  You can read the bill HERE.

Volunteer Health Care Provider Immunity

On Thursday, February 16, HB 392 was passed with no opposition in the House.  The bill encourages health care providers to volunteer their services at free medical clinics and community health screening events through extended limited liability protections to other health care professionals and supervised students, where recipients are notified if the provider is a student, with signed releases acknowledging the limited liability.

Relating to Medicaid Reimbursements

HB 351 passed the House on February 5th.  This bill was presented in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee this Monday, February 10 and has been filed for a third reading.  HB 351 “reduces net reimbursements to hospitals and nursing facilities in SFY 2020 and SFY 2021 to help achieve the Medicaid general fund needs of a 1% overall reduction in SFY 2020 and a 2% reduction in SFY 2021.” The legislation moves Medicaid payments away from cost-based reimbursements to a value-based payment.  Opposition to this legislation has shown concern over cost-shifting. You can read the full bill HERE.


Nurses and Nursing Home Administrators

S1240 and S1242 passed both the Senate AND House. S1240, sponsored by Sen. Mary Souza (R-4), provides signature authority to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses when an established provision of law within their cope of practice requires a physician’s signature. S1242, sponsored by Sen. Mark Harris (R-32), allows for an applicant for a nursing home administrator’s license with management experience at an in-patient facility and a master’s-level degree with an emphasis in healthcare to qualify for a license. You can read S1240 HERE and S1242 HERE.

Newborn Screening Data

HB 438, sponsored by Rep. Priscilla Giddings (R-7) amends Idaho law to remove language that would make it a misdemeanor to not report newborn screening data to the state. Currently the Department of Health and Welfare is required to maintain this information and if it is not provided by the physician, midwife, or other appropriate entity, the non-reporting is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $10-100. The proponents of this legislation state that by removing this penalty, it decriminalizes parents who birth their children at home and choose not to supply that data to the state. The bill is currently on the Third Reading Calendar (up for a vote) on the floor of the House.

Children’s Residential Treatment Facility                 

HB 340, sponsored by Rep. Ron Mendive (R-2) and Sen. Mary Souza (R-4), seeks to create a new category of treatment facility, “temporary alcohol-drug treatment facility” for providing treatment to children ages 13-17 whose primary problem is drug or alcohol abuse. Youth could not spend more than 4 months/year is such facility. The legislation sets forth requirements such as health and safety inspections, must be within 50 miles of a health care facility with emergency medical care capabilities, requires the permission of the child’s parent or guardian and have a prescription from a physician verifying the child’s need for treatment. The legislation requires criminal history checks on all staff but there is no requirement for staff to meet licensure or certification requirements for treating youth with these disorders.

The sponsors rationale for this legislation is the lack of residential substance abuse treatment for youth in Idaho and that by exempting these treatment programs from licensing requirements, that may allow or encourage the provision of such treatment. Advocates have acknowledged the lack of treatment facilities but have expressed concerns about allowing unlicensed facilities that present a risk to youth and is not the solution to the problem.

This bill is currently on General Orders in the House for amendment, potentially this week.  

Paid Sick Leave

HB475, co-sponsored by Rep. Brooke Green (D-18) and Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking (D-18), protects an employee if they use their earned paid sick leave to care for themselves or a family member by considering this leave as an absence that may lead to discipline, discharge, demotion, suspension or other adverse action. If the employer requires notice of the use of earned sick leave, they must provide the employee with a written copy of the policy of its use when the leave is not foreseeable. This bill is in the House Business Committee where it will be heard on Monday, 2/17 at 1:30.

Public Money for Abortions

HB507, co-sponsored by Rep. Christy Zito (R-23) and Rep. Bryan Zollinger (R-33) would prohibit the transfer or expenditure of public monies to any individual or organization which is a provider of abortion services, except where the prohibition is expressly not permitted by federal law. This prohibition applies at all levels of government in Idaho, including state, county, city and public health districts. The bill is currently in House State Affairs where it will be heard Monday, Feb. 17 at 9:00 a.m.

Behavioral Health

SCR126 passed in both the House AND Senate. SCR 126 states the findings of the legislature and supports a collaboration among the three branches of the state government, local governments, and community partners in developing and implementing a statewide strategic plan to improve the Idaho behavioral health system. You can read the bill HERE.

JFAC Update

Photo: Betsy Russell/Idaho Press

Medicaid Expansion

Monday, February 10, JFAC held its Medicaid budget hearing. Medicaid Administrator Matt Wimmer confirmed that as of last week, 62,000 Idahoans have enrolled with Medicaid under Medicaid expansion - 13,000 of those enrollees came from the Idaho insurance exchange.  Governor Little’s recommendation is for a 9.2% increase in total funds to $3.1 billion; in state general funds this would amount to a 5.2% increase to $722.9 million next year.  The Health & Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen specified that an increase at this high rate is unlikely in future years and that the large increase is primarily due to the addition of Medicaid expansion itself. Part of the major increase is also due to that fact that next fiscal year will be the first full year of Medicaid expansion.  You can listen to Monday’s budget hearing HERE.

Recommendations from Germane Committees

On Wednesday, February 12, the germane committees gave their recommendations.  House Health & Welfare Chairman Fred Wood presented the panel’s decision to back the requests from the Department of Health & Welfare’s Budget request. He also recommended that JFAC support all programs supporting children and adolescents in the light of increased stress, anxiety, and temptation among current generations. You can listen to the recommendations HERE.

Public Health Districts

Friday, February 14, was the first day of budget-setting for the Public Health Districts in JFAC.  The agency requested $13,000,800 and Governor Little Recommended $10,462,800.  JFAC voted on a do-pass recommendation for $9,821,300 from General Fund and $773,100 from the Dedicated Fund for a total of $10,594,400. You can listen recommendations HERE.

Upcoming Events & Advocacy Days

Wednesday, April 8th: 5th Annual PHED Talks Hosted by IPHA, 5:30 PM, Details to Come

April 6-10th: National Public Health Week. Information HERE.

Thursday, February 20, 2020: Idaho Nurses Association, Nurses Day at the Capitol, 8:00-12:00, First Floor Rotunda

Wednesday, February 26, 2020: 2nd Annual ICA Legislative Luncheon, 11:00-1:00, first floor of Capitol Rotunda

Here is a MAP OF FREE VISITOR PARKING at the Capitol. 

Bill Tracker

Do you have any specific Bills you would like to be tracked throughout the session?  If so, please reach out and I will gladly track them through this weekly update. You can also view all current bills HERE

Bill No


Last Action


Adds “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the Idaho Human Rights Act

01/15 Reported Printed; referred to State Affairs


Amends existing law to revise the income tax credit for food sales

1/23 Reported Printed; referred to Revenue & Taxation


TELEHEALTH – Amends existing law to define ”telehealth technologies” and to revise provisions regarding telehealth services

02/13 Reported of Committee; to 14th Order for amendment


DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING - Amends existing law to revise terminology regarding persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

02/14 Reported Signed by Governor on February 13, 2020


HEALTH - Amends existing law to revise the definition of “evaluation committee,” thereby permitting licensed professional counselors to serve on committees evaluating individuals for developmental disabilities

02/14 Reported Signed by Governor on February 13, 2020


Amends and adds to existing law to provide for the establishment of Medicaid reimbursement payment methods and to provide for a temporary reduction in certain reimbursements

02/12 Read second time; filed for Third Reading


CHILD CARE LICENSING – Amends existing law to allow unlicensed “temporary alcohol-drug abuse treatment facilities” for youth.

01/29 Reported out of Committee, currently on  General Orders in House for amendment


VOLUNTEER HEALTH CARE PROVIDER IMMUNITY – Amends existing law to revise the definition of “health care provider” to include students practicing under the supervision of a licensed provider.

02/14 Received from the House passed; filed for first reading; Introduced, read first time; referred to Health and Welfare


FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION OF AN ELDER – Adds to existing law to provide for the offense of financial exploitation of an elder

02/05 Reported Printed and Referred to Judiciary, Rules, and Administration


ADOPTION – Amends existing law to clarify the consent necessary for the adoption of an adult.

02/07 Reported Printed and Referred to Judiciary, Rules, and Administration


HEALTH – Amends existing law to provide for the administration and maintenance of the Health Care Directive Registry by the Department of Health and Welfare.

02/07 Reported Printed and Referred to Health and Welfare


HEALTH – Amends and repeals existing law regarding the criminalization of not providing newborn screening data.

02/14 Read second time; Filed for Third Reading


BATTERY – Amends existing law to provide certain exemptions for battery against health care workers

02/11 Reported Printed and Referred to Judiciary, Rules, & Administration


Amends existing law to provide that certain notice shall be given for an increase in the amount of rent charged that is greater than ten percent

02/11 Reported Printed and Referred to Judiciary, Rules, & Administration


FORCIBLE ENTRY AND LAWLFUL DETAINER – Amends existing law to provide for the removal of a tenants property following judgement in favor of a landlord in certain instances

02/11 Reported Printed and Referred to Judiciary, Rules, & Administration


FORCIBLE ENTRY AND UNLAWFUL DETAINER – Adds to and amends to existing law to provide certain requirements for a landlord and to provide a certain requirement for a security deposit

02/11 Reported Printed and Referred to Judiciary, Rules, & Administration


LABOR – Establishes law to provide that if an employer provides paid sick leave to an employee pursuant to a policy or agreement, that such employer shall allow a covered employee to use such sick leave pursuant to the policy or agreement without disciplinary consequences.

02/11 Referred to House Business Committee (see info above)


PUBLIC MONEYS – Adds to existing law to prohibit governments in this state from expending funds to a provider of abortion and to provide exceptions.

02/14 Referred to House State Affairs Committee


DENTISTS – Adds to existing law to establish provisions regarding teledentistry and restrictions for such practice

02/14 Read second time; filed for Third Reading


HEALTH – Stating findings of the Legislature and supporting a collaboration among the three branches of the state government, local governments, and community partners in developing and implementing a statewide strategic plan to improve the Idaho behavioral health system.

02/14 Returned from House Passed; referred for enrolling

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software