As a continuation of our prior legislative update, Governor Murphy signed into law the below statutes. Importantly, one of the statutes enters New Jersey into the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. In addition, New Jersey passed another bill that penalizes skilled nursing homes that chronically violate regulations. The below also discusses a statute that Governor Murphy vetoed, which could have modified the arbitration provisions in New Jersey's Out-of-network Consumer Protection, Transparency, Cost Containment and Accountability Act.

Part 3 of our Legislative Update will be released next week.

Bill S523 – Enters New Jersey into the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (the "Compact") is an interstate agreement that provides a streamlined process for physicians who are in good standing in their own states to quickly become licensed in other member states without the need to complete the full standard licensing process in the other state. A license issued under the Compact is a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in that member state. The Compact does not change the medical practice laws in any member state, and the requirements to obtain expedited licensure reflect the prevailing standard for physician licensure nationwide. Keep in mind that physicians providing health care services are still subject to the medical practice laws of the state in which the patient is located. The Compact will be administered by the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission, which is comprised of delegates from each member state. The act is effective immediately.

Bill A4238 – Establishes minimum Medicaid reimbursement rate for adult medical day care services.

This statute provides that the reimbursement per diem rate for adult medical day care services must be no less than the established State Medicaid fee-for-service ("FFS") rate regardless of whether the services are provided in the Medicaid FFS delivery system or through a managed care delivery system. The act takes effect July 1, 2022.

Bill A4478 – Establishes additional requirements for the Department of Health ("DOH") to assess sanctions and impose penalties on nursing homes and revises reporting requirements for nursing homes.

This statute requires the DOH to develop a special focus survey program for nursing homes with a history, over the past three inspection cycles, of chronic, repeat violations of State or federal requirements for nursing home administration and operations or a history of noncompliance with corrective plans or disciplinary actions. The statute also requires the DOH to establish a series of escalating fines and licensure actions for repeated violations by the same nursing home. The act takes effect on the first day of the 10th month after the date of enactment, except that the provision of the statute permitting the DOH to adopt regulations necessary to effectuate the purposes of the statute takes effect immediately.

Bill A6132 – Permits volunteer paramedics to operate within mobile intensive care units.
This statute permits volunteer paramedics to operate within mobile intensive care units. The statute defines a "mobile intensive care unit" as a "specialized emergency medical service vehicle staffed by mobile intensive care paramedics or registered professional nurses trained in advanced life support nursing and operated for the provision of advanced life support services under the direction of an authorized hospital." Under the statute, a mobile intensive care paramedic may perform advanced life support services, provided that the paramedic is following a standing order. The act is effective immediately.
Bill A798 – Establishes local drug overdose fatality review teams.
This statute authorizes the Local Committee on Alcohol Use Disorder and Substance Use Disorder in each county to establish a local drug overdose fatality review team for that county. A local drug overdose fatality review team will be required to review each report of a drug overdose death upon receipt of the report. The statute also outlines the required qualifications of team members, establishes protocols for team operations, and directs State and local government agencies to share records concerning overdose victims with the review team, upon request. The act takes effect 90 days after the date of enactment.

Bill S705 – Requires the DOH to develop and implement a plan to improve access to perinatal mood and anxiety disorder screening.

This statute requires the DOH to develop a plan that, among other things, provides strategies to increase awareness, among mental health care service providers, of the prevalence and effects of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders on women and children, create a referral network of mental health care providers and support services for women experiencing same, and to reduce the stigma related to perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. The act is effective immediately.

Bill A4253 - Requires medical record programs to record certain patient demographics.
This statute requires electronic medical record programs to include gender, race and ethnicity data entry features, and requires certain laboratories to record patients' gender, racial and ethnic information. Under the statute, a clinical laboratory is to electronically record the race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity of each patient who presents with a non-electronic order for testing at a clinical laboratory patient service center. If a clinical laboratory processes a specimen without the presence of a patient, the clinical laboratory shall not be responsible for recording and reporting the patient's gender identity, sexual orientation, and racial and ethnic information. Importantly, nothing in the statute compels a patient to disclose the patient's race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity to a clinical laboratory, health care provider, or any other entity. The act shall take effect 180 days after the date of enactment, except that sections 1 and 5 of the act shall take effect 120 days after the date of enactment.
Bill S3458 – Would have revised the out-of-network arbitration process.

Governor Murphy pocket vetoed this, which would have amended the Out-of-network Consumer Protection, Transparency, Cost Containment and Accountability Act to revise certain aspects of the arbitration processes established therein for claims involving health insurance carriers subject to the provisions of the Act. For example, this statute would have, among other things, expanded the deadlines for arbitration and would have required the arbitration to determine the usual, customary and reasonable rate based on a set of factors instead of requiring the arbitrators to select the rate offered by the provider and insurance carrier.

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