North Carolina - This week, the North Carolina House unanimously passed two bills to expand workers' comp benefits for first responders in the state. HB 520 adds 9 cancers to the list of diseases presumed to be arising out of employment for firefighters, shifting the burden onto the employer to show the condition was caused by something other than the firefighter's occupation. HB 622 allows police, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel to collect workers' comp benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder without a physical injury.
Texas - This week, the Texas legislature addressed two workers' comp bills. The House passed HB 741, which requires workers' comp notices to be revised to clearly inform a worker of their right to choose a treating physician. Additionally, on Tuesday, the Texas Senate voted to pass SB 2551, a bill to expand the cancer presumption list for firefighters in the state by adding 11 cancers to those that are considered work-related for firefighters.
New Hampshire - The Senate Health and Human Services passed an amended HB 359 out of committee this week. The newly amended bill would allow dispensers to mark prescription bottles containing an opioid with an orange sticker and the word “opioid” or place a warning label on the container that states “Risk of addiction and overdose.” Additionally, the bill requires dispensers to provide a handout to each person receiving an opioid prescription that details the associated risks of opioid use and how to mitigate those risks. The bill now awaits full Senate approval and reconsideration by the House.
Oklahoma - After passing an amended workers' comp reform bill out of the Senate last week, legislators will be convening a conference committee of House and Senate members to address HB 2367. The comprehensive workers' comp reform bill passed out of the House last month but was amended by the Senate Judiciary Committee before Senate approval. The Conference Committee will need to resolve the difference between the two bills and both houses will need to vote on the new bill language before it can be sent to the Governor for signature.
Missouri - A legislative fight may prevent Missouri from passing a PDMP bill yet again this year. The bill passed the House back in February but this week several Senators led a filibuster to prevent bringing HB 188 to the floor for a vote. Senators argue that the sponsor of HB 188, Representative Holly Rehder, has prevented the consideration of several Senate bills in the House until the Senate voted to approve her PDMP bill. While the filibuster ended Tuesday, HB 188 is still not scheduled for consideration by the Senate.
Arizona - A new report issued by the Arizona Department of Health Services shows that most prescribers in the state fail to comply with PDMP check requirements. Back in 2017, Arizona passed opioid legislation that mandated prescribers check the PDMP before they write a new prescription for a controlled substance, but the latest report by the Department shows fewer than 40% of prescribers do.
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