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Legislative report.

Linda Siegle, the NMNA lobbyist has been working very hard tracking bills related to nursing and health care. A shortened version of the report follows. If you are interested in specific bills, you can go to the state legislature website to read the entire bill and see what the various committee say about the bills. That website is: www.legis.state.nm.us/lcs.

Bill: HB107

Sponsors: Gutierrez (D33)

Title: NMSU NURSING EDUCATION PROGRAM

Analysis: Introduced 01/17/2007--Appropriates $440,000 (GF) to NMSU's board of regents to improve the nursing education program.

Subjects: Appropriations; Higher Education; Health and Medical Practice

Bill: HB112

Sponsors: Gutierrez (D33)

Title: NMSU MENTAL HEALTH IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM

Analysis: Introduced 01/17/2007--Appropriates $400,000 (GF) to NMSU's board of regents to educate psychiatric nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists through the School of Nursing's Mental Health Improvement Program.

Subjects: Appropriations; Higher Education; Health and Medical Practice

Bill: HB245

Sponsors: Rodella (D41)

Title: MEDICAL SERVICES GRT DEDUCTION EXPANDED

Analysis: Introduced 01/18/2007--Adds a gross receipts tax deduction for receipts of medical doctors and osteopathic physicians from payments by or on behalf of the Indian Health Service for providing medical and other health services to covered beneficiaries to Section 7-9-77.1 NMSA 1978.

Subjects: Taxation and Fees; Health and Medical Practice; Indians

Bill: HB290

Sponsors: Irwin (D32)

Title: WNMU NURSING PROGRAM

Analysis: Introduced 01/22/2007--Provides $676,355 (GF) to WNMU's board of regents to expand the nursing program and gain accreditation of its Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

Subjects: Appropriations; Higher Education; Health and Medical Practice

Bill: HB380

Sponsors: Picraux (D25)

Title: CERTIFIED NURSE TECHNICIANS

Analysis: Introduced 01/22/2007--Creates a program for certification of nurse technicians, permitted to provide hands-on nursing care under the supervision of a RN or LPN. The board of nursing is required to adopt certification requirements and rules for supervision and discipline. The board must maintain a registry of nurse technicians. A two-year renewable certificate is issued to an applicant fulfilling all requirements. Provides that the Nursing Practice Act does not apply to nursing or caring for the sick in accordance with a religious practice. However, the caregiver may not claim to be a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse.

Subjects: Health and Medical Practice

Bill: HB404

Sponsors: Hall (R28)

Title: UNM'S NURSING PROGRAM

Analysis: Introduced 01/23/2007--Appropriates $2.25 million (GF) to UNM's board of regents to expand the nursing program's special projects statewide.

Subjects: Appropriations; Health and Medical Practice; Higher Education

Related: 2007:SB628

Bill: HB429

Sponsors: Cote (D53)

Title: RURAL TELEHEALTH SERVICES AND PROGRAMS

Analysis: Introduced 01/23/2007--Appropriates $600,000 (GF) to the Department of Health to fund a Telehealth Program for rural children, families and health care providers for childhood diabetes and obesity, mental health of children under five, pediatric asthma and other pediatric specialties.

Subjects: Appropriations; Health and Medical Practice; Family and Juveniles; Telecommunications; Information Technology

Bill: HB577

Sponsors: Picraux (D25)

Title: FREEDOM TO CHOOSE YOUR PHARMACIST

Analysis: Introduced 01/25/2007--Expands the definition of "practitioner of the healing arts" in a statute applicable to all health insurance contracts in the state to include pharmacists and pharmacist clinicians. Allows an insured to exercise full freedom of choice, within coverage limitations, in selecting practitioners of the healing arts including persons licensed as pharmacists under the Pharmacy Act or pharmacist clinicians given prescriptive authority under the Pharmacist Prescriptive Authority Act. Adds definitions of "pharmacist" and "pharmacist clinician" to the Health Maintenance Organization Law and the Nonprofit Health Care Plan Law. Expands the definition of "basic health care services" in the HMO law to include the services of pharmacists and pharmacist clinicians. Enacts a new section of the Nonprofit Health Care Plan Law providing that all individual and group subscriber contracts in New Mexico shall include coverage for the services of a pharmacist or pharmacist clinician.

HHGAC Committee Report 02/13/2007--HHGAC amendment to HB577 strikes provisions of the bill that provided for freedom of choice in selecting a pharmacist, subject to insurance coverage limitations, and required all individual and group contracts under the Nonprofit Health Care Plan Law to include coverage for the services of a pharmacist. Remaining provisions of the bill add definitions of "pharmacist" and "pharmacist clinician" to the Health Maintenance Organization Law and the Nonprofit Health Care Plan Law and expand the definitions of "basic health care services," "health care services" and "provider" in the HMO law to include the services of pharmacists and pharmacist clinicians. Bill now goes to HBIC.

Subjects: Health and Medical Practice; Insurance

Related: 2007:SB1097

Bill: HB605

Sponsors: Heaton (D55)

Title: STATUS OF UNPAID EMERGENCY HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

Analysis: Introduced 01/29/2007--Provides for unpaid health professionals deployed with the department of Health in response to a declared emergency to be considered "public employees," employed by the Department and paid the average wage accorded for similar services by paid workers in like employment. Applies to deployment within the state and in response to a request for emergency health personnel outside the state.

Subjects: Health and Medical Practice; State Affairs and State Agencies

Bill: HB764

Sponsors: Gutierrez (D33)

Title: HEALTH POLICY COMMISSION ABOLISHED; DOH ASSUMES DUTIES

Analysis: Introduced 01/31/2007--(Identical to SB1159) Abolishes the Health Planning Commission and transfers all its functions and responsibilities to a new division within the Department of Health.

Subjects: Health and Medical Practice; State Affairs and State Agencies

Related: 2007:SB1159

Bill: HB956

Sponsors: Gardner (R66)

Title: TORT CLAIMS ACT: IMMUNITY FOR VOLUNTEER LICENSED HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS

Analysis: Introduced 02/06/2007--Changes the definition of "public employee" in the Tort Claims Act to include a licensed health care provider offering volunteer health care services free of charge.

Subjects: Health and Medical Practice; State Affairs and State Agencies

Bill: HB970

Sponsors: Gonzales (D42)

Title: PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL LIABILITY SEVERELY LIMITED

Analysis: Introduced 02/07/2007--(Identical to SB944) Enacts the Professional Medical Liability Insurance Act to limit damage amounts that may be awarded against any "health care provider." In particular, great attention is paid to limiting exemplary damages. "Health care provider" is defined to be a person licensed, certified, registered or chartered by the state, and includes its officers, directors, shareholders, members, employees, independent contractors acting on the provider's behalf. Would limit non-economic damages awarded against one or more health care providers, including all persons or entities for which vicarious liability may apply, to an aggregate limit of $250,000. This does not limit economic damages.

Subjects: Insurance; Health and Medical Practice

Related: 2007:SB944

Bill: HB1063

Sponsors: Barela (D8)

Title: MEDICAL MALPRACTICE INSURANCE

Analysis: Introduced 02/09/2007--Amends the Medical Malpractice Act to raise the limits of malpractice insurance policies required for health care providers and the amounts recoverable against them by plaintiffs. Required limit of the malpractice insurance policy of a health care provider is raised from $200,000 to $400,000 per occurrence. Raises limit of the aggregate dollar amount recoverable by all persons for any malpractice action related to a patient from $600,000 to $1.2 million per occurrence, except for punitive damages and the value of accrued and future medical care and related benefits. Limits a health care provider's personal liability to $400,000, up from $200,000, for monetary damages, medical care and related benefits. The $1.2 million limit applies only to malpractice occurring after July 1, 2007.

Subjects: Insurance; Health and Medical Practice

Bill: HB1067

Sponsors: Rehm (R31)

Title: NURSING: ON-LINE CURRICULUM TASK FORCE

Analysis: Introduced 02/09/2007--To alleviate the nursing shortage, appropriates $50,000 (GF) to the Board of Nursing to organize a task force to develop and implement an on-line curriculum that makes it possible for military medical personnel to earn a registered or licensed practical nurse diploma and sit for civilian licensure examination. The task force membersship must include representatives of the board, the state nursing association, the Center for Nursing Excellence, nursing school faculty, student nurses and military hospital corpsmen and medics.

Subjects: Health and Medical Practice; Veterans and Military Affairs; Appropriations; Information Technology; Higher Education

Bill: HB1222

Sponsors: Gonzales (D42)

Title: HEALTH SECURITY ACT

Analysis: Introduced 02/14/2007--(Identical to SB720) Cited as the Health Security Act, it is a massive undertaking intended to: ensure that health care coverage is available to all New Mexicans through a combination of public and private financing; control escalating health care costs; and improve health care for all New Mexicans. The act creates a Health Care Commission which is charged with developing and adopting a five-year Health Security Plan. Private health insurance is prohibited for those who are beneficiaries under the plan (which includes almost all New Mexicans who have been resident for one year or more) for health care services covered by it, except for retiree health insurance plans that do not enter into contracts with the plan. A beneficiary may purchase supplemental benefits.

Subjects: Insurance; Health and Medical Practice

Related: 2007:SB720

Bill: HM17

Sponsors: King (D50)

Title: HEALTH POLICY COMMISSION NURSING STUDY

Analysis: Introduced 02/06/2007--(Identical to SM18) Requests the New Mexico Health Policy Commission to study the impact of nurse staffing and retention, to research and publish a study of hospital environments that attract and retain nurses and to research what other states are doing in this area. The commission is also requested to consult with others with expertise in the field and to report its findings and recommendations to the health and human services committee in October, 2007.

Subjects: Health and Medical Practice; State Affairs and State Agencies

Related: 2007:SM18

Bill: HM25

Sponsors: Barela (D8)

Title: MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ACT LIMITATION OF RECOVERY

Analysis: Introduced 02/12/2007--Requests the PRC's Insurance Division to study the effects of revising the limitation of recovery for malpractice claims under the Medical Malpractice Act and to report its findings and recommendations by November 1, 2007 to the Legislative Health and Human Services Committee, the Legislative Finance Committee, the Department of Health and the Office of the Governor.

Subjects: Health and Medical Practice; Human Services

Bill: SB9

Sponsors: Feldman (D13)

Title: NURSE ADVICE LINE FOR UNINSURED

Analysis: Introduced 01/17/2007--(For the Legislative Health and Human Services Committee) Provides $1 million (GF) to UNM's board of regents for the Health Services Center to expand the Nurse Advice Line for uninsured callers whose expense for the advice line is not met with funding from other private or public funders.

Subjects: Appropriations; Health and Medical Practice; Insurance; Family and Juveniles

Bill: SB20

Sponsors: Komadina (R9)

Title: SUPERVISION OF PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS

Analysis: Introduced 01/17/2007--Requires that all physician assistants and osteopathic physician assistants be supervised by a physician approved by the appropriate board. Removes the current limitation on the number of assistants that may be supervised by one physician. Supervising physicians remain individually responsible and liable for acts and omissions delegated to the assistant; physician assistants and osteopathic physician assistants are not relieved of their own responsibility and liability.

SPAC Committee Substitute 01/29/2007--SPAC substitute for SB20 applies only to osteopaths. The substitute simply amends See. 61-10A-7 to provide that an osteopathic physician's assistant shall be supervised by an osteopathic physician as approved by the board. Does away with the restriction that limits the number of assistants that an osteopath may supervise. Gone from the substitute is the provision that would have done away with a similar restriction on licensed physicians, which limits supervision to no more than two physician assistants.

Subjects: Health and Medical Practice; Insurance

Bill: SB22

Sponsors: Komadina (R9)

Title: PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY RESPONSE ACT

Analysis: Introduced 01/17/2007--Effective July 1, 2007, amends the Public Health Emergency Response Act to define health care providers as an individual licensed as an: optometrist, chiropractic physician, dentist, physician, podiatrist, osteopath, physician's assistant, certified nurse practitioner, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech-language pathologist, doctor of oriental medicine, nutritionist, psychologist, certified nurse-midwife, clinical nurse specialist, registered nurse, dental hygienist or a pharmacist. Also provides limited immunity for health care providers that volunteer without compensation during a declared public health emergency. The immunity against suit for injury, death or property damage is applicable if the care provided is: 1) at the place of, and during, a declared emergency; 2) within the scope of the provider's license; 3) is intended to prevent or minimize harm to the person; and the injury, death or damage was not caused by willful misconduct, gross negligence or bad faith.

Subjects: Health and Medical Practice

Related: 2007:SB44; 2007:SB21; 2007:SB16

Bill: SB23

Sponsors: Komadina (R9)

Title: HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS IMMUNITY FROM TORT LIABILITY

Analysis: Introduced 01/17/2007--(See Substitute Bill Analysis 1/29/07) Provides that retired, still-licensed medical doctors, physician assistants and anesthesiologist assistants who render voluntary medical services without compensation at free or low-cost health care facilities licensed by the Department of Health are not liable for civil damages resulting from acts or failures to act while providing such services unless the acts or failures to act were grossly negligent or willful misconduct. Directs the department to provide for licensing of free and low-cost health care facilities, and requires that each person who receives medical services from a retired provider acknowledge in writing that the person has been fully informed of the limited liability.

SPAC Committee Substitute 01/29/2007--SPAC substitute for SB23 amends the definition of "public employee" in the Tort Claims Act to exclude all health care providers licensed in New Mexico who render voluntary services on behalf of a governmental entity without compensation, thereby providing immunity from tort liability for such providers including optometrists, chiropractic physicians, dentists, physicians, podiatrists, osteopathic physicians, physician assistants, certified nurse practitioners, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language therapists, doctors of oriental medicine, nutritionists, psychologists, certified nurse-midwives, clinical nurse specialists, registered nurses, dental hygienists, pharmacists, athletic trainers, anesthesiologist assistants and certified registered nurse anesthetists. The original bill had provided limited liability only for retired physicians, physician assistants, and anesthesiologist assistants who served as volunteers in free or low-cost clinics licensed by the Department of Health. Bill now goes to SJC.

SJC Committee Report 02/06/2007--SJC amendment to SPAC substitute for SB23 rejects all the changes made by the SPAC amendments to its own substitute bill, which were mostly technical or clarifying in nature. Gone from the substitute is the long list of specific types of health care providers that would be given immunity under the Tort Claims Act. The SJC amendment eliminates all of the listed categories and instead provides immunity for health care providers as determined under rules to be promulgated by the Secretary of Health. Adds an effective date of July 1, 2007. Bill now goes to Senate Calendar.

Senate Floor Amendment 02/07/2007--Senate floor amendment 1 to the SPAC substitute for SB23 (Senator Komadina) limits immunity for licensed health care providers providing volunteer services to those that have no medical liability insurance.

Subjects: Health and Medical Practice; Insurance 02/08/2007--H Also referred to House Judiciary.

Bill: SB38

Sponsors: Rawson (R37)

Title: NMSU: NURSING EDUCATION PROGRAM

Analysis: Introduced 01/17/2007--Provides $440,000 (GF) to NMSU's board of regents to improve the Nursing Education Program.

Subjects: Appropriations; Higher Education; Health and Medical Practice

Bill: SB49

Sponsors: Komadina (R9)

Title: STATE OFFERS INSURANCE TO HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS

Analysis: Introduced 01/17/2007--Authorizes the Risk Management Division to provide insurance coverage to physicians, nursing homes, midwives and other licensed health care providers as deemed necessary for the public health of New Mexico by the Secretary of the Department of Health. Separate accounts are to be maintained for each health care provider that voluntarily elects to purchase coverage, and RMD shall determine the amount of contribution from each provider based their respective risks. The language of the bill is not specific but appears to apply not to health insurance but rather to liability insurance for high-risk health care providers. The bill contains a delayed repeal effective July 1, 2012.

SPAC Committee Report 01/31/2007--SPAC amendment to SB49 clarifies that the type of coverage authorized for purchase by a health care provider is medical malpractice insurance coverage. Bill now goes to SCORC.

Subjects: Public Employees/Retirement; State Affairs and State Agencies

Bill: SB120

Sponsors: Altamirano (D28)

Title: WNMU NURSING PROGRAM

Analysis: Introduced 01/17/2007--Appropriates $676,355 (GF) to WNMU's board of regents to expand nursing programs at Western New Mexico University and gain accreditation for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program.

Subjects: Appropriations; Higher Education; Health and Medical Practice.

Bill: SB141

Sponsors: Papen (D38)

Title: NMSU MENTAL HEALTH IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM

Analysis: Introduced 01/17/2007--Provides $400,000 (GF) to NMSU board of regents to educate psychiatric nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists through School of Nursing.

Subjects: Appropriations; Higher Education

Bill: SB238

Sponsors: Ortiz y Pino (D12)

Title: MEDICAL USE OF CANNABIS

Analysis: Introduced 01/18/2007--Allows the beneficial use of medical cannabis in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their treatments, including cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, epilepsy, positive HIV status and AIDS. Provides specifically for exemption from criminal liability for medical practitioners, qualified patients and their primary caregivers for the possession of cannabis for medical use in a quantity not exceeding an adequate supply. Provides special provisions for qualified patients under 18 years, including the written consent of a parent or guardian. Also exempts a licensed producer, as determined by the Department of Health, from criminal or forfeiture proceedings for producing or distributing cannabis according to the provisions of the act. Medical use of cannabis remains unauthorized in a public vehicle or place, in a school or school bus, or in the workplace. Requires that qualified patients and caregivers possess a registry identification card in order to receive legal protections, and requires the Department of Health to maintain a confidential list of persons who have applied for or received a card. Provisions are made for exceptional disclosure of names on this list, for example, to law enforcement agencies for purpose of verifying possession of a registry identification card. Requires the Secretary of Health to establish an advisory board of practitioners representing medical fields relating to cannabis use, to review and make recommendations to the department regarding the issuance of registry identification cards, additional medical conditions that would benefit from the medical use of cannabis, and quantities of cannabis that constitute an adequate supply.

SJC Committee Report 02/06/2007--Provides that a patient or caregiver not in immediate possession of a registry ID card would be given the opportunity to produce the card prior to an arrest. Clarifies that a practitioner who makes marijuana available to a patient before the effective date of July 1, 2007 would be in violation of existing drug laws.

Subjects: Health and Medical Practice; Criminal Code; State Affairs and State Agencies

Scheduled: 02/27/2007--House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee, House Chamber, 30 Minutes after floor session 02/24/2007--House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee, 1/2 hour after floor session, House Chamber

Bill: SB299

Sponsors: Sanchez, B. (D26)

Title: UNM SCHOOL OF MEDICINE HEALTH CAREERS PATHWAY

Analysis: Introduced 01/22/2007--(For the Legislative Health and Human Services Committee) Appropriates $1.855 million (GF) to UNM's board of regents to provide funding to encourage students underrepresented in the health sciences to enter and graduate from health or allied health professions programs by providing stipends in the health sciences from middle school to the postgraduate level.

SEC Committee Report 02/15/2007--SEC amendment to SB299 clarifies that the appropriation is to encourage training at UNM's Health Sciences Center. Removes the provision mandating stipends in the health sciences beginning in middle school and ending at the post-graduate level. Bill goes to SFC.

Subjects: Appropriations; Schools and Teachers; Higher Education; Health and Medical Practice

Related: 2007:HB660

Bill: SB359

Sponsors: Jennings (D32)

Title: REVIEW OF HEALTH PROFESSIONALS' SCOPE OF PRACTICE

Analysis: Introduced 01/22/2007--Provides procedures for changes in the scope of practice for a health professional sought by a member of a licensing board, or a licensee of a board, or any other person. Requires the relevant licensing board to notify the New Mexico Health Policy Commission of every such proposed change, and to collect necessary information, conduct technical assessments, and provide analyses, conclusions and recommendations to the commission. Requires the commission to appoint and ensure the practices of an ad hoc review panel to assess each proposal from a licensing board, and ascertain whether the proposed changes offer potential harm. The commission would provide a full report on each proposal to the New Mexico Legislative Council, the Legislative Finance Committee, and the Legislative Health and Human Services Committee.

Subjects: Health and Medical Practice; State Affairs and State Agencies; Interim Studies and Interim Committees

Bill: SB514

Sponsors: Jennings (D32)

Title: SUPERVISION OF PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS

Analysis: Introduced 01/24/2007--Amends the Physician Assistant Act to remove certain conditions limiting the number of physician assistants who may be supervised by a licensed physician, and instead gives discretion to the New Mexico Medical Board to determine the number of physician assistants who may be supervised by a licensed physician. Currently, a licensed physician may supervise no more than two physician assistants except that the board may authorize supervision of a greater number if the physician is working in a health facility providing free or reduced fee services, and funded out of public funds or private charitable funds. Adds to the types of fees that may be imposed by the board, to include: a reasonable administrative fee for reprocessing applications that include minor but significant errors and would otherwise be subject to investigation and possible disciplinary action; and a reasonable fee for nationwide and statewide criminal history screening of applicants and licensees. Reaffirms the board's investigative authority in relation to health care providers, and requires that review organizations acting under the Review Organization Immunity Act shall comply with an investigative subpoena only after having taken action against the health care provider. All records received by the Board from a review organization are to be confidential and are not public records.

SPAC Committee Report 02/14/2007--SPAC amendment to SB514 requires that a physician assistant be supervised by a physician in a manner approved by the board, and removes references to the number of physician assistants who may be supervised. Retains provisions of the original bill making the supervising physician and the physician assistant each liable for the acts of the physician assistant. Adds provisions to the bill to clarify that when the board issues an investigative subpoena for records of a medical review organization that has taken action against a health care provider, the board will give notice to the medical review organization if the records are subpoenaed by a third party and will only produce records related to the review organization's action that was reportable to the board. Prohibits the board from compelling an expert who participated in a peer review process to participate in a board investigation or action resulting from board receipt of peer review documents. Bill now goes to SJC.

Subjects: Health and Medical Practice; State Affairs and State Agencies

Bill: SB523

Sponsors: Robinson (D17)

Title: COMPASSIONATE USE MEDICAL MARIJUANA ACT

Analysis: Introduced 01/24/2007--Proposes the "Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, to permit medical practitioners to prescribe, primary caregivers to administer, and patients to use marijuana for eligible medical conditions and symptoms. "Eligible medical condition" is defined as: 1) a chronic or debilitating disease or condition and its treatment that produces one or more of the following: 1) severe pain; or 2) severe muscle spasms, including multiple sclerosis or Crohn's disease; or 3) other conditions designated by Department of Health rule.

Subjects: Health and Medical Practice; Criminal Code

Bill: SB628

Sponsors: Cravens (R21)

Title: UNM'S NURSING PROGRAM

Analysis: Introduced 01/29/2007--(Identical to HB404) Appropriates $2.25 million (GF) to UNM's board of regents to expand the nursing program's special projects statewide.

Subjects: Cultural Affairs; Health and Medical Practice; Higher Education

Related: 2007:HB404

Bill: SB720

Sponsors: Cisneros (D6)

Title: HEALTH SECURITY ACT

Analysis: Introduced 01/31/2007--(Identical to HB1222) Cited as the Health Security Act, it is a massive undertaking intended to: ensure that health care coverage is available to all New Mexicans through a combination of public and private financing; control escalating health care costs; and improve health care for all New Mexicans. The act creates a Health Care Commission which is charged with developing and adopting a five-year Health Security Plan. Private health insurance is prohibited for those who are beneficiaries under the plan (almost all New Mexicans who have been resident here for one year or more) for health care services covered by it, except for retiree health insurance plans that do not enter into contracts with the plan. A beneficiary may purchase supplemental benefits.

Subjects: Health and Medical Practice; Insurance

Related: 2007:HB1222

Bill: SB721

Sponsors: Cisneros (D6)

Title: HEALTH SECURITY PLAN FINANCING OPTIONS

Analysis: Introduced 01/31/2007--Appropriates $500,000 (GF) to the Legislative Finance Committee to determine the financing options of the Health Security Plan, contingent upon enactment of the Health Security Act during the first session of the 48th legislature.

Subjects: Appropriations; Health and Medical Practice; Banks, Securities and Loans

Bill: SB883

Sponsors: Campos, P. (D8)

Title: MILITARY HOSPITAL CORPS TO HELP NURSING SHORTAGE

Analysis: Introduced 02/06/2007--Appropriates $50,000 (GF) to the Department of Military Affairs to convene a group to study the potential benefits of using New Mexico's Military Hospital Corps members and medics to alleviate the state's nursing shortage and devise a curriculum for nursing licensure that allows Military Hospital Corps members and medics to earn a licensed practical nurse diploma and sit for a civilian licensure examination.

Subjects: Appropriations; Health and Medical Practice; Higher Education

Bill: SB944

Sponsors: Taylor, J.G. (D14)

Title: PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL LIABILITY SEVERELY LIMITED

Analysis: Introduced 02/07/2007--(Identical to HB970) Enacts the Professional Medical Liability Insurance Act to limit damage amounts that may be awarded against any "health care provider." In particular, great attention is paid to limiting exemplary damages. "Health care provider" is defined to be a person licensed, certified, registered or chartered by the state, and includes its officers, directors, shareholders, members, employees, independent contractors acting on the provider's behalf. Would limit noneconomic damages awarded against one or more health care providers, including all persons or entities for which vicarious liability may apply, to an aggregate limit of $250,000. This does not limit economic damages. The jury may not be informed of the noneconomic damages limit, and if the award exceeds that limit, the judge must reduce it accordingly. Exemplary (also called punitive) damages may only be brought under the act if the claimant proves by clear and convincing evidence that the harm claimed resulted from conduct that was willful, wanton, malicious or reckless. The act requires that exemplary damages be based on reason and justice, and the amount must be reasonably related to the injury and damages given as compensation. Evidence of ordinary negligence, gross negligence, bad faith or deceptive trade practices will not satisfy the requirements of the act for exemplary damages purposes.

Subjects: Insurance; Health and Medical Practice

Related: 2007:HB970

Bill: SB1013

Sponsors: Komadina (R9)

Title: CERTIFIED NURSE TECHNICIANS

Analysis: Introduced 02/12/2007--(Identical to HB380) Creates a program for certification of nurse technicians to provide hands-on nursing care under the supervision of a RN or LPN. The board of nursing is required to adopt certification requirements and rules for supervision and discipline. The board must maintain a registry of nurse technicians. A two-year renewable certificate is issued to an applicant fulfilling all requirements. Provides that the Nursing Practice Act does not apply to nursing or caring for the sick in accordance with a religious practice. However, the caregiver may not claim to be a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse.

Subjects: Health and Medical Practice

Bill: SB1159

Sponsors: Grubesic (D25)

Title: HEALTH POLICY COMMISSION ABOLISHED; DOH ASSUMES DUTIES

Analysis: Introduced 02/15/2007--(Identical to HB764) Abolishes the Health Planning Commission and transfers all its functions and responsibilities to a new division within the Department of Health. Named the Office of Policy and Multicultural Health, the new division would plan, monitor and evaluate progress of the state's health policy, and the comprehensive strategic plan for health, and report annually to the LFC and the interim Legislative Health and Human Services Committee.

Subjects: Health and Medical Practice; State Affairs and State Agencies Related: 2007:HB764

Bill: SM18

Sponsors: Grubesic (D25)

Title: HEALTH POLICY COMMISSION NURSING STUDY Analysis: Introduced 02/06/2007--(Identical to HM17) Requests the New Mexico Health Policy Commission to study the impact of nurse staffing and retention, to research and publish a study of hospital environments that attract and retain nurses and to research what other states are doing in this area. The commission is also requested to consult with others with expertise in the field and to report its findings and recommendations to the health and human services committee in October, 2007.

Subjects: Health and Medical Practice; Interim Studies and Interim Committees

Related: 2007:HM17
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Publication:New Mexico Nurse
Date:Apr 1, 2007
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