Legislative Update- May 2017
Performance-Based Incentive Payments to Physicians – On May 1, 2017, Governor Christie signed Senate Bill 913 into law, which permits hospitals to institute a system for making performance-based incentive payments to physicians. The legislation allows hospitals to establish compensation plans, subject to certain requirements, which allow for direct payments of incentives from the hospital to physicians or physicians groups, based on the physician’s performance in meeting the hospital’s institutional and specialty-specific goals as determined using an incentive payment methodology.
Criminal Background Checks Readopted – On April 17, 2017, the New Jersey Department of Health readopted N.J.A.C 8:43I regarding fingerprint supported criminal background checks for certain providers. The rule mandates that nurse’s aides, personal care assistants and assisted living administrators submit to a fingerprint process and criminal background checks when applying for certification and re-certification. Individuals found to be convicted of certain crimes and offenses are disqualified from certification or renewals, unless the person demonstrates rehabilitation through a process described in the rule.
Rules Governing Alcohol and Drug Counselors Readopted and Amended – On April 3, 2017, the Alcohol and Drug Counselor Committee published a notice in the New Jersey Register readopting and amending certain rules governing the practice of alcohol and drug counselors. The amendments to the rules include, but are not limited to, changes to the application and renewal process as well as scope of practice.
DCA Authority Clarified – Senate Bill 2563 was introduced on May 1, 2017 that clarifies the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) rulemaking authority over free-standing residential health care facilities, and prohibits eviction of residents from such facilities except for good cause. The bill amends existing law pertaining to residential health care facilities to clarify that the DCA is responsible for regulating free-standing residential health care facilities, that are not located with, or operated by a Department of Health licensed health care facility.
Prescription Monitoring Information and Emergency Departments – On May 1, 2017, Senate Bill 3118 was introduced to require practitioners to check prescription monitoring information before issuing certain prescriptions to emergency department patients. The bill would require each practitioner to not only access prescription monitoring information the first time the practitioner prescribes a Schedule II controlled substance to a new patient for acute or chronic pain, but also any time the practitioner prescribes a Schedule II controlled substance to a patient receiving care or treatment in the emergency department of a general hospital.