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{ legislative & regulatory }


swing. This August marked a busy month in Missouri politics—primary elections, the pas- sage of Medicaid expansion, a special session, and the rollout of laws passed during the regular 2020 legislative session. Let’s recap!


AUGUST PRIMARY ELECTIONS


On August 4, more than 1.2 million Missourians voted in the 2020 primary elec- tions. A little more than 53 percent voted in favor of Amendment 2 to expand Medicaid in the state, which expand MO HealthNet eligibility to individuals earning less than 133 percent of the poverty level. In Missouri, that’s individuals making less than $18,000 a year, or a family of three making less than $30,000 a year. The expansion will take ef- fect next year July 1, 2021. The MDA always advocates for funding for dental and provider reimbursement levels, but we will monitor how this expansion within the overall state budget will play out.


This year, all 163 Missouri House seats and every other Senate seat is up for election, and the MODentPAC supports candidates in both the primary and general elections. Several tough races were determined in the August primary elections. To name a few:


• In state Senate District 3, Representative Elaine Gannon (R) won a three-way primary with 42 percent of the vote.


• Representative Holly Rehder (R), who pushed for the formation of a statewide PDMP, won a tough race against fellow Representative Kathy Swan (R) in the Bootheel.


• In Kansas City, Representative Jack Bondon lost the Senate primary by five points to former state representative Rick Brattin (R).


18 focus | SEP/OCT 2020 | ISSUE 5


Assessing August Activity A


by OLIVIA WILSON


ugust is a busy month—summer is winding down, families are gearing up for back to school, and election season is in full


• Representative Karla Eslinger beat out Representative Robert Ross in Senate District 33 primary.


• Political newcomer Jason Bean (R) won a four-way primary in Senate District 25.


• Democrat Representatives Barbara Washington, Greg Razer and Steve Roberts all won their primary elections, securing their seats in the Senate.


• Angela Mosely, wife of Representative Jay Mosely, won the Democratic nomi- nation in the 13th Senate District, beat- ing Representatives Tommie Pierson Jr. and Alan Green.


2020 HEALTHCARE BILLS IN EFFECT


On August 31, a majority of the 28 policy- rated bills passed in the regular 2020 legisla- tive session went into effect. Despite a con- densed legislative session due to COVID-19, several MDA priorities passed this year.


In a win for all health care practitioners, HB 1682, sponsored by Representative David Wood, enforces prompt credentialing for health care providers. Now, a car- rier’s credentialing decision must be made within 60 days of receiving a completed credentialing application. If approved, the carrier must provide payments for cov- ered patient care services delivered by the practitioner during the credentialing period. Additionally, a carrier may no longer require a practitioner to be credentialed if the prac- titioner is working on behalf of a creden- tialed provider on FMLA leave for up to 180 days. HB 1682 also requires health carriers to notify the provider which service and for which patient a recoupment is being made. It also prohibits recoupments from being made to providers other than the one who was overpaid.


Representative Grier’s licensing reciprocity bill removes exclusions and requires that li-


cense by reciprocity be the same as any other licensed profession in the state. Prior to the passage of HB 2046, only Missouri resi- dents were eligible to apply for a license by reciprocity—meaning the applicant has had a license at the same practice level in another state and has met certain educational/clinical requirements.


LOOKING AHEAD


The coming months will be just as eventful as the last. On November 3, nearly 200 seats will be filled—five of six of the statewide offices (Auditor is not up for election), half of the Senate, and all seats in the House. While many of these candidates “won” back in August—meaning their party opponent has very little chance winning in that district—or are running unopposed, nearly a dozen races will be too close to call until election night, including:


• In St. Louis, incumbent Senator Andrew Koenig (R) is fighting to be reelected over Representative Deb Lavender (D).


• In Columbia, current Senate Majority Floor Leader Caleb Rowden (R) is be- ing challenged by former Democratic Representative Judy Baker. This is an especially critical race, as the outcome may also include a new Senate Majority Floor Leader. The Senate Majority Floor leader holds a lot of power—they


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