Bacon: Halfway through the legislative session

Posted by: Victoria Klimczak  | Thursday, February 28, 2019 4:18 pm

The Indiana General Assembly is officially halfway through the 2019 legislative session. House Republicans made great progress finding solutions on important issues facing our state. We passed proposals that would fund vital state services through the next two years, increase school safety, strengthen our workforce and support foster children. After being supported by House members, these bills will be heard by the Senate. My legislation moving to the Senate focuses on public health trainings, developing more efficient methods for Medicaid audits and curbing the opioid epidemic.

I am working to pass a law that would require all emergency medical dispatchers to complete a training program to provide CPR instructions over the phone. By completing this training, dispatchers could better coach callers on how to accurately perform hands-only CPR. Cardiac arrest comes suddenly, usually without any warning signs. If bystanders are able to intervene immediately during these emergencies, they can help keep the heart alive until the ambulance arrives, and give those suffering a greater chance of survival.

I also authored legislation to streamline the Medicaid recovery audit process and ease regulatory burdens on Medicaid providers. These audits review the services medical providers bill to Medicaid and are used to reduce instances of fraud and abuse. Third-party contractors monitor and look back at the billing data from doctors, hospitals and other medical providers to check for over or underpayment. My bill would require the lookback period for a Medicaid audit to be three and a half years rather than seven, allowing for faster recognition of payment discrepancies. With this shorter timeline, companies would not have to maintain patient records as long, which could help lower the costs of maintaining the records.

A proposal I am co-authoring aims to prevent people from using opioids they obtain from their pets’ veterinarians. This measure would limit the initial opioid prescription for animals to seven days and grant veterinarians access to Indiana’s opioid prescription tracking database so they can monitor and prevent offenders from acquiring drugs. This bill was introduced because of an incident in southern Indiana where an individual broke his dog’s legs in order to receive an opioid prescription. Preventing situations like this from happening again is critical, and I will continue supporting legislation to combat the opioid epidemic.

At this point, Senate bills move to the House of Representatives for consideration, and House bills cross over to the Senate. I look forward to continuing to work on these priorities with my House and Senate colleagues during the second half of session.

To keep track of my bills that are moving through the legislative process in the Senate, visit iga.in.gov. If you have any questions or input about these or other proposals that may become new laws, please contact me at 317-232-9643 or h75@iga.in.gov

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State Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler) represents House District 75, 
which includes portions of Warrick, Pike and Spencer counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.