Bartels: Cutting red tape for health professionals

Posted by: Jordan Wallace  | Monday, March 15, 2021

Inspiration for legislation comes from all sorts of places, and when I'm not working at the Statehouse, I am in our community speaking with local Hoosiers about issues important to them. Last summer, I had the opportunity to meet with a group of veterinarians to see how I could support them. One veterinarian brought up a state requirement for them to report controlled substance prescriptions each day even if their office is closed and no medications were dispensed. To address this unnecessary administrative burden, I drafted legislation to cut this red tape for all health care providers throughout the state.

Currently, doctor and veterinarian offices must report controlled substance prescriptions, like ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, every day – even if they do not dispense any medications. When businesses are closed for the weekend, a holiday or other office closures, health care professionals are still required by law to submit a state report recording individuals receiving these drugs to help mitigate opioid abuse. Having to report daily, even if there are zero medications dispensed, is burdensome and costly – especially for rural clinics. This reporting requirement was particularly burdensome when businesses temporarily closed during the pandemic. Small health care providers often pay a staff member to drive to and from work and submit the report on days the office is closed.

My legislation would remove this requirement. These offices would only need to submit a report within 24 hours of dispensing a controlled substance. If the doctor's or veterinarian's office doesn’t dispense medication on a given day, they would not have to fill out a report. My proposal would reduce the administrative burdens and give health care professionals the ability to dedicate more time to caring for patients. This bill could also help these offices save money since an employee would no longer have to come in during office closures to complete a report.

I will continue working to cut red tape for Hoosiers across the state. After receiving support from the Indiana Senate, House Enrolled Act 1109 now heads to the governor to be considered as a new law. If there is anything I can do to support you, please contact me by emailing h74@iga.in.gov or calling 317-232-9802.

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State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty) represents House District 74,
which includes portions of Spencer, Dubois, Perry, Crawford and Orange counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.