Davisson: Taking a deep dive into health care issues this summer

Posted by: Samantha Holifield  | Friday, June 28, 2019 3:44 pm

Each summer, state lawmakers use the interim period to prepare for the next legislative session and determine whether or not to pursue new laws based on their findings. These summer study committee are integral to the legislative process and provide opportunities for lawmakers to address a variety of complex issues on behalf of Hoosiers. As a member of the Interim Study Committee on Public Health, Behavioral Health and Human Services, I will spend the coming months taking a deep dive into a number of important issues involving our health care services and costs.

Patients, employers and providers are all impacted by the cost of prescription drugs. As a long-time pharmacist, I understand how important it is for Hoosiers to balance their medical needs with the cost of prescriptions. With prescription drug expenses accounting for nearly 20 percent of health care costs, I authored a new law tasking lawmakers with further studying prescription drug pricing and access. By examining the methods of manufacturers and distributers, current trends in health care spending, out-of-pocket costs and transparency, we can work toward solutions for improved access and affordability.

To better meet the medical needs of Hoosiers, I sponsored a new law requiring more medical practitioners like optometrists and dentists to use electronic prescribing. This method also cuts down on prescription fraud and mistakes that could be made due to doctors’ creative handwriting while expediting services. While the practice of using technology to send prescriptions to participating pharmacies electronically instead of using handwritten or faxed notes is beneficial, there is always a risk of technology failures. Based on this new requirement, members of the Interim Study Committee on Public Health, Behavioral Health and Human Services are going to take a hard look at all the advantages and disadvantages, as well as the feasibility to ensure the transition from handwritten prescriptions to electronic prescriptions is successful for consumers and providers.

Each of us are impacted by health care policies at some point. As committee members begin to meet at the Statehouse to study these important issues, please reach out to me with input and guidance at h73@iga.in.gov or 317-232-9850. Field experts, other stakeholders and members of the public are also welcomed to testify at hearings. A full list of assigned topics the General Assembly will be studying during the interim, as well as interim committee calendars, agendas and links to live hearings, can be found online at iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem) represents House District 73,
Washington County, and portions of Orange, Lawrence, Jackson, Clark and Harrison counties. 
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.