Legislation aimed at improving patient care signed into law

Posted by: Courtney Bearsch  | Monday, August 10, 2015

STATEHOUSE – Authored by State Representative Ron Bacon (R-Chandler), two pieces of legislation aimed at improving patient care have been ceremonially signed into law by the governor.

House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1093 requires the Indiana State Department of Health to compile resources for parents, or expecting parents, that receive a test result for any prenatally diagnosed condition, such as Down syndrome. This information would then be distributed to parents by their health facility or health care provider. The resources provided would include hotlines, resource centers, websites and a brief description and contact information for state and local organizations that advocate for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.

“In Indiana alone, it is estimated that there are between 7,000-8,000 individuals with Down syndrome,” said Rep. Bacon. “In smaller, more rural communities, it was brought to my attention that many hospitals did not have the resources necessary to provide parents with information regarding their child’s diagnosis. This new law is designed to provide every parent with useful information that will allow them to make informed decisions for their family.”

The second piece of legislation signed by the governor was HEA 1157. This law defines “qualified dietician” and allows these individuals to order medically prescribed diets. Previously, after a patient was evaluated by other specialists, including a dietitian, and a medically prescribed diet was deemed necessary, a doctor had to write the order.

“By requiring a doctor to write the order for a medically prescribed diet, patient care was being delayed and precious resources wasted,” said Rep. Bacon. “Allowing dieticians to practice independently will improve patient care by allowing them to begin treatment sooner and will increase medical efficiency.”

A patient would still have to consult with a physician if they chose to see a dietitian outside of a hospital.

Visit iga.in.gov for more information about HEA 1093 and 1157.