Addresses ‘unintended consequences’ of 2012 legislation
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2013) — Legislation that would address what one lawmaker called unintended consequences from the 2012 passage of the state’s pill mill bill is on its way to the floor of the Kentucky House for a vote.
The House Judiciary Committee on Monday approved House Bill 217, sponsored by House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, and Rep. John Tilley, D-Hopkinsville. Stumbo said the bill would address “unintended consequences” of HB 1, which was passed during the 2012 special legislative session to force unscrupulous pain clinics and physicians out of the state while mandating provider use of KASPER (Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting) — the state’s e-monitoring system for narcotic prescriptions.
“We all took a lot of heat back home,” said Tilley, chair of the House Judiciary Committee. “I think this is where we step off and can say that we’ve now come together and … we’ve done those things that are necessary to correct those problems that existed after the regulations and bill process.”
Changes proposed to the pill mill bill in HB 217 would exempt hospitals and long-term care facilities from HB 1’s per-unit patient dosing restrictions and ensure that physicians decide when physicals are needed. It would limit restricted access to narcotic pain medication for surgery patients, end-of-life patients, cancer patients and a few other categories of patients who may need increased pain management, Stumbo said.
Stumbo said HB 217 addresses concerns without retreating from legislative intent behind HB 1, which he credited with reducing overdose deaths and prescription drug abuse in Kentucky.