New Health Care Laws Go into Effect
[MMA News Now, Aug. 2, 2012] On Aug. 1 many laws that were adopted by the 2012 Minnesota Legislature went into effect. Below are those that may be of interest to physicians.
• Chapter 278 creates new civil penalties for those other than licensees who are required but fail to report a violation of the Medical Practice Act to the Board of Medical Practice.
• Chapter 246 clarifies the narcotics laws to allow controlled substances to be prescribed electronically.
• Chapter 175 creates a felony crime of intentionally depriving a vulnerable adult of necessary food, clothing, shelter, health care or supervision, when the caregiver or operator is reasonably able to make the necessary provisions. This new felony applies to any patient who is in a hospital or nursing home, as well as those cared for at home.
• Chapter 166 authorizes the use of automated drug distribution systems in specified non-pharmacy health facilities and authorizes physicians to dispense drugs in pharmacies located in a designated health professional shortage area where a pharmacy is not readily available.
• Chapter 216 expands the “safe place for newborns” program, increasing the timeframe newborns can be left from 72 hours after birth to seven days after birth. Newborns can be left at hospitals, urgent care facilities or with an ambulance dispatched for this purpose.
• Chapter 216 also changes the classification of Department of Human Services investigations of possible overpayments of public funds to a service provider to be public data.