Tag Archives: jan. 1

Doctors Getting Average 25 Percent Fee Increase from TennCare

Doctors who treat TennCare patients are getting a big New Year’s pay raise, reports the Chattanooga TFP. Practitioners in family medicine and some other subspecialties, including pediatrics, will be reimbursed at Medicare rates — on average, more than 25 percent above what they’re paid now, state figures show.
TennCare officials calculate that the boost will put $55 million in physicians’ pockets this year and next and help to keep them in the state’s version of Medicaid, the health care program for 1.2 million disabled people, pregnant women and poor children.
That’s going to be important because of what health experts are calling the “woodwork effect:” When the requirement that everyone have health insurance kicks in next year, as many as 300,000 eligible but unenrolled people are expected to come out of the woodwork and sign up for TennCare.
TennCare is “going to have a capacity problem, and they’re going to need more health care providers in the government system,” said state Sen. Bo Watson, vice chairman of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee and speaker pro tempore.
TennCare figures show current reimbursement rates, on average, are about 79 percent of Medicare rates. That’s compared to 66 percent for Medicaid programs nationwide. The federal government is putting $11 billion into the reimbursement boost across the country.
TennCare spokeswoman Kelly Gunderson said it’s hard to say exactly how reimbursements will change since they are negotiated in the managed-care system.
But, she said, “I’m sure if you talk to primary care physicians, they’ll say they’re very much anticipating that rate increase.”

Full List of New TN Laws Effective Jan. 1, 2013

Following is a list of state laws taking effect on Jan. 1, 2013, as compiled by Legislative Information Services. The first number is the “public chapter” number of the new law, followed by the bill number as it appeared during the legislative session, the subject and then the description. (Below the LIS list is a listing compiled by the Senate Republican Caucus that contains more description in some cases.)
1020 SB3341 Teachers, Principals and School Personnel – As enacted, specifies
that a teacher may not teach a course in which an end of course
examination is required for students to satisfy graduation
requirements set by the state board of education, if the teacher’s
license does not carry a subject specific endorsement for the
subject area of the course, unless the teacher demonstrates
sufficient content knowledge in the course material by taking, at the
teacher’s own expense, and passing a standardized or criterion-
referenced test for the content area. – Amends TCA Title 49,
Chapter 6.
1030 SB2923 Workers Compensation – As enacted, clarifies that either party in a
workers compensation dispute may bring suit in the county in which
the employee resided at the time of the injury when issues remain
after the benefit review conference; reduces from $100 to $50.00 the
maximum amount that the secretary of state may charge for certain
fees concerning construction service providers and workers
compensation. – Amends TCA Title 50.

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AP Look at New TN Laws Taking Effect Jan. 1 (highlighted: photo ID for age 60 drivers)

By Lucas Johnson, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A new law requiring Tennessee residents 60 years of age or older to have a photo on their driver’s license is among those that take effect on Tuesday, though its sponsor says those who don’t already have them won’t be required to go get them.
Sen. Jim Tracy, the legislation’s sponsor, said for some reason those individuals were exempted when the law was passed years ago requiring photos on driver’s licenses.
“We went back and researched the law and could not find a reason why they were exempted, so we decided to close the gap and make it the same for everyone,” said the Shelbyville Republican.
He said those seniors who don’t have a photo on their license before Tuesday won’t be required to get one.
“They can keep it the same; we didn’t want to inconvenience them,” Tracy said.
However, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis said the new requirement does pose an inconvenience to seniors with mobility issues, or those in rural areas, who may be unable to get to the proper location to make the change.
Kyle said they were exempted when the measure requiring photos on driver’s licenses first passed because the legislation was aimed at preventing teenagers from using fake identification to purchase alcohol.
“That’s what drove that issue,” he said. “Someone who is 60 years old is not going to look younger than 21 in order to purchase alcohol.”

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New Tennessee Laws Taking Effect Jan. 1

From Darlene Schlicher of the Senate Republican Caucus:
The following bills either have January 1, 2012 enactment dates or are triggered on January 1 or have a major provision take effect on that date.
Curbing Meth Production – Major legislation was passed this year that stiffens penalties for making methamphetamines in the presence of a child and implements a statewide electronic tracking system to curb meth production in the state. The system, called NPLEx (National Precursor Log Exchange), will monitor and block illegal purchases of over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine (PSE), a key ingredient in methamphetamine production.
Previously, there was no mechanism in place in Tennessee to block illegal PSE sales in real time, as many pharmacies and retailers rely on handwritten, paper logbooks to track purchases. As a result, criminals learned to circumvent the system.
The new law requires that as of January 1, 2012, all pharmacies must use NPLEx, which would export the data to law enforcement. The NPLEx system will be at no cost to pharmacies or the state. NPLEx must have a stop sale mechanism in place by that time for potential purchasers over the allowable purchase limit and anyone on the meth offender registry. It also calls for a pharmacist or pharmacy intern to counsel the potential purchaser of a product containing pseudoephedrine before the transaction takes place and may decline the sale if it is deemed not to be for a legitimate medical purpose.
Senate Bill 1265 / Beavers, McNally, Burks, Yager, Marrero , Ford, Overbey, Ketron, Johnson, Kelsey, Campfield, Herron, Roberts / PC 292 / DOE: July 1, 2011 unless provisions are otherwise noted above

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