Investigatory power of Attorney General as to Medicaid fraud

(SB1186 - http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=131&typ=bil&val=sb1186)  

The language of this bill states that subpoenas issued by the Attorney General or his authorized representative during an investigation of providers of services under the State Medical Assistance Plan are excepted from provisions related to health records privacy and notice provisions (HIPAA) and that information developed during a civil investigation is privileged.  

The health care attorneys of Williams Mullen worked through the Health Law Section of the Virginia Bar Association and in concert with various provider groups to explain how language within the bill that would have required fee-for-service Medicaid providers to bill Medicaid the lowest of the price paid by any other payor instead of the Medicaid fee schedule would be detrimental. The bill was amended to remove that language.  

Practitioners whose licenses have been suspended or revoked cannot practice until an appeals decision is made

(HB1791 - http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?131+ful+HB1791ER)  

This bill specifies that any practitioner whose license, certification, registration or permit is suspended or revoked by a health regulatory board of the Department of Health Professions is prohibited from engaging in practice in the Commonwealth pending appeal of the board's order.  

Practitioners required to disclose information to patients about false positive Lyme disease tests

(HB1933 - http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?131+ful+HB1933ER and SB971 - http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=131&typ=bil&val=sb971)  

This legislation requires the Department of Health, through its website and through written communication that it provides to practitioners, to inform patients who have undergone testing for Lyme disease that the test results are not perfect and that accuracy may vary. The Act expires in June 2015.  

Interchangeable biosimilars legislation

(HB1422 - http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?131+ful+HB1422ER and SB1285 - http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=131&typ=bil&val=sb1285)  

This legislation allows a pharmacist to dispense the interchangeable of a biosimilar once the FDA has licensed the product as interchangeable with the biological product (which has not yet been done by the FDA to date), so long as the pharmacist informs the patient that the interchangeable was substituted for the biosimilar and has informed the physician of the dispensing of the interchangeable within five business days of doing so. The pharmacist must also provide the patient with the retail cost of both the biosimilar and the interchangeable.  

Ability of physicians or patients to decide that patients do not have to participate in pharmacy collaborative programs

(HB1501 - http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?131+sum+HB1501)  

This bill states that a patient who does not wish to participate in a collaborative procedure must notify the prescriber of his decision and provides that a prescriber may elect for a patient not to participate in a collaborative agreement by contacting the pharmacist or his designated alternative pharmacist or by documenting his decision on the patient's prescription.