THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

542

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to Health.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Act 2, Session Laws of Hawaii 2018 (Act 2), established Hawaii's our care, our choice act, which provides terminally ill adults with the choice and autonomy to make informed decisions regarding their end-of-life care.

The legislature further finds that although Act 2 has only been in effect since January 1, 2019, certain barriers to this option have already emerged, specifically in regard to accessing the prescription medication needed by qualifying patients who choose to exercise their right to make meaningful end-of-life choices. Without reimbursement for prescription drug costs, some qualifying patients may find access to needed medication unattainable. Another barrier concerns pharmacists and pharmacies refusing to provide prescription medication to those qualifying patients who wish to exercise their choice under Act 2.

The legislature notes that the barriers faced by qualifying patients who choose to exercise their right to determine their own medical care at the end of their lives is contrary to the legislature's intent to provide these terminally ill individuals autonomy, control, and choice.

The purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Require reimbursement for medication prescribed to a qualifying patient pursuant to Act 2; and

(2) Establish penalties for pharmacies and pharmacists who refuse to honor and fill a prescription for any qualifying patient, as authorized by Act 2.

SECTION 2. Chapter 327L, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"327L-   Prescription reimbursement. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, all prescriptions prescribed to a qualifying patient pursuant to this chapter shall be considered a medically necessary covered service and shall be eligible for reimbursement, regardless of whether the qualifying patient's health insurance policy, contract, plan, or agreement includes prescription drug coverage."

SECTION 3. Section 327L-20, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]327L-20[]] Prohibited acts; penalties. (a) Any person who intentionally makes, completes, alters, or endorses a request for a prescription made pursuant to section 327L-2, for another person, or conceals or destroys any documentation of a rescission of a request for a prescription completed by another person, shall be guilty of a class A felony.

(b) Any person who knowingly coerces or induces a patient by force, threat, fraud, or intimidation to request a prescription pursuant to section 327L-2, shall be guilty of a class A felony.

(c) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, any pharmacy licensed, registered, or otherwise authorized to do business in this State, or an authorized agent of any pharmacy licensed, registered, or otherwise authorized to do business in this State, who knowingly refuses to dispense a prescription to a qualifying patient pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to a fine of $           .

(d) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, any pharmacist licensed pursuant to chapter 461, or an authorized agent operating under the direction of a licensed pharmacist, who knowingly refuses to dispense a prescription to a qualifying patient pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to a fine of $           or disciplinary action by the board of pharmacy pursuant to chapter 461, up to and including loss of license.

[(c)] (e) Nothing in this section shall limit any liability for civil damages resulting from any intentional or negligent conduct by any person in violation of this chapter.

[(d)] (f) The penalties in this chapter are cumulative and shall not preclude criminal penalties pursuant to other applicable state law."

SECTION 4. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Drug Reimbursement; Pharmacies; Penalties; Our Care, Our Choice Act

 

Description:

Requires reimbursement for prescriptions issued pursuant to the our care, our choice act, regardless of the prescription drug coverage provisions of the patient's health insurance. Establishes penalties for pharmacies and pharmacists, or their agents, that refuse to honor prescriptions issued under the our care, our choice act.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.