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[r25] Drawing to a Close
Start Date: 11/1/2013Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Date: 11/1/2013End Time: 8:00 AM
Entry Description

In Indiana, we have a part-time legislature. That means that elected state representatives and senators are only at the Statehouse during session, either from January through March or January through April on alternating years. 

Our work does not end when we leave the Statehouse in the spring though. In addition to making sure issues with our constituents are taken care of year-round, we are on interim study committees which meet out of session to further research and debate important topics we weren’t able to address. The committees then make recommendations to the General Assembly based on their findings. I am a member of three of these summer study committees - the Health Finance Commission, Corn Marketing Council and Child Custody and Support Advisory Committee.

As the committees start to wrap up and prepare recommendations, I’d like to share with you what one of the committees I serve on came up with. We held our last Health Finance Commission meeting about a week ago, and finished with five recommendations for the General Assembly. 

The Health Finance Commission’s first recommendation is that by Sept. 1, 2014, the State Department of Health (ISDH) should adopt rules establishing a license and providing regulations for a facility that provides specialized treatment and services for traumatic brain injuries. Currently, Indiana lacks traumatic brain services, specifically post-acute care facilities. 

Second, the commission recommends that the ISDH and the Office of the Secretary of Family and Social Services be required to establish a work group to study uniform access to electronic health data by health providers. If adopted, patients with multiple providers would be able to have all of their health information made available to the physician currently treating them as their patient. This would be a great convenience for doctors and patient alike, and would increase safety and lower costs.

We also recommend that the Commission for Higher Education study and make recommendations concerning the high costs of dental education and the high level of debt incurred by individuals attending dental school. This would be done in collaboration with the State Board of Dentistry and the Indiana University School of Dentistry.  

Another recommendation would change the law regarding minors and tanning devices. Under current law, a person under 16 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when using a tanning device in a tanning facility. The committee has recommended that the current provision be repealed and replaced with a provision prohibiting anyone under the age of 16 from using any tanning device at a tanning facility.

The final recommendation deals with biosimilar drugs, or generics, as they are more commonly known.  The committee is recommending that a pharmacist be allowed to substitute an interchangeable biosimilar product for a prescribed biological product if certain conditions are met. These recommendations will now go the General Assembly for consideration, possibly to be used as a foundation for legislation in the upcoming session. 

 Most of the interim study committees will be drawing to a close over the next couple weeks as we begin preparing for the upcoming session. I am pleased with all that we were able to accomplish over the summer and look forward to seeing what great things we can do for Indiana in 2014.
Contact Information:
Name: Maggie Johnson
Phone: 317-232-9693
Email: maggie.johnson@iga.in.gov
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    > Drawing to a Close
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Alerts and Notification
  • IN.gov Category:
  • Government
  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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