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Health Related Bills Signing
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Image by Governor Neil Abercrombie
Governor Abercrombie signed the following bills:

House Bill 2052 (Relating to Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) increases access to Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) by updating references from “physicians orders for life-sustaining treatment” to “provider orders for life-sustaining treatment.” The measure also expands health care provider signatory authority to include advance practice registered nurses and corrects inconsistencies of terms describing who may sign a POLST form on behalf of a patient.

House Bill 1616 (Relating to Health Planning) adds to the Hawaii State Planning Act’s objectives and policies for health, the identification of social determinants of health and prioritization of programs, services, interventions, and activities that address identified social determinants of health to improve Native Hawaiian health in accordance with federal law and reduce health disparities of disproportionately affected demographics.

House Bill 1723 (Relating to Psychiatric Facilities) amends the notice requirements for the discharge of an involuntary patient committed pursuant to legal proceeding involving fitness to proceed and requires the family court to conduct a timely hearing prior to the termination of a standing commitment order.

House Bill 2320 (Relating to Health) establishes health equity as a goal for the DOH and requires the DOH to consider social determinants of health in assessing health needs in the state. The measure is known as “Loretta’s Law” for the late DOH Director Loretta Fuddy, who was passionate proponent.

House Bill 2581 (Relating to Insurance) establishes the State Innovation Waiver Task Force and requires the task force to submit two interim reports and a final report to the legislature.

Senate Bill 2469 (Relating to Telehealth) requires equivalent reimbursement for services, including behavioral health services, provided through telehealth as for the same services provided via face-to-face contact between a health care provider and a patient. The measure also clarifies that health care providers for purposes of telehealth include primary care providers, mental health providers, oral health providers, physicians and osteopathic physicians, advanced practice registered nurses, psychologists, and dentists. For consistency purposes, the bill changes statutory references of “telemedicine” to “telehealth.”

House Bill 2400 (Relating to Temporary Disability Benefits) provides temporary disability benefits to employees who suffer disabilities as a result of donating organs.

Senate Bill 1233 (Relating to Leaves of Absence) requires certain private employers to allow employees to take leaves of absence for organ, bone marrow, or peripheral blood stem cell donation. Unused sick leave, vacation, or paid time off, or unpaid time off, may be used for these leaves of absence. The measure also requires employers to restore an employee returning from leave to the same or equivalent position and establishes a private right of action for employees seeking enforcement of provisions.

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