Gov. Steve Beshear signed into law Tuesday legislation aimed at fixing problems with 2012's crackdown on pill mills.
House Bill 217 exempts hospitals and long term care facilities from constantly running prescribing reports on patients in their care.
But supporters of the bill, including House Speaker Greg Stumbo, Senate President Robert Stivers and Beshear said the new legislation doesn't weaken the 2012 efforts to tackle pill mills—pain clinics that abuse their prescription-writing authority for people seeking pain medication for recreational use.
"But as with most major reforms efforts, the implementation of House Bill 1 demonstrated a few imperfections that needed to be fixed," Beshear said. "House Bill 217 makes those fixes, without reducing the impact of the original legislation."
The U.S. ranks first in the world at stopping brain cancers, epidemiologists reported Monday. Here neurosurgeon Dr. Roger Hudgins and his assistant, Holly Zeller of Akron, Ohio, look at an MRI scan before performing surgery to remove a brain tumor.
Credit Courtesy of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
How does the U.S. stack up against Western Europe when it comes to premature deaths? We've made progress against some cancers compared to other countries that spend a lot on health care, but lag behind on heart disease and diabetes.
Credit Courtesy of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
In the U.S., teenagers and young adults are most likely to die from car accidents. Cancer and heart disease are the biggest problems for adults.
When it comes to the state of the nation's health, the U.S. seems to get one poor grade after another. Despite spending more on health care, we've been slipping behind other high-income countries for life expectancy and healthy living.
Much-called-for changes to Kentucky's prescription drug law are on their way to the governor.
The Senate on Monday passed the final version of a bill that would loosen the law's restrictions to accommodate the seriously ill and elderly, groups that were subjected to the same scrutiny as would-be prescription drug traffickers. The vote was 36-0. The House passed the proposal last week.
The law requires doctors, dentists, optometrists, registered nurses and podiatrists to check their patients' drug histories on the state's prescription monitoring system, known as KASPER, before writing prescriptions. The bill's changes would exempt patients in hospitals and hospital care as well as people receiving cancer treatment, among others.
"This just went back to some practical common sense things," Senate President Robert Stivers told reporters after the vote.
Supporters of a statewide smoking ban in Kentucky are once again trying to persuade a House committee to pass the the legislation this session.
The House Judiciary Committee is the second committee—after House Health and Welfare—to hear the smoking ban bill sponsored by State Rep. Susan Westrom, a Lexington Democrat.
This time, property rights and business rights were the main topic of questioning, but Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson told the committee that Kentucky's businesses have long supported smoking bans.
"Some say the ban will have a negative impact on business," Abramson said. "And as I said to you, the Chamber of Commerce back at home and at the state made it clear that asthma and lung cancer keep employees out of their jobs."