Following its passage, many physician groups did request a veto from Gov. John Bel Edwards. The veto was granted. If the legislature chooses to convene a veto override session, HB 54 can be brought up for a vote. If the bill is not brought up or fails to receive the requisite number of votes to override the Governor, it will not become law.
Noncompetes are a Non-starter.
Four noncompete bills were filed in 2022 to include a LSMS requested one. Sen. Jay Morris filed SB 385 specific to physician contracts at our request. Unfortunately, legislative leadership did not have an interest in seeing any noncompetition legislation move and successfully kept them all bottled up in committee where they died upon adjournment: - SB 385 by Sen. Jay Morris was requested by LSMS and was specific to physicians. - SB 238 by Sen. Cleo Fields was very broad and addressed the full spectrum of employee contracts. - SB 427 by Sen. Franklin Foil was specific to physicians employed by state entities. - HB 1037 by Rep. Mandie Landry also addressed all noncompete clauses and very closely mirrored the White House’s Executive Order on noncompetes.
The arguments related to standard of care under emergency situations are many and complex. SB 220 by Sen. Katrina Jackson and SB 346 by Sen. Jimmy Harris both focused on how to make the standard of care relate to the actual emergency. After many meetings between the interested parties and two hearings before the Senate Judiciary A Committee, the authors pulled back their bills and agreed to continue working towards language for legislation next year. Thank you to Dr. Jeff White from Shreveport for testifying before the committee and working with the stakeholders to offer alternative language.
Anti-Trust Protections Get Controversial.
SB 276 by Senate Insurance Committee Chairman Kirk Talbot started as a “placeholder” bill but was amended during its committee hearing to become one of the most controversial bills of the session. As amended, it exempted all managed care organizations from any provision of the law including Louisiana anti-trust statutes. It also included retroactive language which would have removed Louisiana’s largest health insurer from a lawsuit currently moving through the courts. The bill failed to pass by a vote of 14 to 20. The author gave notice of reconsideration which allowed it to be considered for a second vote at a later date. Despite intense lobbying efforts to pass the bill and amendments to address concerns of legislators, the insurance companies fell one vote short.
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