Mississippi

SUMMARY

This legislative session, Mississippi has introduced several bills to improve price transparency and cost containment for prescription drugs. For example, the state recently passed a bill that allows pharmacists to provide patients with information about affordable alternatives of drugs.

 

LEGISLATION/REGULATION

Legislative Calendar

Mississippi’s current regular legislative session runs from 1/2/2018 – 4/2/2018.

 

Recent Legislative Developments

Healthcare Transparency

2018 HB 426 This bill, the “No Gag Rule on Pharmacists Act”, would prohibit health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers from requiring contracts with pharmacists to include provisions that penalize pharmacists for disclosing prescription drug cost information, including the availability of more affordable alternatives to customers. Died– 1/30/18.
HB 709 This bill creates the Prescription Drug Consumer Affordable Alternative Payment Options Act and provides for pharmacist communication with patients. Pharmacists may provide additional information to patient to all them an opportunity to consider affordable alternative payment options when acquiring their prescription medication. Passed – Approved by Governor3/8/18.
HB 784 This bill requires the Attorney General to compile certain lists of prescription drugs that are essential for treating diabetes and compile the wholesale acquisition cost of each drug on the list. This bill would require drug manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers to provide certain information to the Attorney General regarding those drugs, the cost of the drugs, the received rebates by pharmacy benefit managers  and requires the Attorney General to compile a report based on that information. Died– 1/30/18.

 

Healthcare Cost

2018 HB137 This bill would create the “Prohibition on Price Gouging for Essential Drugs Act” and prohibits manufacturers and wholesale distributors of essential generic drugs from engaging in price gouging. This bill requires the division of Medicaid and Department of Human Services to notify the Attorney General of excessive price increases for essential generic drugs and authorizes the Attorney General to request certain information from drug manufacturers and institute proceedings for violations of this act. Died– 1/30/18.

 

Healthcare Markets

  • None identified.

 

Key Statutes 

We compile state statutes relate to healthcare price and competition, including healthcare transparency, markets, and costs. For a complete listing of all health related statutes visit the State Health Practice Database for Research.

 

Transparency in Healthcare

  • Code. Ann. § 41-95-1 through 41-95-7 creates a Health Finance Authority under the Department of Health to conduct to analyze current expenditures for health care, patterns of utilization of health resources, accessibility of providers and services. Potential savings through such measures as preventive and primary care, managed care, reduction of cost shifting and group purchasing shall be identified and analyzed. The Mississippi Health Finance Authority is authorized to obtain, collect and preserve such information as determined by the authority to be needed to conduct this research and carry out all other duties. The Authority “shall identify such additional measures as are desirable to encourage employer participation, promote competition, contain costs and otherwise increase the availability of health benefits to Mississippians.”

 

  • Code. Ann. § 41-9-61 through 41-9-83 requires all hospitals and their employees to make and maintain true and accurate hospital records in compliance with the licensing agency’s regulations.

 

  • Code. Ann. § 83-5-351 et seq. requires that insurers domiciled in the state of Mississippi file a report with the Commissioner of Insurance disclosing all material acquisitions and disposition of assets, defined as “one that is nonrecurring and not in the ordinary course of business and involves more than five percent (5%) of the reporting insurer’s total admitted assets as reported in its most recent financial statement filed with the commissioner.” This includes any exchanges, mergers, consolidations, succession or other acquisitions.

 

Healthcare Markets

  • Code. Ann. § 83-5-351 et seq. requires that insurers domiciled in the state of Mississippi file a report with the Commissioner of Insurance disclosing all material acquisitions and disposition of assets, defined as “one that is nonrecurring and not in the ordinary course of business and involves more than five percent (5%) of the reporting insurer’s total admitted assets as reported in its most recent financial statement filed with the commissioner.” This includes any exchanges, mergers, consolidations, succession or other acquisitions.

 

  • Code Ann. § 83-9-3: requires that the Mississippi Insurance Department (MID) give prior approval for Medicare Supplement policies and Long Term Care policies. MID also acknowledges and files rate increases for all other types of health insurance policies. Insurance rate increases are published on the Mississippi Health Insurance Rate Review website.

 

  • Code. Ann. §§ 41-7-171 through 41-7-209 implements the state’s Certificate of Need program operates by the Department of Health. A healthcare provider must obtain a Certificate of Need through a regulatory process with the state when it seeks to offer new or expanded facilities or services, increasing the regulatory burden on new market-entrants but also giving the state a tool to provide for cost containment within the industry.

 

 

FY 2018 BUDGET

The State of Mississippi fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30. Mississippi enacted its FY 2018 Budget in the 2017 regular legislative session. To view Mississippi’s Department of Health FY 2018 spending plan, click here.

 

LITIGATION/ENFORCEMENT

Healthcare Markets

  • Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, along with 15 other state attorneys general, filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit case St. Luke’s Health Care Sys. v. FTC, No. 14-35173 (March 7, 2014)explaining that the acceleration of health care costs due to the growth of large health care provider systems has become a matter of grave concern for the States.

 

KEY RESOURCES

Mississippi State Legislature

Mississippi Office of the Attorney General

Mississippi Insurance Department

Baptist Memorial Health Care (online cost estimator and comparison tool)

Mississippi State Department of Health