HB 777

AN ACT relating to emergency medical services.
Amend KRS 311A.015 to create the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services as an independent agency of state government; change membership of the board; amend KRS 311A.020 to change complaint investigations of ambulance services; delete language relating to transfer of the board to the Kentucky Community and Technical College System; amend KRS 311A.025 to permit hospitals exempt from certificate of need to provide transport services; amend KRS 311A.030 require distinguishing between emergency-only transportation and scheduled ambulance transportation; amend KRS 311.035 to require the board to carry out functions; amend KRS 311A.055 to make technical corrections and add complaint action language; amend KRS 311A.190 to require the board to publish a report; add compliance with HIPAA; require the board to give the Cabinet for Health and Family Services access to all data; create a new section of KRS Chapter 216B to require the Cabinet for Health and Family services to investigate and hold hearings on ambulance complaints; amend KRS 216B.020 to add conditions for ambulance services to be exempt from certificate of need; amend KRS 216B.095 to conform; amend KRS 189.910 to add vehicles operated by organ procurement organizations to the definition of emergency vehicles; amend KRS 189.940 to add vehicles operated by organ procurement organizations; amend KRS 324B.030 to add the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services to the Department of Professional Licensing; create a new section of KRS Chapter 311A to require the transfer of all board employees, funds, and equipment of the board from the Kentucky Community and Technical College System; make provisions for employee retirement transfer; amend KRS 61.510 to conform; amend KRS 205.590 to establish a new technical advisory committee on emergency medical services; establish membership; add noncodified sections to set board appointments and term limits; set effective date of transfer of the board of September 1, 2022; require the board to establish a special committee to study the board’s problems and make recommendations by December 1, 2022; permit the board and the cabinet to promulgate emergency regulations to implement changes; create a legislative task force to study the provision of emergency medical services in Kentucky; require findings and recommendations by December 1, 2022.


HB 268

AN ACT relating to freestanding birthing centers. Create a new section of KRS Chapter 216B to define “freestanding birthing center”; require the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to promulgate updated administrative regulations to establish licensure standards for freestanding birthing centers, including requiring accreditation by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers, compliance with the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) Standards for Birth Centers, and consistent plans for transfer and safe transport to a hospital as needed; exempt a center from certificate-of-need requirements for establishing and licensing a freestanding birthing center; limit liability of center; amend KRS 216B.020 to conform; add the short title Mary Carol Akers Birth Centers Act.


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Spotlight on State: Kentucky

This is part of a series of summaries that highlight notable legislation and initiatives in health policy and reform of all 50 states. Check back on The Source as we roll out additional states each week.

See Kentucky page.

The Kentucky legislature has consistently pursued legislation aimed at improving access to healthcare price information to help rein in costs. In recent terms, Kentucky has enacted a number of legislation pertaining to prescription drug cost transparency, with particular focus on pharmacy benefit managers, including a law that prohibits PBMs from requiring drug payments in excess of required amounts (“clawbacks”) and from preventing a pharmacy’s disclosure of more affordable cost options to consumers (“gag clauses”). Another statute provides transparency in Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) reimbursements by enforcing additional PBM reporting requirements and giving broader, direct oversight and approval by the Kentucky Department of Medicaid Services. Other noteworthy yet unsuccessful price transparency proposals have included a ban on surprise billing, establishment of an all-payer claims database, and implementation of shared savings incentive programs.

In the provider market, Kentucky requires a Certificate of Need (CON) prior to the acquisition of a health facility or major medical equipment. The state’s CON process requires providers to file a notice of intent that includes a description of the services to be offered, bed capacity, and use of medical equipment in the facility. To further curb anticompetitive behavior in the healthcare market, Kentucky law also prohibits most favored nation clauses in provider contracts except in cases where the commissioner determines the market share of the insurer is nominal.

Kentucky has also enacted laws to incentivize health professionals to provide telehealth services. The state requires health insurance plans to provide parity for coverage, reimbursement, and cost-sharing of telehealth services on at least the same basis as in-person services.


New on The Source: Downloadable Chart of Merger Review Legal Authority for All 50 States

Newly available on the Source: our health policy research team compiled a user-friendly, downloadable Excel spreadsheet of all provider merger review authority for all 50 states, now on the Market Consolidation interactive key issue page. The detailed chart provides clickable citations of all statutes, regulations, and state authority for mergers, acquisitions, conversions, or changes in ownership of healthcare providers.

The comprehensive spreadsheet allows side-by-side comparisons of the level of legal authority for each state to receive notice of impending transactions, review those transactions, and approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove them. It is conveniently organized by each type of state entity:

  • Attorney general notice, approval, and review criteria
  • Court approval requirement and criteria
  • State health agency notice, approval and review criteria
  • Certificate of Need (CON) notice, approval, and review criteria

Click on each citation for a direct link to the statutory text and other detailed information as provided by the Database of State Laws Impacting Healthcare Cost and Quality (SLIHCQ). All laws and regulations are current as of July 2021.

Click here to download.