Healthcare Bill to Address Monopolization and Auditor Transparency Advances in House Public Health Committee

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – The House Public Health Committee in Indiana has been very productive, advancing four bills related to healthcare, dentistry, mental health services, and the Indiana Department of Health. The largest bill, however, was not voted on as the committee’s chair, Rep. Brad Barrett, decided to hold off in order to allow for committee amendments before the next meeting.

One of the bills discussed during the committee’s session borrowed much of its content from ongoing interim task force discussions aimed at reducing the state’s healthcare costs. The bill aims to address the monopolization of healthcare entities and would allow employers and other health insurance sponsors to audit health claims data for no fee. It came under scrutiny during testimony, with concerns raised about regulations for pharmacy benefit managers.

The bill also includes provisions for a database of ownership information for Indiana’s healthcare entities, penalties for non-compliance, and limitations on the ability of pharmacy benefit managers and third party administrators to bar contract holders from requesting audits of health claims or charging for the service. The bill also drew attention to the influence of private equity groups in the healthcare landscape.

The committee also heard testimony on an agency bill for the Indiana Department of Health, addressing provisions related to home healthcare, food temperature management, and the eviction process for long-term care facilities. Additional bills discussed included more health care guidance for those with dense breast tissue, a dental licensing compact, and a bill requiring the state to cover the costs for Hoosiers involuntarily committed to mental health facilities.

The committee also heard about a bill aiming to reform the state’s mental health services, with provisions to ensure payment for services provided, as well as allowing doctors overseeing intake to consider the testimony of friends and family members before signing off on an involuntary commitment.

All in all, the House Public Health Committee’s session was packed with important discussions and decisions that will have a significant impact on healthcare and related services in Indiana.