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Health licensing bill moves to House Ways and Means Committee

A major health policy bill was met with approval Thursday.

Sponsored by Rep. Tina Liebling, (DFL-Rochester), HF4247, as amended, speaks to the scope of practice and licensing for various medical professionals. Approved by the House Health Finance and Policy Committee, the bill next goes to the House Ways and Means Committee.

The health committee walked through the bill and took testimony Wednesday. A flurry of proposed amendments met different outcomes Thursday.

The committee voted against an amendment from Rep. Joe Schomacker (R-Luverne) that would have allowed the state to grant 90-day nonrenewable, temporary permits to nurses licensed in another state or in Canada. Schomacker said the Board of Nursing supports the amendment, however, Liebling said in her conversations the board was neutral on the amendment.

Rep. Danny Nadeau (R-Rogers) withdrew an amendment that would have further defined the scope of optometry. Specifically, it would have prohibited optometrists from administering intravitreal injections and conducting invasive surgery, among other things. Nadeau said updates to the scope of optometry are long overdue to improve access to eye care and stop the loss of “bright, young doctors to other states.”

Rep. Robert Bierman (DFL-Apple Valley) said the optometry bill has been before the Legislature for six years and he hopes a resolution will be had this session. The Senate plans to put the topic in its policy bill, suggesting it’s a topic that can be addressed in a conference committee.


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