Our 2017 Advocacy Priorities

KMA worked throughout the 2017 legislative session to ensure patients have access to the care they deserve. The legislature passed several health care related bills, including all three KMA priorities. These new laws will have significant impact on the health care landscape in Kentucky.

The legislature took up, and passed, several other bills that will impact the practice of medicine in Kentucky. Other significant bills, however, did not pass. For a rundown on legislation important to physicians, read the KMA analysis here.

To see how your legislator voted on major bills this session, check out the KMA Voting Record.


Tort Reform

KMA has long supported efforts to improve Kentucky's medical liability climate. Tort reform was a top priority in the the 2017 legislative session. Legislators passed Senate Bill 4 establishing Medical Review Panels, which consist of a group of independent, expert health care providers who offer an opinion on the merit of medical malpractice cases before they can be filed in court.

Domestic Violence Reporting

Legislation to change domestic violence reporting requirements was approved in the waning days of the 2017 session. This change removes a potential barrier for individuals who want to reach out for services. The legislation amends the state's domestic violence reporting law by eliminating direct reporting by health care providers to the state. Instead, providers can link victims of domestic and dating violence to protective services for those who choose to accept them.

Smoking Cessation

Thanks to Senate Bill 89, smokers who want to quit will have access to tobacco cessation medicines and services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The legislation removed barriers to access these programs by requiring the state's Medicaid MCOs and private ensurers to cover tobacco cessation treatments.