We recently covered a new Connecticut law that requires pharmaceutical and device companies to report payments made to advance practice registered nurses (APRNs). The recently passed House Bill No. 5597 pushed back the start date of the reporting process. The revised bill makes the payments made to APRNs reportable after July 1, 2015, instead of January 1, 2015. It also allows the commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection, instead of the Department of Public Health, to publish the information on his department's website. The bill was passed by both houses and signed by the governor.
"An Act Implementing Provisions of the State Budget for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2015," was introduced by Representative J. Brendan Sharkey, 88th District and Senator Donald E. Williams, 29th District. The new section 75 can be read independently or with other provisions here. Section 75, about one-third of the way through is the provision for nurse practitioner reporting.
§ 75: MANUFACTURERS' DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS FOR PAYMENTS TO APRN's
(b) (1) Not later than [January] July 1, 2015, and quarterly thereafter, an applicable manufacturer that provides a payment or other transfer of value to an advanced practice registered nurse, who is practicing in the state, shall submit to the Commissioner of [Public Health] Consumer Protection, in the form and manner prescribed by the commissioner, the information described in 42 USC 1320a-7h, as amended from time to time.
(2) The commissioner may publish such information on the Department of [Public Health's] Consumer Protection's Internet web site.
(c) An applicable manufacturer that fails to report in accordance with this section shall be assessed a civil penalty in an amount not less than one thousand dollars or more than four thousand dollars for each payment or other transfer of value not reported.
Unchanged by the bill, the law applies to manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologicals, or medical supplies that are covered by (1) Medicare or (2) the state Medicaid or Children's Health Insurance Program plan, including a plan waiver. The law does not apply to transfers made indirectly to an APRN through a third party, in connection with an activity or service in which the manufacturer is unaware of the APRN's identity.
We noted in our previous article that Connecticut's law is unique for a number of reasons. This is the first time that any state has required reporting only on APRNs, and that a state has mandated quarterly reporting with no minimum payment and no meaningful exemptions.
Moving the reporting date 6 months down the road seems like a sign that this provision was not fully developed. We were the first to cover the law on May 19th because there was no mention of debate on the payment disclosure issue in the legislative hearings. According to the committee records, the debate focused solely on whether or not to allow APRN's to operate independently. The disclosure provision is so vague that it appears tacked on the end of the APRN-independence law as an afterthought, with little focus being spent on the logistics and resources involved in the extensive reporting.
As we previously discussed that payments to APRN's reprensents less than 1% of the total payments to healthcare providers in Massachussetts and Vermont which have state reporting. It is unclear the actual need for such a law but time will tell.