|HB 89||Signed||K. Williams||This act will allow a critical need reimbursement to be distributed directly to an institute of higher education or Secretary of Education approved Alternative Routes to Teacher Licensure and Certification program for an eligible teacher who is taking noncredit-earning seminars or workshops or credit-bearing coursework in order to attain a Standard Certification in a state-approved critical need area.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR HIGHER EDUCATION.|
|HB 8 w/ HA 2 + SA 1||Passed||Heffernan||This Act mandates that the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the Division of Public Health establish maximum contaminant levels for specific contaminants found in drinking water in this state. Such contaminants include PFOA and PFOS, which are man-made chemicals. In certain studies, these chemicals were found to be associated with increased risks of chronic diseases. The Environmental Protection Agency, thus far, has not established a maximum contaminant levels, but have issued health advisories. The establishment of maximum contaminant levels is essential in order to protect the health and safety of all Delawareans from contaminants in drinking water.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DRINKING WATER.|
|HB 198 w/ HA 1||Passed||Dorsey Walker||This Act requires each school district and charter school to establish and implement a curriculum on Black History for students in grades K through 12. This Act incorporates contemporary events into discussions of Black History and the tools of experience.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO BLACK HISTORY EDUCATION.|
|SB 107||Out of Committee||Pinkney||This Act requires that individual, group, State employee, and public assistance insurance plans provide coverage for a medically necessary insulin pump at no cost to a covered individual.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 18, TITLE 29, AND TITLE 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO INSURANCE COVERAGE OF INSULIN PUMPS.|
|HB 160 w/ HA 1||Passed||Bentz||This Act, known as the Telehealth Access Preservation and Modernization Act of 2021, continues and enhances Delawareans’ access to telehealth and telemedicine services and, through the adoption of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, ensures that telehealth services can be provided through qualified medical practitioners in a streamlined and efficient pathway to licensure that meets the health care delivery system needs of the 21st century.
With respect to telemedicine and telehealth, this Act consolidates the existing law relating to telehealth within a single new chapter applicable to all health-care providers authorized to practice telemedicine and participate in telehealth and makes permanent the telehealth flexibilities put in place for the Covid-19 pandemic. The Act carries through many of the changes embodied in the Covid-19 telehealth legislation passed by the 150th General Assembly in 2020 (HS 1 for HB 348 with HA1, signed 7/17/20), which will otherwise expire on July 1, 2021. The changes made in HB 348 that are made permanent by this Act include:
1. Removing all existing Title 24 statutory requirements that patients present in-person before telemedicine services may be provided. This Act continues the suspension of those requirements, but specifies that the requirement that a patient present in-person prior to the delivery of telemedicine services and telehealth is excused only under circumstances rendering an in-person examination impractical or when there is already an existing relationship established.
2. Modernizing the modality of permissible telemedicine and telehealth services; instead of limiting telehealth to interactions that must involve both audio and visual technology; this Act preserves flexibility for situations where patients do not have access to broadband connections or smartphones and need to consult with a physician by landline or audio-only cell phone, subject to existing professional standard of care requirements. Audio and visual visits will continue to be the preferable method for delivery of telehealth and telemedicine services.
This Act also consolidates telehealth and telemedicine scope of practice, which currently appear in each separate chapters of Title 24 pertaining to regulated practitioners in order to provide consistent telehealth practice across license categories. This is increasingly important for facilitating integrated health-care services delivery, but it does not limit any of the existing authority of the State’s professional licensing boards in Title 24 to regulate their respective licensed professions and occupations.
This Act adopts the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) in Delaware, joining the 29 States that are already members of the IMLC, including many of our neighboring states (Maryland is a member; Pennsylvania is in process of implementing the Compact; New Jersey has introduced IMLC legislation). https://www.imlcc.org/participating-states/
The long-term benefits of telehealth are best realized when accompanied by cross-state medical licensure capabilities available through adoption of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. The Compact creates a voluntary, expedited pathway to state licensure for physicians who want to practice medicine in multiple states. An eligible physician can qualify to practice medicine in multiple states by completing one application within the Compact, and receipt of separate licenses from each state in which the physician intends to practice.
The Compact does not change the scope of Delaware’s authority to regulate physician practice under the existing Medical Practice Act. It simply creates another pathway for licensure.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 18 AND 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PRESERVING TELEHEALTH AND ADOPTING THE INTERSTATE MEDICAL LICENSURE COMPACT.|
|SJR 4||Out of Committee||Hansen||This Senate Joint Resolution designates August 31, 2021 as "International Overdose Awareness Day" in the State of Delaware and directs the State flag to be lowered to half-staff at State facilities and encourages local governments, businesses, and Delawareans to do the same.||DESIGNATING AUGUST 31, 2021, AS "INTERNATIONAL OVERDOSE AWARENESS DAY" IN THE STATE OF DELAWARE.|
|SB 127||Out of Committee||Walsh||The purpose of this legislation is to promote sustained economic growth and stability by establishing a fund to provide grants, loans or other economic assistance to businesses or public entities that invest in constructing, renovating or improving infrastructure for sites that will attract new businesses or expand existing businesses within the State to initiate economic development opportunities that will create a significant number of direct, permanent, quality, full-time jobs. There is intense competition between the states to attract and to keep vital businesses that create and maintain these direct, quality employment opportunities. Therefore, it is critical to expand and sustain economic growth within the State to consistently maintain readily available commercial, industrial sites to attract new business, or expand existing businesses. The delay in converting completely undeveloped sites into sites that are fully capable of conducting business may result in the loss of significant business opportunities that benefit the public. The site readiness fund will provide economic assistance to qualified businesses or public entities to renovate, construct, or improve commercial, industrial sites that are readily available to new businesses, established businesses that are considering moving to the State or existing businesses within the State that need additional sites to remain or expand within the State.
To ensure fiscal accountability that site readiness funds are expended for their intended purpose, the applications will be administered in accordance with the existing regulations that govern applications made to the Strategic Fund. The Council on Development Finance will review the applications and supporting financial information to make recommendations to the Director of the Division of Small Business concerning the viability of the proposed project and whether the project meets the criteria established by this legislation to award funding. The Director has the final authority to award funding based on the Council’s recommendations and the requirements imposed by this legislation. The Director shall administer any such award in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 87A of Title 29 of the Delaware Code and the existing Strategic Fund regulations. To protect the assets of the Fund, the Director may require recapture provisions in any contract agreements for grants, loans or other economic assistance that recover for any substantial or complete cessation of operations or failure to reach any employment or other benchmarks. The Director may require the applicant to report financial statements and project progress reports to determine that expenditures on the project are consistent with the purpose of the Fund.
||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.|
|SB 128||Out of Committee||Gay||This Act is the result of the 2019 report of the Joint Legislative Oversight and Sunset Committee's (“JLSOC”) task force under Senate Resolution No. 9 of the 150th General Assembly, which recommended amending the Delaware Health Information Network's ("DHIN") chapter to conform existing law with the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. This Act makes technical corrections to the DHIN chapter, including the following:
- Using active voice where possible.
- Using the singular where appropriate since, under § 304 of Title 1, “words used in the singular include the plural.”
- Converting block paragraphs into lists where possible, without changing the substance of the existing law, to enhance clarity and readability.
- Replacing “party” with “person” for consistency since, under § 302 of Title 1, “person” is defined as including “corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies and joint-stock companies, as well as individuals.”
This Act makes one substantive change to DHIN's chapter, in clarifying the circumstances under which the Governor may suspend or remove a member or otherwise consider a member as having resigned from the DHIN Board of Directors. Under this Act, the provision relating to suspension, removal, or resignation of a DHIN Board member is updated to be consistent with similar provisions for other boards.
Section 8 of this Act does not take effect if Senate Bill No. 88 of the 151st General Assembly is enacted into law before January 1, 2023, and § 10312(3), Title 16 of Section 11 of this Act does not take effect if Senate Bill No. 119 of the 151st General Assembly is enacted before January 1, 2023. Both SB 88 and SB 119 are also the result of JLOSC’s review of DHIN, and both address substantive matters. The enactment of SB 88 or SB 119 override the technical corrections made in this Act, and the effective date clauses in Sections 15 and 16 of this Act reflect that policy.
This Act takes effective the January 1 after its enactment, to accommodate the enactment of the other bills currently pending before the 151st General Assembly relating to JLOSC’s review of DHIN.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DELAWARE HEALTH INFORMATION NETWORK CHAPTER.|
|SB 129||Out of Committee||Gay||This Act a result of the Joint Legislative Oversight and Sunset Committee’s (“JLOSC”) review of the Council on Correction (“Council”), and revamps Council’s governing statute based on discussions throughout the review. In addition to making several technical changes to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual, this Act also does the following:
- Provides administrative support through the Criminal Justice Council as a pilot partnership program with a 5-year sunset provision. This partnership is intended to provide Council with needed staff support and training opportunities, both which the Criminal Justice Council is able to provide.
- Clarifies Council’s advisory role.
- Adds provisions regarding quorum and member removal.
- Requires the Council to hold public meetings in all 3 counties.
- Enables the Council to adopt bylaws or other procedural rules.
- Requires the Council to submit an annual report.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE COUNCIL ON CORRECTION.|
|SB 135||Out of Committee||Gay||The purpose of this Act is to eliminate the overly broad licensure exemption applicable to persons engaged in the practice of well drilling and persons engaged in the practice of engineering as registered professional engineers. There are many overlapping areas of practice between geologists and well-drillers and registered professional engineers. However, the exemption included in 24 Del. C. § 3602 leads to the conclusion that a licensed well driller or registered professional engineer is qualified to perform any act within the practice of geology regardless of level of competence or expertise. It is each governing body’s responsibility to ensure competent practice within the respective professions, including any areas of overlap. However, the inclusion of the very broad exemption for well-drillers and registered professional engineers is misleading and does not serve the interests of public protection. ||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO GEOLOGY.|
|SS 1 for SB 120||Committee||Townsend||This Act is a substitute for Senate Bill No. 120. Like Senate Bill No. 120, this Substitute continues recent efforts to strengthen the primary care system in this State by doing the following:
(1) Directing the Health Care Commission to monitor compliance with value-based care delivery models and develop, and monitor compliance with, alternative payment methods that promote value-based care.
(2) Requiring rate filings limit aggregate unit price growth for inpatient, outpatient, and other medical services, to certain percentage increases.
(3) Requiring an insurance carrier to spend a certain percentage of its total cost on primary care.
(4) Requiring the Office of Value-Based Health Care Delivery to establish mandatory minimums for payment innovations, including alternative payment models, and evaluate annually whether primary care spending is increasing in compliance with the established mandatory minimums for payment innovations.
(5) In Sections 2 and 3 of this Act, revising the appointment process for members of the Primary Care Reform Collaborative who are not members by virtue of position to comply with the requirements of the Delaware Constitution. These revisions are largely similar to those proposed in Senate Substitute No. 1 to Senate Bill No. 59 (151st General Assembly) (“the Substitute”). As such, Section 2 is designed to take effect if the Substitute does not pass both chambers or passes but is not enacted; Section 3 is designed to take effect if the Substitute passes both chambers and is enacted.
(6) Making technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual
This Substitute differs from Senate Bill No. 120 as it does all of the following:
(1) Adds a “whereas clause” stating that the Department of Insurance does not regulate Medicaid or employer-based plans provided under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or their rates.
(2) Provides that rate filings for health benefit plans may not include aggregate unit price growth for nonprofessional services that exceed the greater of 2% or Core CPI plus 1% in 2024, 2025, and 2026.
(3) Makes a technical correction to properly alphabetize definitions in Section 4 of the Act (relating to § 2503 of Title 18).
(4) Removes “mental health and substance abuse disorder” from the definition of an “inpatient hospital”.
(5) Adds a definition of “professional services” and makes clear that “nonprofessional services”, which are subject to the aggregate unit price growth limits of § 2503(a)(12)a. of Title 18, do not include professional services.
(6) Amends the definition of “other medical services” to make clear the term includes the facility component of vision exams, dental services, and other services when those services are billed separately from the professional component.
(7) Changes the date for mandatory minimums for payment innovations to support a robust system of primary care to January 1, 2026.
(8) Make clear that the Office of Value-Based Health Care Delivery is to annually evaluate whether primary care spending is increasing in compliance with the requirements of, and regulations adopted under, all of Title 18.
(9) Requires the Office of Value-Based Health Care Delivery to collect data and develop reports to monitor and evaluate the percentage of spending in primary care that is delegated to hospitals and related networks for care coordination through alternative payment models.
(10) Removes the sunset date on provisions requiring individual, group, and State employee insurance plans to reimburse primary care physicians, certified nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other front-line practitioners for chronic care management and primary care at no less than the physician Medicare rate.
(11) Sunsets Sections 5 and 6 of this Act and § 2503(a)(12)a. of Title 18 as contained in Section 4 of this Act on January 1, 2027.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 AND TITLE 18 OF THE DELAWARE CODE, CHAPTER 189, VOLUME 82 OF THE LAWS OF DELAWARE, AND CHAPTER 392, VOLUME 81 OF THE LAWS OF DELAWARE, AS AMENDED BY CHAPTER 141, VOLUME 82 OF THE LAWS OF DELAWARE, RELATING TO PRIMARY CARE SERVICES.|
|SA 1 to HB 8||Passed||Hansen||This Amendment removes references to a Delaware PFAS Steering Committee and Delaware PFAS Team.|| |