MSNJ’s ‘News From Trenton’

News from Trenton

AMA National Advocacy Conference (NAC)

This week, Mary F. Campagnolo, MD, MBA and John Poole, MD, along with MSNJ CEO Larry Downs and COO and Senior Manager, Legislation, Mishael Azam, attended the AMA’s National Advocacy Conference. They heard from national leaders, including Secretary Sebelius, on federal budget issues, SGR reform and GME changes. They also met with staff for key members of the New Jersey Congressional delegation to discuss SGR and other reforms. A House Energy and Commerce held a hearing on Thursday entitled, ‘SGR: Data, Measures and Models; Building a Future Medicare Physician Payment System.’ MSNJ will keep members apprised of these issues. Read more.

Tanning for Minors
On Thursday, the Assembly took a final vote on a bill that would (1) permit a tanning facility operator to allow minors who are at least 14 years of age to use a tanning facility for spray tanning and (2) permit a minor who is at least 17 years of age to use a tanning bed in a tanning facility, provided that the minor’s parent or guardian is present at the tanning facility for the initial consultation. Tanning facility operators must also post notice of the law in conspicuous view near the reception area. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.

Gun Control Measures
The Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee on Wednesday heard over 20 bills on gun control. MSNJ weighed in on a mental health bill and successfully sought amendments to protect physicians. The amended bill requires licensed medical professionals in this State to report to the Attorney General when, in their reasonable professional judgment, a patient they are treating is likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to that patient or others. As amended, the bill clarifies that the licensed practitioner who discloses such a privileged communication in is immune from civil liability in regard to that disclosure. The goal of the bill is for the AG to seize weapons from such patients, if appropriate. The bill leaves in place current immunity for physicians from civil liability for a patient’s violent act against another person or against himself. The bill also leaves in place duty to warn requirements and immunity if the duty is upheld. The bill heads to the floor for a full vote but has not yet been considered by the Senate.

Child Privacy
In the Assembly Education Committee, MSNJ supported protections of child privacy. Current law states that, a school district must receive prior written informed parental consent before it administers to students any academic or nonacademic survey, assessment, analysis or evaluation which reveals information concerning:

  1. political affiliations;
  2. mental and psychological problems potentially embarrassing to the student or the student’s family;
  3. sexual behavior and attitudes;
  4. illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating and demeaning behavior;
  5. critical appraisals of other individuals with whom a respondent has a close family relationship;
  6. legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;
  7. income, other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under a program; or
  8. social security number.

The bill would loosen parental control requirements by only requiring consent if participation in such surveys is required by the school. If the survey is voluntary, only written notice is required. But, voluntary surveys may not request the student’s political affiliation, sexual behavior and attitudes or social security number.


About MSNJ

Founded in 1766, the Medical Society of New Jersey is the oldest professional society in the United States. The organization and its dues-paying members are dedicated to a healthy New Jersey, working to ensure the sanctity of the physician–patient relationship. In representing all medical disciplines, MSNJ advocates for the rights of patients and physicians alike, for the delivery of the highest quality medical care. This allows response to the patients’ individual, varied needs, in an ethical and compassionate environment, in order to create a healthy Garden State and healthy citizens.

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