Legislative Summary
Maryland Academy of Family Physicians

2023 Legislative Summary

Report on the 2023 General Assembly Session

Prepared by: J. Steven Wise, Esq.| Schwartz, Metz, Wise & Kauffman, P.A. Attorneys
MDAFP Legislative Priorities

1 Keep in mind that bills passed by the Legislature are presented to the Governor for his signature. References in this report to bills that have passed do not mean they have become law; that does not occur until the Governor either signs the legislation or allows it to become law without his signature.

1. Physician Assistant Legislation

During the last two years, the Physician Assistants (PA) have unsuccessfully lobbied to make various changes to the statute governing their practice. At the request of legislative leaders, MDAFP joined MedChi and others in a workgroup to discuss the legislation. After negotiations each of the last 2 years with the workgroup, revisions will be made increasing its likelihood of passing this coming year. Many thanks to Dr. Michael Niehoff for representing MDAFP on this workgroup.

2. Medicaid Payment Rates

Last year, Medicaid evaluation and management (E&M) payment rates in Fiscal Year 2024 were retained at 2023 rates, making the 2024 rates above Medicare rates. As the State looks toward Fiscal Year 2025, we will be requesting that the Administration fund the E&M payment rates at no less than the current levels. We are asking them to consider the impact on communities affected by lack of access to health care services and that payment rates must be appropriately funded to

ensure physician and practitioner participation is assured.

3. Prior-Authorization

A major effort was put into the Senate and House in 2023, Health Insurance – Utilization Review – Revisions, which would reform the prior authorization processes of health insurers that have become a problem of serious magnitude in recent years. While this bill did not pass, both the Senate and House legislative committees have committed to working on it over the interim and recognize that proper care is being denied through prior authorization processes, not to mention the time away from patients it is causing. We will continue these efforts this upcoming Session in hopes of achieving meaningful change.