Idaho lawmakers may have what they need to override a veto of a bill that would shorten the stay for patients seeking treatment through the COVID-related Idaho Clinical Trial Court.
Supporters of House Bill 3516 , a bill that passed the legislature in March and faced governor Butch Otter’s veto, now have enough support to override the governor’s veto.
The bill includes a reimbursement provision in which hospital patients who seek treatment through COVID-related Idaho Clinical Trial Court would receive reimbursement within 60 days of obtaining treatment from a doctor. Currently, patients have 30 days to appeal a failed COVID decision for a more time-consuming appeal process.
The bill, written in response to a U.S. Supreme Court decision from earlier this year, was opposed by the State Bar of Idaho because it could hurt employees’ ability to collect worker compensation benefits and result in lawsuits, according to the Idaho Statesman.
“This provision is not helpful in terms of reducing costs for the state’s medical providers and is an incentive for workers to file frivolous claims of injury in an effort to gain reimbursement,” state bar attorney Kristyn Reisdorf told the House Business Committee during a hearing on the bill, according to the Statesman.
The state is also concerned that the COVID process is open to manipulation by medical providers to game the process.
Also under consideration by the legislature is SB 1696, which would allow employees of other health care facilities to treat COVID-related patients if their employers have commercial liability insurance.
Additionally, a bill would place additional restrictions on court-appointed defense attorneys in COVID cases, making them ineligible for fees received from paying COVID clients if their clients miss a mandated doctor’s appointment.
The ruling that holds states responsible for COVID-related bankruptcies triggered a series of changes in court proceedings last year that led to several Idaho counties passing their own statutes.