Kentucky enacts wellness bill
Kentucky became the most recent state to enact legislation to encourage physicians to seek care when needed in a wellness program that can directly respond to the physician’s wellness needs. Senate Bill 12 (SB 12) will help ensure that a record of a physician’s participation in a wellness program is confidential and not required to be reported to a health care facility, hospital, medical staff, health insurer or government agency. The law also provides protections against disclosure of participation in a wellness program as a condition of employment, licensure and credentialing. The Kentucky Medical Association (KMA) spearheaded passage of the new law, using AMA-developed resources as part of its advocacy campaign.
The importance of everyone seeking to optimize their mental health with counseling is being highlighted more and more. Understanding that brain health and learning effective ways to mentally process what we all face in our daily lives is of utmost importance and allows us to live and work in a more effective, focused and thoughtful way.
“SB 12 balances the appropriate role of the medical board, hospital systems, and health insurers, to protect the public safety for an impaired physician, with the public need to encourage physicians to seek help for issues that may be causing high levels of stress that can be successfully addressed through a physician wellness program prior to impairment,” testified Evelyn Montgomery Jones, MD, KMA Vice President. “The importance of everyone seeking to optimize their mental health with counseling is being highlighted more and more. Understanding that brain health and learning effective ways to mentally process what we all face in our daily lives is of utmost importance and allows us to live and work in a more effective, focused, thoughtful way.”
Supporting legislative, regulatory and other state-based efforts focused on physician wellness is a core element of the AMA’s Recovery Plan for Physicians.
As cigarette companies attempt to circumvent California ban on menthol products, AMA urges FDA to investigate
The AMA recently signed on to a letter drafted by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids that urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to immediately commence an investigation of so-called “non-menthol” cigarettes introduced into the California market and to ensure that appropriate enforcement proceedings are initiated to prevent their continued sale. On Dec. 21, 2022, California’s law prohibiting the retail sale of menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products—Senate Bill 793—went into effect, after 63% of voters approved the new law in a referendum in November.
Cigarette companies wasted no time and immediately began introducing new products to the California market designed to appeal to the state’s menthol smokers and to circumvent the new law. In addition to potential state law violations, these cigarettes likely violate the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (“Tobacco Control Act” or “TCA”), including the TCA’s prohibition on the introduction of new tobacco products without marketing orders and the ban on non-menthol, non-tobacco flavored cigarettes. The letter also urged the FDA to ensure that these and other similar emerging cigarettes are covered by, and do not evade, a final FDA rule prohibiting menthol cigarettes.
More articles in this issue
State Advocacy Update Tools & Resources
AMA Recovery Plan for America's Physicians
Patient data privacy and access resources
State advocacy: shaping policy at the state level
Model legislation from the AMA Advocacy Resource Center
AMA advocacy efforts
AMA advocacy in action
Ways to get involved with AMA advocacy