(NASHVILLE) — During the 2017 legislative session, the House Health Committee — including State Representative Paul Sherrell (R-Sparta) — effectively worked to improve healthcare and the quality of life for citizens across Tennessee. Committee members advanced a total of 62 legislative initiatives in 2017; fifty were signed into law by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.
These initiatives combat prescription drug abuse, address Tennessee’s opioid crisis, improve relationships between providers and medical professionals, streamline the application process for members of Tennessee’s medical industry, and protect the state’s unborn children. They include:
- House Bill 137: Combats prescription drug abuse by allowing the Tennessee Department of Health to establish and maintain a voluntary prescription drug donation repository program.
- House Bill 315: Streamlines the continuum of practice for providers from entry, reentry, and gradual exit while safeguarding patients through enhanced accountability measures.
- House Bill 405: Protects the rights of licensed pharmacists from discrimination by managed health insurance providers.
- House Bill 628: Incorporates pharmacist-provided medication therapy management into all TennCare delivery systems.
- House Bill 644: Enacts the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact which streamlines the application process for credentialed medical professionals moving to Tennessee for work.
- House Bill 952: Creates the Visiting Sports Team Act which allows traveling team physicians at the collegiate, amateur, or professional level to use existing licenses to practice medicine.
- House Bill 1189: Enacts the Tennessee Infants Protection Act which prohibits abortions — except in medical emergency — after 24 weeks and requires testing to determine the viability of an unborn child if a woman is at least 20 weeks pregnant.
- House Bill 1207: Combats Tennessee’s ongoing opioid epidemic by identifying high-risk prescribers.
“I am honored to serve with my fellow committee members and proud of our work to improve the well-being and quality of life of our residents in 2017,” said Representative Sherrell. “Together, we have made great strides refining healthcare, and I look forward to continuing our efforts to support our citizens next year.”
“The men and women who serve on the House Health Committee have done a remarkable job improving the overall health and quality of life for Tennesseans in 2017,” said House Health Committee Chairman Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville). “As I reflect on our work, I know we created new solutions to important health and wellness issues that impact residents in communities across our state. As we prepare for 2018, I look forward to partnering with my colleagues again so that we can make Tennessee a model for health and well-being that other states will continue to follow.”
Additionally, the efforts of the committee did not go unnoticed by House leadership, especially Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville).
“I want to personally thank the hardworking members of the House Health Committee for taking steps to ensure that our residents have access to high-quality healthcare and that our medical professionals have the tools they need to effectively treat the citizens of this state,” said Speaker Harwell. “The efforts of this important panel during the 2017 legislative session will have a tremendous impact on health outcomes now and in future years.”
Paul Sherrell serves as a member of the House Criminal Justice and House Health Committee, as well as the House Health Subcommittee. He lives in Sparta and represents House District 43, which includes White, Grundy, and part of Warren Counties. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or by calling (615) 741-1963.