In case you missed the news with everything else going on, Tennessee enacted several new laws and regulations in July 2020 in an effort to better protect and serve its citizens. Several of these new laws include adjustments in healthcare and driving laws.
Interstate driver license compact
In addition to 42 other states, Tennessee is joining a compact that exchanges information regarding license revocations or suspensions due to major traffic violations by non-residents.
It mandates that the state must report convictions to an offender’s residence if a driver in that state fails to assist another driver whose auto accident resulted in death or serious injury, driving under the influence, negligent homicide or manslaughter.
Offenders can reapply in 1 year to have their driver’s license renewed pending an investigation. This investigation is designed to determine if it’s safe for them to be on the roads.
Highways with 2 or more lanes in each direction now fall under the Tennessee “slowpoke” law, which places a $50 fine on violators. The new addition to this law requires vehicles to stay out of the left lane on interstate highways unless they’re passing other vehicles.
The old legislation used to apply only to 3 lane highways going each direction, but traffic experts believe driving too slow can have the same consequences as driving too fast, which prompted legislatures to add the 2-lane extension to the “slowpoke” law.
General Assembly votes to continue funds
Tennessee hospitals, nursing homes and ambulance services saw a rise in critical financial support from state lawmakers when 3 bills were passed in March 2020, including the Tennessee Hospital Assessment Act. This legislation raised $600 million in state funds.
According to Nashville’s NewsChannel 5:
“The assessment, which has been in effect since 2010, provides hospitals a portion of their unreimbursed TennCare costs. Similarly, legislation that provides funds essential for operating nursing homes in Tennessee was adopted. The measure raises funds allocated to the Nursing Home Assessment Trust Fund by $134.6 million, allowing Tennessee to draw down $259.8 million in needed federal matching funds.”
Tennesseans are most excited that the new bills also include reduced payments to hospitals and health professionals, easing the financial stress of emergency visits, x-rays, various therapies and the enrollment cap for the medically needy.
Healthcare Empowerment Act
All licensed medical professionals in Tennessee are now able to use direct medical agreements without influence or regulations from the state’s insurance laws. By expanding this legislation, proponents say that healthcare consumers will now be able to choose affordable payment options.
Patients can now contract directly with their physicians for healthcare services. If a consumer decides to do so, they won’t forfeit their coverage plan with TennCare or Medicare programs if they decide to pay out-of-pocket.
New Tennessee Rare Disease Advisory Council
Established under a new 2020 law, the Tennessee Rare Disease Advisory Council was created to enlist the aid of rare disease specialists who can aid state government bodies “about the complexities of treating rare diseases and the most efficient and effective treatments.”
This council will help raise awareness amongst Tennesseeans and assist TennCare and other agencies to provide proper treatment options for rare diseases such as Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Gilreath & Associates seeks to keep Tennesseeans up-to-date on the newest laws. If you or a loved one experience a personal injury or are involved in an auto accident, you’ll know who to turn to. Our team of skilled attorneys has the experience, compassion and commitment to make sure you don’t have to settle for less.