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Note these health laws effective July 1
e-Reports, July 25, 2012
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During the last legislative session, the ISMA was successful in working with legislators to pass several important bills affecting you and your patients.

The ISMA tracked more than 100 of the approximately 800 bills introduced in the 2012 General Assembly, but only 150 bills were signed into law. Here is a review of some of the significant new laws set to take effect July 1.

HEA 1149 – Smoking Ban
Indiana will implement its first statewide smoking ban law, long supported by ISMA policy. However, the statute falls short of a fully comprehensive law.

The bill prohibits smoking in public places, in enclosed areas of a place of employment, in certain state vehicles, and within 8 feet of a public entrance to a public place or an enclosed area of a place of employment.

Exemptions were added for the following:

  • Gaming facilities
  • Bars and taverns
  • Cigar and hookah bars (must be in business by Dec. 31, 2012, to qualify for the exemption)
  • Fraternal, social and veterans’ clubs (must take a vote of their membership every two years)
  • Tobacco stores
  • Cigar manufacturing facilities
  • Cigar specialty stores, if certain requirements are met
  • A business located in the business owner’s residence, if certain requirements are met

SEA 52 – HIV Testing
To protect the health of mothers and babies, HIV testing, especially of pregnant mothers, will be included with other tests. The law allows you to screen or test an individual for the antibody or antigen to HIV, unless the individual refuses to consent to the test.

Under the law, you also can:

  • Discuss with the patient the availability of counseling concerning test results
  • Notify the patient of the test results
  • Inform a patient with a positive HIV test of treatment and referral options

The statute requires you to document refusal by patients or their representatives.

Additionally, the law allows you to screen or test for HIV even if the patient refuses consent under certain circumstances, such as an emergency or a case involving a violent crime

HEA 1360 – Health Matters
This measure helps protect you if you fail to disclose information or negligently omit documentation when renewing your medical license.

Any mistake made on your renewal form will be investigated by the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana, which will then assess a civil penalty, rather than a charge of fraud. Furthermore, the action will not be reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank.

HEA 1216 – Self-Donated Blood
For certain patients, continuity of care is vital. In those instances, this law will help you provide care to patients by allowing them to self-donate blood for stem cell transplantation.

Under the statute, it is no longer a crime to transfer contaminated body fluids for autologous blood donations. 

SEA 293 – Inheritance Tax
Starting next year, Indiana will begin phasing out the inheritance tax imposed on the decedent’s transfer of property interests. In 2013, the credit will be 10 percent of the tax paid. The following year, the tax credit will increase to 20 percent. The credit will increase each year until the tax is eliminated in 2022.

Also, the transfer exemption has been raised from the first $100,000 of a taxable transfer to the first $250,000 until the tax is eliminated.

Find a list of other new laws in the March 19 Legislative News on the ISMA website.

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