ISMA supports health care measures on Gov. Holcomb’s 2020 agenda


The Indiana State Medical Association (ISMA) today announced its support for measures in Gov. Eric Holcomb’s 2020 legislative agenda that will raise the age to purchase tobacco products in Indiana to 21, improve mental health services and train more psychiatrists in Indiana, establish a public database of health care claims information and protect Hoosiers from surprise medical bills.

“We commend Gov. Holcomb on committing to these important steps to improve Hoosiers’ health and make medical care more accessible,” said ISMA President Lisa Hatcher, MD. “ISMA stands ready to assist the governor in these efforts to move Indiana’s health care to the next level.”

Holcomb announced his 2020 Next Level Agenda today at the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce’s annual Lunch with the Governor. It includes the following measures, which ISMA will work with the governor and other stakeholders to enact:

Tobacco 21: ISMA has long supported efforts to raise the age to purchase tobacco products in Indiana from 18 to 21. The 2020 legislation outlined by Holcomb will apply to e-cigarette and vaping products. Raising the age to purchase tobacco in the U.S. is also part of federal legislation pending in Congress.

Mental health services: The governor's agenda includes several measures to improve mental health care for Hoosiers coping with substance use disorder, including expanding serious mental illness services for Medicaid eligible individuals. Legislation would also address a shortage of psychiatrists in Indiana by funding new medical residencies in psychiatry. Along with several new and planned medical residency programs that ISMA has helped Indiana’s Graduate Medical Education Board establish, the measure will make health care more readily available to previously underserved populations.

Health care costs: Other measures on Holcomb’s agenda aim to increase transparency and efficiency in Indiana’s health care markets and lower what Hoosiers pay for health care. The first will establish an all-payer claims database (APCD) for Indiana, which is intended to function as a “transparency portal” for consumers to be able to ascertain average out-of-pocket costs for medical procedures. The second will protect Hoosiers from having to pay excessive claims for services rendered by out-of-network health care professionals, also known as surprise billing.

“ISMA is pleased to support Governor Holcomb in making health care more affordable and available for Hoosiers,” said Hatcher. “We look forward to continuing discussions on these and other topics of importance to Indiana physicians and patients during the 2020 legislative session.”

With more than 8,500 members, ISMA is the largest physician organization in Indiana and is dedicated to maximizing physician impact.

Learn more about Gov. Holcomb's 2020 Next Level Agenda