Del. Sam Rasoul Focuses On Healthcare In 2021 Session
ROANOKE - Del. Sam Rasoul is focusing his legislative efforts on healthcare in the 2021 General Assembly session that begins Wednesday. Rasoul filed three bills that will help improve access to healthcare for millions of Virginians.
Rasoul serves as the vice chair on the Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee in the House of Delegates. He was the CFO of a nonprofit healthcare organization, as well as a certified nursing home administrator. Drawing on his experience in health administration and four terms in the General Assembly, Rasoul is targeting expansion of healthcare access in the midst of a global pandemic.
“After almost a year of dealing with COVID-19, we clearly need to focus on improving healthcare in Virginia,” said Rasoul. “There are healthcare professionals who can and should be able to provide certain health services. These bills aim to remove those barriers while ensuring quality and safety.”
HB 2079 Expands access to patient care via pharmacies, HB 2044 improves access to qualified healthcare professionals by licensing naturopathic doctors, and HB 2039 eliminates the requirement that a physician assistant enter into a practice agreement with a single patient care team physician.
Naturopathic doctors are currently unable to order any lab testing, such as COVID-19 screenings, or sending patients for x-rays.
“There are powerful special interests that don’t want these desperately needed reforms,” said Rasoul. “Special interest groups should not be driving our healthcare policy decisions in Virginia. As we recover from COVID-19, we should utilize all of our resources and professionals. That includes naturopathic doctors and pharmacists.”
Another of Rasoul’s bills expands pharmacists’ scope of practice. Among the seven things added to their scope is the ability to test and write prescriptions for the flu, strep, and UTIs. HB 2079 would also make permanent pharmacists’ temporary ability to give vaccinations to adults.
“Healthcare is at the forefront of Virginians’ minds,” said Rasoul. “I’m going to work hard to ensure all three of these bills become law.”