2024 New Law Alert: Hawaii

Published on:

The Hawaii Legislature and Governor Josh Green, MD, have enacted significant legislation impacting Hawaii physicians. For a broad report on healthcare legislation enacted, see the Hawaii Medical Association 2024 Legislative Report.

Provider Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST)

Effective immediately, this measure (SB 2529) amends the definition of “patient’s provider” initiating POLST orders by removing language that requires the provider to “examine” the patient. Entities testifying in support of the amended law noted that this “examination” requirement often resulted in delays in completing and/or updating a patient’s POLST, particularly for patients in hospice care. The amended law recognizes that “POLST conversations with patients are started by various health care professionals, especially nurses and social workers.” The patient’s provider (licensed physician, APRN, or PA) must still sign the orders.

Minor Consent

Effective January 1, 2025, this bill (SB 3125) authorizes minors who are fourteen years or older to consent to medical care for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), pregnancy, and family planning services, including the prevention of STIs, and requires confidentiality policies and procedures for insurers and providers.

Existing law permits minors to consent to medical care for the treatment of HIV and other STIs, but not specifically for the prevention of these diseases. In addition to clarifying that minors may initiate care related to STI prevention and family planning, the new law requires providers to establish policies and procedures to ensure that minor-initiated medical care and services are not disclosed to the minor’s spouse, parent, custodian, or guardian absent the minor’s authorization. This is in accordance with federal HIPAA regulations. If a claim for services provided under this chapter is submitted to a health plan under which the minor is enrolled, and the minor does not want the health plan to disclose information regarding this claim to a spouse or parent, the minor patient or the health care provider must notify the health plan of the minor’s request for confidentiality at the time the claim is submitted.

MIEC Recommends: