ChesterCountyMedicine Spring 2018 - 36
Quarterly Legislative Update
continued from page 35
MD, MACP, an internal medicine physician from Norristown, was
one of 26 members chosen from a pool of nearly 200 applicants
from 42 states for the new Vision Initiative Commission. The
initiative, first launched in September 2017, was created to foster
a collaborative dialogue across a variety of stakeholder groups. The
Commission will then present its recommendations and findings
to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and 24
Member Boards for their consideration.
PAMED is committed to and will continue to advocate for
practical, evidence-based, and affordable life-long learning. Learn
more at www.pamedsoc.org/MOC.
Two bills - SB 780 and HB 1648 - would establish a statutory
definition for telemedicine, mandate that telemedicine services
are reimbursed, and prohibit "audio only" services (video must be
available if either the patient or provider requests it).
PAMED's annual Advocacy Day is scheduled for Tuesday, May
22, at the State Capitol in Harrisburg. Let your voice be heard
and talk to legislators about important issues. PAMED members
are encouraged to participate. Learn more and register at www.
Gov. Tom Wolf's 2018-19 state budget proposes a 2.81%
provider tax on ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) and endoscopy
centers to generate $25 million on an annual basis. The tax
is proposed as part of the Human Services Code to provide
additional dollars for Medical Assistance. PAMED supports
specialty societies in opposing this tax by urging members to
contact lawmakers to oppose, stating that this tax will drive up
health care costs and put surgery centers at risk of closing.
PAMED remains optimistic that the General Assembly will
ultimately pass a comprehensive telemedicine bill during the
current legislative session. On behalf of physicians who utilize
telemedicine, PAMED's government relations team, along with
HAP, will continue to advocate for this critical piece of legislation.
A Look Ahead
Elections: The Governor's race has three GOP candidates
heading into the primary race on May 15. The entire House and
50 percent of the Senate are up for election.
Under current law, insurers are not required to provide
practitioners with drug alternatives when a drug prescribed by
a practitioner is denied for not being in the patient's insurance
drug formulary. As a result, practitioners must expend time and
resources to figure out what alternatives are available as part of a
patient's insurance coverage. PAMED's Government Relations
staff are working to hold meetings with lawmakers on this topic to
identify sponsors and co-sponsors of legislation that would reform
the drug formulary process to provide alternatives at the time of
36 CHESTER COUNT Y Medicine | SPRING 2018
Session: We can expect that the budget will take up a great deal
of legislative time during the reasonably limited number of days
the legislature is in session between now and June 30. The schedule
is not unusual, as this is a very busy election year.
Register to Vote: April 16 is the last day to register to vote
before Pennsylvania's Primary Election on May 15. Visit www.
votespa.com for additional information, including applications
for absentee ballot, polling place location, and voter registration.
Voting is important to help ensure that your voice as a constituent,
and as a physician, is heard.