Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 47

M e d i c a l R ec o r d F e a t u r e

PAMED Legislative
Update
by David Thompson

A

s we reach the midway point of the calendar year, the
Pennsylvania General Assembly heads for the home
stretch of the 2019-2020 regular session. To say that this
current session has been unique and challenging would be a gross
understatement. The current pandemic the world is facing has had a
significant impact on everyday life in Pennsylvania and the General
Assembly is no exception. Adding to this is the civil unrest and
justice reform movements that our nation is experiencing collectively.
The unfortunate result on the way business is being conducted in
Harrisburg is that all of these things together have only deepened the
divide between political parties and those sitting on opposite sides of
the aisle.
While June is typically a very busy month in Pennsylvania
politics as legislators and the Governor seek to reach compromise on
a budget for the next fiscal year, this has not been the case as elected
officials worked to pass an interim budget ahead of the usual June
30th deadline. To this end, a 5-month budget was passed to allow
the Commonwealth to continue moving forward in the face of these
uncertain times. The budget was based on the previous fiscal year
numbers and the most notable highlight was the inclusion of full
year school funding, while the rest of the budget will only take the
Commonwealth through November 30th, the date in which the
current legislative session will end and legislators' terms will expire
(all members of the House and half of the Senate).
Additionally, Pennsylvania saw its primary election postponed
until the first week of June, being held on June 2nd. The entire
state House of Representatives and half of the state Senate are up
for reelection. Prior to the primary election, two state senators
announced their retirements, most notably Senate President Pro
Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25). Over in the House of Representatives,
sixteen members made the decision to not seek reelection, most
notably Speaker of the House, Mike Turzai (R-28). The House
also saw Representative Chris Dush take aim at replacing Senator
Scarnati in the 25th State Senate District. Representative Dush
emerged victorious in the primary and likely will be moving to the
Senate come November. The primary election saw a surge in the use
of mail-in ballots, significant challenges with new voting machines in
various counties and long delays in finalizing election results (some
are not yet final as of this writing). While there will not be as many
new faces at the beginning of the 2021-22 legislative session as this
current session, there will be changes in leadership in both legislative
chambers. As mentioned above, the top two members in each
chamber are moving on and as jockeying plays out to replace those
leadership posts other dominos will fall into place to form the new
leadership teams.

It is also worth noting that, in a political rarity, two Philadelphia
area incumbents likely were defeated in their primaries. Both
Senator Larry Farnese (D-1) and Senator Daylin Leach (D-17)
succumbed to challenges and these respective districts will welcome
new State Senators in the fall. Another trend that we continue to see
is extreme progressives knocking off more moderate members of both
the Democratic and Republican parties, incumbents included.
Turning our attention to legislation, we remain focused on
getting movement on PAMED's top priority issues. Due to the
nature of the pandemic and most activities being conducted
remotely, there was some optimism that telemedicine legislation
could get done, however, the issue continues to be saddled with
abortion concerns and a deep divide among pro-life legislators and
the Governor's office. PAMED continues to push for advancement
of prior authorization reform legislation (HB1194) and while
there are not many session days remaining, we will be advocating
to get this finished in the fall as the General Assembly returns to
Harrisburg. We continue to monitor out of network-balance billing
legislation (HB1862) and oppose in its current form. This is an
important issue at both the state and federal level and while the
issue needs to be addressed, the current bill falls short of removing
the patient from the middle and is extremely pro-insurer. However,
amendments have been drafted to address these issues and if they
were to be included in the bill, PAMED would change our position
to support the legislation. Also, worth mentioning is that PAMED
opposes HB2352 seeking to provide state framework for addressing
fraud in healthcare involving federal funding. This legislation
is redundant as the Federal government currently provides for
these remedies and grants unprecedented investigative powers and
authority to the state Attorney General. Lastly and ending on a
positive note, HB1947, which seeks to modernize the process by
which graduates of international medical schools become licensed,
advanced to the Senate after final passage by the House with a vote of
202-0. The legislation reduces the number of residency years, from 3
to 2, that IMGs must complete prior to applying for a Pennsylvania
medical license. We anticipate this measure to win Senate approval in
the fall.
Other legislation in which PAMED has been actively involved
includes optometric (SB 391 & HB 2561) and CRNP (SB 25 & HB
100) scope of practice proposals both of which are not expected to
move in the near term.
While PAMED's legislative agenda is robust, we anticipate the
legislature's fall schedule to be light in advance of the November
General Election. However, PAMED's legislative affairs staff will
continue advocating for the passage of legislation that improves
patient care and preserves physician autonomy.
SUMMER 2020

|

47



Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020

Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 1
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 2
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 3
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 4
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 5
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 6
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 7
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 8
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 9
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 10
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 11
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 12
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 13
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 14
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 15
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 16
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 17
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 18
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 19
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 20
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 21
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 22
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 23
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 24
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 25
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 26
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 27
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 28
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 29
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 30
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 31
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 32
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 33
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 34
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 35
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 36
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 37
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 38
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 39
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 40
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 41
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 42
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 43
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 44
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 45
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 46
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 47
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 48
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Spring2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Winter2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BCMS_MedicalRecord_Fall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Summer2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Spring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Winter2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Fall2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksMedicalSocietyHealthWellnessDirectory
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksMedicalRecord_Spring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksMedicalRecord_Winter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Fall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Summer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Spring2018b
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Winter2017-18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_Physician_Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/MedicalRecordSpring2017
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com