Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 7

M e d i c a l R e c o R d F e at u R e

ADVOCACY IN PA
Begins in Berks County
by Andrew R. Waxler, MD, FACC

T

he expression "It's better
to be at the table rather
than part of the meal" is
one that we often use in advocacy
circles. We physicians, and
other healthcare providers, often
complain that non-healthcare
providers make all the rules for us,
and that we are simply powerless
victims in the world of healthcare
policy.

To the contrary, we absolutely can make a difference; our
biggest challenge is simply overcoming our own sense of apathy and
hopelessness.

feared that this decision will delay, and consequently negatively
impact, patient care. As such, we at PAMED are currently writing
policy to try to reform this. Stay tuned.
Finally, the nurse practitioner bill, which aims to give nurse
practitioners essentially complete autonomy, has passed the
Senate and is currently in the House. This issue, and bill itself, has
prompted some passionate opinions on both sides. It is not clear at
this time whether it will pass or not.
The most important thing that we can all do is stay educated,
engaged, and involved. Remember that we doctors MUST be our
own advocates - no one is going to battle for you (and/or your
patients) if you don't.
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Through the Berks County Medical Society and PAMED, there
is a good deal of ongoing advocacy, and your input/support could
be a game changer - it DOES matter.
First is the Prior Authorization bill, HB 1293, which aims to
streamline/standardize the current onerous process by which we
obtain "permission" from insurance companies before performing
important tests/treatments. This bill is currently in the House
insurance committee and hopefully an important vote will come
in the next few weeks. Our only chance to pass this bill is with
major grassroots support of both doctors and patients; please call
your individual State Rep to support this important legislation.
Furthermore, please let us at PAMED know if you have any specific
cases of particularly egregious insurance misconduct/delay -
especially if that patient wants to tell his/her story.
Next is the POLST bill, HB 1196, which aims to standardize
and strengthen advanced directive decisions such that they would be
legally binding across our state - in both inpatient and outpatient
settings. This bill would help to clarify the often-murky issue in
end-of-life patients. Please let your State Rep know that you support
this excellent bill.
Both HB 1293 and HB 1196 came from right here in Berks
County; it's encouraging that our own neighbors/colleagues are
trying to improve state-wide healthcare policy!
Recently, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court made a somewhat
controversial decision, mandating that the specific physician
performing an invasive procedure/treatment must be the same
physician obtaining with this informed consent. Many groups/
departments, particularly specialists, often work as a team; it is

"I wish we had known about hospice sooner."
Hospice care is so much more than what most people think.
Many hospice patients have told us they wish they'd benefitted
from the hope, compassion and comfort of our hospice care
sooner. Any patient, family member or friend can contact us
anytime, 24/7.

866.380.5874
heartlandhospice.com
FALL 2017

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http://www.heartlandhospice.com

Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017

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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 2
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