ChesterCountyMedicineSummer2019 - 15

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which strongly opposes the proposed changes to allow for "venue
shopping." It was further noted that a local Chester County
attorney has recently been appointed to serve on the Rules
Committee of the PA Supreme Court.
Renee Cassidy, MD, the Public Health Physician for the
Chester County Health Department, reported on the Regional
Overdose Prevention Coalition's (ROPC) ongoing work in SE
Pennsylvania noting that the interdisciplinary group has held
a series of seven conferences/programs over the past three years
with stakeholders from eight different counties. Dr. Cassidy
also mentioned that the next ROPC program "The Opioid
Epidemic: What Elected Officials Need to Know" will be held
on Friday, June 7, 2019 at the Penn State Brandywine Campus
in Delaware County and that local and state elected officials and
their staff members have been invited to attend.
The group discussed team-based care and several scope
of practice issues which are once again pending in the state
legislature. It was noted that Pennsylvania's collaborative
agreement exists between physicians and nurse practitioners
to ensure that patients have direct and immediate access to
a physician when their care requires a more highly trained
Insurance company prior authorizations which require
doctors to obtain approval from insurers before prescribing
medication or moving forward with a specific test or treatment
were discussed in detail. It was noted that insurance companies
use these processes to control healthcare costs. Further delays
from prior authorization policies have led to serious adverse
events for patients

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Congresswoman Houlihan reported on her assignments in the
House Armed Services; House Foreign Affairs and the House Small
Business Committees. Ms. Houlihan further addressed her role as
the Freshman Leadership Representative to the "New Democrats
Coalition," a group that is committed to pro-economic growth,
pro-innovation, and fiscally responsible policies. In the ensuing
discussion Representative Comitta encouraged the physicians to
develop coalitions and to work with other stakeholders in pursuing
the desired reforms which were discussed by the group.

The group also discussed the difficulties which many
practices endure when trying to get new physicians credentialed
or when a previously credentialed physician is hoping to see
patients in an additional location. It was noted that a recent case
involving a dermatologist who was new to the area was delayed
from seeing Blue Cross patients for five months which caused a
great expense to the practice.
The group also indicated strong interest in supporting efforts
to address Maintenance of Certification reform and in amending
Act 112 of 2018.

SUMMER 2019 | CHESTER COUNT Y Medicine 15


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