CPM Winter 2020 - 28

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he House and Senate are both beginning to "ramp up" activity
for the 2020 calendar year and the second half of the 19/20
regular session. Among the issues that will be debated before
the legislature this year, healthcare is sure to be front and center
as proposals addressing CRNP independent practice, opioids, Medical
Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder, prior authorization,
out-of-network/surprise billing, and health insurance credentialing are
all on the potential short list.

PAMED, along with a number of other stakeholders, including
patient advocacy organizations, is seeking to reform the current prior
authorization process. Recently, two bills have been introduced: House
Bill 1194 by Representative Steven Mentzer of Lancaster County, and
Senate Bill 920 by Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill of York County. These
bills seek to improve patient care and relieve physicians of the many
frustrating hurdles that health insurers require physicians to navigate.
It is quickly becoming clear to both lawmakers and patients that prior
authorization needs to be reformed as more and more patients are facing
CRNPs continue to push legislators to grant them the same autono- denials for services recommended by their physician. Positive change
mous clinical authority as physicians. Senate Bill 25, having passed the will largely be driven by patient and physician engagement on this issue
Senate for the second straight session, currently awaits consideration since overcoming the political influence of the state's health insurance
by the House Professional Licensure Committee. House Bill 100, a industry will be challenging.
companion bill to Senate Bill 25, is on the same docket. PAMED has,
over the past several months, urged physicians to voice their concerns
Opioid awareness is ubiquitous throughout the physician community
to lawmakers...especially those who sit on this key committee. While and remains a top priority in the legislature. As we approach the end
PAMED recognizes the valuable contributions CRNPs provide to health of the year, two opioid bills have the potential of moving-Senate Bills
care teams, our policy remains firm-CRNPs are not equipped to practice 566 and 675. The first would take existing opioid prescribing guidelines
without the benefit of a physician's immediate availability through a developed by PAMED, in cooperation with the Department of Health,
collaborative agreement. CRNPs are aggressively lobbying legislators... and codify them in regulations. While the intention of the legislation
physicians must do the same if we are to preserve a collaborative system is to ensure that physicians adhere to the guidelines, PAMED feels
that is the model in 28 other states across the country.
strongly that guidelines should not be mandated and must, by their
very nature, be flexible given the uniqueness of each and every patient.
PAMED engaged Susquehanna Polling and Research, Inc. to In addition, treatment protocols change often and placing guidelines
poll 3,300 Pennsylvanians to see how they felt about the healthcare into the regulatory process would likely result in physicians being caught
professionals that care for them. Some of the counties polled included; between new treatment protocols and outdated regulations - potentially
Allegheny, Chester, Lackawanna, Lancaster, and Potter. The results denying patients the most up-to-date care.
highlighted that 92% of those polled are satisfied with the access they
have to physicians and other medical providers in their area. In another
overwhelming majority, a combined 73% of those surveyed support
collaborative agreements between physicians and CRNPs, instead of
allowing CRNPs to practice independently.

28 Winter 2020 Central PA Medicine


CPM Winter 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CPM Winter 2020

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