Lancaster Physician Fall 2020 - 35

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Legislative Updates

THIRD QUARTER PAMED LEGISLATIVE LOOK

T

he Pennsylvania General Assembly is
now in the final days of the 2019 Regular session, covering 2019 - 2020.
While the current environment has
changed the dynamics in Harrisburg and how
legislative activity is occurring, we have pushed
forward with key advocacy issues and continued to
conduct stakeholder meetings and legislative visits
on the most important advocacy issues to physician members. These include prior authorization
reform, scope of practice, out-of-network balance
billing, IMGs, physician immunity during
COVID-19, and various other ancillary issues.

Both chambers of the Pennsylvania General
Assembly each have very few session days left.
However, many pundits around Harrisburg are
anticipating a "sine die" session, which would
include additional days to move legislation. Of
primary focus for the legislative members will be
passing a budget for the Commonwealth since
the pandemic forced the passage of a temporary
five-month budget when legislators were not able
to conduct normal budget proceedings because
of the pandemic.
Even though there are a few session days
remaining, it is apparent that most everyone's
focus has shifted to election day on Tuesday,
November 3. PAMPAC, the political action committee of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, will

be actively engaged in a number of races around
the state. Closer to election time, we will have a
full list of candidates we are supporting and more
information on how you can engage if desired.
While the big focus will be on the presidential
election and other statewide races, there are a
number of key races in both the Pennsylvania
House and Senate. This is a unique year for the
Pennsylvania General Assembly as we will see both
the top-ranking members of each chamber step
aside (Mike Turzai and Joe Scarnati).
Turning our attention to legislation, we remain
focused on getting movement on PAMED's
top priority issues. PAMED continues to push
for advancement of prior authorization reform
legislation (HB1194 and SB920) and recently
conducted a stakeholders' meeting with the prime
sponsor of SB920 (Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill)
and the chairman of the Senate Banking and
Insurance Committee (Senator Scavello). We
continue to be actively engaged on out-of-network balance billing legislation (HB1862 Rep.
Pickett) and oppose it 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 is extremely pro-insurer and falls
short of removing the patient from the middle.
However, amendments have been drafted to
address these issues. If they were to be included
in the bill, PAMED would change our position

to support the legislation. HB1947 (Rep. Kaufer),
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 and is expected to pass that
chamber and reach the Governor's desk before
the end of the session. HB2103 (Rep. Jozwiak) is
a proposed fix to Act 112 re: patient test results.
We have been working diligently with the House
Health Committee to come up with appropriate
language and advance this legislation. This bill is
now up for a committee vote in the coming days.
PAMED has been successful in getting legislation introduced to address restrictive covenants
for health care practitioners and will be actively
seeking to find language that can move this bill
through the legislative process. It was recently
re-referred to the House Health Committee. We
were pleased to see HB1457 (Rep. Schroeder)
signed into law by the Governor as Act 44 of
2020. This legislation provides for insurance
coverage of custom breast prosthetics after breast
cancer reconstruction. And finally, we are standing
in opposition to HB2779 (Rep. Quinn), which
seeks to extend the easement of regulations and
licensing requirements for various mid-level
practitioners beyond the Governor's Executive
Orders related to the COVID-19 Emergency
Declaration. PAMED opposes this bill as it has
the potential to negatively impact various scope
of practice issues.

For the most up-to-date information on advocacy priorities and legislative issues, please visit

www.pamedsoc.org/advocacy
LANCASTER

35

PHYSICIAN


http://www.pamedsoc.org/advocacy

Lancaster Physician Fall 2020

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