Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 37

WINTER 2021

covenants, surprise billing, telemedicine, and
prior authorization reform. However, as the
COVID-19 pandemic surged to the forefront
in early 2020, attention rapidly shifted to
protecting our front-line health care providers
and ensuring that they had the necessary tools
and support to remain treating patients and
keeping themselves and those around them
safe. Other legislative initiatives were placed
on the back burner.
From the beginning of the pandemic,
PAMED, working with several stakeholders,
repeatedly pressed Governor Wolf to provide
immunity protection to physicians and other
health care providers who were treating
COVID-19 patients. The entire business
community was also pressing the Governor to
protect businesses that began manufacturing
COVID-19 related materials from unnecessary litigation. The Pennsylvania Coalition
for Civil Justice Reform (PCCJR), of which
PAMED was a founding member, continues
to urge Governor Wolf and lawmakers to
provide broad immunity protections to those
directly affected by the pandemic. While the
business community was unsuccessful in
securing protections for businesses, Governor
Wolf did issue an executive order (EO) that
served to protect health care providers who
provided care within a hospital or ambulatory
surgery center. While PAMED applauded
these protections, the EO order failed to
provide needed immunity for thousands
of other providers caring for COVID-19
patients. PAMED will continue to seek broad
protections for all physicians and other care
givers engaged in the care and treatment of
this patient population.
Scope of practice again dominated our
legislative activities whether it involved
pharmacists, physician assistants, genetic
counselors, optometrists, or CRNPs.
PAMED, part of a broader physician coalition, led a historic effort to negotiate a
compromise with certified registered nurse
practitioners (CRNPs) seeking independent
practice authority. Although the coalition
saw the pilot program approved by the
State House, the legislation stalled in the
Senate Consumer Protection & Professional
Licensure Committee. As of this writing,
the organization representing CRNPs has

announced they no longer support the
agreement and will again be seeking universal
independent practice authority.
PAMED also spent considerable time
engaged in discussions with physician assistants who are seeking to change the process by
which their supervisory agreements are structured and approved. Dialogue between our
two groups produced a better understanding
of how current requirements disadvantage PAs
over other providers such as CRNPs. Efforts
to address concerns expressed will continue
next session as we work to find a resolution
that will appropriately reflect contemporary
practice while ensuring patient safety.
We were happy to see that Pennsylvania's
ophthalmologists resolved a decades-long
battle with optometrists through the adoption
of an agreement that provides optometrists
with limited expansion in the treatment of
glaucoma while expressly prohibiting " surgical " procedures including laser surgery. With
the exception of the ophthalmology issue, we
anticipate the remaining scope issues to be
reintroduced early next session.
Working with a provider coalition that
included pathologists, emergency physicians,
anesthesiologists, and others, PAMED played
an active role in helping to prevent the passage
of surprise billing legislation that would have
been detrimental to both patients and physicians. We expect a more palatable proposal to
be introduced early next year. PAMED also
continued to push for prior authorization
reform, an issue that continues to take shape
and evolve into what we hope will be a successful effort in the coming legislative session.
It is fair to say that absent the public health
crisis, this session likely would have looked a
lot different from a legislative outcome perspective. As we begin a new legislative session
in January 2021, we will continue to engage
and actively work to advance PAMED's key
legislative priorities. That said, the pandemic
still persists, and we will continue to work to
protect our heroes serving in the trenches.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOMES-
204TH LEGISLATIVE SESSION
The following section provides a list of
key bills either directly related or ancillary
to PAMED policy and legislative priorities.
The commentary details a brief description
of the legislation and final outcomes as of the
close of the session.
ENACTED LEGISLATION:
House Bill 943 - (Gaydos) - Gag clause
for pharmacists-Extends the prohibition
against price transparency to insurance programs not covered previously by the Federal
legislation. Passed the House (197-0) and the
Senate (50-0). This bill was signed into law
by the Governor as Act 67 of 2020.
Senate Bill 572 - (Aument) - Mandating
opioid treatment agreements and urine testing-Passed the Senate and House and the
Senate concurred. This bill has been signed
into law as ACT 112 of 2019 by the Governor. PAMED opposed based on mandating
guidelines; Orthopedic Society supports.
There are still concerns being voiced over
the passage of this legislation, most recently
in the Senate.
Senate Bill 314 - (Baker) - Rural health
program-Passed both the Senate and House
with no opposition and was signed into law
as ACT 108 of 2019. PAMED was asked
by the Governor's office to weigh in during
the process.
House Bill 1662 - (DiGirolamo) - Death
and Incident Review Act-Amends the
Methadone Death and Incident Review Act
to include deaths and incidents attributable to
the use and misuse of suboxone. It has passed
the House (199-0) and the Senate (48-0 and
was signed into law as Act 126 of 2020).
Senate Bill 473 - (Scavello) - Tobacco
21-Increases Pennsylvania's minimum
legal sales age for tobacco products from 18
to 21 years of age.  PAMED supports this
initiative. It has passed both chambers and
was signed into law as ACT 111 of 2019.
Continued on page 38

LANCASTER

37

PHYSICIAN



Lancaster Physician Winter 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Lancaster Physician Winter 2021

Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 1
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 2
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 3
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 4
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 5
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 6
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 7
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 8
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 9
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 10
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 11
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 12
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 13
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 14
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 15
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 16
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 17
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 18
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 19
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 20
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 21
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 22
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 23
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 24
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 25
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 26
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 27
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 28
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 29
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 30
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 31
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 32
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 33
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 34
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 35
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 36
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 37
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 38
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 39
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 40
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 41
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 42
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 43
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 44
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 45
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 46
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 47
Lancaster Physician Winter 2021 - 48
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPWinter21
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPFall20
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LancasterPhysicianSummer2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPSpring20
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPWinter20
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPFall19
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPSummer19
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPSpring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPWinter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPFall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPSummer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPSpring18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPWinter18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/Summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPSpring17
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com