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Legislative Update
A new two-year legislative session officially started in
Pennsylvania on Jan. 3. That's great, you say, but what does
this mean to me? It's an opportunity to continue to advance
legislation that protects the physician-patient relationship,
addresses access to care concerns, reduces burdensome and
unnecessary physician hassles, and more, while promoting
public health and protecting patient safety.
Some of PAMED's top legislative issues have been carried
forward from the previous legislative cycle, and continue to
be priorities this session. This year, PAMED will advocate on
behalf of Pennsylvania physicians and their patients on issues
such as:
* Maintaining physician-led, team-based care and
aggressively opposing legislation that seeks to remove
collaborative agreements between physicians and CRNPs and
grant them independent practice in Pennsylvania.

* Combating the opioid abuse crisis in Pennsylvania by
continuing to advocate for and educate physicians and patients
through PAMED's Opioids for Pain: Be Smart. Be Safe. Be
Sure. initiative.

* Advocating for much-needed insurance reforms such
as streamlining physician credentialing, standardizing prior
authorization, and identifying solutions to the balance/surprise
billing issue.
* Advancing telemedicine and establishing a set of safeguards
and standards to support the appropriate coverage of and
payment for telemedicine services in Pennsylvania.

PAMED often works closely with a variety of stakeholders
on these and other issues. PAMED's job is to be your eyes and
ears at the Capitol, ready at a moment's notice to advocate for
physicians on emerging issues. Learn more about our advocacy
efforts on these and other physician issues at www.pamedsoc.
More than 400 bills that impact health care are introduced
during each two-year session of the Pennsylvania General
Assembly. Like it or not, non-physician legislators often make
critical decisions about how you treat your patients. You can
influence those decisions by becoming an effective physician
advocate. But, how?
* Watch PAMED's weekly all-member email - The Dose -
and our mobile app for calls to action when legislators need
to hear the physician voice, especially personal experiences
and stories, on important issues impacting physicians, their
patients, and the practice of medicine.

2015-2016 Legislative Wrap Up

The Pennsylvania General Assembly concluded its
199th regular session in November, passing more than
50 pieces of legislation in the final days of the twoyear session. In total, 3,757 bills were introduced and
considered by the legislature in 2015 and 2016. Only 301
bills-approximately 8 percent-were ultimately passed
and signed into law.
At last count, PAMED staff actively tracked 442 bills
introduced during the 2015-2016 session that affect
physicians, from proposals that would directly impact the
practice of medicine to those that more generally relate
to the provision of health care in our state. This was a
notable increase from the 2013-2014 legislative session,
in which PAMED tracked 360 bills.
The 2015-2016 legislative session was certainly as
challenging as ever. PAMED dedicated significant
resources to CRNP independent licensure legislation,
several bills that dealt with opioid abuse, expanded scope
of practice for naturopathic practitioners, pharmacist
immunization of minors, retroactive denials, prior
authorization, insurance credentialing and telemedicine
legislation. For information on the progress of these
issues, contact PAMED's Knowledge Center at
855-PAMED4U (855-726-3348).

* Get real strategies on approaching legislators and their
staff by taking our Basic Skills Building for Physician
Advocates online CME course at

PAMPAC - the muscle of PAMED and its political arm -
needs your support to continue advocacy efforts such as these.
One of the largest bipartisan political action committees
in the state, PAMPAC supports pro-medicine candidates
running for the Pennsylvania state legislature or statewide
office, educates physicians and spouses about the political
process to help them become effective players in the political
arena, and more. Find out more about PAMPAC and how
your contributions can make a difference and join today at

There is more power in numbers - we can do more
together. If you're a PAMED member, thank you for your
support. If you haven't renewed your membership for 2017,
renew online at If you're not yet
a member, please consider joining PAMED and your county
medical society at to add your voice to
our advocacy efforts and stand with your colleagues.

Reprinted with permission from Pennsylvania Physician Magazine.
M C M S P H Y S I C I A N 14 S P R I N G 2 0 1 7

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