Philadelphia Medicine Winter 2017-18x - 30

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FEATURE

PAMED LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

BILLS ON THE HILL:

Health-Related Proposals Moving
Through the Pa. Legislature
By: Michael D.I. Siget, JD, MPA, PAMED's Legislative & Regulatory Counsel

L

awmakers are considering a number of
bills that are important to physicians
and health care advocates, including JUA
funding, ambulatory surgery centers, access to
patient test results, amendments to the Abortion
Control Act, emergency prescriptions, and
PDMP querying exemptions."

JUA Funding
As discussed in October's Bills on the Hill
blog, HB 674 contains a section that deals with
the transfer of funds from the Pennsylvania Professional Liability
Joint Underwriting Association (JUA) to the Commonwealth's
treasury. Under the Commonwealth's Mcare Act, physicians and
other health care practitioners are generally required to obtain
medical malpractice liability insurance. The JUA, a nonprofit joint
underwriting association, serves as an insurer of last resort. HB
674 seeks to transfer $200 million from the JUA to the state to
help balance the budget. The JUA had until Dec. 1 to transfer the
funds. If it did not, it would be abolished on Dec. 1.
Soon after HB 674 was signed into law as Act 44-2017, the
JUA sued the Commonwealth in federal court. Prior to the
Dec. 1 deadline, U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Connor
granted a preliminary injunctionto stop the transfer of funds and
the dissolution of the JUA pending the outcome of the court case.
PAMED will continue to monitor this case and provide updates
to its members.

30 Philadelphia Medicine : Winter 2018

Length of stay in an ambulatory
surgical center
HB 1234, sponsored by Rep. Florindo Fabrizio, would align the length of stay in licensed
ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) with that of
other states and federal Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines. Under current
Pennsylvania Department of Health regulations,
ASC stays are limited to a total of four hours of
operating time and a total of 4 hours of directly
supervised recovery. Under HB 1234, authorized
services would be permitted in an ASC where the
expected duration of services would not exceed 24 hours following
an admission.
HB 1234 passed the House of Representatives in July and the
Senate in December. It is now before the Governor for approval.

Access to Patient Test Results
HB 1884, introduced by Rep. Marguerite Quinn, would require
an entity performing a diagnostic imaging service, in addition
to sending the results to the ordering practitioner, to directly
notify the patient or the patient's designee of the results of the
test when there is a finding of a significant abnormality. Under
this bill, a "significant abnormality" is defined as "a finding by a
diagnostic imaging service of an abnormality or anomaly which
would cause a reasonably prudent person to seek additional or
follow-up medical care within three months." Included in this
notice would be the summary of the report, otherwise known
as an impression or conclusion, or the complete results of the
diagnostic imaging service provided to the ordering practitioner.


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